New Twin Cities company to create shoes for America's tallest man

The founder of Palidium, Inc. told WCCO he promised Igor Vovkovinsky a brand new pair of "state-of-the-art" size 26 shoes. The Rochester man, who stands 7-feet, 8-inches tall, will be the first person in the state to wear the new ZeroTie technology shoes available this fall. (Photo courtesy: Greg Smith)
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The founder of Palidium, Inc. told WCCO he promised Igor Vovkovinsky a brand new pair of "state-of-the-art" size 26 shoes. The Rochester man, who stands 7-feet, 8-inches tall, will be the first person in the state to wear the new ZeroTie technology shoes available this fall.

Igor Vovkivinskiy started raising money for new shoes online last month. He has since raised more than $40,000, according to his website.

Three weeks ago, Igor wrote, “Thank you all so much. Your donations have changed my life. I now begin the process of making the calls needed to begin this process of getting shoes made for me."

The last time Vovkivinskiy bought shoes — custom made by a German cobbler — he wore size 26. But 15 foot surgeries in the past few years have changed the shape of his feet. Reebok told him it would cost $15,000 to make him a new pair that fit, so he launched an online drive to raise some money.

America's tallest man and the Minnesota Timberwolves' biggest fan also got a chance to meet several players and watch the game Sunday.

(Photo courtesy: Greg Smith)

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America's tallest man needs shoes

Igor Vovkivinskiy of Rochester stands 7 feet, 8 inches. The last time he bought shoes -- custom made by a German cobbler -- he wore size 26. But a series of foot surgeries in the past few years have changed the shape of his feet. He says he's down to his last pair and they're barely holding up. "Not having shoes has basically handicapped me, partially," he tells WCCO. Now some generous well-wishers are trying to help.

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Rochester's Igor Vovkovinskiy has had 16 foot surgeries to fix problems caused by shoes that don't fit. A crew of technicians at Reebok headquarters in Massachusetts wants to design a pair that will fit the 7-foot-8-inch man. The custom-made shoes may wind up costing as much as $20,000.