Bitter shoemaker makes
'world's largest shoe'
A Hungarian shoemaker who is bitter about
the decline of his trade has completed what he claims is
the world's biggest shoe.
Jozsef Kovacs, 56, has made a European size 217 men's model
with an inside measurement of 145 centimetres - 15 centimetres
longer than the current Guinness world record holder.
Mr Kovacs worked for 345 hours over 43 days
to craft the leather shoe which he hopes will inspire young
people to give his profession a try.
"One of the main reasons I made the shoe was because
I was bitter," Kovacs said from his shop in Debrecen.
"Young people are only willing to try their hand at
more lucrative professions and the shoemaker's craft is
The shoe weighs 65 kilograms (143 pounds), and includes
10 kilograms (22 pounds) of glue, 247 copper nails and 87
meters (285 feet) of thread. Kovacs said it cost 500,000
forints (£1,266) to make it.
During a career spanning five decades, Kovacs has made shoes
for all ages and sizes, but he specialises in orthopaedic
models. He said his shoes have won top prizes in European
He learned the trade from his father and has passed his
knowledge on to the oldest of his three sons, who also makes
The shoe is currently on display in his hometown. Kovacs
said he plans to take the giant shoe to a shoemakers' competition
in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 2004, but is not sure where it
will be stored in the meantime.
Story filed: 14:31 Tuesday 19th March 2002
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