ROCHESTER, Minn. (WCCO) — The tallest man in America happens to live in Rochester, Minn. Igor Vovkivinskiy is a towering 7 feet, 8 inches tall.
“When we came to the United States from the Ukraine, I was almost 7 years old. At that time I had already surpassed my mom in height. I was already 6 feet tall.”
A tumor in his pituitary gland is to blame for his height. Now 29 years old, his dramatic size is record-breaking, and when it comes to footwear, he’s off the charts.
“Nobody makes my shoe size, probably for six or seven years, I don’t even know what my shoe size is.”
Vovkivinskiy says he’s down to a lone pair of shoes with little to no support left and no traction.
For a guy who’s had 15 foot surgeries in the last three years, it’s put him in a challenging situation.
“Not having shoes has basically handicapped me, partially,” he said. “It’s been pretty depressing at times.”
The residual pain from those surgeries makes it difficult for him to stay on his feet at times, so he moves around the house in a motorized wheelchair.
He’s taking college courses online instead of on campus. And he doesn’t spend time with friends like he used to.
“I try to avoid thinking about what I could be missing with shoes,” he said.