New Minnesota Company Provides Custom Footwear to America’s Tallest Man

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Palidium founder Greg Johnson promises 7-foot, 8-inch Igor Vovkovinskiy a pair of new shoes featuring ZeroTie® technology

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Palidium, Inc. ZeroTie® Technology

We believe these shoes will make life better for consumers all over the world.

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Call them sole mates. When Palidium, Inc. founder and chief technology officer Greg Johnson saw Igor Vovkovinskiy, America’s tallest man, dwarfing NBA basketball players prior to the Minnesota Timberwolves game on April 22, he had an idea.

The 7-foot, 8-inch Vovkovinskiy was a guest of the team. His visit to Target Center included a meet and greet with players and a seat in a suite to watch his favorite team. Now living in Rochester, Minnesota, Vovkovinskiy has been a Timberwolves fan for years.

After seeing coverage of Vovkovinskiy’s visit, Johnson, who is getting set to launch his new footwear business, felt like he could help the team’s biggest fan.

“I heard he couldn’t usually go to games because he is just too big to enjoy it from a standard seat,” said Johnson. “When I heard he is raising money on his own to get a new pair of custom shoes, I knew my company could help.

Vovkovinskiy wears enormous size 26 shoes, which are hard to come by and expensive. According to his Facebook page, Vovkovinskiy will need to shell out around $16,000 for new footwear.

“I heard about his plight and I thought we could help,” said Johnson.

Johnson got in touch with Kovkivinskiy through Facebook and promised him a brand new pair of state-of-the-art shoes in time for next basketball season. The shoes, which will take several weeks to make, feature ZeroTie® technology, which Johnson says tightens the shoelaces without having to actually manually tie the laces. This first-of-its-kind system uses a proprietary wheel-actuated shoe lace tightening mechanism to tighten and loosen the laces in the shoe in a hands-free fashion.

“This is first of its kind technology. Igor will be the first guy on his block–or in the state for that matter–to have a pair of these shoes,” said Johnson. “It’s a gift from a Minnesota company to a special Minnesota resident.”

Johnson hopes that the Ukrainian-born Kovkivinskiy won’t be the first from his homeland to wear ZeroTie® shoes. “We are proud to be a Minnesota-based company, but we want to touch the global marketplace,” said Johnson. “We believe these shoes will make life better for consumers all over the world.”

Shoes from various manufacturers with the ZeroTie technology will hit store shelves this fall. But before consumers can get them on their feet, Kovkivinskiy will get his shot to wear the shoes. “Nobody, regardless of their size or physical limitations should have to miss out on things as simple as a basketball game. These shoes will give Igor the added comfort and ease he needs to be more active,” said Johnson. “We are more than happy to help him out.”

About Palidium:
Palidium, Inc. specializes in products that advance and simplify people’s lives. Based in Minnesota, Palidium is the proud developer of the ZeroTie® system. The ZeroTie® system was developed to make tying shoes a thing of the past. Using a proprietary wheel-actuated shoe lace tightening mechanism to tighten and loosen the laces in the shoe, ZeroTie® shoes help those provide a better and safer fit. In addition, the hands-free, self-tying technology helps those with the inability to tie their shoes the ability to live more active lives. For more information about this innovative technology, please visit or call Tom Lehmann CEO & President 612.578.8189.

Robb Leer

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