Kansas City

‘I want to see him happy:' How a mechanic's boss helped him get shoes to fit size 23 feet

The 6-foot-11 mechanic was all smiles when presented with a pair of custom-made boots that fit just right

NBC Universal, Inc.

One Kansas City mechanic had a footwear problem that not even Shaquille O'Neal's sneakers could fix.

Cortez Sexton Jr. is a 6-foot-11 mechanic who struggled finding sneakers to fit his size 23 feet. For some context, the 7-foot-1 O'Neal wears a size 22.

As one can imagine, working in shoes that are too small was an uncomfortable and painful experience for Sexton. So his boss, Donnell Taylor, took action.

Taylor, the owner of Donnell’s Automotive in Kansas City, sent an email to news anchor Kevin Holmes of NBC affiliate KSHB to see if he could assist in finding shoes for Sexton. Holmes has a "Gift of Sole" campaign with KSHB that raises money toward new shoes for underserved youth in the local community.

“Mr. Holmes. My name is Donnell Taylor. I am a small business owner of Donnell’s Automotive," Taylor's email read. "I have an employee that has [size 23 feet]. Yes. He is very shy, and his feet are hurting him badly. His shoes are torn. It’s bad. Can you help me find some shoes for him? He’s a good mechanic and his feet are killing him.”

Holmes shared Sexton's story on social media and it reached custom shoemaker Jacob Osenton, who offered to help. Osenton met up with Sexton to measure his feet and start the process of getting him custom-made sneakers.

"He'll be happy, man. I feel like it'll give him more confidence," Taylor said of what the new shoes would mean for Sexton, via KSHB 41. "That'll bring a smile [to his face]. I want to see him happy."

Sexton was indeed all smiles when Osenton eventually returned with a pair of size 23 brown boots that fit just right.

"I ain't got to worry about my feet hurting, because it don't take long for your feet to hurt in the wrong shoes," Sexton said after trying them on. "Less pressure on my feet now, I've got room in here. I can move a lot better.

"New shoes, that are a comfortable fit -- can't get any better."

"The smile on his face was enough," Osenton said. "That's all I needed."

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