“Get your fat hoof into the designer shoe”

Said the stylist. In all fairness, she was being facetious, not abusive and my long skinny hoof may as well have been fat when I took on those designer gladiator heels. They were a small size 41, I am a large size 42. Yes indeed I have very big feet but I’m 6’ (183cm) tall, what do you want from me? Nevertheless, the show would not go on if the shoe did not go on and so began the battle of Alana vs Gladiator.

While this is not an image of the offending shoe, it does bear a very strong resemblance and serves the purpose of illustrating the degree of difficulty in getting it on.

It started out ok, with the soft leather welcoming my toes and the ball of my foot, but when Gladiator saw how much more foot was to come, he tightened up a little bit.

“Stop, you’re going to stretch me! Nobody told me I would have to stretch! No, please, I haven’t limbered up! Does anyone have any oil?”

If this shoe were a party, there would only be room for 41 very slender guests and there were 42 not so slender guests on their way in. This wouldn’t do, it was going to be uncomfortable but we couldn’t leave anyone out in the cold…or could we?

“Ok, we can get 42 in but some of you will have to occupy the deck and a couple of you will have to hang over the edge. Apologies.”

It took a solid 15 minutes but with subtle manipulation of the leather straps, a little more than a peep toe protruding from the front and abundant perseverance with a very stubborn zipper, the shoe fit…enough.

Now I like to think of myself as the ultimate professional, I walk well in heels even though I very rarely wear them. Alas, these gladiators defeated me. The 6” heel, coupled with the cramped accommodations had me walking like an old drag queen. I was in too much pain to be embarrassed and I was thanking my lucky stars that this was just a photographic shoot and not a runway show.

Then came the news that I would be wearing the same shoes in every shot so I may as well just leave them on. Awesome. I spent two hours straight standing in those heels. By the end of the shoot I couldn’t feel my toes and my calves were so stretched out that I found it hard to walk flat footed. Still, we got the shots, they’ll be beautiful and women everywhere will covet those fabulous gladiators.

I fought the gladiator and the gladiator won.


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