to walk a mile in a man’s shoes when you can watch brave women race in their
sky-high stilettos instead?
past five years, stiletto runs, also known as hoge hakken races (high heel races), have become one of the most
popular charity events in the Netherlands, pitting ladies against each other
for the chance to win prizes and support various women’s health and rights
issues. The races can be anywhere from 45m to 200m in length, usually through a
blocked-off road in the middle of a city.
are usually only open to women, who must race in heels that are at least 7cm high
and no more than 1.5cm wide at the base. Of course, participants must also absolve
the organisers of any liability over twisted ankles or other injuries.
race will take place on 8 March in Leeuwarden, the capital of the northern
Friesland province, in honour of the annual International Women’s Day, which celebrates
women’s achievements. The Vrouw! Stiletto Run aims to raise money for Mama
Cash, the oldest
international women’s fund dedicated to promoting female rights around the
costs 30 euros for an individual and 100 euros for a company team of up to five;
the team with the fastest runner also wins a booth at next year’s race. The
woman with the fastest time wins a wellness weekend for two at WestCord Hotels located across the Netherlands, the second-place finisher gets a
makeover for her and her best friend, and the person in third-place receives a
wine date for four at Fosk Restaurant
popularity of these runs has grown worldwide since Glamour magazine organised the first one in Amsterdam in 2006. Competitors
can now race in heels in far-flung locales including Moscow,
Even men can strap on stilettos for male-division runs in Buffalo, New York and the Philippines, refusing to let female footwear
give them cold feet.