The Agony of De-Feet

Posted by Filed Under: Running is Funny

stiletto runnersThe Boston Marathon. The Peachtree Road Race. The Fifth Avenue Mile. And now, the Glamour Stiletto Run.

Laugh if you will, but the next time you find yourself complaining about blisters, black toenails and bunions after a training run, think of how you would feel after running that same distance in high heels.

That’s just what 150 women did in Amsterdam last week, in the latest incarnation of the Glamour Stiletto Run. The race covers 350 meters in the heart of Amsterdam’s upscale shopping district, with a nasty 90-degree turn early on. The winner receives a 10,000 euro shopping spree. The catch is that you have to wear heels of 3-4 inches. No platforms, pumps, espadrilles and, especially, no running shoes.

Stiletto races are becoming all the rage in Europe, with races of varying lengths in Denmark, Poland, Russia and Germany. This British TV report will give you a good view of the proceedings, but this Dutch report includes the pre-race expo and post-race shopping.

It doesn’t appear the idea has caught on too well on this side of the ocean. A stiletto run in Mexico City limited participants to “women by nature” and was met with protests. Last year’s Amsterdam run spawned a heated exchange on (where else?) Manolo’s Shoe Blog.

But here at we prefer to avoid the social and cultural implications of a high-heeled race and focus our investigatory powers on a different question: ringers!

Tamara Ruben, the winner of the Amsterdam stiletto race, is an international-class athlete in the 400 meter high hurdles, finishing fifth in the SPAR European Cup.

It’s a short hop from high hurdles to high heels. If the amateur nature of stiletto runs isn’t protected, we can expect other European nations to field ringers. The Ukrainian contingent would be particularly formidable.

About Mike Antonucci

I ran 6-minute miles when I was in the military, then tapered for 20 years. Two-time marathoner (3:43 PR), my next goal is to stay healthy enough to run another. There are literally thousands of people handing out running advice and serious tips. I prefer to focus on the humorous or odd facets of our shared obsession. Let's face it, running is funny.

  1. Run For Life on March 15th at 10:24 pm

    I’ve cited your article in my post. Thanks for the amusing news!

    Run For Life’s last blog post..It’s all about the feet

  2. Rachel on March 16th at 8:24 am

    What a crack up. I can’t even walk in 3 1/2in heels, let alone run in them!

  3. Jeanne on March 16th at 3:53 pm

    i have enough problems walking in flats!

    you’re a nut.

  4. Waiting For Sunday / Sunday Seven on March 17th at 6:40 pm

    […] in high heels. It may be a little low-brow, but the runners in this video are tough as nails. Via The Complete Running Network and Manolo’s Shoe […]

  5. denise on April 28th at 12:01 pm

    There is a product called Smart Heel, it is a protector for those stilletos,
    We would love to be part of the race. Let me know how I can get involve.

  6. It’s all about the feet « Run For Life on August 1st at 3:31 pm

    […] Well it just so happens that my post was going to be related to my feet and I noticed an article on the CRN about high heels that piqued my interest. (I’ll elaborate on this further […]