Engaging men is idea behind Red Shoes event, participants say

By Robert Washburn

After doing the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event several times, Cobourg Mayor Gil Brocanier has some tips for his fellow participants.

“The first thing is to practice,” he confided. “But the best thing is to go to the drug store and buy these little gel packs that fit inside the shoes, right at the balls of your feet. That is where most of the weight goes,” he said.

Northumberland Services for Women is holding the annual event on Saturday starting at 11 a .m. on King Street, as part of the Busker Festival celebrations.

The walk is a popular event with close to 100 participants in 2010. It has raised just over $60,000 in total during the last three years.

Men of all ages are allowed to participate. They must wear a pair of women’s shoes with two to four-inch heels.

The international event began in 2001 as a way to educate men and engage communities around the issue of violence against women. Frank Baird created the event, which is now a worldwide phenomenon.

Here is a story involving Cobourg participants.

Brocanier hopes to raise $1,000 and already has pledges for $800. MacDonald is hoping to raise $2,000, with $1,300 in pledges.

MacDonald said walking in women’s shoes feels very cramped; while Brocanier says the experience gave him a better appreciate of what women go through to please men.

MacDonald is normally a size 10 in men’s shoes, but wears women’s 11 in red high heels. Brocanier thinks he wears a women’s size 10.