Man enough to
walk a mile in her shoes
By Amanda Mears
April 10, 2009 | "2-4-6-8 we support the end
That was the cry that could be heard around campus
Wednesday morning from a sea of males sporting hairy
ankles and rolled up jeans with one thing in common-
they were all wearing women's heels.
In order to raise awareness for victims of sexual
abuse, USU group Sexual Assault and Anti-Violence Information
(SAAVI) brought the international Walk A Mile In Her
Shoes event to campus. According to the Web site, www.walkamileinhershoes.org,
by donning heels and marching for a cause men can make
a difference all over the world. Although Nick Oliverson,
a junior majoring in social work said he came out to
support a worthy cause, the prizes, which include a
$100 gift card for the largest group and another for
the most enthusiastic, don't hurt either.
At 9:30 a.m., as most of the student body is waking
up and trudging to class, a group of males wait in line
for the proper footwear to begin their march calling
for the end of rape, sexual assault and gender violence.
After gingerly picking out a pair of heels from a
bin marked "Women size 12-13," one participant
grimaces as he slips on a pair of hot pink patent stilettos.
"I don't think this is my size," he observes.
Meanwhile, Oliverson walks with ease across the hallway
of the TSC in his brown 3-inch wedges.
"I'll admit this isn't my first time wearing
heels," said Oliverson, laughing. "I've dressed
up for The Rocky Horror Picture Show, so I've
done this before."
Despite his experience, Oliverson said he still wasn't
prepared when he first slipped his heels on that morning.
"My first thought when I put the shoes on was
just 'Wow,'" said Oliverson. "I did not realize
all the weight that was going to be on my toes, I guess
I just didn't realize how painful walking around all
day would be."
Oliverson said he first got involved with SAAVI because
he was looking for a service opportunity and felt it
was for a good cause. Although it is Oliverson's first
time being involved with Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, he
said he has done as much as possible to help the event
because he believes in the cause.
Despite the whispers and stares from students passing
through the TSC, Oliverson said he is not at all uncomfortable
with the crowd's reaction.
"It helps that my friends support me," said Oliverson.
"My buddy Dan came out and is walking first mile with
The dialogue as they walked, said Oliverson, centered
mainly around their fear of falling.
"He caught me once when I tripped, so that was
nice," Oliverson said. "At one point I just
said, 'If I go down, you'll have to come with me.'"
Although the comments heard from those walking the
mile ranged from "This just feels right" to "Man, this
freaking kills," Oliverson said most "dudes in shoes"
should count themselves lucky because their heel-wearing
experience ends after the walk.
Hours before even completing the first mile lap, which
began at 10:20 a.m., Oliverson said he was hard at work
setting up tales, selling T-shirts and directing traffic
-- all in his heels.
"If was a girl, I would be wearing tennis shoes all
the time," said Oliverson. "All I can say is after this
I am definitely going to go home and ice my feet, maybe
soak them in Epsom salt."