Can a man handle a day in our high heels? Martin Daubney finds out!

Published Thursday, Jul 2 2015, 20:00 BST  |  By  |  Add comment
From the Money Supermarket ad to the boys on Britain's Got Talent, guys are giving heels a go. So we challenged award-winning writer Martin Daubney, 44, to go public in lady shoes…

"'Oi oi! Blow us a kiss, darling!' comes the cry from a passing white van man, as he honks his horn in appreciation at me – a man wobbling along in stripper's stilettos, 6ft 9in tall in my heels and surely Britain's least-likely pin-up.

Tottering down my local high street, I look like a half-assed (in every sense) version of the bloke off the Money Supermarket ad. But rather than being offended by my lecherous admirer, I feel fabulous. In five years, no one's ever asked me for a kiss walking down this street. I could get used to all the attention.

You might rightly ask: why the hell would a 44-year-old dad-of-two put himself through this embarrassing torture? Well, I've accepted a challenge from Reveal to spend a day in high heels after some fellas wore them on Britain's Got Talent – and why not? Us men appreciate a woman in a sexy stiletto, so maybe it's time we knew exactly what that involves.

Resting his tired feet

Resting his tired feet

But when my size-11s turn up, complete with 6in heels and 3in platforms, the true horror sinks in. I look like a bad drag queen. My wife, Diana, bursts out laughing and our son, aged six, says: 'They make you look so tall, Daddy.' And he's right. Any taller and I'll be doing the limbo to get through the door.

I take a selfie of me in the heels and post it on Facebook, with the message: 'OMG, what have I let myself in for?' Taking a deep breath, I head out into the world to see how Londoners will react to the shocking sight of a hairy-legged bloke in shoes normally worn only by women in strip clubs…

I pop into Barry Road Barbers for a beard trim and ask the gaffer, Sean: 'Do I get a ladies' discount?' He replies: 'In those shoes, it's free. But sit down quick – the last woman in heels like that wrecked my wooden floor.' It's true, Sean's floor is pock-marked with high-heel holes. Already, I'm realising this business is fraught with danger.

Next, a group of scaffolders ogle me and wolf-whistle, so I approach one of the lads for a photo. Suddenly, the shoe is on the other foot. As I put my arm around him, he's the nervous one, not me.

'You walk better in them than some birds I know,' he says. 'Mind you, let's see how you get on after two bottles of wine.'

'There's an offer a bloke can't refuse,' I say with a wink, and he legs it to his truck.

Tottering up the hill to the supermarket like a newborn Bambi, a second passing motorist beeps his horn. In the fruit and veg aisle, I ask fellow shopper Jenna, who happens to be a performance acrobat, if she thinks stilettos for guys will catch on.

'No way,' she replies. 'Men don't have the stamina.' Taking this as a challenge, I head to the park for a kickabout to prove her wrong.

Just having a kickabout

Just having a kickabout

Playing football in 6in heels is something few men have done, and no wonder. My spike heels immediately sink into the grass and this game of keepy-uppy could end in a trip to A&E.

Worse, I can't get my three-inch wedge around the ball, and hoof it straight into the photographer's kisser, which makes me topple backwards and clatter down on my bum.

Shattered, I sit down on a bench to read a newspaper. The lady next to me, Tanya, 59, winces and says, 'Your feet look terrible – you need a pedicure!' Deflated, I head to the boozer for a well-earned jar.

It's lunchtime in The Clock House, and barmaids who've never paid me a second glance flock to see my heels. 'Not even I'd wear them. But your legs look good,' says a smiling, foxy blonde. Who'd have thought? My heels are an unlikely babe magnet.

Perhaps threatened by my masculinity, delivery man Kevin, 24, challenges me to an arm wrestle, and I ask him if he fancies a go in my heels. 'Not likely,' he laughs. 'I play football, and my big toenails have fallen off.' Suddenly, I've gone off lunch.

Martin propping up the bar

Martin propping up the bar

Driving in these heels would be suicide so, like many girls I've dated, I drive barefoot to the petrol station for a fill-up. With my heels back on, I nearly go A over T on a puddle of spilt fuel.

I clomp to the diesel pump, trying – and failing – to look as macho as possible, much to the hilarity of a bloke filling up, who laughs and shakes his head, saying, "I've seen it all now."

My final challenge is running for a bus on my local high street. As the number 37 approaches, I attempt an undignified canter, arms flailing like a toddler. At the bus stop, an old lady squawks, 'Give us a twerk, love!' and I break out into my best Money Supermarket routine.

The crowd love it and, from inside a cafe, people take pictures on their phones. One of them even waves me inside for a coffee.

Striding over the zebra crossing to my local boozer, I get a round of applause, sink another pint and take my heels off. Toes pinched, the soles of my feet are raw and my calves are screaming for mercy so, to complete my high-heeled holiday, I do the walk of shame home barefoot, carrying my heels.

I finally understand why women say: 'It's torture in these heels.' Next time, I'll have to remember to pack my slippers."

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