Saturday afternoon was a typical day in Winona. There was music playing downtown and at the levee, the sun was shining, and, oh right, there was a large crowd of men walking a mile in red high heels. So maybe not such a typical Saturday.
Winona’s 2nd annual Walk-A-Mile in Her Shoes event was held in Windom Park Saturday at 3 p.m. Sporting a pair of heeled cowboy boots myself, I strutted over to the park to check things out.
I instantly realized why everyone was smiling and laughing. Almost 200 men with hairy legs and wide frames braced themselves from tumbling over as they stumbled in high heels through the park. Men and women of all ages grabbed boxes of heels from volunteers and waited for the walk to begin.
Women’s Resource Center worker Emily Dierling told me about the event.
“All of the proceeds profit the Winona Resource Center,” said Dierling, “and help women in Winona County.”
WSU student and Resident Assistant Robbie Deering said the event was also meant to raise awareness.
“The purpose is to raise awareness for rape and gender based violence,” said Deering, “It’s men taking responsibility for their gender’s faults.”
There were teams made up of WSU student clubs, community teams, and various individuals. In fact, it’s a family function for some. WSU student Alex Paulson told me why he was involved with the event.
“My family has taught me to respect every human being,” said Paulson, “They’re all here.”
Plus, it’s a lot of fun, even for the men.
“There’s something about these red heels that get them [the men] really excited,” said Dierling, “It’s fun, but they know what they’re here for.”
The event seemed to encompass this, with fun music and an overall happy theme going on, but walkers also held signs with domestic abuse statistics, letting spectators know that there was more to the event than what met the eye.
Overall, the event brought together the community to help out the Women’s Resource Center and provided some entertainment too!