• Julie Gallahue

The shoe must go on

I have these dreams sometimes and I bet you do too. The dream where you're doing a task your accustomed to doing, like cleaning the house, and it seems like you're never able to finish the job because one catastrophe after another happens. The washer overflows, there’s a never-ending layer of dust, the cat hacks up grass vomit on your recently mopped floor. It doesn’t end until you sit up in a cold sweat and discover that the house is in the exact condition you left it in.




It's an anxiety dream. There’s no hidden meaning behind them beyond the fact that these are things you're afraid of. A never-ending pile of laundry certainly freaks me out.


As a runway model and model coordinator, I’m in the trenches with the talent and I feel confident I can speak for all of them when I say the following runway moments give them reason to jolt right up in terror as well.


~Stepping on hemline

~Walking out with your zipper down

~Having really bad make-up or hair

~Tripping/Falling

~Missing your mark

~A nip slip

~A slit so high on the dress your vagina is hanging out

~ Bloating


But the number one, nerve-wracking, problem at the top of this list........Losing your ever-loving shoe on the runway!


Youtuber Annabella Winsteald has a collection of cringe-worthy moments on the runway. , that will make you laugh and squeal at the same time.

Model loses her shoe during Eva Longoria Collection Spring/Summer 2018 fashion show - YouTube


It’s not really a question of if it will happen as much as it is a question of when will it happen. For Alyssa Wyss, Denver based model signed at Southwest Model and Talent , it happened at the Fashion West Ephemera Spring 2022 show at Reelworks Denver.



Model Alyssa Wyss captured by Photographer Fred Langer


“I was asked to wear a beautiful navy blue dress. The fabric reached the floor even with my 6 inch heels on. I was nervous with the dress being so long that my shoe was going to get caught on the fabric, so I did my best to hold it up off the ground. When I started walking on the runway, I felt my shoe get caught anyway, and slip off the back of my left foot.

Slightly panicking in my head, I did my best to slip the shoe back on while I was walking so no one would notice. Unfortunately, the shoe was still caught. I kept fumbling and decided that it would be best to shake my shoe off, and leave it behind.

I wasn’t wearing shoes with a high platform, so standing on my toes was thankfully enough. I continued walking and tried my best not to show the nerves and embarrassment. I reminded myself, that any good model knows how to think on their toes. Literally and figuratively, so I pushed through.”



Model Alyssa Wyss' shoe left on the runway captured by photographer Fred Langer


You don’t always have control over the shoes on your feet as a runway model, but if you do, it’s in your best interest to make sure those shoes fit you perfectly.


But let’s say that you don’t have control over this anymore than you have control over that reoccurring dream where you step out of your heel and land squarely on your face or in the lap of a front row guest. Here are some solutions and suggested products to keep you steady on your feet, even in slightly too large shoes.


Problem: Your heel is too narrow for the shoe and when it lifts, the shoe doesn’t join it.


Solution: You need to eliminate some of the space in the heel with a heel grip, possibly two heel grips if needed.

These spongy pads with self-adhesive backing are a life saver, because if you can’t bring the foot to the shoe, you have to bring the shoe to the foot.


These are inexpensive and easy to find at most places that sell shoes or on Amazon.


Amazon.com: Heel Stickers Heel Cushion Pads Shoe Heel Insoles for Improved Shoe Fit and Comfort, (3 Black and 3 Beige) : Health & Household $6.59 for pack of 6



Problem: Your foot is sweating and it’s sliding straight out the front of your strappy heel.


Solution: You need to dry that puppy up asap and since this dryness will only last a few minutes before your sweat glands kick into high gear again, try spraying the bottom of your foot with dry shampoo and add a little to the inside of the sandal for insurance. But do it just before you go out on the runway if possible.

Amazon.com: Batiste Dry Shampoo, Tropical Fragrance, Refresh Hair and Absorb Oil Between Washes, Waterless Shampoo for Added Hair Texture and Body, 6.35 OZ Dry Shampoo Bottle : Beauty & Personal Care $13.29




Problem: Too much space in the toe area means your foot is filling in this area and leaving a giant gap in the back of the shoe.


Solution: Besides cursing the shoes and fantasizing about burning them after the show, adding a solid barrier to prevent your toes from moving forward into the dead zone, will save the day. But, don’t bother with cotton balls or tissue paper. There is not enough resistance and it will be paper thin within a few steps. In a pinch, you could roll up a thin ankle sock and insert it into the shoe, but these foam inserts are more reliable.



Amazon.com: 4 Pairs Toe Filler Inserts Adjustable Toe Plug Reusable Shoe Filler for Too Big Shoes for Women Men Unisex Pumps Flats Sneakers - Black + Beige : Health & Household $7.99 for pack of 4


It won’t prevent the anxiety dreams, but if you keep these items in your model bag, you’ll have a better chance of making sure those premonitions are not realized.


Walk strong models!









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