Time to heel: Shoe-store owner

Gregg Palmer, owner of Brown’s Shoe Fit on Main Street, puts away the last shoe of the 13 pairs of size 12 high heels he donated Friday to Latimer House.  Jennifer Allen, left, the fundraising coordinator for the shelter, waits as Palmer packs up the shoes so that she can take them.

There’s a reason sensible heels are called “sensible”: they’re the go-to shoes, the shoes that mean business, the shoes for the job. A fella could run a mile in those shoes.

And Thursday night, a fella will — no telling yet which fella, but some lucky man will don a pair of brand new, size 12 heels, donated to Latimer House Friday by Gregg Palmer, owner of Brown’s Shoe Fit Company.

“It’s a thing we had to do,” Palmer explained. “So, I contacted (Latimer House) and said I’d like to help out.”

Palmer was referring to the April 16 theft of 100 pairs of heels used for the annual Men in Heels race, Latimer House’s second-biggest yearly fundraiser. As implied by the title, teams of men don high heels and race a relay mile at the last Downtown Farmers’ Market of the year. This year’s race, the fourth annual, is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Sixth and Main streets.

Palmer said that after hearing about the devastating theft, he contacted the Life Strides shoe company “and they were familiar with this race,” he said. Palmer arranged for 13 pairs of pumps in neutral colors and handed them off Friday to Jennifer Allen, fundraising coordinator for Latimer House.

“We know the men are probably going to duct tape the shoes to their feet,” Allen said, “so we’ve got camouflage duct tape, leopard print, all different kinds. We’re ready.”

“We just wanted to make sure (Latimer House has) shoes to get through the race this year,” Palmer said. “It was important to us.”


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