August 16, 2021 | 1:31pm
Add to that strutting the sidewalks of NYC in perilously high platform boots by a label called Pleaser. A longtime staple among strippers, the brand’s sexy shoes are also a go-to for Gaga, who’s stepped out a half-dozen times this summer in versions measuring 8, 9, even 10 inches tall — always paired with perfectly styled designer duds, of course.
As a card-carrying Little Monster myself, I had to know if I could hack it in the pop performer’s heels. So against my better judgment, I ordered my own pair to test-drive on the mean streets of the Upper West Side.
I settled on the “Stupid Love” singer’s go-to style: the “Xtreme-1020” ankle boot ($93.95), which features an 8-inch spike heel. For reference, Pleaser’s 9- and 10-inch offerings come with cards warning buyers that they’re “not recommended for walking or dancing.” To quote Gaga, I was on the edge — and not, I feared, of glory.
I laced up my platforms — which weigh 2 pounds each — and started small, by teetering across my apartment like a newborn foal. It didn’t help that my feet had known nothing but slippers and sneakers for the past year, nor that I’m a born klutz with a tendency for tripping in footwear of any kind. Basically, the odds against me were stacked even higher than the heels themselves.
Once outside, I quickly realized why Pleasers are perfect for pole dancing: because, well, there’s a pole involved. Without anything to grab onto for stability or support, I took to tiptoeing along the sidewalk with both arms outstretched for balance, tightrope-style.
And with every precarious wobble, I was reminded of just how far I had to fall. I’m over 5-foot-10 in bare feet, meaning that these vertiginous kicks kicked me up to around 6-foot-6. Basically, I was Michael Jordan, minus any discernible athletic ability.
“WNBA, here you come!” one kind gentleman exclaimed as I hobbled past. “You look glorious,” an older woman offered with apparent sincerity.
One bystander even recognized the style, bless his heart. “Pleasers?” he asked. “Good luck!”
While Gaga’s typically seen sporting her pairs for quick jaunts from her hotel to her car, she’s also worn Pleasers to the Met Gala, navigating the museum’s front steps in 8-inchers with ease. I, on the other hand, found myself clinging to the handrail for dear life as I descended into the 81st Street subway station. Thank God I’d packed my Purell.
My flailing limbs and stilt-like shoes sure attracted attention. Considering the number of perplexed locals and tourists alike who stopped to stare as I ambled along near the Museum of Natural History, you’d think “Paparazzi” was penned for yours truly.
About 30 minutes into my stroll, I seemed to finally get my sea legs, taking care to keep more of my weight on the balls of my feet — a tip I’d picked up from reading Pleaser’s customer reviews. I can see why dancers rely on these heels for an instant confidence boost. You truly do carry yourself differently while wearing them — partly so you don’t break an ankle, of course, but also because they make you feel badass.
What’s more, I was pleasantly shocked by how comfortable they were. As I strutted (and occasionally stumbled) around, I felt plenty of adrenaline, but my arches weren’t aching. It’s no wonder pole dancers rave about being able to work entire shifts in their Pleasers without pain.
But at the end of the day, Gaga’s boots weren’t made for walking. Clearly more fashion than function, they slowed my usual stride to a snail’s pace and made running for subways, pushing through crowds and maneuvering across cobblestones — all everyday elements of New York life — next to impossible.
But I have to admit: I looked pretty damn cool trying. In the immortal words of Lady G: Walk, walk, fashion baby.