27 years of racing in heels

Bold, heel-wearing drag queens are preparing to race for glory Tuesday night. It's time for the annual 17th Street High Heel Race, which is celebrating 27 years of stiletto, pump and kitten-heeled competition.


I would not run in these. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post).

Since styles change day-to-day and decade-to-decade, we did a little digging into the popular high heel styles of the times. What can we expect to see tomorrow? Anything is on the table, I'd guess. Booties? Wedges?

The '80s: Flat shoes ruled in the 1980s: Keds, Doc Martens, Converse and blister-inducing jelly shoes. But high heels also made a comeback after being shunned during the '70s. Perhaps the drag queens of the inaugural high heel race wore slingbacks and stilettos.

The '90s: Who can forget Spice Girls-inspired platform heels? Those shoes dominated popular culture and looked absolutely impossible to walk in, let alone take a short jog in. Mary Janes were also popular, but I can't imagine feeling victorious running a two block race in them.

If you go: The short race beings outside JR's Bar and Grill. Registration is required to participate. You can sign up at Cobalt now, and meet at JR's at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to get a t-shirt and more race instructions. Mayor Vincent Gray, Birdie LaCage and Banaka will serve as grand marshals for the event. The parade begins at 7 p.m. and the race starts at 9 p.m.

Margaret Ely is a digital editor for Lifestyle. Previously, she was an intern for the Post’s Metro section.

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