Press Release

Best Foot Forward—A New Photo-Essay Book Explores Feet in a Whole New Light

Photographer Eric La Price takes a leap from his scenic and portraiture work to the world of feet and fashion.

Best Foot Forward
(Cottonwood, Arizona, August 15, 2013) A photography contest sponsored by a jewelry company specializing in toe rings and ankle bracelets was the inspiration for Mr. La Price’s venture into publishing Best Foot Forward (October 31, 2013, Booker Press), the subject of which could be viewed as our most snubbed and underrated body part.

Each section of the text focuses on a specific topic, including high heels, sandals, and going barefoot, and has a short history behind the theme. While all of the images portrayed in the book are of women sporting everything from stilettos to tattoos, Mr. La Price’s research revealed that there has been a slow movement by shoe and fashion designers over the past several years to promote fashion equality and provide men with the same options women have, including the stiletto heel.

In 2011, the New York Times ran an article, “A Tall Tale, but True: Men in Heels.” In it, Mr. Paice, a clothing designer said, “I wish society were more acceptable of men wearing heels. I think it’s fun. I think it makes a statement.”

Most recently, the Italian footwear brand Aquazzura presented their latest extravagant collection of stilettos being worn by male models to show that the collection is comfortable enough for men to wear.

Tall tales perhaps, but anyone who is interested can simply Google “men wearing stilettos” and see what comes up!

Questions for the Media

  1. What prompted you to photograph feet and put your best shots into Best Foot Forward?
  2. Why are feet so fascinating a subject to you?
  3. The photographs in the book are strictly women’s feet. Why did you decide to photograph only women’s feet?
  4. What kind of research went into the book?
  5. What do you say to those who think you have a foot fetish?
  6. What would you say to a straight man who would like to wear stilettos but feels uncomfortable about it?
  7. In your opinion, what types of shoes enhance the appearance of the foot?
  8. What does it say to you when a woman has a closet full of shoes?
  9. You have a section in the book on foot tattoos, a practice that has become popular but also is controversial because of the pain involved. Some tattoo artists refuse to do foot tattoos. What do you say to someone who is thinking about getting one?
  10. What will your next photographic undertaking be? Anything in the works?

Fun Facts and Trivia about Shoes and Feet

  • Fairy tales often use shoes as a symbol representing an escape from a boring, tedious life. Cinderella, The Red Shoes, and The Twelve Dancing Princesses are a few examples.
  • The most ever spent on a pair of shoes was $612,000. They were Judy Garland’s last pair of ruby red slippers from the Wizard of Oz, bought at a Christie’s auction. Just three pairs of the iconic ruby slippers from the movie remain.
  • In the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe the heels on a high heel shoe were always the color red.
  • Before the 19th century there was no left or right shoe, they were both identical.
  • In Hungary, the groom drinks a toast to the bride out of her wedding shoe.
  • In China, one of the bride’s red shoes is tossed from the roof to ensure happiness for the bridal couple.
  • Today, shoes tied to the bumper of a car means “just married.” These shoes are considered to be a symbol of good luck.
  • Keds were the original American sneaker, first manufactured in 1916.
  • The average woman owns more than 25 pairs of shoes.
  • An estimated $6 billion is spent in the U.S. every year on manicures and pedicures. About 23 percent of all women get a pedicure every month.
  • Women’s feet were small in the 16th and 17th century, averaging around size 5 to 6. Today, over 30 percent of all women wear shoes that are a size 9 or above.
  • An American named Robert Wadlow holds the record for the largest feet at size 37.

 

Appearance on San Diego Living

February 3, 2014

I was invited to appear on San Diego Living to talk about Best Foot Forward.  I was interviewed by the lovely Heather Myers.  After the interview, the producer got a photo of Heather putting her best foot forward with me!

Radio Interviews

January 12, 2016

KJAG Radio, Salina, Kansas – Interview with James Lowe “The Jiggy Jaguar”

We talked about how I got the idea for the book and the wide-ranging audience it would appeal to.

January 15, 2016

Freedomizer Radio Network – Rose Colombo Show

Awesome interview! Rose happened to have a background that included time in the fashion industry. We talked a lot about the different subjects in the book – shoes, jewelry, tattoos, pedicures and how they relate to personal statements of fashion. We got into a great discussion on tattoos and how meaningful a tattoo can be to someone.  I highlighted the models section in the back of the book that explains what the personal meanings were behind some of the tattoos featured in the book. Rose was also interested in the research I did for the book and some of the research I found most interesting was on the history of high heels!

February 3, 2016

The Staying Young Show – Mark Anderson, Walter Gaman and Judy Gaman

We talked about the book and where people could purchase it. Then they asked me trivia questions on human anatomy. Luckily I remembered enough from my biology classes to win!

February 10, 2016

KXLO AM 1230 – Lewistown, Montana – Phyllis Hall

Phyllis really liked the book. She thought the book was a lot of fun to read.  She said it was filled with fantastic photographs and a lot of interesting history and factoids!

March 8, 2016

KAHI AM 950 – Sacramento, California – The Popoff Show

Mary Jane Popp and I discussed how important our feet are and how much people generally seem to take them for granted.  We talked about the science of reflexology and how every point on the sole of one’s foot corresponds with the different parts of our bodies.  Our feet are our foundation and if they are not feeling well, the rest of us will not feel well.

Mary loved my book and said it was a fun read and that the photography was just wonderful.  We talked about the human connection aspect of my book; the section in the back that talks about all the different models in my book and how it explains very personal elements, such as the meanings behind certain tattoos and pieces of jewelry. As far as interesting things I discovered in my research, we talked about the fascinating history of high heels and how they were originally developed for men for very practical purposes, such as keeping a warrior’s foot secure in stirrups so they could stand up on their horse and shoot their bows.  As time went on, the heels were adopted by the nobility and became colorful and decorated, losing their practical value.  Becasue they were no longer practical shoes, they were worn by those men who were “above the common man” and did not have to do physical labor.  Eventually, heels were also adopted by women in order to “look more masculine.”

We also talked about my website and the link to Amazon where one can purchase my book.  We also talked about some of my other photography which is featured in the portfolio section of the website.  Mary Jane Popp was particularly interested in my wild horse photographs, night sky photographs and lightning photographs.

March 14, 2016

KSEN – AM 1150 – Shelby, Montana – The Jerry Puffer Show

Jerry Puffer and I had a great talk about how I got the idea to do Best Foot Forward.  Jerry was impressed how I was able to take an idea and turn it into a creative books that is not only fun, but quite informational.  Jerry enjoyed hearing about the history of high heels and how they were originally something only for men.  Jerry shared that he has a pair of blue stilettos that he loves to wear himself.  Since shoes are inanimate objects that have no gender, I told him that I was all for it and that more guys….that have the build for it…ought to wear stilettos.  Hey, it’s the most fun shoe ever made!

Jerry also wrote a great blog post about my book.  Check it out on the Book Reviews page.

March 18, 2016

KORE FM 99.1/105.9, Wenatchee, Washington, The KORE Connection Show with Kenny Johanessen

Kenny and I had great discussion on how I got inspired to do Best Foot Forward.  He was interested in why I shot only women’s feet for the book.  I explained that for now women are the ones who are encouraged to show their feet off with jewelry, pedicures and nice shoes.  In contrast men’s footwear is dull, clunky and ugly and men aren’t encouraged to make their feet look good.  Step one would be to get rid of the disgusting body hair and thyen follow it up with a pedicure, like a bold blue or silver! Men are starting to break out of the box society has forced them into with fashion and taking some pride in their appearance.  Some fashion designers are even daring to go down this road too. Some men are finally losing the body hair, getting pedicures and indulging in all the fun shoes that women have.  I hope my book encourages more to do so!

March 31, 2016

KVTA AM 1590, Ventura, California, The Kim Pagano Show

I had a great time with Kim Pagano today. She loves the book and believes it is perfect not only for a coffee table at someone’s house, but also for waiting rooms at places such as hair salons and nail salons. She asked me what qualities I find attractive in women’s feet and I explained how I think larger feet on women, sizes 10, 11 and 12 are sexier. We talked about how I got the idea for the book and the extent of research I put into it and some of the interesting facts I discovered while doing research.  One that I talked about was how early tattoos were done by rubbing charcoal into cuts on the skin…ouch!

At some point every interview come back to the most fun and awesome shoe ever, the stiletto heel. I talked about how last year the shoe company Aquazzura put all their male models in stiletto heels to show how comfortable their shoes are and that some designers are incorporating the stiletto heel into men’s fashion.

May 3, 2016

Biz Talk Radio, WROL 950 AM/WXBR AM 1460, Boston, Massachusetts, The Frankie Boyer Show – Your Voice For Healthy Living

Frankie loved the book! She especially like the historical factoids sprinkled throughout the chapters. We talked about the need for people to stop taking their feet for granted and to make a conscious effort to take care of their feet. Frankie also spent some time checking out the Booker Press website and really liked the following quote from Marilyn Monroe posted on the home screen:

“Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world”

Frankie also mentioned that she liked the fun facts that she learned about shoes and feet.  Some of the ones she particularly liked were:

  • The most ever spent on a pair of shoes was $612,000. They were Judy Garland’s last pair of ruby red slippers from the Wizard of Oz,
  • The average woman owns more than 25 pairs of shoes.
  • An estimated $6 billion is spent in the U.S. every year on manicures and pedicures.
  • Women’s feet were small in the 16th and 17th century, averaging around size 5 to 6. Today, over 30 percent of all women wear shoes that are a size 9 or above.
  • An American named Robert Wadlow holds the record for the largest feet at size 37.
  • In Hungary, the groom drinks a toast to the bride out of her wedding shoe

June 3, 2016

Freedomizer Radio Network – The Rose Colombo Show – Author’s Corner

I returned to the Rose Colombo Show to talk about what I had been doing since my last appearance in January 2016. Rose told me that a “little birdie” told her that I wore some high heels at an event. I told her that I did in fact don a pair of stiletto heels for promoting my book at the LA Times Festival of Books back in April. I told her that I got questions like “Why are you wearing heels?” and I also got comments like “awesome shoes”, “I love it.” and (from men) “I wish I had the courage to wear heels in public.”  The heels worked great for catching people’s attention and giving me an opportunity to talk to them about my book. Rose wanted to know how my feet felt after a day in heels and I told her they were fine. Contrary to the myth that heels are extremely painful or uncomfortable, they are actually fun to wear and if they are quality shoes and fit properly, they really aren’t painful to wear.  Also, you need to keep the heel hight to a maximum of 3.5 to 3.75 inches otherwise they tend to look ridiculous and then become difficult and painful to wear.

Rose wanted to know what kinds of shoes I thought were the most flattering to the feet.  I explained that simple, sleek shoes were my favorite, such as the classic stiletto heel (which I wore at the festival) and simple ballet flats.  I told her I don’t like platforms or chunky shoes, and I used to believe the ugliest shoes ever were Birkenstocks…….but Crocs proved me wrong on that one.

We talked about the fun facts about shoes and feet that I present in my book and how high heels were (again contrary to propaganda) designed by men, for men and had to be wrested away from men by women.  They were never “designed by men to torture women.”  She also was fascinated to learn that the largest feet in history belonged to American Robert Wadlow, the “Alton Giant.”  Robert was from Alton, Illinois and is the tallest man in history, standing at 8 feet 11 inches tall, with size 37 feet!

Here is a real historical photograph of Robert Wadlow

HINT…….He’s the one on the left!

June 8, 2016

KMET 1490 AM, Redlands, CA, The Men’s Advocate Show With Linda Gross

Foot fetish, or the artistic expression of a women’s “sole” through her feet? Linda Gross and I discussed the inspiration behind my lens and the photos that created my book Best Foot Forward on The Men’s Advocate radio show.

We talked about how women are encouraged to take care of their feet and show their feet off in many ways, from pedicures, to jewelry to the types of shoes they have available to them.  In contrast, men are discouraged from all the above.  Due to the way men are considered less equal to women, there is not widespread support for men to get pedicures or have the same fashion option available to them.  Men’s shoes and sandals are ugly and clunky while women’s are sleek and enhancing. We talked about the double standards that exist int he fashion world.  Women can borrow or take anything they want from a man’s wardrobe and it is considered sexy.  Let a man do the same thing and people immediately start to label him.  When will men ever have equality with women?

June 20, 2016

KJAG Radio, Salina, Kansas – Interview with James Lowe “The Jiggy Jaguar”

I was back on KJAG radio with James Lowe to talk about Best Foot Forward and what I had been doing since we spoke in January.  I told him and his listeners about my experience at the LA Times Festival of Books back in April and how I put on a pair of heels and stood out in front of my table to get people’s attention so I could take to them about my book.  I got a variety of comments over the course of the weekend.  From the women I got ones like “Why are you wearing heels?” and “I love your shoes.” From the men I got comments like “That’s awesome!”, “I’m jealous.” and “I wish I had the courage to wear those.” I also had men and women ask me if the heels were “killing my feet”, and the answer was no.  I had a pair of good quality heels that fit.  Having shoes that fit is key to comfort and health. James and I talked about in detail about the need for people to buy shoes that actually fit.  Shoes that are too small will, over the course of time, really damage your feet and alter your bone structure.  There is nothing worse than seeing a woman with feet that have been destroyed from wearing shoes that are too small.

We also talked about some of the interesting facts I present about shoes and feet in my book, such as the fact that high heels were actually invented by men for men.

July 19, 2016

WAZU 90.7 FM, Peoria, IL, Breakfast with Roger & Friends

Roger Monroe started off by asking me how I got the idea to do Best Foot Forward. He was really interested in just how I approached women on the street to ask to photograph their feet.  He was also interested in my statements promoting men to take better care of their feet and to even go out and get pedicures.  I explained how we coordinate colors all the time, whether it’s what t-shirt or polo shirt to wear or what tie to wear with our suit, so why wouldn’t we also take the the time to get a bold color on our toenails, especially if we are going to bare them for all to see in the summer?

Roger and his friends agreed that their favorite photo in my book was that of Lisa and her size 9.5 feet overlooking Presque Isle Bay from one of the Erie Bluffs.

August 30, 2016

KJAG Radio, Salina, Kansas – Interview with James Lowe “The Jiggy Jaguar”

Had another great interview on KJAG Radio with James Lowe, “The Jiggy Jaguar.” This was the third time I was on his show to talk about my award winning coffee table book, Best Foot Forward. We talked about the interesting history of some of the ways we have adorned feet over the centuries, including the stiletto heel and all the variations of sandals. I talked about how so-called “women’s sandals” have always been so much nicer than the ugly, chunky, clunky things marketed as “men’s sandals”. I then talked about the sheer silliness of attributing a gender to a shoe or any other article of clothing.

I also told him that I am a finalist for an Industry Recognition of Writers in the News (IRWIN) Award for Best Foot Forward.

November 5, 2016

Healthy Habit Health Foods Store, Phoenix, Arizona – Promotion and Book Signing Event

On November 5, 2016, I was a guest at the Healthy Habit Health Foods Store in Phoenix, Arizona.  I was there fr0m 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. promoting Best Foot Forward.  I talked to a lot of great people, many of whom were interested in taking better care of their feet.  I had one interesting conversation with one gentleman about what I think the best shoe insoles are.  I told him that I have been very pleased with the insoles from Ariat Boots with their gel heel and gel forefoot.  The main problem with so many insoles out there, including the very expensive ones are that they do not cushion the whole foot.  He was not aware of the Ariat insoles but was going to give them a try.  Judy at the store also told me about her seasonal pedicures.  She said she had a French pedicure with black tips for Halloween and needed to get something for Thanksgiving.

I got a lot of compliments on Best Foot Forward and was told that it was a “beautiful book.”

March 14, 2017

KJAG Radio, Salina, Kansas – Interview with James Lowe “The Jiggy Jaguar”

I was back on KJAG Radio with my buddy James Lowe, “The Jiggy Jaguar.” This was the fourth time I was on to talk about my two-time award winning coffee table book, Best Foot Forward. We also talked my recent trip to Scotland with my wife Jessica.  James wanted to know what might have been the attraction to Scotland for us.  I told him that it was a place that I always wanted to for several reasons including the scenery, the history, kilts, bagpipes, lochs and most importantly………Scotch Whisky!  Jessica and I visited various distilleries and sampled many types of Scotch from the different regions.  Also, I finally got to see Loch Ness in person, something I have wanted to do since I was like 5 years old.

I also announced to the listeners that I will again be at the LA Times Festival of Books – April 22-23, 2017 and will again be donning stiletto heels to grab people’s attention.  It makes them stop and ask questions!  Also, a lot of women that think it is really cool and they want their picture taken with me…….isn’t that cool!  I will be offering the book at a discounted price at the Festival.  It will be $20 for a book (Normally $29.99)…..and you will get a second book for free.  So, you can get one for yourself and one for a gift.  They will also have on them gold stickers boasting the two awards the book has one…..and I will autograph it any way you like!

Last time I was on with James, I told him that I was a finalist for an Industry Recognition of Writers in the News (IRWIN) Award for Best Foot Forward.  On this interview I was able to tell him that I did indeed win the IRWIN Award for “Most Innovative Photo Book of 2016.”

As always….it was a great show.  Here is a photo of and Jessica and I drinking Scotch……in Scotland!