Not everyone will remember getting their first pair of shoes, but for Freida, her first pair made all the difference. “My first memory wasn’t actually a childhood story and I wish it was, because it would have saved me years of pain,” says Pinto. “I was born in a very tall family, they all took the height but they only gave me the big feet. In school I was called ‘duck feet’ because I was the short girl with really big feet. My shoe size was beyond the range of normal in India, because they don’t really believe women have bigger than a size five, so I have always had to shove and push my feet into one size smaller than what was required for my feet. As you can imagine, this really damaged my foot health.
“So in the early 2000s when Clarks first came to India and had its in own shops, it was literally the best news for the women within my family. I didn’t have to wait for aunts in Canada to bring them over for me or try and find someone that would make shoes to my size. These were never very fashionable though, and I was desperate for something stylish.
“I had serious feet woes for the majority of my life, so my first pair of the correct size shoes was like a gift to my feet. It’s almost like your first love, if it doesn’t work, great, but you’ll always remember it was my first comfortable shoe in my entire life.”
“I was very proud to have a pair of shoes that looked good on my feet that were also very comfortable. The fact that I didn’t have to compromise on something and was able to wear a shoe that quite literally gave me a spring in my step meant I was finally able to be confident. We are constantly bombarded with images of women in high heels, and let me tell you the truth, they are not comfortable! For me, I felt free for the very first time and with freedom comes a sense of confidence – when you feel free in your body, confidence comes naturally.”