VANCOUVER -- The online pre-sale of the Dr. Bonnie Henry Fluevogs was scheduled to start on Thursday afternoon, but the company's website crashed around the same time.

The online sale was set to kick off at 4 p.m., but visitors to the shoe designer's website were met with an error message.

Some online shoppers complained about entering their information, confirming payment or having the shoes in their cart, and then getting stuck in the checkout process with the website crashing or freezing. However, despite many disappointed customers voicing their frustration online to say they came up empty-handed, Fluevog said the shoes are now sold out.

The shoe company also issued an online apology to its customers and joked that "we've all aged a couple of years in the past three hours."

"Congrats to those of you who managed to get a pair of the Dr. Henry shoe. We are now sold out," the company said on Twitter. "We're sorry for any stress caused—we clearly underestimated your enthusiasm—but are excited for the funds raised for @RealFoodBanksBC and promise to be better prepared in the future."

While the company's website was down, Fluevog posted an update just after 5 p.m. to thank customers for their patience.

"Given the large amount of interest in the Dr. Henry shoes, we are experiencing some technical difficulties," the statement said. "Please hang tight while we get it sorted. All orders should be placed online as soon as we are back up."

The company attributed the statement to the "Fluevogian Elves."

The shoes, named after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, are part of the company's Operetta line, and 100 per cent of the proceeds from their sale will be donated to Food Banks BC.

At her daily briefing about the novel coronavirus on Thursday, Dr. Henry said it was an honour to partner with Fluevog for a good cause.

"He makes beautiful shoes," she said. "We know that it's been challenging for many people during this crisis to access food, and food security has been heightened particularly for people who are no longer employed, who are homeless or under-housed, and so being able to support the food banks is something that's very important to me."