You think you have a hard time fitting all your boots, sneakers, and sandals in the small space at the bottom of your closet? The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto has over 10,000 pairs of shoes – and the four-story building itself resembles a shoe box. Already you’re excited.
It isn’t just celebrity shoes (although Marilyn Monroe’s red leather stilettos, Roger Federer’s autographed white court shoes, and John Lennon’s black Chelsea ankle boots are there, too). And it isn’t just historically significant shoes (although Egyptian sandals and Chinese foot-binding shoes are there, too). Nor is it just female shoes (although Queen Victoria’s silk slippers and Madonna’s Dolce and Gabbana platforms are there, too). Nope, you’ll also find silk socks that belonged to – wait for it – Napoleon Bonaparte, which he wore while in exile. Justin Bieber’s sneakers are also on display, but whether those are more or less exciting than Napoleon’s socks is, I suppose, a matter of taste.
The Bata Shoe Museum is right in the bustle of downtown. It’s open every day except Christmas and Good Friday. If you want to get pumped (no pun intended), start listening to the “Shoe of the Month” Podcasts.
You don’t have to have a foot fetish to appreciate the considerable (and crazy) ties between fashion, culture, art, and the human condition. Stilettos included. So get your foot in the door!