Riding the trolley from Kensington Market to Bloor Street in Toronto last week, I was headed for the Bata Shoe Museum without any definite idea about what to expect. So I was quite surprised when I saw size of the building and then discovered the extent of the collection inside.
From ancient Egyptians to Justin Bieber, the Bata Shoe Museum has four levels of high heels, sandals, boots, mocassins, and quirky footwear. Shoe fanatics could go wild with the diversity of the exhibits since the museum has 12,500 artifacts with several hundred on display at any given time. Anything here to fit your style?
Cultural Practices and Traditions
Styles of the Times
Currently on exhibition through April 7, 2013 is a collection of Parisien designer Roger Vivier’s work from the 1950s and early 1960s when he was with Christian Dior and later on his own. His quote, “To wear dreams on one’s feet is to begin to give a reality to one’s dreams.”, is displayed at the entrance to the exhibit.
Designs With a Purpose
These shoes may look quirky, but they actually served a purpose. Below is a Chestnut Crushing Clog that was worn in Auvergne, France during the 19th century for shelling chestnuts — of course!
This shoe is actually designed to protect a cow’s hoof from mud and the elements. Who knew that?
Footwear of the Famous
Some of the notables whose shoes are at the museum are Madonna, Barbra Streisand, John Lennon, Ella Fitzgerald, Robert Redford, and more, including these.
My Shoe Design at the Bata Shoe Museum
There are interactive displays that allow you to design your own shoe by selecting styles, colors and materials. This was my attempt. In my defense, the touch screen wasn’t working properly.
So Where are Justin Bieber’s Shoes at the Bata Shoe Museum?
Sorry, girls. I just didn’t get around to taking a photo.
The Bata Shoe Museum is located at 327 Bloor Street West in Toronto.
Admission Fees are $14 for adults, $12 for senior citizens (65+). Every Thursday evening between 5 and 8 pm, admission is “pay-what-you-can”, with a suggested donation of $5.
Interesting! I think Lady Gaga should donate some of her crazy shoes there.
Oh, I do hope they get Lady Gaga to donate shoes — how cool would that be?
Wow! And I thought shoe-fetish is a modern-day illness. Women really have it for shoes and I’m no different. 😉
I love shoes, too. I used to have a pretty large collection when I was in the corporate world all those years. Now, my shoe wardrobe is much more limited — darn.
Great history, but man what were some of them thinking!
I hear ya! Some crazy (and uncomfortable) footwear.
What a cool museum! I love shoes and would love to visit this one. It would have been so interesting to see the Chinese Lotus Shoes for Bound Feet just to see how it was possible. I’ve read a couple of books referencing these and have always been curious. Love the Roaring 20s ones.
I can’t imagine how painful those shoes must have been.
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I would have loved this exhibit! It always fascinated me how tiny feet were in the past!
Thank you so much for linking up with us today!
Happy to link up, Becca! Thanks for coming by.
A shoe muuseum? One for the ladies methinks! 😉
Not necessarily, Jools. I think you’d be able to find something of interest there, too. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to post everything here.
Can’t believe I haven’t been there yet. There are some very cool shoes out there. I hate shoe shopping and can relate most to comfortable looking scandals. I’d break my ankle in some of those shoes.
I loved shoe shopping back in the day when I dressed up for work and all. Now, it just seems a challenge trying to find the most comfortable, yet somewhat stylish, shoes for all the walking I do while traveling.
Seriously? Cow shoes? I thought my wife’s shoe passion was expensive, but I can’t even imagine having to shoe an entire herd of cows.
Oh, and I think you’ve been tricked with the Elvis shoes. Everybody knows his shoes were blue and made of suede.
I was quite surprised to see that myself. I don’t know how much they’re actually used though. Should probably have inquired about that, but was eager to move on to the Elvis shoes!
I’m so happy to see your photos! I’ve always wondered if this museum would be worth a visit – now I know that my 8 year old would LOVE it – she is a total shoe freak!!
Oh, gosh yes — go to this museum! There’s even so much more than I’ve shown here. Lots of early North American footwear and historical displays as well as lots of cool shoes from various modern eras.
Awesome shoes! I now have an incredible urge to go shoe shopping 😉 Those ancient crampons are my favorite!
I’m not much of a shopper, but the museum kind of put me in a mood for shoe shopping, too. Something along the lines of those Vivier shoes perhaps.
How fascinating, Cathy! Cow shoes for real cows? How surprising! A great series of shots. You may just have a real winner with your design, too…
You know, I really didn’t think my design was too bad, all things considered. Thanks for mentioning. 🙂
The cow shoe makes my day. Do they really wear them on cows and for what.
Hiking via Lemosho Route
I would not want to wear them, but I LOVE the chestnut-crushing shoe! So ominous and evil looking, yet so practical!
I love the roaring twenties shoes! I like the glamour of those. What a cool museum.
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