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Bata Shoe Museum

Art & Design

Did someone say shoes?

Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum celebrates the history of footwear. Welcome to North America’s most prominent shoe museum, where Miss Sonja Bata’s once personal passion for shoes has grown into a museum of 13,000 shoes and artifacts from every corner of worldwide history. Explore shoe of all kinds—from the footwear used to bind young girls’ feet in China to a pair of Marilyn Monroe’s red high heels.

If the mention of Marilyn Monroe has you hungry for more celebrity shoes, be sure to catch the “Footprints on the World Stage” exhibit. This exhibit displays a pair of Napoleon Bonaparte’s socks, John Lennon’s Chelsea style ankle boots, Roger Federer’s sneakers worn during his 2005 French Open victory, and high tops from Justin Bieber.

Though you won’t be able to literally put yourself into someone else’s shoes, you will be able to imagine what it would’ve been like for people of all ages from all periods in history to wear the shoes they wore every day. From the knight riding into battle, to the craftsmanship and detail of Native American moccasins, Bata offers an extraordinary range of footwear. In addition to offering such an array of worldly shoes, Bata shows how different types of footwear were represented in different cultures. Some cultures saw shoes as a status symbol, while other cultures hardly wore shoes.

This museum has got soul!