The Heel and the Sneaker
The significance and history of footwear with Elizabeth Semmelhack, Giorgio Riello, Thomas Turner and Rajan Datar
What’s in a shoe - apart from a foot? Shoes can be so much more than a protection and ‘dressing’ of our feet: from Egyptian pharaohs to European paupers, footwear has been linked not just with the wearer’s social and economic standing but also cultural identity, personality and even moral values.
Rajan Datar follows the history of footwear with the help of Elizabeth Semmelhack, Senior Curator of the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto; Giorgio Riello, Professor of Global History and Culture at the University of Warwick; sports shoe historian Thomas Turner; and footwear researcher at the KASK School of Arts in Gent, Catherine Willems.
Photo: A fancy high-heeled shoe. (Getty Images)