Tiptoe through the ages with the story of footwear
Housed on the sixth floor of the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine, the Shoe Museum blends the serious and the whimsical to examine why people wear what they do on their feet. The shoes tell a story that is more cultural than medical, with tales that tread through many ages and lands.
You can follow platform shoes from China in the last millennium to Europe in the last century to Hollywood and teen fashion in the last two decades. Then you can hop over to the First Ladies display to evaluate their White House fashion sense. After looking at Egyptian burial sandals, a circus giant’s size 18 shoes and Eskimo boots, you may never again put on just any old pair of shoes.
The museum was founded in 1976 as an attraction for the national Bicentennial celebration. Since then, it has added shoes of historic significance and those from famous folks in politics, the arts and sports. It also features the footwear collection of Dr. H. Augustus Wilson, a 19th-century Philadelphia orthopedist, on loan from the Mutter Museum.
By Appointment Only
The collection of tiny “lily shoes,” used in the Chinese custom of binding a girl’s foot for alleged beauty, is heart-rending.
Some Kids’ Stuff
Compare your feet to those of famous athletes like Joe Frazier and Julius Erving, whose shoes are enshrined here.
In the neighborhood
Museums & Attractions
N. 12th Street and Arch Street Reading Terminal Market, Center Court Philadelphia, PA 19107
- The Trocadero Theatre
- Asian Arts Initiative
- Radio One Music & Entertainment Conference
- Chinatown Friendship Gate
- Audacious Freedom
- Franklin Square
- The African American Museum
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Restaurants & Dining
Philadelphia, PA 19103
- Center City District Restaurant Week
- The Logan, Philadelphia’s Hotel
- Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House
- Tavern 17
- The Barnes Foundation
- The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company
- Twenty Manning Grill
- R2L Restaurant and Lounge
- View more Restuarants & Dining