THE SHOE MUSEUM at the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine

The Shoe Museum is proud to announce its reopening for tours starting July 22, 2019 to coincide with a new exhibit celebrating and commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.  This year’s “Shoe Museum Spotlight” features three spacesuit boots representative of NASA’s Gemini missions, Apollo missions and the International Space Station. 

Although some renovations remains ongoing, a portion of the museum has undergone a revitalization to focus on the form and function of shoes.  New exhibits include:  “Shoes in Space”, “The Anatomy and Physiology of Shoes”, “Shoes that Serve”, “Mummer Shoes”, “The Locker Room”, “Shoe Curios”, “Shoes in the Arts”, “A Style for Every Occasion”, “Shoes of the World”, and “A History of Podiatric Medical Education in Philadelphia”.

Approximately X shoes in 13 exhibits are currently on display.

Visitor information

Admission to the museum is free, but visits must be scheduled in advance by emailing the museum curator Dr. Andrew Meyr at ajmeyr@temple.edu

Visitors take a self-guided tour with supplemental audio provided by means of QR bar codes.  This requires a QR code reader app downloaded to a smart phone (although many smart phones come with this already pre-loaded in the camera).  Visitors may scan the code at each exhibit to hear a supplemental audio description. It takes about an hour to review the exhibits.

About the Shoe Museum at TUSPM

The museum was founded in 1976 to coincide with the nation’s bicentennial as an added attraction for visitors to the Liberty Bell and Independence Park (located only two blocks from the college and museum).  Our international shoe collection was originally primarily supplied by a long-term loan from the Dr. H. Augustus Wilson Shoe collection of the Mutter Museum.  Dr. Wilson (1853-1919) was a noted Philadelphia orthopedist and world traveler who collected footwear from over 30 countries. 

Our current exhibits include:

SHOES IN SPACE:

This year’s “Museum Spotlight” features 3 space boots representative of the history of space travel in the US and on loan from ILC Dover where NASA space suits are made.  This includes a boot from the Gemini missions (primarily space capsules in preparation for the moon landing), the Apollo missions (the moon landing and Neil Armstrong’s famous “first step”), and the space shuttle and international space station (including construction of the space station and Hubble telescope).

ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY OF SHOES :

An educational primer of shoe anatomy is presented in this exhibit including a variety of shoe lasts and antique cobbling equipment. 

SHOES THAT SERVE:

This exhibit includes a variety of shoes from different services including the military, civil services, service industries and politics.  Highlights include shoes representative of the US Army and Navy, the Philadelphia Police, Fire and EMT Departments, and former First Ladies of the United States.

MUMMER SHOES :

A colorful display celebrating the unique Philadelphia New Year’s Day tradition, of course including trademark “golden slippers”.

THE LOCKER ROOM:

Shoes from the world of sports are displayed here including representatives from the Temple University Athletic Department, Philadelphia sporting legends (Dr. J, Joe Frazier, Mike Schmidt, Bernie Parent, John Kelly), and athletes from around the country and world (Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Billie Jean King, Luis Figo, Reggie Jackson, etc).

SHOE CURIOS:

This display includes the most unique and unusual shoes from our collection including a pair of shoes from the “World’s Largest Man”.

SHOES IN THE ARTS:

Includes shoes from celebrities, performers and the arts.

TODDLER’S SHOES:

Children’s shoes from the United States and beyond. 

WEDDING MARCH:

A selection of bridal shoes spanning decades and dating back to the 1840s.

A SHOE FOR EVERY STYLE:

We’ve cleared our back inventory to display as many women’s shoes as possible in a divergent, symmetrical pairing pattern.

A HISTORY OF PODIATRIC MEDICAL EDUCATION IN PHILADELPHIA:

A history of TUSPM as told through our students, faculty and alumni.

SHOES OF THE WORLD:

Over 250 shoes from over 30 countries on display arranged by geographic location.  Highlights include a 2000 year old pair of Egyptian burial sandals, shoes worn by a Moroccan sultan, rope shoes worn by Himalayan Sherpas, Chilean riding spurs, Native American beaded moccasins, and a large collection of lotus shoes from the historic practice of foot binding.