The Bata Shoe Museum was built at the behest of Sonja Bata, of the Bata shoe manufacturing family, to display the extraordinary assortment of footwear she has spent a lifetime collecting. The museum begins on Level B1 with an introductory section entitled “All About Shoes”, which presents an overview on the evolution of footwear. Among the more interesting exhibits in this section are pointed shoes from medieval Europe, where different social classes were allowed different lengths of toe, and tiny Chinese silk shoes used by women whose feet had been bound. A small adjoining section is devoted to specialist footwear, most memorably French chestnut- crushing clogs from the nineteenth century and a pair of 1940s Dutch smugglers’ clogs with the heel and sole reversed to leave a footprint intended to hoodwink any following customs officials.

Level G features a large glass cabinet showcasing all sorts of celebrity footwear. The exhibits are rotated regularly, but look out for Buddy Holly’s loafers, Marilyn Monroe’s stilettos, Princess Diana’s red court shoes, Nureyev’s ballet shoes and Elton John’s ridiculous platforms. Level 2 and Level 3 are used for temporary exhibitions which draw extensively on the museum’s permanent collection – there isn’t enough room to show everything at once.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Canada features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Road trip Canada: 5 of the best routes

Road trip Canada: 5 of the best routes

Rugged and vast, Canada is a road-tripper's dream. Driving gives you the freedom to travel at your own pace – pull over and take in the scenery along the w…

09 Mar 2018 • Stuart Forster insert_drive_file Article
Why Halifax is Canada’s friendliest city

Why Halifax is Canada’s friendliest city

Canadians are a friendly bunch; in fact according to Twitter analysis (so it must be true) Canucks are the nicest people in the world. And Canada’s friendlies…

05 Mar 2018 • Edward Aves insert_drive_file Article
7 unusual ways to explore Canada's Bay of Fundy

7 unusual ways to explore Canada's Bay of Fundy

Inscribed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of North America – rubbing shoulders with perennial favourites such as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone – Cana…

01 Feb 2018 • Edward Aves insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right