Museo del Calzado (Footwear Museum) – Mexico City, Mexico - Atlas Obscura

Museo del Calzado (Footwear Museum)

This covert museum showcases booties worn by a rescue dog and slippers owned by Queen Elizabeth II. 

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Inside the famous El Borceguí Shoe Store on Bolivar Street, there is a small door that hides an entire museum devoted to footwear. The museum was founded in 1991 by the shoe businessman José Villamayor Castro. It is divided into six sections that showcase exhibits including the surprising history of footwear, celebrity shoes, and miniatures.

The historical section of the museum holds many iterations of the first, most basic kind of shoe: a sole tied by straps. The early shoes on display here hail from a number of different cultures but all embody the same idea. There are also Chinese lotus shoes, worn by women who bound their feet, and the first heels of Louis XV of France. There are also sandals collected from different parts of Mexico, including Chihuahua and Chiapas, and an Egyptian sandal from the third century.

The museum has collected a dazzling array of famous people’s shoes, such as Magic Johnson’s size 14½  basketball shoes, Mexican film diva María Félix’s boots, and Neil Armstrong’s lunar boots. There are also shoes from General Martín Carrera, the sculptor Sebastián, the journalist Jacobo Zabludovsky and three slippers of Queen Elizabeth II decorated with crowns. But the most beloved might be those of the rescue dog Frida, who wore four booties while helping rescue workers locate survivors and humans after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit Mexico in 2017.

Know Before You Go

The museum is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. On Saturdays, it opens from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entry is free. It's also worth visiting the historic El Borceguí store on the first floor, which exhibits some historical pieces of the store when it opened in 1865.