Friday, July 12, 2013

Shoes for All Seasons: A Selected Bibliography

Several colleagues have requested a specific bibliography on shoes. Below is my own, subjective, selection of favorites.

The Art of the Shoe, Marie-Joseph Bossan

The Fifty Shoes That Changed the World, Design Museum

Shoes and Slippers from Snowshill, Althea Mackenzie
^ This slim volume is an extremely well-written and well-sourced with some rare images from the National Trust Collection at Snowshill.

Shoes: A Celebration of Pumps...., Linda O'Keefe

Shoes: The Complete Source Book, John Peacock
^ Useful cornucopia of styles & types

Women's Shoes in America, 1795-1930, Nancy Rexford
^ A gem, must have!

Step Forward, Step Back, Paula Richter [exhibit catalog; hard to find]

M. De Garsault's 1767 Art of the Shoemaker. An Annotated Translation by D.A. Saguto
^ This is my go-to book on shoes and a constant inspiration from a true master.

Shoes, June Swan
^ A thorough book by a leading light in the field. Would love to see an updated version with more color plates! 

The Seductive Shoe, Jonathan Walford 

^ Walford's title lives up to the imagery and text found between the covers.

Although not specifically about shoes, Colonial Williamsburg's What Clothes Reveal by Linda Baumgarten, is an especially useful source book.

There are of course numerous books on specific designers. One of my current favorites focuses on Beth Levine (1914 - 2006) who was considered by many to be the first successful female shoe designer in an era and field dominated by men. 

It is always advisable to check museum catalogs over time - the Bata Shoe Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Northampton Shoe Museum, the Victoria & Albert and so on. 

This bibliography does not enter into primary resources, although they are posted periodically and randomly on this blog.
Vintage Shoes is on my to read list this summer.

Enjoy some serious shoe scholarship and some serious foot candy!


  1. Excellent list! I've added many of these to my wishlist. Another good one is Nancy Rexford's book "women's Shoes in America" ( most excellent!

    1. Thanks, Lauren - Nancy's book is a gem - how did I neglect it? Have added it to the biblio. Cheers!


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