Share Your Stories in New Shoes Exhibition

Share your own shoe stories and memories of Leicester's shoemaking heritage in a new exhibition all about shoes!

Published: 3 October 2023

A new exhibition Out of the Stores: Shoes is now open, exploring Leicester's shoemaking heritage and shoe fashions over the last four hundred years, and we would love to hear about what your shoes mean to you!

In the exhibition, visitors will be able to view shoes and shoe related objects from the museum’s extensive collection. A variety of shoes will illustrate the many different reasons why we wear the shoes that we do and how shoes can celebrate special events and major milestones in our lives. The exhibition also explores shoe superstitions and highlights Leicester's shoemaking heritage with shoes, catalogues, photographs and advertising from many local factories.

We invite you to share your own shoe stories and memories of Leicester's shoemaking heritage.

Your comments will then be displayed on digital 'e-ink' labels as part of this special exhibition this autumn!

If you would like to be involved, simply email us your comments to:

There is also an opportunity to submit your comments when you visit the exhibition at Newarke Houses.
Remember to wear your favourite shoes when you visit!


What can you write about?

Please let us know if you have any comments, stories or memories you would like to share related to the collections and stories explored in this Shoes exhibition.

We also encourage you to send any photos of special shoes or shoeboxes you own, or maybe an old photo of someone you know working in one of Leicester's shoemaking factories?

Or you may have something to say about any of the following questions:

  • What is your favourite pair of shoes you own and why?
    Do they reflect your fashion style and identity? Or are they simply comfortable and the most practical to wear?

  • What shoes have you kept from a special event or major milestone in your life?
    What memories do they hold for you?

  • Did you or anyone you know used to work in one of Leicester’s shoemaking factories? What was it like?

  • What old shoeboxes do you still have at home? What do you use them for?

Email your comments and any photos to for them to be displayed in the exhibition. Thank you.


Extra Activity: Send us a photo of you wearing your favourite shoes!

Step 1: Aim your smartphone at your feet and take a picture of the shoes you are wearing right now

Step 2: Send the photo to, no further information needed

Step 3: Your photo will be added to a special ‘digital collage’ showing all the different shoes worn by visitors to this exhibition!


A look at one of the shoe display cases

About the Digital Labels Project

The digital labels offer an opportunity for you to share your own stories and memories relating to the museum collections.

The project, funded by Arts Council England, looks to bring new voices to Leicester’s Museums & Galleries and gives you, the public, the chance to offer an ‘alternative interpretation’ for selected museum objects and to share your own thoughts and reactions as part of selected museum exhibitions.

You can read more about the digital labels in our news story here, where they were used for people to comment on some of the museum's permanent collections. They were also used in a previous temporary exhibition Painting Freedom, to show the local Gujarati community’s thoughts and reactions to Indian artwork.

Now it is your chance to share in the history, local heritage and fashion of shoes personal to you! We look forward to hearing from you.


An example of a digital label in a recent exhibition.

An example of a digital label in a recent exhibition.