We have an unrivalled collection of shoes, with around 2,000 pairs spanning more than 3,000 years of history from different cultures around the globe. From hemp shoes found on the ancient Silk Road from the 1st Century BC to Venetian platform shoes typical of the 16th century, shoe design and construction reveals remarkable inventiveness.

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The breadth of our collection shows the chronological progression of shoe height, heel shape and materials, exposing just how many styles we consider to be modern have been in and out of fashion across the centuries.


Header image:

Cunningham White shoes, Mr. Hare Ltd, 2015, designed in England, made in Italy. Museum no. T.19:1&2-2015. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London