The Art of the Shoe


Duality is deeply embedded in the elemental technology that separates our feet from the ground on which we tread. As a container for spiritual meaning, footwear is laden with wishes, both benevolent and malign. Shoes can redeem, or they can punish. They can whisk their wearer seven leagues in a single step, transform a drudge into a princess, summon magical aid, or force her to dance until she begs for her feet to be cut off.

Shoes are more than just shoes. Jane Shilling pens a revealing essay on the fraught art of footwear.

Lyz's writing has been published in the New York Times Motherlode, Jezebel, Aeon, Pacific Standard, and others. Her book on midwestern churches is forthcoming from Indiana University Press. She has her MFA from Lesley and skulks about on Twitter @lyzl. Lyz is a member of The Rumpus Advisory Board and a full-time staff writer for the Columbia Journalism Review. More from this author →