Women's shoes, Mexican, Leather, 5 x 12 x 19.5 cm (1 15/16 x 4 3/4 x 7 11/16 in.), Gift of Miss Sarah M. Spooner, 93.164-5.

Leather sandals are paired to fit on a single handling tray made of acid-free board. Pillows of polyester batting covered in Tyvek are fitted inside the sandals to maintain their shape.

"Footprints" are cut out of a layer of Volara foam to form depressions. The mount is covered with cotton knit, which provides the friction necessary to hold the sandals in place. Twill tape lifting ties are added on both sides.

A design sketch for the sandals pictured above.

Women's Women’s slippers, about 1845, Leather, silk taffeta, and silk tambour embroidery, 6 x 7 x 24.7 cm (2 3/8 x 2 3/4 x 9 3/4 in.), Gift of Miss Gertrude H. Shurtleff, 54.1013a-b.

Embroidered slippers are fitted on corrugated acid-free board, and "footprints" are cut out of a layer of Volara foam to form hollows that hold the slippers in place. Because the slippers have a fragile leather surface, silk knit is used to cover the mount. The inserts are made of polyester batting wrapped in acid-free tissue, and heavy weight acid-free paper strips are coiled to fill and support the inside of the heel. The slippers are also tied to the handling tray with twill tape, which are positioned where the tissue paper inserts supply resistance.

A design sketch for the slippers pictured above.

Women's mules, 1750s, Silk damask embroidered with silk and metallic yarns, silk ribbon, and leather, 10.5 x 7.8 x 21.5 cm (4 1/8 x 3 1/16 x 8 7/16 in.), The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection, 43.1717a-b.

Corrugated board is used as the mount for these embroidered mules.

Women's mules, 1750s, Silk damask embroidered with silk and metallic yarns, silk ribbon, and leather, 10.5 x 7.8 x 21.5 cm (4 1/8 x 3 1/16 x 8 7/16 in.), The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection, 43.1717a-b.

Custom-shaped polyethylene foam covered with Tyvek fill the void between the toe and the heel. The supports are adhered to the board and secure the mules without putting pressure on the heel. With the Volara foam stops added at the toes, the mount protects the mules from sliding or toppling when they are handled or when their storage drawer is opened and closed.

Designed by Vivienne Westwood (English, born in 1941), Women's shoes, 1991, Printed twill-weave cotton, 20.3 x 7.6 x 21.6 cm (8 x 3 x 8 1/2 in.), Textile Income Purchase Fund, 2002.672.1-2.

These Vivienne Westwood shoes also fit securely over heel supports made of Tyvek-covered polyethylene foam. The mount holds the shoes together and steadies them for lifting and moving.

Designed by Vivienne Westwood (English, born in 1941), Women's shoes, 1991, Printed twill-weave cotton, 20.3 x 7.6 x 21.6 cm (8 x 3 x 8 1/2 in.), Textile Income Purchase Fund, 2002.672.1-2.

The lifting tray, constructed with a center support and no sidewalls, allows full visibility of the shoes while in storage, which greatly reduces the need for handling.

Pair of children's shoes, French, possibly 17th century, Linen and gilt metal thread passementerie and linen plain weave lining, with silk gross grain ribbon, diamond paste stones and metal, and leather heel, sole and inner lining, 6.5 x 6.5 x 13.4 cm (2 9/16 x 2 9/16 x 5 1/4 in.), Gift of Philip Lehman in memory of his wife Carrie L. Lehman, 38.1363a-b.

Similarly, these children's shoes are stored in a carrying tray with lifting handles. This keeps the shoes paired together, while maximizing visual accessibility to limit handling.

Pair of children's shoes, French, possibly 17th century, Linen and gilt metal thread passementerie and linen plain weave lining, with silk gross grain ribbon, diamond paste stones and metal, and leather heel, sole and inner lining, 6.5 x 6.5 x 13.4 cm (2 9/16 x 2 9/16 x 5 1/4 in.), Gift of Philip Lehman in memory of his wife Carrie L. Lehman, 38.1363a-b.

The shoes are filled with soft inserts made of polyester batting covered with polyester stockinet.

Pair of baby shoes, American, 19th century, Leather with silk ribbon, silk cushion lining, and leather sole, 12.3 x 4.8 x 4.3 cm (4 13/16 x 1 7/8 x 1 11/16 in.), Bequest of Mrs. Edward Jackson Holmes for the Edward Jackson Holmes Collection, RES.65.8a-b.

The ribbons on this pair of baby's shoes are rolled onto small tissue paper tubes to prevent creasing.

Pair of woman's shoes

These leather shoes made with straw and silk appliqué require a mount that does not come in contact with the fragile outer surface.

Pair of woman's shoes

Depressions are made in the Volara foam to match the shoes' footprints. Tyvek-covered foam columns fit into the shoes from above and secure them to the support board from the interior.

A design sketch for the leather shoes pictured above.

Women's high-button boots, American, 1908, Suede, leather, and shell buttons, 24.5 x 7.6 x 22 cm (9 5/8 x 3 x 8 11/16 in.), Gift in memory of Mrs. George H. McNamara, 1974.450a-b.

Shaped pillows made of polyester batting and covered in cotton knit fill these high boots. The custom tray protects them from touching other objects stored in the same drawer, and the handles allow the boots to be moved easily as a pair.

Women's high-button boots, American, 1908, Suede, leather, and shell buttons, 24.5 x 7.6 x 22 cm (9 5/8 x 3 x 8 11/16 in.), Gift in memory of Mrs. George H. McNamara, 1974.450a-b.

Foam supports are fitted under the heels and at the toes to keep the boots stable and in alignment.

Pair of man's high boots, English, 1700–10, Leather, 43.5cm (17 1/8in.), The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection, 43.1708a-b.

To store these rigid riding boots in an upright position, a padded foam block is tied between the boots with cotton twill tape to make the boots less top heavy. The foam block is covered in batting and Tyvek to ensure soft contact with the leather sidewalls of the boots.

Pair of man's high boots, English, 1700–10, Leather, 43.5cm (17 1/8in.), The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection, 43.1708a-b.

Custom polyethylene foam arches and heel stops prevent the boots from moving within the tray.

Shoes, Indian, Leather with gilt metal embroidery, and stamped leather lining, 9.2 x 9.5 x 28.8 cm (3 5/8 x 3 3/4 x 11 5/16 in.), Denman Waldo Ross Collection, 25.195a-b.

These leather shoes are positioned heel to toe in a storage box made of Coroplast board. Ties, rather than adhesive, secure the corners of the box, which surrounds and protects the edges of the shoes. On the bottom, a layer of Volara foam provides support, and small wedges of triangular polyethylene rod secure the shoes inside the box.

A design sketch for the leather shoes pictured above.

Kabkab, North African, probably 18th century, Leather embroidered with gilt metal thread on appliquéd leather, braided mettalic and silk trim, wood with inlaid mother-of-pearl, ivory, wood and metal, 14.1 x 22.1 cm (5 9/16 x 8 11/16 in.), The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection, 43.1764a-b.

A custom box protects these "stilt" platform shoes made of wood and inlays from contact with other objects.

Kabkab, North African, probably 18th century, Leather embroidered with gilt metal thread on appliquéd leather, braided mettalic and silk trim, wood with inlaid mother-of-pearl, ivory, wood and metal, 14.1 x 22.1 cm (5 9/16 x 8 11/16 in.), The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection, 43.1764a-b.

One-inch polyethylene foam covers the bed of the box, and shaped cutouts lined with Tyvek make room for the stilt bottoms to nest within.

A design sketch for the platform shoes pictured above.

Tie shoe, English or American, 1647–1660, Leather, 13.5 x 6.5 x 24 cm (5 5/16 x 2 9/16 x 9 7/16 in.), Gift of the Honorable Leverett Saltonstall, 68.595.

Occasionally, covered storage boxes with custom padding are used. Soft batting and muslin pillows hold this shoe in place within the box. A similar pad fits in the interior of the shoe.

Tie shoe, English or American, 1647–1660, Leather, 13.5 x 6.5 x 24 cm (5 5/16 x 2 9/16 x 9 7/16 in.), Gift of the Honorable Leverett Saltonstall, 68.595.

The drop-front box made of corrugated board has a separate mounting board that slides out. The mounting board is fitted with Volara stops to hold the sole and heel in position. A twill tie secures the toe for lifting.

This type of support is ideal for shipping or local hand transport.

SPair of high red leather boots, Persian or Afghan, Leather, The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection, 44.485a-b.

The prototype pictured above is a valid method of storage: the leather boots are housed in a custom box with handles; the box is lined with Volara and polyester batting covered with acid-free tissue separates the boots down the middle. However, because it did not work with the Museum’s new drawer cabinets, this storage method was discarded and no current image is available. These boots now rest in a drawer with custom padding.

A design sketch for the horizontal, heel-to-toe storage of boots.

Labeled: Delman, Pair of woman’s evening sandals, American, late 1940s–early 1950s, Suede, leather, lucite, rhinestones, Gift of Stewart Shillito Maxwell, Jr. in memory of his mother Marilyn M. Maxwell, 2006.2151.1-2.

These modern shoes can be stored upright without the aid of heel stops or handling trays. Only padded inserts are needed to relieve the weight of heavy decoration on the thin leather straps and elevate the straps to prevent compression and cracking of the leather. The inserts are made from polyester batting and wrapped in polyester stockinet.

Labeled: Bernardo, Pair of woman’s sandals, American, 1960s, Leather, 2 1/2 x 3 7/8 in., 24.8 cm (6.4 x 9.8 cm, 9 3/4 in.), Gift of Stewart Shillito Maxwell, Jr. in memory of his mother Marilyn M. Maxwell, 2006.2146.1-2.

The toes for these thongs were hand-stitched to properly fit the shape of the shoe.