If the Shoe Fits Documentary Film Launch, The Showroom Cinema, 1st July 2013

We've been working with the wonderful Eve Wood from SheffieldVision (pictured in the centre here with Prof Jenny Hockey on the left and Dr Rachel Dilley on the right) over the last year to produce a documentary film based on the project. On 1st July the film was launched at the Showroom Cinema in Sheffield to an audience of over 90 people.

Photograph of Q&A at the If the Shoe Fits documentary film launch

The film follows the story of two of our case study participants, Nicola and Lizzie, as well as other Sheffielders, and positions current shoe consumption and wear in light of medical knowledge, gender debates and historical perspectives.

If the Shoe Fits Exhibition in the Winter Garden, Sheffield

A group of people looking at poster boards and cabinet display

The Winter Garden in Sheffield kindly hosted our end of project exhibition for two weeks in July 2013. The exhibition was a smaller version of the one hosted for us by Northampton Museum for the whole of June 2013. Settling up the exhibition took rather longer than expected as passers-by wanted to talk to us about the project and their own shoe experiences. It was wonderful to have this feedback from the public so thank you to everyone who took the time to share their views and stories with us.

If the Shoe Fits featured on Radio 4 - 28th March 2013

Prof Jenny Hockey, members of our Advisory Board and some of our research participants were all interviewed for a Radio 4 programme called Footnotes, which will be aired on 28th March at 11:30am. Do listen out for it or catch the programme on iPlayer at a later date.

If the Shoe Fits features on Sociological Studies departmental website

We are delighted to be the first research project to be featured on our departmental website here at the University of Sheffield. To watch the short film please follow this link

Participant's blog for If the Shoe Fits

After a wonderful year of getting to know all our case study participants we have now finished the fieldwork stage of the project. As part of their involvement in If the Shoe Fits our participants created scrapbooks or journals for us where they shared their shoe stories through different creative mediums, including drawing, writing, collage and one participant blogged for us. To see her blogspot follow this link

The Shoes Project at The Bata Shoe Museum, Online Exhibition

The Canadian novelist Katherine Govier teamed up with Elizabeth Semmelhack, Senior Curator of the Bata Shoe Museum, to develop an online exhibition featuring the shoes that brought migrant women from all over the world to Canada. Follow the links below to read stories their stories about the cultural significance of shoes.

'If the Shoe Fits: Footwear Identity and Transition': an exhibition of work in progress. 5th December 2011 - 5th January 2012, ICOSS Foyer, University of Sheffield.

This exhibition shows how the three-year ESRC-funded project in the Department of Sociological Studies is using footwear as a lens through which to generate new insights into some longstanding sociological questions about identity. Find out more about this project and the questions it asks by checking the exhibition in ICOSS throughout December this year. From shoes in the media to the shoes on Sheffielders' feet today, we hope to get you thinking about what you put on your feet to come to work, that pair you should never have bought, or those trainers strung on a power line somewhere near you. More information and directions to ICOSS.

Catch Marloes ten Bhomer's touring exhibitions, July 2011 - February 2012

Marloes ten Bhomer, a Virtual Advisory Board member for If the Shoe Fits, is presenting new work in his touring exhibitions in 2011 and 2012. Please see dates below to catch an exhibition near you:

  • Prototypes & Experiments VI: Casts and Molds, Aram Gallery London, 28th July - 27th August 2011
  • Formula Fashion, Silverstone Circuit, 22-24th July 2011, University of Northampton, 22nd August - 5th September 2011, Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, 8-21st September 2011, The National Centre for Craft & Design Sleaford, 24th September - 6th November 2011.
  • Industrious/Artefacts, the Evolution of Crafts, Zuiderzeemuseum the Netherlands, 26th May 2011 - 12th February 2012

For more information and to veiw the works visit

Sport to Street Symposium, Northampton's Guildhall, Saturday 2 April 2011, 10am-4.30pm

We have been invited to present an introduction to our project as part of this symposium. It will be an opportunity for us to get feedback on the early stages of data collection from a whole range of people with a shoe interest in their lives. How sports shoes and trainers enable identity transitions – and indeed how important these shoes can be to young people's sense of themselves, will be our focus.

'If the shoes fits...'  featured in The Star on Monday 7th February 2011.

Members of the research team were interviewed and photographed by reporters from The Star, Sheffield's daily newspaper. Follow the link to read the full article

Photograph for the The Star taken by Steven Parkin

Launch of ‘Sport to Street. The History of the Training Shoe’ Exhibition, Northampton Shoe Museum, 14th January 2011

Jenny Hockey and Rachel Dilley attended the launch, which showcased what promises to be a very lively series of events at this museum. Part of the museum space has been turned into a vibrant display area where the recent historical transformation of sports shoes into highly fashionable street wear was set out. David Beckham – or someone very like him – cut the red ribbon and a group of us, including key members of Northampton City Council, were able to explore what was on offer. Our project investigates the ways in which shoes can change someone's identity. What this exhibition reminds us is that shoes themselves do not stand still.

Read a review of the exhibition here:

British Sociological Association Conference 2010, Glasgow Caledonian University

Jenny Hockey and Vicki Robinson presented a paper entitled 'Identity, Becoming and Shoes'. How shoes ‘become’ us – or help us become – was the focus of this paper which attracted considerable interest. Since the project was then still at the planning stage, the conference was a useful venue for meeting sociologists with related interests who were able to help us refine our methods.