"Shoes: Innovations at Your Feet" Opens in USPTO Museum

Press Release

Brigid Quinn
(571) 272-8400 or

Washington, D.C. - A new exhibit opened today in the Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Museum. "Shoes: Innovations at Your Feet" highlights shoe technology past and present. Visitors to the museum can learn the history of patented footwear, view stylish innovations, and see how people customize their shoes for work. The exhibit is an entertaining view of all kinds of footwear that incorporates 19th century models of patented inventions as well as recent accomplishments of today's footwear industry, especially many brands in the areas of children's shoes, work shoes, comfort and fashion.

"This exhibit conveys the fact that even everyday objects like shoes owe much of their evolution to the intellectual property protection provided to their designers," noted Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Jon Dudas.

Shoes can be practical, like the different types of shoes tailored to different working environments, or they can be great fun, like fashion shoes of high society. The exhibit shows what kinds of shoes a roofer, a chef, or a fireman might wear, and one can marvel at the size 23 work shoe of Shaquille O'Neal. Enjoy the sight of First Ladies' fashion-from Mamie Eisenhower's pink satin pumps to Lou Hoover's gold velvet mules.

The Patent and Trademark Office Museum is dedicated to showcasing the inventive spirit in all walks of life. Through its exhibits, visitors enjoy the ingenuity of mankind and become aware of the vital role that intellectual property plays in every aspect of our lives. The museum and gift shop were developed and are maintained by the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc.

The museum is located in the atrium of the Madison building, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Va. Hours are Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday from noon - 5 p.m.; closed Sundays and federal holidays.