New Photography Book Features 16 Pairs of Iconic Celebrity Shoes

“My mama always said you can tell a lot about a person by their shoes,” said Tom Hanks as the lead role in 1994’s “Forrest Gump.” More than just a memorable quote from a classic film, the statement has never rang truer than in Henry Leutwyler’s latest book, “Document.”

In “Document,” the New York-based photographer explores objects and possessions from some of history’s most famous — and infamous — moments and people. Leutwyler’s work covers the spectrum of the most significant sneakers of all time, including boxing legend Muhammad Ali’s ring-worn Adidas Spezial shoes to a pair of leather lace-ups donned by actor Charlie Chaplin in 1931’s “City Lights.”

Adidas Spezial boxing shoes worn by  Muhammad Ali.
Adidas Spezial boxing shoes worn by Muhammad Ali.
CREDIT: Henry Leutwyler/Time

“[It] just so happens I think that when you find a pair of tap dance shoes or you find a pair of ballet slippers or you find the Unabomber shoes, it’s a beautiful object. It’s close to your body, it touches your skin,” Leutwyler told Time. “It shows if you maintain it well or not, if you care less or are careful, if you have money or you don’t have money.”

During the 10-year process of making “Document,” Leutwyler was fascinated by the wear and tear he discovered on shoes worn by wealthy celebrities. “It’s like, wow, the guy was wearing Converse, how cool,” he said of a pair of Chuck Taylors worn by actor Gene Kelly. “Then you realize he didn’t replace the broken shoelaces. He fixed them with new ones. Nowadays, you rip them, chuck them and put new ones in. So I like the attitude.”

“Document” is available for preorder now from Amazon for $49.94.

Gene Kelly's Converse Chuck Taylors
A pair of Converse Chuck Taylors that belonged to actor Gene Kelly.
CREDIT: Henry Leutwyler/Time
Nike Shoes From 1971
The first Nike shoes to feature the Swoosh logo, from 1971.
CREDIT: Henry Leutwyler/Time
Sylvie Guillem's Pointe Shoes
Dancer Sylvie Guillem’s pointe shoes.
CREDIT: Henry Leutwyler/Time
Studded shoes that belonged to entertainer Michael Jackson.
Studded shoes that belonged to entertainer Michael Jackson.
CREDIT: Henry Leutwyler/Time
Adidas Cosmos Soccer Cleats
1970 Adidas Cosmos soccer boot worn by Germany’s Franz Anton Beckenbauer.
CREDIT: Henry Leutwyler/Time
Jim Whittaker's Eddie Bauer overboots.
Eddie Bauer overboots worn by mountaineer Jim Whittaker.
CREDIT: Henry Leutwyler/Time
Theodore Kaczynski's Shoes
Shoes that belonged to the “Unabomber” Theodore Kaczynski.
CREDIT: Henry Leutwyler/Time
Dance Slippers From 1911
Dance slippers from 1911 worn by Russian ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky.
CREDIT: Henry Leutwyler/Time
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