Sole Power

Wouldn’t you like to be in their shoes?

Former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos's infamous collection of shoes -- over 1,500 pairs, some never even worn once-- forever branded her an abomination when the revolution came a-knockin' in 1986.

Thank your lucky loafers, then, for Buckner Orphan Care International's Shoes for Orphan Souls, a charity that has distributed over 700,000 pairs of shoes to underprivileged children in over 28 countries since 1999. Buckner partnered with regional mall operator Maycerich Company to continue shodding the shoeless, and now, for the second year, they're getting a little help from Tinseltown and the wide world of sports.

"We actually approach celebrities and ask them to donate signed shoes they've worn for a charity auction on eBay," says Chris Stallman, Marketing Manager for FlatIron Crossing in Broomfield. "To help promote it, we have a mall 'stop tour' in thirteen cities, with about thirty [pairs] that will actually be on auction from September 22 through October 7. No bidding will even start until then."

Celeb shoes help a good cause.
Celeb shoes help a good cause.

The traveling Celebrity Shoes for Orphans Benefit Exhibit of autographed footwear features dozens of star-studded stompers: Tom Hanks's brown dress Guccis and Muhammad Ali's tuxedo shoes; dizzying spikes from Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields and LeAnn Rimes; ground grippers from Martin Sheen and Jeff Foxworthy; and clodhoppers from Billy Ray Cyrus and Matt Damon.

Also on view will be over-the-top fantasy styles from Pamela Anderson and Carmen Electra, black sequined platform boots from Wynonna Judd, and Christina Ricci's low-cut Doc Martens. Then there are Wayne Newton's snappy black cowboy boots -- less ostentatious than Robin Williams's red-laced camouflage joggers, but more durable than Carrot Top's silly orange tennies. And what can you say about Lara Flynn Boyle's pink ballerina slippers? That they don't offer the ankle support of Julianne Moore's yellow Converse high-tops?

"I've been told that 95% percent of the shoes have actually been worn by the celebrities," Stallman notes. "Some of the shoes have even appeared in movies or television" -- such as Clint Eastwood's sneakers from Space Cowboys.

"We're collecting new or slightly worn shoes, shoelaces or even cash donations through August as part of the shoe-drive campaign to help out locally and around the world," Stallman says. "The more shoes, the better."

Calling all gunboats, gaiters and treaders!

 
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