History of the Museum

The Elda Footwear Museum was created in 1992 and recognised by the Culture, Education and Science Valencian Ministry 24th March 1994.  The Museum is managed by The Footwear Museum Foundation with David Navarro Bel as Director.
The Museum was inaugurated 4th February 1999 and the act was presided over Princess Elena.
The handmade works and the unique objects that exist related to the footwear and its industry were in danger of extinction, and with the death of shoe workers and seamstresses were disappearing the most amazing and brilliant techniques of the low and medium Vinalopó region.
We need to mention that other Museums in relation with footwear exist in Spain, but unfortunately they have not been able to compile all aspects of this sector.
Talking about the Elda Footwear Museum is talking about a Museum that holds all aspects of this sector, with sections of documents – archives – titles; shoes and miniatures and tools and machinery related with the shoe industry.

Furthermore, the Museum recovers the old techniques of footwear manufacturing processes, promoting everything that leads to suppose a contribution for the investigation of this sector as well as didactic material for researchers.
The previous director and founder of the Museum, was related with the manufacturing shoe processes and its training in 1964. He was the witness of the processes from the handmade industry to the mechanise industry. During the 60´s and early 70´s, in the middle Vinalopo Region, many tools used in the handmade processes were moved away to open the way to the mass- produce industry. He started to collect most of these tools and old footwear with characteristics that made them different in design, type of leather, manufacture... During 80´s and thanks to the compatibility with the Shoe Technique teaching, they started to think about creating a Museum. Firstly, they received economic support from the Provincial Bank of Alicante and different business men as well as many shoe workers. After that, also the Official School of Engineers and the Town Hall of Elda took part in the investment.
The preparations to get the project started were officially made in 1988, when they started to create a collection which could be visited by people who worked with footwear or related with it. That initiative coincided with the closure of many factories, when they took the opportunity to save some of the tools and different shoe elements which could be shown to the public.


In 1989 they created a Commission for the sign of agreement related to the collaboration of the Town Hall of Elda, the Bank of Alicante and the Official Industrial Engineer School from Alicante.
From the very beginning and almost with no budget, they started the catalogue work, which after that was financed by the Valencian Ministry.
All the expenses were defrayed by little contributions from workers, business men...
The creation of the Elda Footwear Museum was made 15th January 1992.
Nowadays the Museum is composed of IMPIVA (Institute of Medium and Little Valencian Business), the Town Hall of Elda, Industry and Culture Ministry, Alicante’s Provincial Council, The Mediterranean Bank, the Official Industrial Engineers School from Alicante, INESCOP (Spanish Institute of Footwear), FICIA Foundation and FICE (Industrial Federation of the Spanish Footwear).
In December of 1992 the Elda Footwear Museum was inaugurated by the Culture and Education Minister in a property ceded by the Torreta High school from Elda.
In 1996, The Museum was moved to an industrial area meanwhile they were waiting for all the works to be finished in the same place as it used to be the FICIA (International Footwear and Industry Fair) where they were constructing the actual Museum with 2000 m2 area.