Shoes wear unevenly and are customised to the owner. A gait is imprinted on them. For these sentimental reasons, I have kept my children’s first shoes (one pair of which features in the song A Son and Daughter by the A Woman in Goggles band). Their shoes are containers and reminders of joyful exploration and bids for independence. From the shoes I can infer the entire child. My arms can remember the exact shape, weight, and centre of gravity of my daughter and son. Their child selves are still warm ghosts in my embrace.
I have not tried to polish off the scuff marks. Everything is as when the shoes were last worn. Nothing has been prettified - the trip-ups are there, the scratches, the shadows of objects bumped into.
The shoes that come to life in the video are symbolic of all steps and all paths. Compared to other mammals, humans take an inordinate amount of time to get upright. But what celebration when they do!