Conceptual artist Judi Werthein named these cross-trainers brinco (Spanish for “jump”), a term migrants use to describe the crossing from Mexico into San Diego. Werthein designed the sneakers to assist with the crossing; each pair is equipped with a compass, a light, and painkillers in case of injury. The shoes protect the wearer’s ankles from snake and tarantula bites, and they have removable insoles printed with maps of the most popular routes from Tijuana to San Diego. The shoes also feature the Aztec and American eagles and small images of Saint Toribio Romo González, the patron saint of immigrants. Werthein handed out Brincos at the United States–Mexico border in 2005.
Judi Werthein | Brinco Cross-Trainer, 2005 | Collection of the Bata Shoe Museum, gift of Dale Henderson and Marie Poon, S14.0002.AB | Photo: Ron Wood