Boston Magazine Releases Extraordinary Marathon Cover

The sneakers you’re looking at were all worn in the 2013 Boston Marathon. It’s an inspired cover, and the story behind it is nearly as remarkable as the shot itself. (Disclosure: Boston Magazine is a subsidiary of the same corporation that owns Philadelphia Magazine.)

The magazine’s May issue was days away from shipping last Monday when the bombings occurred. Finding a new cover feature was imperative. Once the staff decided on the shoes idea, as Editor John Wolfson describes it, the staff went into overdrive:

We figured we’d need about 100 or so shoes, and we had very little time to get them. We were also going to have to interview every person who submitted a pair of shoes so we could tell his or her story. We immediately sent out tweets and Facebook posts asking runners to submit their shoes. At the same time, people from every department here at Boston magazine started reaching out to friends and family members asking for shoes.

And then, for about a half-day, the shoes were in the hands of one man, Brian Struble, the design director who co-created the concept.

On Thursday morning, Struble loaded up his car with 120 shoes and drove them down to New York, to be shot by the renowned photographer Mitchell Feinberg. The shoot captured perfectly what had drawn me to the concept in the first place.

To me the cover is about two things: perseverance and unity. By itself, each shoe in the photograph is tiny, battered, and ordinary. Together, though, they create something beautiful, powerful, and inspirational. Remove just one shoe and you begin to diminish, in some small way, the overall effect. Collectively, they are the perfect symbol for Boston, and for our response to the bombings.

[Boston Magazine]

This post has been updated.