Thank you, everyone, for your input on this!
I bowed to the wisdom of the crowd and took out the ice pads. That was not terribly easy, since they were nailed to the shoes, but I ran them under hot water for a while to soften the rubber and then tugged really hard.
Then I took a wire brush to the shoes and rinsed them in hot water repeatedly, then carefully toweled them dry. My bathroom might have looked like a murder scene from all the rust flecks and drops. I did not take pictures. You're welcome.
Then: on to the wall!
I was originally going to put them straight up, but when I put one nail in and turned around after grabbing another I really liked the tipsy look! So they will stay tipsy until and unless I decide to straighten them out.
I also added another piece of decoration to the room thanks to a Target visit (a staple of every trip to Boston).
So, the last finishing pieces for the office are:
- get cavalry posters printed & framed
- get curtains
- finish off wall behind radiator (you can see it in the bottom right corner of the last picture)
- reupholster reading chair (this is more like a 3-5 year goal)