People have been living in Oregon for more than 14,000 years. The stories of these First Americans are partly revealed through artifacts uncovered from the state's high desert caves—including Fort Rock Cave, where scientist Luther Cressman uncovered 10,000-year-old sagebrush bark sandals. Learn more about these famous Fort Rock sandals and get in on some other footwear-focused fun! 
Footwear-Focused Fun! is also available in Spanish.


Take a walk with us!
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Oregon's First Running Shoes

The museum is famous for its collection of sagebrush bark sandals from Oregon cave sites. Dating back 10,000 years, these shoes are more than twice as old as the Egyptian pyramids! Visit our collections galleries to view more photos of Oregon's ancient sandals, then try some of the activities below.  

Shoes and You!

Can you count the number of shoes in your closet? In your whole house?

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Foot by Foot

Find the biggest pair of shoes in your house. Measure a room by putting one shoe with its heel against a wall and then place the second shoe heel-to-toe with the first shoe. Leapfrog the shoes across the room and count how many shoes it takes to make it to the other wall. Try it again with the smallest pair of shoes you can find. Were the numbers different? Why?

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Shoe Design Challenge

Shoes are designed for different seasons as well as different activities like hiking, dancing, playing soccer, or jumping in puddles.  

Find shoes at your house that are designed for at least 4 different activities. How are they different? How are they the same? What things did the shoe designer have to think about in order to make the shoes work for the activity?

Now create your own design for a shoe. Draw the shoe and label the different design elements (the things that make it work for a specific activity). You can even create a 3D model of your shoe using materials around your house – cardboard, paper, tape, ribbon, fabric, plastic bags, yarn, recycled containers, etc. 

We love seeing your designs! Post a pic of your finished creation on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter; use the hashtag #StayConnectedStayCurious; and tag the museum! 

Explore our other at-home adventures.

Please note: The University of Oregon has no control over the content offered by third party websites. Parents and guardians should monitor the online activities of their children to ensure the content is age appropriate and to ensure the safety of their children.