Walking involves moving in a bipedal fashion, employing legs, feet, hips, pelvis, spine, neck, and shoulders to lift and set down each foot in alternating fashion. Walking has been a necessary mode of human transport since time immemorial, and shoes have played an important functional and fashionable role in enabling (and at times, disabling) movement by walking. On the far right side of the case is a walking dress from the 1880s, complete with matching boots. Beyond footwear, walking can also be aided by use of a cane, walking stick, crutches, or shoe leveler for leg length discrepancies. Jackets made of water-resistant materials, canvas shoes with rubber soles, backpack canteens, fitness trackers, and cleats each play important roles in tracking, monitoring, facilitating, and enabling walking.

Physical Display

Nike Air Max 270

Date: 2018

On loan from Joshua Johnson ‘21

Description: This shoe is a modern refresh of Nike’s Air Max style. They feature a heel that is supported by an air bubble. Air bubbles are reported to be much more comfortable than flat shoes. They mark a trend of new Nike sneakers that rely on air bubbles for the base. This shoe in particular has a hole in the air bubble. They were worn to a Cornell Men’s Track and Field practice for javelin when they were accidentally punctured by spiked shoes.

Nike Air Max 270
Nike Air Max 270 - Side view

Nike Free Train Virtue Hustle Hart , 2017.

Nike Free Train Virtue Hustle Hart

Date: 2017

On loan from Joshua Johnson ‘21

Description: These are the updated signature shoes of the comedian Kevin Hart. The first pairs were released in 2016. They are a versatile training shoe which are popular for CrossFit workouts. Joshua Johnson ‘21 wore these during his freshman year at Cornell training to make the Men’s Track and Field team. Although he walked on the team his sophomore year, he had to perform well enough to stay on the team. Due to being a walk-on, he didn’t qualify to receive trainers issued by the team. These shoes were worn two hours a day, six times a week from September 2018 – May 2019. The soles of the shoes read “Move with Hart” and this is shown through the journey they took.

Jordan True Flight, 2015.

Jordan True Flight

Date: 2015

On loan from Joshua Johnson ‘21

Description: This shoe embodies the long and complicated history of Jordan as a brand. It was originally released in 2009, but this specific colorway was made in 2015. These were worn by the donor as lifestyle shoes rather than basketball shoes. Jordans have become prized possessions over the years and it is pretty rare to see them on basketball courts; at least the ones that cost over $200.

Jordan True Flight, 2015.
Jordan True Flight, 2015.

Sneakers, Air Jordan I, Nike, 1985.

Sneakers, Air Jordan I, Nike

Date: 1985

Designer: Nike

CF+TC# 2019.18.001ab

Description: Air Jordan’s have been a staple of the sneaker market since they graced Michael Jordan’s feet in the mid 80s. They were originally made by Nike before Jordan created his own brand hence the famed Nike swoosh on the side. They were initially created for Jordan as a signature shoe which was extremely rare for rookies entering the NBA at the time. These shoes are the same colorway as the ones Jordan wore on his legendary 63-point night against the Boston Celtics in the 1986 NBA Playoffs. It is hard to say whether these are real or fake. It is clear that

Sneakers, Air Jordan I, Nike
Sneakers, Air Jordan I, Nike
Sneakers, Air Jordan I, Nike

Black Converse Shoe , 1996-2005.

Black Converse Shoe

Date: 1996-2005

Donor: Converse

Donor: Laura McIntyre Aguilar

CF+TC# 2006.48.001

Description: These sneakers have been embellished by the donor with pen and nail polish and mended with green thread. The worn, self-embellished/mended style of these converse sneakers was typical of the DIY subcultural style in the early aughts.

Superstar Sneaker Adidas Shoe, 1995-2005.

Superstar Sneaker Adidas Shoe

Date: 1995-2005

Material: Leather upper and lining, and lace closure

Donor: Denise N. Green

CF+TC# 2016.16.006ab

Description: The Adidas Superstar’s landed on basketball courts in the late 60s and early 70s. They quickly became a popular shoe worn by elite players due to their comfort and flexibility. As many basketball shoes do, they transcended courts and became hot commodities as streetwear. Interestingly enough, they became a crucial symbol for emerging skateboard communities in the 80s and 90s. They've got a smooth leather upper with sporty 3-Stripes and a heel tab and are finished off with the world-famous rubber shell toe. These white sneakers have been colored by the wearer, using various markers and pens. The shoelaces have been replaced with rainbow-colored shoelaces.

Superstar Sneaker Adidas Shoe
Superstar Sneaker Adidas Shoe
Superstar Sneaker Adidas Shoe
Superstar Sneaker Adidas Shoe

Checkerboard Vans Shoes

Date: 1997-2005

Medium: Footwear

Donor: Cade Sadler

CF+TC # 2006.17.001

Description: Checkerboard slip-on Vans with worn holes and partial self-embellishment (coloring in of checkers with blue marker). The incredible wear that is overtly visible on these shoes confirms their subcultural authenticity. In Hipster circles of the late 90s and early aughts, wearing a brand new pair of checkerboard Vans is taboo, and indicates that the wearer is a "poser" (not authentically Hipster), and therefore not a "real" member of the group. Vans with holes and self-embellishments (similar to Converse sneakers as well) were considered to be authentic.

Front View
Checkerboard Vans Shoes, 1997-2005.
Side View

Spartan Hydration Backpack & Yellow Bike Jacket, 2015.

Spartan Hydration Backpack & Yellow Bike Jacket

Date: 2015

Medium: Rubber, polyester

Donor: Joe DeSeña (Spartan Backpack), Susan Watkins (Yellow Bike Jacket)

CF+TC # 2015.12.006 (Spartan Hydration Backpack), and # 2007.02.019 (Yellow bike jacket)

Description: Staying hydrated and retaining an aerodynamic physicality is very important in efficiently being able to traverse the outdoor landscape, whether one is running, walking, hiking, or performing in another sports activity. The thoughtful design and architecture of the Spartan Hydration backpack include a “built-in pressurized hydration system that sprays water into the mouth through a bite nozzle so you don't break your breathing stride. Ergonomic design allows you to stow and carry water and essentials securely without interfering with mobility or performance.” The yellow bike jacket paired with this hydration backpack would keep harsh wind, debris, mild water from dangerously impacting the biker. Bright colors like yellow combined with reflective fabrics are excellent to ensure visibility while performing an outdoor activity in roads. The tail of the jacket flips down to cover the wearer’s bike seat and adds a reflective surface there.

Leg Wrap, 2019.

Soft Robotics Mechanotherapy Leg Wrap

Date: 2019

Medium: Silicone elastomers, thermoplastic polyurethane-coated woven fabric, tubing

Credit: Daniel J. Preston, Haihui J. Jiang, Vanessa Sanchez, Philipp Rothemund, Jeff Rawson, Markus P. Nemitz, Won-Kyu Lee, Zhigang Suo, Conor J. Walsh, and George M. Whitesides collaborated on this project. The leg wrap was produced in Harvard Biodesign Lab led by Conor J. Walsh in the Wyss Institute and Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Publication Link | Harvard Article Link

Description: Soft wearable robots often utilize pneumatic actuation, where air inflates bladders to change shape or apply force to the wearer, and they typically require many hard valves to control the flow of air. In this work, researchers developed soft valves in a ring oscillator configuration to control airflow. Soft valves are inherently flexible and lightweight, making them amenable for wearable applications, including this textile leg wrap, in which different chambers are programmed to inflate and deflate in a sequential pattern for mechanotherapy.

Leg Length Discrepancy

Date: 2020

Medium: Velcro

CF+TC new acquisition

This Shoe Leveler is an innovative shoe cover and lift designed to reduce length discrepancy between your fracture shoe, walking cast, or boot and your regular shoe by creating a more balanced gait. The Evenup™ Shoe Leveler is a leg length equalizer, acting as a balancer and leveler to eliminate low back, knee, and hip pain often associated with the use of a walking boot cast. The height is adjustable, offering two thicknesses: 1/2 inch and 1 inch. Universal right/left.

Ebony Walking Stick, 1931-1932.

Ebony Walking Stick

Date: 1931-1932

Medium: Ebony, ivory, stamped metal

Donor: Charles Mason Remey

CF+TC # 1993.04.020

Description: Black Ebony walking stick with curved ivory handle and tip from the early 1930s. The joint between the ivory-handle and ebony-wood body consists of a metal ring with bright, stamped settings at regular intervals around the ring. The walking stick is a personal form of gear and was used by Gertrude Heim Remey during her life.

Walking Gown and Boots, 1874.

Walking Gown and Boots

Date: 1874

Medium: Silk

Material: Sateen

Donor: Merritt, Miss Bessie A.

CF+TC# 54 (Gown)

CF+TC# 24 (Shoe)

Description: This two-piece taupe faille walking gown features sateen trim on a tightly-fitted bodice, iridescent buttons depicting a romantic mill scene, mandarin collar with detachable ruff, a flounced and ruffled skirt and bustle, complete with panniers of sateen. The gown was worn by Alice Jane Tooke, Sheridan, NY, at her wedding ceremony to Nelson G. Merritt, Twp. of Hanover, NY, March 12, 1874, and was worn thereafter as a “best dress.” The gown is made of 21 yards of Japanese silk, 9 yards of cambric, 1.5 yards drill, two spools of silk, and 1.75 yards edge, which cost $27.00 in 1874.

These shoes accompany the walking gown and are clasped by a series of buttons seaming almost the entire length of the boot.

Walking Backdrop

This illustrative map of Glacier National Park Montana and Waterton Lakes National Park Alberta was created by Joe Scheuerle around 1925. Published by Great Northern Railway in St. Paul, the original dimensions of the piece are 48 centimeters high and 83 centimeters wide. Scheuerle’s focus was on recreational possibilities for visitors in the area.

Retrieved from: www.davidrumsey.com.

FitBit inspire, 2019.

FitBit inspire

Date: 2019

Medium: Wristwatch, activity tracker

On loan from Christine McDonald

Description: The FitBit Inspire is a sleek model of activity-tracking wristwatches, fabricated out of an elastomer material containing no latex and a clasp made of surgical-grade stainless steel. This particular Inspire is purple.

Maroon and Gray Climber Jacket, 2000-2005.

Maroon and Gray Climber Jacket

Date: 2000-2005

Medium: Weather-proof sympatex fabric

Donor: Wild Things

CF+TC # 2006.46.001

Description: Wild Things is a brand that produces outdoors/functional apparel for rock and ice climbers. This jacket is made with sympatex fabric. The sleeves have a number of seams that allow for increased arm movement. There is a zipper where a typical underarm seam should be, that may be unzipped to allow even more arm movement. There are a number of pockets on the inside and outside of the jacket. The jacket is primarily maroon, which a gray yoke and black accents. The jacket is shaped so that there is a high neck, and a hood attached.

Ice Cleats

Image Courtesy of St. Lawrence Island Yupik artist, Gift of Greg Quevillon, ANCHORAGE MUSEUM Collection, 1979.102.1ab

Photo by Patrick Schneider on Unsplash

Bone or ivory ice cleats are great tools helping with better body movement on slippery ice. In the past, cleats were used for a variety of outdoor activities in winter. For instance, Ice cleats proposed Alaska Native peoples better transitioning in spring while the snow began to melt. Nowadays, mass customization offers a variety of cleats to protect wearers in the winter for various activities, including mountaineering, ice climbing and walking.