Walk in the shoes of an Oregon Trail pioneer

Today, kids might notice that they go through shoes pretty fast. After spending the day at school, playing sports and spending time with friends, sneakers sure do suffer. After only a few months, most children's shoes are dirty, ripped or completely destroyed.

Well, imagine if modern kids had to walk for miles every day. The pioneer kids and adults who traveled out west on the Oregon Trail had to walk for more than 2,000 miles before they reached their new homes, so you can imagine what their shoes looked like once they got there.

A pioneer named May Ellen Murdock Compton, wrote in her diary that she went through nine pairs of shoes before she reached Oregon, according to the U.S. National Park Service. The girl brought 10 pairs of shoes with her, but since she really wanted to save the last pair to wear around her new Western home, she walked barefoot for the last few miles of her trip.

Still, this was not unusual, as many pioneers had to walk barefoot once their shoes were ruined. So the next time you consider walking in the shoes of a trailblazer, you may want to reconsider.

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