Walks of Life (ICEBREAKER)


10-15 minutes

This icebreaker uses flip-flops, slippers or shoes to pair people up and have them describe a place they have been, want to go or where something significant happened.



o  Pairs of flip-flops, slippers or shoes (enough for each person in the group to get one shoe)  NOTE: You want shoes on which you can write or stick tape on the soles.  I’ve used the free slippers they give you in hotels and on airplanes, and they work well.

o  Permanent marker

o  Masking tape (optional – you only need it if you don’t want to or can’t write on the soles)



o  Write a different location on the bottom of each pair of shoes.  (You will write each location twice, once on the left shoe sole and once on the right shoe sole.  This allows participants to find their match after selecting a shoe.)  Here are some examples:

o   Where your family lives

o   Where you spend most of your time

o   Your favorite place to eat

o   A place you miss

o   A place where you were truly blessed

o   Where you had your first kiss

o   Countries you’ve visited

o   Where you go to get away from it all

o   Where you have the most joy

o   Where you might retire

o   Where you were born

o   Cities in which you have lived

o   Where you were last Saturday

o   Where you fell in love

o   A place you prefer not to return to

o   A special spiritual place

o   Where you went to college

o   Where you hope to go

o   Where you grew up

o   Best vacation spot

o   Where you go to have fun

o   Where you’ve worked

o   Where you got your first job

Either mix the shoes up in a big pile somewhere in the room, or scatter them around making sure to keep the pairs separated.



Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Let’s do an icebreaker to get to know each other better.”
  • “It’s called ‘Walks of Life,’ and it’s about the many places you’ve been or want to go.”
  • “I’ve created a pile of shoes (or scattered them around the room).”
  • “On the bottom of each shoe is the description of a particular place.”
  • “When I say, ‘Go!’ I want each person to pick up one shoe and read what it says on the sole.”
  • “Then, find your mate – the person who has the matching shoe for yours.  They will both say the same thing on the sole.”
  • “When you pair up, tell a little about yourself and then describe the place from your life that matches what is written on the bottom of the shoe.”
  • “After you have both finished sharing, you can return the shoes to this place and return to your seats.” (You should designate a place.  You may also want to let them do more than one round of this so that they can meet different people.  If you do, have them pick up a different shoe from the one they originally chose.)


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Filed under Energizer, Icebreaker, Relationships, Teaching, teambuilding

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