Shoe Tossing

Shoe Tossing is the act of throwing shoes over raised power lines. The reason for this is not totally clear, but there are a number of theories for why power lines need a touch of shoe.

So that's where I left my kicks.

Just The Facts

  1. Shoes hanging from power lines are also known as 'Shoefiti'.
  2. Shoe Tossing may indicate gang activity, but the practice has been found in rural areas where there's not even enough people for a gang.
  3. Shoes hanging from power lines in Scotland may indicate that a man has lost his virginity somewhere close.

Why are there shoes on the Power-lines?

The exact reason for shoe tossing is unclear, but there are many theories about why this phenomenon exists.

Bullying is the most common theory. The idea here is first you beat the living crap out of the guy and then you steal his shoes and put them in the place where he can't get them. Bullies finally realized beating someone up shows them you're superior, but only for so long... bruizes heal, but if you steal the guy's shoes and put them up high, the he'll have no shoes, and may even walk on some glass.

Another theory says that the shoes represent gang activity in the area. Shoes hanging from power lines could be the sneakers of a recently beaten rival gang member, or the sneakers of a fallen 'homie'. The other gang members pay homage or 'homieage' (not an actual term) by tossing the shoes up there.

One of the most common theories is that shoes on powerlines indicate a crackhouse in the area. If the shoes are put on powerlines to advertise for a local crack house, the shoes are called Crack Tennies.

It's not just sneakers that are thrown onto power lines. Leather shoes and boots are also thrown. Soldiers leaving the military often paint a pair of combat boots yellow or orange and toss them over a power line or telephone wire near the barracks or unit to which they were assigned.

Shoe tossing is also a rite of passage for things such as the end of school or a marriage. In Scotland, they take this to the extreme. According to legend, a man tosses his shoes over the power lines when he loses his virginity.

this guy's just bragging

The simplest theory is that people just like to throw their shoes onto power lines. Old shoes hanging from wires remind people of the past. If a pair of Jordans is hanging from a long time ago, and they don't make them anymore, it gives ya a little bit of the old nostalgia.

Shoes on powerlines have become part of the culture. Art has even been dedicated to shoe tossing.

Believe it or not these are not wearable.

Whatever the reason for this strange act, it does not seem the act of shoe tossing is going away soon. Who knows in 200 years, humans might even hang their spaceboots on futuristic telephone wires.