October 17


The Strange History of Shoe Tossing on Power Lines

By Teddy

October 17, 2022

Have you ever seen a lone shoe dangling precariously from a power line and wondered how it got there? Well, wonder no more, because today we’re going to explore the strange history of shoe tossing on power lines. This quirky phenomenon has been around for decades and shows no signs of slowing down. So put on your walking shoes and let’s learn more about this curious custom.

The Origins of Shoe Tossing on Power Lines

Some say that the tradition of shoe tossing on power lines originated in the early 20th century when young people would jokingly toss their shoes at trolley wires as a way to prank passing motorists. Others believe that the practice began during World War II as a way to signal to enemy aircraft that an area had already been bombed (the shoes would dangling from the power lines, charred and blackened from the explosion). 

Whatever the case may be, the tradition of shoe tossing on power lines has continued unabated in the years since. In fact, some believe that the practice has even ramped up in recent years due to social media. Nowadays, it’s not enough to simply toss a shoe on a power line and hope that someone sees it. You need to take a picture of it and post it online so that friends, family, and strangers can appreciate your handiwork. 

Why Do People Throw Shoes on Power Lines?

So what does it mean when you see a shoe dangling from a power line? Well, that depends on who you ask. Some say that it’s simply an act of vandalism; others view it as a form of street art. Still others believe that there’s something more sinister at play. According to urban legend, gangs will toss their shoes on power lines as a way to mark their territory. So if you see a lone sneaker hanging from a wire in a shady part of town, it’s probably best not to stick around and find out who owns it. 


The next time you see a shoe hanging from a power line, don’t just walk away—stop and take a moment to appreciate this quirky phenomenon. From its humble beginnings as a prank played by young miscreants to its current status as an international curiosity, the tradition of shoe tossing on power lines is sure to continue baffling and delighting us for years to come.

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