Shoe Tossing – Why?

shoe tossing what does it mean
Shoe Tossing?

What does it mean?!  Nobody seems to really know.  After doing a little research online all I came up with was the conclusion that there are lots of different theories out there about what exactly would possess someone to tie their shoes’ shoelaces in a knot and throw them over a telephone line.

Around here, in my neighborhood, there are a couple of streets where you’ll find these tossed shoes.  I think they’ve been up there for years.  Yet every time I pass by them I can’t help but wonder “Why?  What does it mean?!”

¡Quiero saber! 

So Wikipedia offers the most comprehensive theories about what shoe tossing means, though they vary from a rite of passage to commemorate the end of a school year, or the loss of a young man’s virginity, to gangs marking their territory, or drug dealers announcing their places of business.  Apparently shoe tossing is a worldwide phenomenon, according to this same website at least.

That last bit of information actually makes me feel better.  Maybe there isn’t such a mysterious reason behind why people all over the world decide to toss their shoes?  Maybe it’s just something we do when we’re bored or just to see how far we can actually throw those old beat up tennis shoes?

¿Quién sabe?  

9 thoughts on “Shoe Tossing – Why?

  1. I first saw this in the 1960’s. Yes a long time ago. I ask the kid next to me as I was a child at that time on the street-What is the meaning-In a short team phases, he said it was a Burn to some other kid. Back then we all had just one pair of shoe’s – To have them stolen or being beat up and stolen and thrown way up to the power-lines you spend all day trying to get them down. The block knew it as the sigh of a punk. Someone that was no-longer trusted. I saw this later when girls grew older and threw away there flats when they got there first pair of heels for a short time in the 80’s Now I see it and the young kids say it showed I have been here I am leaving the block and you all will remember that I was here.

    1. Thanks for the insight… from what I remember kids growing up just did it for the hell of it. We didn’t really have a specific reason for doing it, other than because it was fun. Then when I saw so many others doing it too, it made me wonder why they were doing it?

  2. Siempre me lo pregunté yo también Compadre!!! All those theories sound pretty plausible, no?
    Lo que más me checa es que sean bromas entre amigos (a´pa bromitas!), o alguien festejando eso, el fin de las clases.
    Anyways, gracias por tocar el tema Compadrito! Always a pleasure reading you my friend! Feliz fin de semana!

    1. Hola Sue, me siento mejor en saber que no soy el unico pensando en estas cosas. Sometimes my mind just runs away without me and leaves me wondering what ahi empieza lo demas. Yo tambien creo la respuesta a esta pregunta probablemente es la mas simple.

  3. I had always heard that it was gangs marking territory, but last year my son was attacked by a group of bullies. They stole his shoes and tossed them on the wire, so who knows, really?

    1. Milehimama, wow… sorry to hear about that. You know, bullying was also one of the reasons listed on Wikipedia for shoe tossing, and a couple of people online have also suggested that as a cause. You’re right… who knows, really?

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