Shoes on a wire, theories in the air

Gerri MacLeod documented some local shoe tossing in Minneapolis and shared it MPR’s Flickr photo pool. Not all footwear looks this artful:

image courtesy Gerri MacLeod

MacLeod notes, “Now in college, there was a tree that you threw your shoes up on after losing your virginity (or something like that). Is it the same thing even for tossing them on electrical wires?”

According to the urban legend & folklore resource,, there are many theories on the secret language of sneakers. News Cut familiars might note the suggestion they “increase visibility for low-flying aircraft” as one proposal ideally suited to irritate your usual host.

What are your own theories? Do you notice shoes-on-a-wire in your neighborhood? Are shoe trees really a tourist attraction?

I’ll hang up and listen.