The story behind the shoes hung on power lines will be revealed in the article below. Read with me to know more about this phenomenon. Let’s jump into it now.
Why Do People Throw Shoes On Power Lines
You can easily see many sneakers for teens and tennis shoes on power lines when riding your car over the country. But have you been curious about the reasons for this popular phenomenon? Why do people throw shoes on power lines? What do shoes on a powerline mean? Below are several common reasons attributed to this.
Drug-related Activity Indication
One of the most explanations for shoes over wires meaning is related to drug activity. According to this explanation, the question “why do people hang shoes on power lines?” can be answered that “It is the signal of drugs in the neighborhood.” This means the drug deals can happen where the shoes are thrown on power lines. However, this idea has several logical holes. You cannot knock on a house’s door with the pretext of finding drug criminals with no evidence other than there are shoes hanging on the lines before the house.
Gang Territory Mark
Another reason attributed to the shoes over wires is the mark of gang territory. This reason has the origin from New York City, which tells that each gang has a distinctive color and such color’s shoes hung on the lines means the respective gang locates there. In 2003, as the residents showed the concern of shoes-tossing indicating gang’s territory, the city of Los Angeles launched a shoe removal program, and Mayor James Hahn stated that shoes hung on wires would no longer be tolerated.
Life Milestone Celebration
The question “Why do people throw shoes over telephone lines?” can also be answered by the celebrating action of several graduators or military members. Some students throw sneakers over lines to mark their milestone moments. Like carving names on a tree, this is a way that they leave a part of themselves behind.
Several teenagers also throw sneakers to save the memory of losing their virginity. They tie the laces of the shoes together and toss them away. It is said that the permanent loss of shoes is the same as the loss of their virginity – both cannot get back when it’s lost.
Another celebration by throwing shoes is the celebration of members of the military who finish basic training. Not all do that, but several people like painting their tactical & military boots in colors and then throw them on power lines to celebrate the special moment.
Shoes that are hung over a power line are difficult to remove. So, they are like a fixed part of such a power line, such an area, like graffiti. Therefore, those who want to vandalize an area can use shoefiti instead of graffiti to show off their mark at the place. They throw a pair of shoes over a power line to say that they have been there.
Shoefiti is known as something that brings the same influence on a neighborhood as graffiti; thus, some communities may want to prosecute those who toss shoes over the power lines in their neighborhood. Several graffiti artists state that shoefiti cannot be as artistic as their paints on the walls of neighborhoods. However, the concept of shoefiti still spreads and develops.
On the contrary to several artists who compare shoefiti to graffiti, other artists consider shoe tossing as a way of creating art. They make artistic shoes and make them appear around many cities in the world, for example, New York or London. They enjoy the aesthetic of the act of throwing shoes and watching them on telephone lines. It is said that you could possibly see one of the 2,500 art shoes that artists hung up if you are in New York City.
The Act of Bullies
Sometimes the shoes that you see on the power lines come from the act of bullies who want to taunt their victims and made them shoeless. A bully will take the shoes of his victim, tie their laces and toss them over the power line so that the victim cannot get it back.
The victim in the case will lose their shoes and need to walk home shoelessly. He or she can feel ashamed of walking without shoes, and the bully will feel very victorious. Besides, each time he or she comes through the place where he or she was bullied, the shoes are like a hurting reminder.