Countless urban streets across the world are festooned with sneakers swaying lifelessly from powerlines. Theories for the phenomenon abound. There’s even a short doco about it, The Mystery of Flying Kicks.
The most compelling myth is that these kicks are like a drug den shop sign... but then, if Reddit knows, then presumably the cops do too. Someone interviewed in the Flying Kicks film suggests that the sneakers are gang totems to siren whose territory you’re straying into. For another, they’re a sombre memorial for a slain friend. Then there’s the more common assertion that the dangling sneakers are just evidence of the ultimate game of keepings-off, while others argue for something more innocent: the marking of a jubilant act of celebration, like popping your cherry or graduating from uni. But then, maybe for most people, it’s nothing more than a public 'I woz 'ere' declaration.
Shoefiti seems destined to remain some sort of indecipherable modern-day cave art, a message to future generations, forever lost in time... if only we knew what the message was, exactly. Art, vandalism, warnings, tributes? Maybe we’ll never find out. If you catch one of these sneaky tossers, ask them. Or if you’re one yourself, tell us where and why you’ve tossed on our Facebook page.
Image and film credit: Closer Productions