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-   -   Somewhat travel related...........What's the deal with random roadside shoe sightings? (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/somewhat-travel-related-whats-the-deal-with-random-roadside-shoe-sightings-252340/)

ShoelessJoeJackson Aug 23rd, 2002 07:23 AM

Somewhat travel related...........What's the deal with random roadside shoe sightings?
 
I have lived in and/or visited quite alot of cities across this great nation of ours and I just can't quite figure out where they come from????? (Recent sighting this morning on commute to work made me once again ponder over this issue...)<BR>Where have all the shoes come from?

Dr.Schols Aug 23rd, 2002 07:38 AM

Quite obvious, the shoes come from peoples feet. The smelly variety I might add.

ShoelessJoeJackson Aug 23rd, 2002 07:58 AM

but Dr. Schols, that 's what I mean, from people's feet where????? Are there really people out walking on the interstates, and they just accidently drop a shoe like Cinder-frickin-rella?

Chicken or Aug 23rd, 2002 08:02 AM

Shoeless: The shoes spotted on the ground are those that have fallen from the electrical or phone wires overhead.

Jenna Aug 23rd, 2002 08:04 AM

I've wondered about this phenomenon myself. One vision/theory I have is that of late-night partiers careening wildly down the highway, and in a further show of their high spirits, gleefully tossing their shoes out of car windows. My other, sadder, theory is that single shoes are one thing that remains after a traffic accident with fatalities.

J Correa Aug 23rd, 2002 08:06 AM

When I was a kid, my mom threw my dad's shoes out of the car onto the highway during a family vacation one year. <BR><BR>Maybe all those shoes belonged to men who had pissed off their wives one too many times while on cross-country trips.

Jenna Aug 23rd, 2002 08:12 AM

I was thinking that kids probably toss them out of windows too, probably on cross-country trips so their father will FINALLY take a rest stop!

dan woodlief Aug 23rd, 2002 08:15 AM

I don't have a theory, but this is funny. I was just commenting on the same thing last weekend when I spotted a shoe on the street. Any sock sightings? Maybe socks that get sucked into the great dryer vacuum end up out there in the world somewhere.

Louis Aug 23rd, 2002 08:15 AM

They come from victims of car crashes.

ShoelessJoeJackson Aug 23rd, 2002 08:24 AM

Was laughing at J Correa's post, and Dan's (thought about the sock things too, and yes I have been a witness to both lonely shoe and sock) but then I read Louis' post and it made me sad. They can't all possibly be from car crash victim's-I like the other's theories better.

ShoelessJoeJackson Aug 23rd, 2002 08:26 AM

p.s. Perhaps this could tie into Jerry's "you are traveling across the country" post. Possibly these are bored travelers just trying spice things up??????

Hillard Aug 23rd, 2002 08:29 AM

Didn't any of you see National Lampoon's Vacation? They are from when Clark Griswold half ass ties the luggage to the Griswold Family Truckster. The luggage flies off the roof, explodes, and throws shoes everywhere.

Qwerty Aug 23rd, 2002 08:52 AM

I love this post! For YEARS I have been wondering about the single boots that I see on an on-ramp, or just off on the shoulder, or sitting next to the rail on a bridge. I see shoes less frequently, but sometimes.<BR><BR>I suspect the actual explanation is that a workman tosses his boots in the back of a pickup and it bounces off, but that lone boot always provoked all kinds of speculation..... assassination? one-legged man getting rid of extra? annoyed wife getting even? Catch-22-type hit-and-run with leg amputation? Etc. etc. etc.

Steve Aug 23rd, 2002 08:57 AM

This thread has reminded me of a very real question that I've wondered about.<BR><BR>What does it mean when you see a pair of shoes, laces tied together, hanging over a phone line over a street? I've seen this in some more "urban" areas and often wondered if this is some sort of gang thing, or some kind of delinquent kids rite of passage?

yikes Aug 23rd, 2002 09:14 AM

I would hope ALL the shoes on the roads are not from accidents! But would that include the shoes on wires! Poor people flying through the air??

Two Shoes Aug 23rd, 2002 09:20 AM

Shoes tied together and slung over telephone wire got there because someone -- 98% of the time a male between the ages of 12 and 32 -- felt compelled to try to sling them up there so that they would stay. <BR><BR>Sometimes they are old shoes that need to be discarded. Sometimes they are someone else's shoes, and the boys involved are playing a prank on that person. <BR><BR>But it's mainly a matter of meeting the challenge of getting two connected projectiles to fly up and back down in such a way that they are caught on the wire. Big whoop, IMHO.

x Aug 23rd, 2002 09:23 AM

Wow, who knew that there were so many young men with so little on their minds!

Kristin Aug 23rd, 2002 12:01 PM

Wow, this is so weird 'cus I JUST asked my husband the same question!!!! Why wouldn't we also see other articles of clothing???? Why just shoes??? Why not one sock, one glove, a bra, a shirt, why shoes? (I refuse to believe the accident story)

J Correa Aug 23rd, 2002 12:16 PM

These shoes could be an alternate life form trying to infiltrate our civilization. They just disguise themselves as shoes on the side of the highway in an attempt to blend into the landscape.

X minus 1 Aug 23rd, 2002 12:20 PM

J. Correa, I was wondering when someone would catch on!<BR><BR>If you take one picture per day of a so-called abandoned shoe by the side of the road, you'll see that they actually move. You know those signs on off-ramps that say "McDonald's 24 hrs. 1.5 miles?" They are actually telling the shoeboot beings how long it'll take them to get to the McD's if they really hop it.

Fox Aug 23rd, 2002 12:23 PM

Almost, J Correa. They are left there as breeding pots for the extraterrestrial black oil virus. The life forms hide in the shelter of the shoes and observe traffic, waiting for just the right moment to commence the invasion.

rebecca Aug 23rd, 2002 12:44 PM

The accident story does have some bit of truth to it. I was hit by a car when I was younger- I was fortunate enough not to lose consciousness, however, one of the paramedics did tell me that in most pedestrian/automobile accidents, if someone is knocked out of their shoes, they do not survive.

Not smilin' that vacation Aug 23rd, 2002 01:08 PM

Maybe they come out the car the same way I lost my teeth on the turnpike one day...<BR><BR>They were uncomfortable, so I took them off. Fell asleep for a stretch. Hubby pulled over so we can switch drivers. Forgot about teeth and they fell out.<BR><BR>Same deal could apply to shoes...

ho Aug 23rd, 2002 01:08 PM

I think Elvis started it.

havkhones Aug 23rd, 2002 01:25 PM

There is a little town in Northern Michigan called Mancelona. On the north end of that town on US131, there are hundreds of pairs of shoes caught up in a tree that overhangs the highway.

Qwerty Aug 23rd, 2002 01:32 PM

Ah HAH, their ceremonial funereal grounds!

DrivinMan Aug 23rd, 2002 01:45 PM

It doesn't seem like a big mystery to me. Ever since I quit smoking, those long drives can be wearing. Taking off a shoe and tossing it out the window gives me a similar feeling of pleasure. Plus, it is a nice way of showing the locals, and other drivers, that you just don't give a f*ck.

nina Aug 23rd, 2002 05:41 PM

In L.A., shoes over the powerline mean you can but drugs nearby. Sad, but true.

Steve Aug 23rd, 2002 06:55 PM

Nina, I live in LA, and something like that is what I thought. Makes complete sense now. Yes, sad but true.

whizzzzz Aug 24th, 2002 03:52 AM

Driving along an hafta GO. Whiz in shoe. Out da window. Lose a lot of singles that way. Then hafta stop at Wal for a new pair.<BR><BR>My wife just butts out the window and shoots. She is from W Va. Being classy, from Charleston, she only do at night. She hates to waste shoes. She has 3 pair!<BR><BR>

gail Aug 24th, 2002 04:05 AM

My son threw his shoes out the window from his car seat when he was little - never could understand why or how they fit through a 1 inch opening in the window. Now that he is driving on his own, maybe he is responsible for all those shoes.<BR><BR>I was told by some young patients of mine that tied shoes over wires indicate drug buying activity in the area - sort of an advertisement. Others have told me they are specific gamg signs - specific types of shoes in specific locations. The latter seems more reasonable, since why would they advertise to cops where drugs were being sold.

anonymous Aug 24th, 2002 04:47 AM

My ex-brother-in-law, an individual never exactly noted for his braininess, was driving with a couple of pals on the New York Thruway in early spring. He was wearing (this was years ago, when they were just out of their teens) those rubbers that fit over the bottom of men's shoes. He found them a bit too warm, so he pulled over to the side of the road, got out of the car, stepped out of the rubbers, got back in the car, and drove off, leaving the rubbers neatly on the shoulder. His companions were too amused and startled to say anything and he didn't seem to realize what he'd done. I always figured all the other shoes I saw belonged to him. Maybe he travels a lot.

Cindy Aug 24th, 2002 06:07 AM

To anonoymous:<BR>Not a good idea to leave your rubbers on the side of the road.

nina Aug 24th, 2002 09:38 AM

I realize I wrote "but drugs". I meant "buy drugs",but it appears it was understood.

nike Nov 19th, 2002 08:01 PM

Weird that I just saw this post. I recently have notice an abundance of shoes on the road (mostly single shoes, not pairs) and I wondered what was going on? People hanging their feet out the window and one fell off? A hissy fit in the car and someone threw a shoe out the window? Very odd.

Macy Nov 19th, 2002 09:14 PM

Many years ago while working at a hospital, we were forever receiving accident victims w/out shoes. I just came to the conclusion that the impact of the crash just seems to knock people of their feet and out of their shoes. It's amazing where you'll come across some of these shoes. As for the shoes over the power lines. My police officer friend told me that its a sign that drug dealers use to let &quot;customers&quot; know that drugs are sold in that area. Sometimes the shoes are tied to a tree limb. (just backing up what you said,nina).

nance Nov 20th, 2002 01:39 AM

I don't know about the shoes on the street, but just in case you are the neighbor that lives behind me, I can explain the single shoes in your yard several years back. When my son was young,about 5, he had this thing about going out in the back yard and throwing one of his shoes as far as he could. Usually, this meant the yard behind us. He threw his own shoe over 3 or 4 times, and his friends shoe once or twice. I never did go and get any of them. Now that son is a teen, and he probably is out throwing shoes over phone wires or something.

Elaine Nov 20th, 2002 06:43 AM

In our neighborhood, dogs take people's shoes off their porches or from their garages and carry them to other houses and out into the street. You never find a pair. It's always single shoes that show up.<BR><BR>

xxx Nov 20th, 2002 06:45 AM

Shoes don't belong on a porch or in a garage. They belong in a closet.

lisa Nov 20th, 2002 07:25 AM

when I was a kid, a local farmer was walking the street one night (sleepwalking? drunk? dunno..) and right in front of our house he got hit by a car and was killed instantly. I still remember going out there and seeing his shoes on the road. Yes, people hit by cars can literally get thrown out of their shoes.


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