Why Do Shoes Hang Over Power Lines In Washington State?

I noticed some sneakers hanging over the power lines on Gum Street in Kennewick and guess what was the first thought that came to mind?


What's The Truth Behind Shoes Over A Power Line, Is It A Drug Dealer Spot?

As a kid growing up in Washington State, my first immediate reaction was a drug deal spot.

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That's what I was told that shoes over a power line signified, but is it just an old tale that kids tell each other?


So I did a little digging and found six reasons why there might be a pair of shoes over a powerline like the ones I spotted on Gum Street.

1. Scoring Zones for Drug Dealers

One of the most popular theories behind the shoe-over-power lines phenomenon is that they mark drug-dealing spots.

Drug dealers typically use empty shoes as a signpost for their customers to identify their territory.

The theory suggests that the dealers can tell the police and authorities that the shoes are just pranks, but those purchasing drugs know the truth.

2. Prank

Another common theory is that hanging shoes over a power line is a harmless prank. .

3. A Tribute to Lost Loved Ones

The shoe-throwing custom is sometimes used as a memorial to someone who has passed away.

4. A Sign of Victory

Hanging shoes over power lines can also symbolize triumph and victory. Shoes are thrown after a significant achievement in some cultures.

5. Artistic expression

For some, hanging shoes over power lines is a form of street art or self-expression. It can be a way to make a statement or create a visually striking image in a public space.

6. Just for Fun

Not all things need to have a hidden meaning or symbolism. Some people toss shoes up to see how high they can get them. It might be a spontaneous decision, or the person knows the reasons elaborated above, but either way, it is just for fun.


As you can see, there's no real direct reason why people will toss shoes over a power line but for some reason, I'd like to believe that it's some kids trying their aim at tossing the shoes over the wire because if you have ever thought about it, it would take some skills to get those shoes over the powerline.

I guess it will always be one of those unsolved mysteries in Washington State.

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