How many times have you walked on a random street; anywhere around the world, looked at the sky and found that lovely pair of shoes laced together bouncing over the power lines? How many times after spotting those shoes have you asked yourself, what are the possible reasons why those shoes are hanging there? If you have found yourself in that situation; and had no answers for the questions, don’t worry. You are not alone!

After having photographed a few hanging shoes around Melbourne, I decided to speculate possibilities that could possibly explain the case. Do people have their shoes stolen on the streets and thrown over the power lines? If so, do the thieves have emotional reasons for doing it this way, instead of taking the shoes with them? Do kids in high school or college do that to their frosh during their o-week? Maybe someone’s shoes were hurting their feet and the person decided to take them off, and throw them away? Could that possibly be the end of the line for those shoes; and instead of throwing them away in the rubbish can, the individual decided to interact with the environment, adding an element to the city’s landscape? Someone once told me It had something to do with marking the spot where a ‘narc’ got beat up (by ‘narc’ the person meant someone that ‘rats’ on their friends). What have you heard about it?

With all that cogitation added to the considerable amount of shoes I’ve seen hanging over the power lines in Melbourne, my questions are: Is this act becoming more common nowadays, and possibly turning into a new trend? Will this be an old form of expression/attitude becoming a movement? Are we witnessing the beginning of a new artistic interaction, possibly soon to be called shoe-tagging? Living in the post-modern world, where almost everything is acceptable, I wouldn’t be impressed if that is the answer for the case. Whatever It is, whatever you have heard or imagined about it, I want to hear your thoughts.

Shoe-tagging is a work in progress in my life. I have been photographing it everywhere I go around the world. If you have any comments and/or pictures related to the subject, please send them to, and I’ll be glad to post them here.

Sneaker freaks swap meet . Melbourne . Australia

The highest concentration of hanging shoes per square feet . CBD Melbourne

Some alley in the CBD . Melbourne . Australia

North Melbourne . Australia

Chinatown . Melbourne . Australia

Melbourne Exhibition Center . Australia

Carlton . Melbourne . Australia

Alley off Lonsdale . Melbourne . Australia

Melbourne Central . Australia

Some street near the the Victoria Market . Melbourne . Australia

Toronto . Canada

Farmers Market . Echopark . LA . California

Silverlake avenue . Silverlake . LA . California


4 Responses to “shoe-tagging”

  1. Scared of Girls said

    My girlfriend says it indicates a drug-dealer’s house. One night I’ll get drunk and put this to the test with a door-knocking campaign but until then it remains another urban myth.

  2. bytonysebastian said

    Thanks for the comment mate. Someone has told me that could be one of the reasons. Your trial is a highly supported by me! xxx

  3. MLM said

    I wonder if the 2nd and 3rd pairs of shoes were in an attempt to get the 1st pair down . . . .

  4. Deb said

    Great theme! I love the Toronto shot, I’ll have to look for that one!

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