Abandoned shoes and some more weird stuff in Stoke on Trent

This post will be about a quirky phenomenon I noticed in Stoke on Trent – abandoned shoes scattered at random places around the city. Weird, innit? And it is not only shoes.

How it all started

I don’t even remember when I first noticed an abandoned shoe in Stoke. One shoe. Not a pair. One. Strange. But there they were. After spotting several of them, usually while running, I started to take pictures of them. I talked about it to my friends and a few of them told me they saw some as well. Now they even take pictures of the shoes for me – thanks!

Here is my small gallery I accumulated so far: a random black shoe, a pair of shoes floating on a canal, one burnt shoe, a baby shoe, a party shoe and a training shoe. Shoes of all categories. And there were quite some more – I just didn’t have a camera with me at that moment.

 The first and the last two pictures are taken by my colleagues who kindly helped to extend my collection.

Wondering why

I always wonder about the story behind the abandoned shoe. I don’t understand why somebody would just leave or throw away one shoe. Did the person continue in his/her journey with only one shoe?

There are also two examples of both shoes being left on the street. Did the person walk away barefoot? Was it a lost bet? For which mysterious reason did somebody just leave a pair of shoes on a street? It’s always puzzling me! Of course, you might not notice that your child lost one shoe, maybe dropping it from a pram. But what about a training shoe? How do you run with one trainer only?

As I said, mysterious.

It’s not only shoes

To top it off, here are some more abandoned objects I came across: a burnt bike next to a canal, an abandoned children’s tricycle, abandoned Jack Daniels and two shopping carts “parked” on stairs next to a parking place. I´ve seen plenty more things like this, but again, not every time I had a camera with me. For example, I remember seeing a warm baby bodysuit left at a zebra crossing, or, a few weeks ago there was a scooter or a bike left on a sidewalk close to our house. And so on.


Well, you can see junk like this everywhere else, there is hardly anything special about it. But with the shoes… there must be something Stoke-ish about it. Any ideas? It is bemusing. Now every time I go running, I take a camera or mobile phone with me so that I can capture new additions to my collection.

Have you noticed any shoes left on the streets of the Potteries? Let me know in comments.

By the way, I found some hashtags on Twitter which are, unfortunately, apparently not used anymore: #jokeontrent and #onlyinstoke. They would fit this phenomenon, what do you think?

4 Comments Add yours

  1. afarawayhome says:

    Very strange! And it looks like mostly only one shoe… so where’s the other one?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is the mystery!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mara Eastern says:

    That’s a fascinating collection! I was thinking along the same lines, I get it that a baby loses one shoe and goes unnoticed, but adult shoes? A one shoe only? Weird phenomenon.

    Liked by 1 person

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