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Shoe-ffiti: The Mysterious Hanging Shoes

Friday, November 7, 2014 3:18:00 PM America/Chicago

Have you ever seen a pair of shoes thrown over a telephone wire or power line? Did you wonder where they came from and why they are there?

These are exactly the questions that Closer Productions aimed to answer when making the short documentary The Mystery of Flying Kicks. Closer Productions is a collective of filmmakers based in Adelaide, South Australia. They asked for submissions from around the world using an on-line call out and a phone message bank. The donated photographs, phoned-in theories, video, vlogs, and animation culminate to make this 15 minutes of terrific documentary.

And the theories they received are abounding.

Some shoes are tossed as memorials to those who lost their lives. This is the theory that I heard the first time I saw a pair of chucks tossed over a line.

Some shoes are to mark territories whether it is Spanish Mafiosi warning authorities to stay out of their streets and neighborhoods, or delineating gang borders. Some shoes are tossed as a notification of drug dealer’s locations.

Some are tossed out of bullying or as pranks.

In the movie Big Fish (2003), Edward Bloom finds himself in a mythical town Spectre. The inhabitants’ shoes are hanging from a telephone wire. A girl named Jenny Hill steals Edward’s shoes and adds them to the wire. Without one’s shoes, one can’t travel, right? Might as well settle down and stay forever.

Shoes have been tossed to celebrate changes in life such as lost virginity, upcoming marriage, change of job, or a graduation.

Military boots have been tossed to show a member shipping out or leaving the service. In Wag the Dog (1997) they shoe trees, power lines, lamp posts, as an allegedly spontaneous cultural manifestation in tribute to Sgt. William Schumann nicknamed Old Shoe.

Some are tossed for fun or self-expression. Skewville, twin brother street artists, have been tossing wooden “dogs” since 1999. The project has been dubbed “When Dogs Fly” and has consisted of 50+ versions. Each pair of “dogs” is an image of a shoe silkscreened onto wood then cut out and laced together. The brothers have been tossing shoes on wires wherever they go from Hollywood to NYC, London to Berlin. To find out more about these artists visit Skewville.org.

Lines and wires are not the only places you can find these mysterious abandoned footwear. You can find a list of trees that have had shoes tossed, tied, and generally attached to them here.

Road trip anyone?

Posted in Employee Spotlight By Sarah Barnes

Team SHOEBACCA: 2014 MS 150

Friday, October 31, 2014 2:02:00 PM America/Chicago

Team SHOEBACCA.com finished up their 150 Bay-To-Bay Bike Ride for the National MS Society last week. We wanted to get some first-hand accounts of the ride, but Team SHOEBACCA just loves riding so much, they wouldn't get off their bikes! So while they were out rolling away for whichever charity fundraiser of the week, we went ahead and wrote up a brief summary of the event.

Team Shoebacca is a volunteer based cycling team that rides for charities under the name Shoebacca. So, naturally, they ride the Bike MS Bay-to-Bay Tour. Did we mention they're based in Southern California? So their 150 miles are from Irvine to San Diego. That's the same as riding from Philadelphia to Washington DC.

Through it's 5 year history, every Team SHOEBACCA ride has been meaningful, however this ride had something special – Cierra. Cierra's mom Carmen is a long time friend of Team SHOEBACCA as well as MS Sufferer. Carmen has supported their races for some time now – walking on her own or with assistance across the finish line with the team. It has been a long-time tradition for Team SHOEBACCA to stop short of the finish, dismount, and walk behind her as a show of respect, as well as a nod to the 250,000 nationwide who suffer along with her.

“It was not meant to pull on heart-strings," Team Lead Dee Folse said, "but was meant as a reminder of why we ride. It's not about the bike ride. It's about those suffering from MS."

This year Cierra joined Team SHOEBACCA to support her mother as well as the National MS Foundation. Not only was it her first time riding, she was also a top fundraiser for the team! Together she and Team SHOEBACCA raised over $23,000! Since Team SHOEBACCA's inception, they've raised over $500,000 for local and nation charities. (Let me remind you they've only been a team for 5 years – That's over $200 a day!)

Cierra will continue to ride the Bike MS Bay-to-Bay as a Team SHOEBACCA member, not only to raise money for MS sufferers like her mother, but also for other charitable needs.

The National MS Society bike ride was adopted in 1985 after a father (Minnesota Chapter Executive Director) and son duo rode 150 miles to see how long it would take them. Two days, to be exact – one of the many timelines for today's fundraising rides. The MS 150 fundraiser is now available in every state across the US, with some states having multiple opportunities. Find your nearest chapter today and whether you're riding or racing, don't forget to get new shoes.

Posted in Get Fit Get Active By Ro Luckey

That's The Spirit! Pumpkin Carving With SHOEBACCA

Friday, October 24, 2014 3:00:00 PM America/Chicago

Halloween is one week out and - if you remember from last week - we here at SHOEBACCA are EXCITED! Halloween is a company favorite around here so naturally we had to carve pumpkins!

The marketing & tech departments got together and carved three pumpkins total. Sure, this is no big deal since nearly 170 Million Americans celebrate Halloween - so why share our pumpkin carving endeavors? To show that SHOEBACCA has an awesome company culture? To make us seem relatable by practicing American Halloween traditions? Because pumpkin carving is downright FUN?!

Well, all of those are true, but herein lies the rub: WE had a newbie in our midst!

Meet Shawn. He's our Senior IT Administrator. He also moved here from Belize when he was a teen. Now well into his 20s, we as his comrades in Life and at SHOEBACCA get the wonder of reliving our childhoods through him.

So we carved some pumpkins. Sarah and I helped out as well, acting as wisened guides from our 20+ years of carving experience. (You SHOULD remember us from Last Week's Blog: Night Of The Living Keds).

Needless to say, fun times were had by all! Check out the photos - and pumpkins! - below.

Posted in Employee Spotlight By Ro Luckey

Night Of The Living Keds - Behind The Scenes

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 7:30:00 PM America/Chicago

Here at ShoeBacca.com, Halloween is a HUGE Holiday. In fact, it's a company favorite. I mean, what's not to like? There's free candy. You can dress up however you want. Even mild co-worker harassment is accepted! (Cube-orhood trick-or-treating, anyone?)

The SHOEBACCA.com Cube-orhood, all decked out.

That being said, we try to incorporate the season's sense of fun and mischief into our company brand and culture - Hence the Night of the Living Keds.

Keds are a comfy, versatile shoe that can you can easily dress up or down. Because of that versatility, they can be blended into any outfit - Costumes included!

Sure -- Frankenstein's monster didn't wear a pair of Champion Slip-ons, but if you went to the trouble of body-paint and latex-applied neck bolts, then people are going to be forgiving for your shoe-fashion faux pas (or they should be - Warning: Your lax choice of shoes may be greeted with pitchforks and fire.)

We obviously had to make tribute to the cult-classic Night of the Living Dead with the help of our friends over at Zombicide. Zomibicide is a tabletop, zombie-survival board game for 1-6 players. The base game alone starts with 71 miniatures (as seen in the shoot)! The main photo was featured on our Social Media outlets, but check out the rest of our pics below (staff cameos included!)

Posted in Employee Spotlight By Ro Luckey

New Boots

Friday, October 10, 2014 3:34:00 PM America/Chicago

Everyone has their favorite hobby. Mine’s paintball. You might remember this one from earlier this year.

This is me, wandering the woods during a scenario game. Full day events with hundreds of people hunting through the woods.
I believe that your shoes are one of the most important parts of playing paintball. When you are in the woods full of sinkholes, fallen branches, and other ankle bending nightmares, you really need to have the right shoes. My old boots had started to come apart, so it was time for something new, and this was my first game with my new Belleville Khybers.

I broke em in over the week at work, and then took em out last weekend for a 400 man game at DFW Adventure Park. A great paintball field with some nice deep woods full of brush to hunt people in.

The main difference of these Belleville’s I personally really loved was that instead of simply having hooks on the upper two or three lace points, they were actually full eyes, which means when I did have to retie my shoes out in the middle, it was a quick affair and it didn’t hamper me too much on the run.

The multi-cam pattern which fit the rest of my gear, along with the breathability these things had mean that they stayed looking great and kept my feet feeling great too. It was a long weekend, but I didn’t end up with a single blister which is always nice.

I don’t get new boots often, so it’s always something I try to be careful in my pick. I have to say so far i’m pretty happy. A year from now I’ll let you know how the durability is.

Posted in Employee Spotlight By Fafnir Crow

Shoebacca goes to the Texas State Fair

Friday, October 3, 2014 10:24:34 PM America/Chicago



Earlier this week we snuck out a hair early (Don’t tell the boss!) and went to the Texas State Fair. I would try and explain what it is for those who may never have been to one, but I wouldn’t even know where to start. An amazing three weeks of carnival rides, livestock shows (including ostrich races) more fried food than you can shake a stick at (Don’t shake it too hard, what do you think they handed you the food on?) and arts and crafts from all over Texas.



Some people think bumper cars are for kids, but here at Shoebacca, we think that’s just silly! We spent lots of time doing our best to get whiplash in between shooting basketballs, baseball tosses, and bb gun shoots. The midway can be a dangerous place, at least for your wallet.

I don’t know how many miles we walked that day, or even contemplate how much fried food we ate. But all in all its always great to get out out of the office, into the fresh air, and enjoy some time with your co-workers!
Posted in Employee Spotlight By Shawn Jones

90 Days till Christmas

Friday, September 26, 2014 2:00:00 PM America/Chicago

90 Days Till Christmas!! Anyone who knows me knows I actually start counting down the days in June! Now that it is truly right around the corner, I am beyond thrilled.

Credit: http://www.rachelleb.com/2003/12/05/macys-christmas-windows/

I know for some talk of Christmas reminds them of money and the spending thereof but for me its more about feelings. Christmas for me is not just about the giving and receiving of presents, which is also awesome don’t get me wrong. but personally I'm reminded of the memories I shared with my family: Tree trimming with my mom, who was in my opinion the greatest Christmas decorator, happy christmas songs on the radio, The Christmas Story in the window of Marshall Fields (Now Macy's) on State st. in my sweet home of Chicago, hot chocolate in my PJ's, warm feelings of love, family, and togetherness, and just all around good cheer that I felt was happening all over the world at the same time.

Credit: http://shebicycles.com/

I only wish it came twice a year but since it doesn’t I'm gonna milk it for all its worth and hope it lasts till it comes back around again! And Yes I'm that person with the Tree still up in February.
Have I mentioned I really love Christmas!
Posted in Employee Spotlight By Jessica Jones

D-day Paintball - My Active

Friday, September 19, 2014 11:04:00 AM America/Chicago

What’s better than paintball? The worlds largest paintball game. Everyone has something they do to try and stay fit. For me, its paintball. Credit: DFW Adventure Park

Sitting in front of the computer all week makes me itch to get moving on my weekends. Most weekends you’ll find me at my local paintball park trying my best to get them before they get me. No one can argue its not exercise when the adrenaline gets pumping and you never know whats around that next corner.
But throughout the year, even better than rec ball, there are scenario events. Events where you spend 8+ hours on the field playing without downtime. Some you may only get 100 guys or so, but once a year, down south the largest game we get to go to is D-day Oklahoma.

Credit: http://rangers.apservices.org

Better than 2000 people gather over 1200 acres to duke it out over miniature sections of ‘Normandy’ with the Colleville church and Pegasus Bridge being major points of contention. The hills of Northeast Oklahoma leave your legs exhausted and wishing to just give up, even an hour or two into the day.
While a few players still wear cleats, hiking boots or combat boots are the order of the day. With grass up to your shoulder in some places, and enough poison ivy and ticks to make a dog blink, you really don’t want to leave a inch of skin uncovered.
D-day is unique in that in actually runs a full week, and so its where I spend some of my vacation time, away from the grind and out where fresh air rules supreme. Everyone has to find their active. And this is certainly one of mine!
Posted in Employee Spotlight By Fafnir Crow

The Return of Retro

Friday, September 12, 2014 4:47:47 PM America/Chicago

If you’ve notice, in 2013-2014 we have seen the return of retro sneakers to the athletic footwear industry. Almost every major brand has rereleased sneakers named after NBA players from the 90’s. Just to name a few, this year we have seen Adidas released the Mutombos and Kobe’s Crazy 8s. Nike released several colorways of Penny Hardaway’s Foamposites and Gary Payton’s Air Zoom Flight The Glove. Reebok released Shaq’s Shaq Attaq and Allen Iverson's Q96 Cross Examine. Most of these releases probably did better than their original release back in the 90s.

Retro Jordans paved the way for other brands to market and rerelease retro sneakers. Nike and Jordan are very good at playing the supply and demand game, by releasing a limited number of certain retros to keep the demand buzzing, which leads to driving up the price (A little #sneakernomics for you).

Pigging backing off retro basketball shoes, retro running shoes are also showing up everywhere. We have seen Onitsuka release the Ultimate 81; Saucony came back with the Jazz Originals. We can’t leave out New Balance; they have released 574, National Parks 998 and the 996. Nike released Air Max 1, 90, 95 and 97 this year. Puma and several other brands had their share of retro running releases as well.

2014 has been the year of Retro Returns. So if you’re can’t decide what pair of sneakers to buy while shopping shoebacca.com a great choice would be to go with something retro.

Posted in Employee Spotlight By Shawn Jones

Now Shipping To Canada

Friday, September 5, 2014 8:46:40 PM America/Chicago

With winter coming, we are starting to see an influx of all kinds of sweaters, hoodies, and nice warm fuzzy slippers. Of course, being down here in the lone star state, we aren't really sure what to do with such things... We started looking north, to find people who are familiar with snow, and ask them what the heck were supposed to do with these things. Unfortunately it turns out that Minnesotans are still a bit upset with us over the whole North stars hockey team debacle. (It's been 20 years, and it was only one cup. Can we bury the hatchet?)

Since that didn't work so well, we skipped over the border to Canada, and started asking around. Turns out Canadians are familiar with the whole snow thing! We kind of stared in disbelief when they talked about the Snowking Winter Festival held every March, where they build a massive snow castle on a lake. Heck by March were already considering turning on the AC for the year!

Baffin Brands is one of our vendors who is from Canada, and it shows in their selection. Not only are they some pretty awesome snowboots brand, but they have these things which are like sleeping bags for your feet!

With dozens of the cities barely getting above freezing in January, we turned down the offer to come visit this winter, but if your there, we will be more than happy to send you some slippers to keep warm! Maybe in the summer...

Posted in Now Shipping To By Shoebacca
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