Hadler Shoe Tree – Perryville, Missouri - Atlas Obscura

Hadler Shoe Tree

Perryville, Missouri

An old tree that is the final resting place for many pair of shoes. 

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Driving down a gravel road in rural Missouri, the last thing you would expect to see are several pair of shoes dangling above your windshield, but this is exactly what you will encounter while driving down this rural Perry County road. 

The tree is just on the north side of the roadside ditch on County Road 324.  The origins stem from a trip taken in the early 2000s by the landowners to the state of Nevada where they encountered a similar tree with many pair of shoes dangling from the branches.

The man chose a tree close to the road on his property and flung a pair of shoes in it. At family gatherings, he encouraged his descendants to do the same. Now it has become a point of curiosity.

There are so many shoes in the tree it would be difficult to count. Some people make a wish before throwing their shoes, others write messages on their shoes like “self-doubt,” “weight troubles,” or a bible verse. The various types of shoes in the tree show a variety of footwear worn by the throwers. There are football cleats, running shoes, work boots, and basically anything that can catch itself on a branch in the tree.  Then there is the act of throwing, which is the best for getting the shoes attached without spending all day throwing them up in the air only to see them fall back down.  

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June 5, 2023

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