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    Abandoned shoes in Chico: photo series

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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Abandoned shoes in Chico: photo series

Photo taken by Molly Myers on Sept. 3, 2023 downtown across from where the Farmers Market is held.

The south campus neighborhood in which I live is an illegal dumping hot spot. I often see abandoned couches, mattresses and curiously, shoes. 

For the past school year I’ve made an attempt to photograph every pair of abandoned shoes I come across. When I find them I am filled with wonder about who once wore them and where they’ve been. 


The holy trinity: white Nike Air Forces, space heater and a trash can. The frat shoes abandoned right outside of the fraternity Phi Kappa Tau is nothing less than I’d expect from our beloved college town — a quintessentially Chico scene.

Someone call in an Amber alert because a baby was just plucked from their Mary Janes in downtown! Seriously, why is there a pair of baby shoes propped up so perfectly like this? Maybe a parent was changing their child’s shoes … I guess? 

Photo taken by Molly Myers on August 21, 2023 at the intersection of Fifth and Ivy streets.

Again, it seems someone was abducted straight out of their shoes. In this case it’s a well used pair of Converse. God only knows their original color. 


Dear friends, we’ve lost a baddie. A moment of silence for our fallen sister. The platforms, heels, L.L. Bean slippers and single Air Max sneaker tell the story of a well rounded party girl fallen from grace. Where is she now? And why is her entire shoe collection discarded near frat row?  God be with her. 

Photo taken by Molly Myers August 23, 2023 in the south campus neighborhood.

An abandoned camo rain boot I said “good day” to as I walked to and from school for countless days. 

Growing up you always hear that shoes hanging from a telephone pole wire means someone sells drugs nearby or that it’s something to do with a gang. I’ve lived next to these dangling shoes for two years now and I am disappointed to say not one person has ever tried to sell drugs or the gang life to me. 

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About the Contributor
Molly Myers
Molly Myers, Managing Editor/Features Editor
Molly Myers is a transfer student from Palmdale, California. She is a journalism major also minoring in religious studies. Molly is Managing Editor at The Orion and previously worked as Editor-in-Chief. Her work is also published in Watershed Review. Getting to meet new people and hear their stories is her favorite part of being a journalist. Outside of The Orion she instructs yoga at the WREC and volunteers with the Torres Community Shelter.

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    Toby Neal // May 22, 2024 at 12:41 pm

    Love it. I’ve often wondered how a random shoe, or other item, wound up on the side of the road. I thought it might make a good coffee table book. It’s good to see I’m not the only one who is intrigued.