Drinking from shoes

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A man drinking from a trainer at a music festival

Drinking from a shoe has historically been performed as both a bringer of good fortune and as a hazing punishment. Drinking champagne from a lady's slipper became a symbol of decadence in the early 20th century.

Drinking beer out of one's own shoe is a ritual sometimes undertaken at parties and events in Australia, where it is referred to as a "shoey".[1][2] Australian MotoGP rider Jack Miller celebrated his first premier class victory by drinking champagne out of his shoe, at the Dutch circuit of Assen, on 26 June 2016. Since then, Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo, another Australian, has also performed shoeys on the podium. Australian Mixed Martial Artist Tai Tuivasa celebrates his UFC wins with a shoey.

Slipper champagne[edit]

In the 20th century, the act of drinking champagne from a lady's slipper became a shorthand for decadence and sophistication.[3] The practice is thought to have originated in 1902 at the Everleigh Club, a high-class brothel in Chicago. When a dancer's slipper fell to the floor, a member of Prince Henry of Prussia's entourage picked it up and used it to drink champagne.[4]

Military traditions[edit]

A glass Bierstiefel

Drinking from another soldier's boot was a traditional hazing ritual in the German army, and soldiers would drink from the general's boot after a victory.[5] During World War I, German soldiers were said to pass around a leather boot filled with beer, to bring good luck before a battle. The drinkers would flick the boot before and after taking a drink from it.[5] The idea that drinking from a shoe or boot can bring good fortune dates back to the Middle Ages.[6]

The German Bierstiefel is a boot-shaped beer glass[7] said to have been created by a Prussian general in an unnamed war who promised his troops that if they were victorious in an upcoming battle, he would drink beer from his own boot.[5] After they won the battle the general had second thoughts, and instead ordered a glass imitation to be made.[7]

In a 1972 episode of the US television series M*A*S*H titled "Yankee Doodle Doctor", a black and white film is made by the doctors in which they are seen at party drinking from shoes.


The "shoey" is a ritual popular in Australia where the drinker either removes their own shoe, or nominates a friend's shoe to be used as the vessel. The shoe is tilted and the entire contents of a can of beer are poured into the shoe's opening. Once the beverage has settled, the beer is drunk by tipping the shoe up to the mouth and chugging it. The drink most commonly used for a shoey is beer, however other alcoholic beverages are also used. Australian Formula One racer Daniel Ricciardo has said "If the sparkling wine is cold, then it tastes good. If it's warm then you might get the sweat through it but the cold taste kills the bad stuff... so it's delicious."[8]

The shoey gained widespread popularity in Australia due to a surfing and fishing brand, The Mad Hueys. Dean and Shaun Harrington, known as the face of this brand, have been quoted saying they have been drinking 'Shoeys' from as early as 2002. As The Mad Hueys increased in popularity, more and more public figures associated with the brand were caught in the act. [9]

In 2015, after Supercars driver David Reynolds won the first non-endurance race of his career, he proceeded to drink champagne from his shoe while celebrating on the podium.[10] Also in 2015, DJ, Dillon Francis did a Shoey on stage at Field day. More international media attention was received in 2016 after MotoGP rider Jack Miller celebrated his first win and drank champagne from his racing boot during the podium presentation.[11][12] Following a podium at the 2016 San Marino MotoGP round, Italian racer Valentino Rossi was the first non-Australian competitor to embrace and perform a shoey.[8]

Daniel Ricciardo introduced the trend to Formula One in 2016 when he celebrated a podium finish by performing a champagne shoey at the German Grand Prix[13] and again on the podium of the Belgian Grand Prix, this time sharing it with Mark Webber. On the podium of the Malaysian Grand Prix, winner Ricciardo shared his shoey with his second-placed teammate Max Verstappen and third-placed Nico Rosberg, as well as his team boss Christian Horner. Scottish actor Gerard Butler drank Red Bull from a shoe with Ricciardo at the US Grand Prix podium as well as Patrick Stewart on the podium of the 2017 Canadian Grand Prix.[14] Ricciardo shared his shoey with Canadian rookie driver Lance Stroll on the podium of the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which was Stroll's first podium of his F1 career and Ricciardo's fifth win. Ricciardo credits the creation of the shoey to "a few Aussies called the Mad Hueys", saying that they "basically travel the world fishing and surfing and they like to drink a lot of beer – so that's where the shoey began".[8]

On the podium of the 2017 Austrian Grand Prix, interviewer Martin Brundle drank from third-placed Ricciardo's shoe, but winner Valtteri Bottas and runner-up Sebastian Vettel declined the offer.[15]

The shoey was popular during the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 2016 season when it became a tradition for fans to perform shoeys at games. This coincided with the club winning their first NRL premiership at the end of the season, with numerous players such as James Maloney doing shoeys at celebrations.[citation needed]

Commonly, Hash House Harriers who wear new shoes to an event can be required to drink from that shoe.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Mad Hueys share clip of Swiss Bachelor drinking bubbly out of high heels - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online. 21 October 2015.
  2. ^ "How Stereosonic's drug culture hides behind a playful language - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online. 7 December 2015. Supercar driver David Reynolds brought it to the forefront of racing after winning in Darwin
  3. ^ Schmidt, John R. (2014). On this day in Chicago history. ISBN 1626192537.
  4. ^ Martin, Scott C. (2014). The SAGE Encyclopedia of Alcohol: Social, Cultural, and Historical Perspectives. SAGE Publications. p. 368. ISBN 1483374386.
  5. ^ a b c Hines, Nick (26 October 2016). "The Surprisingly English History Of Das Boot". VinePair. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  6. ^ Friesen, Ilse E. (2001). The female crucifix images of St. Wilgefortis since the Middle Ages. Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. p. 37. ISBN 9780889209398.
  7. ^ a b "A Brief History of German Beer Boots, and Where You Can Find Them". The Huffington Post. 29 September 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  8. ^ a b c http://www.skysports.com/f1/news/24239/10578877/daniel-ricciardo-explains-his-shoey-podium-celebration-and-the-taste
  9. ^ "My painstaking search to trace the origins of the shoey". inthemix. 2017-03-07. Retrieved 2018-04-20.
  10. ^ Mark Fogharty (7 October 2017). "Reynolds Not Planning Another Shoey Anytime Soon". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Jack Miller celebrates maiden MotoGP win". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  12. ^ Jack Miller drinks champagne from his boot
  13. ^ "Daniel Ricciardo asks Mark Webber to drink champagne from his boot on Belgian Grand Prix podium". Fox Sports. 29 August 2016.
  14. ^ "Daniel Ricciardo and Gerard Butler's 'shoey' at US GP". 24 October 2016 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  15. ^ Schrader, Stef (9 July 2017). "Watch Valtteri Bottas Nope Right Out Of Drinking From A Shoe". Jalopnik. Retrieved 29 April 2018.