Formula 1 have trademarked the ‘shoey’ — an act sacred to Australian celebration — in an effort to cash in on merchandise.
For those unaware, doing a shoey involves pouring liquor into a shoe (yours only, using a back-up isn’t fair play) and skolling it in revelry. The act has appeared many times throughout history. Russians in the 1800s reportedly drank vodka from ballerinas' shoes; WW1 soldiers were forced to drink beer from boots as a hazing ritual; and drinking champagne from slippers was a status symbol in the 20th century.
In recent times, however, the shoey’s strongest links have been Down Under. Australian Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo has further popularised the celebration by whipping off his racing shoes and chugging champagne from them whenever he makes the podium. In 2017 he even got Sir Patrick Stewart in on the action.
This caused a spike in global attention, culminating in Hugh Grant sinking a brogue-beer on The Tonight Show.
As The Independent report, Formula One saw dollar signs soon after, and sought to license the word ‘Shoey’ on August 24, 2017 — a trademark that came into effect on January 4 this year. In 1999, Christian Louboutin and Piper-Heidsieck linked to release a package comprising champagne and a wine flute fashioned out of a stiletto. If that product is anything to go by, we can expect Formula 1 to drop similar merch in the future.
For Ricciardo, the cash-grab might not sit well. He adopted the tradition from countryman and MotoGP racer Jack Miller, who in turn began sinking shoeys after Aussie surfers The Mad Hueys popularised the act in the early 2000s.
This year, they even dropped a song with the lyric ‘I’m a Mad Huey, watch me do a Shoey’.
The group were reportedly the first to register the trademark — but with Formula One’s licensing valid in France, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom, it’s possible that the Hueys’ claim only applies to Australia.
To any Australians upset at the news: we advise you pour one out (into your shoe) and drink away the pain.