"Cow shoes," made from cow hooves or wood,
were used by moonshiners
to hide their tracks and evade customs officials.
Prohibition produces an innovation in deceptive footwear in 1922:
A new method of evading prohibition agents was revealed
here today by A.L. Allen, state prohibition enforcement director, who
displayed what he called a "cow shoe" as the latest thing front the
haunts of moonshiners.
The cow shoe is a strip of metal to which is tacked a wooden block
carved to resemble the hoof of a cow, which may be strapped to the human
foot. A man shod with a pair of them would leave a trail resembling
that of a cow.
The shoe found was picked up near Port Tampa where a still was
located some time ago. It will be sent to the prohibition department at
Washington. Officers believe the inventor got his idea from a Sherlock
Holmes story in which the villain shod his horse with shoes the imprint
of which resembled those of a cow’s hoof.
– We Wanted Beer, The New Yorker>>
– The Evening Independent, 1922>>
Found via Kottke: Moonshiners’ cow shoes>>