“Cow shoes,” made from cow hooves or wood,
were used by moonshiners during Prohibition
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 Evening Independent, 1922>>
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.
Found via Kottke: Moonshiners' cow shoes>>