Moonshiners and Allied Spies Wore Special Shoes to Avoid Being Tracked
In the United States alcohol was banned from 1920-1933 in an era known as Prohibition. Moonshine (a type of strong, homemade whiskey) was often made by bootleggers in the middle of a forest or meadow. So the moonshiners would wear cow shoes like these to avoid drawing the attention of any law enforcement looking for human activity in the woods.
In this old law enforcement photo from 1924, we see a police officer trying on a ‘cow shoe’ used by moonshiners to disguise their footprints.
Below we see special shoes worn by Allied Spies during World War II to mislead the Germans and steer them in the opposite direction. During World War II those spying on behalf of the allies had to go through considerable trouble in order to make sure that they weren’t discovered by the Nazis while securing Axis secrets.
Aside from going out of their way to disguise their appearance as much as possible, which involved the perfect type of clothing that didn’t make them look too English, they sometimes had to resort to trick shoes like these to throw Nazi forces off their tracks. [h/t Kanagawabatice on reddit]