Green’s Dictionary of Slang

shoe n.

1. [late 19C] the debtors’ ward in Newgate prison [those incarcerated begged by letting down a shoe from the window].

2. [20C+] (US Und.) a private detective [abbr. gumshoe n. (1)].

3. [1910s–30s] a tyre.

4. [1940s+] (Aus.) a sanitary towel.

5. [1950s+] (orig. US black) a smartly dressed person, by ext. one who is smart, sophisticated [orig. jazz use; the quality of the subject’s footwear].

6. [1960s] (US black) a black person.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

shoebox (n.)

[1940s] a prison cell.

shoedog (n.)

[1930s+] (US) a shoe salesman.

shoe-horn (v.) [? play on horn n.1 ]

[17C] to cuckold.

shoelaces (n.) [resemblance]

[20C+] (S.Afr. black) chicken intestines, as used in cooking.

shoemaker’s pride (n.) [new leather shoes often creak, thus drawing attention to the maker’s handiwork]

[19C–1900s] creaking shoes or boots.

shoemaker’s stocks (n.)

[late 17C–early 19C] tight shoes; thus in the shoemaker’s stocks, wearing tight shoes.

shoe thief (n.)

(US Und.) a petty thief.

In phrases

buy new shoes (v.)

[1920s–50s] (US Und.) to jump bail.

buy the baby (new) shoes (v.)

[20C+] (US) to act in a purposeful manner.

die in (one’s) shoes (v.) (also die with one’s shoes on)

[mid-17C–mid-19C] to be hanged.

everlasting shoes (n.) (also everlasting boots)

[mid–late 19C] the feet.

get the shoes on (v.) [the drink ‘overflows’]

[20C+] to become drunk.

put the shoe on the left foot (v.)

[1970s+] (US black) to put blame where it does not belong.

put the shoe on the right foot (v.)

[19C-1930s] to place blame where it duly belongs.

shoe it (v.)

[1970s] to walk.

that’s another pair of shoes

[mid-19C–1940s] a phr. meaning that is another matter.

with the shoes on

[1960s] (US short order) of one’s food/drink purchase, takeaway.

In exclamations

shoe-leather! [i.e. get one’s shoe-leather (shoes) moving]

[mid-19C] (UK Und.) a warning cry uttered by a thief to his confederate on sighting the police.