The traditional broad category of shoe-shaped pots (or bird-forms or patojos) is invalid for analytic purposes. It is a catch-all category for vessels which may have had different histories, uses, and meanings. One kind, the culinary shoe-pot, does form a distinctive class with a special use in cooking and was widely distributed in space and time. Previous researchers, including Varner, Beals, and Sisson most recently, have generated spurious problems and have been led to erroneous conclusions. The following recommendations are explained: (1) culinary shoe-pots should not be classified with bird or foot effigies, although they sometimes become effigies as visual puns; (2) they should not be grouped with other asymmetrical pots on the single criterion of horizontal body elongation without considering the other vessel attributes; (3) further ethnographic and linguistic field investigation should be done where culinary shoe-pots are still used; (4) primary and secondary uses of culinary shoe-pots should not be confused.