The term "gumshoe" comes from the early athletic footwear, aka, sneakers, which were called that because the soft rubber soles allowed for a quiet walk. Back in the day when most folks wore shoes with leather soles and heels, clumping across a hard surface produced a certain amount of noise. Hard to steal up on somebody in your #12 cowboy boot on a wooden floor.
Gumshoes thus came to represent private eyes, who were into stealth.
In my misspent youth, I was a private eye. I did it for about five years, starting in Los Angeles working for a big agency, then opening my own business when I moved back to Louisiana.
Mostly, it's not like they depict it on TV or in the movies or in those hardboiled detective novels; however, it does have its moments, the business, and I had a few. Some were exciting, some funny, and those are fond memories.
I've spoken to a couple of those here in passing, but I've always wanted to do a memoir of my time in that realm, and while I certainly don't have any room on my plate at the moment, what with the books I already have piled up there, the first of which is due in about six weeks, I'm going to crank the back-burner up and get it cooking anyway.