Amazing. Someone beat me to a buzz word...and my hat is off to him or her. Soft-shoeing is the descriptive term for use of plastic shoes, artificial wall, and boots instead of steel and nails. Another descriptive term is "anvil-free horseshoeing" or 'anvil-less" but that is hard to say (and spell).
Alexander Wurthmann, who is opening the Acadamie for Hoof Technology in Lexington, KY this fall, is offering a complete advanced program in soft shoeing. Alexander is including shoeing with Natural Balance aluminum shoes, though, and I would think that that requires an anvil. (Or should I say, I HOPE it does!)
I know a lot of traditional farriers poo-poo plastic shoes and all, but maybe it is not so far off as we think.
I wouldn't want to be in the plastic shoe business right now, waiting for 20th century farriers to accept them.
Unless I knew I had a really good shoe, the one that is going to change their minds. As always, we live in interesting times!