US 2746178 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
M 22, 1956 w. B. MILLER ETAL 2,746,178
HEEL LIFT FOR SHOES Filed Dec. 1 1954 mm; 5. M/Y/er V/rg/m'a [/afne Mil/er INVENTORS ATTORNEY United States Patent HEEL LIFT FOR SHOES William B. Miller and Virginia Elaine Miller, Dallas, Tex.
Application December 15, 1954, Serial No. 475,412
' 8 Claims. (31. 36-585) This invention relates to footwear and more particularly to certain improvements in that type of shoe designed to expose the heel of the wearer.
In recent years a popular style of shoe for women has been manufactured and, as distinguished from the conventional shoe of modern design, it does not possess a backstay and counter so that the heel of the wearer is exposed. The style is flattering to the foot, hence derives a portion of its popularity but since the design of the shoe provides only the vamp and usually aheel strap to retain it on the foot, the heel of the shoe tends to retract from the heel of the wearer especially in walking. Shoe manufacturers have employed certain appurtenances built into or attached to the shoe designed to maintain flush engagement of the heel thereof against the heel of the wearer at all times, thus to reduce flopping of the shoe heel in walking and to lend comfort to the wearer. However, these additions have not proved themselves to be wholly efiective and not only is there required, in some cases, a certain amount of change in conventional methods of shoe manufacture, adding to costs but there still remains a noticeable separation of the shoe heel from the heel of the wearer when the toe is bent as in walking, ascending stairs and the like.
It is therefore the principal object of the invention to improve upon other known devices or methods designed to maintain contiguous relationship of the heel of a shoe with the heel of the wearer at all times.
Another object of the invention is to provide a device of the character set forth which is economical to produce and to install and which requires but little if any change in shoe manufacturing operations for its incorporation in or attachment to a shoe.
Broadly, the invention anticipates accomplishment of the foregoing primarily by associating together two identically formed but conversely related lengths of spring steel wire pre-shaped to follow the perimeter of the shoe sole to which the wires are attached and pre-sprung to create leverage tending to raise the heel to a position at or near the perpendicular with respect to the ball of the sole, the two pre-formed wires being intercrossed, at the base of the shank or instep to define a fulcrum for the leverage imposed on the oppositely extending ends of the wires, said fulcrum precluding any distortion in that portion of the wire alongside or within the sole embracing the ball of the shoe to which they may otherwise be subjected as the shoe is bent along the base of the shank as in walking.
Other objects will appear as the description proceeds when considered with the annexed drawing, wherein:
Figure lis a side elevational view'showing thenormal position of a shoe in which the invention is incorporated, when off the foot.
Figure 2 is a side elevational view showing the same shoe as it appears on the foot of the wearer.
Figure 3 is a front perspective View.
Figure 4 is a perspective view of the complementary steel wire frames comprising the invention.
2,746,178 Patented May 22, 1956 ice Figure 5 is a transverse sectional view taken on line 5-5 of Figure 2.
Figure 6 is a transverse sectional view taken on line 66 of Figure 2,
Figure 7 is a perspective view of a modified form of the invention designed for attachment to a shoe rather than for incorporation in the construction thereof, and
Figure 8 is a fragmentary view of Figure 4 showing a pad overlying the intercrossing portions of the wire frames.
Continuing with a more detailed description of the drawing, reference numeral 10 denotes generally a shoe of the design in which the invention is found to be most useful, not overlooking the fact that the invention is also equally eifective, in its present or similar form, in shoes of other design, for both men and women, as the following description will reveal.
In the type of shoe shown in the drawing, the manufacturer usually attaches a strap (not shown) at its ends to the sole of the shoe near the heel to extend either across the instep or behind the ball of the heel 12 of the wearer to draw the shoe heel 13 upwardly as the wearers foot 14 is bent and supported on the ball. It will become apparent presently that the invention will function equally as well with or without the strap and the shoe will remain in comfortable position on the foot with only the vamp 15 to hold the shoe on the foot.
The invention is comprised of a pair of frames 16 and 17 (Figure 4) of substantially the same shape but conversely related. The frame 16 consists of a length of spring steel wire of a suitable gauge which is bent at a intermediate its ends at substantially right angles and again at b at a distance from a equal to the width of the shank 18 of the shoe 10 at the fulcrum point between the base of the shank and the ball of the shoe. From the bend b to its extremity the portion 19 of the frame 16 is shaped to conform to the inside perimeter of the insole 20. The portion 19 and the portion 21 of the frame 16 are sprung so that they will be at substantially right angles. The portion 21 of the frame is shaped to conform to the outside perimeterof the shank 18 and terminates in a sharpened point 22 at right angles to the portion 21 of the frame and enters between the insole 2!) and the outsole 21a as illustrated in Figures 2 and 3.
The complementary frame 17 is, as previously stated, identical to the frame 16 except that it is conversely disposed a nd is shaped to fit the portions of the shoe sole opposite the portions thereof unoccupied by the elements of frame 16. The frame 17 has a portion 24 having a right angular bend c opposite the bend a of frame 16 and spaced from bend c a distance equal to the width of the shank 13 at its base is another'bend a. The portion 25 of the frame extends in a forwardly direction and is curved to conform to the outer perimeter of the sole of the shoe at the ball thereof. The portion 24 of the frame has an end 26 provided with a point which enters between the insole 20 and the outsole 21am confronting relationship with the point 22 of the companion frame 16.
That portion 27 of frame 17 which lies between the bends c and d therein crosses from one side ofthe shoe to the other and intercrosses theportion 28 of frame 16 between bends a and b thereof. These portions 27 and 23 are held in juxtaposition by virtue of the fact that they are covered by the liner 23 which is glued or otherwise secured to the insole 2t). Also, retention of the portions 19 and 21 of frame 16 and portions 24 and 25 of frame 17 is accomplished by the conventional edging tape 29 which extends about the. entire perimeter of the sole of the shoe and has its upper edge e glued or otherwise secured between the insole 20 and the liner 23 while its lower-edge is similarly secured between the insole 20 and outsole 21a. In like manner, the edges of the vamp are secured on opposite sides of the shoe between the insole and outsole 21a, as seen especially in Figure 6.
vIt is clearly evident from the foregoing that with the portions 19 and 25 of frames 16 and 17, respectively, secured in the forepart of the sole of'the shoe and the portions 21 and 24 of these respective frames firmly anchored in the sole adjacent the heel-13 and considering the substantially right angular relationship of the portions 19-25 with the portions 21-24 of the frame, leverage tending to elevate the heel 13 is imposed through the intercrossed portions 27 and 28 of the frames, provided, of course, that the forepart of the shoe is held stationary as by the foot of the wearer. When off the foot, the shoe remains in the position shown in Figure 1.
In some cases it is possible to attach the invention to a conventional shoe. The modified form shown in Figure 7 has been designed for this purpose and aside from minor variations it is of the same form and produces the same results as that previously described.
The modified form of the invention consists of a frame 30 formed of a length of spring steel wire having a portion 31 provided with a substantially right angular bend at g and another like bend at h defining between the bends g and h a portion 32 which traverses the shank of a shoe at the base thereof. The wire continues from the bend it in a curve to define a portion 33 conformable to the inner perimeter of the shoe sole at the ball and is anchored between the insole and outsole by the inwardly turned and pointed end 34 and again by means of a prong 35 formed on a short tube 36 slidable on the portion 33. The prong 35 enters between the insole and outsole of the shoe between the anchor 34 and the bend h.
The companion frame 37 is identical to the frame 30 except that it is conversely disposed. The frame 37 has a portion 38 which conforms to the shank of a shoe opposite the portion 31 of the frame 30. A right angular bend i is formed in the wire and spaced from bend i is a bend j which disposes a portion 39 of frame 30 at right angles to the portion 40 defined between the bends i and j. As in the case of the frames 16 and 17, earlier described, the frames 30 and 37 are pro-sprung to dispose the portions 31-38 at right angles to portions 33-39 of the frames.
The portion 39 of frame 30 has an inturned and pointed end 41 which penetrates between the insole and outsole of a shoe near the toe and a prong 42 extending inwardly from a short tube 43, slidable on the portion 39 to also engage the shoe between the insole and outsole to hold the portions 33-39 in position. The portions 31-38 of the frames 30 and 37 are secured to the shoe by inturned and pointed ends 44 and 45, respectively, which are like wise inserted between the insole and outsole of the shoe.
The intercrossed portions 32 and 40 of the frames 30 and 37, respectively, are held against separation by means of a tube 46 but this tube does not interfere with the torque assumed by the transverse portions 32 and 40 as they yield to the flexing action of the end portions 31-38 and 33-39 of the frames which is brought about by walking in the shoe to which the frames 30 and 37 are attached in the manner explained.
The modified form of the invention has the functional effect to keep the heel of the shoe snugly against the heel of the wearer in the same manner as the preferred form of the invention previously described but since the modified form will be exposed, it may be ornamented as by plating, enameling or by setting with rhinestones or the cross-over portions may be bridged by a pad 47 of suitable design in the construction of the shoe.
Manifestly, the construction as shown and described is capable of some modification and such modification as may be construed to fall within the scope and meaning of the appended claims is also considered to be within the spirit and intent of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. In a shoe, a sole structure including heel, ball, shank and toe portions, an elongate resilient frame structure adapted to be attached to said sole longitudinally from points spaced inwardly from said heel and toe portions and whose fore and aft portions are disposed in relatively right angular planes, said frame structure including a pair of conversely disposed spring steel wires, one of said wires being attached from one end to midsection to the shank portion of said sole along one side thereof and from midsection to its opposite end along the edge of the ball portion of said sole, the companion wire of said pair being attached from one end to midsection to the opposite side of said shank portion and from midsection to its opposite end along the opposite edge of said ball portion, the midsections of said wires intercrossing at said shank portion to define a fulcrum at the flexing point between the ball and shank portions of said sole.
2. As an article of manufacture, a spring frame adapted for incorporation in the sole of a shoe comprising, two strands of spring steel wire, each of said wire strands being formed to define a midportion and a pair of end portions disposed at substantially right angles to each other and to said midportion in laterally offset relationship, said wire strands being conversely related to dispose their respective midportions in substantially parallel relationship in one plane and their respective end portions defining opposite ends of said frame in relative parallelism but in a right angular plane with respect to each other and to the plane of said midportions.
3. In an article of footwear, a' sole structure having heel and ball portions and an interconnecting shank portion, a first length of steel wire attached to one side of said sole adjacent said heel portion and extending forwardly in fixed relation to one side of said shank portion and across the base of said shank portion to the opposite side of said sole and forwardly in fixed relation to the perimeter of said ball portion, a second length of steel wire attached to the opposite side of said sole adjacent said heel portion and extending forwardly in fixed relation to the opposite side of said shank and across the base of said shank portion to the opposite side of said sole and forwardly in fixed relation to the perimeter of said ball portion opposite said first wire, the ball and shank engaging portions of said first and second wires being disposed at relative right angles to cause the heel portion of said sole to be normally biased upwardly against the heel of the wearer of the footwear.
4. The structure of claim 3, and a pad coextensive with and overlying the portions of said wires crossing the base of the shank portion of said sole.
5. In an article of footwear, a sole having heel and ball portions and an interconnecting shank portion, resilient means connected at its ends to said heel and ball portions, the fore and aft portions of said resilient means being disposed in planes at substantially relative right angles to yieldingly sustain said heel portion at a corresponding angle to said ball portion of said sole, said resilient means having intercrossing portions traversing said shank portion adjacent the end thereof nearest said ball portion.
6. In an article of footwear, a sole having heel, shank and ball portions, a strand of spring steel wire having a .midportion and a pair of end portions, said midportion traversing the longitudinal axis of said shank portion at the flexing point between said shank and ball portions, one end portion of said wire being disposed longitudinally of said ball portion and afiixed to said sole adjacent one side thereof, the other end portion of said wire being disposed longitudinally of said heel portion and afiixed to said sole adjacent the opposite side thereof, said end portions being normally disposed at substantially right angles to each other and to said midportion.
7. In an article of footwear, a sole having ball and heel portions and an interconnecting shank portion, a pair of conversely disposed frames, each comprising a strand of spring steel wire shaped to form a midportion extending across said shank portion, an end portion extending forwardly into said ball portion and secured to said sole on one side of its longitudinal axis and an opposite end portion extending into said heel portion and secured to said sole on the opposite side of its longitudinal axis, said end portions being disposed at right angles to each other and to said midportion to cause said heel and ball portions of said sole to yieldingly assume relative positions at substantially right angles.
8. In an article of footwear, a sole having ball and heel portions and an interconnecting shank portion, a strand of spring steel wire shaped to form a midportion and two end portions disposed at right angles to each other and to said midportion, one of said end portions being connected to said ball portion of said sole on one side of its longitudinal axis, the opposite end portion of said wire being connected to said heel portion of said sole on the opposite side of its longitudinal axis, said midportion of said wire extending transversely across the shank portion of said sole and on which is imposed torsional stresses when the angular relationship between said end portions are changed when said ball portion is flexed in relation to said heel portion of said sole.
References Cited in the file of this'patent UNITED STATES PATENTS