US 3561142 A
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SAFETY SHOES 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INV E NTORS E R W. STREIT, SR. ROBERT E. BECKER ATTORNEYS Feb. 9, 1971 I H. w. STREIT, sR.. ETA!- 3,561,142
SAFETY SHOES Filed Au 11, 1969 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS HENRY W. STREIT: SR. ROBER'I E.BECKER ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,561,142 SAFETY SHOES Henry W. Streit, Sr., Abingdon, Md., and Robert E.
Becker, Merrill, Wis., assignors to The Weinbrenner Shoe Corporation, Merrill, Wis., a corporation of Wisconsm Filed Aug. 11, 1969, Ser. No. 849,015 Int. Cl. A43b 13/22 US. Cl. 3672 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A strip of spring steel is connected at its forward end to the metal toe of a safety shoe, the strip projecting through a slit in the leather toe covering and upwardly through a metal guide on the underside of the lower portion of an instep guard, the guide being positioned to engage over the rear of the metal toe to provide a forcetransmiting projection whereby a blow on the instep guard is transmitted to the metal toe, the spring steel strip forming a hinge connection for the instep guard.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention The present invention relates to safety shoes of the type worn by workmen in foundries, factories, steel mills, and the like, to reduce the possibility of injury to their feet from falling objects, molten metal, or the like.
Description of the prior art The present invention is an improvement over the safety shoe shown in Wilmanns application Ser. No. 703,- 462, filed Feb. 6, 1968, now Pat. No. 3,470,630.
Early safety shoes have employed strap and buckle connections or the like to removably secure the instep guard in position on the Wearers foot. However, it has been found that where such instep guards are not permanently attached many workmen will discard the same or neglect to use them, thus losing the advantage of such a shoe and increasing the possibility of serious foot injuries. With constructions such as that of the Wilmanns application and Wilmanns Pat. No. 3,082,553, an instep guard is provided which is permanently hingedly attached to the shoe so that it cannot be neglected or discarded. While such permanent hinge connections are highly desirable, the use of a piano-type hinge is expensive, increases the assembly expense, and provides a projecting portion on the top of the'toe which can catch on objects.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION With the present invention a flexible strip of spring steel is connected at its forward end to the metal toe of a safety shoe, the strip projecting through a slit in the leather toe covering and upwardly through a metal guide on the underside of a lower portion of an instep guard, its upper end being connected to the guard near the upper end thereof and the yielding nature of the strip automatically maintaining the instep guard in instep-protecting position. The guide forms a rigid projection and is positioned to engage over the rear of the metal toe to provide a force-transmitting element whereby a blow on the instep guard is transmitted to the metal toe. The flexible strip forms an inexpensive method of hingedly connecting the instep guard to the metal toe while providing for swinging of the guard forwardly a sufficient distance to permit lacing and unlacing of the shoe.
A general object of the present invention is to provide in a safety shoe of the type having a metal toe novel means for hingedly connecting an instep guard to the metal toe, said means automatically holding the instep guard in protecting position.
3,561,142 Patented Feb. 9, 1971 ice A further object of the invention is to provide a safety shoe as above described in which the metal hinge strip can be inexpensively riveted to the top of the metal toe piece and inexpensively riveted to an upper portion of the underside of the instep guard, it being practical to also use the last-mentioned riveting for the purpose of connecting a leather flap which projects beyond the upper end of the instep guard and carries a lacing ring.
A further object of the invention is to provide, in a safety shoe having a metal hinge strip, means on the underside of the instep guard near the lower portion thereof forming a guide for the lower portion of the hinge strip and also providing a force-transmitting proection positioned to engage over the rear portion of the metal toe.
A further object of the invention is to provide a safety shoe having an instep protector whereby the force of a falling object striking the instep protector will be efficiently transmitted to the metal toe piece while the heavy object slides down and off of the instep guard.
A further object of the invention is to provide an instep guard Which has a special covering to render it rust-proof, shock-proof, and to cover the raw edges.
A further object of the invention is to provide a safety shoe which is simple and inexpensive in construction, neat in appearance, and well adapted for the purposes described.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the accompanying drawings, illustrating one complete embodiment of the preferred form of the invention, in which the same reference numerals designate the same parts in all of the views:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the improved safety shoe, the broken lines indicating a raised position of the instep guard;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary vertical longitudinal sectional view through a portion of the shoe and instep guard;
FIG. 3 is a view of the metal toe piece with the metal hinge strip riveted thereto;
FIG. 4 is a plan view looking at the underside of the instep guard, parts of the covering layers being broken. away;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken approximately on the line 5-5 of FIG. 4; and
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken approximately on the line 66 of FIG. 5.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring more particularly to the drawing, the numeral 10 designates a Work shoe having an upper 11 with a box toe portion 12. There are eyelets 13 along the instep portion through which lacing 14 may extend, there also being lacing hooks 15 above the eyelets. Within the box toe portion of the shoe is a rigid toe-protecting member 16, preferably formed of steel, the toe-protecting member covered on its underside by a lining layer 17 and being covered on top by the leather toe covering 18 of the shoe upper. Suitably secured to the top forward portion of the steel toe-protecting member 16, preferably by a rivet 19, is a strip of spring metal 20 such as a steel band spring (see FIG. 3) having the inherent characteristic of returning to its normal condition. The metal strip extends upwardly through a slit 21 in the leather toe covering and beneath the instep guard or shield 22.
The shield is preferably formed of a piece of steel 23 which is dip coated with a plastic material 24 such as Plastisol. This is accomplished by heating up the metal 23 of the shield and by dipping it for a specific time in the plastic liquid to build up a certain thickness of the covering 24. In the preferred embodiment of the invention the shield has a metal guiding piece 25 welded at its ends to the underside near the forward end of the shield, as shown in FIG. 4, there being a space 26 between the central portion of the guiding strip and the underside of the shield formed by the curved contour of the shield. Through this space the spring metal hinge strip 20 slidably projects.
The metal guiding piece 25 is secured to the shield before the shield is coated, and after coating has been accomplished, the plastic material is cut away along the front and rear edges of the guiding piece 25 to allow the spring strip 20 to pass therethrough. The upper end of the spring strip 20 is rigidly secured to the underside of the shield, as shown in FIG. 2, preferably by a rivet 27. The arrangement is such that the forward end 28 of the shield projects over the metal toe-protecting member 16 a substantial distance, as shown in FIG. 2, with the metal guide 25 positioned to be above the rear portion of the metal toe piece 16. Reference to FIG. 2 shows that the metal guiding piece 25 projects below the lower surface of the shield to form a transversely-extending force-transmitting element whereby a blow on the instep guard is transmitted through the metal projection 25 to the metal toe. In FIG. 2 the shield is slightly elevated away from the foot.
It is preferred to utilize the same rivet 27 for the purpose of securing the lower portion of a leather flap 29 to the underside of the shield 22. At its upper end the flap is equipped with a pivoted lacing ring 30.
A sponge rubber cushion 31 is secured to the underside of the rear portion of the shield over the spring metal strip, as shown in FIG. 2. This cushion adds to the comfort of the wearer and also serves to absorb part of the shock of the blow of a falling object.
In use of the shoe, with the shoe unlaced, the spring strip 20 serves as a hinge so that the instep shield 22 may be swung to the broken line position of FIG. 1 to permit the foot to readily enter the shoe. This swinging is permitted by the flexing of the spring metal strip 20. Also, the forward end of the shield is spaced just enough above the toe and is curled up somewhat so as not to interfere with hinging movement. The shield may be held in an elevated position while the shoe is being laced up and during this process the lacing may be run through the lacing ring 30 to secure the upper portion of the shield in a lowered position close to the instep. This connection with a lacing ring could, however, be omitted in certain instances because the inherent tendency of the spring metal strip 20 to return to its normal position of FIG. 3 will act to automatically return the shield to instep-covering position as soon as the shield is released. When in instep-covering position the metal force-transmitting projection 25 will engage over the rear portion of the toe above the rear portion of the metal toe-protecting member 16. Thus, if a heavy object falls on the instep of the wearer the force of the blow will be transmitted through the force-transmitting element 25 to the metal toe piece, thereby protecting the instep of the wearer.
With the present construction the projection caused by a piano-type hinge or by hinge flaps over the toe piece is eliminated, and a very simple type of hinge is formed by the spring metal strip 20, the latter having the additional advantage of inherently tending to maintain the shield in instep-protecting position. The construction provides a substantial saving in expense because the spring steel strip is inexpensive and can be easily riveted to the metal toe-protecting member 16 and to the shield, with the latter connection also serving to secure the lace-receiving flap 29 to the upper portion of the shield. The construction is also advantageous in that the metal forcetransmitting strip 25 near the lower end of the shield forms the dual function of a force-transmitting element and guide for the spring metal strip 20.
The sponge rubber cushion which is beneath the shield adds additional comfort and cushioning, and the plastic coating 24 on the shield may be of a color to match the shoe, thereby enhancing the appearance and also serving to cover the raw edges. In addition, this covering, which is resilient in nature, adds shockproofing to the metal shield and serves to prevent rusting of the latter.
I wish it to be understood that I do not desire to be limited to the exact details of construction shown and described, for obvious modifications will occur to a person skilled in the art.
What we claim is:
1. In a safety shoe having an instep portion and having a toe portion with a rigid toe-protecting member therein, a rigid instep shield positioned to overlie the instep portion of said shoe, said shield having a lower forward end portion overlapping said toe-protecting member, a flexible strip having its forward end positioned over and rigidly connected to said rigid toe-protecting member and having a rear portion connected to said instep shield, said flexible strip being sufficiently flexible to allow the instep shield to be swung away from the instep while normally urging the instep shield toward the instep.
2. A safety shoe as claimed in claim 1 in which the toe portion of the shoe includes a leather covering over the rigid toe-protecting member, which covering has a transverse slit therein, and in which the forward end of the flexible strip is connected on top of the rigid toeprotecting member beneath the leather toe covering, with the strip projecting rearwardly through the slit in the leather toe covering.
5. A safety shoe as claimed in claim 4 in which the rigid connection between the forward end of the flexible strip and the rigid toe-protecting member is a riveted connection.
4. A safety shoe as claimed in claim 2 in which there is a transversely-extending metal guide secured at its ends to the underside of the shield over the rear of the rigid toe-protecting member, there being a space between said guide and shield through which the flexible strip extends, the strip being connected to the underside of the shield rearwardly of said guide.
5. A safety shoe as claimed in claim 4 in which the metal guide forms a depending projection positioned over the rear of the rigid toe-protecting member to provide a force-transmitting element.
6. A safety shoe as claimed in claim 1 in which the rear end of the flexible strip is connected beneath a rear portion of the shield.
7. A safety shoe as claimed in claim 6 in which there is a rearwardly-projecting lacing flap, and in which there is common means connecting the flap and upper end of the flexible strip to the shield.
8. A safety shoe as claimed in claim 7 in which the common means is a rivet.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,082,553 3/1963 Wilmanns 36-72 3,108,386 10/1963 MacQuaid 36-72 3,242,597 3/1966 George et al 36-72 3,470,630 10/1969 Wilmanns et a1. 36-72 PATRICK D. LAWSON, Primary Examiner