Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS2720042 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 11, 1955
Filing dateJun 17, 1954
Priority dateJun 17, 1954
Publication numberUS 2720042 A, US 2720042A, US-A-2720042, US2720042 A, US2720042A
InventorsRobert J Marcy
Original AssigneeEndicott Johnson Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Polyethylene shoe counter
US 2720042 A
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 11, 1955 Filed June 17, 1954 R. J. MARCY POLYETHYLENE SHOE COUNTER 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR Knmgmmwlm ATTORNEYS POLYETHYLENE SHOE COUNTER Oct. 11, 1955 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed June 17, 1954 I I; as; 10 15 i2 ////////A INVENTOR phr/ [J mmy Johnson Corporation, Endicott,

2,720,042 POLYETHYLENE snon COUNTER Robert J. Marcy, New York, N. Y., assignor to Endicott N. ,Y., a corporation of ew York Application June 17, 1954, SerialNo. 437,340 3 Claims. (Cl. 36-68) This invention relates to a shoe countercomposed of molded, solid plastic polyethylene polymer which is resilient and resistant to creasing when incorporated in the heel portion of a shoe.

cIn present shoe making practice a shoe counter is placed in the heel portion of a shoe to fit the shoe to the .heel and the lower part of the ankle of the wearer. The counter is intended to provide andmaintain the shape of the rear of the shoe and also to impart a degree of stiffness to cause the shoe to grasp and cling to the heel of the wearer. Prior to this invention the counters which have been generally employed commercially were made of leather orfibre and were relatively stiff and non-resilient. When a force sufficient to deform leather and fibre coun- 2,720,042 Patented Oct. 11, 1955 yield when force is applied thereto, making the counter comfortable to the wearer while, at the same time, having sufficient body to retain the shape of the shoe and to give support and cling to. the wearers foot. Furthermore, counters made of this material are impervious to and unaffected by. water, perspiration and common chemicals and solvents and they retain their desirable characteristics even when subjected to wide fluctuations in temperature and other environmental conditions. Such coun ters have the further advantage that they can be manufactured by the relatively simple operation of injection molding. Additionally, solid plastic polyethylene polymers do not require the use of plasticizing agents which, in time, might deteriorate or change their characteristics.

The polyethylene polymers which may be used in making shoe counters in accordance with my invention are it polymers of ethyleneand are of the type generally disclosed in Patent No. 2,153,553 issued April 11, 1939, to Fawcett, Gibson and Benin, and may be produced by the method described in that patent. However, there is a wide. range of polyethylene polymers extending from gases through, liquids, greases, flexible solids to relatively rigid solids and only a selected group of the solid polyethylene polymers are suitable for my purposes. As previously indicated, the polyethylene polymers suitable for my purposes must be capable of retaining their own shape as well-as the shape of the shoe when formed into shoe ters is applied thereto, the counters are permanently dis torted and frequently are cracked or broken. Also, counters of this type are adversely affected by water, perspiration and common chemicals and solvents. Thus, when subjected to water they become soft and are readily deformed and distorted and thereafter, 'when they dry theyremain in thedistorted shape and become stiflE and relatively brittle. This, of course, detracts from the appearance of the shoe and is uncomfortable to the wearer thereof. i

1 In addition to the foregoing disadvantages, counters of leather and fibre are manufactured by a relatively complicated process involving many different operations.

These and other disadvantages in connection with the commercially used leather and fibre counters have long been recognized and many attempts have heretofore been made to solve the problems and to overcome the difiiculties, but none of these attempts have proven successful. In this connection, heretofore it has generally been considered necessary to use a relatively rigid or stiff counter sincethe prior attempts'to use flexible or soft counters were unsatisfactory.

It is a primary object of the present invention to overcome the difiiculties heretofore encountered and to provide an improved shoe counter which will provideand maintain the shape of the rear portion of a shoe; which, when subjected to bending and crushing forces, will not crack or break or become permanently distorted and will return to its original shape; which will not be adversely affected by water, perspiration and common-chemicals and solvents; Which'when incorporated in a shoe will fit comfortably and will resiliently grip and provide a degree of supportto the heel of the .wearer; and which can be manufactured in a very simplemanner and can be readily incorporated in a shoe. a 11 have found that the problems and difiiculties heretofore encountered can be solved by providing "a shoe councounters; they must be suificiently flexible to be comfort able but must give support to the shoe and to the wearer; they must be able to withstand bending and crushing forces without cracking or breaking; they must be impervious to and unaffected by water, perspiration and common chemicals and solvents; and must be capable of being moldedby injection moldingmethods.

vThe solid polyethylene polymers used in accordance with my invention can best be defined by their melt viscosity or preferably by their melt index determined in accordance with the Method of Test for Measuring Flow Rates of Thermoplastics by Extrusion Plastometer" established by the American Society of Testing Materials in their bulletin identified as ASTM Designation D1238-52T ter: molded from solid plastic polyethylene polymers In: addition, they have a degree of flexibility so as to issued 1952.

The melt index as determined by the procedure established by the American Society of Testing Materials'is the recognized standard in the polyethylene plastics industry for determining and controlling the characteristics. of polyethylene polymers and persons skilled in this art are familiar with and use this standard. The melt index is determined by placing the polyethylene polymers in a cylinder having a bore of 0.3760i0.0003 having.

an orifice which is 00825100002" in diameter and 0315:0001" in length at the lower end thereof. The polyethylene material is heated to a uniform temperature of 190.0i0.4 C. and a weighted piston having a land which is 0373030003" in diameter and 0250:0005 in length and weighing 2160:10 gms. is placed in the cylinder above the polyethylene material. The extrudate resulting from the first few minutes of operation is discarded. Thereafter, the resulting extrudate is timed and measured or weighed. The melt index is the flow rate of the extrusion under the above conditions reported in grams per ten minutes of operation.

.I have'found that polymers of ethylene having a melt index, determined as explained above, of from 200 down to 0.33, are satisfactory in the molding of shoe counters in accordance with my invention. Polyethylene polymers having. a melt index of more than 200 have been found to be too soft for this purpose while polyethylene polymers with a melt index of less than 0.33 are not satisfactory and cannot be practically molded by injection molding methods. The following table sets forth a group of representative polyethylene 3 panes of .Y f f n' me t in xes, na e t e. waite range and also indicates melt viscosity and other characteristics of the material.

TABLE '1 v fe'rc'eut 1,6 gg y g g' g Viscosity, Tensile, Per.- ....Brlttle [thylgne @1900 C poises p. s..i. cent Temp. Index Polymer (ASTM 1' 33 q Egg-fi ga 1011 H P QT D-746-51T) 260' m? 1 (T 50 19x10 .12 78x10 2 3. 67-2. 32x10 7 1, 600 600 v 2.4-1.5 47x10 1,750 625 100. I 1.5-1.0 73x10 1,900 6.50 below 100 09970.53 13x10 2, 050 675 below -100 0.52-0.33 22x10 4 2,300 675 below I0O.

material. Soeiety r61- Testing Mannin 3 Not determined.

It' wil l be noted that the polyethylene polymers thatcan be used in accordance with my invention have 'a melt viscosity at 190 C. of between 5X10 and 223( pois'es. I

The polyethylene polymers having the higher melt index are relatively softer and have less tensile strength while the polyethylene polymers having the lower melt index are relatively stiffer and have higher tensile strength. The higher melt index polyethylene polymers may be used satisfactorily in making shoe counters for childrens and womens shoes. However; for work shoes and heavy duty "shoes it is preferable to use poly ethylene polymers with a melt index toward the lower end of the range. p V

p In making the shoe counters I prefer to use the polyethylene polymers Within the indicated range in unadulter'ated form. However, a limited amount of fillers may be incorporated in the polyethylene polymers pi'ior to-;'rnolding. Fillers which may be employed include mineral fillers such'as chalk, carbon black and wood flour}; resinous fillers such as thermoplastic terpene resins; and rubber materials such as polyis'obutylene. The fillers should not substantially exceed approxima 3$ /s% by weight of the mixture and this may beincreased slightly towards the lower end of the melt index range. s

The polyethylene polymers selected from within'the indicated melt index range and either with or w bout the indicated fillers are molded into shoe :counters in injection molding machines in accordance standard injection molding procedure.

The following are specific examples of teenagers! ethylene polymers which-have been molded to form counters of this invention; It will be understood that thsfonswing examples are for the purpose of illustra tio'n only and are not intended to be limitative upon the scope of this invention:

Example I The, polyethylene resin DYLT, a commercial polyethylene resin available from BakeliteCo. of New York, N. Y, and having a melt index of 200 was molded into shoe counters having a tough, flexible, resilient, upright wall.

Example II ..T P l t l e n D' 7' 4. l s z'a ld'elit e Q0. of New York, Y. and having a 'inelt arm molded into shoe counters having, a tough, flexible, resilient upright wan.

index oi l2,was mol ded into shoe, countershaving a,

tough, flexible, resilient, upright wall.

Example IV The polyethylene resin DYNF, a commercial poly- Example VI The polyethylene resin DYNH.1, a commercial polyethylene resin available from Bakelite Co. of New York, N. Y. and having a melt index of 2.41.5 was molded into shoe counters having a tough, flexible, resilient, tipright wall. 7 Example VII The polyethylene resin DYNH.2, a cornmercial p'olyethylene resin available from Bakelite Co. of New York,

right wall.

N. Y. and having a melt index of 1.5-1.0 was molded into shoe counters having a tough, flexible, resilient, upright wall.

Example VIII The polyethylene resin DYNI, a commercial polyethylene resin available from Bakelite Co. of New York, 15;, Y. and having a men index of 0.99-0.53 was molde into a shoe counter having a tough, flexible, resilient, tip- Exam'ple The polyethylene resin 'DYNK, a commercial'polyethylene resin available from Bakelite Co. of New York, N. Y. and having a melt index of 0.52-0.33 was molded into a shoe counter having a tough, flexible, resilient, up-

-. index polyethylene polymers produce relatively more flexible and softer counters and the lower melt index polyethylene polymers produce relatively stiffer counters. In the accompanying drawings 1 have shown specific illustrations of shoe counters embodying my invention L- and I have also shown the counters incorporated in shoes.


Fig. l is a perspective view of a polyethylene shoe counter of this invention; s Fig. '2 is a longitudinal vertical section through theheel portion of a shoe embodying a counter of my invention;

Fig. -3 is a perspective view of a counter according :tomy invention showing the same in deformed eonditioh in.,fu1l lines, and in normal position in dotted lines;

*Fig. 4 is a perspective view of a shoe, with the heel portion shown in full lines, embodying my invention;

Fig. -5 is a perspective view of the shoe of Fig. 4 with the heel portion in compressed or deformed position";

Fig. 6 is a lateral section of the shoe of Fig. 4 taken Fig. 7 is 'a lateral section of the compressed shoe of Fig. 5 taken "on line 77; and

Fig. 8 is a longitudinal vertical section similar to Fig. =2 but-showing a modification of the "counter "of m invention that can be used without a hiring.

."A shoe counter 10 composed of the polyethylene polymers according to this invention is shown in Fig. 11 having an uprightv wall 11 formed in a horseshoe shape to terminate in a pair of forward ends 12. The upright wall '11 is shaped "to have an outer vertically convex surface 13 and an inner vertically concave surface "'14 extending from a top or outer edge 15 to a semic'i rcilliir heel seat flange 16 which is formed inwardly of the counter .10 along the bottom of the wall 11. Theheel" seat flange 16 extends around inside the U-shaped counter 10 and has, a terminus at each of the respective forward ends 12. The curvature of the upright wall provides the counter 10 with curved surfaces in the cuboy areas 17 which, for the purpose of this description, refer to the sides of the counter adjacent the respective forward ends 12.

. In Fig. 2 the counter 10 is shown incorporated in a shoe 18 between an outer leather layer 19 and an inner shoe liner layer 20. The counter 10 and the adjacent portions ofthe leather layer 19 and the liner layer 20 are bonded together by cement, glue or other adhesive. which will bond polyethylene to leather asfor instance, the adhesives disclosed in my copending patent application Serial No. 351,507, filed April 27, 1953, which is a continuation in part of abandoned application Serial No. 217,405, filed March 24, 1951. The adhesive joins the layer 19 to the counter surface 13 and the layer 20 to the counter surface 14 to form a heel or quarter portion 21. 1

The shoe18 has a sole 22 which includes an inner sole 23, a middle sole 24and an outer sole 25. The heel portion 21 is fastened to the inner sole 23. The rear end of the inner sole 23 fitsinside the heel portion 21 to overlie a corner 26 which joins the heel seat flange 16 to the upright wall of the counter 10. The flange portion of the heel portion 21 rests on the middle sole 24. A raised heel 27 is attached to the outer sole to complete the shoe 18.

In Fig. 3 a perspective view of the counter 10 shows the back of the counter in two positions. In full lines the counter 10 is shown pressed forwardly and inwardly of the counter. In dotted lines the counter 10 is shown with the wall 11 returned to normal position with the thumb pressure removed. The resilient wall 11 of the counter 10 returns to its original shape after deformation upon release of the compressing force.

The wall 11, though relatively thin, will also return the heel or quarter portion 21 as a whole to shape. The bonds between the counter 10 and the layers 19 and 20 join these parts together as a laminated structure in which the parts complement each other in the use of the shoe. In Figs. 4 and 5 the shoe 18 is shown in perspective view. In Fig. 4 the heel portion 21 is shown in its normal shape and in Fig. 5 deformed and depressed. The sectional view of Figs. 6 and 7 show the laminated structure of the heel portion 21 in the normal and deformed conditions.

The application of pressure severely bends the back of the shoe 18 and folds the heel portion 21 inwardly to form a severe crease 28. After the pressure is released the polyethylene counter returns the parts to their original shape. Figs. 4 and 6 illustrate the condition and shape of the heel portion 21 both before and after deformation. The deformation of the heel portion is permitted by the flexibility of the laminated parts and the return is effected by the resiliency of the counter 10.

The heel portion 21 is returned to shape even if the outer leather layer 19 is stiff and offers resistance to the return to original shape as the counter has sufficient resiliency to overcome the inertia of the layers 19 and 20 in returning to normal position. The polyethylene counter 10 also, in resisting permanent deformation from its original shape, continuously forms the heel portion 21 with the desired shape and causes it to cling to and, support the heel of the wearer.

The above-described embodiment of this invention as shown in Figs. 1 through 7 is for the purpose of illustration only. Modifications may of course be made in the counter or other components of the shoe in which it is incorporated without departing from the spirit of the invention. For example, the counter with its desirable characteristics has been described as incorporated in a leather shoe.

posed of other materials. made and assembled with the shoe so as to perform the functions of a lining. Forexample, shoe 32, made according to this invention, shown in Fig. 8, has an upper' shoe construction plus the additional features. of this invention,'and is combined with the upper 30 to provide a heel or quarter portion 32 of the shoe 29 corresponding to the portion 21 in the shoe 18. The counterisformed with a shoulder 33 adjacent its bottom periphery to form a heel seat flange 34. The combination piece or a counter 31 extends from under the insole of the shoe to the top edge of the upper 30.

The counter 31 provides the heel portion 32 with sup-- It combines the support and shape port and shape. providing qualities of the counter of this invention with a smooth yielding yet tough lining surface providing comfort to the wearer and long life to the shoe.

It will be seen that I have provided an improved shoe counter which overcomes the disadvantages heretofore encountered and which is superior in performance and characteristics and is simple to manufacture and incorporate in a shoe.

Thus the counters are sufiiciently flexible to yield when force is applied thereto but are resilient and have sufiicient body to provide the proper shape to the heel or quarter portion of the shoe and to maintain that shape over a long period of time even when the shoe is subjected to severe usage. Also they are light in weight and can be molded in relatively thin form so that the shoe is not bulky and fits comfortably. In addition, the counters cling to the heel of the wearer, preventing gapping and thereby improving the appearance of the shoe and also the comfort to the wearer.

The counters have the further advantage that they are impervious to and unaffected by water, perspiration and common chemicals and solvents with the result that the life of the shoe is greatly prolonged and the quarter portion will not become misshapen and uncomfortable to wear. The desirable characteristic of my counters will not be substantially affected by fluctuations in temperature or variations in other environmental conditions. In addition, the counters do not deteriorate with age and, since polyethylene does not require the addition of plasticizers, the undesirable results therefrom are avoided.

A further advantage is to be found in the simplicity of manufacture of my counters. The counters can be made by standard molding, preferably injection molding, methods. The result is that the innumerable operations involved in the manufacture of leather and fiber counters are eliminated and my counters can be made in one simple molding operation. Manufacture by injection molding provides the additional advantage that the counter is initially made in its completed shape or form, with the result that many of the internal stresses and strains, such as those in the heel seat, are avoided when the counter is incorporated in a completed shoe. The molding operation also provides a smooth finished surface and the counter can be made so as to taper smoothly and gradually towards the thin upper and forward edges, and eliminate the skiving marks existing on prior counters.

Lastly, the counter can be incorporated in existing dc signs of shoes by means of adhesives and the simple procedure as described above.

Due to the characteristics of the polyethylene counter,

It will be readily apparent that this'in vention can be applied to shoes having components com-' Also,- the counter may 77, it may a'lso be usedadvantageously as a self liner for the ql1 l portionof the shoe. When 801.1866, it may be "made-to. simulate the color, grain, texture and general appearance of existing linings.

This application is 'a continuation-in-part of my copending application Serial No. 223,480, filed April 28,

i951, and my application Serial No. 104,529 filed July 13, @959 which was coperidingv with my application Serial No. 223,480, 1 1 r Mqdificationsmay, of course, be made in the illustrated and described embodiments of my invention without depnrtingtrom the invention as set forth in the'accompanysing 1' claim: r

a l.- A shoe counter made of solid plastic polymerized polyethylene having a melt index of between 200 and $0.33 and a melt viscosity. at 190 C of between 5 I0 and 22x19. poises.

2. A counter for. inclusion in the quarter portion ofa shoe for. resiliently retaining the shape thereof compris} ing a unitary stiffening member composed of solid plastic polymerized polyethylenehaving a melt index of betweenfZQO and 0.33 and a melt viscosity at 190 C. of between 5X10? and 22 l0 poises, and having an uprightsidewall' portion generally U-shaped from end to *e'rid and transversely convex on its outer surface and concave on its inner surface with a horizontal flange formed forth in claim 2 in which the member is of uniform thickness throughout the major portion thereof and tapers in thickness adjacent the upper and forward edges of the upright wall portion.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 49 H r -:-?-'-'1-'--.-.-".-- O 1 -1 3 H 4,153,553 Fawcett Apr. 11, 1939 2,414,707 Barnett Jan. 21, 1947 2,656,622 Walsh Oct. 22., 19.53

OTHER REFERENCES 25 i Plastics Periodical, September 1944, pages 39-43, and

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US40409 *Oct 27, 1863 Improved
US2153553 *Feb 2, 1937Apr 11, 1939Ici LtdPolymerization of olefins
US2414707 *Jun 4, 1945Jan 21, 1947Barnett NathanHeel support
US2656622 *May 23, 1947Oct 27, 1953United Shoe Machinery CorpCounter construction and method
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2795868 *Nov 15, 1955Jun 18, 1957Endicott Johnson CorpLiner for metal toe boxes
US3082552 *Dec 9, 1959Mar 26, 1963Modern Shoe Making Machinery CShoe with pliable top line
US6029373 *Oct 23, 1998Feb 29, 2000Gredico Footwear Ltd.Stitch-down safety shoe
US6367171 *Feb 22, 2000Apr 9, 2002Salomon S.A.Shoe
US6962010 *Oct 2, 2002Nov 8, 2005Footstar CorporationDress shoe with improved heel counter
US8225535May 10, 2010Jul 24, 2012Deckers Outdoor CorporationFootwear including a foldable heel
U.S. Classification36/68, 12/146.00D, 36/77.00M, 36/DIG.200
International ClassificationA43B23/17
Cooperative ClassificationY10S36/02, A43B23/17
European ClassificationA43B23/17