US 2875533 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 3, 1959 R. A. HAM ET-AL 2,875,533
SHOE CQUNTER Filed may 15, 1957 United States Patent O SHOE COUNTER Ralph Arthur Ham, Lewiston, and Luther A. Jones, "Keune'bunk, Maine This invention relates to counters for shoes and has for its principal object to provide a counter which may initiallybe molded to t snugly about the heel portion of the foot and yet will be sutciently flexible along its upper margin to yield readily to `the heel during walking and hence to minimize chang or discomfort. Another object is to provide a counter which will have a exible top to afford comfort, and rm sidewalls which will hold their shape and hug the foot. Another object is to provide a counter with a iiexible top for comfort which will stillhave enough strength and body to be molded and to retain its molded shape. Another object is to provide a counter which will yield readily at its upper margin but will become increasingly resistant to yielding in proportion to the degree of outwardl flexingso that it will not gape. Another object is to provide a counter which will ,shrink to the inside as it dries so as to compensate for swelling due to moisture introduced during processing or from perspiration when the shoe is worn.
As herein illustrated the counter has upper and lower portionsV characterized in that the upper portion contains a plurality of uniformly spaced, elongated slits which extend part way but not all the way through from the side of the counter which will be the outside when the latter is disposed in the shoe toward the inside and wherein the slits are arranged in spaced parallel rows paralleling the lower edge of the counter, which run around the counter from one end to the other, and that the lower portion is devoid of slits. The slits in adjacent rows are staggered and the unslitted portions between adjacent ends of the slits are correspondingly staggered and constitute discontinuous hinges which afford a maximum of exibility without loss of strength so that molding may be attained with greater uniformity and fidelity than would otherwise be possible. Preferably the spacing between slits and between lines of slits is proportioned so that the unslitted diagonals heightwise of the counter between any adjacent rows of slits heightwise of the counter is in the order of 30 to the lower edge of the counter. Each slit is wedge-shaped so that flexing toward the inside meets less resistance than exing toward the outside and is adapted to take up and retain adhesive applied thereto when assembled during shoe making which will impart permanent flexibility thereto.
The invention will now be described in greater detail with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:
Fig. 1 is a plan view of the counter in the flat prior to molding;
Fig. 2 is an enlarged section taken on the' line 2 2 of Fig. l;
Fig. 3 is a perspective View of the counter after moldine;
Fig. 4 is a section taken on the line 4-4 of Fig. 3, to much larger scale, showing the margin in its normal position in full' lines and opened up in dot and dash lines;
Fig. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary section of the counter Showing the normal shape of a single slit lled with an adhesive as it would be when incorporated inthe shoe, the adjacent parts of the shoe being omitted; Fig. 6 is a corresponding section of the counter showing the shape of a single slit when, for example, the counter portion has been distendedas illustrated in the dot and dash lines in Fig. 4; and
Fig. 7 is a vertical section through the counter portion of a shoe showing the counter assembled between an upper and lining.
Referring to the drawings, the counter 10 is shown as a flat blank, prior to molding,v which is cut out of a suitable material such as a flexible fiberboard, it being understood however that any material susceptible of molding and retaining its shape so as to provide the desired stiffness and permanence to the back part of the shoe may be employed.
The blank has a relatively stili body or sidewall portion 12 and a ilexible margin or top portion 14. Flexibility is imparted to the top porti-on, as herein shown, by skiving that portion to provide a wide thin scarf on the sideV 16 which in the molded counter will be the inner side of the counter. The scarf extends from approximately the line aa. (Fig. l), upwardly to its top edge. Alth-ough the scarf is illustrated as being on the inner` side it is to be understood that it may be on the outer side if desired. The top portion is made flexible by cutting into the outer side 18 a plurality of uniformly spaced slits 22 arranged in spaced parallel lines 20, the lines and slits paralleling the line a-a. The slits 22 in adjacent rows` are.. staggered so that a slit in one row` lies laterally of and between the adjacent ends of a pair Iof adjacent slits in the next row. The distance between rows is approximately one-half the length of a slit. As thus proportioned the diagonals between the adjacent rows of slits heightwise of the counter are in the order of 30 to the botto-m line of the counter. The spaces between adjacent lines and between adjacent slits constitute a plurality of hinges 23 which are likewise staggered and because of their discontinuity allow the substance of the counter to be bent readily and to take the shape required easily and with a delity that otherwise would be unattainable without loss of strength.
The slits 22 moreover are cut or impressed in the outer surface 18 so as to extend from the outer surface inwardly almost to but not clear through the inner surface. This allows the top portion to be bent inwardly much more readily than outwardly and hence to be bent to lie close to the foot in the narrow area above the heel and between the ankle bone. As pointed out the slits do not extend all the Way through to the inner side of the counter and the unslitted layer which lies inside of the inner extremities of the slits resists bending of the counter to the outside and hence gaping of the counter at the top. This unbroken inner surface also tends to shrink to a greater extent than the broken outer surface so as to promote a drawing inwardly of the counter walls as they dry. Resistance to outward bending increases with opening of the counter due to the resistance of the Wedgeshaped slits (Figs. 5 and 6) t-o closing and thus further helps to prevent gaping. Preferably the cuts are made so as to be right triangular with the right angle base of the triangle at the lower outer side with respect to the top and bottom edges of the counter.
The slits are made by subjecting the counter blank while at to a gang of spaced disk-like cutters which have chiseleshaped cutting teeth suitably spaced about their periphery and staggered in adjacent disks so that when the blank supported by a bed plate is passed beneath the gang cuts of the kind described and shown in Figs. 1 to 6 inclusive, will be made in the flat blank substantially parallel to its lower edge. Suitable adjustments are, of course, provided for the gang for varying the depth of the slits and for taking care of dierent thickness of counter material.
After the blank has been (subjected to the slitting opera- ,tion it is molded `to impart to it the shape shown in Fig. 3, in which the back part is cupped to snugly engage ,the heel tendon, that is, the narrow area above the heel and below the ankle bone and the forwardly ex tending wings or quarter portions are inwardly concaved l so that the upper edges along the sidewalls closely embrace the sides of the heel. An inturned lasting flange is simultaneously formed along the lower edge. The V-shaped slits in the outer surface ofthe counter pro- .vide pockets 22 in the surface which will take up and yhold an appreciable quantityl of adhesive so that when assembled with the upper in the manufacture of the shoe there will be a sufficient quantity of adhesive available to make a permanent bond between the counter and the outer material, that is, the upper. Thus in a finished shoe, a fragmentary portion of which is shown in Fig. 7, the counter is pocketed between the upper material 26 and the lining 28 and is bonded to the upper by a body of adhesive, a portion of which covers the outer surface of the counter and other portions of which occupy the open slits. An adhesive is employed which when set up is characterized in that it is elastic and flexible so that the counter retains its exibility in the shoe and so that in addition the elasticity of the adhesive cushions outward distortion of the counter and tends to cause it to spring back, that is, inwardly toward its originally molded shape. By way of example, a latex base adhesive is used such as BB Chemical Companys No. 1816.
As thus constructed the top portion 14 of the counter is made permanently and elastically flexible so that while it will open outwardly, as shown in Fig. 4, from its normally closed position, for example, when thrusting the foot int-o the shoe so as to `admit the foot easily it will immediately return to its closed position snugly to engage the sides of the foot when the latter is thrust into place. This eliminates and makes it unnecessary for the retail shoe salesman to break the counter down by distortion and/or otherwise abusing it and also minimizes gaping during walking.
By providing the slits on the outer surface rather than on the inner surface as has been done before the resistance to outward exing increases with the degree of fiexing hence gaping and/or permanent opening is minimized. Opening is also lessened to some extent by the presence of adhesive in the slits which acts as a yielding cushion, allowing the top to open but elastically restoring the top to its closed position.
It should be understood that the present disclosure is for the purpose of illustration only and that this inven' tion includes all modifications and equivalents which fall with the scope of the appended claim.
The combination with a shoe upper, of a generally U-shaped liber counter, disposed about the back part thereof, said counter having relatively stiff lower part and a relatively exible thinner upper part, said thinner upper part containing in its outer side a plurality of spaced open pockets arranged in rows lengthwise of the counter, the pockets in each row being V-shaped and disposedend to end with their apices lengthwise of the counter and spaced from the inner side, leaving a substantially unbroken inner layer between the bottoms` of the pockets and the inner side, the converging top and bottorn sides of the pockets being substantially symmetrical with respect to the apices, and a body of elastic and exible adhesive bonding the outer side of the counter to the upper, said adhesive extending into each pocket and separating the converging walls of the pocket from each other.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Holloway Aug. 30, 1955