US 3075305 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 29, 1963 H. SHAPIRO ETAL 3,075,305
INFANTS SHOES Filed Dec. 4, 1961 12 INVENTORS 511189120 A: I! ll/drill? Sba ou'w United States Patent Ofiice f at-exiled darn. 29, 1%63 3,075,305 INFANTS SHGES Harry Shapiro, 1113 E. Cherry Hill Apia, Delaware Township, Merchantville, Ni, and Martin Shapiro, 7021 Brentwood Road, Philadelphia, Pa.
Filed Dec. 4, 1951, Ser. No. 156,733 5 Claims. (Qt. 35-25) This invention relates to shoes, and more particularly to shoes which are especially suitable for infants at the time when they are learning to walk.
Shoes for infants are customarily made with leather soles and heels which have a degree of firmness necessary to provide good support for the feet. When an infant commences to walk, he does not have proper control of his foot and leg muscles; and until he learns to walk properly, he steps on the sole and the heel of his shoes concurrently. Thus, his locomotion is, at best, rather awkward and unsteady, even on a hard, unpolished fioon.
Now, many floors are sometimes quite slippery, as in the case of polished, hardwood floors, or linoleum floor coverings which have been waxed, thus providing. little frictional contact for leather soles and heels. in such cases, the infants problem in walking becomes aggravated because of the more or less slippery condition of the floor, since he tends to skid or slip on such floors. Thus, plain leather soles and heels are inadequate to insure good support for the infants feet.
To overcome this problem, it has been suggested that infants shoes be made with rubber heels, and even with rubber soles as well. However, a small child cannot wear shoes with a rubber heel or an entire rubber sole and heel without discomfort, and sometimes even harm.
The primary object of the present invention is to provide an improved shoe for use by infants when they are learning to walk, which shoe will be entirely free from the aforementioned disadvantages of conventional infants shoes.
More particularly, it is an object of this invention to provide an improved shoe for infants which, while having a leather sole, will provide firm support and sure footing for the wearer.
Another object of this invention is to provide an improved shoe for infants the danger of skidding or slipping of which, while the wearer is attempting to walk, is effectively eliminated, even on a highly polished or Waxed floor, so that the infants feeling of self-confidence in walking is enhanced.
Still another object of the invention is to provide improved shoes for infants which will permit an infant wearing them to place his feet firmly on the floor or ground regardless of the position of his feet in the course of normal walking experience.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide an improved shoe for use by infants who are learning to walk which will help to accelerate the infants ability to walk steadily.
It is also an object of this invention to provide, for wear by infants, improved shoes as aforesaid which are sturdy in construction, which are easy and economical to fabricate, and which are highly elilcient in use.
In accordance with the present invention, the shoes may follow conventional design so far as the uppers are concerned, but the leather outer sole is provided with a pair of anti-skid plugs that are embedded therein in a novel manner and that extend slightly beyond the floor engaging or tread surface thereof. One plug is located near the rear of the shoe under the heel, and the other one near the front of the shoe under the toes. Thus, the plugs occupy prime positions for the purpose of stability. Each plug is inserted snugly through a hole in the outer The plug at the rear is located substantially under the os calcis or calcaneum, i.e., the heel bone which provides prirne support for the foot, and therefore gets pressure from that bone. The fore plug is located under the phalanges or toes, which are the stabilizers of the foot.
' In this way, the two plugs are effective in causing the wearers feet to be applied sturidly on the floor irrespec tive of the position occupied by the feet in normal walking.
The novel features of the invention, both as to its organization and efiectiveness, as well as additional objects and advantages thereof, will become more readily apparent from the following description, when read in connection with the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view, partly in section, of a shoe in which is incorporated one form of anti-skid plug according to the present invention,
FIGURE 2 is a bottom plan view of the sole of the shoe of FIGURE 1, and
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 33 of FIGURE 1 and viewed in the direction of the appended arrows.
' Referring more particularly to the drawing, there is shown, by way of example, a shoe of welted construction having an upper 7., an inner sole 3, and an outer sole 5, all connected to each other in known manner. Between the inner and outer soles, a wedge '7 may be provided at the heel portion; The soles 3 and 5 and the Wedge '7 may be made of any suitable material, but preferably of leather, which has a relatively low coefficient of friction with most, conventional treading surface-s apt to be encountered by an infant learning to walk.
The outer sole 5 is formed with fore and aft openings 9 therethrough located in spaced relation to each other substantially along the longitudinal medial line of the sole 5'. Adjacent the inner surface of the sole 5, each opening 9 is enlarged to form a shoulder Ill which provides a seat for a purpose shortly to be set forth. The aft opening 9 is located near the rear end of the sole substantially under the os calcis or calcaneum, while the fore opening 9 is located near the forward end of the sole substantially under the phalanges. These locations are considered significant, as will be pointed out presently.
In each of the openings 9 is an anti-skid plug 13. These plugs are formed of elastomeric material having a relatively high coeflicient of friction with conventional treading surfaces, and especially such surfaces as highly polished wooden floors, waxed linoleum, etc., over which conventional leather soles slide quite easily. Such sliding is especially apt to occur when light pressure is applied to a leather sole, as in the case of an infant. The plugs 1? are preferably made of gum rubber, but may be made of any other, suitable, friction providing material. Each plug 13 has a body portion 13a which has a transverse dimension such as to cause it to fit snugly into the relatively smaller dimensioned portion of its opening Si. At one end thereof, the portions 13a extend slightly beyond the outer or tread surface of the outer sole 5 to thereby provide anti-skid, floor engaging areas for the shoe, as shown somewhat exaggerated in FIGS. 1 and 3 for the sake of clearness. in practice, they need extend beyond the tread surface of the outer sole 5 only enough to insure a good engagement with a substantial area of the surface 12 trod upon.
At its inner end, each plug 13 is formed with an enlarged head or flange 135. Thus, each plug 13, like each opening 9, is substantially T-shaped in transverse cross section, as seen in MG. 3. Each flange 13b rests on its associated shoulder if. The flanges 13b have a transverse dimension such as to cause them to fit snugly into the relatively larger dimensioned portions of their respective openings 9. Also, the flanges 13b are of such thickness that, when they are forced fully into these enlarged portions of the openings 9 and are seated against their respective shoulders 11, their upper surfaces are then substantially flush with the inner surface of the outer sole 5. Thus, at the fore part of the shoe, where the inner sole 3 and the outer sole 5 are contiguous to each other, the flange 13b of the fore plug 13 is confined snugly between the shoulder 11 of its opening 9 and the outer surface of the inner sole 3. In the illustrated embodiment, the flange of the aft plug is confined snugly between its shoulder 11 and the heel wedge 7. Of course, if the wedge 7 is omitted, then the inner sole 3 and the outer sole 5 are contiguous throughout their length and both flanges 1322 are confined snugly between their respective shoulders 11 and the outer surface of the inner sole 3. In either case, the plugs 13 are anchored firmly in place, and since their flanges iSb are both substantially flush with the inner surface of the outer sole 5, they do not provide any annoying humps at the insole of the shoe.
As stated previously, the fore plug 9 is located substantially under the phalanges or toes, while the aft plug is located under the os calcis. Thus, the plugs occupy prime positions for the purpose of stability. Since the flanges 13b of the plugs are confined firmly in their respective seats, and the bodies 13a thereof fit snugly in the openings 9, the plugs cannot expand within the openings. Hence, good floor gripping surfaces are assured at the outer or lower ends of the plugs, and they are effective in fixing the infant wearers feet firmly on the floor regardless of the infants tread or the position of his feet while going through the normal experience of learning to walk. As a consequence, an infant equipped with shoes such as described above readily acquires confidence in walking, and his ability to walk is accelerated.
From the foregoing description, it will be apparent that there has been provided an improved shoe especially useful for infants who are learning to walk. Although only a single embodiment of the invention has been described herein, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that variations thereof within the spirit of this invention are possible. For example, the holes 9 and the plugs 13, as shown in the drawing, are circular in form. However, they may be made of oval or oblong form, or of any other desired form, so long as the flanges 1312 are retained and confined as described above. Also, the material of the plugs 13 can be chosen judiciously from a variety of materials which may possess suitable non-skid characteristics. Moreover, the invention may be applied to shoes other than welted shoes. Other variations within the spirit of the present invention will, no doubt, readily suggest themselves to those skilled in the art. Hence, it is desired that the foregoing description be taken merely as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
We claim as our invention:
1. An infants shoe to be worn by an infant when learning to walk, said shoe having inner and outer soles connected to each other, said outer sole having a thread surface and a pair of longitudinally spaced fore and aft openings extending therethrough, said openings being disposed substantially along the longitudinal medial line of said outer sole with said fore opening located at an area of said outer sole substantially under the phalanges of the infants foot on which the shoe is designed to be worn and said aft opening located at an area of said outer sole substantially under the 0s calcis or calcaneum of said foot, each said opening having a relatively small cross sectional dimension at said tread surface and being enlarged adjacent the inner surface of said outer sole to provide, in a plane substantially parallel to said tread surface, a shoulder constituting a seat adjacent said outer sole inner surface, and a pair of anti-skid plugs of elastomeric material snugly filling said openings, one in each of said openings, each said plug extending slightly beyond said tread surface at one end thereof and having a flange at the other end thereof, said flanges being snugly seated in their respective said seats on said shoulders and being substantially flush with said inner surface of said outer sole.
2. An infants shoe according to claim 1 wherein said openings and said plugs are substantially T-shaped in transverse cross-section.
3. An infants shoe according to claim 1 wherein said inner and outer soles are contiguous to each other at an area embracing at least one of said openings and the plug therein, and wherein said flange of said last named plug is snugly confined between said shoulder in said one opening and the outer surface of said inner sole, said flange being substantially flush with the inner surface of the outer sole whereby to avoid an annoying hump at the insole of the shoe above said one opening and said plug therein.
4. A sole for an infants shoe which is to be worn by an infant when learning to walk, said sole comprising a member of relatively low friction providing material, said member having a pair of openings therethrough spaced from each other along substantially the medial line of said member, each said opening having a portion of relatively small transverse dimension terminating at the tread surface of said sole and a portion of relatively larger transverse dimension terminating adjacent the opposite surface of said sole and providing a shoulder inwardly of said opposite surface constituting a seat, and a plug of elastomeric, relatively higher friction providing material in each of said openings, each said plug having a portion which fits snugly into said portion of relatively small transverse dimension of its opening and extending slightly beyond said tread surface of said member to provide an anti-skid area therefor, and said plugs each having a flange which fits snugly into said seat of its associated opening and bears against its associated said shoulder, said plug flanges being substantially flush with said oppositesurface of said member.
5. A sole for an infants shoe according to claim 4 wherein said openings and said plugs are circular in form peripherally and substantially T-shaped in transverse cross section.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,123,503 Durgin Jan. 5, 1915 1,176,647 Bucolo Mar. 21, 1916 2,378,028 Nimrick June 12, 1945 2,550,484 Kaut et a1. Apr. 24, 1951 FOREIGN PATENTS 749,468 France .May 8, 1933 120,200 Sweden Nov. 11, 1947