US 3292277 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 20, 1966 E. J. TESCH ON SHOE Filed Feb. 5, 1964 F|G.6 INVENTOR. [4245 J 7590mm FIG] BY ,wmmnsx United States Patent O 3,292,277 SHOE Earle J. Teschon,-Nashville, Tenn., assignor to Genesco, Inc., Nashville, Team, a corporation of Tennessee Filed Feb. 3, 1964, Ser. No. 342,130 2 Claims. (Cl. 36-71) This invention relates generally to shoes, and particularly to making shoes more comfortable to wear.
Shoes manufactured on a production scale are of necessity made in a limited variety of sizes which diifer from each other essentially in overall length and ball girth, while maintaining the style dictated by the model last from Which the several sizes 'Were developed. The fitting of a shoe manufactured on a production scale to a given foot, save in the dimensions mentioned, is of necessity largely a matter of compromise. It may be accepted as a truth that no two feet are identical, and consequently, although the foot of one person may have identically the same ball girth and identically the same overall length as the foot of another, a given shoe will hug the foot of one person at one place, and be loose on another person at the same place. One of the portions of the foot which exhibits the most marked variation from individual to individual is the exterior contour adjacent the abductor hallucis muscle, sidewise, and downwardly from, the medial cuneiform bone in the foot and its joints with the metatarsal and the scaphoid bones fore and aft thereof. In recognition of the condition last-mentioned, it is almost universally true of shoes manufactured on a production scale that, ample space be provided between the average foot and the insides of the shoe parts in the zone mentioned. The existence of such space at the place mentioned is usually not observable from the exterior of the shoe, and accordingly wearers are seldom conscious of the existence of such space. On the other hand, the presence of such space in the shoe has the benefit not only of accommodating the wide disparity among feet at this area but also of providing freedom for flexure of the foot during walking, for a shoe that hugs a foot tightly in this area at standstill is likely to impose such restraint on the flexure of the foot as to become tiresome, or otherwise unpleasant, after a walk of moderate duration.
The object of the present invention, generally stated, is to improve the comfort of shoes both at standstill and during walking.
In accordance with the present invention, the space normally existing between the foot and the juncture of the sole with the upper, medially of the medial cuneiform bone, is provided with a bland pliant filler. Such a filler is intended to provide no actual support for the foot, and except in cases of foot abnormality, exerts no such pressure on the foot as is done by corrective applicances in shoes. On the contrary, the filler contemplated by the invention is so soft and so small that while it touches the instep of the foot, its effect is sybaritic in that, the sensation produced by it is one of comfortable snugness rather than conscious pressure.
Specifically, the filler contemplated by the present invention involves the use therein of solid-state cushion material which is substantially compressible in response to a load of a few ounces, and has at least a fair rate of recovery upon relief of the load. A variety of solid-state flexible organic foams, preferably with a high percentage of cells intercommunicating, may be used as the cushion. For example, urethane, vinyl chloride, and/ or rubber materials may be used. While, for maximum softness, it is preferred that the cushion material be rindless, it is nevertheless desirable that the filler have a surface which is slick, or at least smooth, to the touch, at least on the side which is to be contiguous with the foot or stocking, and preferably .also on the side which is to be contiguous with Patented Dec. 20, 1966 internal surfaces of the shoe, especially the upper lining. Accordingly, it is desirable to encase the cushion material in thin flexible film which preferably has some, albeit limited, stretchability. Synthetic film materials, such as cellulose acetate, polyethylene, vinylidine (Saran), vinyl chloride, vinyl acetate, ethyl cellulose and the like, may be used. Thin fine-grain leather, or coarser-grain leather which has been plated to smooth out the grain, may also be used. If the encasing material is not sufliciently porous to breathe readily, it should be ventilated, and it is preferable that ventilating openings be so located that they do not squirt air directly against the adjacent foot during walking. I
The filler is preferably so mounted on the interior of the shoe that the cushion has some, albeit limited, freedom for movement relative to the upper. This is conveniently accomplished by securing the encasing material to a shoe part having substantially greater flexibility than the outsole or the ordinary insole. For example, a sock liner is normally made of material which is much more pliable and flexible than other sole parts, and hence is an appropriate sole part on which to anchor the filler. Thus, when the filler tends to move bodily (as distinguished from compressing) relative to the upper, the sock liner will yield enough to permit it to float, and thereby reduce any tend- 'ency for the filler to move bodily (or rub) relative to the foot. For this purpose, it is desirable that whatever means is provided for securing the sock liner in the shoe be. omitted in immediate adjacence to the filler anchorage, as otherwise the yieldability thereof may be markedly reduced. Regardless of whether the filler is anchored to an interior sole part or to the interior of the upper, it is so placed as to partially fill the space which normally exists between a shoe and the foot flesh on the medial side of the foot outwardly and downwardly of the medial cuneiform bone and its joint with the scaphoid. In the 1 case of Womens shoes of the pump and other high-heel types where a long counter is used (i.e., the fore end of the counter is closer to the ball than to the back seam),
the filler of the present invention should be so positioned as to overlap the fore end of the counter, but in the case of mens shoes'aud other low heel types where a short counter is used (i.e., the fore end of the counter is closer to the back scam), the filler of the present invention is located in front of the fore end of the counter. In any event, the filler is so proportioned in length, breadth and thickness that it results in no unpleasant pressure against the foot, and exerts no force which makes the upper gape at the top line.
One embodiment of the invention is shown in the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a shoe equipped with a bland pliant filler located in accordance with the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a sectional view taken along plane 22 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a plan view of a sole member of the shoe illustrated in FIGURE 1, and showing the bland pliant filler anchored thereto;
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of the filler from the side reverse to that seen in FIGURES 1 and 3;
FIGURE 5 is a full-scale view in side elevation of the cushion material within the filler;
FIGURE 6 is a full-scale plan view of the cushion material; and
FIGURE 7 is a schematic view showing the preferred mode of assembling the components of the filler.
In the form shown in the drawings, the invention is exemplified as applied to a pump-type shoe having an upper 1 containing a counter 2 embracing the heel end thereof, and serving to stiffen the same for a substantial distance toward the forepart.
In the form shown, the shoe has an outsole 3, an insole 4, and a sock liner 5, which are herein individually and collectively referred to as sole members. In a typical' construction, the upper 1 is secured to the insole 4 in a manner such as to leave a slight ledge on the inside of the shoe at the juncture between the upper 1 and the insole 4. Covering that juncture, it is customary to provide a sock liner 5.
Asnindicated previously, the present invention contemplates the provision of a bland pliant filler 6 overlying the juncture aforesaid, and extending up the side of the upper at the medial side of the foot; and so located lengthwise of the shoe as to correspond substantially with the location of the medial cuneiform bone of a foot within the shoe and to extend over the joints at opposite ends thereof. Such a position in the shoe is approximately identified by the forepart of a long counter of the character customarily used in pumps. The forward extremity of such a long counter is usually in close proximity to the location (lengthwise of the shoe) of the joint between the internal cuneiform and the metatarsal bone. The tiller 6 is disposed across the corner defined between the edge of insole 4 and the lining 1, which corner is usually covered by the marginal portions of a sock liner such as 5. As shown in FIGURE 2, the filler 6 does not, in its uncompressed state, occupy all the space in that corner as indicated at 7, but, depending upon the contour of the foot which engages the filler 6, the latter may or may not be distorted so as to completely fill the space at 7 dun'n walking.
While the filler 6 may be anchored in any appropriate way to the shoe structure, it is preferable, as aforesaid, to leave it free for limited floating movement relative to the inside wall of the upper or upper lining, thereby the better to accommodate itself to the idiosyncrasies of the given foot. In the form shown in the drawings, the filler 6 is anchored to sock liner by providing a slit 8 in the sock liner at the appropriate position lengthwise of the shoe, and providing a tab 9 on the filler 6 which, when inserted through slit 8, may be secured to the underside of the sock liner as by stitching or cementing. As the sock liner material is customarily a great deal thinner and more flexible and pliable than other sole parts, the inherent yieldability of the sock liner permits the filler 6 to float to the desired extent, especially if the sock liner be not secured to adjacent sole parts in the immediate neighborhood of tab 9.
The filler 6, in the embodiment shown, includes a swatch of cushion material 11 which may be made of urethane, vinyl chloride, natural rubber or other rubberlike, flexible foam. A typical material is vinyl chloride foam Whose cells are substantially all interconnected, having a density of 6.9 pounds per cubic foot, having a compression set (50% compression at 70 C.) value of nine (i.e., 91% recovery), and under Indentation Load Deflection Tests yielded the following results:
Pounds Percentage Indentation To Com- To Mainpress tam of about ten to twenty thousandths of an inch. The
sheeting material is stretchable to a limited extent albeit preferably thermoplastic at least to the extent that it heat seals with itself.
In the filler assembling operation shown in FIGURE 7, the sheeting material is supplied in two pieces 12 and 13 to a die set including a male die 14 and a female die 1 15 which cut, conform and heat-seal the cutout portions of pieces 12 and 13 about the cushion swatch 11. Die.
14 has a concavity 16 in its lower face, and die 15 has a complemental concavity 17 in its upper face. The respective concavities accommodate slightly less than half the volume of the completed filler shown in FIGURES l, 2, 3 and 4. The one of pieces 12 and 13 which is to be contiguous with the upper lining is preferably pre-perforated with a succession of holes 18; and when the filler is to be stitched to a sole member, a swatch 19 of woven fabric is pre-secured to at least one of pieces 12 and 13, in such position that it ultimately lies within tab 9.
Female die 15 has an upstanding peripheral cutting.
edge 21, and therewithin (at least two thicknesses of cover material below the edge) there is a ledge 22 circumscribing the concavity 17. The inner periphery of ledge 22 is no greater, and preferably slightly less than, the outer periphery of swatch 11. The other periphery of male die 14 fits in shearing relationship with edge 21 of die 15,
and, surrounding concavity 16, die 14 has a ledge 23. of
size and shape corresponding to ledge 22. Each of dies 14 and 15 is equipped with means for heating the respective ledges 22 and 23 to a temperature sufiicient to heatseal the pieces 12 and 13 together at those increments which are between ledges 22 and 23.
With the several parts aligned as shown in FIGURE 7, the dies are brought together and at one stroke, cut out the pieces 12 and 13 conform them and cushion 11 to the concavities 16 and 17, and heat-seal the cut margins of pieces 12 and 13 together. The encasing operation subjects the encased cushion swatch 11 to suflicient compression to maintain the cover taut and free of wrinkles.
When the material of which the cover is made is substantially pervious to air, it is unnecessary to ventilate it, as by the provision of a series of holes 18. Such ventilation may also be accomplished by a line of stitching 20 employed to secure the tab 9 to the sock liner 5. In
any event, the ventilation of the case enables the filler to respond quickly, by compressing and expanding itself to accommodate momentary pressure applied by the foot,
and released, repeatedly during walking without notice- I able variation of the pressure exerted by the filler.
The filler of the present invention is not intended,
and is not constructed so as, to accomplish the application of such pressures to loci on a foot as to have cor-.
In other words, it is not an orthopedic device, but, on the contrary, its effect rective elfect upon an abnormality.
is purely sensual, applying no more than a gentle touch to the foot at the locus aforesaid, but creating the effect,
best described by one wearer, of making the shoe feel as,
if it fits like a glove.
From the foregoing description, those skilled in the art should readily understand the construction and operation of the invention, and realize that it accomplishes its objects. While one complete embodiment of the invention has been disclosed in detail, it is to be distinctly understood that the invention is not limited to the details of the foregoing disclosure, but, on the contrary, such modifications and variations thereof as may suggest themselves to those skilled in the art, without departing from the.
spirit of the invention, are contemplated by and within the scope of the appended claims.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1, In a shoe, having a sole member and upper defining an instep portion, and a cushion extending upwardly from the sole member and being exposed on the inside of the upper at the instep portion, said cushion overlying the junction between the sole member and the upper and terminating substantially below the top line of the shoe, said cushion having a length substantially less than the maximum width of the sole member, a width substantially less than the minimum width of the sole member and a thickness, when free of load, not substantially greater than about half its width, said cushion being floatingly attached to the sole member and free of direct attachment to the upper whereby said cushion is free for limited movement lengthwise of the sole member.
2. The combination with a shoe having a sole member and an upper of a blandly pliant cushion extending angularly with the sole member and with the upper, said cushion being disposed to overlie the junction between said sole and upper on the interior of the shoe, and said cushion being floatingly attached to the sole member and free of direct attachment to the upper whereby said cushion is free for limited movement lengthwise of the sole member.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,676,162 3/ 1928 Schiller 128-594 1,926,033 9/1933 Bynum 128-581 2,061,540 11/1936 MacDonald et al. 128-581 X 2,312,911 3/1943 Jewtraw 367l 2,464,159 3/1949 Simons 128610 2,562,514 7/1951 Sibulkin et al 128581 X 2,878,593 3/1959 Lockridge 1286l0 FOREIGN PATENTS 527,725 4/ 1954 Belgium.
JORDAN FRANKLIN, Primary Examiner.
G. V. LARKIN, Assistant Examiner.