US 3477150 A
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NOV. 11, 1969 v I SHEPHERD 3,477,150 I CONTROLLED ROTATION HEEL FOR FOOTWEAR Filed Oqt. 9, 1967 O 30 E6. 2. 2/ c 5 I N VEN TOR.
United States Patent 3,477,150 CONTROLLED ROTATION HEEL FOR FOOTWEAR Henry Shepherd, 122 W. Hill St., Long Beach, Calif. 90806 Filed Oct. 9, 1967, Ser. No. 673,797 Int. Cl. A43b 21/433 U.S. Cl. 36-39 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention is concerned with footwear and relates specifically to the heels of shoes, it being a general object of this invention to provide a replaceable heel that automatically revolves so as to wear evenly and that is c0n trolled so that rotation is stopped when pressure is applied by means of a person standing thereon.
Heels of ordinary shoes run down unevenly and in different ways depending upon the manner in which each particular person wears them. That is, some persons wear off the inside of the heel while others wear off the outside thereof. Accordingly, in my previously issued Patent No. 2,300,635, issued Nov. 3, 1942, I disclosed a heel adapted to be rotated so as to be repositioned for wear throughout its continuous peripheral portion. My previously patented heel is turnably retained in selective rotative positions, there being a member engageable in depressions to hold the turnable cap member and prevent it from rotating. Further, said patent recognizes that continuous or automatic rotation of the turnable capping can be obtained through removal of the positioning member, however there is no disclosure therein of means to control this so called automatic function. In other words, my previous patent suggests the function of continued, but uncontrolled rotation. And, in practice it has been found that when a person is standing upon and relying upon such a heel for support, turning of said heel is unsafe and cannot be tolerated. Therefore, the present improvement provides for control of said rotation whereby continued rotation during normal use is assured for even wear, and whereby said rotation is assuredly stopped during the support interval of time.
In view of the foregoing it is an object of this invention to provide a replaceable rotatable heel for a shoe, wherein rotation continues to occur during normal use and wherein said rotation is intermittently stopped so as to assure a fixedly positioned heel when a person is standing upon the same.
It is another object of this invention to provide a replaceable and rotatable heel that is assuredly anchored in rotatable and fixed positions without danger of accidental displacement. Heretofore, the anchors of such replaceable heel members have been such as to permit accidental displacement. However, the configuration of the anchor member or members and mating cavity or cavities, as hereinafter disclosed, precludes accidental displacement under any normal operating conditions.
The various objects and features of this invention will be fully understood from the following detailed description of the typical preferred form and applications thereof, throughout which description reference is made to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a portion of a shoe and showing the installation of a heel embodying the features of the present invention. FIGS. 2 and 3 are enlarged sectional views taken as indicated by lines 22 and 33 on FIG. 1. FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a modified form of the heel shown in FIG. 1, and FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view taken as indicated by line 5-5 on FIG. 4. FIG. 6 is an enlarged detailed fragmen- 3,477,150 Patented Nov. 11, 1969 tary view showing a characteristic feature of the heel shown throughout the drawings.
I have discovered that rotatable heels can be dangerous and therefore unsatisfactory when permitted to continuously rotate, and that the two members which characterize such heels do not promote rotation of the revolvable member when fabricated of similar materials, due to the adverse affects inherent in the principals of frictional coefiiciency. For example, rubber or like elastomers are employed in the fabrication of heel members, preferably the same or at least similar material for both members, and as a consequence the rotatable member does not ordinarily and in itself rotate freely in the stationary base member. Therefore, and in accordance with the invention, a lubricant 10 is applied to one or both members and/or deposited therebetween in order to create the anti-friction function necessary to permit relative rotation between the two said members. In practice, I employ liquid silocone and/ or graphite as a grease or lubricant 10 (see enlarged FIG. 6) that establishes the freedom desired, as a result of a relatively low coeflicient of friction, permitting relative movement between the two members.
The invention involves footwear in the form of a shoe S that involves a top 11 and a sole 12, the heel member A being suitably fastened to the sole 12 as by gluing and nailing, and the like. As shown, the heel involves the base member A and cap member B, and the clutch-anchor C incorporated therein. The base member A is part of or may be directly carried by the sole 12 of the shoe S, and the cap member B is rotatably and controllably secured to the base A by the clutch-anchor C.
The heel which is characterized by the two members involves, generally, a base member A, cap member B, and a clutch-anchor C extending from one member and projecting into the other member to control rotation between the members and/or to releasably connect them. The base member A is permanently attached to the heel portion of the shoe, while the cap member B is replaceably retained in and/or to the base member by means of the clutch-anchor. A characteristic feature of the present invention is that the cap member, at least, is made of an elastomer or the like and that changes configuration upon the application of applied weight, in order to engage the clutch-anchor C that is operative between the two members A and -B.
The base member A is a body of suitably durable material adapted to the making of a heel, preferably a rubber-like elastomer. As is typical of heel shapes, the base member A has flat and substantially parallel top and bottomfaces 15 and 16, opposite sides 17, and a front and back 18 and 19. The top face 15 is preferably concaved so as to receive the natural curvature of the heel of the sole 12, while the bottom face 16 is planar so as to engage flatly upon a supporting surface such as the ground or floor, etc. The sides 17 are substantially parallel and in practice are dressed so as to correspond to and merge with the sides of the sole 12 at the heel portion of the shoe. The front 18 is simply transversely disposed, preferably concaved, while the back 19 is semi-circular and in practice dressed so as to correspond to and merge with the back of the heel 12 and also with the above mentioned sides 17; all is clearly illustrated in the drawings.
In accordance with this invention the base member A is provided with a recess at the back thereof for the reception of and to be fully occupied by the cap member B. The said recess is defined by a fiat seat 20 in a plane parallel to and offset upwardly from the bottom face 16, and by a concaved semi-circular wall 21 diametrically opposite and complementary to the back 19. The said wall 21 and back 19 together describe a circular area which defines the circumference of the seat 20. Consequently, the said recess as defined by the seat 20 and wall 21 is circular, with a rearwardly disposed abutment the height of the offset of seat 20, and open rearwardly as well as downwardly.
The base member A hereinabove described is of the type and configuration required for a mans shoe. It is to be understood, however, that the base member can be without a recess and in FIG. of the drawings I have shown such a base member A as would be required for a womans shoe. That is, when a heel of minimum configuration is desired, the area of the base member A is confined to that of the cap member B'.
The cap member B is a body of suitably durable material adapted to the making of a heel, preferably the same as and similar to the rubber-like elastomer of the base member A. In accordance with the invention, the cap member B is a disc-shaped part formed of a resilient material such as, for example, rubber, rubber composition, synthetic rubber, or any material of this type, and if desired the cap may be reinforced with cords or fiber. The cap is a yielding part that is deformable in response to the application of weight and pressure so as to fiow in a manner to releasably prevent turning of the cap member B, all as hereinafter described. As shown, the cap member B is formed about a central vertical axis with a cylindrical outer wall adapted to have lubricating clearance relative to the wall 21 and to the seat 20. The cap member B has a top 31 and a bottom 32 parallel with each other, the top 31 having fiat engagement with the seat 20 of the recess, and the bottom 32 being adapted to have supporting engagement with the ground, or the like. The cap member B is consequently substantially the same diameter as the seat 20 and fully occupies the recess in the base member A, the bottom 32 thereof being in a plane substantially coincidental with the plane of the bottom face 16. Thus, the void established in the said base member is effectively replaced.
The clutch-anchor C is provided in accordance with this invention to controllably secure the cap member B to the base member A, with a predetermined rule of action that locks the cap against rotation when supporting pressure is applied through the heel, and that releases the cap member to rotate when supporting pressure is withdrawn from the heel. The clutch-anchor C involves male and female parts formed in the members A and B respectively, it being preferred to provide a female opening 35 in the base member A and to provide a mating projection 36 on the cap member B. The opening 35 and projection 36 are of a configuration to facilitate entry of one into the other but to ensure consequent locked engagement one with the other. In carrying out this phase of the invention the opening 35 is formed concentrically of the seat 20 and is provided with an enlarged upwardly convergent chamber. Said chamber presents upwardly disposed internal shoulders 37 at the sides of the opening and presents inwardly tapered internal sides 38. I
The projection 36 is formed concentrically of the discshaped cap member B and it is provided with an enlarged upwardly convergent head. Said head presents downwardly disposed external shoulders 39 at the sides of the projection and presents inwardly tapered external sides 40. The said shoulders and sides of the opening 35 and projection 36 are complementary respectively, with lubricating clearance therebetween. And, in practice, the opening 35 and projection 36 are of circular form so as to extend continuously and circumferentially around the peripherial portion of the heel structure.
From the foregoing it will be seen that the opening 35 and projection 36 configurations are integrally formed in the two members A and B, molded for example of the same or similar elastomer materials. The manufactured fit between the two members A and B is such as to provide clearance for lubrication, and the shouldered engagement of the clutch-anchor C is limited as shown. Therefore, assembly is made feasible due to the flow made possible with the elastomer, especially with the elastomer forming the disc-shaped member B which directly receives the supporting pressures that are applied when a person applies his body weight to the heel. Accordingly, the shore hardness of the elastomer is such as to provide substantial response to the pressure ordinarily applied and with the result that the projection 36 swells so as to forcibly occupy the opening 35, and the outer wall 30 swells so as-to forcibly engage the wall 21. Consequently, the members A and B fit and engage tightly when supportin pressure is applied to the heel, thereby frictionally engaging the two members in a manner to prevent rotation therebetween. However, during the initial application of and during the terminal withdrawal of said supporting pressure there are intervals of time when the clutching action is released and during which inherent twisting action is caused by movements of the wearer of the shoe, incrementally turns the disc member B, and which by repeated applications and withdrawals of pressure results in the slow but inevitable automatic progressive turning of the rotatable heel.
Having described only a typical preferred form and application of my invention, I do not wish to be limited or restricted to the specific details herein set forth, but wish to reserve to myself any modifications or variations that may appear to those skilled in the art:
Having described my invention, I claim:
1. A controlled rotation heel for shoes and including, a base member for fixed attachment to the heel portion of the shoe and a rotatable cap member releasably attachable to said base member, said base member having a downwardly faced seat of circular configuration and said cap member being complementary to and having a top rotatably engaged with said seat, and female and male parts integrally formed as a part of and concentrically in and on the two members respectively, the female part having an enlarged opening and the male part having an enlarged head complementary to and releasably engaged in said opening, at least one of said members being formed of soft elastomer material operative to flow upon the application of supporting pressure thereto and to swell said part thereof and frictionally engaged the said part of the other member stopping rotation of the cap member relative to the base member.
2. The heel including the base and cap members as set forth in claim 1 and wherein the said cap member is formed of the soft elastomer material operative to flow upon the application of supporting pressure thereto and to swell the said part thereof whereby the male and female parts engage to clutch said two members.
3. The heel including the base and cap members as set forth in claim 1 and wherein said two members are formed of the soft elastomer material operative to flow upon the application of supporting pressure thereto and therebetween and to swell the said parts of said two members for said frictional engagement whereby said two members are clutched against rotation.
4. A controlled rotation heel for shoes and including, a base member for fixed attachment to the heel portion of the shoe and defined by top and bottom faces and sides establishing the height and width of the heel and having a recess defined by a circular seat offset upwardly from the bottom face and bounded by a rearwardly disposed semicircular wall diametrically opposite a semicircular back of said member, and a rotatable disc-shaped cap member complementary to and occupying said recess and having a top rotatably engaged with the seat and having a cylindrical periphery juxtapositioned to said semicircular wall of the recess, and female and male parts integrally formed as a part of and concentrically in and on the two members respectively, the female part having an enlarged opening and the male part havin an enlarged head complementary to and releasably engaged in said opening, at least one of said members being formed of soft elastomer material operative to flow upon the application of sup porting pressure thereto and to swell the same and trick tionally engage the semicircular wall of the base member with the cylindrical periphery of the cap member stopping rotation of the cap member relative to the base member.
5. The heel including the base and cap members as set forth in claim 4 and wherein the said cap member is formed of the soft elastomer material operative to flow upon the application of supporting pressure thereto and to swell the said cap member to frictionally engage its cylindrical periphery with the semicylindrical wall of the base member.
6. The heel including the base and cap members as set forth in claim 4 and wherein said two members are formed of the soft elastomer material operative to flow upon the application of supporting pressure thereto and therebetween and to swell the said two members to frictionally engage the cylindrical periphery of the cap member with the semicylindrical wall of the base member.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 995,475 6/ 1911 Mahler 36-39 2,288,168 6/1942 Leu 3639 2,776,502 1/1957 Taylor 3639 3,085,359 4/1963 Rubens 3639 FOREIGN PATENTS 341,747 6/ 1957 Canada.
ALFRED R. GUEST, Primary Examiner