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Publication numberUS493663 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 21, 1893
Filing dateNov 7, 1892
Publication numberUS 493663 A, US 493663A, US-A-493663, US493663 A, US493663A
InventorsWilliam E. Steuart
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 493663 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


No. 493,663. Pate nted Mar. 21, 1893.



SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 493,663, dated March 21, 1893. Application filed November '7, 1892. Serial No. 451,221- (No model.)

To all whom it may concern.-

Be it known that 1, WILLIAM R. STEUART, a citizen of the United States, residing at Chicago, county of Cook, and State of Illinois, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Shoe-Stilts, which are fully set forth in the following specification, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, forming a part thereof.

The purpose of this invention is to provide an improved device to be attached to the bottom of a shoe worn by one having one limb shorter than the other.

Some devices heretofore employed for this purpose, both in skeleton form and solid, are entirely rigid lengthwise, so that the portion which supports the heel has no capacity for movement relatively to the portion which supports the sole of the foot, to accommodate the natural bending of the foot at the instep or of the shoe at the shank. These compel the foot to be carried rigidlyin all the movements of walking and thereby cripple the movement of the person almost as much as the shortness of the limb would do.

Other devices have entirely disconnected supports for the heel and sole. These devices permit the flexure of the foot and shank of the shoe in a natural manner, but each support in that case operates as a lever arm of the heel or sole of the shoe, by which such heel or sole is liable to severe side wrenches whenever the support strikes the ground otherwise than with a direct vertical stroke or pressure, and impose severe strain upon the joints and muscles of the foot and ankle, especially because neither part of the foot can assist the other in the case of such strain, the two supports being disconnected. A similar defect is experienced in this class of devices in respect to the longitudinal strain, against which there is no restraint except the stiff ness of the shoe or foot, and the leverage afforded by the length of the support or lift under either heel or sole tends to severely strain the shank of the shoe, and the foot as well.

My invention aims at curing these defects of the two classes of appliances above indicated, and it consists in the combination of a heel and a sole support with a link connecting them, preferably located at the usual position of the forward vertical face of the heel in the position of a normal shoe on the ground, such link being of sufficient length to permit the longitudinal movement of the heel and sole of the stilt relatively to each other which is necessary to permit the hinge-like action of the foot at the instep or of the shoe at the shank, in view of the vertical distance between the heel and sole respectively, of the shoe, and the heel and sole of the stilt.

In the drawings, Figure 1 is a side elevation of a shoe with my stilt attached thereto in the position of complete rest upon the ground, as when the wearer stands upright, at rest. Fig. 2 is a side elevation of the same, showing the position of the shoe and stilt when the foot is bent at the instep in walking, the heel being lifted from the ground by such movement of the foot.

A represents a shoe.

A is a heel plate and A a sole plate constituting the top of the stilt and adapted to be secured, respectively, to the heel and sole of the shoe.

B and B are vertical upright posts connecting the heel plate and sole plate respectively with the heel O and sole 0 of the stilt, and rigidly secured at their ends respectively to the parts which they thus connect, so that the heel plate A and the heel C are rigid, and the sole plate A and the sole 0 are rigid. The sole 0 is extended at O in the usual form and position of the shank of the shoe, and at the forward end in the tongue 0 it is extended up to the forward end of the sole plate A and there made fast to the latter, increasing the rigidity of the connection between the sole-plate A and the stilt sole 0 At the rear end of the shank part 0 of the sole 0 it is directly above the forward edge of the heel O, and the plate D is hinged at the upper end to the rear of the shank tongue (J and at the lower end to the forward edge of the heel 0, thereby linking the two parts together by a link as broad as the situation admits, and having, therefore, long hinge joints at the upper and lower edge, whereby the two parts thus linked together are transversely rigid and capable of relative movement only longitudinally. By this means, the bending of the foot and shank of the shoe in the natural manner in walking is accommodated by the swinging of the link D, as shown in Fig. 2, while, at the same time, the transverse strain which may be brought upon the parts by an oblique step or stroke upon the ground in walking is resisted as completely as if the entire device were a rigid block, except in so far as the shank part 0 of the stilt sole may have capacity for yielding, and this capacity may be reduced to the minimum at the sacrifioe only of lightness to the extent that the shank is thickened for suchpurpose.

It will be evident that the skeleton form this device, which is obtained by'the specific structure herein illustrated, is not essential to its operativeness, thehinge or link connection between the parts at the bottom, as distinguished from the structure in which the only hinge connection is that which is obtained by connecting the parts separately to the heel and sole of the shoe which may be said to-be hinged at the shank, and as distinguished from the rigid stilt, in which the heel and sole portions have absolutely no capacity for relative movement, being the fundamental feature, and the particular formof that hinge connection, consisting of a vertical link whereby longitudinal as well as mere pivotal movement of theparts is permitted, being next of v importance, and the location of such hingeconn'ection at the frontof the heel, whereby the customary and desirable contour of the bottom of the shoe is preserved, being'thirdly important as a distinction from prior devices. Both the heel and sole of the stilt may be suitably shod with leather or other suitable,

material represented at E and F, respectively.

I claim- 1 1. In a stilt the heel-support and the sole support provided at their upper ends with suitable means for attaching them rigidly to the heel and sole respectively of the shoe, and being flexibly connected together at the hota they are flexibly connected at the lower ends and have alimited range of fore-and-aft relative movement, substantially as set forth.

3. In a stilt, in combination substantially as set forth,aheel support adapted to bemade rigid with the heel of the shoe, and a sole support adapted to be made rigid with the sole of the shoe, and a broad link horizontally pivoted transversely 'tothe rear of the sole support at the bottom and to the forward edge of the heel'support at the bottonnwherebyrelative movement of the two parts longitudinally is permitted and transverse and" torsional movement relatively is restrained. v

4. In-a stilt, in combination with the heel plate and a postextending vertically therefrom to the heel of the stilt, and the sole plate and a post extending vertically therefrom to the sole of the stilt, the latterbeingextended and up-bent rearwardly' to form'the shank piece of the stilt; and the link D, broadly hinged transversely to the rear'end of the shank-piece and to the forward edge of the heel, and normally extending verticallybetween saidtwo pivotal lines; substantially as set forth.




Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4570926 *Aug 9, 1983Feb 18, 1986Gary EnsmengerToe-articulated stilt
US6860034Apr 9, 2001Mar 1, 2005Orthopedic DesignEnergy return sole for footwear
US6944972Oct 7, 2003Sep 20, 2005Schmid Rainer KEnergy return sole for footwear
Cooperative ClassificationA43B7/38