US 2829449 A
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April 8, 1958 R. G. EDWARDS ET AL 2,829,449
SAFETY SHOE Filed June 11, 1956 HTTDRNEYS United States Patent" O i SAFETY SHOE Robert G. Edwards, Kirkwood, and Craig MacQuaid, Jr.,
Clayton, Mo., assignors to International Shoe Company, St. Louis, Mo., a corporation of Missouri Application June 11, 1956,'Serial No. 590,538 Claims. (Cl. r36-72) tion has led to a general petition, directed to the shoe manufacturers, for a solution to the problemof instep injuries. Hence, the present invention contemplates an improvement in safety shoes wherein protection is provided for the instep in the form of a flap-like guard extending from the toe area substantially to the level of the ankle. The guard is secured to the shoe in a manner which does not affect normal lacing and which does not interfere with normal flexing ofthe foot in walking.
It is an object of the invention, therefore, to provide a novel safety shoe having a protective ap for the instep and which retains substantially normal ease of walking.
It is another object of the invention to provide a novel safety shoe provided with a guard for the instep, which guard includes a semi-flexible shell adapted to conform to the instep under stress.
It is another object of the invention to provide a novel safety shoe which incorporates an elongated guard for the instep, the lower end of the guard receiving support from a box toe construction.
It is another object of the invention to provide a novel safety shoe having a flap-like guardfor the instep, the guard -being adapted to cover the normal shoe 1aces.
-It is another object of the invention to provide a novel instep guard for work shoes which may be secured to a shoe as a final step in the construction thereof.
The foregoing,.along with additional objects and advantages, will be apparent from the following description of a specific embodiment of the invention, as illus- `trated in the accompanying drawing, in which:
Figure l is a perspective view showing a left-hand front view of a safety shoe constructed in conformance with the present invention;
Figure 2 is a view similar to Figure l, but showing a right-hand front view of the shoe;
Figure 3 is a top plan view of a removed guard iiap assembly;
Figures 4, 5 and 6 are sectional views taken generally along the lines 4 4, 5-5 and 6-6, respectively, of Figure 3; and
Figure 7 is a perspective view of a removed shell.
Directing attention more particularly to the details of the drawing through mention of the reference characters shown thereon, the numeral 10 designates generally a safety shoe which incorporates the teachings of the present invention. For the most part, the safety shoe 10 is of conventional work shoe construction requiring Patented Apr. 8, 1958 ICC no description here. It is worthy of note, however, that the basic shoe construction here illustrated includes a metal box toe'12 incorporated in a shoe having the usual eyelets 14 for lacing. Although the drawing depicts an ankle height shoe, it will be understood that the invention is equally applicable to oxfords and boots as well.
The eyelets 14 are formed in the usual manner adjacent the opposed forward edges of an upper portion 16, and a guard flap assembly 18 is secured by means of rivets 20 in position to overlie the instep part of the shoe. It is to be understood that the riveted securement of the ilap assembly 18 is rearwardly of the adjacent row of eyelets 14 so as to enable laces to be threaded through the eyelets and across the instep in the usual manner. l Y
A buckle assembly 22 is secured by means of rivets 24 to that part of the upper portion 16 which opposes the part receiving the rivets 20, vas clearly illustrated in Figure l. The buckle assembly 22 cooperates with a strap 26 having perforations 2S forvadjustably securing the free side of the guard assembly 18.
As illustrated in the cross-sectional views of Figures 4 through 6, the guard l18 has a layered, or sandwich construction wherein a shell 30 and a coextensive cushion 32 are interposed between inner and outer covers 34 and 36. The shell 30 is preferably of tough, resilient, plastic material, such as high impact styrene resin, for example, and has suilcient stiffness to provide a substantial degree of shock absorption while undergoing a desired distributive deformation.
As' shown in Figure 7, the shell 30 is shaped generally in the form of a saddle, so as to conform generally to the contour of a human instep. In one instance, a shell corresponding to the shell 3G formed to a thickness of Iapproximately .080 inch required a force of ninety pounds to atten it to one-half its original height and a force of one hundred and seventy pounds to flatten it substantially completely. It will be understood, of course, that such dimensions and forces are given only by way of illustration and are not limiting in respect to the invention.
While it is preferred that the. shell 30 shall have suficient flexibility to yield as above indicated, it will also be understood that its thickness should be such as to minimize localized deformation in the form of dents and in all cases should have substantially complete recovery of original form upon the release of pressure therefrom.
The shock absorbing cushion 32 comprises a layer or sheet of cellular, sponge-like material, such as 'a foam elastomer. A dead material having relatively slow recovery for maximum load absorption is somewhat preferable to a springy live material. As is clear from the drawing, the cushion 32 completely covers the underneath or concave side of the shell 30 and is preferably cemented thereto.
The inner and outer covers 34 and 36 are preferably formed from flexible leather and have their outer edges stitched together to form an envelope which receives the padded shell.- The periphery of the shell 30 is preferably beveled as at 38 and the edge of the cushion 32 tapered as at 40 to enable the covers 34 and 36 to be brought smoothly together. The strap 26 is secured by rivets 42 to the outside of the upper cover 36. In addition to securement by the rivets 42, the strap 26 may be sewn to. the cover 36 if desired. Spaced holes 44 are provided in the covers 34 and 36, preferably after assembly, to receive the aforementioned rivets 20 by means of which the guard 18 is secured to the upper portion 16 of the shoe 10.
Attention is specifically directed to the shape and size of the guard 18 as related to the over-all size of the shoe 1t). As is clear from Figures 1 and 2, the guard 18 extends `from the region of the metal toe cap 12 almost to the top of the ankle height shoe 10. The width of the guard 18 is such that it extends completely over the instep and laterally beyond the lacing eyelets 14. It will also be noted that, `although the lower end fof the guard 18 rests over the toe lbox 12, the lowermost rivet 20 secures the `guardlS tothe upper portion 16 at a poi-nt well to therear of thejoint of the large toe.
In use, the safety shoe 10 is worn in the same manner as a conventional work shoe. It may `be laced as tightly as the wearer desires, after which the guard 18 is secured inthe illustrated position over the laces by means of the strap 26 and buckle assembly 22. This securementof the guard 18 may obviously he comparatively loose,Y
it being only necessary to retain the guard 18 in. position over the instep. This comparative looseness of thel guard 18, along with the aforementioned securernent rearwardly of the toe joint, provides complete` walking ease.
When an accident occurs which causes a force to be brought to bear upon the guard 18, the lower end of the guard is supported upon the metal box toe 12 and a 'portion of the load is thereby absorbed by .the ground or other surface supporting the box toe. The portion of the `guard 18 upwardly and rearwardly of the box toe 12 is, of course, supported by the instep of the wearer which must then absorb the remainder of the load force. However, this part of the force is cushioned yby the foam pad 32, as well as by the leather cover 34, and, of even greater importance, the semi-stit shell 30 serves to distribute the load `force generally uniformly over the instep. This distribution of forces by means of the shell 30 results, not only from its original form-fitting shape, but also from its ability to flex and `therebyto conform under load to the supporting shape of `the instep.
It is recognized that instep guards have previously been devisedfor specie purposes. Such devices have included simple leather flaps for turning molten metal, on the one hand, and structural bridges secured by straps or laces and going down to the ground for support, on the other hand. Applicants primeV objective, however, has been to provide a safety shoe having an instep guard which cooperates with a metal box toe to protect the Vfoot from injury in the great majority of potential foot accidents, and which provides such protection without sacrifice of walking ease.
Clearly, there has been provided a safety shoe which fulfills the objects and advantages sought therefor.
It is to be understood that the foregoing description and the accompanying drawing have been given only by way of illustration and example; It is further to be understood that changes in the form of the elements, rearrangement of parts, and the substitution of equivalent elements, all of which will `be apparent to those skilled in the art, are contemplated as `being Within the scope of the present invention, which is limited only by the claims which follow.
What is claimed is:
1. A safety shoe comprising, in combination, a shoe having a sole and an upper, `said upper being shaped generally to conform to the shape of a human foot including at least a portion of the instep, a reinforced toe section in said shoe, guard means comprising a stiff member shaped to conform with the instep portion of said shoe for supporting engagement therewith and extending forwardly thereof so as to receive `added support from the reinforced toe section, means hingedly securing the stiff member to the shoe upper adjacent one side of the instep portion, and means for releasabiy securing said member to the shoe upper adjacent the other side of the instep portion.
2. In a 'safety shoe, the combination of a reinforced box toe construction, a flexible upper including laces extending rearwardly of said toe construction and over at least a portion of the instep area of a human foot,` a guard flap comprising a yieldable shell of semi-stiff material in overlying engagement with at least a portion each of said toe construction and said flexible upper, and means releasably securing the guard flap to the upper laterally beyond the laces.
3. An instep guardvfor use with a' work shoe, said guardv comprising a resilient shell of semi-stili material shaped to a compound curvature so as to conform generally with a human instep, and a shock absorbent pad coextensive with said shell disposed against the under- V neath side of the latter, the juxtaposed shell and pad 'being provided with flexible means extending beyond at least one edge of each for `securement to a shoe upper, the liexible means comprising inner and outer covers for receiving therebetween the shell and pad.
4.. An instep guard for use with a work shoe, said guard comprising a `resilient shell of semi-stiff material shaped to a 4compound curvature so as to conform gen` erally with a human instep, and a shock absorbent pad coextensive with `said shell `disposed against the underneath side of the latter, the shell being of molded plastic and the pad being of cellular elastomer.
, 5. A safetyshoe comprising a sole, a toe cap, and an upper, having a front portion `including the toe cap and the instep part; guard means including a stiff member shaped to conform with and overlie the instep part of the shoe, the member extending over the toe cap of the shoe, means permanently attaching the member to the shoe adjacent thefront portion thereof, the attachment providngfor movement of the member with respect to the shoe so as to be movable above the toe cap and with respect to the instep part of the shoe to permit the shoe to be put onto a foot and to accommodate feet of different heights; and releasable means to hold the instep part of the member in place above the instep of the shoe during use.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,184,013 Pierce May 23, 1916 1,867,036 Strauss July 12, 1932 2,523,494 Boughey Sept. 26, 1950 2,712,185 Corrigan July 5, 1955
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