Sunday, July 5, 2015

Oh, patents! The I. Miller and Sons shoes (3)

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

The Canadian patent CA270663 titled Shoe shank is another I. Miller and Sons patent addressing shoe and boot comfort.

You are probably wondering what a shoe shank (cambrion or cambrillon in French) could possibly be!  The shoe shank refers to the section of the sole at the instep and in particular to the rigid piece inserted at the level of the instep, beneath the insole of a shoe or boot sole. This rigid piece or shoe shank is designed to prevent excessive flexibility of the instep. Thus, it is generally designed to stiffen the shoe or boot, and to support the foot’s arch.

The I. Miller and Sons patented shoe shank presents certain innovative properties, in particular, the capacity to yield a bit while providing the necessary rigidity to the shank. The yielding of this shoe shank is designed to better accommodate the way the bone structure of both arch and heel move during walking, and thus to provide more comfort to wearers when walking or standing.

To achieve the novel combination of rigidity and movement, designed for greater comfort, the invention discloses a device comprising two strips or plates with “slideably overlapping” U-shaped extensions, positioned end-to-end, and further equipped with means to prevent lateral movement. Thus, under pressure the two extension parts slide, without shifting laterally, providing more resiliency to the sliding extensions than to the rest of the strips. The result is a shoe or boot that yields to the wearer’s foot when moving, and greater comfort as the shank is thus more consistently designed according to the bone structure and dynamics of the wearer’s instep.

Below, two figure drawings, extracted from CA270663 titled “Shoe shank”, are included. Figure 1  shows the two parts of the shoe shank slidably connected, while Figure 2 shows both parts unassembled. 

  Although it is impossible to see the shoe shank, that is, this particular patented and anatomic comfort feature of the I. Miller and Sons shoes, another fabulous Andy Warhol shoe perdu is also included below!  

Andy Warhol - Shoe bright, shoe light, first shoe I've seen tonight
What is perhaps becoming clearer is why the I. Miller and Sons shoes were so successful! Looking back, it appears that Andy Warhol captured their known beauty and that the patents disclosed the innovative manufacturing attention to functionality.... and comfort! What a winning shoe combo!

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