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v Dec. 24, 1946.
M. 9. RICE
Filed Aug. 6, 1945
1771/:[1‘ 5' cf :H .
Pic 5'
BWM/h with‘ -
Patented Dec. 24, 1946
'Mildned‘H. Rice, mammalian.
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ApplicationAugust .6, 1945, 'SerialjNo. 609,137
1 Claim.
This is .a continuation in part of my applica
tion 'Seria-‘l'No. 563,667, ?led November 16, 1944,
sition ‘in a ‘backless shoe, ‘no appreciableforce
could be ‘exerted tending to keep the shoe in
for Shoe preserver, now abandoned.
My invention relates to shoe preservers or shoe
An objectof the invention‘is to provide-a'shoe
tree which can be vvused to preserve the shape
trees and is particularly designed so that it may
‘he used either'with shoes of usual construction of
those which are ‘made with open toe caps or with
of the normal form "of shoe, that is, one ‘hav
ing aback-and closed toe, or which can be'used
out any back except a'strapelement.
with any of ‘the varied styles of shoe now popu
lar and which may have no back and an ‘open
The invention will hereinafter be described with
particular ‘reference to such backless shoes, al 10 toe cap.
A further object of the invention is to provide
though as previously indicated, it is not neces
sarily restricted to use with this type of shoe.
a shoe tree which may be used for backless shoes
provided with a strap passing over the "instep of
Backless shoes are usually made with an open
the wearer as well as with a heel strap, the con
toe cap, and, in lieu of aheel-enclosing portion,
are provided with a strap extending from ap 15 struction “being such as to securely support the
back ‘strap in its ‘proper position by engagement
proximately the instep around the heel of the
of the back -of the shoe tree both with the back
wearer. Sometimes an additional strap is pro
vided to pass over the instep.
As illustrative of knownconstructions a ‘brief
stra-pand with the ‘heel of the shoe.
7 _
I A still further object of the invention is to pro
outline of representative shoe trees designed for 20 vide a ‘shoe tree ‘or shoe ‘preserv'er which is in
expensive to make and (yet is long wearing and
shoes of the type having a back and closed toe
will be given. Such trees are characterized by
features which render them effective for their
purpose but which‘have drawbacks if considered
for use with the type of shoe for which the shoe
treeof my invention ,is particularly designed.
A still further object of the invention is to
provide a shoe tree which may be used with a
wide-‘variety of forms ofshoe and yet comprises
‘no ‘separate parts or adjustments, the adjust
ment of the tree to various types of shoe being
In one known construction a ?exible front por
due to the form of the shoe tree.
tion is provided shaped to engage in the front
Still further features and objects of the inven
portion of a shoe, this front portion being re
siliently or rigidly connected to a rearwardly ex 30 tion will hereinafter appear in the following de
scription taken in conjunction with the accom
tending part ending in a short downwardly turned
panying drawing.
or curved part intended to engage against the
While the invention is herein described and
back of the shoe. In order to securely engage
illustrated in a preferred form, it is to be under
with the back strap of a heelless shoe a construc
tion must be provided in which the rear end of fLe Cl stood that the scope of the invention is not in
any way limited by this illustrative showing but
the shoe tree is supported against the heel end
only as indicated by the scope of the appended
of the sole and will engage the heel strap with
adequate force and without any tendency of the
heel strap to slip off the shoe tree; this neces
sary requirement could not be met by the known
In another known construction the shoe tree
is formed from a continuous resilient strip up
wardly bowed intermediate its length and pro
jecting forwardly to enter and engage against
the underside of the top of the toe cap and at its
rear end bowed to engage against the entire
height of the back of a shoe. The ends of the
?exible strip end in relatively small rounded tips.
If used in a backless shoe the lower portion of
the rear end of the known construction would
spring outwardly of the heel of the shoe while
the forward end would pass through the open toe
usually provided in such shoes with the result
that even if the tree could be maintained in po
In the accompanying drawing:
Fig. 1 is a plan view of the blank from which
the tree is formed;
Fig. 2 is a front elevation of the shoe tree
formed from the blank shown in Fig. l; and
Fig. 3 is a side elevation of the shoe tree show
' ing the form assumed when the tree is inserted
in a backless shoe, indicated in dot-dash lines.
Referring now to Fig. 1, the numeral Ill indi
cates an elongated strip of resilient material from
which the blank may be formed or stamped. I
prefer to use a plastic material of appreciable
thickness as a blank from which the tree is to
be formed, since such material will provide a de
sirable combination of resiliency, freedom from
rust, and is su?iciently strong to withstand hard
usage as well as providing an attractive appear
The downwardly curved portion M of the back
of the tree engaged against the inside of the heel
strap I1 while the action of the body or central
portion of the tree acts to push the rounded end
l5 of the shoe tree inwardly of the heel of the
shoe, thus urging the end of the shoe tree against
ance. A satisfactory plastic for the purpose of
forming the tree is the material known by the
trade names of “Plexiglas,” or “Lucite.”
It will be noted that the blank is provided at
one end with a widened head l2 from which the
toe portion of the shoe tree is formed. The blank
is formed by heating it sufficiently to enable the
the surface of the heel and affording a secure
engagement with the back strap to hold it in
proper position and spacing from the heel. If
10 the shoe tree is to be used with a backless shoe
plying the proper con?guration thereto.
of the type having a strap passing over the instep
Referring to Fig. 2, it will be seen that the con
of the wearer, it will be noted that the strap may
?guration of the shoe tree comprises the toe
be buckled over the body portion [0 without in
member l2, which is formed by bending the wid
ened portion of the toe member upwardly‘ and . terfering with the described action of the shoe
backwardly on the strap-like bodyportion. The 15 tree.
‘ It wili be further noted that the tree may be
material of the toe portion is also bent trans;
used with a shoe having a back, since the engage
versely to its length, as indicated in Fig. 2, the
ment of the shoe tree with the back would be
corners of the toe portion being rounded off in a
Similar to the engagement of the tree with the
gradual curve l3 in order to engage against the
inside of the toe piece of the shoe, whether of 20 heel strap, as above described, and that since the
engagement of the toe piece of the tree is with
the ordinary or open-ended type, without bulg
material to yield readily and is then bent to the
proper form between the members of a mold ap
ing out the material of the toe caps. It is to - the underside and sides of the toe piece of the
shoe, the action of the shoe tree is independent
be noted that the end 12 of the shoe tree is too
of whether the toe of the shoe is of the open or
wide to permit it to project through a toe cap
or front portion open at the end.
P3 Or closed type,
While I have described a preferred form of my
In the form of the shoe tree shown in the
invention it will be evident that various modi?
drawing, the body portion I0 is given an upwardly
cations, such as changes in the con?guration of
curving contour from the toe piece toward the
the toe piece, may be made without departing
back of the tree, the upwardly curving portion
merging into an oppositely curved portion l4 and 30 from the scope of the invention as indicated by
the appended claim.
terminating in a curved portion I 5 of smaller
What I claim is:
A tree for a shoe having a toe and heel strap,
The action of the tree will be evident from an
comprising a one-piece strip of resilient mate
inspection of Fig. 3. The ends of the tree are
brought toward each other and the toe inserted 35 rial curving downwardly from its heel end to en
in the toe portion l6 of the shoe, the toe piece [2
of the tree will be ?exed downwardly toward
the body by the toe cap of the shoe and due to
the resilience of the material from which the
.shoe tree is made will exert a ?rm pressure 40
against the sides and under surface of the toe
cap, serving to maintain the shape of the toe of
the shoe. The engagement of the toe piece in
the toe of the shoe also affords an effective an
chorage of the shoe tree in the shoe and affords
an abutment for the force exerted by the body
of the shoe tree in tending to recover its original
gage the heel, thence outwardly and upwardly to
engage the strap, thence downwardly and for
wardly to the toe and thence backwardly and up
wardly to engage the upper inner portion of the
toe of the shoe, said backwardly curved portion
of the strip being. arched in cross-section and
relatively wider than the adjacent strip portion
whereby to provide resilient lateral portions (en
gageable against the inner surface of the sides
.» of the toe portion of the shoe.
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