Shoes with Hinged Soles

There must be a good reason why, for millennia now, all shoes have come with unibody-construction soles. But Robert M. Lyden thought differently.

Full patent here.

     Posted By: Paul - Tue Jan 17, 2023
     Category: Body | Inventions | Patents | Shoes | 1990s

Shades of Don Martin!
Posted by ges on 01/17/23 at 08:34 AM
Not really new.

A half-century ago, I worked at the Reece Wooden Sole Shoe Company. We made (. . . wait for it . . .) shoes with wood soles. Probably the highest volume product was sandals.

Basically: stand on a piece of 1" thick elm; have someone trace the outline of your foot; cut it out with a bandsaw; rout two 1" wide grooves 3/16" deep just behind the ball of the foot and just ahead of the heel; lay in leather rectangles; nail them down; back to the bandsaw to cut through the wood so the leather acts as a hinge; nail on straps with a buckle to hold it onto the foot.

Not exactly a fashion accessory, but they were sold worldwide and carried a nice premium. A lot of competitors were cheaper, but they were just slabs. The hinges made a real difference in use. (In case anyone here isn't in the industry -- they were worn by people laying asphalt to insulate from the heat, keep boots clean, and give much better traction than leather on tar.)

Posted by Phideaux on 01/17/23 at 03:02 PM
Thanks, ges. I had forgotten that great detail.
Don Martin cartoon "The Safe Movers" (Fester & Karbunkle):

Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 01/18/23 at 10:01 AM
And after all, many styles of shoes have, if not jointed, at least flexible soles.

(Shall I mention that great Dutch invention, the klapschaats?)
Posted by Richard Bos on 01/22/23 at 04:50 AM
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