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Shank support mount for high heeled shoes

Purpose

This support system is appropriate for shoes with high heels that have dimensional decorations, pile fabric, fur, or feathers. Many support systems for shoes rely on a foam perimeter to stabilize the shoes. This perimeter could cause damaging abrasion for shoes with the surfaces and decorations described above. For this support system, the shoe is supported with a custom-carved wedge under the shank and against the heel. This creates a stabilizing mount with no contact to the upper portion of the shoe.

Author(s)

Laura Mina
The Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Tel: 215-684-7578
Email: laura.mina@philamuseum.org
Website: http://www.philamuseum.org/

Lisa Stockebrand
The Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Tel: 215-684-7185
Email: LStockebrand@philamuseum.org
Website: http://www.philamuseum.org/

Photographs: Laura Mina and Lisa Stockebrand

Publication: 2014

Description

This support system is appropriate for shoes with high heels that have dimensional decorations, pile fabric, fur, or feathers. Many support systems for shoes rely on a foam perimeter to stabilize the shoes. This perimeter could cause damaging abrasion for shoes with the surfaces and decorations described above. For this support system, the shoe is supported with a custom-carved wedge under the shank and against the heel. This creates a stabilizing mount with no contact to the upper portion of the shoe.

The wedge support is made of closed cell polyethylene foam that is carved to fit the profile of the shank of the shoe. The wedge may be covered with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) film if the sole of the shoe requires a slick, non-stick surface. The wedges are then attached to a piece of corrugated board. The board creates a tray so that the pair of shoes can easily be moved, and ensures that they will have sufficient space in storage. On two opposite sides of the board, strips of polyethylene foam rod are attached. These rods prevent multiple boards from overlapping in storage, and make it easier to pick up a board.

Materials, Tools & Supplies

  • Closed cell polyethylene foam
  • 2” thick planks and trapezoidal rods
  • Corrugated board, E-Flute or B-Flute
  • Hot melt glue
  • Foam knives
  • Round rasp
  • PTFE film (optional)

 Construction

1. Trace the profile of the shank and heel of each shoe onto pieces of closed cell polyethylene foam (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. The profile of the shank of the shoe is traced onto a piece of polyethylene foam.

Figure 1. The profile of the shank of the shoe is traced onto a piece of polyethylene foam.

2. Cut out the foam wedges (Fig. 2).

Figure 2. The wedge shape is cut from the polyethylene block with a knife. The original pencil line showing the profile has been darkened with a permanent marker after the object was removed.

Figure 2. The wedge shape is cut from the polyethylene block with a knife. The original pencil line showing the profile has been darkened with a permanent marker after the object was removed.

3. Create shallow concave curves on the top and back sides of the wedge. To make the curve, first make shallow cuts with a knife and then smooth and increase the curve with a round rasp (Fig. 3). Test the fit of each shoe on its wedge to ensure that the curved surfaces will cradle the shoe.

Figure 3. The top and back sides of the wedge are given concave curves using a round rasp.

Figure 3. The top and back sides of the wedge are given concave curves using a round rasp.

4. The wedges may be covered with PTFE film. The film can be attached to the bottom of the wedge using hot melt glue. (Fig. 4)

Figure 4. The shoes on the mount system.

Figure 4. The shoes on the mount system.

5. Position the shoes on a piece of corrugated board and determine what size board is needed for the shoes. With the shoes on the board, there should be an extra 1-2” on all sides. The size of board needed is often decreased if the shoes are positioned side by side, but facing in opposite directions. Cut a rectangle of board to the desired size. (Fig. 4)

6. Attach the wedges to the board with hot melt glue.

7. Cut two pieces of polyethylene rod to the length of opposite sides of the corrugated board. At the center of each piece of rod, cut a shallow curved notch.

 8. Attach the rods to the board with the notches along the outside bottom edges (Fig. 4) with hot melt glue. These notches will allow a comfortable and secure grip when moving the board.

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