Michael Jackson's Smooth Invention: His loafer/sock look was actually a highly technical, gravity-defying Velcro boot. Patent: US Patent and Trademark Office

When you think of Michael Jackson, it's nearly impossible to ignore how much of a trendsetter and style icon he was. Jackson's influence on fashion cannot be overstated.

But what you may not know is that the King of Pop was also an inventor.

In October of 1993, a US patent (below) was issued for a "Method and means for creating anti-gravity illusion" (aka Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" loafers, or were they?).

The entertainer's name was the first of three listed on the patent (below), which includes drawings (above) of a Velcro boot concealed to look like a sleek-loafer-and-white-sock combo. It also explains how the limber-legged, pop phenom pulled off the nearly 45-degree angle "lean" during his immaculately choreographed routine for "Smooth Criminal."

According to Soundonsight, in the video version, Micheal and his dancers were restrained by harnesses. But for live performances, the idea of a visible harnesses didn't sit, er, lean well for the Moonwalker. So, along with his L.A.-based costume designers, Michael Bush and Dennis Tompkins (the other names on the patent), the trio created a shoe that could lock into the stage platform and release when needed, allowing Jackson and his dancers to move beyond what is humanly possible.

Patent: US Patent and Trademark Office

While the crescendo in "Smooth Criminal"'s stage performance may have looked effortless, the shoe was much more of a design endeavor. According to the paperwork from The United States Patent and Trademark office much thought and mathematical calculation went into the smooth shoe's mechanics: "hitches should ideally be spaced between the shoulder blades of a dancer, a width of approximately 14-20" apart."

Style icon, music legend and inventor -- Jackson was truly a pioneer.

The patent is set to expire in 2010. We're wondering if someone will actually manufacture the shoe for retail?

To see Jackson and his dancers do the infamous anti-gravity lean, watch the below video.