US 20020069552 A1
Footwear with a ventilation system in which the shoe has an air duct therein with an outlet opening within the interior of the shoe. A turbine micro-engine having a shielded air intake is detachably mounted on the exterior of the shoe and has an outlet connectable to the air duct inlet. A rechargable battery is mounted on the shoe and preferably is enclosed within the heel portion of the shoe. Switch means interconnect the battery and the turbine micro-engine and has an actuation member for energizing and de-energizing the micro-engine. The battery is connected to a suitable recharging device which may be carried on the body of the user.
1. Footwear with ventilation system comprising a shoe having an air duct with a first outlet within the interior of the shoe, said air duct having a first intake on the exterior of the shoe, a turbine micro-engine having a shielded second air intake detachably mounted on the exterior of the shoe and having a second outlet connectable to said air duct first intake, a rechargable battery mounted on said shoe, switch means interconnected between said battery and said turbine micro-engine for energizing and de-energizing said micro-engine, and means on said shoe for connecting said battery to a means for re-charging said battery.
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 The present invention relates to footwear intended for use in intense activity such as athletics, more particularly, to a ventilation system for such footwear.
 Several types of footwear, particularly for athletics, are known wherein provision is made for the circulation of air within the shoe. Such circulation generally depends on variations of force exerted on the shoe by the body of the user during strenuous activities. These variable forces open close by compression various air inlets opening to the inner part of the footwear. Such ventilation is mechanical and depends solely on the movements of the person wearing the shoe. This type of ventilation has the disadvantage that it is very ineffective in that only low and variable forces are utilized to pump in the air. Further, such ventilation is not at all effective in cooling of the actual foot of the user particularly when the foot becomes hot and sweaty.
 The principal object of the present invention is to provide footwear with a novel and improved ventilation system.
 It is another object of the present invention to provide such footwear with a ventilation system having air distribution conduits within the footwear and electrical circuits within the footwear including an electrical actuation button and a battery.
 It is an additional object of the present invention to provide such footwear which cools and comforts the foot of the user during intense activity, such as athletics.
 The objects of the present invention are achieved and the disadvantages of the prior art are overcome by the footwear with a ventilzation system according to the present invention wherein the shoe has an air duct therein with an outlet opening within the interior of the shoe. A turbine micro-engine having a shielded air intake is detachably mounted on the exterior of the shoe and has an outlet connectable to the air duct inlet. A rechargable battery is mounted on the shoe and preferably is enclosed within the heel portion of the shoe. Switch means interconnect the battery and the turbine micro-engine and has an actuation member for energizing and de-energizing the micro-engine. The battery is connected to a suitable recharging device which may be carried on the body of the user. In one embodiment, the recharging device may comprise a solar panel mounted on a flexible band which is held around an arm or leg of the user by means of Velcro fasterners.
 Other objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent upon reference to the accompanying description when taken in conjunction with the single drawing in the case, which is exemplary, wherein there is shown a vertical cross sectional of a shoe incorporating the components of the invention.
 Proceeding next to the drawing a specific embodiment and modifications of the present invention will be described in detail.
 As may be seen in the drawing, the footwear according to the present invention comprises a shoe 5 upon which is detachably mounted a turbine micro-engine 1 which is shielded and provided with an air intake having a filter or screen 2. The turbine micro-engine has an outlet connected through a detachable connector 3 to an air duct 4 mounted in the shoe 5 and the duct 4 has an air outlet 6 within the shoe.
 An electrical battery 7 is positioned within the heel portion of the shoe and this battery is connected to electrical wiring 8 and a detachable electrical connector 9 to the turbine micro-engine 1. An actuator button 10 for energizing or de-energizing the micro-engine is connected between the battery and engine as shown and is preferably mounted on the rear or back portion of the shoe.
 The battery 7 is connected through an electrical wire 11 to a battery charger detachable connector 12 also mounted on the back or rear portion of the shoe. The battery 7 may be re-charged by means of a conventional charger connected to the detachable connector 12 or by means of electrical energy provided by a solar panel 13 mounted on a flexible band or strip 14 provided with a Velcro connection and which can be located on the arm or leg or torso of the user. The solar panel 13 is connected through a resilient spiral connection wire 15.
 The air which is injected through the outlet port 6 into the shoe 5 exhausts to the exterior of the shoe primarily through the opening 16 of the shoe so as to cool also the ankle and lower portion of the leg of the user.
 The shoe 5 may be washed or suitably cleaned in any other manner after removing or detaching the turbine micro-engine from the shoe.
 In operation or use, the user replaces the turbine micro-engine onto the shoe 5 and connects the micro-engine 1 to the air connector 3 and to the electrical connector 9. The user then actuates the electrical button 10 which is accessible on the rear of the shoe and pressurized air is immediately injected into the interior of the shoe 5. At this point, the user may immediately begin his athletic or other activities for which the shoe is intended. When these activities are terminated, the user merely actuates the button 10 to de-energize the ventilation system.
 When the footwear 5 is not being used, a conventional battery charger may be connected to the electrical connector 12 to recharge the battery. When the footwear 5 is being used outside in the presence of sunlight the battery 7 may be recharged by the solar panel 13 which is mounted on a body portion of the user by means of the flexible band or strip 14.
 The location of the turbine micro-engine 1 on the footwear 5 may be varied in order to accommodate in different arrangements the air and electrical connectors. However, location of the micro-engine 1 on the forward portion or toe of the footwear 5 as illustrated in the drawing is preferred.
 It is therefore apparent that the present invention has provided a ventilation system for footwear which effectively cools the foot of the user and greatly enhances the comfort of the foot while the user is engated in strenuous activity utilizing this footwear. This ventilation system provides a continuous and positive quantity of cooling air into the shoe of the user and does not depend on forces which may be exerted on the shoe during use.
 It will be understood that this invention is susceptible to modification in order to adapt it to different usages and conditions, and, accordingly, it is desired to comprehend such modifications within this invention as may fall within the scope of the appended claims.