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Publication numberUS20020133976 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/769,652
Publication dateSep 26, 2002
Filing dateJan 25, 2001
Priority dateJan 25, 2001
Publication number09769652, 769652, US 2002/0133976 A1, US 2002/133976 A1, US 20020133976 A1, US 20020133976A1, US 2002133976 A1, US 2002133976A1, US-A1-20020133976, US-A1-2002133976, US2002/0133976A1, US2002/133976A1, US20020133976 A1, US20020133976A1, US2002133976 A1, US2002133976A1
InventorsMark Crutcher
Original AssigneeMark Crutcher
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Spring supported athletic shoe
US 20020133976 A1
Abstract
An orthopedic athletic shoe with an improved energy return apparatus is provided in that provides artificial or enhanced lift and foot support while engaging in a physical activity. An otherwise conventional shoe upper is separated from an otherwise conventional shoe sole. Both the upper and the sole are then affixed to an upper attachment plate and a lower attachment plate, respectively. The attachment plates are connected along their periphery by a bellows hinge. Between the attachment plates are a series of foot springs that provide a spring urging force. A plurality of smaller forefoot springs are located near the toe. A pair of laterally aligned medial forefoot springs are located next. Three arch springs are linearly aligned along the center of the plates, and a single, large heel spring is located at the rearmost portion.
Images(4)
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Claims(9)
What is claimed is:
1. An orthopedic athletic shoe comprising:
a shoe upper affixed at a lower end by an upper attachment plate;
a shoe sole separated from said shoe upper, said sole affixed at an upper end to a lower attachment plate
a bellows hinge connected along a periphery of said upper attachment plate and said lower attachment plate by a bellows hinge.
2. The orthopedic athletic shoe of claim 1, further comprising a spring urging means between said upper attachment plate and lower attachment plate.
3. The orthopedic athletic shoe of claim 2, wherein said spring urging means comprises a series of foot springs that provide a spring urging force.
4. The orthopedic athletic shoe of claim 3, wherein said foot springs includes a plurality of forefoot springs are located near the toe of the shoe.
5. The orthopedic athletic shoe of claim 3, wherein said foot springs includes a pair of laterally aligned medial forefoot springs.
6. The orthopedic athletic shoe of claim 3, wherein said foot springs includes three arch springs linearly aligned along the center of said plates.
7. The orthopedic athletic shoe of claim 3, wherein said foot springs includes a single, large heel spring located at the rearmost portion of said attachment plates.
8. The orthopedic athletic shoe of claim 3, wherein said foot springs comprise a coil type spring physically attached in firm mechanical connection at a lower spring base securely to said lower attachment plate.
9. The orthopedic athletic shoe of claim 8, wherein a lower surface of said upper attachment plate further forms a plurality of spring retaining cups forming recessed within said lower surface and aligned with each said spring such that an upper spring crown of each said spring rests firmly and centeredly within said spring retaining cup.
Description
    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    The present invention was first described in Disclosure Document Number 468,856 filed on Feb. 07, 2000. There are no previously filed, nor currently any co-pending applications, anywhere in the world.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    The present invention relates generally to athletic shoes and, more particularly, to a superior athletic shoes designed to provide maximum support and energy return to the wearer.
  • [0004]
    2. Description of the Related Art
  • [0005]
    In the related art, numerous attempts have been made to provide and to improve the shock absorbency, energy return, comfort, and performance of athletic shoes while also correcting orthopedic disorders of the wearer. A search of the prior art did not disclose any patents that read directly on the claims of the instant invention, nor any references that provide a combination of all the above- mentioned benefits incorporated into one orthopedic athletic shoe; However, the following references were considered related:
    U.S. Pat. No. Inventor Issue Date
    1,960,418 Johannes Schaller May 29, 1934
    4,841,648 David E. Shaffer, et al. June 27, 1989
    5,014,706 Alexander Phillip May 14, 1991
    5,170,572 Scott Kantro Dec. 15, 1992
    5,425,185 Martin Gansler June 20, 1995
  • [0006]
    Consequently, a need has therefore been felt for an improved but less complex mechanism that allows for superior shock absorption and energy return to the shoe's wearer.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0007]
    It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an athletic shoe which provides maximum orthopedic benefit through shock absorption, energy return, comfort, and injury prevention.
  • [0008]
    It is a feature of the present invention to provide enhanced energy return, shock absorption, lift and spring to the foot through the use of an interconnected spring supported plate mechanism incorporated into the sole of the shoe.
  • [0009]
    Briefly described according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, an orthopedic athletic shoe with an improved energy return apparatus is provided in that provides artificial or enhanced lift and foot support while engaging in a physical activity. An otherwise conventional shoe upper is separated from an otherwise conventional shoe sole. Both the upper and the sole are then affixed to an upper attachment plate and a lower attachment plate, respectively. The attachment plates are connected along their periphery by a bellows hinge. Between the attachment plates are a series of foot springs that provide a spring urging force. A plurality of smaller forefoot springs are located near the toe. A pair of laterally aligned medial forefoot springs are located next. Three arch springs are linearly aligned along the center of the plates, and a single, large heel spring is located at the rearmost portion.
  • [0010]
    An advantage of the present invention is that user comfort is increased allowing the wearer to perform longer periods of exercise, thus increasing one's physical level of endurance, physical fitness and performance.
  • [0011]
    Yet another advantage of the present invention is that it can be manufactured from readily available materials, utilizing common manufacturing technologies and techniques.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0012]
    The advantages and features of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following more detailed description and claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like elements are identified with like symbols, and in which:
  • [0013]
    [0013]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a spring supported athletic shoe according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0014]
    [0014]FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view thereof;
  • [0015]
    [0015]FIG. 3 is a top plan view of a lower attachment plate XX for use therein; and
  • [0016]
    [0016]FIG. 4 is a partial front elevational view thereof.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0017]
    In order to describe the complete relationship of the invention, it is essential that while only a right shoe is shown in this and all following FIGURES, it is intended that all FIGURES and Detailed Descriptions apply in a common manner to the left shoe, as well as to a pair of shoes.
  • [0018]
    1. Detailed Description of the Figures
  • [0019]
    Referring now to FIGS. 1-2, a spring supported athletic shoe apparatus an orthopedic athletic shoe 10 with an improved energy return apparatus is provided according to the present invention that provides artificial or enhanced lift and foot support while engaging in a physical activity. An otherwise conventional shoe upper 12 is separated from an otherwise conventional shoe sole 14. The upper 12 is affixed at its lower end by an upper attachment plate 16. The sole 14 is affixed at its upper end to a lower attachment plate 18. The attachment plates 16, 18 are connected along their periphery by a bellows hinge 20.
  • [0020]
    Referring now to FIGS. 2-4, between the attachment plates 16, 18 are a series of foot springs that provide a spring urging force. A plurality of smaller forefoot springs 30 are located near the toe of the shoe. A pair of laterally aligned medial forefoot springs 32 are located next toward the rear of the shoe. Three arch springs 34 are linearly aligned along the center of the plates, and a single, large heel spring 36 is located at the rearmost portion.
  • [0021]
    In the case of each spring, a coil type spring is envisioned as physically attached in firm mechanical connection at a lower spring base 40 securely to the lower attachment plate 18. The lower surface of the upper attachment plate 16 further forms a plurality of spring retaining cups 38 formed recessed within the lower surface, and aligned with each spring 30, 32, 34, and 36, such that the upper spring crown 42 rests firmly and centeredly within a spring retaining cup 38. The use of various sized and positions springs of various urging forced provides different biasing forces along the heel, arch, medial forefoot and forefoot of the user to provide and to improve the shock absorbency, energy return, comfort, and performance of athletic shoes while also correcting orthopedic disorders of the wearer. The bellows hinge 20 allows for movement between the attachment plates 16, 18 while preventing the sole from being dislocated from the shoe upper 12.
  • [0022]
    2. Operation of the Preferred Embodiment
  • [0023]
    In operation, the present invention is uses as one would use any otherwise conventional athletic shoe, with the benefits inherent to the present design benefitting the user passively created by fully utilizing the natural motion of the foot and allowing the foot to travel, unrestricted, through its natural biomechanical three point contact motions. The first movement of the foot during the forward step, is called the heel strike. This is where the wearer impacts the ground with the heel of the foot. The impact of the heel depresses the heel spring 36, increasing upward urging force. The next movement of the foot is rolling forward to the arch and medial portion of the forefoot, thereby impacting the medial portion of the foot with the ground. The medial of the foot subsequently depressing the arch spring 34 and medial forefoot springs 32, increasing upward urging force, while recovering the store force in the heel spring 36. This will thereby enhance the third motion of the foot. Once the foot rolls up onto the ball, the wearer then pushes off from the ball of the foot. This motion causes all of the energy from the push-off to travel off the sole, while at the same time providing additional lift from the forefoot springs 30. This effect to the heel of the foot is an enhanced lift thereby augmenting the stride motion of the foot.
  • [0024]
    The foregoing descriptions of specific embodiments of the present invention have been presented for purposes of illustration and description. They are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed, and obviously many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching. The embodiments were chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical application, to thereby enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the invention and various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. It is intended that the scope of the invention be defined by the claims appended hereto and their equivalents. Therefore, the scope of the invention is to be limited only by the following claims.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7600330 *Mar 9, 2006Oct 13, 2009Eu-Top CorporationShoe structure
US8112905May 18, 2009Feb 14, 2012Athletic Propulsion Labs LLCForefoot catapult for athletic shoes
US8347526 *Apr 5, 2010Jan 8, 2013Athletic Propulsion Labs LLCShoes, devices for shoes, and methods of using shoes
US8495825Dec 30, 2011Jul 30, 2013Athletic Propulsion Labs LLCForefoot catapult for athletic shoes
US8621766Dec 7, 2012Jan 7, 2014Athletic Propulsion Labs LLCShoes, devices for shoes, and methods of using shoes
US8732983Dec 3, 2013May 27, 2014Athletic Propulsion Labs LLCShoes, devices for shoes, and methods of using shoes
US8752306Oct 10, 2011Jun 17, 2014Athletic Propulsion Labs LLCShoes, devices for shoes, and methods of using shoes
US9364044Dec 3, 2013Jun 14, 2016Athletic Propulsion Labs LLCShoes, devices for shoes, and methods of using shoes
US20070209232 *Mar 9, 2006Sep 13, 2007Ming-Jeng ChenShoe structure
US20080005928 *Jul 1, 2005Jan 10, 2008Istvan KoszegiStructure for the Flexible Damping of Dynamic Effects on a Body, and a Damping Member
US20100257752 *Apr 5, 2010Oct 14, 2010Athletic Propulsion Labs LLCShoes, devices for shoes, and methods of using shoes
US20100257753 *Oct 14, 2010Athletic Propulsion Labs, LLCForefoot catapult for athletic shoes
US20110138650 *Jun 16, 2011Joseph Robert GershonSandal with springs
US20120192451 *Jan 29, 2011Aug 2, 2012Kazumi FujikuraFitness insole
US20130263471 *Sep 9, 2011Oct 10, 2013Simon Paul SpinksResilient pad for footwear
CN102578755A *Jan 7, 2011Jul 18, 2012藤仓和实Insole capable of consuming heat energy
CN103040189A *Jan 16, 2013Apr 17, 2013鲍旭刚Walking assistant device
EP1435207A1 *Jan 3, 2003Jul 7, 2004Winner Shoe Co. Ltd.Shock-absorbing sole pad assembly
WO2009010933A2 *Jul 17, 2008Jan 22, 2009Tomas SchweizerShoe with sprung sole
WO2009010933A3 *Jul 17, 2008Apr 9, 2009Tomas SchweizerShoe with sprung sole
WO2010117966A1 *Apr 5, 2010Oct 14, 2010Athletic Propulsion Labs LLCShoes, devices for shoes, and methods of using shoes
Classifications
U.S. Classification36/27, 36/28
International ClassificationA43B13/18
Cooperative ClassificationA43B13/182
European ClassificationA43B13/18A1