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Publication numberUS20020152642 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/840,355
Publication dateOct 24, 2002
Filing dateApr 23, 2001
Priority dateApr 23, 2001
Also published asDE60224264D1, DE60224264T2, EP1381292A1, EP1381292A4, EP1381292B1, US6470599, WO2002085146A1
Publication number09840355, 840355, US 2002/0152642 A1, US 2002/152642 A1, US 20020152642 A1, US 20020152642A1, US 2002152642 A1, US 2002152642A1, US-A1-20020152642, US-A1-2002152642, US2002/0152642A1, US2002/152642A1, US20020152642 A1, US20020152642A1, US2002152642 A1, US2002152642A1
InventorsYoung Chu
Original AssigneeYoung Chu
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Climbing shoe with concave sole
US 20020152642 A1
Abstract
A climbing shoe includes an inner sole, an outer sole and a molded middle sole between the inner sole and the outer sole. The middle sole is concave in shape. The outer sole conforms to the concave shape of the middle sole. The concave shape allows the outer sole to hook on a rocky ledge. The molded middle sole provides a structure that causes the concave outer sole to substantially maintain the concave shape when pressure is applied to the outer sole.
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Claims(20)
In the claims:
1. A climbing shoe comprising:
a) an upper portion;
b) an inner sole attached to the upper portion;
c) an outer sole; and
d) a molded middle sole having a concave surface, wherein the molded middle sole is between the inner sole and the outer sole, wherein the concave surface of the middle sole is attached to the outer sole;
wherein the outer sole conforms to the concave shape of the middle sole, whereby the concave outer sole can hook on a rocky ledge, and whereby the concave outer sole substantially maintains the concave shape when pressure is applied to the outer sole.
2. The climbing shoe of claim 1 wherein the outer sole has about a uniform thickness.
3. The climbing shoe of claim 2 wherein the middle sole further having a convex surface, wherein the convex surface is attached to the inner sole.
4. The climbing shoe of claim 3 wherein the middle sole further having an apex, a base line having a length ‘L’, and a distance ‘D’, wherein ‘D’ is the vertical distance between the base line and the apex, wherein the distance ‘D’ is less than about 20 percent of the length ‘L’.
5. The climbing shoe of claim 4 wherein the distance ‘D’ is less than about 10 percent of the length ‘L’.
6. The climbing shoe of claim 5 wherein the middle sole forms apertures, thereby reducing the weight of the middle sole.
7. The climbing shoe of claim 6 wherein the inner sole further having an upper surface, wherein the upper surface is flat.
8. The climbing shoe of claim 1 wherein the middle sole further having a top surface, wherein the top surface is flat.
9. The climbing shoe of claim 8 wherein the outer sole further having a bottom surface, wherein the bottom surface substantially conforms to the concave shape of the middle sole.
10. A climbing shoe comprising:
a) an upper portion;
b) an inner sole attached to the upper portion;
c) an outer sole having a front section and a back section; and
d) a molded middle sole having a concave surface, wherein the molded middle sole is between the inner sole and the front section of the outer sole, wherein the concave surface of the middle sole is attached to the front section of the outer sole;
wherein the front section conforms to the concave shape of the middle sole, whereby the concave front section can hook on a rocky ledge, and whereby the concave front section of the outer sole substantially maintains the concave shape when pressure is applied to the outer sole.
11. The climbing shoe of claim 10 wherein the front section of the outer sole has about a uniform thickness.
12. The climbing shoe of claim 11 wherein the back section of the outer sole is flat.
13. The climbing shoe of claim 12 wherein the middle sole further having a convex surface, wherein the convex surface is attached to the inner sole.
14. The climbing shoe of claim 13 wherein the middle sole forms apertures, thereby reducing the weight of the middle sole.
15. The climbing shoe of claim 14 wherein the inner sole further having an upper surface, wherein the upper surface is flat.
16. The climbing shoe of claim 15 wherein the outer sole further having a bottom surface, wherein the front section of the bottom surface substantially conforms to the concave shape of the middle sole.
17. The climbing shoe of claim 11 wherein the middle sole further having a top surface, wherein the top surface is flat.
18. The climbing shoe of claim 17 wherein the middle sole further having an apex, a base line having a length ‘L’, and a distance ‘D’, wherein ‘D’ is the vertical distance between the base line and the apex, wherein the distance ‘D’ is less than about 20 percent of the length ‘L’.
19. The climbing shoe of claim 18 wherein the middle sole forms apertures, thereby reducing the weight of the middle sole.
20. The climbing shoe of claim 19 wherein the back section of the outer sole is flat.
Description
    BACKGROUND
  • [0001]
    The invention relates to climbing shoes. More particularly, the climbing shoe with concave bottom shape relates to climbing shoes where the bottom surface of the shoe assists the climber in maintaining a firm foothold on the rocks.
  • [0002]
    Traditional climbing shoes have generally flat surfaces on the bottom of the climbing shoe. With a flat surface, the edges of the toe are placed on little foot holds on the rocks. Just the placement and pressure of the flat bottom surface of the shoe on the rocks assists in maintaining the foothold on the rocks. The climbing shoe needs great stability, since the whole weight of the individual may be supported by just the edges of the toe and the climber's hands. The climbing shoe must retain a solid hold on the rocks, when the climber stretches to reach the next foothold or handhold in the rocks. Climbing shoes with flat bottom surfaces can be prone to slipping and losing their grip on the rocks.
  • [0003]
    The prior art includes walking shoes that have a bottom outer sole with outside edges that protrude lower than the remaining inner portion of the bottom outer sole. The shape is designed to flex when walking to absorb some of the impact of the foot upon the walking surface. The curvature of the outer sole does not remain rigid, and the inner portion of the bottom outer sole flexes to touch the walking surface during walking. The edges are thicker than the other areas, so sensitivity is lost. The climber cannot adequately sense and feel the foot holds, when the edges are thick.
  • [0004]
    This walking shoe design is most disadvantageous for climbing. There is a need for a climbing shoes where the shape of the bottom outer sole is substantially maintained, so the climbing shoe can hook on a rock. The hooking grip of the climbing shoe upon the small crevices can be lost if the bottom outer sole fails to remain rigidly in shape or when the climbing shoe bottom surface is flat, thus susceptible to slipping from the rocks. Very small projections in the rocks are used to hook the shoe of a climber. Just a small area of the bottom outer sole may be supporting the climber's weight when hooked on the rock. Walking shoes with curved outer soles are not designed to rigidly support the climber's weight, to the contrary, walking shoes are designed to flex to cushion the impact upon the foot.
  • [0005]
    In one prior art design, the sole tread pattern adapts to all types of ground due to its adjustable stud profile. As the foot presses down, the sole changes shape to grip the ground contours and on soft ground the studs penetrate the soil. As the weight is taken off the sole, it releases energy, giving wearers an added spring to their step. The changing shape of the sole is advantageous for walking, but can be detrimental in rock climbing. A sole that flexed and changed shape would be susceptible to losing a grip on a rocky ledge.
  • [0006]
    Therefore, there is a need for a climbing shoe with a bottom surface that is shaped for hooking the shoe on a rock ledge. Climbing shoes with flat surface are prone to sliding off of the rocks, when the climber stretches for a new hold and shifts his or her body weight. The new climbing shoe requires a shape that will provide greater traction and grip when climbing rocks than the traditional walking shoes or climbing shoes.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0007]
    A climbing shoe with a concave bottom shape fulfills the objective of a climbing shoe with a bottom surface that is shaped for hooking the shoe on a rock ledge. The climbing shoe with a concave sole provides greater traction and grip when climbing rocks, which provides greater safety and confidence for the climber.
  • [0008]
    A climbing shoe with a concave bottom shape includes an inner sole, an outer sole and a molded middle sole between the inner sole and the outer sole. The middle sole is concave in shape. The outer sole conforms to the concave shape of the middle sole. The concave shape allows the outer sole to hook on a rocky ledge. The molded middle sole provides a structure that causes the concave outer sole to substantially maintain the concave shape when pressure is applied to the outer sole.
  • [0009]
    A molded stiffener forms the molded middle sole. The middle sole forms apertures. The apertures reduce the amount of material used in manufacturing the middle sole and reduce the weight of the middle sole. The middle sole is slightly stiff to maintain the concave shape, yet also has some flexibility to absorb the forces applied to the shoe.
  • [0010]
    The outer sole has about a uniform thickness. The uniform thickness of the outer sole maintains and emulates the concave shape of the middle sole. The outer sole forms the shoe bottom surface, which is also concave due to the concave shape of the molded middle sole. The substantially uniform thickness of the outer sole results in the bottom surface conforming to the concave shape of the middle sole. The concave shape of the bottom surface of the outer sole provides increased hooking ability on the rocks for the climber.
  • [0011]
    The edges of the outer sole need to be thin enough to feel the foothold. Thin edges on the outer sole provides stability, in contrast to the thick edges of the prior art walking shoes that are prone to slipping on the rocks. A concaved shoe bottom provides added edging power for standing on small footholds, because the edges will grab the foothold and will not move around to cause a slip from the foothold. Thin flat uniformed thickness outer soles are used to provide better sensitivity.
  • [0012]
    The climbing shoe with a concave sole is further described with detail in the appended figures, description and claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0013]
    [0013]FIG. 1 is a bottom view of the climbing shoe with the molded middle sole in dashed lines.
  • [0014]
    [0014]FIG. 2 is a side view of the climbing shoe with the molded middle sole in dashed lines.
  • [0015]
    [0015]FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the molded middle sole.
  • [0016]
    [0016]FIG. 4 is an end view of the molded middle sole as shown is FIG. 3.
  • [0017]
    [0017]FIG. 5 is an end view of the molded middle sole showing the distance ‘D’ and length ‘L’.
  • [0018]
    [0018]FIG. 6 is a cutaway view taken along the 6-6 line of FIG. 1.
  • [0019]
    [0019]FIG. 7 is a front view of a prior art walking shoe, with the inside area separated from the ground.
  • [0020]
    [0020]FIG. 8 is a front view of a prior art walking shoe, showing the inside area gripping the ground.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0021]
    Referring to FIG. 1 through FIG. 6, a climbing shoe 10 includes an inner sole 12, an outer sole 14 and a molded middle sole 16 between the inner sole 12 and the outer sole 14. The middle sole 16 is concave in shape having a concave surface 17. The concave surface 17 of the middle sole 16 is attached to the outer sole 14. The middle sole has a convex surface 19 that is attached to the inner sole 12. The middle sole 16 has a stiffness that maintains the concave shape, along with flexibility that absorbs the pressure and movements of the foot without fracturing the middle sole 16. The outer sole 14 conforms to the concave shape of the middle sole 16. The concave shape allows the outer sole 14 to hook on a rocky ledge. The molded middle sole 16 maintains a substantially concave shape when a climber applies pressure to the climbing shoe 10 during scaling of the rock formations. The molded middle sole 16 provides a structure that causes the flat outer sole 14 to substantially maintain the concave shape when pressure is applied to the outer sole 14.
  • [0022]
    The outer sole 14 has about a uniform thickness ‘t’, as show in FIG. 2. The uniform thickness ‘t’ of the flat outer sole 14 maintains and emulates the concave shape of the middle sole 16. The outer sole 14 has a shoe bottom surface 18, which is concave due to the concave shape of the molded middle sole 16. The substantially uniform thickness ‘t’ of the outer sole 14 results in the bottom surface 18 conforming to the concave shape of the middle sole 16. The outer sole 14 can vary slightly in thickness ‘t’, particularly around the outer edges 20 of the bottom surface 18, so that a slight rim 22 can be formed on the outer edges 20. When included, the rim 22 provides greater gripping and hooking capability on rocks and crevices when climbing.
  • [0023]
    Referring to FIG. 2 and FIG. 5, the inner sole has an upper surface 38. The upper surface 38 is flat. The middle sole has a top surface 40 that is flat. The flat upper surface 38 provides a comfortable surface for the bottom of the foot. If the upper surface 38 is a convex shape, then the climbing shoe 10 can be uncomfortable. When the middle sole has a flat top surface 40, then the inner sole 12 can be a substantially uniform thickness, with a flat upper surface 38. When the middle sole has a convex top surface 40, then the inner sole 12 needs to be thinner near the apex 28 to create a flat upper surface 38. FIG. 5 shows the convex top surface 40.
  • [0024]
    Referring particularly to FIG. 1 and FIG. 3, the middle sole 16 forms apertures 24. The apertures 24 reduce the amount of material used in manufacturing the middle sole 16 and reduce the weight of the middle sole 16. Manufacturing costs are lower when less material is used. The middle sole 16 is molded from a material that provides sufficient strength even with the apertures 24 scattered throughout the middle sole 16 structure. Common materials that are applicable include fiberglass, rigid plastic, epoxy compositions, rubber polymers, steel or other metals.
  • [0025]
    A molded material forms the concave shape of the molded middle sole 16. The middle sole 16 can be sized to just cover the front 23 section of the climbing shoe 10. Although not shown, a larger sized middle sole 16 can be used to cover substantially all of the outer sole 14, including the front section 23 and the back section 26.
  • [0026]
    Referring particularly to FIG. 5, the middle sole 16 has a an apex 28, a base line 30 having a length ‘L’, a first end 32, a second end 34, and a distance ‘D’. The base line 30 travels from the first end 32 to the second end 34. The distance ‘D’ is the vertical distance between the base line 30 and the apex 28. The apex 28 and distance ‘D’ are located where the distance between the concave surface 17 and the base line 30 is the greatest. The distance ‘D’ is less than twenty percent of the length ‘L’. In one embodiment the distance ‘D’ is about ten percent of the length ‘L’. The top surface 40 is convex.
  • [0027]
    Referring to FIG. 6, a cutaway view along the 6-6 line of FIG. 1 is shown. The upper surface 38 of the inner sole 12 is flat. The top surface 40 of the middle sole 16 is a convex surface 19. The inner sole 12 is thin near the top surface 40 to create a flat upper surface 38. The middle sole 16 has a concave surface 17. Attached to the inner sole 12 is the upper portion 36 of the shoe that covers and supports the foot. The inner sole 12 and the outer sole 14 can be primarily made from a rubber polymer. The upper portion 36 can include any material commonly used for shoes, such as leather, nylon and cotton fabric.
  • [0028]
    Referring to FIGS. 7 and 8, a prior art walking shoe 100 is illustrated. The upper portion 136 is shown cutoff. In FIG. 7, the inside area 102 and studs 106 of the outer sole 114 do not touch the ground 104. FIG. 8 shows the walking shoe 100 pressed down on the ground 104, the outer sole 114 changes shape to grip the ground 104 contours and on soft ground the studs 106 penetrate the soil. As the weight is taken off the outer sole 114, it releases energy, giving wearers an added spring to their step. The changing shape of the outer sole 114 is advantageous for walking, but can be detrimental in rock climbing. An outer sole 114 that flexed and changed shape would be susceptible to losing a grip on a rocky ledge.
  • [0029]
    The concave shape of the bottom surface 18 of the outer sole 14 of the climbing shoe 10 provides improved gripping ability for the climber. Climbing shoes with flat bottom surfaces 18 do not have any contours in shape that will help to grip the rocks. The climbing shoe 10 with a concave sole provides an added gripping ability, besides just the pressure of the climbing shoe 10 applied downward on the rocks. The concave shape can improve the confidence, climbing ability and safety of the climber.
  • [0030]
    Although the present invention has been described in considerable detail with regard to the preferred versions thereof, other versions are possible. Therefore, the appended claims should not be limited to the descriptions of the preferred versions contained herein.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US20050138848 *Dec 24, 2003Jun 30, 2005Fullerton Young C.Climbing shoe with a tension support sole
WO2014155511A1 *Mar 26, 2013Oct 2, 2014Asics CorporationShoe for indoor sports
Classifications
U.S. Classification36/113, 36/25.00R, 36/30.00R, 36/59.00C, 36/59.00R
International ClassificationA43B13/14, A43B13/12, A43B5/00
Cooperative ClassificationA43B13/10, A43B5/003, A43B13/143, A43B13/146, A43B13/12
European ClassificationA43B13/12, A43B13/10, A43B5/00C1, A43B13/14W, A43B13/14W4
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 8, 2006FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Nov 3, 2009FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
Apr 7, 2014FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 12