US 20040068892 A1
A cushion assembly for shoes includes a top plate, a bottom plate and one or more than one flexible posts are connected between the top plate and the bottom plate. The cushion assembly is received in the sole of a shoe and the posts can be deformed in the direction from which a load is applied. A ring-shaped bladder is connected between the top plate and the bottom plate, and the flexible posts are enclosed by the ring-shaped cushion bladder.
1. A cushion assembly comprising:
a top plate;
a bottom plate, and
at least one flexible post connected between the top plate and the bottom plate.
2. The cushion assembly as claimed in
3. The cushion assembly as claimed in
4. The cushion assembly as claimed in
5. The cushion assembly as claimed in
 The present invention relates to a cushion assembly which includes a top plate and a bottom plate between a resilient member is connected. The resilient member is deformed so as to provide comfortable wearing feature when a load is applied on the top plate.
 Shoes basically include an outsole and a vamp. The foot of the wearer is retained in the space between the outsole and the vamp. In order to provide comfortable wearing feature, variety of materials are developed and used as the outsole. Nevertheless, only a single layer of outsole cannot meet the requirements of the wearers who wear the shoes for different purposes which are walking, sporting or jogging. Each purpose requires a unique feature and most of the sport shoes are provided only a single layer of soft outsole which cannot absorb the twist and the stress during the activities of sport.
 The present invention intends to provide a cushion assembly that includes a plurality of flexible posts or a resilient gel or bladder, the cushion assembly can be easily installed in the outsole and provides various directions of deformation to meet the requirements of the activities.
 In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a cushion assembly for shoes and the assembly comprises a top plate and a bottom plate with a plurality of flexible posts connected therebetween. The posts are deformable when a load is applied to the cushion assembly so as to avoid shocks transmitted to the wearers.
 The present invention will become more obvious from the following description when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings which show, for purposes of illustration only, a preferred embodiment in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view to show the cushion assembly of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an exploded view to show the cushion assembly of the present invention;
FIG. 3 shows the cushion assembly has only one post between the top plate and the bottom plate;
FIG. 4 shows that the cushion assembly has multiple posts connected between the top plate and the bottom plate;
FIG. 5 shows the top plate may have a specific shape;
FIG. 6 shows a connection bar is connected between two adjacent posts;
FIGS. 7 and 8 show the cushion assembly having multiple posts is installed in the outsole of shoes;
FIG. 9 shows a cushion bladder is connected between the top plate and the bottom plate of the cushion assembly of the present invention;
FIG. 10 shows each post of the cushion assembly is composed of two parts;
FIG. 11 shows screws are used to connected the bottom plate and the posts;
FIG. 12 shows the cushion assembly having a bladder is installed in an outsole of shoes;
FIG. 13 shows the cushion assembly as shown in FIG. 10 is installed in the outsole of shoes, and
FIG. 14 shows the cushion assembly as shown in FIG. 11 is installed in the outsole of shoes.
 Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the cushion assembly for shoes of the present invention comprises a top plate 10, a bottom plate 20 and at least one flexible post 30 connected between the top plate 10 and the bottom plate 20 as shown in FIG. 3. The top plate 10 is larger than the bottom plate 20. The number of the posts 30 can be one or more than one and the cushion assembly is installed in a middle sole 100 which is located between an insole 101 and an outsole 102. The positions for the cushion assembly in a shoe can be the heel portion or/and the ball of the foot as shown in FIG. 4. The flexible posts 30 can be deformed in the direction from which the load or force is applied and this feature effectively protects the foot. Each post 30 can be deformed independently from each other such that only those posts 30 applied by load are deformed and the rest of the posts 30 still support the foot. Referring to FIG. 5, the shape of the top plate 10 can be made as desired and there two cushion assemblies are used at the ball of the foot to provide better cushion feature. As shown in FIG. 7, the posts 30 can be arranged as in a straight line or there is a connection bar 31 connected between two adjacent posts 30 as shown in FIG. 6. FIG. 8 shows that the cushion assembly wherein the posts 30 have a connection bar 31 connected therebetween is used in a heel portion of the shoe.
 Referring to FIG. 9, a cushion bladder 40 which is a ring-shaped member is located between the top plate 10 and the bottom plate 20. The flexible posts 30 are enclosed by the cushion bladder 40. The bladder 40 can be a gel member, an inflatable bladder or any type of soft and resilient member. The bladder 40 and the posts 30 work together to absorb the shocks and vibrations when the shoes are in use.
 The posts 30 can be glued to the top plate 10 and the bottom plate 20 as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, or as disclosed in FIGS. 10 and 13, the flexible post 30 is composed of two parts 300, 301 which are connected with each other in an axial direction. One 300 of the two parts has a recess 302 defined in a distal end thereof and the other one 301 of the two parts has a protrusion 303 which is engaged with the recess 302. Yet another way of the connection of the posts is shown in FIGS. 11 and 14, wherein screws 21 extend through the bottom plate 20 and are threadedly engaged with the flexible post 30. As shown in FIG. 12, the top plate 10, the posts 30 and the bottom plate 20 are made to be an integral part and is received in the midsole, and the cushion bladder 40 is then mounted to the integral part.
 The posts 30 and the cushion bladder 40 are responsive to the reaction from the ground and are deformed to absorb the force such that the body and the foot of the wearer feel comfortable.
 While we have shown and described the embodiment in accordance with the present invention, it should be clear to those skilled in the art that further embodiments may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention.