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Publication numberUS20050097780 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/956,887
Publication dateMay 12, 2005
Filing dateOct 1, 2004
Priority dateOct 2, 2003
Also published asEP1520490A1
Publication number10956887, 956887, US 2005/0097780 A1, US 2005/097780 A1, US 20050097780 A1, US 20050097780A1, US 2005097780 A1, US 2005097780A1, US-A1-20050097780, US-A1-2005097780, US2005/0097780A1, US2005/097780A1, US20050097780 A1, US20050097780A1, US2005097780 A1, US2005097780A1
InventorsAlfred Pellegrini
Original AssigneeAlfred Pellegrini
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Footwear having a lace fastening
US 20050097780 A1
Abstract
Footwear having a lace fastening is described and comprises an opening having a first edge and a second edge which are juxtaposed and which each have a plurality of lacing eyes, between which at least one lace of the fastening extends, and a tongue-form flap extending along the edges at the location of the opening. The footwear also comprises at least one lace-locking device secured to the flap in a position between the edges, so that respective ends of the at least one lace that extend through corresponding end lacing eyes of the fastening are locked in the device with a selected tensioning in order consequently to close the fastening with the desired degree of tightening.
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Claims(20)
1. Footwear having a lace fastening, comprising an opening having a first edge and a second edge which are juxtaposed and which each have a plurality of lacing eyes between which at least one lace of the fastening extends, and a tongue-form flap extending along the edges at the location of the opening, said fastening further comprising at least one lace-locking device secured to the flap in a position between the edges, so that respective ends of the at least one lace which extend through corresponding end lacing eyes of the fastening are locked in the said device with a selected tensioning in order consequently to close the fastening with a desired degree of tightening.
2. Footwear according to claim 1, comprising a single lace-locking device provided to lock the ends of each lace of the fastening extending through the respective end lacing eye.
3. Footwear according to claim 2, wherein the flap extends from a lower portion of the opening in the direction towards an entrance for the fitting-on of the footwear and the lace-locking device is secured to the flap in the vicinity of that entrance.
4. Footwear according to claim 1 comprising plural laces, wherein the ends of the laces of the fastening that exit from the end lacing eye of one of the edges are lockable in the said device independently of the ends of the laces that exit from the corresponding end lacing eye of the other edge.
5. Footwear according to claim 1, wherein the lace-locking device comprises at least one groove which is provided to accommodate and retain one or more lace portions extending through the respective end lacing eye of the fastening on each of the opposed edges.
6. Footwear according to claim 5, wherein portions of the at least one groove are provided which are extensions of one another with a substantially “U”-shaped overall extension configuration.
7. Footwear according to claim 5, wherein the at least one groove comprises a pair of opposite groove portions directed substantially parallel with the edges, the portions being connected to each other by a further portion directed transversely to the edges.
8. Footwear according to claim 5, wherein the action of retaining the lace under tension in the corresponding groove portion is achieved exclusively by surface friction action.
9. Footwear according to claim 1, wherein auxiliary retaining means are provided on the groove portions in order to prevent the lateral escape of the lace, in particular in the absence of locking of the lace by surface friction in the lace-locking device.
10. Footwear according to claim 9, wherein the auxiliary means comprise tooth-like formations projecting into the groove portions.
11. Footwear comprising:
an upper defining an opening having juxtaposed first and second edges and lacing eyes positioned along said edges through which at least one lace can extend, said upper having a tongue-form flap extending along said edges at said opening; and
at least one lace-locking device secured to said flap in a position between said edges of said opening, said device being configured to receive respective ends of the lace from end lacing eyes and to lock the ends of the lace with a selected tensioning.
12. Footwear according to claim 11, wherein said flap extends from a lower portion of said opening in a direction towards an entrance for the fitting-on of said footwear, said lace-locking device being secured to said flap in the vicinity of said entrance.
13. Footwear according to claim 11, said lacing eyes being configured to receive plural laces through respective ones of said lacing eyes, wherein ends of laces that exit from an end lacing eye positioned along one of said edges are lockable in said device independently of ends of laces that exit from a corresponding end lacing eye positioned along the other of said edges.
14. Footwear according to claim 11, said lace-locking device defining at least one groove configured to retain a portion of a lace.
15. Footwear according to claim 14, said groove having a substantially “U”-shaped configuration.
16. Footwear according to claim 14, said groove comprising a pair of opposed groove portions oriented substantially parallel with said edges.
17. Footwear according to claim 16, said opposed grove portions being connected to each other by a further portion oriented substantially transverse to said edges.
18. Footwear according to claim 14, said groove being configured to retain a portion of the lace under tension by surface friction.
19. Footwear according to claim 14, further comprising means for preventing lateral escape of a portion of the lace from said groove.
20. Footwear according to claim 19, said preventing means comprising one or more tooth-like formations projecting into said groove.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to footwear having a lace fastening.

The invention is applicable particularly, although not exclusively, to the technical field of sports footwear, such as footwear for snowboarding, trekking, skating and the like, in which the upper is typically in the form of an elongate ankle-boot having a front lace fastening suitable for guaranteeing quick and effective tightening and equally quick and effective loosening, in addition to ensuring homogeneous closure along the edges of the access opening of the footwear.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In order to close such a fastening, the known solutions generally provide for one or more constricting devices that are suitable for locking the ends of the laces and that are fitted to the lateral flanks of the upper or are free relative thereto.

A principal object of the invention is to provide footwear having a lace fastening in which the fastening is rendered more effective in ensuring improved locking of the foot with respect to the footwear, in particular when the edges of the footwear are tightened together with the central tongue on the user's foot.

A further object is to render the locking of the lace ends quick and reliable and the loosening thereof equally quick and easy.

Yet another object is to produce footwear which ensures that the fastening is tightened even in the absence of knotting between the ends of the laces, for an easier operation of closing and opening the fastening.

Those objects and others too, which will appear hereinafter, are achieved by the invention by footwear produced in accordance with the aspects of the present invention as described and claimed.

Other features and advantages of the invention will become clearer from the detailed description, below, of a preferred embodiment thereof illustrated by way of non-limiting example with reference to appended drawings.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one exemplary aspect of the invention, footwear is provided having a lace fastening. The lace fastening includes an opening having a first edge and a second edge which are juxtaposed and which each have a plurality of lacing eyes between which at least one lace of the fastening extends. The lace fastening also includes a tongue-form flap extending along the edges at the location of the opening. The lace fastening further includes at least one lace-locking device secured to the flap in a position between the edges, so that respective ends of the at least one lace which extends through corresponding end lacing eyes of the fastening are locked in the device with a selected tensioning in order consequently to close the fastening with the desired degree of tightening.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated by way of non-limiting example with reference to the appended drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of footwear produced in accordance with the invention,

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a detail of the footwear of FIG. 1,

FIG. 3 is a top view of the detail of FIG. 2,

FIGS. 4 and 5 are sectional views taken on the lines IV-IV and V-V, respectively, of FIGS. 3 and 4,

FIGS. 6 to 8 are perspective diagrammatic views of the footwear of the previous Figures in various operative fastening positions.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to the mentioned drawings, footwear produced in accordance with the present invention is generally indicated by the numeral 1. The footwear 1 is of the type used for the sport of snowboarding, but it will be appreciated that the invention is applicable equally effectively to the production of footwear of other types.

The footwear 1 comprises an upper 2 with a sole 3 and an opposed entrance 4 for the fitting-on of the footwear. An opening 5 is formed in the upper 2 and its juxtaposed edges are indicated 5 a, 5 b. A flap in the form of a tongue 6 extends from the lower portion 7 of the opening 5 as far as the entrance 4 and is optionally provided with padding 8.

Numeral 9 indicates a first lacing eye provided in the opening 5 at the location of the lower portion 7 thereof. Respective pluralities of lacing eyes are also fitted in corresponding and facing positions on the respective edges 5 a, 5 b. By convention, the lacing eyes on the edge 5 a are all marked 10 a, while the lacing eyes on the edge 5 b are all marked 10 b, except for the pair of end lacing eyes of the fastening (at the location of the entrance 4) which are marked 11 a, 11 b, respectively, for each corresponding edge.

One or more laces of the fastening extend through the above-mentioned lacing eyes. In the example described, the fastening provides for a pair of laces 12, 13, the arrangement of which between the lacing eyes may be, for example, of the same type as that described in Italian patent application PD2003A000083 in the name of the same applicant, to which reference should be made for any details not expressly mentioned herein. It will be appreciated that the footwear 1 can provide for the engagement in the lacing eyes 9, 10 a,b and 11 a,b of a single lace in accordance with arrangements of a conventional type, although the configuration described represents a preferred choice.

In the selected configuration, the two laces 12, 13 extend through alternate lacing eyes of the two series of lacing eyes in a manner such that, between two lacing eyes of the same edge through which the first lace extends, there is at least one lacing eye of the same edge through which the second lace extends. Both of the laces 12, 13 also extend through the lacing eye 9, which is in the form of a double channel, and through the two end lacing eyes 11 a, 11 b. In the configuration described, it is also provided that the free extremities of the laces 12, 13 are joined to each other at the ends to form a closed loop in which those extremities form respective grips 14 suitable for facilitating the pulling and tightening of the fastening.

According to a principal feature of the invention, the footwear 1 comprises a lace-locking device 15 for locking the ends of the laces 12, 13. To be more precise, the lace-locking device 15 is secured to the tongue-form flap 6 in a position between the edges 5 a, 5 b, in a region close to the entrance 4 for the fitting-on of the footwear.

The lace-locking device 15 comprises two respective juxtaposed portions 16 a, 16 b which are substantially plate-shaped and which are joined centrally by an intermediate narrowed portion 16 c so that the portions 16 a,b have respective surfaces 17 a, 17 b, which face each other along at least part of the outer contour of the intermediate portion 16 c and which define respective grooves for accommodating and locking the laces of the fastening, as will emerge in detail in the further course of the description.

The portions 16 a-c of the device 15 are advantageously produced in one piece with one another, for example by molding plastics material, and may also be integral with a further widened plate-shaped base 18 which extends from the side of the portion 16 a and which is provided for securing the lace-locking device 15 to the tongue 6.

A pair of opposite groove portions 19 a, 19 b extending substantially in a direction parallel with the direction of the extension of the edges 5 a, 5 b is defined between the surfaces 17 a, 17 b. Those groove portions 19 a, 19 b are also connected to each other by a third groove portion 19 c (FIG. 4) directed transversely to the direction of the extension of the edges 5 a, 5 b. It follows that the groove portions 19 a-c are extensions of one another in accordance with a substantially “U”-shaped overall extension configuration of the groove, with the opposite portions 19 a,b connected at one of their ends by the portion 19 c.

At the location of the opposite end of the portions 19 a,b, the lace-locking device has a widely curved depression 19 d (FIG. 4) which extends over the portions 16 a-c of the device.

Numeral 20 (FIG. 5) indicates tooth-like formations projecting into the groove portions 19 a, 19 b and acting as means for keeping the lace 12, 13 accommodated in the corresponding groove portion, those means being provided in order to prevent the lace from coming out of the groove when the fastening is open, with the laces not tensioned.

In particular, pairs of projecting tooth-like formations 20 are provided in a position facing each other inside the corresponding groove portion. At the stage of closing the fastening, the ends of the laces 12, 13 are tensioned by pulling actions exerted by way of the grips 14 until the desired tension is reached. Subsequently, the ends of the laces exiting from the respective end lacing eye 11 a, 11 b are brought in the direction towards the corresponding opposed edge 5 b, 5 a as illustrated in FIG. 6 in order to engage the groove portion 19 c and subsequently the groove portion 19 a, 19 b opposite the edge from which the lace exits. In practice, the laces exiting from the lacing eye 11 a are engaged and locked by surface friction in the groove portions 19 c and 19 b, while the laces exiting from the lacing eye 11 b are engaged and locked in the groove portions 19 c and 19 a. FIGS. 6 to 8 show clearly in succession the fastening stages described above.

It should be noted that the extension of the groove portions 19 a-c associated with the ends of the laces 12, 13 is such as to provide a surface for relative locking by friction sufficient to keep the laces tensioned in the lace-locking device 15 with the selected fastening tension without therefore requiring any further application of knots or bows between the ends of the opposite laces. This therefore advantageously results in greater practicality and ease for the user in the operations of closing and opening the fastening. In that case, the free ends of the laces, beyond the locking portions of the device 15, can simply be placed in a suitable pouch (not shown) formed, for example, in the portions of the upper that are close to the edges 5 a, 5 b of the footwear, at the location of the entrance 4. Alternatively, however, those ends could be knotted together and placed at the location of the depression 19 d at the top of the lace-locking device 15.

It will also be observed that the depth of the grooves 19 a-c is chosen in such a manner as to permit the accommodation of two or more laces, each of which is lockable by surface friction against the walls of the respective groove, in order to ensure the closure of the fastening irrespective of the number of laces of the selected configuration.

It should also be observed that, owing to the fact that the lace-locking device 15 is secured to the tongue 6 of the footwear, during the tightening of the fastening, both the footwear edges 5 a, 5 b and the tongue 6 are tightened at the same time on the user's foot, giving efficient and improved locking of the footwear.

In addition, the provision of only a single lace-locking device 15 arranged to lock all of the laces exiting from the end lacing eyes 11 a, 11 b of the fastening permits advantageous structural simplifications and ease of use for the user, at the same time ensuring reliability and efficiency in closing the fastening.

The invention therefore achieves the proposed objects, obtaining the above-mentioned advantages over the known solutions.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7293373 *Nov 23, 2005Nov 13, 2007The Burton CorporationLace system for footwear
US7392602 *Nov 23, 2005Jul 1, 2008The Burton CorporationLace system for footwear
US7401423 *Nov 23, 2005Jul 22, 2008The Burton CorporationLace system for footwear
US7735242 *Nov 21, 2006Jun 15, 2010Deeluxe Sportartikel Handels GmbhBoot
US8141273Nov 15, 2005Mar 27, 2012Tecnica SpaShoe with directional conditioning device for laces or the like
US8661711Dec 3, 2010Mar 4, 2014“LOWA” Sportschuhe GmbHBoot with bootlace clamping
DE102009047507A1 *Dec 4, 2009Jun 9, 2011Lowa Sportschuhe GmbhSchuh mit Schnürsenkel-Klemmung
EP2620071A1 *Jan 23, 2013Jul 31, 2013Salomon S.A.S.Footwear element provided with an improved tightening device
WO2007057926A1 *Nov 15, 2005May 24, 2007Tecnica SpaShoe with directional conditioning device for laces or the like
Classifications
U.S. Classification36/54, 36/50.1
International ClassificationA43C11/20, A43C7/00, A43C7/08
Cooperative ClassificationA43C7/00, A43C11/20, A43C7/08
European ClassificationA43C7/08, A43C11/20, A43C7/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 21, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: TECNICA S.P.A., ITALY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:PELLEGRINI, ALFRED;REEL/FRAME:016154/0267
Effective date: 20041110