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Publication numberUS20060086003 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/972,261
Publication dateApr 27, 2006
Filing dateOct 22, 2004
Priority dateOct 22, 2004
Publication number10972261, 972261, US 2006/0086003 A1, US 2006/086003 A1, US 20060086003 A1, US 20060086003A1, US 2006086003 A1, US 2006086003A1, US-A1-20060086003, US-A1-2006086003, US2006/0086003A1, US2006/086003A1, US20060086003 A1, US20060086003A1, US2006086003 A1, US2006086003A1
InventorsYu-Sheng Tseng
Original AssigneeYu-Sheng Tseng
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shoe sole with air cushion
US 20060086003 A1
Abstract
A shoe sole air cushion includes a hollow main body defining an air chamber. The main body includes bottom and top walls, and a peripheral wall connected between the bottom and top walls. The bottom wall includes a plurality of lower pins projecting upwardly from an inner surface of the bottom wall. The top wall includes a plurality of upper pins projecting downwardly from an inner surface of the top wall. The upper and lower pins respectively have tapered ends. The tapered ends of the upper pins are connected respectively to the tapered ends of the lower pins.
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Claims(10)
1. A shoe sole air cushion comprising:
a hollow main body defining an air chamber, and including a bottom wall, a top wall, and a peripheral wall connected between said bottom and top walls, said bottom wall including a plurality of lower pins projecting upwardly from an inner surface of said bottom wall, said top wall including a plurality of upper pins projecting downwardly from an inner surface of said top wall, said upper and lower pins respectively having tapered ends, said tapered ends of said upper pins being connected respectively to said tapered ends of said lower pins.
2. The shoe sole air cushion as claimed in claim 1, wherein said bottom wall further includes a plurality of holes extending respectively into said lower pins from an outer surface of said bottom wall, and said top wall further includes a plurality of holes extending respectively into said upper pins from an outer surface of said top wall.
3. The shoe sole air cushion as claimed in claim 1, wherein said main body further includes a plurality of resilient neck sections, each of which interconnects one of said lower pins and one of said upper pins.
4. The shoe sole air cushion as claimed in claim 1, wherein the density of said upper or lower pins is substantially 3 pins per square centimeter area of said top or bottom wall.
5. The shoe sole air cushion as claimed in claim 1, wherein said peripheral wall is transparent, and has two opposite transparent protrusions which project outwardly from said peripheral wall.
6. A shoe sole comprising:
a sole unit having a cavity; and
an air cushion disposed in said cavity, said air cushion including a hollow main body defining an air chamber and having a bottom wall, a top wall, and a peripheral wall connected between said bottom and top walls, said bottom wall including a plurality of lower pins projecting upwardly from an inner surface of said bottom wall, said top wall including a plurality of upper pins projecting downwardly from an inner surface of said top wall, said upper and lower pins respectively having tapered ends, said tapered ends of said upper pins being connected respectively to said tapered ends of said lower pins.
7. The shoe sole as claimed in claim 6, wherein said bottom wall further includes a plurality of holes extending respectively into said lower pins from an outer surface of said bottom wall, and said top wall further includes a plurality of holes extending respectively into said upper pins from an outer surface of said top wall.
8. The shoe sole as claimed in claim 6, wherein said main body further includes a plurality of resilient neck sections, each of which interconnects one of said lower pins and one of said upper pins.
9. The shoe sole as claimed in claim 6, wherein the density of said upper or lower pins is substantially 3 pins per square centimeter area of said top or bottom wall.
10. The shoe sole as claimed in claim 1, wherein said peripheral wall is transparent, and has two opposite transparent protrusions which project outwardly from said peripheral wall.
Description
    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0002]
    The invention relates to a shoe sole, more particularly to a shoe sole with an air cushion having top and bottom wall faces which can be maintained in flat and even states after inflation.
  • [0003]
    2. Description of the Related Art
  • [0004]
    Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a conventional shoe sole air cushion 10 is disposed in a cavity 21 of a shoe sole 20. The air cushion 10 has a hollow main body 11 which includes a bottom wall 111, a top wall 112, a peripheral wall 113 interconnecting the top and bottom walls 112, 111, and an opening 114 formed in the peripheral wall 113.
  • [0005]
    Each of the top and bottom walls 112, 111 has a plurality of depressions 116. A plurality of inflated portions 117 are confined by the top, bottom and peripheral walls 112, 111, 113. The top wall 112 is sealed to the bottom wall 111 at the depressions 116.
  • [0006]
    During production, the top, bottom and peripheral walls 112, 111, 113 are first preformed, after which air is introduced into the main body 11 through the opening 114 so as to fill up the inflated portions 117 with air. The opening 114 is then sealed and trimmed, thereby completing the formation of the air cushion 10. Due to pressure of the air inside the inflated portions 117, the top, bottom and peripheral walls 112, 111, 113 expand around the main body 11, and an outer face of the top wall 112 is caused to be formed with a plurality of protrusions 118. During use of the conventional air cushion 10, since the protrusions 118 and the depressions 116 are not formed uniformly on the top wall 112, the pressures on the sole of the wearer are uneven, which may result in injury and discomfort. Furthermore, the conventional air cushion 10 has insufficient shock absorbing properties because of the presence of the depressions 116 and because resiliency is provided only by the inflated portions 117.
  • [0007]
    FIG. 3 illustrates another conventional air cushion 10′, wherein the inflated portions 117′ and the depressions 116′ are formed more uniformly than those of the aforementioned air cushion 10. However, since the depressions 116′ occupy a substantially large area, and since the area of each inflated portion 117′ which contacts the wearer's foot is relatively small, the pressure exerted on the foot by the inflated portions 117′ can be large and can cause discomfort to the foot. Furthermore, the conventional air cushion 10′ similarly has insufficient shock absorbing properties due to the presence of the depressions 116′.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0008]
    Therefore, the object of the present invention is to provide a shoe sole with an air cushion that is capable of overcoming the aforementioned drawbacks of the prior art.
  • [0009]
    According to one aspect of this invention, a shoe sole air cushion comprises a hollow main body defining an air chamber. The main body includes bottom and top walls, and a peripheral wall connected between the bottom and top walls. The bottom wall includes a plurality of lower pins projecting upwardly from an inner surface of the bottom wall. The top wall includes a plurality of upper pins projecting downwardly from an inner surface of the top wall. The upper and lower pins respectively have tapered ends. The tapered ends of the upper pins are connected respectively to the tapered ends of the lower pins.
  • [0010]
    According to another aspect of this invention, a shoe sole comprises a sole unit having a cavity, and an air cushion disposed in the cavity. The air cushion includes a hollow main body defining an air chamber and having bottom and top walls, and a peripheral wall connected between the bottom and top walls. The bottom wall includes a plurality of lower pins projecting upwardly from an inner surface of the bottom wall. The top wall includes a plurality of upper pins projecting downwardly from an inner surface of the top wall. The upper and lower pins respectively have tapered ends. The tapered ends of the upper pins are connected respectively to the tapered ends of the lower pins.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0011]
    Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:
  • [0012]
    FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a conventional shoe sole;
  • [0013]
    FIG. 2 is a fragmentary sectional view of the shoe sole of FIG. 1 in an assembled state;
  • [0014]
    FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a conventional air cushion;
  • [0015]
    FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the first preferred embodiment of a shoe sole according to the present invention;
  • [0016]
    FIG. 5 is a partly sectional view of an air cushion of the first preferred embodiment;
  • [0017]
    FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view of the first preferred embodiment in an assembled state;
  • [0018]
    FIG. 7 is a fragmentary enlarged sectional view of an upper pin and a lower pin of the first preferred embodiment, and the interconnection therebetween by a neck section;
  • [0019]
    FIG. 8 is a partly sectional view of the first preferred embodiment in a state of use;
  • [0020]
    FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the second preferred embodiment of an air cushion of the present invention; and
  • [0021]
    FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a shoe that incorporates the air cushion of FIG. 9.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0022]
    Before the present invention is described in greater detail, it should be noted that like elements are denoted by the same reference numerals throughout the disclosure.
  • [0023]
    Referring to FIGS. 4 to 7, the first preferred embodiment of a shoe sole 30 according to the present invention is shown to comprise a sole unit having a cavity 31, and an air cushion 40 disposed in the cavity 31.
  • [0024]
    The air cushion 40 includes a hollow main body 41 which has a bottom wall 42, a top wall 43, a peripheral wall 44 connected between the bottom and top walls 42, 43, and an opening 45 formed in the peripheral wall 44. The bottom, top and peripheral walls 42,43, 44 cooperate to define an air chamber 47.
  • [0025]
    The bottom wall 42 includes a plurality of rows of hollow tapered lower pins 421 projecting upwardly from an inner surface of the bottom wall 42, and a plurality of holes 422 extending respectively into the lower pins 421 from an outer surface of the bottom wall 42. The lower pins 421 in each row are staggered with respect to the lower pins 421 in the adjacent rows.
  • [0026]
    The top wall 43 includes a plurality of rows of hollow tapered upper pins 431 projecting downwardly from an inner surface of the top wall 43, and a plurality of holes 432 extending respectively into the upper pins 431 from an outer surface of the top wall 43. The upper pins 431 in each row are staggered with respect to the upper pins 431 in the adjacent rows.
  • [0027]
    The upper and lower pins 431, 421 respectively have tapered ends. The tapered ends of the lower pins 421 are connected respectively to the tapered ends of the upper pins 431 through a plurality of resilient neck sections 46, as best illustrated in FIG. 6. FIG. 7 illustrates one of the neck sections 46 interconnecting the tapered ends of a pair of the lower and upper pins 421, 431.
  • [0028]
    During production of the air cushion 40, the bottom, top and peripheral walls 42, 43, 44 are first preformed, after which air is introduced into the air chamber 47 through the opening 45. The opening 45 is then sealed and trimmed after the air chamber 47 is filled with air, thereby completing the formation of the air cushion 40.
  • [0029]
    Referring to FIG. 8, during use of the shoe sole 30, since the lower and upper pins 421, 431 are disposed in a substantially uniform manner on the bottom and top walls 42, 43, and since the lower and upper pins 421, 431 are arranged in a staggered configuration, the pressures on the sole of the wearer are evenly distributed. Further, because the lower and upper pins 421, 431 are interconnected, the bottom, top and peripheral walls 42, 43, 44 do not bulge out when air is introduced into the air chamber 47. Furthermore, the holes 422, 432 in the bottom and top walls 42, 43 can absorb part of any occurring volume expansion so that the outer surfaces of the bottom and top walls 42, 43 can be maintained in a flat and even state. A shoe pad 48 may be provided to cover the outer surface of the top wall 43 so as to enhance comfort during use of the shoe sole 30. Because the contact surface of the air cushion 40 is flat, injury to the wearer's foot does not occur, and, in fact, protection of the wearer's foot is achieved.
  • [0030]
    In this embodiment, the density of the lower pins 421 is substantially 3 pins per square centimeter area of the bottom wall 42, and the density of the upper pins 431 is substantially 3 pins per square centimeter area of the top wall 43. However, the number of the pins 421, 431 may be varied depending on the particular requirements of the shoe into which the shoe sole 30 is inserted.
  • [0031]
    Because of the configuration of the resilient neck sections 46, which can deform resiliently, the shoe sole 30 of the present invention can provide a sufficient shock absorbing effect. Hence, the shoe sole 30 is comfortable during use.
  • [0032]
    The second preferred embodiment of a shoe sole 30′ (see FIGS. 9 and 10) according to the present invention is similar to the first preferred embodiment. However, in this embodiment, the peripheral wall 44′ of the air cushion 40′ is transparent, and has two opposite transparent protrusions 49′ that project outwardly from the peripheral wall 44′, as shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. The sole unit of the shoe sole 3′ further has two opposite elongated slots 32′ for receiving respectively the protrusions 49′ therein so as to permit viewing of an inner structure of the air cushion 40′, thereby enhancing the outer appearance of a shoe.
  • [0033]
    While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent arrangements.
Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5815950 *Sep 11, 1997Oct 6, 1998Wang; Sui-MuAir-cushioning sole insert lined with iridescent film
US6098313 *Jan 23, 1995Aug 8, 2000Retama Technology CorporationShoe sole component and shoe sole component construction method
US6385864 *Mar 16, 2000May 14, 2002Nike, Inc.Footwear bladder with controlled flex tensile member
USD386894 *Jun 3, 1996Dec 2, 1997Nike, Inc.Bladder for a shoe sole
USD512555 *Oct 22, 2004Dec 13, 2005Yu-Sheng TsengSole air cushion
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8056261Jul 20, 2007Nov 15, 2011Wolverine World Wide, Inc.Footwear sole construction
US8146268Jan 28, 2009Apr 3, 2012Sears Brands, LlcShoe having an air cushioning system
US9339080Mar 15, 2013May 17, 2016Nike, Inc.Method of manufacturing a fluid-filled chamber with a tensile element
US20090019729 *Jul 20, 2007Jan 22, 2009Wolverine World Wide, Inc.Footwear sole construction
US20100186256 *Jan 28, 2009Jul 29, 2010Sears Brands, LlcShoe having an air cushioning system
US20140250728 *Mar 8, 2013Sep 11, 2014Nike, Inc.Footwear Fluid-Filled Chamber Having Central Tensile Feature
Classifications
U.S. Classification36/29, 36/35.00B
International ClassificationA43B21/28, A43B13/20
Cooperative ClassificationA43B13/20, A43B21/28
European ClassificationA43B13/20, A43B21/28