Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20060137217 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/025,182
Publication dateJun 29, 2006
Filing dateDec 28, 2004
Priority dateDec 28, 2004
Publication number025182, 11025182, US 2006/0137217 A1, US 2006/137217 A1, US 20060137217 A1, US 20060137217A1, US 2006137217 A1, US 2006137217A1, US-A1-20060137217, US-A1-2006137217, US2006/0137217A1, US2006/137217A1, US20060137217 A1, US20060137217A1, US2006137217 A1, US2006137217A1
InventorsH. Asmundson
Original AssigneeAsmundson H C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Propulsion footwear
US 20060137217 A1
A style of footwear, comprising a spring-suspension system, meant for impact absorption and the augmentation of metatarsal thrust. An angle spring affixes to the central pivot point and is external to the shoe sole. A guide and quick recoil are joined to the angle spring in a manner set to influence the central pivot point prior to the deflection of the angle spring itself. A type of resilient compression device is affixed below the ball area of the foot. This device receives the pressure of all aforementioned spring-loaded agents in conjunction with the user's weight transfer, metatarsal thrust, and any residual impact force. The timing of the compression device's load phase is such that it releases in tandem with the unloading of the angle spring. The result is an article of footwear, which works with the natural mechanics of the body to enhance comfort and ability.
Previous page
Next page
1. A jumping shoe attachment controlled by the normal heel to toe distribution of the weight and metatarsal thrust of a person as they stride or jump. Said attachment performs by comprising in combination:
a) a foot encasement of a durable, lightweight, and rigidly formed material which can allow for the normal motions of the user's foot while securely supporting it. Said encasement is to serve as a platform spaced generally parallel above a base plate. Said foot encasement is to have a point, located above the user's heel and behind their ankle, for the upper portion of a shock absorber to pivotally connect. Said foot encasement is to have an attachment point representing the pivot center of the user's foot, to which the two upper arms of an angle spring device are to pivotally connect. Said foot encasement is to also have an attachment point, for the upper end of a resilient compression device to firmly connect, under the ball area of the user's foot.
b) an angle spring device (hereafter referred to as torsion springs) pivotally secured under the central pivot point of the foot encasement. The angle spring's upper arms extend rearward, horizontally when idle, from said central pivot point on either side of the user's heel and allow the heel to pass. The lower arms of said torsion springs extend down and attach to the base plate of the apparatus. At a predetermined point, between said attachment to the foot encasement, and the elbow of the angle spring, the lower end of the shock absorber is pivotally secured.
c) shock absorber(s) pivotally secured at its upper end to said foot encasement in a manner that biases said foot encasement towards a generally horizontal position. Said shock absorber is pivotally secured, at a predetermined point on its lower end, to said attachment point on the angle spring arms.
d) a device with coil spring properties attached to the underside of the foot encasement and the top of said apparatus base in a manner that provides spring to the ball of the foot and may or may not impose a predetermined maximum span between said foot encasement and said base plate.
e) a base plate of a durable, lightweight, and rigidly formed material on its upper surface and a means of attachment to a footwear outsole suitable to the user's intended application of the propulsion footwear.
f) said shock absorber, said torsion spring, and said coil spring cyclically arranged to sequentially absorb the forces of impact and the users exertion, while generating torsion buildup throughout a rocking heel to toe motion, and then impart an amplified metatarsal thrust to user.
2. The spring-action propulsion footwear as defined in claim 1. wherein the foot encasement extends up to support and guides the user's ankle.
3. The spring-action propulsion footwear as defined in claim 1. including a supportive cover for said torsion springs' arms and coils to prevent an excess of directional leeway in said torsion spring arms.
4. The spring-action propulsion footwear as defined in claim 2. including lower torsion spring arms are pivotally connected to the heel area of said base plate's sole.
5. The spring-action propulsion footwear as defined in claim 1. including a rigid tab protruding out either side of the foot platform positioned with the intent of contacting beneath the upper arms of the angle spring. Said tabs contact said torsion spring arms to result in the restriction of forward pivot by said foot platform.
6. The spring-action propulsion footwear as defined in claim 1. wherein the pivotal connection between the torsion spring and the shock absorber is accomplished through a means that connects pivotally to said torsion spring, and connects pivotally to the bottom extremity of said shock absorber, allowing said means to introduce a swing type movement.
7. The spring-action propulsion footwear as defined in claim 1. including a means to regulate the span between the foot encasement and the apparatus' base.
8. The spring-action propulsion footwear as defined in claim 1. wherein the actions of the shock absorber are accomplished instead by a torsion influenced central pivot point.
9. The spring-action propulsion footwear as defined in claim 1. wherein the actions of the shock absorber are accomplished instead by user specific placement of the central pivot point and selection of the angle spring strengths.
  • [0001]
    This invention relates to footwear used to increase striding and jumping capabilities.
  • [0002]
    1. Background
  • [0003]
    Previous inventions of the same sort have not succeeded in working proficiently with the natural heel impact, rear to front weight transfer, and metatarsal push. The existing inventions, which integrate this heel to toe movement (when absorbing, amplifying and returning the user's efforts), have failed to maintain a lightweight design. Lighter versions of the spring footwear tend to return energy to the same portion of the foot that it was absorbed from or—as in many cases—they merely act as a shock absorber without ever actually amplifying the user's energy.
  • [0004]
    An issue that has been neglected entirely by this field is the braking properties of thrust enhancing footwear. Due to this oversight spring action footwear has not accomplished a stopping technique allowing for the toe to heel transfer of weight, which is a necessity to metatarsal shock absorption for the user's foot.
  • [0005]
    Maneuverability in regards to cornering situations is another attribute, which has been ineffective in previous spring footwear designs.
  • [0006]
    I have found that the aforementioned disadvantages can be overcome through a suspension system combining shock absorber, torsion spring, and coil spring, which—when functioning in a cycle—drastically amplifies the thrust capabilities of a runner or jumper and also absorbs the impact from such actions while remaining lightweight and maneuverable.
  • [0007]
    2. Prior Art
  • [0008]
    Since the 1980's a high degree of Intellectual Property filings were submitted concerning spring enhanced footwear. In anticipation of a strong market demand for this product type, many filings have forgone the research necessary for a commercial success. Impact should transfer to the forefoot in substantial force in order to assist metatarsal thrust. The unit should remain lightweight while allowing spring interplay adjustability. Emulation of natural foot movements in regard to external pressures is to be respected as to prevent injury.
  • [0009]
    The following designs are respectable achievements in furthering spring footwear concepts, yet are each lacking one or more crucial factors or capabilities:
  • [0010]
    U.S. Pat. No. 4,534,124 by Schnell and U.S. Pat. No. 5,701,685 by Pezza Both transfer impact energy to the forefoot in synchronization with metatarsal thrust but rely heavily on a strict angle of impact a thrust for operation.
  • [0011]
    U.S. Pat. No. 6,115,942 by Paradis intends for a heel to toe pivot around a transverse axis, though it returns impact force directly to the heel without consideration for the optimal angle of operation required for toe-off.
  • [0012]
    U.S. Pat. No. 6,009,636 by Wallerstein does accommodate necessary foot angles for thrust yet pivots about the ball area and does not incorporate spring devices amply strong for the task of active energy return.
  • [0013]
    WO 96/32028 by Riegerbauer is capable of active energy return though it does not simulate natural rollover until the device is used at full speed and stride, as well the energy return is to the heel.
  • [0014]
    U.S. Pat. No. 6,115,943 by Gyr absorbs heel impact in a preferable manner wherein the foot is able to continue forward momentum throughout the heel-strike phase. Energy return in this design is, unfortunately, limited to the heel.
  • [0015]
    FIG.1 shows a side view of the preferred embodiment of this invention.
  • [0016]
    FIG.2 is a top view of the preferred embodiment with compressed air as the spring factor within the shock absorber.
  • [0017]
    FIG.3 depicts a side view of the preferred embodiment with the addition of ankle support and pivotal connections to the base plate.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 1 shows a side view wherein one shock absorber2 is attached to the torsion springs3 and to the user's foot encasement1 in such a manner as to absorb shock and then influence a forward pivot of the foot encasement1. The site at which the foot encasement1 is initially cushioned and then tilted forward is the upper pivotal point6 of the shock2. In this model the upper attachment point6 of the shock2 and the extension15 (welds have been utilized to make fixed attachments in this embodiment) from the foot encasement1, have a bolt—which allows for pivoting—fastening them together at a point above the user's heel. The lower pivoting point17 of the shock2 consists of a fully enclosed ball bearing ring firmly fixed to the bottom of the shock2 and the middle of the swing shaped rod8 that connects in a pivotal manner7 to each torsion spring3. (The swing shaped rod is necessary with most shock absorbers, because the shock cannot compress past fifty percent of its own length. This amount of compression is optimum for sufficient travel of the foot encasement's1 heel.) The rod8, having a lower pivoting connection17 to the bottom of the shock absorber2, allows the shock2 to realign itself as it is compressed. Two torsion springs3 are pivotally secured to the central pivoting point5 of the foot encasement2 —in this instance four fully enclosed ball bearing rings are used. The lower arms of the torsion springs3 fixedly connect11 at the rear of the jumping shoe's base13. The upper arms of the torsion springs3 fixedly connect10 to a rod16 which acts as a connection between the torsion springs3 and the central pivoting point5 of the foot encasement1. A tab9 protrudes out either side of the foot encasement1 positioned with the intent of contacting beneath the upper arms of the torsion springs3 to result in the restriction of forward pivot by the foot encasement1. A coil spring4 spans the area between the ball area of the foot encasement and the apparatus' base13. The coil spring4 is functionally engaged when the torsion springs3 have compressed and the shock2 has released. A chord12 attaches to the same points as the coil spring11 and regulates the maximum distance between the foot encasement1 and the apparatus base13. The apparatus base13 is fixedly connected to the footwear sole14.
  • [0019]
    FIG. 2 shows a top view wherein an air shock is the type of shock absorber2 utilized and a pivotal connection17 has not been incorporated.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 3 shows a side view of the preferred embodiment as depicted by FIG. 1 with the addition of pivotal connections between the base plate14 and the lower extremities of the torsion spring extentions13. Ball bearing rings19 are the pivotal connection between the torsion spring extentions13 and the base plate14. FIG. 3 also embodies a pivotal ankle support20 and tabs22 to prevent ankle hyperextension. A rivet21 has been used as the pivotal connection between the ankle support20 and the foot encasement1.
  • Operation of the Propulsion Footwear
  • [0021]
    The foregoing description of a preferred embodiment of the invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. It was chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and their practical application to thereby enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the invention in various embodiments and with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. For example, two shock absorbers can be used instead of one; an overlapping angle spring can be used to assist and even replace the torsion springs; the points of connection, both pivoting and fixed, can be altered to influence the heel to toe rocking motion for specific types of performance, and a full boot can replace the sandal style foot encasement and ankle support.
  • [0022]
    The torsion buildup, used to create an amplified metatarsal thrust, is fully capitalized through the following sequence—which is unique to my apparatus:
  • [0023]
    When the user places weight on the heel of the foot first, upon impact, the shock(s) and torsion springs compress to cushion the user's weight. Said shock is the first to be fully compressed, at this point the tilt of the foot platform rocks forward under the user's weight and compresses the coil spring.
  • [0024]
    With a faster reaction time than both of the spring types, the shock(s) decompresses first, causing the foot platform to tilt all the way forward and the heel begins to rise. Both the torsion spring and the coil spring decompress simultaneously to provide lift-off thrust to the ball area of the foot.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7793431 *Feb 7, 2007Sep 14, 2010Yue's Hong Kong Invention LimitedEnergy recycling footwear
US9247784 *Mar 15, 2013Feb 2, 2016Jeffrey David StewartWearable exercise apparatuses
US9480302 *Mar 23, 2012Nov 1, 2016EnkoShoe having improved cushioning and propulsion
US20080184596 *Feb 7, 2007Aug 7, 2008Chun Ho YuEnergy Recycling Footwear
US20130340287 *Mar 15, 2013Dec 26, 2013Jeffrey David StewartWearable exercise apparatuses
US20140165428 *Mar 23, 2012Jun 19, 2014Christian FreschiShoe having improved cushioning and propulsion
U.S. Classification36/7.8
International ClassificationA43B3/10
Cooperative ClassificationA43B13/182, A43B13/184
European ClassificationA43B13/18A3, A43B13/18A1