US 20060283043 A1
An article of footwear has a sole with a plurality of spaced apart pillars extending upwardly from a base surface defining passageways therebetween. The sole may include a vent allowing air to circulate through the passageways. An insole may rest on the plurality of pillars and may have a plurality of perforations therethrough that intersect the passageways.
1. An article of footwear comprising:
a sole having a heel portion, a toe portion and a shank portion;
a plurality of pillars extending upwardly from a base surface of the sole defining air circulation passageways therebetween;
an insole having an upper surface and a lower surface, the lower surface resting on the plurality of pillars, the insole further having a plurality of perforations therethrough intersecting the air circulation passageways;
whereby air is free to circulate between the upper surface of the insole and the vent through the air circulation passageways.
2. The article of footwear of
3. The article of footwear of
4. The article of footwear of
5. The article of footwear of
6. The article of footwear of
7. The article of footwear of
8. An article of footwear comprising:
an upper attached to the sole;
a plurality of spaced apart pillars extending upwardly from a base surface of the sole.
9. The article of footwear of
10. The article of footwear of
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates generally to the field of footwear and, more particularly, to an article of footwear having a sole constructed for improved comfort and ventilation.
Most shoes and other closed articles of footwear suffer from poor ventilation. When the foot is enclosed in a poorly ventilated shoe, natural perspiration is trapped, which promotes the growth of bacteria, fungi and the like. This commonly results in discomfort, unpleasant odors and skin conditions.
Many different designs of ventilated footwear have been proposed. These include various arrangements of air passageways, some including pumps to provide forced ventilation.
The present invention provides an article of footwear having a sole with a plurality of pillars extending upwardly from its base surface defining passageways therebetween. The sole may include a vent, which may be disposed in the shank portion of the sole or elsewhere. An insole may rest on the plurality of pillars and may have a plurality of perforations therethrough that intersect the intersole passageways. Air is thereby free to circulate between the upper surface of the insole and the vent through the intersole passageways. The plurality of pillars support the weight of the wearer and provide superior comfort in comparison to a conventional sole.
In the following description, for purposes of explanation and not limitation, specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention. However, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced in other embodiments that depart from these specific details. In other instances, detailed descriptions of well-known methods and devices are omitted so as to not obscure the description of the present invention with unnecessary detail.
A particular type of footwear to which the present invention may be applied is a closed low-back shoe, sometimes referred to as a clog. Such shoes are frequently worn by nurses and other healthcare workers. These shoes are commonly made with the sole and upper as a single piece molding of resilient plastic. While such a shoe is one example of an article of footwear embodying the present invention, the invention is not limited in this regard.
A vent 18 is fitted in the shank portion of sole 12, but could be located elsewhere if desired. The vent provides an air passageway completely through the sole in the arch of the article of footwear. Vent 18 preferably incorporates a screen or mesh to prevent debris from entering while still admitting air. The upper or base surface of sole 12 is covered with a plurality of upwardly extending pillars 20, which define a maze of interconnecting passageways 22. These passageways allow air admitted by vent 18 to circulate throughout the area of the sole.
Insole 16 includes a plurality of perforations 24 that intersect the passageways 22. These complete the air circulation path from the vent 18 into the footwell of the article of footwear. The upper surface of the insole may have a layer of fabric applied thereto for the comfort of the wearer.
With reference to
Pillars 20 function not only to permit circulation of air between the sole and insole; the pillars also serve to support the weight of the wearer and concentrate pressure onto corresponding locations on the wearer's foot. This provides a gentle massaging action as the wearer walks. In this regard, the pillars may be located to concentrate pressure at specific pressure points on the wearer's foot so as to achieve a therapeutic effect. The pillar configuration with spaces therebetween and the natural resilience of the pillars increases the comfort of the wearer in comparison to conventional sole construction.
It will be recognized that the above-described invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics of the disclosure. Thus, it is understood that the invention is not to be limited by the foregoing illustrative details, but rather is to be defined by the appended claims.