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Publication numberUS20080222916 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/050,097
Publication dateSep 18, 2008
Filing dateMar 17, 2008
Priority dateMar 16, 2007
Also published asCN101263944A
Publication number050097, 12050097, US 2008/0222916 A1, US 2008/222916 A1, US 20080222916 A1, US 20080222916A1, US 2008222916 A1, US 2008222916A1, US-A1-20080222916, US-A1-2008222916, US2008/0222916A1, US2008/222916A1, US20080222916 A1, US20080222916A1, US2008222916 A1, US2008222916A1
InventorsKwang Ji Jin
Original AssigneeKwang Ji Jin
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shoe Sole Combined with Air Chamber and Air Valve
US 20080222916 A1
Abstract
A shoe sole for a shoe comprises: an air chamber formed of a resilient material and defining an inner space for receiving air therein; an air valve coupled to the air chamber; and a sole member formed of a resilient material and coupled with the air chamber, the sole member enclosing a substantially entire outer surface of the air chamber except some portions of the air chamber and the air valve such that a wearer of the shoe can selectively open and close the air valve to adjust an air pressure of the air chamber, and thus, to adjust an air cushioning degree of the shoe. The air chamber can include a grooved structure on the generally planar upper and lower surfaces and on side surfaces thereof, and one or more through-holes formed through the upper and lower surfaces of the chamber, and the sole member is filled in the through-holes.
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Claims(13)
1. A shoe sole for a shoe, comprising:
an air chamber formed of a resilient material and defining an inner space for receiving air therein;
an air valve coupled to the air chamber; and
a sole member formed of a resilient material and coupled with the air chamber, the sole member enclosing a substantially entire outer surface of the air chamber except some portions of the air chamber and the air valve such that a wearer of the shoe can selectively open and close the exposed air valve to adjust an air pressure of the air chamber, and thus, to adjust an air cushioning degree of the shoe.
2. The shoe sole of claim 1, wherein the air chamber includes generally planar upper and lower surfaces and has a shape resembling a heel portion of the shoe.
3. The shoe sole of claim 2, wherein the air chamber includes a grooved structure on the generally planar upper and lower surfaces and on side surfaces thereof.
4. The shoe sole of claim 3, wherein the air chamber further includes one or more through-holes formed through the upper and lower surfaces of the chamber, and the sole member is filled in the through-holes.
5. The shoe sole of claim 4, wherein the through-hole and the grooved structure are overlaid or in communication with each other.
6. The shoe sole of claim 1, wherein the air valve is an on-off control valve.
7. The shoe sole of claim 1, wherein the air chamber has an air port disposed at a side of the air chamber, and an air passage conduit is attached to the air port and with the air valve disposed at an end of the air passage conduit.
8. The shoe sole of claim 1, further comprising an outer sole attached at a bottom surface of the sole member.
9. The shoe sole of claim 8, wherein the outer sole has a property of reducing slippage on the shoe sole.
10. The shoe sole of claim 9, wherein a plurality of grooves are provided between the sole member and the outer sole for enhancing a cushioning effect to the shoe sole.
11. The shoe sole of claim 8, wherein the outer sole is formed of a material relatively harder than the sole member to reinforce the shoe sole or to provide an enhanced strength and durability to the shoe sole.
12. The shoe sole of claim 11, wherein a plurality of grooves are provided between the sole member and the outer sole for enhancing a cushioning effect to the shoe sole.
13. The shoe sole of claim 1, wherein the air chamber is formed of rubber material or a polymer of a vinyl compound.
Description
REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priorities of Korean Patent Application No. 10-2007-0025939, filed on Mar. 16, 2007, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a shoe sole combined with an air chamber and an air valve, and more particularly, to a shoe sole which has an air chamber formed of resilient material and an air valve combined thereto, in which a portion of the air chamber and the air valve are exposed externally and by which the wearer of the shoe can adjust a cushioning degree of the shoe by adjusting or controlling the air valve according to the user's desire or selection or in consideration of the user's weight.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Various shoe soles with cushioning effects are introduced in the art. For instance, a shoe sole can utilize a spring-activated cushion in the sole and an air bag or air chamber coupled with the shoe sole. Such air bags can provide cushioning effects or they can optionally provide cooling effects and/or air circulations to the shoes, and so on.

However, one known drawback associated in the prior art shoe sole is that such air bags typically provide a uniform air cushion to the soles. Accordingly, the cushioning degree of the shoe sole is not adjustable by the user's selection to meet its desire or in consideration of the user's weight.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, in order to solve the above-described and other drawbacks or problems, the present invention provides a shoe with a shoe sole, in which the shoe sole includes an air chamber formed of resilient material and an air valve combined thereto. A portion of the air chamber and the air valve are exposed externally, and thus, the wearer of the shoe can adjust a cushioning degree of the shoe by adjusting or controlling the externally-exposed air valve according to the user's desire or selection or in consideration of the user's weight. In addition, by having the shoe sole enclosing a substantially the entire outer surface of the air chamber, but leaving some of the outer surface thereof exposed externally, the appearance of the shoe may provide more artistic appeals to the wearers.

According to one aspect of the invention, the shoe sole for a shoe comprises: an air chamber formed of a resilient material and defining an inner space for receiving air therein; an air valve coupled to the air chamber; and a sole member formed of a resilient material and coupled with the air chamber, the sole member enclosing a substantially entire outer surface of the air chamber except some portions of the air chamber and the air valve such that a wearer of the shoe can selectively open and close the exposed air valve to adjust an air pressure of the air chamber, and thus, to adjust an air cushioning degree of the shoe. It is preferable that the air chamber of the shoe sole includes generally planar upper and lower surfaces and has a shape resembling a heel portion of the shoe. The air chamber preferably includes a grooved structure on the generally planar upper and lower surfaces and on side surfaces thereof. The air chamber preferably further includes at least one through-hole formed through the upper and lower surfaces of the chamber, and the sole member is filled with the through-hole.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above described and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more apparent from the presently preferred embodiments of the invention disclosed in the following description and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating the air chamber coupled with an air valve, constructed in accordance with one preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a partially cross-sectional plan view of the air chamber of FIG. 1, coupled with a sole member of the sole;

FIG. 3 is a side cross-sectional view of the air chamber of the invention coupled with the sole member;

FIG. 4 is a side cross-sectional view of the shoe sole, constructed in accordance with one preferred embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 5 is a shoe coupled with the shoe sole, constructed in accordance with the concept and principles of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

With reference to FIGS. 1-3 of the drawings, the shoe sole of the present invention preferably includes an air chamber 5 formed of a resilient or elastic material, such as rubber, resilient polymer or other elastic materials, and a sole member 6 securely coupled with the air chamber 5.

The air chamber 5 preferably resembles a heel shape of a shoe to fit in the heel portion of the shoe sole, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The air chamber 5 includes an air port 3 preferably at a front side of the heel-shaped air chamber 5, to which an air passageway or conduit 2 is coupled, extending in a lateral direction. An air valve 1 is coupled at the terminal end of the air conduit 2, in which a tip portion of the air valve 1 preferably extends externally from the side surface of the shoe sole to allow the wearer of the shoe to adjust or control the air valve.

According to one preferred embodiment of the present invention, the air chamber 5 includes one or more through-holes 4 formed through the upper and lower surfaces of the air chamber 5, and one or more grooved channels 5-1 formed around the outer surfaces of the air chamber 5, preferably including the upper, lower and side surfaces thereof. The through-holes 4 and the grooved channels 5-1 are preferably overlaid as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. Due to this grooved structures 5-1, combined with through-holes 4, the strength and air cushioning property of the air chamber 5 can be greatly enhanced.

According to one preferred embodiment of the present invention, the air chamber 5 is tightly and unitarily coupled with the sole member 6. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the air chamber 5 is covered by and unitarily enclosed within the sole member 6 formed of suitable sole material such as polymer resins, except some external surfaces thereof. According to one preferred embodiment, the air chamber 5 formed according to the above described disclosure is located within a mold (not shown) of suitable configuration for forming the sole member 6, and a polymer or rubber material, for example, such as urethane resin, is filled within the mold and plasticized to form a sole shape. In this manner, the air chamber 5 is unitarily and securely covered by the sole member 6. As a result, the air chamber 5 is enclosed within the sole member 6 except the protruded side areas and rear area as shown in FIG. 5. The air valve 1, preferably along with the air conduit 2, is also exposed to the out side. However, it is noted that the grooved channel areas 5-1 and the through-holes 4 are covered by and filled with the sole member 6.

The air chamber 5 is formed of a resilient resin, rubber, or any other suitable elastic material with a sufficient strength and durability under a repeating and extended load condition. In one preferred embodiment, the air chamber 5 is formed of a polymer of a vinyl compound. The sole member 6 is formed of a resin, rubber, or any other suitable sole material. In order to allow the air chamber 5 to deform elastically, the enclosing sole member 6 should preferably be formed of a relatively resilient material, rather than a hard material.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, the sole of the present invention may further comprise an outer sole member 13 attached at a bottom surface of the sole member 6. In one preferred embodiment, the outer sole member 13 has a property and quality for reducing slippage of the shoe sole relative to the ground. In another embodiment, the outer sole member 13 is formed of a material relatively harder than the sole member 6 to reinforce the sole or to provide an enhanced strength and durability to the shoe sole, and is also capable of reducing slippage as well.

The shoe sole member 6 may preferably include a plurality of cavities or grooves 6-1 disposed between the sole member and the outer sole 13. These cavities 6-1 can enhance the cushioning effects and provide comfortable feelings to the wearer of the shoe 12. The element 11 not described above depicts an upper 11 of the shoe 12.

As described above, the shoe 12 comprises a shoe sole which includes a partially exposed, elastic air chamber 5 and an exposed air valve 1. The air valve 1 is preferably an on-off control pneumatic valve for selectively controlling the valve between the on and off positions by the user. With the air valve 1, the wearer can adjust the air pressure of the air chamber 5 to a level of its choice. In order to increase the air pressure in the air chamber 5, the valve 1 is opened by the user and a compressed air is provided through the valve 1 into the air chamber. After reaching a desired level of the air pressure, the user can switch and leave the air valve 1 in a closed position, and the air of desired pressure is kept within the air chamber 5 and provides the cushioning effect to the shoe. Likewise, the wearer can freely adjust the air pressure level of the air chamber of the shoe sole, utilizing the externally exposed valve 1 and connecting to a source of compressed air. The manner of providing a compressed air is well known in the art. For example, it can be in the same manner to pressurize a pneumatic tire of an automobile by connecting a compressed air source, or can be in the same manner as pressurizing a tire of a bike through a manual pumping operation with a pneumatic pump.

As described above, the shoe sole of the present invention have a user-controllable air valve exposed externally, and thus, the wearer of the shoe can adjust a cushioning degree of the shoe by adjusting or controlling the externally-exposed air valve according to the user's desire or selection or in consideration of the user's weight. In addition, by having the shoe sole enclosing a substantially the entire outer surface of the air chamber, but leaving some of the outer surface thereof exposed externally, the appearance of the shoe may provide more artistic appeals to the wearers.

While preferred embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that many changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention in its broader aspects. The appended claims are intended to cover, therefore, all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7644462 *Jun 13, 2008Jan 12, 2010Nike, Inc.Article of footwear having midsole with support pillars and method of manufacturing same
Classifications
U.S. Classification36/29, 36/35.00B
International ClassificationA43B13/20, A43B21/28
Cooperative ClassificationA43B13/187, A43B21/285, A43B13/203
European ClassificationA43B21/28P, A43B13/20P, A43B13/18F