US 2638601 A
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May 19,1?"953 E. P. BULLARDIIE 2,638,601
ARTICLE oF FOOTWEAR I Filekd March 16, 1950 Patented May 19, 1953 UNITED STATI-Es PATENT oFF-1ct; y y L y V2,638,601 l l ARTICLE oF FOOTWEAR Edward P. Bullard In, miniera, conn. .Application March I16, 1950, Serial No. 149,997
'I'his invention relates to `athletic footwear, particularly to that type used-in sports which require a relatively heavy boot being securely laced to the wearers foot. A ski-boot, for example, must *bev so tightly laced as to insure the users foot being held rigidly secured to the associated ski.
4This requisite tight lacing is sometimes extremely uncomfortable, so much so as to frequently require loosening at the end of a run,` which in turn necessitates re-tightenng before the next run. i
An object of this invention to .provide an improved -article of footwear constructed and arranged to permit an athletic shoe such, for example, as a ski boot, being secured to the wearers -foot vwith any degree of tightness required to -insure substantial rigidity between the foot and boot, and entirely without discomfort.
A further object is to provide an'improved sock constructed and Varranged to insure the necessary tightness of an ordinary ski boot or the like without requiringthe boot itself to be tightly laced. 7
A further object is to provide ya, positioning device arranged to insure and maintain the cor-'- rect positioning of the wearers foot in a shoe,
'of construction and arrangement shown, but may l embodyvarious changes and modii'lcations within the scope of the invention.
In the drawing: j f Fig. l is a vside elevation showingbne embodiment of the invention in use on a wearers foot; Figs. 2 and 3 are sections-on the lines 2-2 and 3-3 respectively, of Fig. l, and Fig. 4' is a partial elevation showing the opposite side of the foot from Fig. l.
,For the purposes of disclosure, the invention is shown employed with'a ski boot II having'the usual sole I2 and upper I3 provided with hooks I4 for usev in lacing the boot to a wearers fo'otI5.
6 claims. (01..',2-239) A characteristic of all ski boots is the rigid, non- A 'flexing nature of the sole and heel portion therepf. These boots are constructed in a mannervto prevent any viiexing between the sole and v"heel .and often employ a rigid metal plate extending from the.= heelvv to the sole forming-one lofgthe laminae of the sole and heel construction. The
presentr invention provides an inatable device -or bladder that .permits the relatively loose lacing of such boots to avoid Idiscomfort tothe wearer while providing an arrangement which,
'when inflated, insures the requisite high degree of rigiditybetween the foot and the boot required in various sports, such asskiing.
Referringto the drawing,:the inflatable device is shown as .applied to a sock I6 of textile material whichfforms the entire inner surface of the sock in contact with the wearers foot. In the embodimentdisclosed, the sock I6 is shown as provided with an iniiatable sectionfcovering an area on the-top of the wearers foot over the instep iand along the outer side of the foot from a point forward of the instep to a `point near the heel, and a second inatable section on the outside of the rfoot connected tothe rst section and extending along the back of the foot at the inner side of the heel. Y I
,As illustrated, an inflatable bladder I1 of uid tightsmaterial, such, for example, as rubber; has inner and outer-*walls I8 and I! respectively,
Vconnected at their edges 2I. lThe bladderv I'I lin -the embodiment disclosed forms an integralpart `of the sock. As illustrated, the inner Wall I8 can bev adhesively securedv to the outside face of the textile lmaterial I6, or the bladderc'an lbe incorporated in the sock to form apart of the wall thereof, in' any manner desired.` As shown in Fig.` l, the bladder II is so shaped as to cover the top of the wearers'foot underthe boot vent 22 and tongue 22a over the instep,` and also along the outer side Vof the foot from a point forward of the instep to a point adjacent the heel23. Thebladder IIis formed so as to leave an opening 24 over the outside ankle 24a of the 'wearer uncovered, andthe inside ankle 25 is also .left uncovered by the bladder'. The 'bladder I1 includes a section 26 located in back of the'o'utside ankle to fillthe space between this part of ,the foot-and the shoe or booty Il. The bladder Il is formed to extend across the topof the foot vpast the vent 22 farenoughtq provide a pressure 'absorbing cushion over the -arch of the foot so thatthe latter is cushioned against concentrated pressure produced by tight lacing. An additional bladder section' 28 on the inside of the foot isr so located as to fit the area at the rear of the inside lankle 425'above 'the heel. I
applying the mner wall'fIS of the bladder to the material of thesock in any suitable manner, adhesively or otherwise, the bladder forms 'an' integral part of the sock I6 which in no way -bootf is .1 removablef upon unlacing.-
3 affects the ease with which it can be put on or taken off by the wearer.
The bladder I1 is preferably formed to extend upwardly above the wearers ankle, and below the top of the ski boot or the like, and means is provided for inflating and deating the bladder after vthe boot is laced over it. As illustrated, this includes a spring pressed check valve 3l connected to l,the outer end of a .,tube,3-2 cornmunicating withI the inner space cfu-the. bladder l1, and extending upwardly to a point above the boot Il. A valve stem 33 is accessible from the outer end of the tube for opening the valve for" The valve 31Vcan have;
deating lthe bladder. any desired construction, such, forexample. kas
that used in valves for pneumatic tires; or theV like.
in the bladder as ,long vas desired.. Before-removingl the) boot the-valvefstem 33.;is ,pressedinz wardlvy..l to f, deflatei the bladder, after;l which .the In ,place of a separate. 'hand'I pump a 1 rubber; bu1b;;pum-p with suitab'lewalvingcan be;permanentlyconnected to fthesbladder vfor inflatingand deating, ,ifV desired..` l
As shown, more or Iless,.exrilggelatedrin Fig.` v2, the-main-,section 01?: the` bladderv I'1, holds the wearers foot in correctl position-against thel innerfside.y ofxthefbjoot andpreSses itflmlyzinto .the angle. 35 formedibetween; the;upper Y, l 3 and` the sole'l l2; along thebinner side, Off: the boot The bladder. sections; 2B and-L28v ll rthe spaces` above thef heel .2 3:.ingback-of-the puter, and inner ankles, respectively.' andi they section; 2l holds the foot rmlyragainst,theosole with the reffect ofztight lacingl withoutgits discomfort. Likewise'thesections .26,v 28aabove theheel 'actto pressthe heel iirmlyfdown on-:thessoleofethe boot, The foot is main,tzaznedsrigidfwitlrl the shoe, asv isxessential in 4.rr-rallyv sprtse such for exampleiL as skiing, but entirely withoutdiscomfort4 l The; invention can vbe variously,` modified ,and adapted-within the scope of theappendedclaims.
I'Iaving.;` thusset.A forth ,the nature-0f my. invention-,;.I claim 1 1. ,Anarticleof'footwear for use inside a ski boot or the. like havinga rigid, non-ilexible sole and heel ,portion including an `inflatable bladder so locatedlas to cover the uppersurface and vthe outer,sidesurfaceof "the foot from a point forward of 'the instep to apoint adjacent the-Yheel, andlocated; wheny Worn, entirely withinsaid ski 'boot Orthelike; andmeans including al valve to permit intlating said bladder after -being placed on xa-wearers.footand after .-a :ski boot or. the like isseCured-:to the-.footfon which vsaid article of footwear isilocated. whereby the-,sole andllel oftneswearersyfoot are--maintanedin intimate boot or the like comprising a sock having an niiatable bladder forming a part thereof and so located as to cover an area on the top of a wearers foot over the instep and along the outer side of the foot from a point forward of the instep to a point adjacent the heel, and located, when worn, entirely within said ski boot or the like; and means including a valve to permit inatingsaid bladder when the sock is worn under .fa ski boot ior.the--like wherebptlregbladder cush- 'ions the pressure of the boot'on the top of the Wearers foot and simultaneously holds the inner side of the wearers foot pressed rigidly into the In use, the sock is applied to the foot by the y user in the usual way, the bladder being ldeflated langle between the sole and upper along the inner side of an associated boot,
- 3.* Anarticle of footwear for wear inside a ski boot .orthe like` formed of textile material comprising a sock having an inflatable bladder of fluid-tight material connected to said textile material so as to form an ,integral part of the sock so;:located-astey .cover anarea. cnz-a wearerls foot overf-the; instep andextending alongthe outer sideof-.fthe foot-froma point forward ofthe instep.v to apoint adjacent the heel, and located, whenpworn,` entirelywithin saidl ski boot or the like; and means permitting inflation vof saidy blad,- der when the-sock is worn under a ski boot or the like whereby to cushionthe pressure of Said booten ther-top .of a wearers footand simultaneously press the wearers foot rigidly into the angle between the sole and upper along theinner side'of the associated boot'.
4.1 Avfsockfor wearinside a ski -boot including a layer of textile material forming the entirefinnei-surface of the sock, aninlatable section comprising a 'bladdery formingan integral part of the -sockand solocated. as tocover an area on the top of a wearers foot over'the instep and alongthe outer side of. the foot froml a point forward .of the yinsteptoa pointvadjacent the heel,. and valve meansconnectedt'tosaid bladder and so located as to perm-itrzinflating said lbladder after a boot is laced over the sock to'thereby cushion the pressureof the laced.v boot on the top of the-foot and simultaneouslyapply sufficient pressureover said area. to hold the wearers foot `firmly inthe angle extendinggalongfthe inner side lof the boot between thesole-andupper thereof.
5. A sock for wear inside a ski boot including a-layer of textile material forming the-entire inner surface of the sock, an inatable section comprising a .bladdersecured `to the outer surface of thel textile materialso as vto form an integral part ofthe sock` and cover an area on the top 0f a...wearers foot over the instep and along, the outer side of the foot from a .point forward of the instep'to a point adjacent the heel, and valve pressureof the laced booten the top of the fOOt contact with the rigid, nonvlexible'sole,anclheel and simultaneouslyapply suflicient pressure over said area. to hold the lwearersl foot firmly in the angle extending along theinner side of the boot between. the sole andupper thereof.,
6. A-.sock for Wear inside. a ski boot including a--layer'of textilematerial forming the entire inner ysurface of the sock, an inatable section comprising 4abladder secured to the outer surface of the textilematerial so as to form an integral part ofthe sock and'cover an area onthe top ofa wearers foot over the instep and along the outer side of .the foot from a' point forward of the instep to a point adjacent "the heel, said bladder having sections formingparts of the sock and so i3 positioned as to extend along the back of the Wearers foot above the heel and in back of both inner and outer ankle bones, and valve means connected to said bladder and so located as to permit inating said bladder after a boot is laced over the sock to thereby cushion the pressure of the laced boot'l on the top of the foot and simultaneously apply suiicient pressure over said area, including the area above the Wearers heel, to hold the Wearers foot rmly in the angle extending along the inner side of the boot between the sole and upper thereof, and press the wearers heel downwardly into the boot.
EDWARD P. BULLARD III.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Number