US 2638690 A
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May 19, 1953 E. P. BULLARDJIL ARTICLE oF FOOTWEAR 2 Sheets-Sheet l Filed May 29I 195o www \lllllll .l\ \ll Illllllllll I Il Rm D A TL mm WB /P ,W .M E WG vw A T TR Nfl-Y May 19, 1953 E. P. BULLARDJJI 2,638,690
ARTICLE oF FOOTWEAR Filed May 29, 1950 2 sheets-sheet 2 EDWARD F. BULL ARD 71',
Patented May 19, 1953 l UN l TED STATES LPATENT .oaFfFi-fc ARTICLE OF FQO'EWEAR f:Enfin/artiPirullard III, Fairfield, Conn.
ApplicationMay- 29, 1950; Serial No. l165;'087
vThis [invention-relates to the art of skiing,.an.d
particularly: to. annew and :improved-device for :mfaintaining'the skierssxtoot. in properwposition --rela-tively. `to theslii. vThisapplicationis a con tnuationain-part of Aapplication Seniat No: 1.49,-
991 ledf- March 16,: 19,50, in the `.naine of'.E iWard LP. Bullard 111.
Probably tire most essential requirement, inso- :fiar fas'ski equipment is concerned, is tnat. con .'.cern'ng the relation-.of the; aki to theekihoot, `and. the reiationxofgthe-.ski bootto-tlie footpoi' the skier.
J .Ski bootsfare constructed in `a mennen to-pi'ovidef apermanentlrelation ywith the Vsin `at all `times; i.v e., tlriefentii'e` bottom` of. the; booti in- `ciudin-gxitl'iesole .andi heel 4isg. a -rigid,.-non-f1enible inembernthatg-is rigidly. fined; to; the sliipy` `the usual harness means. he soie is usnally much thicker*thanY that of` ordinary shoes or 'posta-,and steelpfplates .areyii-siiallyeenibedcled .Within the sole. andlheel in order to insureya` continuous inon- 4flexing,element. thatcan he rigidly;maintained.` as anintegral, non-flexing partvofi the ski.
^ -The :nature vof the boot i construction, :including the steel-reeniorcec `boxflike i toe i construction antithe` .heavy `leather uppers,- afoids little likeilihoodof maintaining `.thefoct of the 'skien in the sa-me` vrelation to; theyski boot aathelatter isrelated. toV the ekL although it is Ajust as 4essential to kmaintain the sole and heel .ofA the skiers; -feet in intimate Vrelation irlgitlfi;` the sole andi neel -oi ,the sli-i boots as it is to Lmaintain thenboots iinwrigicl Arelation to the skis.
l Heitetotorefgit -hascbeen common practice to lace the skibcotas tightly` to the `:footas possible norden toLefect-as `nearly as possible this; intiimate; :rela-tkm` oi footto skiboot. Suohwpractice Anauseas concentrated, Apresnures to g, be; applied1-pto '-.variousparts of the skiers foot, panticula'rlysover .the .instep t impeding the circulation of pblood, causing '.,excessive ;pain and inquiring` frequent loosening ;ofi` .theelaees Whieh, vof coursa. :are required.` `to `.be tightened .before skiing can che .resumed.
' .Thetpnincipalpobject ofthis inventionisto pro videl .a device4 that. will maintain Athe entire.: sole tand-.heel .of theskierfs foot atalitiineseinintimate Contact with`V the nom-nexible soleuiand'iheel ,of the ski. boot. Other objects include the: pro vision of an inflatable-device that will apply any clesiredforce over' a relatively large areaofy the skiers foot above the sole in a manner towmaintain the -desired f Yintimate Contact between the sole and.y heel, of fthe skiersfootand that -ofthe skrbooty the rprovision of such a device that can .i2 :be readily inflated.and deflated-,at .the .will/ .othe theY provision oisucha. device formingnan iintegralpart of y. ai sock adapted .l to be ,Wolf-n :with .conyentionalskihoot; .the ,ptovisionoi -suchza denise that is;.indenendent of the soci/l; andki bootmand the. .provision oda; nani/1,A and improved ski boot embodying as a apart :thereof lsuch.v an Yinilataleleicevice.
` The lanci/atras well..- asj. other ,1 oloietsA :and: ,novel features of: .the -improvedarticle of footwear `will .become .-1 anparent from s 4the -following especification and-accompanyingdrawings in which:
figure .1 4is: a side1 f elevational view, @partlyI in section, showii'ier theielation .of `a conventional ,siiifboot with; ail-sock. .to .which` the principles of the invention have .been applied;
Figlia -is a sideelevationalyiew of. the-hoot of Eig.A l,`-but Viewedi from the opposite side;
,Fig. 2is a .sectionaleeleyational viewtaken substantially alone line Z-eZOEig l; l i
j; Fig. `3 is a sectionalelenational `View taken substantielle alone line -Sfof Fig,` ,1;
Fig. `4, discloses y aV modification :comprising an articleof yfootwear .worn independently .of the sock and enilemlying.` the. principlesv of.` the inven- .tien;
Fig 5 discloses another lviewnf the article shown .in Fiese;
flig.` 6 isiV a `.sectionalelevational` View through theiniiating mechanism of Figs. 45, 7 and 8;`
Fig '7 is a `plan'View .of a newv and improved ski boot embodying the .principles..of theinVention and constituting` another-.modification .ot the inVentiomand ,'Fig. =8. is a .sectional View taken .aubstantially .along line 8-8 .of Fig. '7.
. Referring tothe drawings..` and` ,particularly to 1i9s. V 1 to v35 inclusivethe invention :is slioyvnas appledtto a ysockj Hlpo A,theusualknitted type commonly employed in skiing. In Figi..1,.t11e50ck i 0., is f shown on aioot, i l r.with a conventional ski boot 12. ."Iihe,sl :i"bootf` 2 includes. a; rigid, non,- .flexible sale iandiheel portion $3 thatiswma'ntained' a rigid, `iionrexilole fform usually, by the inclusionci metallic plates between, the.. yan- 4ous` layers' .ofi leatliei'- forming. vthe'sole and heel ,I 3. The` forwardrportion; of thenboot` I 2 .includes a box-like .tce .section .ifi that yis ',constnuctedtof relatively; heavyeaage l sheet .metallA covered @with leather. vTine remaining upper portioni I5iof the booti l2#l ia` constiructed lof heavy ;.leather.sog.that it Will withstand the severe stressesnand strains to-Which the `boot lis` subjected 'during skiing, [and a Weitere-tight joint is provided 4between a vents i6 and a1 tongue il' to prevent the .penetrations Vof inatable article of footwear is shown. embodiment, an inflatable bladder 29 in somewhat spat-like form, is similar to that of bladder I9 3 moisture into the interior of the boot. Fasteners I8 of usual construction lare provided along each edge of the vent I6 to receive the usual lacing thongs.
In an effort to maintain the bottom of the skiers foot in intimate contact with the rigid sole and heel I3 of the ski boot, and because of the thick leather required for the proper maintenance of the boot upper I5, the laces, heretofore, were required to be applied as tightly as possible. Such action produced highly concentrated pressures at various points on the instep of the wearers foot, resulting in excessive pain and requiring frequent loosening between skiing runs, obviously necessitating re-tightening before beginning a new run.
Referring to Fig. 3, a bladder-like member I9 includes an inner wall 2U attached to the sock II by any conventional means such as gluing,
stitching, etc., and an outer wall 2l that is vulcanized or heat-sealed to the innei` wall along its yperipheral edge 22. The bladder I9 may be made of any material capable of maintaining a fluid as air under pressure, such as rubber, heat-sealing plastic and the like. Inasmuch as it is essential to maintain substantially the whole sole and heel of the foot of the wearer in intimate contact with the sole and heel I3 of the ski boot, the bladder I9 must cover a substantial portion of the foot above the sole and heel. In the embodiment of Figs. 1 to 4, the bladder I3 is shown extending from a point just rearwardly of the toes, up over the instep and for a substantial distance on either side of the middle of the instep so that the force required to maintain the sole and heel of the boot and wearer in proper relation is equally distributed over as large an area as is possible. As shown in Fig. 1, the bladder I9 extends rearwardly of the foot II to a point adjacent the heel 23, and upwardly above the outer ankle 24. The construction of the bladder in Fig. 1 is such as to leave the outer ankle 24 uncovered while providing an inflatable portion completely surrounding it. The bladder I9 extends over the inner portioi of the instep also and includes an inflatable portion 25 that passes upwardly of the inner ankle and down behind the latter in order to provide the greatest possible area of the foot to which the equalized pressure can be applied, thus reducing to a minimum the unit pressure required.
A valve device 29 is integrally attached to the bladder I9 near its upper extremity so as to extend above the top of the boot I2. It may include a housing 21 within which a spring pressed plunger 28 is located, and to which a small hand pump may be removably attached. The valve 23 may be of any convenient design such as the conventional pneumatic tire valve for vehicles, or it may take the form shown in Fig. 6 to be described later.
In practice, with the bladder I9 deflated, the sock I I is applied to the foot in the usual manner and the boot I2 drawn on and laced only snugly, whereupon the bladder I9 is inflated until the desired pressure is attained to maintain the foot and heel of the wearer in intimate contact with the sole and heel I3 of the boot I2. When it is desired to relieve the pressure on the foot, or to remove the ski boot, it is only necessary to operate the plunger 28 of the valve device 26.
Referring to Figs 4 and 5, a modication of the In this except that it includes portions covering both inner and outer ankles, and is provided with a pair of straps 30, 3| to maintain the bladder 29 in proper relation to the foot of the wearer and also in proper relation to the ski boot. A permanently attached valve and inflating device 32 is attached to the upper section of the bladder 29. Referring to Fig. 6, the infiating device 32 includes a body 33 turned from any desirable material, but preferably from a plastic such as nylon or Vinylite, so that it is unaffected by the moisture to which it will be subjected while skiing.
The body 33 is provided with an opening 34 into which is screwed a plug valve 35. A groove 36 is provided part way along the top of the threaded portion of plug valve 35 in such fashion that when the plug 39 is screwed tightly into place, no air escapes through groove 3B. However, upon backing the plug 35 outwardly two or more turns, groove 36 is exposed to the atmosphere, thereby venting the body 33. The body 33 is also provided with a float valve 31 that is prevented from falling out of place by a pin 38. A compressible rubber bulb 39 is attached to the top of the body 33 and it includes a float valve 40 similar in action to that of float valve 31. The lower end of body 33 is hermetically sealed to the bladder 29 such that free access is provided from the body 33 to the inside of the bladder 29.
Referring to Figs. '7 and 8, the principles of the invention are shown as applied as an integral part of a new and improved ski boot. In this embodiment of the invention, the ski boot includes a rigid, non-flexible sole and heel member 4I, which may be made up of layers of thick leather between which a rigid metallic plate may be located to insure thedesired non-flexing characteristic: The upper portion 42 of the new ski boot may be of conventional heavy leather commonly employed in the manufacture of ski boots. Located on each side of the vent 43, and within the interior of the boot, is an inilatable bladder means 44 joined by an inflatable section 45 located just ahead of the instep of the boot. Each of the bladder means 44 extends rearwardly above the ankle, but not entirely surrounding the heel.
Referring to Fig. 8, the bladder members 44 each include outer portions 46 that are cemented or otherwise integrally united to the inner side of the leather forming the upper portion 42 of the ski boo-t; and, inner portions 41 are provided that are hermetically sealed to the outer peripheral edges of the outer portions 46. A space along the vent 43 is not covered by a portion of the inflatable bladder, but this is necessary in order to facilitate applying the boot to the wearers foot. Since it is only necessary to fasten the boot snugly to the foot, the common lacing means is dispensed with in the embodiment of Figs. '1 and 8, and fastening means commonly known in the market as a zipper 48 is substituted therefor. Of course, any form of fastening means may be employed and the conventional laces are contemplated within the scope of the modification of Figs. 7 and 8. Additionally, the inner surface of the ski boot upper 42 may be provided with pockets made from a relatively thin, soft leather of the general outline of .the inflatable members 44, within which iniiatable members 44 may removably be positioned. Near the rear of one of the members 44, a connection is permanently made to an inflatable device 49 of the same construction as shown in Fig. 6. y
From the foregoing description of Figs. 7 and 8, it is only necessary for the wearer to openthe zipper 4B, apply the ski boot tothe foot, close the Zipper it and operate the inflating means di), whereupon any desired pressure may be provided over a substantially large area oi the wearers foot necessary to maintain the entire sole and heel of the wearers foot in intimate contact with the entire sole and heel of the rigid, non-exing sole and heel ell of the sld boot. When it is desired to remove the pressure on the foot, it is only necessary to unscrew the plug valve 35 a turn or two, thereby venting the bladder members M.
Although the various features of the improved article of footwear for use with shi boots and the like have been shown and described in detail to fully disclose several embodiments of the invention, it will be evident that numerous changes may be made in such details, and certain features may be used without others, without departing from the principles of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. An article of footwear for use with a ski boot and the like having a rigid, non-exible sole and heel portion, comprising a unitary structure including an iniiatable bladder of spat-like form adapted to cover the top of the wearers foot trom a point in advance oi' the instep, rearwardly over substantial areas of both inside and outside of the instep and to a point adjacent the heel; strap means adapted to hold said bladder' on the foot of a wearer; and valve means for facilitating the iniiation of said bladder, whereby substantially the entire root and heel of the wearer is maintained in intimate contact with the rigid, nonflexible sole and heel of the ski boot.
2. An article of footwear for use with a slri boot and the like having a rigid, non-flexible sole and heel portion, comprising a unitary bladder of spat-like forni, adapted when worn to cover a substantial area on each side of the center of the instep, and to extend rearwardly to a point adj acent the heel; strap means for holding said bladder on the foot of the wearer; and valve means for facilitating the inflation of said bladder, whereby substantially the entire foot and heel of the wearer is maintained in intimate contact with the rigid, non-flexible sole and heel of the ski boot, said valve means including vent means for facili tating deiiation of said bladder.
3. A ski boot accessory comprising a unitary structure including an inflatable bladder of gen-- erally spat-lile form adapted to be worn with a ski boot of the like, and providing an inatable pocket extending from one side of the foot continuously across the instep lto the other side thereof; strap means for holding said bladder on the foot of the wearer; and means permanently associated with said bladder lor inating and deilating the same.
4. A ski boot accessory comprising a unitary structure including an inflatable bladder of generally spat-like form adapted to be worn with a ski boot of the like, and providing an inilatable poc-liet extending from one side or the foot con tinuously across the instep to the other side thereof; strapI means 'for holding the bladder on the ioot of the wearer; and independently ope erated inilating and venting means permanently associated with said bladder.
A ski boot accessory comprising a unitary structure including an inflatable bladder of generally spat-dike form adapted to be worn with a ski boot or the like, and providing an inflatable pocket extending from one side of the foot continuously across the instep to the other `side thereof; strap means for holding said bladder on the root of the wearer; a valve body permanently fixed to said bladder; a manually operable valve and floating valve in said valve body and an inflating bulb xed to .said valve body.
6. An article of footwear for use with a ski boot or the like comprising in combination, a unitary structure including an inflatable bladder adapted when worn to cover substantially the entire area of the foot as viewed in plan from the iront of 'the instep to behind the ankle; sole straps adapted to hold said bladder in position relatively to the foot; and three-way Valve means iixed to said 'bladder' at its rearward eX- treniity for facilitating its ination and deflation.
7. As an article of footwear for use with a ski boot or the like having a rigid, non-flexible sole and heel portion and an upper portion of relatively heavy leather, a unitary structure including an inrlatnble bladder-like member adapted when worn to cover a substantial portion of the instep of the wearer; resilient strap means adapted to maintain the bladder in fixed position relatively to the foot of the wearer; and a multi-way valve means integral with said bladder at its rearward extremity on the outside of the wearers foot for facilitating iniiation and deflation or said bladder member.
EDWARD P. BULLARD XXI.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 518,579 Annenberg apr. 24, 1894 746,338 Keen Dec. 8, 1903 1,629,108 Lake May 1"?, 1927 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 135,354 Germany Dec. 11, 1902 297,430 Germany Apr. 19, 1917 440,113 Germany Jan. 28, 1927 632,702 Germany July 13, 1936 OTHER REFERENCES American Shoemaking, September 8, 1948, page 37,