US 3290801 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 13, 1966 A. BENTE 3,290,801
TRACK SHOE HAVING HEEL CUSHIONING MEANS Fild Dec. 11, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 "IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII A RED BENTE Atrornel s Dec. 13, 196 6 A. BENTE 3,290,801
TRACK SHOE HAVING HEEL CUSHIONING MEANS Filed D60. 11, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 W j B 1 j At forn' el s I 74/ United States Patent 5 Claims. (or. 36-25) The present invention relates to a sport shoe, and more particularly to a shoe which is especially designed for jumping.
It is a well-known fact that when performing the long or broad jump, the hop-step-and-jump, and the like, very severe pressures are exerted upon the heel of the foot which very often result in injuries to the heel bone. In the hop-step-and-jump there is a still greater danger that the heel of the jumper'may be bruised since at the end of the first and second jumps the jumper still alights on solid ground.
The injuries to the heel bone caused by such severe impacts are not only painful, but also especially troublesome because they often require a long time for healing so that an athlete who has suffered such a heel injury may have to abstain from any further sports activity for an entire season. Similarly troublesome are injuries to the Achilles tendon which may also easily occur because of the relatively flat position of the foot in the shoe during a long or broad jump or a hop-step-and-jump.
It is therefore important to provide a sport shoe which is especially designed for jumping and prevents as much as possible the danger of injuries to the heel bone and the Achilles tendon or permits an athlete who has suffered such an injury again to take up his training much sooner than he would be able to do when wearing a sport shoe of an ordinary type.
Such sport shoes have therefore in the past been provided with a heel cushion which was either inserted into the finished shoe or was worked into the bottom of the shoe between the insole and the outer sole. The
cushioning effect of such a heel cushion was intended to protect the heel or heel bone from being bruised. Often the cushion has also been made of a wedge shape in order to elevate the heel and thereby to relieve the Achilles tendon of the foot.
The protection which may be attained by a heel cushion which is inserted into a finished shoe is limited because the thickness of such a cushion may not exceed a certain relatively small amount since otherwise the rear part of the foot would project too far from the upper. In order to attain a satisfactory cushioning effect in any case, that is, also when the foot is subjected to more severe stresses, it is therefore more advisable to employ a cushion which is worked into the bottom of the shoe since such a cushion may be made of a much greater thickness than one which is inserted as an additional element into the finished shoe.
The sports shoes of the known type in which the heel cushion is worked into the bottom of the shoe have the disadvantage that the downwardly projecting part of the heel bone rests on the insole-covered upper side of the relatively soft cushion, that at the impact upon the ground the heel of the foot may therefore yield laterally in the shoe, and that the latter will thus not give the athlete the desired steadiness. Furthermore, these known sport shoes did also not fully satisfy the requirements of protecting the heel bone from injury.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a shoe which may be used for various sports and especially for jumping, and which is especially designed to prevent injuries to the heel bone and to give the foot of the athlete the desired steadiness. According to the invention, this object is attained by providing the shoe with a heel cushion which is firmly secured between the insole and the outer sole and is provided with a recess which, at least when the cushion is compressed by the impact of the foot upon the ground is adapted to receive the downward projection of the heel bone, while the part of the cushion around the recess fully supports and braces the marginal parts of the heel.
A heel cushion according to the invention which is provided with such a recess has a much more superior cushioning effect than a solid heel cushion since especially when alighting from a jump the pressure of the impact both from the foot and from the ground will be greatly reduced and the heel bone will thus be much better protected from injury. In a sport shoe according to the invention, the heel will be substantially supported only on its outer edges where the heel cushion has a much greater thickness than directly underneath the heel bone which is especially susceptible to injuries. Consequently, when the heel cushion is resiliently bent or rubber.
compressed when the athlete alights from a jump the elastic restoring forces which are then produced are much smaller underneath the heel bone than around the edges of the heel. The heel cushion according to the inventionshould have a thickness of at least 1.5 cm and the depth of the recess therein should amount to at least one half of this thickness. In order to attain a firm support and steadiness of the foot, it suffices if the solid part of the heel cushion which supports the heel around the central recess and extends to the outer edge of the shoe bottom is made of a width of at least 1 cm.
According to one preferred embodiment of the invention the open side of the recess in the heel cushion faces toward the heel of the foot and the insole covering the upper side of the cushion is provided with an aperture through which the downward projection of the heel bone may project into the cushion recess. The heel bone is then practically suspended in the air in the recess and is thus safely protected from injury. Even an athlete who by wearing a pair of improper sports shoes has suffered such an injury may when wearing the shoes according to the invention continue his training long before his injury is completely healed since by the suspension of the heel bone within the recess of the heel cushion practically no pressure will be exerted upon this bruised bone.
For producing the heel cushion according to the invention it is advisable to employ a substantially elastic, but only slightly compressible material such as a compact The use of foam rubber or foam plastic is less advisable since it is too easily compressible.
According to another preferred embodiment of the invention the element forming the heel cushion is wedgeshaped and extends forwardly up to the part which supports the ball portion of the foot. The heel cushion thus elevates the heel of the foot and thereby relieves the strain upon the Achilles tendon. It therefore has also the effect of a shoe heel. By extending the cushion element up to the area underneath the ball portion of the foot the advantage is attained that not only the heel portion of the foot will be protected, but also that part which extends from the heel portion up to the ball portion of the foot and which is likewise subjected to considerable pressure especially when jumping from a takeoff board.
When employing a cushion element of a wedge-shaped type, it is advisable also to extend the recess therein in the forward direction, that is, beyond the heel porttion and at least up to the part underneath the instep of the foot. This reduces the Weight of the heel cushion and thus also the Weight of the entire shoe. Such a weight reduction is often of considerable importance in order o attain a really good result in the particular kind of port.
The various features and advantages of the present in-' 'ention will become more clearly apparent from the folowing detailed description thereof which is to be read vith reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 shows a perspective view of a sport shoe .ccording to the invention which is provided with a wedgehaped heel cushion;
FIGURES 2 to 6 are cross sections which are taken long the line AA of FIGURE 1 and show different modifications of the heel cushion according to the nvention;
FIGURE 7 shows a perspective view of a wedgehaped heel cushion according to the invention; while FIGURE 8 shows a perspective view of a horseshoehaped heel cushion according to the invention.
As illustrated in FIGURES 2 to 6 of the drawings, he sport shoe 1 according to the invention is provided vith a heel cushion 2 which is secured between the insole and the outer sole 4. This heel cushion 2 is provided vith a recess 5 which, when the shoe is worn, is located lirectly underneath the heel bone of the foot. If the reel cushion is made of several layers 2 and 2", as illusrated in FIGURES 5 and 6, each of these layers may )e provided with such a recess 5 or 5", respectively.
This recess 5 is surrounded by a solid web 6, the outer :dge of which extends up to the periphery of the shoe )ottom. This part 6 which directly supports the heel )f the foot ormore accurately speakingthe marginal )art of the heel, has a width sufficient to give the wearer in adequate steadiness in the shoe. This steadiness is further improved by the provision of the recess 5 in the 1eel cushion as the result of which the center of the reel of the foot will rest in the shoe at a lower level than he outer edges of the heel.
As indicated in the drawings, the recess 5 in the heel :ushion may be of different designs. According to FIG- URE 2 the open side of this recess faces toward the foot 1nd is merely covered up by the insole 3. The shoe nottom according to this embodiment may be provided with a substantially wedge-shaped cushion element, as shown in FIGURE 7, which extends beyond the heel por- :ion up the ball portion of the foot. A shoe which is provided with such a heel cushion is illustrated in FIG- URE 1. On its lower side, the heel cushion 2 according to FIGURE 2 is covered with an outer sole 4 of a wearresistant material which may be secured thereto by gluing.
In the modifications of the heel cushion as shown in FIGURES 4 to 6, the open sides of the recesses 5 and 5 likewise face toward the foot. However, the insole 3 is in these cases provided with an aperture 8 through which the heel bone may project into the recess and will thus be relieved of any possible pressure. This is true particularly if the recess 5 forms an aperture through the entire thickness of the cushion element 2, as shown in FIGURE 4. If this embodiment of the invention is applied, the cushion element may have a shape similar to a horseshoe, as illustrated in FIGURE 8.
According to the modification of the invention as shown in FIGURE 3, the open side of the recess 5 in the heel cushion faces downwardly and the outer sole 4 is molded into it and against the bottom of the recess. The use of this embodiment of the invention may be of particular advantage when the ground is slippery either through frost or moisture. When a jumper wearing such a shoe alights on the ground, a suction eifect will be produced by the recess in the outer sole which improves the steadiness of the jumper.
If the cushion element 2 consists of two layers 2' and 2", as shown in FIGURES 5 and 6, each of these layers may be provided with a recess 5' or 5", respectively. Recess 5' in the upper layer 2 may then either be covered by the insole similarly as shown in FIGURE 2 or it may be open toward the foot, as shown in FIGURES 5 and 6, by providing the insole 3 with an aperture 8. The open side of the recess 5" in the lower cushion layer 2" may either face upwardly, as shown in FIGURE 5, and be covered by the bottom of the recess in the upper layer, or it may face downwardly, as shown in FIGURE 6, in which case the outer sole 4 may either cover this recess or be molded into it in the manner as shown in FIG- URE 3.
Although my invention has been illustrated and described with reference to the preferred embodiments thereof, I wish to have it understood that it is in no way limited to the details of such embodiments, but is capable of numerous modifications within the scope of the appended claims.
Having thus fully disclosed my invention, what I claim 1. A track shoe having an insole, an outer sole, and a resilient element forming a heel cushion secured between said insole and outer sole, said element having a recess which extends at least up to the instep part of the shoe and which is adapted to receive the downward projection of the heel bone of a foot at least when said cushion element is resiliently compressed, the parts of said element around said recess being adapted to support the marginal parts of the heel of the foot.
2. A track shoe having an insole, an outer sole, and a heel cushion secured between the insole and the outer sole and extending approximately up to the instep portion of the shoe, said heel cushion having a central recess therein, said recess being open in the downward direction toward the outer sole for providing a suction effect, and the outer sole being secured to the portion of the heel cushion arranged between the recess and the edge of said cushion.
3. A track shoe as defined in claim 2 wherein said outer sole extends into said recess and is secured to the walls and bottom the recess.
4. A track shoe as defined in claim 3 wherein said heel cushion is provided with a wedge-shaped form at the end of the heel cushion which extends toward the toe portion of the shoe.
5. A track s'hoe as defined in claim 4 wherein said recess extends up to the instep portion of the shoe.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,575,490 3/1926 Krech 36-80 X 1,821,834 9/1931 Hetter 36113 2,637,122 5/1953 Baer 3680 X FOREIGN PATENTS 1,056,003 4/1959 Germany.
217,833 10/1923 Great Britain.
303,241 11/1932 Italy.
602,165 2/1960 Italy.
PATRICK D. LAWSON, Primary Examiner.