Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3613273 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 19, 1971
Filing dateMar 2, 1970
Priority dateMar 2, 1970
Publication numberUS 3613273 A, US 3613273A, US-A-3613273, US3613273 A, US3613273A
InventorsMarquis Richard T
Original AssigneeMarquis Richard T, William J Parker
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ankle support
US 3613273 A
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oczt. 19; 1971 R. T. MARQUIS ANKLE SUPPORT Filed March 2, 1970 BY HIS HTTORNEYS.

Hank/s, K/EcH, RUSSELL & KER/v United States Patent O 3,613,273 ANKLE SUPPORT Richard T. Marquis, Rosemead, Calif., assignor of a fractional part interest to William J. Parker, San Gabriel, Calif.

Filed Mar. 2, 1970, Ser. No. 15,754 Int. Cl. A43b US. Cl. 362.5 N 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A device for minimizing the possibility of excessive ankle strain, comprising an elastic member having an upper end connected to the outside of the wearers leg above the ankle, and a lower end connected to the outside of the wearers foot below the ankle. The relaxed length of the elastic member is no greater than the distance between its connections to the wearers leg and foot when the wearers foot is in its normal position, i.e., generally perpendicular to his leg, whereby the elastic member biases the outside of the wearers foot upwardly Whenever it is disposed below its normal position. This minimizes the possibility of rolling the outside of the foot under, and thus placing excessive strain on the ankle, particularly when landing after a leap. The lower end of the elastic member is preferably connected to the sole of a shoe adjacent the outer edge thereof. The upper end of the elastic member may be connected to an ankle strap, or to the top of a shoe extending above the wearers ankle. The device includes inextensible means for limiting extension of the elastic member, thereby limiting the degree to which the outside of the wearers foot can be turned under from its normal position.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates in general to a device for minimizing the possibility of excessive ankle strain when landing after a jump or leap, particularly in sports such as basketball, football, tennis, and the like.

After a leap into the air, there is a tendency to relax the muscles controlling the ankles as one descends. Under such conditions, a landing on the outer edge of one foot can roll or turn the outer edge of the foot under. This may impose excessive strain on the ankle, which is sometimes sufficient to produce a severe sprain. Taping the ankles prior to participation in sports reduces the chance of excessive ankle strain, but also reduces the flexibility of the ankles. The same is true of other prior ankle supports with which I am familiar.

SUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF INVENTION In the light of the foregoing background, the primary object of the present invention is to provide an ankle support or supporting device which minimizes the possibility of excessive ankle strain while minimizing interference with normal flexing of the ankle.

More particularly, the primary object of the invention relates to an ankle supporting device which biases the outer edge of the foot upwardly toward its normal position, i.e., upwardly toward a position wherein the foot is generally perpendicular to the leg. Consequently, if the muscles controlling the ankle are relaxed in descending after a jump, the supporting device of the invention tends to displace the outer edge of the foot toward its normal position to minimize the possibility of landing on the outer edge of the foot in such a way as to turn it under and perhaps sprain the ankle, which is an important feature of the invention.

Another and important object of the invention is to provide an ankle supporting device which includes an ice elastic member, first connecting means for connecting one end of the elastic member to the outside of the wearers leg above the ankle, and second connecting means for connecting the other end of the elastic member to the outside of the wearers foot below the ankle. Another object is to provide a device wherein the relaxed length of the elastic member is no greater than, and preferably less than, the distance between its connections to the wearers leg and foot when the wearers foot is generally perpendicular to his leg, i.e., when the wearers foot is in its normal position. With this construction, the elastic member biases the outside of the wearers foot upwardly Whenever it is disposed even slightly below its normal position. Consequently, if the wearer lands with the muscles controlling his ankle relaxed, the elastic member displaces the outside of the wearers foot upwardly to, or nearly to, its normal position to minimize the possibility of excessive ankle strain upon landing. Thus, this elastic member acts as an involuntary muscle tending constantly to restore the outside of the wearers foot to its normal position, but capable of being overcome by the wearers own muscles in walking, running, jumping, or the like, which are important features of the invention.

Another object of the invention is to provide an ankle supporting device of the foregoing nature including inextensible means for limiting extension of the elastic member, thereby limiting the extent to which the outside of the foot can turn under. A related object is to provide a device wherein the inextensible means comprises an inextensible member coextensive with the elastic member and secured at its upper and lower ends to the wearers leg above the ankle and to the wearers foot below the ankle, respectively. The taut length of this inextensible member corresponds to the maximum permissible distance between the points of connection to the wearers leg and foot, and is so selected as to further reduce the possibility of having the outside of the foot roll under upon landing after a leap.

Still another object of the invention is to employ the ankle supporting device of the invention in conjunction with a shoe by suitably connecting the lower end of the elastic member to the sole of the shoe adjacent the outer edge thereof. Related objects in connection with different embodiments of the invention are to connect the upper end of the elastic member to an ankle strap, or to the top of a shoe extending above the wearers ankle. In the latter event, the ankle supporting device of the invention is preferably built into the shoe, which is another object of the invention.

The foregoing objects, advantages, features and results of the present invention may be attained with the exemplary embodiments of the invention described in detail hereinafter and illustrated in the accompanying drawing.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING In the drawing:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a shoe having the ankle supporting device of the invention built thereinto; and

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing the ankle supporting device of the invention connected to a shoe and to an ankle strap.

DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS 7 OF THE INVENTION Referring initially to FIG. 1 of the drawing, illustrated therein is a shoe 10 having an ankle supporting device 12 of the invention built thereinto. The shoe 10 is of the type having an upper 14 which extends upwardly from its sole 16 to a point above the wearers ankle.

The ankle supporting device 12 is located on the outside, i.e., the outer side, of the shoe 10 and includes an elastic member 20 of any suitable material connected at its upper end to the upper 14 of the shoe above the wearers ankle, and connected at its lower end to the sole 16 below the ankle. Any suitable connecting means for the upper and lower ends of the elastic member 20 may be used. For example, the elastic member may be sewn, bonded, or otherwise secured to the shoe at the locations specified.

The ankle supporting device 12 also includes an inextensible member 22 coextensive with the elastic member for limiting extension of the elastic member.

In the particular construction illustrated, the built-in ankle supporting device 12 is concealed between the upper 14 and an inner liner 24. However, this is not essential.

The relaxed length of the elastic member 20 is no greater than the distance between its connections to the upper 14 and the sole 16 when the wearers foot is generally perpendicular to his leg, i.e., when the wearers foot is in its normal position relative to his leg, as shown in FIG. 1 of the drawing. Preferably, the relaxed length of the elastic member 20 is less than the distance between its connections to the upper 14 and the sole 16 under such conditions, so that it is in at least some tension when the wearers foot is in its normal position.

Considering the operation of the ankle supporting device 12, the elastic member or involuntary muscle 20 can be overcome by the wearers own muscles in walking, running, jumping, or the like, so that the elastic member does not interfere with normal ankle flexing. However, if the muscles controlling the wearers ankle relax in descending after a jump, for example, the elastic member 20 displaces the outside of the wearers foot upwardly into or toward its normal position whenever it is disposed below such position. Thus, any tendency for the wearer to land on the outside of his foot is minimized to minimize the chance of rolling or turning the outside of his foot under upon landing. As will be apparent, this minimizes the pos sibility of excessive ankle strain, and thus minimizes the chance of spraining the ankle, which is an important feature of the invention.

As will also be apparent, the inextensible member 22 limits the extension of the elastic member 20 and thus further guards against the possibility of landing on the outside edge of the wearers foot to such a degree as to potentially strain the ankle excessively.

Turning to FIG. 2 of the drawing, illustrated therein is an existing shoe 30 having an ankle supporting device 32 of the invention applied thereto. In this case, the ankle supporting device 32 is located on the outside of the upper 34 of the shoe 30 and is suitably secured at its lower end to the outside of the sole 36 of the shoe, as by bonding, or otherwise.

The device 32 includes an elastic member 40 and a coextensive inextensible member 42 respectively corresponding to the elastic and inextensible members 20 and 22. The upper ends of the elastic and inextensible member 40 and 42, instead of being secured to the upper 34 of the shoe 30, are secured to an ankle strap 44 which encircles the wearers leg above the ankle and which may be adjustably tightened by a buckle means 46. Alternatively, the ankle strap 44 may be adjustably tightened by a lace, not shown, or in any other suitable manner. Also,

4 the ankle strap 44 may have any desired construction, that shown being intended as illustrative only.

Preferably, the elastic member is adjustable as to length, both to adjust its efiectiveness initially, and to readjust its tension if it stretches permanently with time. Thus, the member 40 comprises two parts and 52 interconnected by an adjustable fastening means 54. The latter may comprise interengageable Velcro hook-type fasteners 56 and 58 respectively connected to the parts 50 and 52 of the member 40.

The operation of the ankle supporting device 32 is substantially the same as that of the device 12 so that a detailed description is not necessary.

Although exemplary embodiments of the invention have been disclosed herein for purposes of illustration, it will be understood that various changes, modifications and substitutions may be made in such embodiments without departing from the spirit of the invention as defined by the claims which follow.

I claim as my invention:

1. In a device for minimizing the possibility of excessive ankle strain, the combination of:

(a) an elastic member;

(b) first connecting means for connecting one end of said elastic member to the outside of the wearers leg above the ankle; and

(c) second connecting means for connecting the other end of said elastic member to the outside of the wearers foot below the ankle.

2. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein the length of said elastic member in its relaxed condition is no greater than the distance between its connections to the wearers leg and foot when the wearers foot is generally perpendicular to his leg, whereby said elastic member biases the outside of the wearers foot upwardly whenever it is disposed below the position it occupies when the wearers foot is generally perpendicular to his leg.

3. A device set forth in claim 2 including inextensible means for limiting extension of said elastic member.

4. A device according to claim 2 wherein said first connecting means includes an ankle strap and said second connecting means includes a connection to the sole of a shoe adjacent the outer edge thereof.

5. A device as defined in claim 2 wherein said first connecting means includes a connection to the top of a shoe extending above the wearers ankle and said second connecting means includes a connection to the sole of the shoe adjacent the outer edge thereof.

6. A device as defined in claim 2 including means for adjusting the relaxed length of said elastic member.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,283,335 10/1918 Shillcock 36-25 2,972,822 2/1961 Tanner 362.5 3,327,410 6/1967 Park et al. 362.5 3,234,667 2/1966 Bovay 36-25 PATRICK D. LAWSON, Primary Examiner UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION October 19, 1971 Patent No. 3 61 3 273 Dated Richard T. Marquis Inventor(s) It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

In the heading to the printed specification, line 4, "William J. Parker" should read J. Parker Williams Signed and sealed this 6th day of June 1972.

(SEAL) Attest:

ROBERT GOTTSCHALK EDWARD M FLETCHER, JR. Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents USCOMM-DC BO376-F'69 ORM PO-1U50 [10-59) a u s GOVERNMENT PRINYING orncs- Iss9 0-366-314

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4489719 *Mar 25, 1983Dec 25, 1984Lapenskie Garry PAnkle support
US4547981 *Apr 27, 1984Oct 22, 1985William ThaisShoe with ankle protector
US4575954 *Feb 16, 1984Mar 18, 1986Bye Michael EShoe construction with foot and ankle restraining means
US4577419 *Apr 2, 1984Mar 25, 1986Adidas Fabrique De Chaussures De SportHigh-top shoe
US4989350 *Feb 8, 1989Feb 5, 1991Converse Inc.Athletic shoe with control struts
US5109613 *Dec 20, 1990May 5, 1992Ronin, Inc.Shoe with integral ankle support
US5317820 *Aug 21, 1992Jun 7, 1994Oansh Designs, Ltd.Multi-application ankle support footwear
US5377430 *Sep 17, 1993Jan 3, 1995Nike, Inc.Shoe with elastic closure system
US5379530 *Nov 16, 1993Jan 10, 1995Oansh Designs, Ltd.Multi-application ankle support footwear
US5400529 *Jun 22, 1993Mar 28, 1995Oansh Designs, Ltd.Sports medicine shoe
US5430960 *Oct 25, 1993Jul 11, 1995Richardson; Willie C.Lightweight athletic shoe with foot and ankle support systems
US5678330 *Jun 7, 1995Oct 21, 1997Nki-Tm, Inc.Shoe with integral ankle support and improved ankle brace apparatus
US6170175 *Dec 8, 1998Jan 9, 2001Douglas FunkFootwear with internal reinforcement structure
US6178665Jun 12, 1997Jan 30, 2001Macpod Enterprises Ltd.Fit and support system for the foot
US6398750Oct 29, 1999Jun 4, 2002Patrick J. QuinnAnkle brace
US6652474Oct 19, 2000Nov 25, 2003Patrick J. QuinnAnkle brace
US6775929Jan 3, 2002Aug 17, 2004Barry H. KatzAthletic shoe or sneaker with stabilization device
US7497839Aug 29, 2005Mar 3, 2009Swede-O, Inc.Ankle support
US20100180469 *Jan 22, 2009Jul 22, 2010Nike, Inc.Article of footwear with a customizable upper
DE8808615U1 *Jul 5, 1988Aug 25, 1988Sportschuhfabrik Hans Wagner, 8061 Vierkirchen, DeTitle not available
EP0326377A2 *Jan 26, 1989Aug 2, 1989Nike International Ltd.Athletic shoe with inversion resisting device
EP0777979A2 *Nov 27, 1996Jun 11, 1997NORDICA S.p.AComponent of a shoe or boot for preventing ankle sprains
WO2005084474A1 *Feb 28, 2005Sep 15, 2005Sheridan MichaelFootwear support system
Classifications
U.S. Classification36/89, 36/113
International ClassificationA43B5/00, A43C11/00, A43B7/20, A43B7/14
Cooperative ClassificationA43B5/00, A43B7/20, A43C11/004
European ClassificationA43B5/00, A43C11/00C, A43B7/20