US 3680231 A
An article of footwear which has a rotatable portion on its sole or heel to enable a wearer of the footwear readily to pivot on one foot. The invention also includes a device having a rotatable ground-engaging portion and a support member for rotatably retaining said portion on an article of footwear.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Dymond 1 Aug. 1, 1972  FOOTWEAR  References Cited  Inventor: Joseph Francis Dymond Rosendale, Evesweu Park 3 New UNITED STATES PATENTS port, Monmouthshire, England 3,354,561 11/1967 Cameron ..36/2.5 R 22 Filed: Dec. 7 1970 3,081,562 3/1963 Oakley ..36/2.5 AE 3,204,348 9 1965 L t ..36 2.5 AB 211 Appl. No.: 95,519 a I Primary Examiner-Patrick D. Lawson Foreign Application Priority Data Attorney-Marshall & Yeasting Dec. 10, 1969 Great Britain ..60,234/69 July 25, 1970 Great Britain ..36,l57/70  ABSTRACT An article of footwear which has a rotatable portion 5%} 'i?.. f.fii3i i32 ee ie eele ee heel ee eeeele e ef ehe feeeweee  Field of'Searchmm36/25 R 25 A, 83 25 AE readily to pivot on one foot. The invention also includes a device having a rotatable ground-engaging portion and a support member for rotatably retaining said portion on an article of footwear.
9 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATENTEDMJB" 1 m2 3,680,231
'SHEETZUFZ Fig. 8.
FOOTWEAR This invention relates to footwear, and particularly but not exclusively, to sporting footwear such as football, hockey and like boots, and golf and tennis shoes for example. The invention may also have application to ballroom dancing shoes and other kinds of footwear.
An object of the invention is to provide an article of footwear which enables the wearer to pivot readily on one foot, even on non-slippery surfaces, or when the footwear is anchored as by studs or spikes for example, to a surface on which the wearer stands.
According to the invention, an article of footwear has a sole and/or heel portion rotatable with respect to the remainder of the article about an axis generally perpendicular to the sole or heel respectively thereof.
The rotatable portion may be pivoted directly on the sole or heel as the case may be, or on a base member secured to said sole or heel and said portion may be retained in position by co-operation of an inclined surface thereon with an inclined surface on the sole or heel or on the base member. The base may be fixed to the outer surface of the sole or heel or disposed within a recess formed in the sole or heel.
The invention also includes a device for use on the sole or heel of an article of footwear and comprising a ground engaging element and means for rotatably supporting said element on a sole or heel of said article.
The supporting means may conveniently be a base member for securing to the article and adapted rotatably to support said element, and the element itself may conveniently be adapted to resist sliding movement along the ground.
Said element may conveniently have a generally circular portion, preferably at or adjacent to its outer periphery, resiliently urged against the sole or heel of the article when in position thereon and/or against the base to from a rotary seal with the sole and/or base. The element may be inherently resilient for this purpose or incorporate resilient means such as blade springs for example, or possibly both.
The element may conveniently be arranged for retention on the base by co-operation of inclined surfaces on the element and base, and to this end the element may conveniently be generally annular with an inner peripheral edge portion thereof forming one of said cooperating surfaces. The element may conveniently be provided with ground-engaging studs or spikes, or other non-skid devices such as ribs.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view of an article of footwear embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional elevation of part of the sole of an article of footwear showing one embodiment of the rotatable device;
FIGS. 3 8 show in diagrammatic form various alternative embodiments of the device of the invention, and
FIG. 9 shows diagrammatically another alternative embodiment having means facilitating assembly of the rotatable part.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to the drawings, FIG. 1 shows an article of footwear in the form of a football or hockey boot 1 for example, having a rotatable portion 2 on the sole thereof. The possibility of a further or alternative rotatable portion at the heel of the boot is shown in broken lines at 3.
FIG. 2 shows an embodiment of the rotatable device incorporated in a sports boot such as a football or hockey boot for example having a relatively thin sole. A portion of the sole proper 4 is shown, and this may be of leather or a moulded composition. The sole 4 is provided on its outer surface with a circular raised portion 5, and a circular base or retainer 6 moulded from plastics material, such as P.V.C., polypropylene or the material sold under the Trade Mark Rigidex for example, is secured to the raised portion by screws 7 engaged in bosses 8 formed on the retainer. Instead of the screws passing from inside the boot into the sole, it is also possible for them to extend in the opposite direction through the retainer 6 and engage in threaded bushes, as of brass for example embedded in the raised portion 5.
The edge 9 of the raised portion is inclined towards the center of the portion in a direction away from the sole, and the edge 10 of the retainer is inclined away from its center in a direction away from the sole. The inclinations of the two edges 9,10 are such that they include approximately a right angle.
A generally annular element 11 having ground engaging studs 12 distributed around it has a pair of approximately mutually perpendicular surfaces 13, 14 at its inner peripheral edge arranged so as closely to engage respectively with the inclined surfaces of the sole and retainer. The annular element, in its unconstrained state before attachment to the boot, has an outer edge portion curved out of the general plane thereof in the manner shown in broken lines at the right-hand side of FIG. 2.
The studded element is assembled to the boot by placing it around the raised portion with its inclined surface 13 in mating relationship with the corresponding surface 9 on the sole, and placing the retainer 6 against the sole with its inclined surface 10 in mating relationship with the other inclined surface 14 of the element and screwing the retainer to the sole by means of the screws 7. When the retainer is screwed up into position with the edge 15 of the element in contact with the sole, or preferably with the base of a shallow circular groove 16 in the sole, the curved edge portion is resiliently deformed away from the sole to the position shown at the left hand side of FIG. 2 so that it is continuously resiliently urged against the sole or into the groove 16, even during flexing of the sole when worn, to form a seal which prevents dirt from entering behind the element and hindering rotation. The raised portion 5 of the sole may be hollowed or dished in one or more FIG. 3 shows an alternative embodiment of the device in which the inner sole 17 of a boot has a circular recess 18 formed therein to receive a base member in the form of a circular disc 19 which fits within the recess with peripheral play of a few thousands of an inch and is disposed generally flush with the outer surface of the inner sole. The outer sole 20 of the boot has a circular aperture 21 concentric with the base member and of smaller. diameter than the recess 18 so that a peripheral edge portion 22 of the outer sole extends over the inner sole recess.' The aperture 21 receives closely therein an intermediate disc 23 disposed concentrically of the disc 19, and a third disc 24 having a plurality of ground engaging studs 12 securely mounted or formed integrally thereon is secured to the inner and intermediate discs by bonding or by suitable means such as screws 25 extending through all three discs. The discs are retained within the sole by the inner disc 19 being captive behind the portion 22 of the outer sole, and all three discs rotate together relative to the boot.
The outer sole has a rib or ridge 26 formed thereon around the outer sole aperture, and engages in a groove of the stud carrying disc 24 and, under the weight of a wearer and/or resilience of the disc, provides a rotary seal to prevent ingress of dirt, etc. The disc 24 is let into a recess in the outer sole 20.
FIG. 4 shows a construction using the inner and outer soles l7 and 20 respectively of a boot, and having a retainer 27 secured within a recess of the inner sole 17 by bonding or means such as screws. A ring 29 of metal or moulded plastics material is captively but rotatably embedded in a circular groove in the retainer 27 and has a number of threaded holes around its periphery to receive screws 30 whereby a studded plate 31 is secured to the ring for rotation therewith. The ring may have a cross-section different from that shown, such as rectangular or triangular.
In one modification for example, the ring may be generally T-shaped in cross-section with the cross bar of the T set into a groove of the sole and the stem of the T extending proud of the groove; a keeper plate which may be annular and carrying ground-engaging studs is arranged concentrically of the ring and secured to they latter at a number of spaced points by means of screws orthe like for rotation therewith. The plate is arranged to seal against the sole.
FIG. shows a construction having the same basic elements as FIG. 4, but the ring is replaced by a central threaded spigot 32 screwed into a correspondingly threaded boss 33 formed in the retainer 27. The plate 31 is vrotatably retained in the press 21 by an enlarged head 34 of the spigot.
In a furtheralternative construction shown in FIG. 6 an annular plate 37 is mounted and secured within a recess on a sole or heel. Mounted on stems 39 fixed to the bottom of the recess and closely adjacent to the radially inner edge of the plate 37 are a number of rollers 40 mounted to rotate in a plane parallel to that containing the sole or heel and symmetrically spaced around the plate. A central retainer 41 is disposed within the plate 37 and the rollers engage in grooves in the radially inner and outer edges respectively of the elements 37 and ,41 so as to support the plate 41 for rotation with respect to plate 37. A studded ground engaging plate 31 is secured to the rotatable plate 41.
FIG. 7 shows a further construction having a central pivot, the latter being in the form of a ball 35 on the studded plate 31 captively engaged within a socket 36 formed in the retainer 27. This arrangement permits both rotary and limited rocking movement of the element 3].
A further modification may be provided in which the sole or base has a circular groove of suitable cross-section to receive by snap engagement therein a number of circularly arranged balls (or a ring of appropriate crosssection) formed on the rotatably studded plate. The plate is centrally located for rotary movement by a screw engaged in a thread in the sole or base.
FIG. 8 shows a further alternative embodiment in which a rotatable sole or heel portion 31 is retained in a recess in a base (or sole or heel) by co-operation of inclined surfaces on the portion 31 and base (or sole or heel). A circular groove or channel 43 is formed in said portion. The outer edges of the portion may be deformed to permit insertion of the portion into the recess, and flexible ring 44 is then inserted into the groove through an opening 45 so as to fill the groove and prevent flexing of the outer edge and thus removal of the rotatable portion. The ring may be arranged to be removed through said opening by means of a suitable extractor.
FIG. 9 shows a further construction in which a rotatable plate 31 is retained within a recess in the sole of an article of footwear by co-operation of inclined edges of the recess and plate. As shown, the sole 46 has a detachable portion 47, for example in the region adjacent to the toe of the boot, surrounding for example about one quarter of the periphery of the plate 31, on which a bevelled or inclined surface 48 is formed. When the detachable portion is removed, the rotatable plate can be flexed and inserted through the gap thus formed into contact with the bevelled surface in the recess, and the attachable portion is then replaced to complete the bevelled edge around the plate and secured in position, as by screws 49 for example. The rotatable plate is thus held captive for rotation as before.
The particular construction shown in FIG. 9 is suitable forincorporation in a light article of footwear such as a tennis shoe; in such articles which must be extremely flexible in order to permit the violent large distortions necessary in use, a number of circular concentric grooves 50 may be formed in the rotatable portion to increase its flexibility. A central screw may be used if desired between the rotatable portion and sole or base for added security.
In more rigid articles of footwear such as football boots, the detachable portion may extend to the periphery of the sole or heel.
The rotatable portion of the footwear may be provided with any convenient form of skid resistant device or formation depending on the type of footwear concerned; for example, studs, spikes, ribs or brushes or various combinations thereof may be used.
In those embodiments in which the rear surface of the rotatable portion lies in contact with a similar area of sole or base, said portion or the sole or base may be ribbed, grooved or otherwise shaped to minimize the area of contact and thus reduce drag.
An alternative embodiment of the general kind shown in FIG. 2 uses a retainer having a peripheral rib,
preferably of generally domed section which cooperates with a complementary groove on an annular stud carrying retainer generally similar to 11 in FIG. 2. The rib and groove replace the inclined surfaces on retainer and element and the retainer is secured in position as shown in FIG. 2 or by a central securing means. The outer edge of the studded element is resiliently engaged with the boot sole or a base in similar manner to that shown in FIG. 2.
1. A device for use on the underside of an article of footwear and comprising a ground-engaging element, and means for rotatably supporting said element on the underside of said article, said element having a generally circular portion which is resiliently urged against the underside of the article when in position thereon, to form a rotary seal.
2. A device according to claim 1 wherein the supporting means is a base member adapted rotatably to support the ground-engaging element.
3. A device for use on the underside of an article of footwear and comprising a ground-engaging element, and a base member rotatably supporting said element on the underside of said article, the element being retained on the base member by cooperation of inclined surfaces on the element and base member.
4. A device according to claim 3 wherein the groundengaging element has a generally circular portion which is resiliently urged against the underside of the article when in position thereon, to form a rotary seal.
5. A device according to claim 3 wherein the element is generally annular with an inner peripheral edge portion thereof forming one of said co-operating surfaces 6. A device according to claim 5 wherein the inner peripheral edge portion of the element forms two mutually inclined surfaces, one of which co-operates with a circular bevelled surface of the base and the other of which co-operates with a circular bevelled surface of a retainer for securing to the base whereby the element is captively retained for rotation between the base and retainer.
7. A device according to claim 6 wherein the element is so shaped and arranged as to be resiliently stressed when retained between the base and retainer so that a circular outer peripheral portion thereof is urged into contact with the underside of the article to form a seal.
8. An article of footwear provided with a device according to claim 3 wherein a portion of the underside of the article carrying a part of a bevelled surface for co-operation with a similar surface on the element is detachable to allow the element to be inserted or removed.
9. An article of footwear provided with a device according to claim 3 wherein the element has a flexible outer peripheral portion which is deformed to permit said inclined surfaces to be brought into co-operation, the element also having a groove adjacent to and surrounding the inner periphery of said flexible portion for receiving a stiffening element to prevent flexing and removal of the inserted element.