US 3698106 A
A ski boot is described having interchangeable ankle-engaging parts inclined at differing angles to the remainder of the boot for matching the desired angular inclination of skier's lower leg and ankle to the foot in accordance with different skiing conditions; the ankle-engaging part of the boot being detachably connected to the remainder by plug-in connectors.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Rieker 14511 Oct. 17, 1972 1 41 SKI BOOT  References Cited  Inventor: Justus Rieker, Panoramastrasse 130, UNITED STATES PATENTS 720 T l' 0 mgen Germany 2,302,596 11/1942 Bigio ..36/2.5 w Filed! y 4, 1971 3,486,247 12/1969 Franet ..36/2.5 AL ] 146359 Primary Examiner-Patrick D. Lawson Attorney-Mam & Jangarathis  Foreign Application Priority Data  ABSTRACT June 23, 1970 Germany ..P 20 30 737.3 A Ski is F F ankle engaging parts inclined at dlffenng angles to the remainder of the boot for matching the desired angular inclination of skiers lower leg and ankle to the U.Sr foot in accordance difierent conditions;  Int. Cl. ..A43b 00/00 the ankle-engaging part of the boot being detachably  connected to the remainder by plug-in connectors.
Field of Search ..36/2.5 R, 2.5 AL, 2.5 W
13 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures SKI BOOT The invention relates to a ski boot in which the finished upper is divided into a lower part and a neck.
Various special types of skiing can only be accomplished at their best if the skier assumes specific bodily attitudes adapted to the specific type of skiing. These bodily attitudes in turn require a specific angular setting of the skiers leg at the ankle bone in relation to the plane of travel. In skiing downhill, for instance, the
leg will lie more forward, i.e., the angle between the shin bone and the front part of the foot must be smaller. In order to make it possible to guide the ski in the best possible manner in all types of skiing, the foot must be held firmly by the ski boot, especially at the ankle (literally: pastern). Boots having stiff uppers made in one piece give the foot very good support, but only when the leg is at a certain angle for which the upper has been shaped. Thus, for different angular settings of the leg, and therefore for the differing types of skiing he wishes topursue, the skier must acquire a suitable number of pairs of boots specially cut to the angular setting of the leg. This, however, would make a skiers equipment very costly.
Attempts have already been made to overcome this difficulty by designing the neck of the upper to pivot, in relation to the lower part, about a transverse axis located approximately at the ankle bone, so that the skier may alter and adjust the angular setting of his leg within certain limits. To this end, the lower parts and necks of the uppers have been produced separately and then joined together, in the manufacturing process, by means of hinges which allow the neck of the upper to pivot in relation to the lower part thereof, particular attention being paid to the configuration of the restriction of the pivoting motion between the neck of the upper and the front portion of the ski boot. This restriction of the pivoting motion is intended to prevent overloading of the Achilles tendon and the ankle joint; these arrangements, however, have little or no significance in setting the leg at a particular angle to the plane of travel. What affects this much more is a restriction of the pivoting motion of the neck of the upper in'the heel region thereof. One known way of adjustably restricting this rearward pivoting motion of the neck of the upper is by means of lacing between the neck of the upper and the lower part thereof in the front region of the upper in front of the pivot joint (French Pat. No. 1,472,863). However, it is difficult and time-consuming to accomplish a specific angular setting accurately with such lacing. Above all, beginners and less experienced skiers would scarcely be able to obtain a correct angular setting. Moreover, this way of pivoting the upper with an adjustable restriction of the rearward motion has the fundamental disadvantage that optimal enfolding and support of the foot, and thus optimal guidance of the ski, cannot be achieved at every adjustable angular setting of the leg.
The invention is intended to produce a ski boot in which the leg of the skier can be supported at various angles to the plane of travel, the leg being firmly held in the upper at each angular setting, as it is in a ski boot having a one-piece neck designed to the required angle.
According to the invention, this is accomplished in that a plurality of necks of different design is associated with one lower part of the upper, it being possible for the skier to fit any one of these necks interchangeably, and at will, to the said lower part, each neck supporting the skiers leg at the ankle joint at a different angle to the plane of travel, depending on its design and in conjunction with the said lower part of the upper.
According to the invention, each angular setting of the leg is associated with a neck, the design of which enforces this angular setting. The design of the neck also ensures that the leg is optimally enclosed and held at the particular angular setting, as in the case of a ski boot with a one-piece upper designed to produce a corresponding angular setting. The ski-boot is prepared for the particular type of skiing by the skier himself, merely by selecting and fitting the neck specially designed for the type of skiing in question, after which no further adjusting is necessary. This eliminates the danger of incorrect angular settings of the leg :in the case of beginners and less experienced skiers. Thus, the ski boot, according to the invention, has all the advantages of a boot specially designed for a particular type of skiing, but is substantially less expensive, since the costly lower part of the upper and the sole remain the same for any type of skiing. Only the substantially less expensive necks of the uppers are adapted to the different types of skiing and therefore have to be made available in appropriate numbers.
The joining of the selected neck to the lower part of the upper is preferably effected by means of a plug-in connection which allows simple and rapid exchange of the neck on the lower part. The said plug-in connection may consist of snap fasteners which hold the neck and the lower part of the upper rigidly together, i.e., are effective at least at the sides and rear of the upper. The necessary ability of the leg to move forwards from the specific angular setting imposed by the boot, in order to absorb irregularities in the ground and to make corrections of that kind, is provided, as in the case of ski boots having a one-piece upper, by the flexibility of the neck itself. This applies particularly to ski boots made of leather. To an increasing extent, however, ski boots are being made of relatively stiff plastics in which special provisions are made to provide a flexible upper, so that the leg may pivot forwards through a small angle from the angular setting.
In one preferred form of embodiment of the ski boot according to the invention, the plug-in connection therefore has two hinged closures arranged opposite each other on the sides of the upper, which make it possible for the neck of the upper to pivot about a transverse axis. The neck is prevented from pivoting rearwardly beyond the relevant angular setting by means of a stop, so that at the predetermined angular setting, the foot is optimally enclosed in the pastern" area. Forward motion from the stopped position is prevented by resistances, based on. spring and/or frictional forces, and end-stops, as known in ski boots having mobile necks.
In another configuration of the invention, at least one of the necks is provided with a part which projects upwardly, at the rear part of the upper, beyond the edge of the neck, thus forming a special support for the leg. This makes it possible to make the angular leg setting stronger. Moreover, this prevents any annoying pressure being exerted on the leg by the back upper edge of the neck whenever the skier attempts to straighten himself out of the predetermined angular setting of the legs, for instance, when he wishes to ski normally with his skis unbuckled.
Further details of the invention may be gathered from the example of embodiment illustrated in the drawing, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side elevation of one example of embodiment of the ski boot according to the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged section along the line II-II in FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is a section along the line Ill-III in FIG. 2.
The example of embodiment of the ski boot according to the invention illustrated in FIG. 1 consists of a lower part of the upper 1, on which can be placed selectively a series of necks 2 of different design for different forward positions of the leg, i.e., different angular settings between the shin bone and the front part of the foot. One of these necks associated with a common lower part 1 is shown at 2 in FIG. 1. This is a simple neck adapted to be attached to the lower part of the upper by plugging-in, the plug-in connection consisting of two hinge closures 3. The side elevation in FIG. 1
shows only one of the hinge closures, the second being similarly located on the other side of the upper. The said hinge closures 3 have pins 4 running approximately co-axially, on which eyes 5 may be placed. Eyes 5 may rotate about the said pins and are secured against inadvertent removal from the said pins.
Obviously, the pins and eyes, or similar parts engaging with each other, may be arranged in many ways on the part of the upper to be joined together, in such a manner that the neck is held to the lower part of the 4 upper and can pivot about a transverse axis preferably located below the ankle joint. For instance, the pins may be arranged on projecting sections of the neck which penetrate into the interior of the lower part of the upper. In this case, the eyes are on the sides of the lower part of the upper, and the pins pass through them from the inside. In this present example, pins 4 are formed on a base 6 which is attached by means of rivets 7 to the sides of lower part 1 of the upper. Eyes 4 are attached by means of rivets 7 to sections 8 of the neck 2 pointing in the direction of the sole, the said sections 8 being provided with recesses 9 which line up with the openings in eyes 5. When a neck 2 is placed on lower part 1, sections 8 fit laterally over the said lower part, so that pins 4 can pass through holes 9 and eyes 5 (FIGS. 2 and 3).
Eyes 5 have a reinforcement 10 containing a recess 11 serving to accommodate a spring clip 12 which may be selectively pushed into an annular groove 13 formed in the free end of pin 4. When pushed in, the said clip is held by spring action in groove 13, thus preventing eyes 5 and neck section 8 from sliding off pin 4. When clip 12 is removed, there is no problem in withdrawing section 8 and thus releasing neck 2 from lower part 1. Clip 12 may be shaped, and may co-operate with recess 11, in such a manner that it cannot be lost when not in engagement with annular groove 13 in pin 4. Obviously, the securing element may also be designed in other ways, for example, by passing through a hole in the free end of pin 4.
The stop which defines the rear pivoting limit of the neck of the upper, the design of which determines the angular setting of the skiers s leg, is formed in this example in a particularly simple way by the edge surfaces, facing each other, of edge 14 of lower part 1 and edge 15 of neck 2, in the rear portion of the upper. Such opposing stop surfaces, however, need not necessarily be formed by the closing edges of the upper directly. Stepped surfaces may also be used in staggered relationship to these edges, attention being paid to the fact that it is advisable for the parts of the upper to overlap at the rear. This prevents the occurrence of a gap between the neck and the lower part of the upper when the neck is pivoted forwards.
One arrangement for impeding and limiting any forward pivoting motion of the neck of the upper is shown here in dotted lines purely by way of example. This is a connecting element 16, attached, in such a manner that it cannot be lost, at the rear of the lower part of the upper and interchangeably engaging with the neck; the said element may contain friction elements, spring elements, and stops preferably adjustable either as regards their location or their action. This element ensures that the neck may pivot forward out of the position established by stops 14, 15 only when a specific pivot moment is exceeded. This pivoting motion is restricted by a stop located in the rear connecting device in such a manner that over-loading of the Achilles tendon or the ankle joint is prevented at all times. It is also possible to incorporate into this connecting device the stop limiting the rearward pivoting of the neck in relation to the lower part of the upper.
The neck illustrated in FIG. 1 displays a supporting extension 17 running upwards along the calf at the rear of the neck. This makes it still easier to adjust the an gular setting of the leg corresponding to the design of the neck of the boot. Moreover, this prevents any annoying pressure from the rear top edge of the neck, which may occur when the skier wishes to straighten himself up and ski normally. The inner line should also extend with supporting extension 17.
The neck and the lower part of the upper are made open towards the front in known fashion and are provided with adjustable closures 19, 20. The front opening in the upper is covered by a tongue 21.
The invention is not restricted to the following claims. All characteristics of the preceding specification and drawing which are obviously inventive in view of the state of the art pertain to the said invention.
1. A ski boot having an upper divided into a lower part and a neck, said boot having a plurality of necks of different designs associated with one lower part, any one of which may be freely selected by the skier to be interchangeably attached to the lower part, each of the said necks, depending upon its design and in conjunction with the said lower part, supporting the skiers leg, which pivots about the ankle joint, in a different angular setting in relation to the plane of travel.
2. A ski boot according to claim 1, wherein a plug-in connection is provided between the neck and the lower part of the upper.
3. A ski boot according to claim 2 wherein the plug in connection comprises two hinge closures located facing each other on opposite sides of the upper, by means of which the neck is held to the lower part and can pivot about a transverse axis of the upper, the pivotability of the neck in relation to the heel of the boot being limited by a stop located between the neck and the lower part of the upper, the said stop determining the forward position of the leg which it is desired to obtain with the boot neck selected.
4. A ski boot according to claim 2, wherein the stop is formed by the closing edges of the upper facing each other in the rear part of the upper and in the neck.
5. A ski boot according to claim 3 wherein each of the hinge closures has a pin and an eye adapted to be placed thereon, the said pins being located on one part of the upper and the eyes on the other part of the upper.
6. A ski boot according to claim 5, wherein the pins are arranged to project outwardly from the lower part of the upper while the eyes are arranged on sections of the neck, the said sections projecting in the direction of the sole and, when attached, overlapping the lower part of the upper.
7. A ski boot according to claim 2 wherein the plugin connection is provided with a safety device to prevent the joint from coming apart.
8. A ski boot according to claim 7, wherein the safety device comprises a clip adapted to be inserted into a recess in the free end of the pin.
9. A ski boot according to claim 8, wherein the clip is inserted into a recess in the eye.
10. A ski boot according to claim 1 wherein at least one of the necks associated with the lower part of the upper has at its rear a supporting extension running upwards along the calf.
11. A ski boot according to claim 10, wherein the supporting extension is made integrally with the neck.
12. A ski boot according to claim 10 wherein the inner lining of the neck also extends on the inside of the supporting extension.
13. A ski boot according to claim 11 wherein the inner lining of the neck also extends on the inside of the supporting extension.