US 3729779 A
An adjustable boot buckle, preferably for ski boots, has a tongue member with racks which are received by a clasp having gears which engage the racks of the tongue. The gears are movable to locking and unlocking positions and have a knob for adjusting the tension of the buckle and unlocking the buckle for adjustment.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
z Unite States hatet 1 1 3,729,779 Porth 51 May 1, 1973 SKI BOOT BUCKLE 2,205,742 6/1940 Bowers ..24/68 B 2,926 406 3/1960 Edwards el al.. ....24/68 B  Inventor: Karl A. Porth, 1522 Sylvan S.E.,
Grand p s M c 49506 3,325,824 6/1967 Donegan ..24/68 B  Filed: June 7, 1971 Primary Examiner-Bernard A. Gelak Assistant ExaminerDarrell Marquette [211 App! 15o392 Att0rney.lohn E. McGarry  US. Cl ..24/68 SK  ABSTRACT  Int. Cl ..A43c 11/00 58 Field of Search ..24/68 SK, 68 CT, adjustable k preferably f l has a tongue member with racks which are received 24/68 B, 68 C; 254/66, 95; 280/1135 Z,
by a clasp having gears which engage the racks of the 11.35 H; 36/50 tongue. The gears are movable to locking and unlocking positions and have a knob for adjusting the  References Clted tension of the buckle and unlocking the buckle for ad- UNITED STATES PATENTS justment- 3,678,539 7/1972 Grau ..24/68 SK 8 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures 5 6 I I I 4 5O 6 8 i ll 1 Patented May 1, 1973 3,729,779
so 68 62 44 lfl 46 54 i 11 I 56 64 4 2 36 I 7 W P! um 60 2811 38 62 42 INVENTORQ I KARL A. Pogm BYW- 52 6O 6O F|G.4 48
5 8 ms ATTOENE SKI BOOT BUCKLE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION boot buckle having a tightening gear which is movable into a locking and unlocking position.
2. State of the Prior Art Ski boots for downhill skiing must have adequate ankle and foot support and must be adjusted to the proper tightness. Heretofore, laces have been used to tighten the ski boots around the skiers feet and ankles. Generally, in order to be properly laced, the boots must be laced by a person other than the user. In addition, the lacing of boots is quite time consuming and the desired degree of tension or tightness of the boot is rarely achieved with laces. In recent years, ski boots have become much stiffer which further inhibits the ability of laces to achieve the proper degree of tightness.
Recently, ski boots have been made with a toggle clamp having a wire hook at one side of the .boot opening, the wire hook engaging one of a plurality of ridges on a clasp secured to the other side of the boot opening. The tightness of the boot is obtained by selecting the right ridge in the clasp for the wire hook. The toggle clamps are difficult to secure and do not lend themselves to finite adjustment between ridges. Normally, only three or four ridges are provided for each clasp.
An adjustable ski boot buckle has been disclosed by Teufel in U.S. Pat. No. 3,259,950. A threaded screwlike member engages a clasp to adjust the tension in the boot. Whereas this type of a buckle permits a finite adjustment of the tension of the boot, the tightening of the screw takes considerable time to adjust and the mechanism is subject to freezing.
Most recently, a ski boot having a T-lock buckle has been marketed by Tyrol. The buckle has a knob which adjusts the buckle tension through a ratchet mechanism. A locking lever is provided to lock and unlock the buckle. This mechanism requires two hands to operate and the ratchet type of mechanism is quite difficult to adjust when a large tension is required as with the newer molded plastic boots.
BRIEF STATEMENT OF THE INVENTION According to the invention, there is provided a ski boot buckle which is quickly adjusted to the proper tension and has a finite adjustment mechanism with an external knob. Further, a special mechanism provides a mechanical advantage for the proper tension easily with one hand and the mechanism is locked in place at the desired tension by simply releasing the knob.
The buckle according to the invention has a tongue with at least one rack member and a clasp formed of a hollow casing and having an opening for receiving the tongue member. Gear means are mounted in the clasp member for engaging the rack member of the tongue member and means are provided for selectively locking the gear means to retain the tongue means within the clasp member in selected adjusted positions. The gear means are movable for engagement and disengagement with the locking means and means are provided for biasing the gear means into engagement with the locking means.
Preferably, the tongue member has a pair of racks having teeth facing inwardly of an opening in the tongue. The clasp member has a pair of gears, each of which engages one of the racks. The mechanical advantage provided by the two gear and rack combination greatly reduces the amount of force necessary to finely adjust the buckle to high boot tensions. A knob has a stem which is fixed to one of the gears to adjust the buckle tension by rotation of the gears. In addition, the knob raises one of the gears to disengage the locking means so that the adjustments can be made with one hand.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a ski boot embodying the ski buckle according to the invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view in section of the buckle according to the invention, seen generally along lines 2-2 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along lines 3-3 of FIG. 2 and illustrating the buckle in the locked position; and
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 illustrating the buckle in the unlocked position.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, there is illustrated a ski boot 12 having a conventional opening 14 in the front thereof with a tongue in said opening. Buckles 16 close the opening about the tongue in a conventional manner. The buckles 16 comprise a clasp member 18 and a tongue member 20. A plate 22 is mounted on one side of the boot opening 14 and is secured to the tongue member 20 through a rivet 24. The clasp member 18 is secured to the opposite side of the boot opening through a rivet 26 (FIG. 2).
Reference is now made to FIGS. 2 and 3 for a description of the details of the buckle. The clasp member 18 has an elongated hollow casing formed from a base 28, upstanding side walls 30 and 32, and a top wall 34. Corner indentations 36 and 38 are formed at the bottom corners of the casing. An indentation 40 is formed in the base 28 of the casing and a boss 42 extends downwardly from the base 28. A boss or raised portion 44 and an indentation 46 is formed in the top wall 34.
A first gear 48 is rotatably mounted within the casing on a shaft 50. The top of the shaft 50 extends through the top wall into the indentation 46 and is peened over therein. The bottom of the shaft 50 extends through the base 28 and into the indentation 40 wherein it is peened over to the secure mounting of the shaft 50 between the top wall 34 and the base 28. The indentations 40 and 46 support the gear 48 in fixed position within the casing on the shaft 48. A second gear 52 is mounted on a shaft 54 for meshing with the first gear 48 within the hollow casing. The top of the shaft 54 extends through the boss 44 and has a knob 56 secured on the upper end thereof. Desirably, a socket 58 is shaft 54 so that rotation of shaft 54 causes a corresponding rotation of the second gear 52. Three stops 60 are mounted on the base 28 and extend upwardly a short distance to engage the teeth of the second gear 5 2 when the gear is positioned adjacent the base 28 as illustrated in FIG. 3. A coil spring 62 biases the second gear downwardly so that it engages the stops 60. As illustrated in FIG. 4, when the knob 56 is pulled upwardly, the second gear 52 is raised so as to avoid the stops 60. The socket 58 engages the bottom of shaft 54 when the shaft 54 is raised to clear the stops 60.
The tongue member 20 is formed from a plate with an elongated opening at one end forming racks 64 and 68. Teeth 66 are formed on the inside edge of rack 64 and teeth 70 are formed on the inside edge of rack 68.
The buckle is operated as follows: normally the tongue member 20 and the clasp member 18 are separated when the ski boot is put onto the users foot. In order to secure the tongue member 20 and the clasp member 18 in a tightened position, the knob 56 is raised as illustrated in FIG. 4 so that the second gear 52 clears the stops 60 against the tension of the coil spring 62. The tongue member 20 is then inserted into the clasp with the rack teeth 66 engaging the teeth of the second gear 52 and the rack teeth 70 engaging the teeth of the first gear 48. The racks 64 and 68 are guided to the proper position in the clasp member 18 by corner indentations 36 and 38 respectively. The tongue can be pushed into the clasp to as tight a position as possible while holding up the knob 56. The knob is turned while holding the same upwardly, thereby drawing the racks 64 and 68 evenly further into the clasp member 18. The knob 56 is raised and turned until the sides of the boot are drawn together with sufficient tightness or tension. The knob is then dropped so that the stops 60 engage the teeth of the gear 52 as illustrated in FIG. 3. The buckle is now locked securely in place.
The buckle of the invention permits quick and easy fastening of the boot and to a desired degree of tightness. The degree of tension required can be easily achieved with one hand and the tensionin g of the buckle is achieved with a minimum of force-due to the mechanical advantage achieved by the two-gear system.
Reasonable variation and modification are possible within the scope of the foregoing disclosure. the drawings and the appended claims without departing from the spirit of the invention.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
l. A boot having an opening to permit insertion of a foot and at least one buckle for closing the opening about the foot, said buckle comprising:
a tongue member open at one end thereof and having a pairof rack members spaced from each other with an opening therebetween, each of said rack members having teeth facing inwardly into said opening;
a clasp member formed of an elongated hollow cas' ing and having an opening to receive said tongue members; said clasp member being removable from said tongue member;
gear means mounted within said .casing for operatively meshing with said rack members; and
means for selectively locking said gear means to retain said tongue within said clasp member in selected adjusted positions.
2. A boot according to claim 1 and further comprising means secured to said gear means and extending through said casing for rotating said gear means to ad just said tongue with respect to said clasp member so that the closing force or tension exerted by said buckle is adjustable.
3. A boot according to claim 2 wherein said gear means comprises first and second meshing gear members, said first gear member being reciprocably mounted within said casing for movement between an up position and a down position; said selective locking means comprises lugs on the bottom of said hollow casing, said lugs being positioned to engage said first gear member when in said down position.
4. A boot according to claim 3 and further comprising means to bias said first gear in said down position.
5. A boot according to claim 4 wherein said rotation means for said gear means comprises a knob having a stem joined to said first gear member, whereby the closing force exerted by said buckle can be adjusted with one hand by said knob.
6. A boot according to claim 1 wherein said gear means are movable for engagement and disengagement with said locking means, and further comprising means biasing said gear means into engagement with said locking means.
7. A boot. according to claim 6 and further comprising means for disengaging said gear means from engagement with said locking means.
8. A boot according to claim 1 wherein said gear means comprises at least two meshing gears.