US 3739500 A
A flexible pillar sole member is provided for attachment to the front portion of a shoe thereby causing the wearer to stand, walk and run without touching his heels to the ground. The resultant shoe provides for dynamic exercise.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Cox June 19, 1973 [5 EXERCISE SHOE 1,187,518 6/1916 Frost et al 36 72 2,172,000 9/1939 Wenker 272 70 [751 lmemori Paul Jackson, MISS- 3,271,886 9 1966 l-lartpence 36/72  Assignee: Cox Athletics, Inc., Jackson, Miss.
 Filed: Jan. 12, 1972 Primary ExaminerPatrick D. Lawson Att0rneyWynne and Finken  Appl. No.: 217,340 r  U.S. Cl 36/2.5 A, 36/7.8, 272/70  ABSTRACT  Int. Cl A43b 3/10  Field of Search 272/70, 70.1, 70.2; A flexible pillar Sole member is Provided for attach- 3 2 5 R 25 A, 25 AC 25 AB, 25 P 7.1 ment to the front portion of a shoe thereby causing the 7 wearer to stand, walk and run without touching his heels to the ground. The resultant shoe provides for dy-  References Cited namic exercise' E TA P TEN UNIT D S TES A TS 10 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures 1,411,200 3/1922 Zertuche 36/7.8-
PATENIEB Jim 9 SIIIIIIIZ EXERCISE SHOE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Exercises for strengthening and developing leg muscles in athletes are known. Among the most common of these is the so-called toe raise. In this exercise, the athlete stands with arms outstretched forwardly, and in timed, rhythmic meter, alternately rises up on the balls and toes of his feet and returns to the normal standing position with the heels in contact with the ground. While this exercise is effective to some degree in developing and strengthening leg muscles, it is done in a more or less static environment, that is, under conditions which do not involve or even simulate running, jumping and the like.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The pillar sole member enables the development of muscle strength, muscle coordination and endurance. An athlete thereby is better conditioned with improved agility and speed. The danger of injury is reduced by the better conditioning.
The front pillar shoe primarily develops the extensor muscles of the lower extremities; the extensors of the foot; the gastrocnemius, soleus; the extensors of the leg, quadriceps and the extensors of the thigh, and gluteal muscles. With reciprocal action there is also development of the flexors. By measurement of the circumference of the thigh and calf of the leg, it can be shown that muscle mass will increase with conditioning. Many injured athletes have seen the muscle waste away from atrophy of disuse. Conversely, muscle mass can be increased through exercises.
Since the front pillar shoe is flexible and distortable, twisting movements are possible, thereby developing the invertors and evertors of the foot and the internal and external rotators of the leg. This is of great importance in the prevention of injury to the ankle and knee. There is no wrapping or protective device that will equal the protection given by strong musculature. The therapeutic value is believed to be significant. Trainers and physicians can use the shoes for rehabilitation and treatment. Football players can use the shoes under simulated conditions. The running of pass patterns, the cutting movements of the backs, as well as tackling and blocking movements are possible with the shoes.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the detailed description herein.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevation of a left shoe embodying the invention wherein the shoe elevating extension is somewhat rectangular in horizontal cross-section;
FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the shoe of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a partial front elevation of the shoe similar to FIG. 1 but wherein the shoe elevating extension is somewhat elliptical in horizontal cross-section;
FIG. 4 is a side elevation of the shoe of FIG. 1 as it contacts the ground when the wearer is running;
FIG. 5 is a side view of a right shoe showing the curving of the bottom sole which results from use;
FIG. 6 is front view of a pair of shoes;
FIG. 7 shows the condition of the pillar sole members in a sprinter start position;
FIG. 8 shows the toe action during running;
FIG. 9 shows the right shoe of a wearer making a sharp cut to the left;
FIG. 10 is the same as FIG. 9 but taken from the inside showing that an inversion of the ankle is less likely than with regular shoes;
FIG. 11 shows a slow right turn with right foot turning and left foot pushing;
FIG.'12 is the same as FIG. 11 viewed from a different angle; and
FIG. 13 shows an exercise with weight on heel stretching calf and thigh muscles.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring to FIG. 1, a shoe vamp is indicated at 11 and includes the conventional toe portion 12, heel portion 13, bottom 14 and counter 15. The shoe vamp may be of any conventional type including both high top or oxford type. Attached to the vamp bottom 14 beneath the portion thereof which is engaged by the ball of the foot is a pillar sole member in the form of an elevating extension 16. The elevating extension 16 may be of various shapes, such as hyperboloid, connected truncated cones or pyramids or define parabolic or elliptical horizontal cross sections. In horizontal cross-section the extension 16 may thus be circular, square, rectangular, elliptical or ovoid or variations and combinations thereof, including flattened shapes. The bottom of the extension 16 is secured to or provided with a ground contacting sole 17. The sole 17, which may be removable and replaceable and may be provided with cleats (not shown) which may be required for such sports as football and the like.
As shown best in FIGS. 2 and 3,. the ground contacting sole 17 preferably extends laterally beyond the bottom 14 of the shoe at the outside of the shoe, the extension indicated at 18. The inside of the ground contacting sole 17 also preferablyextends inwardly beyond the ball of the foot portion at the rear thereof as shown in FIG. 2. The ground contacting sole 17 is preferably somewhat flexible in order to provide the feel of the ground when turning while running. The sole 17 can be made of leather, synthetic leather, or the like.
The elevating extension 16 is preferably distortably and axially compressible to a limited extent. FIG. 4 illustrates the distortion and compression thereof while the wearer is running, for example, the ground being indicated at 19. The extension 16 is suitably made from foamed materials such as polyvinyl chloride, polyurethane, etc.
The exercise shoe may be manufactured as a unitary item or the extension with its ground contacting sole may be separately manufactured and suitably attached to conventional athletic shoes.
The dimensions ,of the pillar sole member vary in accordance with the shoe size, weight of the wearer and the distortabilityof the material employed therein. For men of average-height and weight, for example, the elevating extension 16 may have an axial height in the neighborhood of 2 to 3 inches. The extension 16 may be custom designed for any given athelete, embodying the optimum dimensions, distortab'ility, and the like.
The forward part of the extension 16 preferably begins approximately beneath or slightly behind the first joint of the wearers big toe, thus concentrating the wearer's weight on the balls of the feet. The rearward part of the extension 16 preferably terminates beneath or slightly behind the rear of the ball of the foot. The
extension, being distortable and compressible acts in the nature of an auxiliary ankle, tending to move the center of gravity of the wearers body forwardly. Accordingly the wearer must exert a counteracting force with the muscles extending from the ankles to the buttocks in order to stand, walk or run, thereby strengthening these leg muscles.
FIGS. 5 to 13 show the condition of the shoe during use. The concept involves the elevation and support of the ball of the foot to cause exercise of the leg muscles. In use the sole adapts itself to the wearer and becomes slightly curved as shown.
The compliance of the extension member is a function of the material used for the structure thereof. A spring system, a utilization of materials of different compliances, and fluid systems can be utilized. The undercutting of the extension member enables active use of the shoes as shown in the FIGS. 5-13.
What is claimed is:
1. An exercise shoe having a shoe vamp and a pillar sole member,
said pillar sole member having a top, an intermediate portion and a bottom sole, said top being connected to said vamp in the area extending from the ball of the foot area forwardly to the toe area, said bottom sole extending laterally beyond the outer side of the vamp, said intermediate portion having at least one concave portion to facilitate distortion, said pillar sole member being of a height and cornpliance which makes difficult the touching of the heel area of the vamp to the supporting surface engaged by the bottom sole.
2. An exercise shoe having an elevating extension secured to the bottom of the sole thereof at the area adjacent the ball of the human foot, and a ground contacting sole carried by the end of the elevating extension remote from the shoe sole, said ground contacting sole extending laterally beyond the shoe sole at the outside of the shoe.
3. The shoe set forth in claim 6 wherein said ground contacting sole is flexible.
4. The shoe set out in claim 2 wherein said ground contacting sole extends laterally beyond the shoe sole at the inside of the shoe.
5. The shoe set out in claim 2 wherein said ground contacting sole has dimensions and distortability coordinated with the users size and weight.
6. An exercise shoe having a shoe vamp and a pillar sole member;
said pillar sole member having a top, an intermediate portion and a bottom sole, said top being connected to said vamp in the area extending from the ball of the foot to the toe area, said intermediate portion sloping rearwardly and downwardly from the front connection at said toe area to facilitate distortion, said bottom sole only underlying the vamp from substantially the toe area to the area of the ball of the foot, said pillar sole member being of a height and compliance which makes difficult the touching of the heel area of the shoe to the supporting surface engaged by the bottom sole.
7. The shoe set forth in claim 6 wherein said bottom sole has dimensions and distortability coordinated with the users size and weight.
8. The shoe set forth in claim 7 wherein the height of the intermediate portion is in the neighborhood of 2 to 3 inches.
9. The shoe set forth in claim 6 wherein said bottom sole extends laterally beyond the vamp at the outer side of the shoe.
' 10. The shoe set forth in claim 9 wherein said bottom sole extends laterally beyond the vamp at the inner side of the shoe.