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 numberUS3768182 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 30, 1973
Filing dateApr 13, 1972
Priority dateApr 13, 1972
Also published asCA987900A, CA987900A1, DE2318834A1, DE2318834B2, DE2318834C3
Publication numberUS 3768182 A, US 3768182A, US-A-3768182, US3768182 A, US3768182A
InventorsPowers A
Original AssigneeNippon Rubber Usa Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Soft and securely held shoe
US 3768182 A
Abstract
An athletic shoe designed for wear without stockings, which avoids discontinuities where the shoe is tight against the foot, which permits considerable expansion to accommodate a range of widths and arch heights, but which firmly encircles the foot for a tight fit that is desired in athletic shoe wearing. The shoe has soft side walls and a reinforcing overlay on either side, with the bottom of the overlay extending between a point immediately behind the ball of the foot to a point immediately behind the arch, and with the top of the overlay extending forwardly from the bottom and to a locgtion above the soft side walls, the top of the overlay carrying lacing rings so that the tops of the overlays are laced together over the tongue. The rear of the shoe has a padding and liner extending with a forward directional component over the top of the stiff counter. The tongue of the shoe is very wide and long and is greatly skived at its edges.
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

ite States Patet [191' Powers 1 SOFT AND SECURELY HELD SHOE [75] inventor: Al Powers, Los Angeles, Calif.-

[73] Assignee: Nippon Rubber U.S.A. Corp, Los

Angeles, Calif.

22 Filed: Apr. 13, 1972 21 Appl. No.: 243,730

Att0rneySamue Lindenberg et al.

[57] ABSTRACT An athletic shoe designed for wear without stockings, which avoids discontinuities where the shoe is tight against the foot, which permits considerable expansion to accommodate a range of widths and arch heights, but which firmly encircles the foot for a tight fit that is desired in athletic shoe wearing. The shoe has soft side walls and a reinforcing overlay on either side, with the bottom of the overlay extending between a point immediately behind the ball of the foot to a point immediately behind the arch, and with the top of the overlay extending forwardly from the bottom and to a locgtion above the soft side walls, the top of the overlay carrying lacing rings so that the tops of the overlays are laced together over the tongue. The rear of the shoe has a padding and liner extending with a forward directional component over the top of the stiff counter. The tongue of the shoe is very wide and long and is greatly skived at its edges.

10 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures 1 SOFT AND SECURELY HELD SHOE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to shoes.

Shoes can be designed for wear without stockings by constructing them with soft linings that are free of large discontinuities such as heavy stitching, particularly at the'regions where the shoe is held tightly against the foot. When shoes are worn without socks, the wearer often becomes particularly concerned with snug and secure fitting, so that it is desirable to provide means for achieving this while assuring softness and lack of discontinuities. Secure fit is especially important in the case of shoes designed for athletic wear. In addition to secure and comfortable wearing, it is desirableto construct a shoe so that it can be rapidly put on and taken off, since this is one of the main advantages to wearing a shoe without stockings.-

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, an athletic shoe is provided which can securely support and hold onto the foot by the use of moderate pressures, but without high pressure spots, along selected regions of the foot where support is needed and by allowing looser support at regions where considerable flexing occurs and firm support is not required. The shoe has soft, flexible walls along either side extending'between the toe and the heel, but also includes overlays of strong and firmer material lying over certain areas of the soft side walls. The overlays have bottom portions fastened to the sole and have upper portions carrying lacing rings, so that tight lacing forces are applied first to the stiffer overlays. The overlay at the inner sideof the shoe extends from a point behind the ball of the shoe, so that the ball region of the foot is not tightly held, but only the arch region which does not flex considerably during walking is. tightly held. The overlay extends upwardly from the sole with a forward directional component so that its upper end covers a large portion of the lacing region. The tongue of the shoe is. wider and longer than normal,and is highly skived at each side and tends to hold itself in a curved configuration, to minimize discontinuities where the edge of the tongue meets the inner surface of the side wall and to lower this region so it occurs where the lacing pressure is lower. At the heel of the shoe, a soft and resilientpart extends over the stiff counter with a forward directional component to receive snugly the Achilles tendon of the foot.

The novel features of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention will best be understood from the following description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 6 is a partial sectional view taken on the line 6-6 of FIG. 3.

' FIG. 1 illustrates a sockless shoe of the invention, which is especially useful for athletic wear where especially firm support of the shoe is desirable. The shoe includes a sole 10, a toe region 12 and a heel region 14. A pair of side walls 16,18 extend from the toe to the heel. The particular shoe which is illustrated is for the left foot, so that the side 16 isthe inner side which lies against the ball and main arch of the foot while the other side 18 is the outer side. A tongue 20 extends between the opposite side walls 16, 18 and from the toe region 12 to the front of the ankle opening 22' of the shoe. The opposite sides of the shoe are held together by a lacing 24 that lies over the tongue 20.

In order to provide comfortable wear, the side walls 16, 18 are constructed of soft and highly pliable material. While such material can reduce localized pressure, it may not be able to provide firm support for the foot. Even if the shoe is laced fairly tight, the pliable side walls may give enough during wear so that the shoe is loosened. If the shoe is laced very tightly, the pliable material may be so easily deformed that it cannot evenly distribute the lacing forces, so that there are localized high pressure areas along the top of the shoe at regions where the laces engage the side walls. In order to overcome these disadvantages, a pair of overlays 26, 28 is provided that stiffen the side walls at selected regions where such stiffening is required to, maintain tight lacing and to distribute lacing forces.

The inner side overlay 26 which lies at the inner side of the shoe is constructed similarly to the outer side overlay 28 and is positioned substantially opposite it. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, the inner side overlay 26 has a bottom portion 30 which is fastened to the sole of the shoe, and has an upper portion 32 which lies over the tongue. The bottom portion 30 extends from a point 34 which lies immediately behind the ball of the foot indicated at 36, so that it does not cover the region at the ball of the foot where considerable expansion and contraction occur during wear, and which is a region that is highly variable between different persons. The bottom portion 30 of the overlay extends to a point 38 which may lie immediately behind the arch of the foot It may be'noted that there is a cut-out 40 on the bottom region of the overlay, there being bottom overlay portions in front of and behind this cut-out region. ,.The overlay 26 extends with a forward directional component from the bottom 30 to the top 32 thereof.

As a result, the upper region 32 extends along much of the lacing region of the shoe, and in fact extends along a majority of the effective lacing region. As also shown in FIG. 3, several lacing rings 42-45 are fastened to the upper portion 32 of the overlay. When the shoe lace 24 is tightened, the lacingforces are transmitted to the overlays 26, 28. The overlays can directly transmit the tension forces to the sole 10 of the shoe, since they extend to the sole and are fastened to it. Since the overlays resist stretching, they will not greatly loosen during wearing of the shoe, so that tight lacing is maintained. The lacing forces on the overlays allow them to press on the soft side walls 16, 18 and the tongue-20 which press on the foot, and particularly the foot region lying over the arches. The stiff overlay and soft side wall and tongue layers help to distribute the lacing forces to avoid localized high pressure spots immediately beneath the lacing rings. The overlays are preferably stiffer than the side walls, but do not have to be since the fact that the overlay provides an additional covering results in greater stiffness at regions covered by the overlays.

The upper portions of the side walls 16, 18 which lie over the rear portion of the tongue 20 rise to a height which is typical for shoes. The upper portions 32 of the overlays rise even further, extending at least one-fourth inch and preferably more than one-half inch further over the tongue, as indicated at A (FIG. 3) at the rear of the upper overlay portion 32. As indicated in FIG. 4, this allows the overlay to support the lacing 24 so that only a small portion of the lacing directly contacts the tongue 20 when the tongue is pressed up by' the foot to the position 20a.

The soft side walls 16, 18 have eyelets such as those shown at 51, 52,53 which are of the usual type that are formed completely through the wall. When the lacing 24 is tightened, portions of it are pressed between the side walls 16, 18 and the tongue, and much of the lacing extending between the eyelets 51-53 presses' against the tongue. As a result, there is a high friction so that the lacing does not tend to loosen. On the other hand, the ring-type lacing engagers 42-45 on the overlays do not provide high friction for holding the lacings against loosening, since the lacing extending between the rings are not squeezed between a side wall and a tongue. The lacing can more easily slip at the portion between the rings, also because much of the lacing does not even contact the tongue since the upper portions 32 of the overlays lie near the top of the tongue (see FIG.. 4). As a result, the lacing portion from the ring 45 to the rear of the overlay can be quickly tightened and loosened. When the wearer pulls the ends 56 (FIG. 1) of the lacings prior to tying abow, the lacing portions along the overlays can slide so that they all can be pulled tight. When the wearer unties the bow and pulls up on the tongue, the lacing portions that tie the overlays together can readily slip on the lacing rings so that the foot is readily loosened from the shoe and can be removed.

: Theforward portion of the lacing which ties together the softside walls 16,18 where they are not covered by an overlay, doesnot readily slip. Accordingly, the for- I ward lacing portion tends to maintain the original configuration which is adapted to the wearers foot. When the wearer first puts on the shoe and at occasional readjustments, he pulls the forward lacing portion tight enough to conform the soft side walls to the ball region of his foot. This is the region which is most variable between peopl. By using soft side walls, the shoe can be widened and narrowed at the ball region of the foot so that a single shoe can readily accommodate a range of widths such as from a B width to an E width. Once the forward lacing portion has been tightened, the shoe will thereafter tend to retain a configuration closely sur rounding the ball portion of the wearers foot. The rearward'lacing portion which must be tightened and .loosened every time the shoe is put on or taken off, is therefore differentiated from the forward lacing portion which does not have to be loosened and tightened regularly. Thus, close conformance to the wearer is achieved while facilitating rapid operation of the shoe in putting on and taking off. I

I The ring-type lacing engagers have grommet-like parts 58 (FIG. 4) that extend through holes formed in the overlays above the stitch line 59 where the overlays and side walls are stitched together. As a result, the hard grommet-like portions 58 do not bear on the foot or even the tongue 20, but are further cushioned by the side wall 16 or 18.

The tongue 20 is constructed to well-distribute the lacing or tying forces, and also to minimize discontinuities that could cause discomfort particularly in sockless wear of the shoe. As shown in FIG. 4, thetongue includes an upper layer 60, a lower layer 62 which contacts the foot, and a padding 64 between the upper and lower layers. A thick padding 64 is utilized, but only along a center portion of the tongue. Each of the layers 60, 62 is skived, or tapered in thickness, along its side edges. A large amount of skiving is provided, with the thickness B beside a stitch line which is spaced a distance C of about 3/16 inches from the extreme side edge of the shoe being less than the thickness D of a single layer 62 at the middle of the tongue. Furthermore, the tongue is wider than usual, and,'as shown in FIG. 2, extends a distance E from the top of the overlay of more than 1 inch and preferably more than 1 /2 inches. The great width of the tongue means that the side edges lie a considerable distance from the center of the tongue where the pressure due to lacing is highest, and instead the edge lies nearer the sole where the pressure decreases. The skiving produces a minimum discontinuity where the edge of the tongue meets the inner surface of the side wall.

The tongue also extends rearwardly further than is usual, extending a distance F behind the high point of the side wall 16 where it lies over the tongue, of more than 1/2 inch. This rear extension of the tongue means that the rear edge of the tongue lieshigher along the foot. The portionof the tongue lying under the overlays and rearward of them is constructed so it tends to maintain a curvature that conforms it to the foot. This is desirable particularly because of the thick padding in the tongue which might otherwise tend to cause wrinkling of the lower tongue layer 62. In order to provide such a tendency to curve, the tongue is initially constructed with the rear ends of the layers 60, 62having the shapes shown in FIGQS when they are flat. The upper layer 60 is wider along the rear end of the tonguethan the lower layer 62, .so that when the layers are stitchedtogether the rear end tends to hold itself in a curve, and it holds regions in front of it also ina curve. The tongue extends to the toe region, where it is not curved as greatly, so that the curvature of the tongue changes along its length. The fact that the tongue extends up'to and over the toe region 12 and to the sole, means that there is a minimum of discontinuities at the inner surface of the shoe even at the toe region.

The support ofthe foot at the rear or heel region is important to provide secure attachment of the shoe to the foot. As shown in FIG. 2, the rear or heel portion of the shoe includes a soft inner layer 70, a layer of padding 72, a counter 74, and an outer layer 76. A loop 78 is attached to the outer layer. Thecounter 74 is of an ordinary stiff kind which extends in a curve to support the lower heel portion of the foot, the top 74T of the counter extending to a typical height. However, the padding 72 and inner and outer layers 70, 76 form an extension above the counter that rests against the Achilles tendon of the foot. This extension 80 is not as stiff as the counter 74, but is self-supporting and can apply some pressure to the foot. This is particularly true because the extending portion 80 is highly curved about a substantially vertical axis 82 as indicated in FIG. 3. The extension 30 extends upwardly from the counter, and with a forward directional component, so that it can bear firmly against the Achilles tendon of the foot which is also curved forwardly. By thus snugly surrounding the rear of the foot even along the curved Achilles tendon portion, a more snug fit is obtained. The use of only a padding to back the soft inner layer 70 assures that there is no high pressure on the Achilles tendon that could cause discomfort. At a region immediately forward of the extension $0, the shoe is provided with a thick collar 84 along the upper portion'of the ankle opening; as shown in FIG. 6.

The walls of the shoe around the ankle opening 22 are formed to provide good support normally achieved by extending the walls to a considerable height, and yet to prevent rubbing on the ankle bone which is a disadvantage often resulting from high walls at the ankle opening. The walls around the ankle opening are high at the rear where the extensionfitl is located, and at the rear end of the tongue at a point 86. However, the walls are cut-out between these regions, rising at a steep angle G of more-than 30 from a point 88 where the ankle bone of the wearer extends lowest and which is forward of the center of the ankle opening to the point 86. I

Thus, the invention provides a shoe which can firmly support and girdle the foot, maintaining tightness of lacing during wear, without localized high pressure regions or large discontinuities where there is highpressure or where there is likely to be rubbing. The shoe utilizes stiffer overlays over selected regions of soft side walls, with rear lacing rings being located on the overlays. A wide, long and naturally curved tongue is pro-- vided, and there is also provided-a forwardly extending extension over the heel counter, with the extension shaped to closely surround the Achilles tendon.

Although particular embodiments of the invention have been described and illustrated herein, it is recognized that modifications and variations may readily occur to those skilled in the art and consequently it is intended that the claims be interpreted to cover such modifications and equivalents.

What is claimed is: ll. In a shoe which includes side walls constructed of soft material for sockless wear of the shoe, the improvement comprising:

first and second overlays respectively lying at the inner side and outer side of said shoe over said soft side walls, each overlay having a lower portion joined to the sole of the shoe and an upper portion;

said first overlay having a lower portion extending rearwardly from approximately a location immediately behind the ball of the foot and the overlay extending forwardly and upwardly from its lower portion to its upper portion and said second overlay lying substantially opposite said first overlay;

each overlay having fastening means at its upper portion for tying to the upper portion of the other overlay.

2. The improvement described in claim 1 wherein:

each of said overlays is stiffer than the soft side walls under it.

3. The improvement a shoe described in claim 1 wherein:

said shoe has a plurality of eyelets along either side of its centerline at locations forward of the upper portions of said overlays, said eyelets extending through said side walls so that laces tying them together are pressed between the walls forming said eyelets and the forward tongue region underneath the walls forming the eyelets; and

said fastening means includes rings lying over said overlays so that laces tying them together are more free to slip thereon.

d. The improvement described in claim ll wherein:

said fastening means comprises lace engaging means lying on top of said overlays, the upper portions of said overlays being thick enough and extending high enough that most of the lace portions tying said overlays together are spaced a distance above the tongue, whereby there is a minimum of pressing of the laces on the tongue.

5. The improvement described in claim 1 wherein:

said overlays and side walls are stitched together along a line spaced from the top of said side walls;

said fastening means includes lacing rings lying on said overlays, said lacing rings having grommet-like lower portions extending through holes in said overlays above said stitch lines and lying over said soft side walls.

6. In a shoe constructed of soft material, the improvement comprisingz Y walls defining an ankle opening with a rear portion including a stiff counter which is at least partially rigid, a padding lying inside the counter, and a soft liner lying inside the padding;

said padding and liner extending above the top of the counter with a generally forward directional component at the inner surface of the shoe and said padding being thicker above the counter than below it.

7. The shoe described in claim 6 wherein:

said padding forms a thick collar along the upper rear portion of said ankle opening except at the extreme rear thereof to closely surround the Achilles tendon of the foot.

8. In a shoe constructed of soft material, the improvement comprising:

a tongue. .having top and bottom layers joined together around their peripheries with a layer of resilient padding between them along their middle, the tongue being soft and easily deformable both above and below the padding, the side edges of said layers being tapered in thickness, and the rear portion of the top layer being wider than the bottom layer between joined regions near opposite sides of the tongue to cause the sides of the tongue to naturally curl down.

9. In a shoe which includes side walls constructed of soft material, the improvement comprising:

first and second overlays respectively lying at the inner side and'outer side of said shoe over said soft side walls, each overlay having lower and upper portions;

said first overlay having a lower portion extending rearwardly from approximately a location immediately behind the ball of the foot and the overlay extending forwardly and upwardly from its lower portion to its upper portion and said second overlay lying substantially opposite said first overlay;

each overlay having fastening means at its upper portion for tying to the upper portion of the other overlay.

said overlays together are spaced a distance above the tongue, whereby there is a minimum of pressing of the laces on the tongue.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1781950 *Nov 23, 1927Nov 18, 1930Lurella HarperTongue for shoes
US2073542 *Oct 30, 1935Mar 9, 1937Canada Cycle And Motor CompanyBoot tongue
US2591211 *Aug 17, 1951Apr 1, 1952Us ArmyAdjustable shoe
US2598782 *Nov 4, 1949Jun 3, 1952Gillis George HTrack shoe with cushioned heelreceiving pocket
US3430365 *Sep 8, 1967Mar 4, 1969Dee John F JrLow cut sports shoe
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4255876 *May 31, 1979Mar 17, 1981Brs, Inc.Athletic shoe having an upper toe section of stretchable material, external reinforcing strips and improved lacing
US4342161 *Mar 9, 1981Aug 3, 1982Michael W. SchmohlLow sport shoe
US4438574 *Mar 26, 1982Mar 27, 1984Nike, Inc.Athletic shoe with two-piece upper forepart section
US4550511 *Apr 22, 1983Nov 5, 1985Kangaroos U.S.A., Inc.Instep support for footwear
US4670998 *Jan 28, 1986Jun 9, 1987Chesebrough-Pond's, Inc.Navicular support tennis shoe
US4756098 *Jan 21, 1987Jul 12, 1988Gencorp Inc.Athletic shoe
US4813158 *Feb 6, 1987Mar 21, 1989Reebok International Ltd.Athletic shoe with mesh reinforcement
US4856209 *Sep 8, 1987Aug 15, 1989Red Wing Shoe Company, Inc.Walking shoe with padded collar
US5502902 *Jul 12, 1995Apr 2, 1996Puma Ag Rudolf Dassler SportShoe with central rotary closure
US5682654 *Apr 18, 1996Nov 4, 1997Fila U.S.A., Inc.Closure element
US5704138 *Jul 23, 1996Jan 6, 1998Salomon S.A.Mountain hiking boot with internal tightening device
US5737854 *Aug 31, 1993Apr 14, 1998Puma Ag Rudolf Dassler SportShoe with a central closure
US5771610 *May 24, 1996Jun 30, 1998Patagonia, Inc.Footwear for water sports
US5926976 *Jun 12, 1997Jul 27, 1999Salomon S.A.Sport boot
US6023857 *Sep 21, 1998Feb 15, 2000Converse Inc.Shoe with removable midsole
US6298582 *Jan 30, 1998Oct 9, 2001Nike, Inc.Article of footwear with heel clip
US7624517May 18, 2006Dec 1, 2009Nike, Inc.Article of footwear with saddle
US20070266594 *May 18, 2006Nov 22, 2007Smith Steven FArticle of Footwear with Saddle
US20100064547 *May 2, 2008Mar 18, 2010New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.Shoe having a form fitting closure structure
USD283364Jan 17, 1983Apr 15, 1986Kangaroos U.S.A. Inc.Athletic shoe
USD283365Dec 13, 1982Apr 15, 1986Kangaroos U.S.A. Inc.Athletic shoe
DE3430331A1 *Aug 17, 1984Oct 17, 1985Asics CorpSportschuh
EP0813824A1 *May 30, 1997Dec 29, 1997Salomon S.A.Sportsshoe
EP0821889A2 *Jul 2, 1997Feb 4, 1998TRIPLE-L HANDELS GmbHShoe, in particular sports, walking or trekking shoe
Classifications
U.S. Classification36/114
International ClassificationA43B21/22, A43B5/00, A43B23/02, A43B21/00
Cooperative ClassificationA43B5/00
European ClassificationA43B5/00