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Publication numberUS3807060 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 30, 1974
Filing dateMar 5, 1973
Priority dateMar 5, 1973
Also published asCA1003634A, CA1003634A1, DE2410515A1
Publication numberUS 3807060 A, US 3807060A, US-A-3807060, US3807060 A, US3807060A
InventorsHanson A, Hanson C
Original AssigneeHanson Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ski boot having multi-directional flexure means and canting means
US 3807060 A
Abstract
A ski boot having flexure means for adjusting the degree of stiffness both in the forward and rearward directions and canting means whereby the required cant for a particular skier can be adjusted.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Hanson et al.

[ SKI BOOT HAVING MULTI-DIRECTIONAL FLEXURE MEANS AND CANTING MEANS [75] Inventors: Alden B. Hanson; Chris A. Hanson,

both of Boulder, C010.

[73] Assignee: Hanson Industries, Inc., Boulder,

[22] Filed: Mar. 5, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 338,292

52 US. Cl. 36/25 AL 511 lm. Cl. A43b [58] Field of Search 36/2.5 R, 2.5 AL, 5

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,535,800 10/1970 Stohr .L ..36/2.5 AL

[ Apr. 30, 1974 Lange 36/2.5 AL Hanson et al. 36/2.5 AL

Primary Examiner--Patrick D. Lawson Attorney, Agent, or FirmMerriam, Marshall, Shapiro & Klose ABSTRACT A ski boot having flexure means for adjusting the degreeof stiffness both in the forward and rearward directions and canting means whereby the required cant for a particular skier can be adjusted.

15 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures ATENTEU APR 3 0 m? aleov'nso FIG. 4,

.IEE

swan 2 BF 2 FIG.5

SKI BOOT HAVING MULTI-DIRECTIONAL FLEXURE MEANS AND CANTING MEANS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a ski boot having a substantially rigid outer shell which includes means for adjusting the degree of stiffness both in the forward and rearward directions as well as providing means for adjusting the cant of the boot to the particular requirements of an individual skier.

It is generally desirable to have the lateral stiffness in a ski boot as high as can be practically attained; however, the amount a ski boot should flex in the forward and rearward directions will differ with circumstances. There are some instances in which a skier, particularly of the caliber of an expert or racer, will desire adjustment in the stiffness of the boot, because of the terrain and nature of the snow, to increase the overall stiffness of the boot thereby decreasing the amount of forward and rearward flex or lean permitted the skier.

In our pending US. application Ser. No. 276,561 filed July 3 l 1972, now US. Pat. No. 3,738,025, a stiffness control or flexure system was disclosed, which, when incorporated in a ski boot, enables a skier to readily adjust the stiffness of the ski boot while on a mountain in response to snow or slope conditions, or for the personal preference of the skier.

While the flexure system disclosed in the referenced application is satisfactory for many applications, it has been observed that there are some skiers, particularly racers and expert skiers, whode'sire even more control over the stiffness of the shell of the boot.

Additionally while various methods for canting a boot are known, these methods have not been entirely satisfactory. In those instances where the cant is achieved by either molding the boot with an angle or by the build-up or removal of material at the sole of the shell so that the boot is canted at a desired angle, a

problem is encountered when the boot is inserted into the bindings. Unfortunately, the cant in the boot does not allow the boot to fit properly into the bindings absent modifications of the boot or binding.

Another means of achieving the desired cant of the boot has been a boot pad which is located on the ski. This pad serves to provide the desired cant when a boot is placed on the pad. Still further, the inner portion of the boot in some instances has been designed to permit the canting of an individuals foot within the boot itself.

These methods of canting the boot have not been entirely satisfactory due, in some instances, to the requirements of a particular skier or the time and cost associated with providing the necessary cant. What is desired is to have a ski boot which can be readily and easily adjusted to provide the cant required for the particular individual wearing the boot.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly described, the invention disclosed and claimed herein relates to a ski boot which incorporates means for a skier to control both the forward and rear-- ward stiffness flexure system of the boot in response to the particular snow and slope conditions or personal preference of the skier. Moreover, the ski boot of the present invention provides an adjustable canting means whereby the necessary cant in which a skiers knees will be located substantially over the axial center line of the skis will be achieved for the particular individual wearing the boot.

The flexure control system involves the presence in the ankle position of the boot of at least one and preferably several traverse openings in a wall or rib which extends along the front of the boot from the ankle to the toe. Similarly, there is at least one and preferably more openings in a wall or rib which extends along the back of theboot from the heel area to above the ankle in the rear tongue of the boot. The openings extend through and materially reduce the thickness of the shell walls and thereby permit greater flexibility in the ankle portion 9f the shell both in the forward and rearward directions. 7

In order to control the amount of flexibility thus created, there is positioned within each opening a substantially rigid elongated flex rod having a cross section which, in the major direction, is approximately equal to the size of the opening while in the remaining directions the cross section is less than the size of the opening. Each rod can be rotated to a particular position in which its width substantially fills the opening, thereby in effect eliminating the opening in the wall and the flexibility resulting therefrom. By rotating a rod so that a narrower dimension is positioned within the opening, partial deformation or compression of the opening is permitted; i.e. the ankle portion will flex until the walls of the opening bear against the sides of its associated flex rod. In this position, greater flexibility of the walls in the front portion and back or rear of the boot is selectively afforded as will hereinafter become apparent.

The boot of the present invention also comprises two relatively stiff members each of which extends along a portion of each side of the boot. The members, which can be made of metal or other suitable material, extend up beyond the ankle area of the boot. The lateral members preferably are molded into the outer shell for a portion of their length with a portion of each member extending freely outward from the shell. The outward "extending portions are adapted to be adjusted laterally to retain that portion of the leg between the knee and ankle of the skier in an appropriate position such that a skiers knee will be positioned substantially over the center line of the ski.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention will be better understood from the following detailed description thereof, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a side view of a ski boot showing the rear tongue of the boot flexed in two different positions by adjustment of the flexure post located on the rear tongue of the ski boot;

FIG. 2 is a section view along lines 22 in FIG. 1 and shows the adjustable canting members molded in the shell of the ski boot with portions of the canting members extending out from the shell and enclosed by the liner;

FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of a flex rod of the present invention used for adjusting the flexure of the boot;

FIG. 4 shows a rear view of the ski boot of the present invention; and

FIG. 5 shows a front view of the ski boot of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring to the drawings, FIGS. 1-2, there is shown a ski boot comprising an exterior shell having sole portion 11 and an upper or foot receiving portion 12 formed of a substantially rigid plastic material. Entry to the boot for the wearers foot is provided by rear access opening member 13 which is closed by a buckle closure system 14.

The front ankle portion 15 of upper 12, i.e., the portion immediately adjacent the wearers instep, is provided with seven horizontal or transverse side stiffening ribs 17 and a vertical front stiffening wall or rib 18 which extends from the toe of the shell to the topmost transverse rib .17. Vertical rib 18 has openings or notches 19 in the .rib between adjacent lateral ribs 17. A flex rod 21 is housed within each opening, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3, and is rotatably held within the rib. The rod can be rotated by turning finger grip 22.

A flex rod useful in the invention comprises two circular heads 23, 24 which are adapted to abut the sides 25 of vertical wall or rib 18. Heads 23, 24 are connected together by means of a rib stiffening member 26 which has a major axis y and a minor axis x located 90 to the major axis. The major axis of the flex rod should be substantially equal to the maximum width of its associated opening in the unstressed state, thereby substantially preventing the opening from becoming narrower and thereby increasing the resistance of the shell to forward flexure.

When flex rod 21 is rotated so that its minor axis x is within the opening as shown at 8, the opening can be distorted by forward lean on'the boot by the skier until the walls of the opening bear on the flex rod and further flexing is prevented. The particular flex rod shown in FIG. 3 can be made of plastic, metal or other suitable material and can be rotated by turning finger grip 22 to a position of minimum flex to maximum flex.

Bosses 27 are located on the inner faces of heads 23. The sides 25 of vertical rib 18, at least in the area of the opening are recessed at about 90 to the opening so that as rod 21 is rotated, the rod will rotate until bosses 27 are seated in the recess which serves to lock the rod into position until it is rotated again by rotating finger grip 22.

The flex rod, as shown at 4 in FIG. 1, can be positioned with its major axis y" turned in a substantially vertical position along rib 18 to occupy substantially the entire opening 19 when the boot is in its rest or undistorted condition. With the flex rods adjusted in this manner, forward pressure by the wearers leg on the top 30 of shell 10 would only minimally deform the forward wall of the boot shell. The boot would thus exhibit the maximum stiffness of which it is capable.

However, when flex rods 21 are rotated to a position where the minor axis x is located within opening 17, such as shown at 8 in FIG. 1, pressure on top 30 of boot 10 permits the boot to compress in an accordian or bellows fashion, thereby causing ankle portion 28 of the shell to flex to its maximum. It is appreciated that the desired forward flex can be adjusted merely by rotating one or more flex rods 21 to the desired location. If all the flex rods are turned to a substantially horizontal position, substantial maximum flex is permitted whereas turning rods 21 to a position whereby rods 21 are in a substantially vertical position along rib 18, substantial minimum flex is achieved.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 4, backward flexure control is also provided in boot 10. Access opening or rear tongue member 13 is a hinged member which includes a substantially rigid outer shell wall 31 with a liner member 32 made of foam or other suitable material cemented or adhered to the inner wall of the rear tongue.

The rear tongue is adapted to be hinged at 33 to the shell in the manner shown and disclosed in our pending application Ser. No. 231,967 filed Mar. 6, 1972.

As seen in FIG. 4, back or tongue member 13 is provided with three horizontal or transverse side stiffening ribs 40 and a vertical back stiffening rib 41 composed of four sections 42, 43, 44 and 45 with openings 47, 48 and 49 between the respective sections.

Flex rods 21 are positioned in openings 47 and 48. The flex rods in the back member operate in the same manner previously described with respect to the flexure adjusting system forforward flex of the boot.

Between rib sections 44 and 45 there is located vertical post 50. Post 50 comprises a strip of material such as aluminum which is adapted to be fastened at its respective ends to rib sections 44, 45 by means of screws 51, 52. Section 45 has three holes 53 while post 50 also has three spaced adjusting holes. When it is desired to change the position of member 13 to accommodate varying leg sizes, a hole in post 50 and one of the holes 53 are aligned after which screw 52 is inserted in the hole of rib section 45, thereby pushing the top portion of the rear tongue member forward as shown in FIG. 1.

When post 50 is pulled downward and screw 52 is placed into the bottom hole in rib section 45, the rear tongue 13 is pulled backward as exemplified in dotted lines in FIG. 1 thereby accommodating another leg size. Moving post 50 to any one of the three adjusting holes 53 serves as an adjustment for different size legs.

By adjusting post 50 and flex rods 21 in the rear member 13, the backward angle and flexure of the boot iscontrolled. Post 50 is spaced from the back of rear member 13, as seen more clearly in FIG. 1 in order that cable 55 of buckle closure system 14 can be inserted between the post 50 and wall 31.

In addition to means for adjusting both the forward and rearward flexure in the bootas well as accommodating different leg sizes, an adjustable canting means is also provided.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, metal strips 60, 61 preferably are molded into the boot. While a portion of the outer walls of the strips are exposed, transverse ribs 17 extend over the strips as shown at 63 in FIG. 1. A portion 64 of each strip 60, 61 extends freely out from shell 10. Freely extending portions 64 on strips 60, 61 serve to provide a means for providing the desired cant for a particular skier.

While a skier is wearing the boot, portion 64 on each strip 60, 61 can be bent laterally which causes the wearers leg between the ankle and the knee to move laterally to a desired position. Specifically, a skier,

while wearing the boots, can drop a plumb from the I knee of a skier. Strip portions 64 can then be bent laterally as required by suitable means to lock the wearers leg in the desired or canted position which is where the plumb would be in a vertical plane which passes through the longitudinal axis of a ski. Following a cant adjusting operation, portions 64 of strips 60, 61 can then be inserted into slots 70 in liner member 71 which is disposed within the shell 10.

Member 71 extends from the top of the boot into the shell where it wraps about the foot of a skier.

The liner contains a cavity which is adapted to be filled with wax or other suitable material such as described in our pending application Ser. No. 216,081 filed Jan. 7, 1972. Liner 71 and liner 32 attached to rear tongue member 13 are contoured so that upon closure of the boot by buckle system 14, the liners will mate together to substantially enclose the foot of the wearer.

Flaps 90, 91 on liner 71 extend about the top of rear tongue member 13 to preclude snow or other material from entering the boot.

The bottom of the boot includes a sole portion 80 and a heel portion 81 which is elevated above the sole portion as clearly seen in FIG. 1. Elevating the boot at the heel permits the boot to rest on boot plates which are usually attached to a ski in association with various heel bindings presently available on the market. Accordingly, the boot of the present invention fits snugly on a ski and at the same time is adapted to fit properly into most heel bindings presently available.

The foregoing detailed description has been given for clearness of understanding only, and no unnecessary limitations should be understood therefrom, as modifications will be obvious to those skilled in the art.

We claim:

1. A boot including an ankle portion, said boot being adapted for controlling the forward and backward flex in a boot, said boot comprising:

a substantially rigid shell having an ankle portion adapted to cover the forward surface ofa wearers ankle and a back portion adapted to cover the back surface of a wearers ankle;

means for controlling the stiffness of said shell against flexure in the forward and backward directions,

said forward and back ankle portions of said shell each having at least one transverse opening therein, said openings reducing the wall thickness of said shell sufficiently to substantially decrease the resistance to flexure of said ankle portion in the forward and rearward directions; said opening in said forward surface being compressed by forward flexure of the ankle portion and said opening in said back portion being compressed by rearward flexure of the ankle portion; and,

adjustable flexure control means associated with said openings in said forward and backward portions to limit the compression of the application of pressure and thereby control the stiffness of said shell.

2. The boot of claim 1 wherein said flex control means includes an elongated member having a major and a minor axis, said member being rotatablypositioned longitudinally within said opening to limit the extent of compression thereof caused by flexure of said ankle portion.

3. The boot of claim 2 wherein said member includes two spaced heads, each head having an inner and outer wall, said heads being connected together at their inner walls by said elongated member, and a turning means attached to the outer wall of one of said heads for turning said rod in said opening.

4. A boot in accordance with claim 3 wherein each of said rods has locking'means for locking said head in position.

5. The boot of claim 1 in which said shell is provided with a vertical stiffening rib extending from about the toe of said boot to about the top of the ankle portion of said boot, and a vertical stiffening rib extending along the back of said boot.

6. The boot of claim 5 in which each of said ribs having a plurality of openings therein adapted for receipt of a rotatable flex member.

7. The boot of claim 1 and further including adjustable canting means located on at least one side of said boot and adapted for selected lateral movement whereby the knees of a skier can be centered over the center line of a ski when the boot is inserted in bindings on skis.

8. The boot of claim 7 in which said adjustable canting means includes a rigid strip of material located and attached to said boot, said strip having a portion extending freely relative to said shell, said freely extending portion being adapted to be moved laterally relative to said boot whereby a skiers leg between the ankle and knee can be pushed to a desired position by movement of said strip.

9. The boot of claim 8 and further including a second strip located on the opposite side of said boot from said first strip.

10. The boot of claim 9 and further including a liner disposed within said shell and extending above said shell said liner having means for enclosing said freely extending portion of said strip.

11. The boot of claim 10 wherein said liner further includes a wrap around member extending about said back portion of said boot for preventing materials such as snow from entering said boot.

12. The boot of claim 1 further including post means attached to said back portion for adjusting the position of said back portion substantially relative to said ankle portion.

13. The boot of claim 12 wherein said back portion includesspaced ribs; 21 post member having two ends; at least one of said ends having a plurality of means for being adjustably connected to one of said spaced ribs at a selected position and the remaining end of said post being attached to said remaining rib.

14. A boot including an ankle portion, said boot being adapted for controlling the forward and backward flex and the cant in a boot, said boot comprising:

a substantially rigid shell having an ankle portion adapted to cover the forward surface of a wearers ankle and a back portion adapted to cover the back surface of a wearers ankle;

means for controlling the stiffness of said shell against flexure in the forward and backward directions,

said forward and back ankle portions of said shell each having at least one transverse opening therein, said openings reducing the wall thickness of said shell sufficiently to substantially decrease the resistance to flexure of said ankle portion in the forward and rearward directions; said opening in said forward surface being compressed by forward flexure of the ankle portion and said opening in said back portion being compressed by rearward flexure of the ankle portion;

adjustable flexure control means associated with said openings in said forward and backward portions to limit the compression of the application of pressure and thereby control the stiffness of said shell; and,

adjustable canting means located on each side of said boot for laterally positioning the leg of a skier relative to the center line of a ski.

15. The boot of claim 14 in which said adjustable position by movement of said strip.

" UNITED STATES PATENT QlFFICE s/as) CERTIFICATE-0F CORREC'HGN.

Patent No. 3,807,060 Dated April 30, 1974 Inventor) Alden 3.. Hanson: Chris A. Hanson It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent; and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

F" Column 1, line 63, delete "flexure system" Column 2, '1 line 5, delete "position" add -portion-; Column 4,' line 6, following "a" ins ert wrap aroun.d-; Column 5, line 3 delete "an" insert a forw-ard; line 37 following 'back" insert --ankle--; line 48 delete "surface" insert ankle portionline 50 following "back" insert "ankle-e; line 50, delete "rearward" insert -backward--; line 53, delete "backward" insert back ankle-; line 54, delete I "of" insert on-; line 56, delete "flex' insert --flexure-; line 62, delete "member' insert --flexure control means--; line 67, delete "rod" insert elongated member-; Column 6, line 2, delete "rods" insert flexure control meansline delete "inwhich" insert and-; line 10, following "plurality of" insert-said transverse-; line 10, following "openings therein" insert -'-and being-y line, 11, delete "a rotatableflex member" insert -,-said adjustable flexure control means; line 15, delete "the knees" add '--a knee; line 19, following includes a insert first--; line 19, following "of material" delete "located and"; line 25, following "of said" inser't -freely extending portion of said--; line 38, following "back" insert --an kle; line 39, following 'back" insert ---ankle--; line '39, following sale i" insert -forward--; line 46, following "to" insert another of; line 46, delete "remaining rib" insert-spaced ri s-F line 5l, delete "an" insert a "forward---; line'53, follow ng 'a Back" insert --ankle-; line 63, delete "rearward" insert -backward-'-;' line 64, delete "surface" insert ankle portion-; line 66, following "said back" insert ankle; line 66, delete "rearward" insert -backward; Column 7, line 2,- delete "backward" insert --'-back 'ankle; line 3, following "compression of" insert --said openings from--.

Signed and sealed. this 29th day of October 197 (SEAL) Attest:

McCOY M, GIBSON JR, c, MARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3535800 *Nov 7, 1968Oct 27, 1970Rieker & CoSki boot
US3593435 *Jan 6, 1969Jul 20, 1971Lange Robert BPlastic ski boot
US3738025 *Jul 31, 1972Jun 12, 1973Hanson Ind IncSki boot having variable stiffness
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3886673 *Jul 5, 1974Jun 3, 1975Olin CorpSki boot with forward lean wedge
US3968578 *Jun 19, 1975Jul 13, 1976Rathmell Richard KSki boat with adjustable rigidity
US3972134 *May 27, 1975Aug 3, 1976Hermann KastingerSkiing boot
US4203235 *Feb 15, 1978May 20, 1980Pelt R Harrison Jr VanSki training device
US4843740 *Apr 18, 1988Jul 4, 1989Raichle Sportschuh AgSki boot
US4864744 *Jan 4, 1989Sep 12, 1989Raichle Sportschuh AgSki boot
US5031340 *Apr 4, 1990Jul 16, 1991Fischer Gesellschaft M.B.H.Ski-boot
US5269079 *Mar 4, 1992Dec 14, 1993Kunstadt Robert MSki footwear
US5832635 *May 14, 1997Nov 10, 1998Items International, Inc.Apparatus for adjusting the forward lean and flexibility of footwear
US5873172 *Jul 15, 1997Feb 23, 1999Surefoot LlcCant angle measurement device
US6231057Oct 9, 1998May 15, 2001The Burton CorporationHighback with an adjustable shape
US6557865 *Oct 9, 1998May 6, 2003The Burton CorporationHighback with adjustable stiffness
US6807753 *May 13, 2002Oct 26, 2004Adidas International B.V.Shoe with tunable cushioning system
US6983553Nov 5, 2003Jan 10, 2006Adidas International Marketing B.V.Shoe with tunable cushioning system
US20030208928 *May 13, 2002Nov 13, 2003Adidas International B.V.Shoe with tunable cushioning system
US20040148799 *Nov 5, 2003Aug 5, 2004Adidas International Marketing B. V.Shoe with tunable cushioning system
EP0233957A1 *Jan 30, 1986Sep 2, 1987Robert C. LimbachMethod of fitting ski boots
EP0287816A1 *Mar 19, 1988Oct 26, 1988Raichle Sportschuh AGSki boot
EP0465223A2 *Jul 2, 1991Jan 8, 1992Rollerblade, Inc.Improved activity boot
Classifications
U.S. Classification36/119.1, 36/117.1
International ClassificationA43B5/04
Cooperative ClassificationA43B5/0454, A43B5/0466
European ClassificationA43B5/04E16, A43B5/04E14F
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 8, 1982AS99Other assignments
Free format text: DAIWA SEIKO, INC. P.O. BOX 1 14-16 MAESAWA, 3-CHOME, HIGASHIKURUME 180-03 TOKYO, * HANSON INDUSTRIES INCORPORATED A CO CORP. : 19821008 OTHER CASES: NONE; ASSIGNOR AND ASSIGNEE EACH QUITCLAIM, SELL, REMISE, RELEASE,
Nov 8, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: DAIWA SEIKO, INC. P.O. BOX 1 14-16 MAESAWA, 3-CHOM
Free format text: ASSIGNOR AND ASSIGNEE EACH QUITCLAIM, SELL, REMISE, RELEASE, TRANSFER, CONVEY AND ASSIGN THE ENTIREINTEREST UNDER SAID PATENTS AND APPLICATIONS;ASSIGNOR:HANSON INDUSTRIES INCORPORATED A CO CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004085/0150
Effective date: 19821008
Nov 30, 1981ASAssignment
Owner name: WELLS FARGO BUSINESS CREDIT
Free format text: AS COLLATERAL SECURITY, ASSIGNOR ASSIGNS THE ENTIRE INTEREST UNDER SAID PATENT, SUBJECT TO CONDITIONS RECITED.;ASSIGNOR:HANSON INDUSTRIES, INCORPORATED;REEL/FRAME:003930/0403
Effective date: 19811110
Owner name: WELLS FARGO BUSINESS CREDIT, COLORADO