US 3816945 A
An athletic shoe includes a support plate molded into the ball of the sole and having a pivot bearing swaged thereto and extending downwardly and outwardly from the sole. A swivel cleat plate is rotatably coupled to the bearing and includes a plurality of cleats. A snap-in cap fits within a central opening of the bearing to enclose the swivel structure for protection against dirt while permitting access for maintenance or replacement of the cleat plate. The swivel cleat plate facilitates sharp turning by the user. The shoe includes an enlarged heel cleat having tapered side walls to permit the shoe to slip, preventing injury from side impact from one direction, but to dig into the ground to facilitate turns in the opposite direction.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ June 18, 1974 SWIVEL CLEAT SHOE  Inventor: Robert B. Egtvedt, Comstock Park,
 Assignee: Wolverine World Wide, Inc.,
3,744,160 7/1973 Dymond 36/2.5 AE
Primary Examiner-Patrick D. Lawson Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Price, Heneveld, Huizenga & Cooper [5 7] ABSTRACT An athletic shoe includes a support plate molded into the ball of the sole and having a pivot bearing swaged thereto and extending downwardly and outwardly from the sole. A swivel cleat plate is rotatably coupled to the bearing and includes a plurality of cleats. A snap-in cap fits within a central opening of the bearing to enclose the swivel structure for protection against dirt while permitting access for maintenance or replacement of the cleat plate. The swivel cleat plate facilitates sharp turning by the user. The shoe includes an enlarged heel cleat having tapered side walls to permit the shoe to slip, preventing injury from side impact from one direction, but to dig into the ground to facilitate turns in the opposite direction.
17 Clains, 12 Drawing Figures PATENTEBJHUBHH 33161945 SHEEI 3 0f 3 H63 FGJO FIG. u
SWIVEL CLEAT SHOE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to an athletic shoe having an improved swivel cleat plate mounted to the ball of the shoe.
Recently, efforts have been made to develop athletic shoes, such as football shoes, having a plate rotatably mounted to the ball of the shoe and including cleats. With ordinary shoes, it is necessary to twist the cleats within the turf as the user turns. The rotatable cleats facilitate cutting or turning by the wearer during an athletic contest since the shoe can pivot with the cleats being firmly entrenched in the turf.
Several pivot cleat designs have been tried and are represented by US. Pat. Nos. 3,354,561 issued Nov. 28, 1967 to B. Cameron; 3,680,231 issued Aug. 1, 1972 to J. Dymond and 3,707,047 issued Dec. 26, 1972 to Z. Nedwick. Although such efforts have been made toprovide an athletic shoe with a pivot plate pivotally secured to a support'plate molded within the sole of the shoe, shoe structures heretofore have resulted in extremely complex mechanism which is both costly and subject to failure and which, due to its bulk and rigidity, severely limits the flexibility of the shoe sole.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention, however, overcomes the deficiencies of the existing pivot shoe structure by providing a very thin support plate integrally molded in the sole of an athletic shoe and having secured thereto a pivot bearing to which a cleat plate is detachably mounted. A protective removable cover cap lockably engages the pivot bearing to seal the structure. The pivot shoe resulting provides an extremely high strength, yet flexible pivot mechanism which resists clogging due to entry of dirt or the like and which has a high degree of wearability, yet requires only a very few parts to manufacture. Thus, the pivot assembly of the present invention provides an improved mechanism at a reduced cost.
It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved pivot assembly for an athletic shoe.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a relatively thin flexible support plate for a pivot assembly which is integrally molded in the sole of a shoe.
Still a further object of the present invention is to provide a unique pivot bearing communication between a support plate and pivot plate.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a pivot assembly which is sealed and easily disassembled for maintenance or repair.
These and other objects of the present invention will become apparent upon reading the following description thereof together with the accompanying drawings in which:
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a left side elevational view of a football shoe for the right foot and which embodies the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a bottom plan view of the structure shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary right end elevational view of the heel cleat for the shoe shown in FIGS. 1 and 2;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged, exploded view of the pivot assembly mounted to the ball of the shoe shown in FIGS. 1 and 2;
FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view of the support plate shown in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the support plate shown in FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a bottom plan view of the cleat plate shown in FIG. 4;
FIG. 8 is a top plan view of the cleat plate shown in FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a bottom plan view of the protective cap shown in FIG. 4; I
FIG. 10 is a top plan view of the protective cap shown in FIG. 9;
FIG. 11 is an enlarged assembly view in cross section of one-half of the pivot assembly as mounted in the sole of the shoe; and
FIG. 12 is an enlarged fragmentary view partially in cross section of the mold employed for mounting the support plate and bearing to a shoe sole.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown a football shoe 10 for the right foot and including a shoe upper 12 integrally molded to the sole and heel 14 which includes a heel cleat l6 integrally molded to the heel area of the shoe. Cleat 16 includes a pair of tapered side walls 17 and 18 as best seen in FIG. 3. This heel cleat design provides traction to the user of the shoe in the heel area when the foot is moving toward the outside and allows slippage of the heel when the shoe is forced in an inward direction as can occur when the user is tackled, blocked or the like. Thus, the cleat 16 provides the desired traction for normal use and provides slippage to prevent injury from side impacts.
The shoe 10 further includes a toe cleat l9 and a pivot cleat assembly 20 which include a plurality of spikes 21 mounted on a rotating cleat plate 50 rotatably mounted to the ball of the shoe as illustrated by arrow A in FIG. 2. The construction of the pivot assembly 20 is now described in detail with reference to FIGS. 4-12.
Pivot assembly 20 comprises a support plate 22 molded in the shoe sole and to which there is fixedly mounted a pivot bearing 30 rotatably receiving the pivotable cleat plate 50 retained in position by a snap ring with the entire assembly being covered by a snap locking cap 80. The support plate 22 comprises, as best seen in FIGS. 4, 5, 6 and 11, a generally elliptical plate of relatively thin (0.015 inch) flexible yet strong material such as stainless steel. Extending around the periphery 24 of the plate is a plurality of alternately spaced notches 25 and apertures 26. Notches 25 open to the periphery of the plate while the apertures are spaced somewhat inwardly on the lands between the notches.
Plate 22 includes a central opening for receiving therein the pivot bearing 30. Bearing 30 comprises, as best seen in FIGS. 5, 6 and 11, a generally cylindrical member comprising an aluminum collar. The bearing includes an outwardly extending upper flange 31 at one end which extends over the upper surface 27 of plate 22 and around the central opening as seen in FIGS. 4, 6 and .11. Depending downwardly from the flange 31 is a cylindrical portion 32 serving as a spacer between the support plate 22 and the swivel plate 50. As best seen in FIGS. and 11, a substantially horizontal and flat annular bearing surface 33 is defined by the inwardly stepped bearing which further extends downwardly forming a shank portion 34 which fits through a central aperture 56 of the cleat plate 50. An annular groove 37 is formed around the lower portion of shank 34 for receiving a retaining member such as the snap clip 70 as described below.
The pivot bearing includes a central opening 36 extending therethrough and including an annular shoulder 38 extending around the inner periphery of the bearing spaced slightly upwardly from the bottom end 39 as best seen in FIG. 11. It is noted here that only one-half of the pivot assembly is shown in FIG. 11, it being understood that the assembly is symmetrical about the vertical axis B.
The pivot bearing 30 is mounted to the central opening of the support plate by means of swaging or otherwise deformably deflecting a shoulder portion 35 of the bearing over the edge of the central opening in support plate 22. This compressibly holds that portion of the support plate between the upper flange 31 and the lip 35 formed by the swaging step'as best seen in FIG. 11. It is noted here that the flange 31 of the pivot bearing 30 is canted at an angle a measured between undersurface 31' of the flange and the horizontal line shown in FIG. 11. Angle a is approximately 5 which may be varied over a range of approximately 3-7. Plate 22, which is formed by stamping sheet material, is likewise configurated to conform to the generally curved shoe sole by canting the plate at the same angle during the stamping thereof. Such construction further permits an increased amount of shoe sole material below the plate during molding of the support plate in the shoe as shown in FIG. 12.
Referring to FIG. 12, there is shown a portion of the mold insert 90 which is fitted within the conventional shoe sole mold to provide a curved recess 92 formed in the sole for subsequently receiving the swivel plate 50 as shown in FIG. 11. Only one half of the mold and sole is shown, it being understood that it is symmetrical about axis C in FIG. 12. The mold insert 90 includes a supplemental insert 92 having an upwardly extending tip 94 which engages the side wall of the intermediate section 32 of the pivot bearing 30 thereby preventing the polymeric shoe sole material, such as polyvinyl chloride, neoprene or the like, from flowing onto the bearing surface 33 of the pivot bearing during themolding of the plate 22 and bearing 30 into the sole.
Inserts 90 and 93 are positioned relative to the conventional sole mold to assure that the support plate 22 will be aligned with its major axis, indicated by arrow D in FIG. 5, extending longitudinally along the length of the shoe sole when the sole is injected molded therearound. A circular disc 97 of filler material is positioned over the central opening 36 of the pivot bearing during the molding step to prevent the polymeric material from entering the central opening 36 of the pivot bearing. The filler material is a compressible material which additionally serves the purpose of providing a cushioning pad between the upper surface of the pivot bearing and the innersole which is later positioned in the bottom of the shoe.
Once molded in position, the relatively thin yet strong plate 23 provides an extremely secure anchor for the pivot bearing 30 and yet is sufficiently thin to provide flexibility of the shoe sole during use and does not interfere with the flexing action of the shoe sole in use. The alternate apertures and notches spaced around the periphery of the spider-like plate 22 will be surrounded by the polymeric sole material to provide maximum anchoring of the plate and pivot bearing therein to the shoe sole. Once the plate has been molded into the sole, the downwardly depending shank 34 of bearing 30 is open and accessible for mounting the swivel plate thereto.
The swivel plate 50, shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 and in cross section in FIG. 11, comprises a substantially circular member stamped from steel then cadmium plated. Plate 50 includes a downwardly projecting peripheral flange 52 having a curvature conforming to the curved edge 92 of the shoe sole surrounding the pivot bearing. Plate 50 further includes a central aperture 56 having a plurality of alternately spaced raised and lowered lands 54 and 55, respectively, with the upper surface of raised areas 54 forming the bearing surface which abuts against bearing surface 33 of the pivot bearing. These bearing surfaces are indicated as the shaded areas in the top plan view of the plate (FIG. 8).
Plate 50 includes a plurality of apertures spaced around the periphery, each including a threaded nut 57 suitably fitted therein as by swaging, welding or other conventional process and which are adapted to receive the threaded screw 21 extending from each spike 21 as seen in FIG. 11.
The lower surface of lands 55, as seen in FIG. 1 1, defines the bearing surface on the opposite side of the plate and engages the locking snap ring such that plate 50 is rotatably mounted to the pivot bearing between the bearing surface 33 of the pivot bearing and the snap ring 70 mounted in the annular recess 37 of the bearing.
It has been found that with the pivot bearing manufactured of aluminum and the pivoting cleat plate of cadmium plated steel, excellent rotational motion therebetween can be achieved with the vertical dimensions between the outer surfaces of members 54 and 55 being approximately 0.090 inches and the clearance between bearing surface 33 and the snap ring 70 being approximately 0.00l-0.003 greater that this dimension.
As best seen in FIG. 11, in order to provide a flat bottom surface of the shoe, molded to plate 50 is a poly meric material 59 substantially identical to the shoe sole material and which covers the lip 51 of plate 50 to prevent the exposure of any metallic surfaces thereof. Material 59 is molded to define a central aperture 60 somewhat larger in diameter than aperture 56 in the plate permitting access to the pivot hearing such that the snap ring can be easily installed or removed. To assemble the shoe, which includes the support plate molded in the sole, it is necessary only to position the pivotable cleat plate over the downwardly depending end 34 of the pivot bearing and snap the ring 70 into the annular notch 37 of the pivot bearing. Cap is then snapped into position substantially filling the central aperture 60 formed in the polymeric material 59 covering the bottom surface of cleat plate 50.
Cap 80 includes a substantially flat bottom surface 82, as seen in FIGS. 9 and 11, with an upwardly sloped peripheral flange 83 extending therearound. Flange 83 defines a protective inner lip 84 (FIG. 11) of the cap which further includes an upward cylindrical extension 86 having an outwardly projecting lip 87 (FIGS. and 11). When thecap is installed as seen in FIG. 11, lip 87 engages the internal shoulder 38 of the pivot bearing and lip 84 fits over the outer periphery of the end 39 of the pivot bearing providing a tight fitting sealed in terconnection between the cap and the pivot bearing.
Flange 83 of the cap extends sufficiently outwardly to substantially seal the pivot bearing and cleat plate from dirt and debris. If, however, foreign material should become lodged under cap 80, it can be removed by prying lip 83 away from the end of the bearing and pushing radially inwardly on lip 87 to release the looking cap for removal. After repairs or maintenance, the cap can be easily replaced by again snapping it into a locked position over the end of bearing 30. Since the clearance between the outer diameter of the downwardly depending shank 34 of the pivot bearing and the inner diameter of aperture 56 in the cleat plate is sufficient only to permit ease of rotation therebetween, foreign material such as dirt, grass or the like normally cannot become lodged between the cleat plate and the pivot bearing.
It is seen, therefore, that the structure of the present invention provides a tremendously improved athletic shoe with a pivoting cleat assembly which is of relatively simple construction employing very few parts and providing excellent strength, durability and wear characteristics.
Although the preferred embodiment is illustrated as being a football shoe, it is to be understood that the cleat plate can accommodate any desired number of other types of cleats such as golf spikes, baseball spikes or the like. Thus, the cleat plate has universal application for many types of athletic shoes. It is to be understood also that the heel cleat 16 may be modified and need not take the form shown in the figures. Other materials may be substituted for those described in the preferred embodiment for manufacturing the various parts of the pivot assembly. These and other modifications to the present invention, however, will fall within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
The embodiments of the present invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. An athletic shoe comprises:
a shoe upper;
a molded polymeric shoe sole coupled to said upper and including integrally molded therein a support plate with a pivot bearing extending downwardly and outwardly from an opening in the ball of said sole, said bearing comprising a cylindrical member including a substantially horizontal annular bearing surface and means spaced from said surface for receiving a retainer member;
a swivel plate including spike receiving means and further including an aperture shaped to permit said plate to extend over said downwardly extending bearing with said plate substantially flush with the bottom of said sole; and
a retainer member adapted to fit in said receiving means for securing said swivel plate to said bearing and permit rotation of said swivel plate.
2. The shoe as definedin claim 1 and further including cap means adapted to be attached to a lower end of said bearing and seal said bearing and swivel plate from entry of foreign material.
3. The shoe as defined in claim 1 wherein said support plate includes a central aperture and said bearing includes a flange at an upper end thereof and a shoulder spaced therefrom which is deformed to secure said bearing to said support plate with the edge of said central aperture of said support plate compressibly held between the lower surface of said flange and the deformed shoulder of said bearing.
4. The shoe as defined in claim 3 wherein said support plate comprises a relatively thin flexible material.
5. The shoe as defined in claim 4 wherein said support plate is elliptical and includes a plurality of alternately spaced apertures and notches around the periphcry.
6. The shoe as defined in claim 5 wherein said bearing flange and said plate are canted at an angle of from 3-7 to conform to the curvature of said sole.
7. The shoe as defined in claim 1 wherein said swivel plate includes a plurality of alternately raised and lowered lands spaced around the edge of said aperture to define upper bearing surfaces engaging said bearing surface of said bearing, and lower bearing surfaces engaging said retaining means.
8. The shoe as defined in claim 7 wherein said swivel plate includes a curved upper and outer edge to conform to said opening in said ball of said sole.
9. The shoe as defined in claim 8 wherein said spike receiving means comprises a plurality of spaced threaded members coupled to said swivel plate.
10. The shoe as defined in claim 2 wherein said bearing includes a central aperture formed therethrough in cluding an annular internal shoulder spaced from a lower end thereof and wherein said cap means includes a peripheral upward and outward lip engaging said internal shoulder to secure said cap to said bearing.
11. The shoe as defined in claim 10 wherein said cap includes a second peripheral lip shaped to encompass and grip the lower peripheral edge of said bearing.
12. For use in a swivel cleat type athletic shoe, an improved support member to be integrally molded in the ball of the shoe sole for supporting a swivel bearing and swivel plate, said support member comprising a relatively thin elliptical member including a central opening for receiving a pivot bearing, said elliptical member configurated to conform to the curvature of the shoe sole.
13. The support member as defined in claim 12 and further including a plurality of spaced notches extending inwardly from the periphery of said member.
14. The support member as defined in claim 13 and further including a plurality of apertures spaced inwardly from the periphery of said member and positioned between said notches.
15. For use in a swivel cleat athletic shoe, an improved support plate and bearing assembly for integral molding into the ball of the shoe sole, said assembly comprising:
a relatively thin plate including a central opening;
a pivot bearing comprising a cylindrical member having an outwardly extending flange at one end and a shoulder spaced therefrom, said bearing fitted within said central opening of said plate with said flange engaging one side of said plate and said shoulder deformed to compressibly engage said plate at the opposite side thereof, said bearing further including a downwardly depending shank including a step cut forming a substantially horizontal annular bearing surface, said bearing further including means spaced from said bearing surface and remote from said flange for receiving retaining means for retaining a pivot plate to said bearing.
16. An athletic shoe comprising:
a shoe upper and sole, said sole including integrally molded therein-a support plate with a downwardly depending cylindrical bearing member including an annular shoulder extending outwardly therefrom defining a bearing surface and means for holding retainer means, said holding means spaced cluding an embedded thin flexible support plate having an exposed swivel bearing mounted thereto, and a swivel plate rotatably mounted to said swivel bearing and adapted to retain pikes.