US 3816946 A
A heel plate is mounted on the conventional posts of a football shoe or the like by means of converging - diverging slots symmetrically positioned through the plate to provide for adjustment to accommodate different post spacings yet assure against movement of the plate once located on the posts. The heel plate may also be integrally molded with the sole of an athletic shoe and includes a notch extending transversely through the plate with the notch having a vertical wall facing the outside of the shoe and an inclined wall facing the inside of the shoe. This abstract is neither intended to define the invention of the application which, of course, is measured by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Davis et al.
FOOTBALL SHOE AND HEEL PLATE THEREFOR Inventors: Otho Davis, Baltimore; Donald A.
Gardiner, Bowie, both of Md.
Assignee: Cameron Athletic Corporation,
Filed: July 26, 1971 Appl. No.: 166,106
Related US. Application Data Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 24,628, April 1, 1970, abandoned.
U.S. Cl 36/67 D Int. Cl. A43c 15/00 Field of Search..... 36/67 A, 67 D, 59 C, 2.5 H,
36/2.5 AL, 2.5 R, 82
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Braun 36/67 D McCarney 36/67 D FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,030,847 3/1953 France 36/67 D 430,706 2/1948 ltaly 36/67 A Primary Examiner-Patrick D. Lawson Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Jack R. Springgate; Joe E. Edwards; M. H. Gay
[5 7] ABSTRACT A heel plate is mounted on the conventional posts of a football shoe or the like by means of converging diverging slots symmetrically positioned through the plate to provide for adjustment to accommodate different post spacings yet assure against movement of the plate once located on the posts. The heel plate may also be integrally molded with the sole of an athletic shoe and includes a notch extending transversely through the plate with the notch having a vertical wall facing the outside of the shoe and an inclined wall facing the inside of the shoe. This abstract is neither intended to define the invention of the application which, of course, is measured by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way.
14 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEnJum m4 3.815346 sum 1 or 2 INVENTORS 0M0 00 is M /J%M Donald A. Gard/her, Jr.
A r TORNE Ys rmnmmwm 3.816946 SHEEI 2 0? 2 Donald A. GardineI; J17
Ofh D-avi VENT C 1 FOOTBALL SHOE AND HEEL PLATE THEREFOR This application is a continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 24,628, filed Apr. 1, l970,now abandoned.
' BACKGROUND The avid interest and participation of a great number of youths and men in the game of football has. brought to the fore the great concern of many people in respect of physical injury of such participants. One. of the most prevalent and serious injuries are injuries to the knee, which, not only eliminates the injured person from participation in the game for periods of time, but, may be of such serious nature to require corrective surgical procedure.
Recent studies indicate that many knee injuries if not all such injuries arise because when physical contact, i.e., blocking and tackling, is made between opposing players the traditional cleated athletes shoe does not release from the turf on which the game is. played. Consequently, if a player is subject to impact in the area between hip and ankle or if he is twisted inthe trunk area, his feet are vertically locked to the turf and the strain of twisting and/or impact is concentrated in the legs, in particular the knee. Thus, so-called football knee, is a too commonly recognized malady that is risked by players of all ages.
The conclusion that the conventional cleat will not release fast enough to prevent serious knee injuries, in turn, has created a further problem in that the ability of a player to maneuver is drastically curtailed if some form of turf engaging device is not provided on the shoes worn during play. Thus, while elimination of all cleats would reduce the frequency of knee injuries, players and coaches alike are reluctant to recommend abolition of the traditional cleat, taking the calculated risk that serious injury may be avoided.
In the meantime as a consequence of the circumstances outlined, a number of developments in football cleats or athletic shoe sole and heel plates have made their appearance. U.S. Pats. Re. 26,419 and 3,403,461 typify various approaches under consideration as an alternative to the conventional cleat. Reference is also made to design application Ser. No. D-22,548 filed by Otho L. Davis Apr. 21, 1970.
THE INVENTION The present invention is concerned with a heel plate for athletic shoes, particularly football shoes. It has for a prime object the provision of a heel plate which will provide maximum traction yet maximum safety to the user.
Another object of the invention is to provide a heel plate for athletic shoes which can be firmly anchored to the conventional cleat post of any athletic shoe.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a heel plate which may be substituted. for the conventional cleats on any athletic shoe regardless of manufacture.
A further object of the invention is to provide a heel plate which will release from the turf quickly in the event a player is contacted by an opponent, particularly on the outside of the leg.
The stated objects of the invention and other objects readily apparent to those skilled in the art, though not specifically set forth, may be accomplished by forming a synthetic plastic material into an oval block having a pair of symmetrically positioned slots and a deep modified V-shaped notch disposed between the slots, the slots converging toward each other toward the rear of a shoe on which the plate is applied; the notch having one substantially vertical side wall and asloping wall.
Having described my invention in broad terms further definition thereof will be found in the following more detailed descriptive matter wherein reference is made to the appended drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a heel plate for a left foot shoe.
FIG. 2 is a sectional view of a heel plate taken along the line 2--2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a view, reduced somewhat in size showing the heel plate applied to the heel of a right foot shoe, the plate being somewhat modified.
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a bottom view of an athletic shoe having the improved heel of the present invention integrally molded with the sole.
FIG. 6 is a side view taken along line 6-6 in FIG. 5 to indicate the transverse sectional shape of the heel.
FIG. 7 is a sectional view of the heel and sole portion taken along line 7-7 in FIG. 5 to clearly show the notch of the integral heel-sole structure of this form of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Considering FIG. 1, is may be seen that the heel plate 10 is oval in plan form. The outside wall 2 of the plate is sloped so that the area of the plate adjacent the shoe is larger than the area which contacts the ground. The central area of the plate is formed into a modified V- shaped notch which lies on the minor axis of the oval. As shown in FIG. 2 one wall 4 of the notch is substantially vertical, while the other wall 4 diverges from the bottom of the notch outwardly at a. substantial slope angle. The reason for this configuration will become apparent subsequently.
It should further be noted here that the heel plate 10 is provided with a pair of slots 8 and 8' extending in a converging-diverging relationship toward the front and rear, i.e., transverse of the major axis of the oval and symmetrical with respect to the minor axis thereof. Preferably the slots are stepped at 12 and 14 to provide peripheral counterbores in the ground contacting surface for reasons as will become apparent as the description proceeds.
Turning now to FIGS. 3 and 4 is may be seen that plate 10 is mounted on the heel area of an athletic shoe 20 with its major axis transverse to the length of the shoe. The vertical wall 4 of the notch is disposed so as to face the outside of the shoe and preferably same indicia such as arrow 16 is provided on the heel plate to assure its proper installation. As shown particularly in FIG. 4, the mounting means for the heel plate 10 comprises an internally threaded post 22 suitably and conventionally affixed to the shoe 20. A threaded screw 24 having a wide head 26 is screwed into the post and the underside of head 26, which is usually serrated, bears down'in the counterbored area 12 to clamp the plate onto the shoe bottom. Reference to US. Pat. Re.
26,419 will also disclose another and conventional post and screw arrangement.
Referring again to FIGS. 3 and 4, it will be seen that the screw head 26 is seated in the counterbore 12 so that the head does not project beyond the ground contact surface of the plate. It will also be noted that, with the vertical wall 4 of the notch facing outward, the heel plate provides more traction or gripping with the turf in one direction, i.e., against outward slipping of the shoe, hence the players foot, than it does against slippage in the inward direction. When it is remembered that most leg and knee injuries occur when the impact force of contact with an opponent player is on the outside of the leg toward the inside of the leg, the value of the modified V-notch can readily be appreciated. Thus, while a player can obtain sufficient traction to permit sure footed maneuvering, as when cutting, i.e., making abrupt changes in direction, at the same time, if he is hit by an opponent in the area of greatest danger, his foot will readily release from the turf so as to markedly reduce the chance of serious knee leg inury.
Of equal importance in the present invention is the type and disposition of the mounting slots 8 and 8 which are in a converging-diverging relation transverse to the major axis of the heel plate 10 and which as shown in FIG. 3 at 8a and 8a may be slightly arcuate or, as shown in FIG. 1 may be simply straight slots 8 and 8'. This arrangement of the mounting slots permits the heel plate 10 to be used with almost universal application to any type of athletic shoe that is provided with mounting posts or similar means whereby the plate 10 may be affixed to the heel area of the shoe. When it is realized that, because of the design factors or other reasons, the lateral distance between heel posts, i.e., the spacing of said posts laterally of the longitudinal centerline of the shoe, varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, it will be appreciated that a universally attachable heel plate must be designed to accommodate such variations. Several proposals to facilitate such universal use are reflected in U.S. Patents Re. 26,419 and 3,403,461 both of which use at least one slot or more extending along a line transverse of the longer axis of the heel plate whereby to accommodate the different post spacing.
The present heel plate contrarily employs slots 8, 8 which more generally parallel the shorter or minor axis of heel plate 10 and are converged toward one another at the front or rear of the plate. In addition, the slots may be slightly arcuate as shown in FIG. 3. This positioning is so derived as to permit not only accommodation of various spaced posts but even more important it permits some angular adjustability of the heel plate 10 on the shoe 20. Additionally, once properly positioned, it will be seen that the walls of the slots will abut each post, see FIG. 4, toward the outside of the slots 8, 8' and 8a, 8a so that the tendency of the plate to shift laterally is substantially minimized in that lateral movement is not resisted solely by the clamping action of the screw head as in the prior art U.S. Pat. Re. 26,419. At the same time the device is adjustable and positionable to a much greater degree than is the cleat shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,403,461. The described advantages are important 'in that it is desirable to have the normal weight of the player balanced on the heel plate.
In the form of the present invention illustrated in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7, the improved heel structure is made integral with the sole of the shoe. This structure may be easily formed when the sole of the shoe is molded. The heel structure 30 as shown is integral with the sole 31 on the athletic shoe 32. In order to avoid confusion no cleat means are illustrated on the ball portion of the shoe 32, it being understood that a suitable form of cleat or traction means may be used if desired.
The heel structure 30 is generally oval in plan shape having tapered sides 33 and the notch 34 which extends transversely of the major axis of the oval of structure 30. The notch 34 is defined by the walls 35 and 36. Wall 35 is generally normal to the major axis of structure 33 or inclined slightly toward the end of structure 33 which it faces. Wall 36 is inclined at a shallow angle to the major axis facing the wall 35.
With the improved heel structure of the present invention on an athletic shoe, the shoe is provided with heel elevation to prevent a backward pitch of the shoe from forward cleats and no heel cleats, the structure provides some heel traction to allow quick stopping, and the structure provides traction against the heel sliding outwardly to allow cutting and allows sliding of the heel inwardly to avoid injuries.
Having described the invention in detail, further consideration of the spirit and scope thereof will be found in the appended claims, wherein:
What is claimed is:
1. An athletic shoe, comprising an upper,
a sole secured to said upper, and
a heel structure attached transversely across the heel portion of said sole,
said heel structure having a notch formed therein with one wall of said notch being substantially normal to said sole and the other wall being at an angle to said first wall and said sole whereby said notch provides traction transversely in one direction and a minimum traction in the opposite direction.
2. An athletic shoe according to claim I wherein,
said heel structure is integrally molded with said sole.
3. An athletic shoe according to claim I wherein,
said heel structure defines a pair of holes extending vertically therethrough and including,
a pair of posts extending from said sole through said holes, and
means connecting to said posts to retain said heel structure in its preselected position.
4. An athletic shoe according to claim 3 wherein said pair of holes through said heel are formed. as
slots converging toward the rear.
5. A heel for an athletic shoe, comprising an elongate member having major and minor axes,
said member being adapted to be positioned transversely on the heel portion of the athletic shoe,
said member defining a notch extending transversely of the member.
one side of said notch being substantially normal to the major axis of said member,
the other side of said notch being inclined at an angle to the major axis of said member.
6. A heel plate for athletic shoes according to claim 5, wherein said member having slots extending therethrough,
said slots being in converging-diverging and symmetrical relation to the minor axis of the bar-like member and transversing the major axis thereof.
7. A heel plate as defined in claim 5, wherein indicia means are provided on the heel member to indicate the proper positioning of the heel member on a shoe with the vertical wall of the notch facing toward the outside of the shoe.
8. A heel plate as defined in claim 5, wherein said elongate member is oval in plan form.
9. A heel plate as defined in claim 5, wherein the outer marginal walls of the elongate member slope from one surface to the other to provide a small face for contact with a playing surface and a larger face for contact with the shoe to which said plate is attached.
A heel plate as defined in claim 5, wherein said elongate member is made from a moldable material.
11. A heel plate as defined in claim 10, wherein said material is a synthetic plastic.
12. A heel plate as defined in claim 11, wherein said 6 synthetic plastic is nylon.
13. The combination defined in claim 12, wherein said slots are arcuate.
14. In combination, an athletic shoe having a bottom and placed mounting means in the heel area thereof, said mounting means comprised of screw elements spaced apart laterally of the longer dimension of the shoe bottom, and
a heel plate mounted on said mounting means,
said heel plate being of bar-like configuration and being, further, provided with laterally spaced slots in a converging-diverging relation and symmetrical with respect to said heel plate,
said slots enabling said fastening means including said screw elements to clamp the heel plate against the shoe bottom.