The present invention relates to a sole for shoes with a
forced ventilation system.
Who operates in the field of shoes, and particularly sport
shoes, has the basic targets of the cushioning and the air
circulation inside the shoe.
The most important fact which depreciates all the
inventions for this purpose is that generally the air
suction is made through pneumatic devices, generally
called "pumps", made in plastics or rubber, located in the
heel area, which have not the needed force for an
instantaneous recovery effect each step and, at present
state of the art , do not forecast any flow conveyor able
to store and to direct the air of this area to the pump
and any possibility of closing.
Our invention forecasts two possibilities of air
circulation : to suck outside the air and to inject it
internally the sole or to suck the air internally the sole
and to discharge it outside.
In this description only this second work is described
because more important.
In the systems actually known, the pump, the real engine
of the system, as shown in Fig.1 and Fig. 2, generally is
a bladder (1) produced soldering the edges (2-3) of two
plastic shells, separately produced with the process of
the injection moulding. From a hole of this bladder a tube
(4) comes out: The tube, which can be formed by two half
tubes (4a-4b) soldered together, has two arms: one (5) is
directed toward the external edge of the sole, the other
one (6) is directed toward the inner part of the sole. The
first one is joined to a pneumatic valve (7) which
discharges air outside the sole, the second one is joined
to a pneumatic valve (8) which sucks air internally the
- -The pumping device.
These air circulation systems work badly, comparing with
this invented system, for the following reasons.
The bladder (1) generally has a low reactivity because its
own construction, because its shape and because the used
material, for these reasons it does not make the full
suction within 200 milliseconds between two steps and
therefore it works partially: this bladder (1) can not
suck the humidity and the bad smells. Its soldering may be
the cause of a breaking.
- - The flow-conveyor.
Our system forecasts two kinds of reactive pumping devices
which instantaneously put in motion the whole system with
a very strong force.
In these systems the tube (6), joined to the valve (8),
sucks in a random way and only in a little area (9) where
no device to store and to discharge air, humidity and
smells are foreseen. Therefore the consequent suction is
- - The closing of the system.
Our system, as shown in Figs. 3, 4a and 4b, forecasts a
flow conveyor (30a) in the plant area which stores and
conveys the air, humidity and smell through the pneumatic
valves (19) joined to the tubes (17-18) connected to the
pump (10) which discharges air, humidity and smell through
the pneumatic valve (19).
These prior art systems do not forecast any possibility of
closing. This fact can be boring specially during the
night, because, evidently each step produces a little
blowing, and it is totally useless if the user wears these
shoes at very low temperature of the air.
It can be avoided using, as shown in Figs. 6a and 6b, the
closing (40), subject of the present invention, which can
exclude the whole system when the user does not need it.
When this system is closed, the pumping device becomes a
very reactive element, being completely full of air,
giving the heel area of the sole a special cushioning
This invention relates about a new technology for the air
circulation inside the soles formed by four essential
elements : -1- the pump connected through one or more
tubes to -2- one or more pneumatic valves, joined to -3- a
flow conveyor, the whole system can be excluded using -4-
a special cap which close the external valve.
In the drawings:
-1- The pump.
- Figures 1 and 2 show a perspective view and a
perspective detail of a prior art forced ventilation sole;
- Figure 3 shows a schematic plan view of the sole
according to the invention;
- Figures 4a and 4b show the pumping system in the
inflated and compressed condition respectively;
- Figure 5 is a schematic top plan view of the pump;
- Figures 6a and 6b show the closing system and its
application to the sole respectively;
- Figure 7 shows a first type of reactive element;
- Figure 8 shows a second type of reactive element;
- Figure 9 shows a box for containing the reactive
- Figures 10 and 11 show the pneumatic valve in an
assembled and, respectively, exploded sectional view;
- Figure 12 shows another type of reactive element;
- Figure 13 is a partial sectional view of the reactive
element of figure 12;
- Figure 14 shows the flow conveyor connected to the pump
- Figure 15 shows how the flow conveyor works;
- Figure 16 shows a variation of the flow conveyor of
Figure 14; and
- Figure 17, A, B, C, shows the operation of the sole of
the invention during a step.
- - Case (A) : Pumps without special reactive elements
In order to give the system a special suction force, the
pump can be produced without reactive elements inside
(case A) or with them (case B).
In Figs. 3, 4a, 4b and 5 there is shown how this pump is
made and how it works.
- Mechanical aspect.
Two aspects are to be considered : the mechanical one and
the pneumatic one.
Firstly this plastic device is produced with the
technology of the rotational molding, the only process
which allows the pump's shape as here described, and using
thermoplastic resins with a high elastic modulus. With
this technology the soldering of two shells is avoided and
this pump will be produced in only one body with the
consequence that, during its continuous work, it will not
have any possibility of break. It is formed by three
parts. The upper part (10) is dome-shaped, and located
over the line (x-x) which corresponds to the inner surface
of the sole being in direct contact with the heel. It is
the real part in motion which generates the air flow. The
medial part of the pump (11), between the section x-x and
y-y, is located in the medial part of the sole whose role
is to be the tank of the air which will be moved, it has
the same elasticity of the upper part. The lower part (12)
is located in the lower part of the sole and here all the
connections with the tubes are made. This part has no
elasticity being formed by a solid structure.
In Fig. 4a the pump is in its natural position and
- Pneumatic aspects.
In Fig. 4b the pump is compressed by the heel (20) and
therefore the upper part (10) enters the medial part (11)
bringing the axis x-x until the axis y-y forming a
mechanical structure like a leaf spring and therefore very
reactive with the consequence that, once the heel does not
touch the upper part, the medial part reacts to return
immediately to its natural position. During this movement
the air contained into the pump is moved inside and
outside the sole because its pneumatic devices.
As said before in the lower part (12) of the pump the
connections of these tubes are pre-formed (see Fig. 5).
One or more connections (13-14), directed to the inner
part of the sole, come out from this base, into these
connections one or more tubes (17-18) are inserted, with a
different length in order to reach different zones of the
To these tubes the pneumatic valves (19) are inserted.
Evidently these valves can be inserted directly into the
connections (13-14) and the tubes (17-18) connected with
them, making the same pneumatic work.
Laterally this base (12) one connection (15) comes out.
This connection is directly joined with the invented
pneumatic valves (19).
- -Case (B) : Pumps with special reactive elements inside.
These valves can work for discharging air or for sucking
it inverting their position.
An important recovery effect can be obtained using a
special plastic box which incorporates reactive elements
which give the pump a real and immediate recovery effect.
These reactive elements, as shown in Fig. 7 and 8, can be
- Use of the springs.
- a- One or more springs (60a),
- b- One or more plastic bellows (60b).
The applications of springs (case a) to a plastic device
generally are based on the principle that two pins hold in
the right position the spring : one enters the top, the
upper coil, one enters the bottom , the lower coil.
Inserting these boxes into the heel area of a sole, it was
found that it is impossible to hold a metal spring with
two plastic pins because a shoe's sole is a dynamic
element, which must support tridimensional movements with
the consequence that the metal tension of the spring wins
the plastic tension of the pin, causing a breaking of the
This invention solves this problem relating how metal
springs can be fixed in the proper way into a plastic
- - Use of the plastic bellows.
Firstly the spring (60a) has two or more coils, its best
shape is the conical one. The upper coil enters the fixing
pin (54a) pre-formed on the inner surface of the plastic
cover (50b). In order to avoid any movement of the spring,
the lower coil is fixed into the ring (55a) pre-formed on
the inner surface of the lower plate (50a). This fixing is
the tightest as possible because is done in this way.
Using a transformer, which transforms the common voltage
in low voltage and connecting its positive and negative
poles with two copper thin plates, if the lower coil is
put in contact with these two thin plates, a short circuit
is generated and for the Joule effect this coil becomes
incandescent and immediately inserted into the ring (55a),
amalgamating metal with plastic. Following this way a
perfect fixing is guaranteed which will avoid any
movement. The use of the electricity with a transformer
for this purpose allows a modular administration of the
heating given the lower coil, avoiding the transfer of the
heating to other coils otherwise they can lose their
The use of the plastic bellows (case b) is an up-to-date
fact due to the production of new technopolymers with an
high elastic modulus, like the thermoplastic polyester
elastomers, which confer them a fast recovery like a metal
spring. They are produced with the process of the
rotational moulding or the blowing moulding. These plastic
bellows (60b), as shown in Fig. 8, are done with two or
more convolutions. The upper convolution has a hole (56)
which has a bigger diameter than the diameter of the
corresponding pin (54b) pre-formed on the inner surface of
the plastic cover (50d). The lower convolution has a
reinforced base (58) with the same diameter of the
corresponding pin (55b) pre-formed on the inner surface of
the plastic plate (50c). Said base (58) is soldered with
said plate (50c) with the process of high-frequency or
ultra-sounds. Both these processes can guarantee a perfect
soldering around the whole perimeter of the base of the
Being these bellows soldered to the lower plate (50c) and
firmly joined to the upper cover (50d) and being produced
with a plastic material with high elastic modulus, they
will work in a very similar way to a spring.
Once these reactive elements, springs or bellows, are
inserted into a plastic box (50), (see Fig. 9), this one
will be closed soldering its external edges : 50a with 50b
in Fig.5-D and 50c with 50d in Fig.5-E.
The plastic box (50) so composed will have in the rear
part, or external part, of the plastic cover one or more
holes (51), where one or more plastic gaskets (53) will be
inserted, into these gaskets one or more tubes (17) will
be joined. The last component is one or more pneumatic
valves (19) which will be joined to the tubes (17). These
valves have to be put with their head (23) externally.
In front of the box the system will be composed by: one or
more holes (52) where the consequent valves (19) enter
through one or more gaskets (53) into which one or more
tubes (17) are joined. These valves have to be put with
the head (23) internally.
These valves work each-other in an opposite way : when one
is open the other one is closed and, as referred,
inverting the sense of the valves also the sense of the
air flow will be inverted : from discharging the air
outside the sole to sucking the air inside it.
-2- The pneumatic valve.
As referred, in this description only the case of
discharging air outside the sole is mentioned.
In Fig.10 and Fig. 11 the essential elements of the valve
Basically it is composed by a tube (21). Internally this
tube two essential components are placed: a piston (26) or
a sphere (27), both these elements have the role to close
the inner hole (25), and a spring (24) whose role is to
keep in the proper position the closing element : the
piston or the sphere.
-3- The flow conveyor.
When these components are inserted , the valve is closed
by the cap (23) which has internally a hole (22b) smaller
than the hole (22a) of the tube (21). On the opposite side
the valve has the hole (22a) into which the tube (17 or
18) enters. This tube may enter the tube (21) of the valve
internally (17a-18a) or externally (17b-18b).
In order to suck more quantity of air, humidity and smell
from the plantar side of the sole, the valves (19) or the
tubes (17 or 18) will be placed, as shown in Fig. 3, into
a special insert (30a), which will be called flow-conveyer,
located in this area.
This device can be produced using different materials and
- a-Using a micro-porous material like ethylene-vinylacetate
(EVA), or spongy rubber or latex, being these
materials formed by open cells which, for this reason,
allow a good air circulation. It is a flat sheet and its
shape may be the whole shape of the plant of the foot or
only the front part of this plant. For a better result
this flat sheet has to be contained in a plastic blister
which has the surface in contact wit the foot made with a
plurality of holes.
Its cost is very low.
- b-Using the same materials of the point a, but with a
surface composed by reactive elements, as shown in Fig.12
and Fig. 13, in this case the system will have a better
conveyance of the air flow, also using only a tube (17 or
18). This material will have a very sharp base (31) and
the surface exposed to the plant of the foot is not a
flat sheet but it is formed by a plurality of semispheres
(32) or truncated cones (33), which is covered by a sharp
layer of leather or by a breathable cover, like the non
woven fabric, being the surface in direct contact with the
foot. This complex generates, when compressed, a movement
of air (Fi) internally the whole conveyor.
- c-Using a very common material already on the market,
known with the commercial name "pluriball", produced with
two coupled films of polyethylene, one is flat and the
other one is formed by a plurality of semispheres which
are totally full of air. This material is generally used
for the packaging and obviously its cost is very low.
Obviously this material is not breathable but it will be
covered, on the side in contact with the foot, by a sharp
layer (37) of leather or breathable non woven fabric. In
this case the foot will be in contact with this breathable
layer which will have down a plurality of reactive
elements, the semispheres. The pressure given by the foot
on the breathable layer moves the volume of air contained
between the semispheres (Fi).
The coupling of this "pluriball" with the upper layer may
be done using a special glue, the only way to couple this
material with leather, or with a thermic treatment in case
of the non woven fabric.
Another way for obtaining a very good result for the
suction of the air is to couple two layers of this
material, pluriball, putting the semispherers in contact
between them, to solder the external edges of the two
layers together and to make some holes on the surface in
contact with the foot. In this case the conveyor is like a
wide blister with a plurality of reactive element inside,
the semispheres, which reacting under the foot pressure
generate the needed movement of air sucked by the holes of
the external surface.
For the best result of the system, and in case to produce
more expensive soles, the flow conveyor will have a
plastic tank (35) as shown in Fig. 14. It is essentially a
bladder, pre-formed with a plurality of holes (36) on the
front part, and a hole (38) for the joint to the valve
(19) in the rear part. It is fixed to the flow conveyor
soldering its edges (39) to the sheet (31). Its role is to
give more sucking force to the air circulation around the
entire flow conveyer and to direct it toward the tubes (17
or 18) and to the pump which, with its natural force, will
discharge the air outside (Fd) through the valve (19) as
shown in Fig. 15.
-4- The closing of the system.
This flow conveyor when compressed generates a movement of
air which will be sucked directly by the tube (17 or 18)
or by one or more arms (34) derived by the same tube, as
shown in Fig. 16. This tube, and eventually these arms,
for a better result will be produced with a plurality of
holes (34a), in order to suck more quantity of air in more
points of the conveyor.
A very important fact for a better use of this system is
the closing of the external valves (19). As said before
sometimes who wears this kind of shoes may prefer to
exclude the air flow.
For this purpose a special cap is invented for closing the
cap (23) of the valve.
This cap is produced with the process of the injection
moulding, using thermoplastic resins and, as shown in
Figs. 6a and 6b, this cap is formed by the following
It is a little sheet (40) whose inner surface is glued to
the edge of the outer sole (47). On the inner part it has
two or more pins (44) which enter the hollowed parts of
the sole (46). Another pin (43) is not glued to the sole
but in contrast with it in the point (45). Another pin
(42) enters the hole (22b) of the cap (23), this pin is
the real closing element.
How this closing works.
The user pushes or pulls with a finger, which enters the
hollowed part (48) of the outer sole, the free part (41)
of the sheet (40) in order to close or to open the valve.
In Fig. 17 the dynamics of the whole system is shown,
referring, as said, to the discharging of the air outside
Firstly the three phases of a step :
-A- The impact phase, -B- The rolling phase, -C- The push-off
In the impact phase -A- the heel, touching the ground,
compresses the rear part of the pump, which, in this
drawing is that one with special reactive elements inside
(50), evidently also the pump without special reactive
elements inside works in the same way.
In this instant a big volume of air contained into the
pump will be discharged outside it because the sphere
(27) of the valve (19) inserted in the rear part (R),
being pushed by the same air, leaves opened the hole (25)
from where the air flows.
This sphere can not go to close the hole (22a) of the cap
(23) because the reaction of the spring (24) leaving free
this hole (22a) for the exit of the air. Therefore, in
this case, the valve is opened (O). At the opposite side
of the pump, the front part (F) directed toward the sole,
the air flow, passing through the hole (22a) presses the
sphere (27) which closes the inner hole (25) of the valve
and does not permit any exit of air and the spring keeps
in the right position the sphere. Therefore, in this case,
the valve is closed ( C ).
In the plant area where the flow conveyor (32a), joined to
the tube (17-18) which is connected to the valve (F) is
located, is obviously uncompressed and full of air.
In the rolling phase -B- the whole foot is touching the
ground, therefore even the front part of the pump is
compressed and all the air contained in the pump is
discharged outside. In this phase as the valves, as the
flow conveyor are in the same position of the phase (A).
In the push-off phase -C- the plant of the foot is leaving
the ground and, making this movement, compresses the
retractile elements (32-33) of the flow conveyor and the
air contained between them moves through the tank (35) and
the tubes (17-18) inflating the pump. In this phase, for
the opposite circumstances of the phase (A) the valve
located in the front side (F) is opened (O), the valve
located in the rear side ( R ) is closed (C) and the flow
conveyor is obviously totally empty of air.