GB2533809A - Footwear retention arrangement and footwear item - Google Patents

Footwear retention arrangement and footwear item Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2533809A
GB2533809A GB1423401.7A GB201423401A GB2533809A GB 2533809 A GB2533809 A GB 2533809A GB 201423401 A GB201423401 A GB 201423401A GB 2533809 A GB2533809 A GB 2533809A
Authority
GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
footwear
line
tension
control
retention arrangement
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
GB1423401.7A
Other versions
GB201423401D0 (en
Inventor
Lyell Nathan
Kennedy Rachael
Burdett Alan
Abraham John
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Start-Rite Shoes Ltd
Original Assignee
Start-Rite Shoes Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Start-Rite Shoes Ltd filed Critical Start-Rite Shoes Ltd
Priority to GB1423401.7A priority Critical patent/GB2533809A/en
Publication of GB201423401D0 publication Critical patent/GB201423401D0/en
Publication of GB2533809A publication Critical patent/GB2533809A/en
Application status is Withdrawn legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43CFASTENINGS OR ATTACHMENTS OF FOOTWEAR; LACES IN GENERAL
    • A43C11/00Other fastenings specially adapted for shoes
    • A43C11/20Fastenings with tightening devices mounted on the tongue
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43CFASTENINGS OR ATTACHMENTS OF FOOTWEAR; LACES IN GENERAL
    • A43C11/00Other fastenings specially adapted for shoes
    • A43C11/008Combined fastenings, e.g. to accelerate undoing or fastening
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43CFASTENINGS OR ATTACHMENTS OF FOOTWEAR; LACES IN GENERAL
    • A43C11/00Other fastenings specially adapted for shoes
    • A43C11/12Slide or glide fastenings
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43CFASTENINGS OR ATTACHMENTS OF FOOTWEAR; LACES IN GENERAL
    • A43C11/00Other fastenings specially adapted for shoes
    • A43C11/14Clamp fastenings, e.g. strap fastenings; Clamp-buckle fastenings; Fastenings with toggle levers
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43CFASTENINGS OR ATTACHMENTS OF FOOTWEAR; LACES IN GENERAL
    • A43C11/00Other fastenings specially adapted for shoes
    • A43C11/14Clamp fastenings, e.g. strap fastenings; Clamp-buckle fastenings; Fastenings with toggle levers
    • A43C11/1406Fastenings with toggle levers; Equipment therefor
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43CFASTENINGS OR ATTACHMENTS OF FOOTWEAR; LACES IN GENERAL
    • A43C11/00Other fastenings specially adapted for shoes
    • A43C11/14Clamp fastenings, e.g. strap fastenings; Clamp-buckle fastenings; Fastenings with toggle levers
    • A43C11/1406Fastenings with toggle levers; Equipment therefor
    • A43C11/142Fastenings with toggle levers with adjustment means provided for on the shoe, e.g. rack
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43CFASTENINGS OR ATTACHMENTS OF FOOTWEAR; LACES IN GENERAL
    • A43C11/00Other fastenings specially adapted for shoes
    • A43C11/16Fastenings secured by wire, bolts, or the like

Abstract

A footwear item 10 and a footwear retention or adjustment arrangement 40, comprising a tension control line 41 which is movable about a control line route 43 of the upper section 30 of the footwear. The arrangement also comprises a line control 42 to controllably apply tension to the tension control line, in order to tighten or loosen the upper section of the footwear. The line control may comprise a ratchet, which may include a spring member. The control line may be coupled to the lacing of the footwear. The line control may comprise a cam lock (60 See FIG 3). In this case the footwear, such as a shoe, may comprise an aperture 35. The tension control line may be coupled to opposing sides of the aperture, and may cross this hole, so that the tension control line may narrow the aperture.

Description

FOOTWEAR RETENTION ARRANGEMENT AND FOOTWEAR ITEM

Background to the Invention

The present invention relates to a footwear item and to footwear retention arrangement that may assist in providing an improved accuracy fit of footwear such as shoes, trainers, boots or more specialised forms of footwear such as cycling shoes or ski boots to a user.

Background to the Invention

For optimal fit, the dimensions of footwear such as a shoe must correspond to that of a user's foot.

In order to accommodate as many users as possible, manufacturers produce their footwear to specific sizes. While there may be some difference between the sizing of one manufacturer and another, a user that is a size '5' will generally be that size or thereabouts in the footwear for all footwear in that country/region (different regions use different standardised size scales).

In some cases, alternate footwear widths may also be offered, so a user with a wide foot may find some manufacturers offering a wide fitting and where they do not the user may have to go up a half or whole size to find the most comfortable fit.

Where the fit of footwear is non-optimal, issues can arise such as rubbing, slipping, blistering and general discomfort. In the case of children, this can also inhibit healthy development of feet and bones. Pressure applied to a child's foot can unknowingly mould their feet and cause issues in the future. In the case of diabetics, they may not feel pressure from an ill-fitting shoe and this can result in injury.

Where a user's foot size does not fit well into a particular size category or where they have wide or narrow feet that mean they are not suited to certain manufacturers footwear. However, this is not always apparent when trying on footwear and may mean that some days or weeks after purchase a user decides the footwear are not suitable, by which time it may be too late to return the footwear if worn outside etc. It is desirable footwear can be available to accommodate as greater percentage of the potential user base as possible. It is not good business to preclude users from buying or using a product. Retailers attempt to address this by stocking as many size variations as they can but of course tend to focus on the statistically most requested sizes. Particularly in the case of children's shoes where not only are there multiple size variations for each shoe style but multiple width variation for each size, the storage and capital outlay required can be problematic. For example, a retailer may need to be able to stock a number of different shoes in, for example, sizes 5-13 and width E-H and have sufficient stock that if multiple people wanted that shoe in a 7E fitting. As a result, it is not uncommon for a restricted selection to be available for a particular size/width combination which can be a great disappointment to both parent and child. Similar situations arise in adult footwear, particularly if the foot size/width is uncommon.

Some users have additional difficulties, for example having one foot bigger than another or where their feet are prone to swelling during the course of a day such as diabetics.

An established mechanism for allowing a user to adjust the fit of footwear such as a shoe is by laces, buckles or hook and loop strap arrangements that span across the upper of the shoe and enable sides of the upper to be drawn together over the user's foot and hold the foot in place.

Unfortunately, laces take time to tie and are prone to coming undone. They can also be problematic for children that have not yet learnt to tie bows. Some shoe types such as so-called "slip-ons" rely on an interference fit and/or an elasticated area on the upper instead of laces to hold the user's foot in the shoe. While such slip-on shoes are popular, they do not suit everyone and tend not to fit well unless the user's foot is close to the exact shoe size.

Statement of Invention

According to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided a footwear retention arrangement comprising a tension control line moveable about a control line route of a footwear upper, the arrangement further comprising a line control arranged to controllably apply tension to the tension control line and thereby tighten or loosen the footwear upper.

The line control may include a ratchet for controllably retaining the tension control line in place.

The ratchet may include a resiliently sprung member, whereby upon application of a force against the resiliently spring member the ratchet is arranged to disengage and permit release of tension of the line control.

The tension control line may be couplable to lacing of the footwear and arranged to tighten the lacing upon application of tension by the line control.

The line control may be positionable to overlay the lacing of the footwear The footwear retention arrangement may be incorporated in footwear such as shoes, trainers, boots, sandals, ski boots, cycling shoes or other footwear. It may be incorporated at the time of manufacture or added later. In the case of the lace control arrangement described, it may be sold as a retro-fit arrangement and added to conventional footwear as a retrofit way of controlling lacing.

The line control may be positioned substantially at the heel of the footwear item.

The line control may include a cam lock for controllably retaining the tension control line in place.

The tension control line may be couplable to the footwear and is arranged to tighten the footwear upon application of tension by the line control.

A footwear item may include the, the footwear item further including an aperture, the tension control line being coupled to the footwear at opposing sides of the aperture and crossing the aperture, the tension control line being arranged to narrow the aperture upon application of tension by the line control.

In selected embodiments, upper adjustment can be performed using a tension line control which cinches areas of the upper so as to enable different sized feet to be accommodated. The tension line control can be used to tighten laces, the interference fit features of footwear such as slip-ons or other features of the upper.

In preferred embodiments, adjustment can be performed on demand and the footwear can be adjusted as a user's foot changes such as due to foot expansion during the course of the day.

Brief Description of the Drawings

Embodiments of the present invention will now be described by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings in which: Figure 1 is a perspective view of a shoe incorporating a retention arrangement according to an embodiment of the present invention; Figure 2 is a perspective view of part of the shoe of Figure 1 illustrating selected features in more detail; Figure 3 is a sectional view of a line control suitable for use in the adjustment arrangement of Figure 1; Figures 4a, 4b and 4c are, respectively, sectional view when closed, sectional view when open and perspective view when open of the line control of Figure 3; Figure 5 is a perspective view of a shoe incorporating a retention arrangement according to an embodiment of the present invention; Figure 6 is a perspective view of part of the shoe of Figure 5 illustrating selected features in more detail; Figure 7 is a sectional view of the line control of Figure 5; and, Figures 8a-8f are illustrations of the line control of Figures 5 and 7 in operation.

Detailed Description

Figure 1 is a perspective view of a shoe incorporating a retention arrangement according to an embodiment of the present invention.

The shoe 10 includes a sole 20 and an upper 30. The upper 30 includes an opening 35 into which a user's foot is to be inserted.

The shoe 10 includes an adjustment arrangement 40. The adjustment arrangement 40 includes a tension control line 41 (illustrated by dotted lines as this will not be visible when viewing the shoe) and a line control 42. The tension control line 41 is moveable about a control line route 43 of the upper 30. The line control 42 is arranged to controllably apply tension to the tension control line 41 and thereby tighten or loosen the footwear upper.

In the illustrated embodiment, the tension control line 41 is coupled to a cross-over3l of the upper 30. As tension is applied to the tension control line 41 by drawing the line towards the line control 42 in the heel, the cross-over 31 is tightened and the opening 35 also contracts. Once the shoe reaches a desired size (typically this process is performed while the user's foot is in the shoe), the tension control line 41 is preferably secured by the line control 42 as is discussed in detail below so as to maintain the shoe's size.

In the illustrated embodiment, the upper 30 also includes a retaining strap 50 for assisting in securing the foot in the shoe. However, it will be appreciated that this could be omitted or it could be replaced with other retaining features such as laces, zips, clips and the like. It will also be appreciated that the shape and size of the opening 35 can be varied depending on the style and function of the shoe 10. The opening may be covered by a flexible material or by a tongue or other feature of the footwear that enables the sides of the upper about the opening to be cinched or otherwise contracted when tension is applied to the tension control line 41.

In one embodiment, the tension control line 41 may be formed from woven material, a thermoplastic, coated steel or other suitable material preferably having high tensile strength and low creep.

It will be appreciated that the use of a line applying tension about the upper in the manner illustrated will only cause the upper to contract. However, arrangements to expand the opening could be used. For example, inelastic wires, plastic beams or the like may be driven into the upper to cause flexing of the upper and expansion around the opening.

Figure 2 is a perspective view of part of the shoe of Figure 1 illustrating selected features in more detail, omitting the cross-over for the purpose of illustration. In this embodiment, the upper includes eyelets 32 through which the tension control line 41 (when coupled to the cross-over) passes into the control line route 43 in the upper 30. In the illustrated embodiment, the upper 30 includes a cut-out 33 that enables the opening 35 of the upper to contract without the upper buckling, ribbing or bunching. However, it will be appreciated that other designs of the upper can also be used to achieve this.

Figure 3 is a sectional view of a line control suitable for use in the adjustment arrangement of Figure 1.

In the illustrated embodiment, the line control 42 includes a cam lock 60 operable to receive and lock the tension control line 41 in place.

As shown in Figures 3 and 4a-4c, the cam lock 60 can be opened by the user, the tension control line 41 exiting the upper at the heel near to the cam lock 60 and fed through the top of the cam lock 60 before the cam lock is closed and the line 41 is secured in place.

It will be appreciated that as the line 41 is tightened and drawn into the cam 42, the opening closes and the diameter of the upper 30 is narrowed so as to accommodate a narrower fitting foot.

The line 41 may be secured by sewing, anchoring or fastening or any other suitable method that fixes the line route 43 in place but allows the line 41 to move freely along the route 43.

The line 41 ends at the back of the shoe counter and preferably includes a loop, tab or other grip that can be grasped by a user and pulled. By pulling the line 41, the line length secured along the edge of the upper is shortened, tightening the upper.

The line 41 is preferably fed from the front of the upper where the adjustment will take place around the internal lining of the vamp, exiting at the top of the heel into the cam lock mechanism 42. As the cam lock lid is closed, more force is pressed onto the line 41 due to the cam action. This then retains the upper in the adjusted position. When the cam lock 42 is closed it then acts as a lid which encapsulates the line ends. On closing, the cam lock 42 is preferably locked shut and may optionally need a small tool to open it in order to prevent a child from readjusting the shoes' width.

Preferably, the cam lock 60 includes teeth 61 for gripping the line 41 when the cam lock 60 is closed.

While it could be done each time the shoe is put on, it will be appreciated that the tightening of the tension control line 41 and securing in the line control 42 need not be a regular operation, simply an occasional act to ensure best fit of the shoe to the user's foot. Likewise, it will be appreciated that in preferred embodiments, the line 41 does not need to be loosened to allow removal of the foot from the shoe.

In one embodiment, the footwear item may include an adjustable sole of the type described in the co-pending application concurrently filed and having agent's reference N31162, the content of which is herein incorporated by reference. As described in the co-pending application, the line control 42 may also be used for controlling adjustment of the adjustable sole.

It will be appreciated that other line control arrangements than the cam lock of Figs 3-4 could be used, for example a ratchet type arrangement could be used to draw in the tension control line.

Figure 5 is a perspective view of a shoe incorporating a retention arrangement according to an embodiment of the present invention. Figure 6 is a perspective view of part of the shoe of Figure 5 illustrating selected features in more detail. Figure 7 is a sectional view of the line control of Figure 5. Figures 8a-8f are illustrations of the line control of Figures 5 and 7 in operation.

The shoe 100 includes a sole 120 and an upper 130. The upper 130 includes an opening 135 into which a user's foot is to be inserted. In this embodiment, laces 136 are run through eyelets 137 and span part of the opening 135 under which a tongue 138 is positioned.

The shoe 100 includes an adjustment arrangement 140.

As shown in Figures 8a-8f, the adjustment arrangement 140 includes a tension control line 141 and a line control 142. The tension control line 141 is moveable by the line control 142 along a control line route 143 of the upper 130. The line control 142 is arranged to controllably apply tension to the tension control line 141 and thereby tighten or loosen the footwear upper.

In the illustrated embodiment, the tension control line 141 is coupled to the laces 136 of the upper 130. As tension is applied to the tension control line 141 by drawing the line control 142 in the direction A towards the user's leg (when in the shoe), tension is applied to the laces causing them to tighten about the user's foot.

Preferably, the line control 142 includes a ratchet including a substantially linear toothed track 150 which engage a toothed actuator 160. The toothed actuator 160 includes a resilient spring 162 which bears against a body of the line control 142.

In operation, as illustrated in Figures 8a-8f, the actuator can be drawn upwardly towards the user's leg in the direction A. This draws the tension control line 141 into the body of the line control 142 and applies tension to the laces 136. Preferably, the teeth of the actuator and track have a saw-tooth profile or similar that resist movement in the direction opposite to A and thereby secure the actuator in place and resist release of the tension control line 141.

In order to release the tension control line 141, force can be applied to the actuator against the resilient spring 162 so as to disengage the teeth of the actuator 160 from those of the track 150. The actuator can then be moved in the direction opposite to A and tension on the laces 136 is released. As soon as the force is removed from the resilient spring 162, the actuator 160 will re-engage the toothed track 150. This is advantageous as it means the laces can be slackened and foot removed and the laces will remain held in this state with the shoe ready to next receive the user's foot. Particularly in the case of children, exaggerating the opening in which the foot is to be placed can be advantageous as it reduces the possibility they will force their foot into a shoe that is not open enough to receive it and damage the shoe.

In one embodiment, the tension control 142 and tension control line 141 may be formed from a thermoplastic, coated steel or other suitable material preferably having high tensile strength and low creep.

It will be appreciated that the use of a line applying tension about the upper in the manner illustrated will only cause the upper to contract. However, arrangements to expand the opening could be used. For example, inelastic wires, plastic beams or the like may be used instead of laces and the wires or beams could then be used to push the eyelets 137 apart and expand the opening.

Although the illustrated embodiments have been described in the context of shoes, it will be appreciated that the adjustment arrangements could be applied to many different types of footwear including shoes, trainers, sandals, boots and specialist footwear types including cycling shoes, roller skates, ski boots and the like.

Claims (12)

  1. Claims 1. A footwear retention arrangement comprising a tension control line moveable about a control line route of a footwear upper, the arrangement further comprising a line control arranged to controllably apply tension to the tension control line and thereby tighten or loosen the footwear upper.
  2. 2. A footwear retention arrangement as claimed in claim 1, wherein the line control includes a ratchet for controllably retaining the tension control line in place.
  3. 3. A footwear retention arrangement as claimed in claim 2, wherein the ratchet includes a resiliently sprung member, whereby upon application of a force against the resiliently spring member the ratchet is arranged to disengage and permit release of tension of the line control.
  4. 4. A footwear retention arrangement as claimed in claim 1, 2 or3, wherein the tension control line is couplable to lacing of the footwear and arranged to tighten the lacing upon application of tension by the line control.
  5. 5. A footwear retention arrangement as claimed in claim 4, wherein the line control is positionable to overlay the lacing of the footwear
  6. 6. A footwear item including the footwear retention arrangement of any preceding claim.
  7. 7. A footwear item as claimed in claim 6, wherein the line control is positioned substantially at the heel of the footwear item.
  8. 8. A footwear retention arrangement as claimed in claim 1, wherein the line control includes a cam lock for controllably retaining the tension control line in place.
  9. 9. A footwear retention arrangement as claimed in claim 8, wherein the tension control line is couplable to the footwear and is arranged to tighten the footwear upon application of tension by the line control.
  10. 10. A footwear item including footwear retention arrangement as claimed in claim 8 or 9, the footwear item further including an aperture, the tension control line being coupled to the footwear at opposing sides of the aperture and crossing the aperture, the tension control line being arranged to narrow the aperture upon application of tension by the line control
  11. 11. A footwear item as herein described and as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
  12. 12. A footwear retention arrangement as herein described and as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
GB1423401.7A 2014-12-31 2014-12-31 Footwear retention arrangement and footwear item Withdrawn GB2533809A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB1423401.7A GB2533809A (en) 2014-12-31 2014-12-31 Footwear retention arrangement and footwear item

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB1423401.7A GB2533809A (en) 2014-12-31 2014-12-31 Footwear retention arrangement and footwear item

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB201423401D0 GB201423401D0 (en) 2015-02-11
GB2533809A true GB2533809A (en) 2016-07-06

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Family Applications (1)

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GB1423401.7A Withdrawn GB2533809A (en) 2014-12-31 2014-12-31 Footwear retention arrangement and footwear item

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GB (1) GB2533809A (en)

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US10159310B2 (en) 2017-05-25 2018-12-25 Nike, Inc. Rear closing upper for an article of footwear with front zipper to rear cord connection
GB2563610A (en) * 2017-06-20 2018-12-26 Inoveight Ltd A shoelace retainer
USD840663S1 (en) 2018-06-14 2019-02-19 Nike, Inc. Shoe
USD853707S1 (en) 2018-06-14 2019-07-16 Nike, Inc. Shoe
USD854303S1 (en) 2018-06-14 2019-07-23 Nike, Inc. Shoe

Citations (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2005060780A1 (en) * 2003-12-09 2005-07-07 Johnson Gregory G Automated tightening shoe
US20080060167A1 (en) * 1997-08-22 2008-03-13 Hammerslag Gary R Reel based closure system
US20090126227A1 (en) * 2007-11-21 2009-05-21 The North Face Apparel Corporation Adjustable sliding eyelet for footwear
GB2472290A (en) * 2009-07-31 2011-02-02 Jih-Liang Lin Shoelace fastener
US20120291242A1 (en) * 2011-05-16 2012-11-22 Salomon S.A.S. Locking device for lace strands, tightening system having such device, and footwear having such system
US20130138028A1 (en) * 2011-11-29 2013-05-30 Nike, Inc. Ankle and Foot Support System
US20140123449A1 (en) * 2012-11-06 2014-05-08 Boa Technology Inc. Devices and methods for adjusting the fit of footwear
WO2014129980A1 (en) * 2013-02-19 2014-08-28 Kolka Ivan Mechanical system for tightening laces
US20140359981A1 (en) * 2013-06-05 2014-12-11 Boa Technology Inc. Integrated closure device components and methods

Patent Citations (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20080060167A1 (en) * 1997-08-22 2008-03-13 Hammerslag Gary R Reel based closure system
WO2005060780A1 (en) * 2003-12-09 2005-07-07 Johnson Gregory G Automated tightening shoe
US20090126227A1 (en) * 2007-11-21 2009-05-21 The North Face Apparel Corporation Adjustable sliding eyelet for footwear
GB2472290A (en) * 2009-07-31 2011-02-02 Jih-Liang Lin Shoelace fastener
US20120291242A1 (en) * 2011-05-16 2012-11-22 Salomon S.A.S. Locking device for lace strands, tightening system having such device, and footwear having such system
US20130138028A1 (en) * 2011-11-29 2013-05-30 Nike, Inc. Ankle and Foot Support System
US20140123449A1 (en) * 2012-11-06 2014-05-08 Boa Technology Inc. Devices and methods for adjusting the fit of footwear
WO2014129980A1 (en) * 2013-02-19 2014-08-28 Kolka Ivan Mechanical system for tightening laces
US20140359981A1 (en) * 2013-06-05 2014-12-11 Boa Technology Inc. Integrated closure device components and methods

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US10159310B2 (en) 2017-05-25 2018-12-25 Nike, Inc. Rear closing upper for an article of footwear with front zipper to rear cord connection
GB2563610A (en) * 2017-06-20 2018-12-26 Inoveight Ltd A shoelace retainer
USD840663S1 (en) 2018-06-14 2019-02-19 Nike, Inc. Shoe
USD853707S1 (en) 2018-06-14 2019-07-16 Nike, Inc. Shoe
USD854303S1 (en) 2018-06-14 2019-07-23 Nike, Inc. Shoe

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