US20060277791A1 - Footwear sole - Google Patents

Footwear sole Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US20060277791A1
US20060277791A1 US11143063 US14306305A US2006277791A1 US 20060277791 A1 US20060277791 A1 US 20060277791A1 US 11143063 US11143063 US 11143063 US 14306305 A US14306305 A US 14306305A US 2006277791 A1 US2006277791 A1 US 2006277791A1
Authority
US
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
insert
support tubes
sole
plurality
webs
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.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11143063
Inventor
Mary Schoenborn
Donald Reardon
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.)
Wolverine World Wide Inc
Original Assignee
Wolverine World Wide Inc
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

Links

Images

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B13/00Soles; Sole and heel units
    • A43B13/14Soles; Sole and heel units characterised by the constructive form
    • A43B13/18Resilient soles
    • A43B13/20Pneumatic soles filled with a compressible fluid, e.g. air, gas
    • A43B13/206Pneumatic soles filled with a compressible fluid, e.g. air, gas provided with tubes or pipes or tubular shaped cushioning members
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B13/00Soles; Sole and heel units
    • A43B13/14Soles; Sole and heel units characterised by the constructive form
    • A43B13/18Resilient soles
    • A43B13/181Resiliency achieved by the structure of the sole
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B13/00Soles; Sole and heel units
    • A43B13/14Soles; Sole and heel units characterised by the constructive form
    • A43B13/18Resilient soles
    • A43B13/181Resiliency achieved by the structure of the sole
    • A43B13/186Differential cushioning region, e.g. cushioning located under the ball of the foot
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B7/00Footwear with health or hygienic arrangements
    • A43B7/14Footwear with foot-supporting parts
    • A43B7/1405Footwear with foot-supporting parts provided with pads or holes on one or more locations, or having an anatomical or curved form
    • A43B7/1415Footwear with foot-supporting parts provided with pads or holes on one or more locations, or having an anatomical or curved form characterised by the location under the foot
    • A43B7/144Footwear with foot-supporting parts provided with pads or holes on one or more locations, or having an anatomical or curved form characterised by the location under the foot situated under the heel, i.e. the calcaneus bone

Abstract

A sole for an article of footwear having an insert with a plurality of support tubes that include internal webs configured to control the support characteristics of each support tube. In one embodiment, a first plurality of support tubes is disposed along the medial side of the sole in the heel region and a second plurality of support tubes is disposed along the lateral side of the sole in the heel region. The insert may include an arch portion that extends through and provides support to the arch region of the sole. The arch portion may define a slot to receive a gaiter strap. The insert may further include a forefoot extension that extends forwardly from the arch along the medial side of the sole. In one embodiment, the sole may include a heel wedge disposed below the insert in the heel region such that the support tubes are supported upon a relatively resilient material. In one embodiment, the insert may include struts that interconnect the medial and lateral support tubes.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to footwear, and more particularly to a sole construction for an article of footwear.
  • There is a continuing effort to provide ever more comfortable footwear. Running shoes, as well as other footwear, have undergone tremendous evolutionary advances in technology over the past 20 years. Many of the technological advances have occurred in the midsole. In most footwear, the midsole functions as the “suspension system” of the sole and it often provides both protective cushioning and a stable platform for the wearer's foot. Variations in the characteristics of the midsole can have a dramatic affect on the performance of the shoe. In an effort to provide improved performance, it is often desirable to vary the support characteristics of the sole from one region to another. For example, it may be desirable to provide a higher density material in the heel and a lower density material in the forefoot. A higher density material in the heel provides greater support upon heel strike while a lower density material provides appropriate cushioning and support for the typically smaller loads encountered in the forefoot. A wide variety of soles have been developed to provide variable support over the foot. In some applications, variable support is provided by forming different regions of the midsole from different materials, such as softer EVA foam in the forefoot and firmer EVA foam in the heel. In other applications, the sole is provided with a support plate that can be configured to provide the sole with the desired overall support profile. Although a marked improvement over conventional uniform sole constructions, there remains a need for a sole construction that is inexpensive to manufacture and that is highly tunable with a wide range of adjustability.
  • At the same time, there is also an ongoing effort to extend the life of footwear soles. In conventional footwear, the midsole (as well as other sole components) may begin to lose its performance over a relatively short period of time. Degradation of the sole material can cause the sole to lose its resiliency over time, particularly in regions of high and repeated impact, such as the heel. The rate of degradation will vary from sole to sole, but is largely dependent on the specific characteristics of the sole material and the types of loads applied to the sole. For example, conventional closed and open cell foams, such as EVA, have a relatively short life as the material naturally breaks down over relatively short periods of use. Conventional foam materials are also susceptible to temperature changes, which can cause the resiliency of the foam to vary noticeably. For example, the sole may become noticeably stiffer in colder temperatures and noticeably softer in higher temperatures. As a result, temperature can have a significant adverse affect on the support characteristics of a sole manufactured from conventional foam materials.
  • Accordingly, there remains a need for a highly reliable, highly tunable sole that has an extended life and is relatively inexpensive to manufacture.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The aforementioned problems are overcome by the present invention which provides a sole having an insert with a plurality of support tubes that are tuned to provide the desired support profile. Each support tube may include an internal web having an orientation that is selected to provide the desired support characteristics. By varying the orientation of the webs from support tube to support tube, the overall support profile of the sole can be controlled.
  • In one embodiment, the support layer is disposed between the outsole and the midsole. If desired, the sole may further include a heel wedge disposed between the outsole and the insert in the heel region. The heel wedge may be manufactured from a material that is firmer than the midsole material. As a result, the heel wedge may provide additional support in the heel region of the sole.
  • In another embodiment, the insert may include a plurality of support tubes on the medial (or inner) side of the sole and a plurality of support tubes on the lateral (or outer) side of the sole. The internal webs may be disposed in a more vertical orientation along the medial side of the sole to provide greater vertical support on the medial side of the sole. If desired, the orientation of the webs can vary from tube to tube. For example, the webs may be oriented in an increasingly more vertical direction moving from front to rear to provide increasingly more vertical support toward the rear of the heel. The support tubes on the medial side may be connected to the support tubes on the lateral side by struts. The struts may be concave to provide the heel with an inherent centering capability.
  • In yet another embodiment, the support tubes are disposed in at least a portion of the heel region of the insert and the insert includes an arch portion extending through the arch region of the sole. The arch portion of the insert may include two layers spaced apart from one another to provide a structure to receive a gaiter strap. The lower layer helps to protect the gaiter strap from damage associated with ground contact. If desired, the insert may further include a forefoot extension that extends through at least a portion of the forefoot region of the sole. The forefoot extension may extend only along the medial side of the forefoot region to provide a sole that is more rigid along the medial side. The forefoot extension may extend through different regions of the forefoot or may cover the entire forefoot region, as desired.
  • The present invention provides a unique footwear sole that can be easily tuned to provide the desired support profile. The insert may be manufactured from TPU or other relatively durable materials that do not degrade as quickly as conventional foam materials and therefore extend the cushioning life of the midsole. The support profile may be varied between the medial and lateral sides of the sole. For example, the support tubes on the medial side of the sole can be tuned to provide increasing vertical stiffness toward the back of the shoe, thereby address the problem of overpronation. The insert is relatively inexpensive to manufacture and its support characteristics can be readily adjusted by controlling, among other things, the nature and orientation of the support tubes and the webs. The insert can be combined with a heel wedge to provide even greater control over its support profile. The arch portion of the insert can be tuned to provide control over the support profile of the sole in the arch region. The gaiter slot can be incorporated into the arch portion to protect a gaiter strap from premature wear. The support profile of the sole in the forefoot region can be controlled through the use of the forefoot extension. When included, the struts assist in centering the foot on heel strike.
  • These and other objects, advantages, and features of the invention will be readily understood and appreciated by reference to the detailed description of the preferred embodiment and the drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a sole in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a medial side elevational view of the shoe.
  • FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the midsole.
  • FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the midsole.
  • FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view of the midsole.
  • FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the insert.
  • FIG. 7 is a bottom plan view of the insert.
  • FIG. 8A is a right (medial) side elevational view of the insert.
  • FIG. 8B is a left (lateral) side elevational view of the insert.
  • FIG. 9 is a side elevational view of the heel wedge.
  • FIG. 10 is a bottom plan view of the insert and midsole.
  • FIG. 11 is a bottom plan view of the insert, midsole and heel wedge.
  • FIG. 12 is a bottom plan view of the shoe.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • A footwear sole manufactured in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 1, and generally designated 10. The footwear sole 10 generally includes an outsole 12, a heel wedge, 14, an insert 16 and a midsole 18. The sole 10 may be incorporated into an article of footwear, such as shoe 200 shown in FIGS. 2. The shoe 200 may include an upper 202 that is affixed to the sole 10. The shoe 200 may also include a footbed (not shown) that is removably fitted into the upper 202 atop of the sole 10. The insert 16 may include support tubes 46 a-j with internal webs 48 a-j that are configured to control the support profile of the sole 10. Although the present invention is described in connection with a conventional standard height running or trail running shoe 200, the present invention is not limited to use in shoes of that type. The present invention is well-suited for use in essentially any type of sole and can be incorporated into essentially any type of footwear. The footwear sole 10 is intended to be secured to an upper (not shown) using essentially any attachment construction, including without limitation cement, stitch, welt and direct attach constructions. The footwear sole 10 may also include a shank or other conventional sole components, as desired.
  • To facilitate disclosure of the present invention, reference will be made to various general areas of the foot, such as the heel, arch and forefoot areas. When used to refer to locations on the various sole components, these terms should be interpreted to include those areas of the sole that are disposed generally (and not necessarily directly) beneath the corresponding elements of the foot. For purposes of general reference only, the heel area is generally defined as that area behind (toward the rear of the heel of the sole 10) phantom line A1 (See FIG. 2), the arch area is generally defined as that area between phantom lines A1 and A2 and the forefoot region is generally defined as that area ahead of (toward the tiptoe of the sole 10) phantom line A2. It should be understood, however, that the boundaries between the heel, arch and forefoot areas are not precise and that these terms should be interpreted loosely and with a great deal of flexibility.
  • In the described embodiment, the outsole 12 is generally conventional and defines the primary wear surface for the sole 10. The outsole 12 is generally conventional and is secured to the bottom of the sole 10 to provide a durable and non-slip wear surface (See FIG. 2). The design and configuration of the outsole 12 may vary from application-to-application. However, in the illustrated embodiment, the outsole 12 is a two-piece outsole having a main part 20 and heel part 22 (See FIGS. 1 and 12). The main part 20 of this embodiment extends across portions of the heel wedge 14, insert 16 and midsole 18. The main part 20 is cemented or otherwise secured to the bottom of the various sole components 14, 16 and 18 using generally conventional techniques and apparatus. The heel part 22 is disposed at the back of the heel and is cemented to the undersurface of the heel wedge 14 using generally conventional techniques and apparatus. Separation of the main part 20 and the heel part 22 provides the outsole 12 with a degree of articulation in the heel. The lower surface of each part 20 and 22 includes a plurality of lugs or other traction elements, which are generally identified in the drawings by reference numeral 24. The design and configuration of the traction elements 24 may vary from application to application as desired. The outsole 12 may be manufactured from a wide variety of conventional sole materials, such as natural and synthetic rubbers, leather, PVC, EVA and polyurethane.
  • As noted above, the sole 10 includes a heel wedge 14 disposed above the outsole 12 in the heel region (See FIGS. 1 and 2). The heel wedge 14 provides a resilient, compressible platform for the insert 16 as described in more detail below. Referring now to FIG. 9, the heel wedge 14 is generally wedge-shaped having an upper surface 26 that is contoured to compliment the shape of the bottom surface 30 of the insert 16 and a lower surface 32 that is contoured to compliment the shape of the upper surface 34 of the outsole 12. More specifically, the upper surface 26 of the illustrated embodiment includes a plurality of tube recesses 36 a-j that corresponds in shape with the support tubes 46 a-j. The tube recesses 36 a-j closely receive the support tubes 46 a-j in the assembled sole 10. The heel wedge 14 may be manufactured from a variety of sole material, such as EVA and polyurethane. In the illustrated embodiment, the heel wedge 14 defines a central opening 80 that is aligned with a corresponding absence of material in the heel region of the outsole 12. Among other things, the opening 30 permits viewing of portions of the midsole 16 and insert 18. As perhaps best shown in FIG. 11, the heel wedge 14 may include an arrangement of small ridges 86 on its undersurface 88 that, among other things, provide a guide for placing the outsole 12 parts. In the illustrated embodiment, the heel wedge 14 extends only through the heel region of the sole 10 and is generally wedge-shaped. The heel wedge 14 may extend through different regions of the sole and may, for example, extend through the arch region or be coextensive with the entire sole. The heel wedge 14 is not necessarily wedge-shaped and may take on different thickness configurations as desired. In the illustrated embodiment, the heel wedge 14 is manufactured from EVA foam having a durometer value of approximately 55-60 Asker C Scale. The type of material and density of the heel wedge 14 material may, however, vary from application to application. If desired, the density of the heel wedge 14 may vary from region to region within the heel wedge 14.
  • The insert 16 is disposed above the outsole 12 and the heel wedge 14, and provides the sole 10 with a highly tuned support profile (See FIGS. 1 and 2). Referring now to FIGS. 6, 8, 8A and 8B, the insert 16 generally includes a heel portion 40, an arch portion 42 and a forefoot extension 44. The heel portion 40, as its name implies, extends through at least a portion of the heel region of the sole 10 and includes a plurality of support tubes 46 a-j. In the illustrated embodiment, the support tubes 46 a-j extend in a generally lateral orientation. The insert 16 may include a first plurality of support tubes 46 a-e extending through a peripheral marginal portion of the lateral side of the heel region (“lateral support tubes”) and a second plurality of support tubes 46 f-j extending through a peripheral marginal portion of the medial side of the heel region (“medial support tubes”). The medial support tubes 46 f-j and lateral support tubes 46 a-e may be spaced apart so that the support tubes 46 a-j do not extend through the central region of the sole 10. The absence of support tubes 46 a-j in the central region may provide a relatively soft center that helps to center the wearer's foot on the sole 10. The use of separate medial and lateral support tubes is not strictly necessary, and in some applications, the support tubes may be located only on one side or may extend entirely across the sole 10. In the illustrated embodiment, the support tubes 46 a-j are generally annular in cross-section. The support tubes 46 a-j may alternatively have other cross-sectional shapes (both regular and irregular), such as oval, square, rectangular and triangular. The characteristics of each support tube 46 a-j may be varied to control its particular response to different loads. For example, the number, shape, diameter, length and wall thickness of the support tubes 46 a-j may be varied to tune the support characteristics of the sole 10. Each support tube 46 a-j may also include an internal web 48 a-j that affects the support characteristics of the tube 46a-j. In the illustrated embodiment (where the support tubes 46 a-j are generally annular in cross-section), the webs 48 a-j are chords, and more particularly extend along diameters of the support tubes 48 a-j. But, the characteristics of each web 48 a-j may be varied to control its affect on the support characteristics. For example, the number, orientation, position, length and thickness of the webs 48 a-j can be varied. In the illustrated embodiment, the lateral support tubes 46a-e each include a web 48 a-e that extends in a generally horizontal direction following the general extent of the insert 16. Accordingly, the webs 48 a-e have little affect on the rigidity of the lateral support tubes 46 a-e in the vertical direction. In the illustrated embodiment, the orientation of the webs 48 f-j of the medial support tubes 46 f-j varies from front to rear. More specifically, the medial webs 48 f-i are arranged at a more vertical orientation toward the rear of the heel region as can be seen in FIGS. 2 and 8A. As a result, the medial support tubes 46 f-j provide increasingly more resistance to vertical compression toward the rear of the heel region. In the illustrated embodiment, the webs 48 a-j are integrally formed with the support tubes 46 a-j. This is not, however, strictly necessary and the webs 48 a-j may alternatively be separately manufactured, for example, as inserts that are fitted into the support tubes 46 a-j.
  • The insert 16 may also include a plurality of struts 38 a-d that join the support tubes 48 a-d on one side of the sole 10 with the support tubes 48 f-I on the opposite side. The characteristics of the struts 38 a-d may be varied to control the support characteristics of the sole 10. For example, changes in the number, width, thickness and shape of the struts 38 a-d will impact the support characteristics of the insert 16. As shown, the struts 38 a-c are of this embodiment are generally concave to follow a convex structure on the undersurface of the midsole 18. In this embodiment, the struts 38 a-c are concave primarily to accommodate recess 64 and plug 62.
  • The arch portion 42 of the illustrated embodiment is integral with and extends from the heel portion 40. It may alternatively be a separate component. The arch portion 42 includes a pair of wings 50 a-b that extend upwardly from its lateral and medial edges. The wings 50 a-b may be cemented or otherwise secured to the midsole 18. In use, the wings 50 a-b provide the midsole 18 with enhanced support in the arch region. The arch portion 42 may also define a slot 52 for receiving the strap of a gaiter. The arch portion 42 of the illustrated embodiment includes a pair of spaced apart layers 54 a-b that cooperatively define the slot 52. The size, shape and configuration of the layers 54 a-b may vary from application to application as desired. The arch portion 42 is optional and may be eliminated, if desired.
  • The forefoot extension 44 of the illustrated embodiment is integral with and extends from the arch portion 42. It may alternatively be a separate component. The forefoot extension 44 may extend only along a peripheral portion of the medial side of the sole 10 (as shown in the illustrated embodiment). It may, however, be designed to extend through essentially any portion of the forefoot region or over the entire forefoot region, if desired. The forefoot extension 44 may define a plurality of flex slots 56 a-c configured to provide flex points. The forefoot extension 44 is optional and may be eliminated in some applications, as desired.
  • The insert 16 may be manufactured from a variety of conventional materials, but typically it will be manufactured from a material that is stiffer than the heel wedge 14 and/or midsole 18. For example, the insert 16 may be injection molded from TPU, TPR or PVC. The insert 16 may be manufactured from other materials, such as nylon, rubber, synthetic rubber or silicone, but it is likely that the insert 16 would not be manufactured by injection molding if any of these alternative materials was used. If desired, the insert 16 may be manufactured from a collection of different materials. For example, the arch portion 42 may be manufactured from a stiffer material than the heel portion 40.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the support tubes 46 a-j extend only through the heel region of the sole 10. In alternative embodiments, the support tubes 46 a-j may in addition (or alternatively) extend through the arch and/or forefoot regions of the sole. The size, configuration, layout and other characteristics of the support tubes 46 a-j may vary from region to region and from application to application.
  • The midsole 18 is disposed between the insert 16 and the upper 202, and is designed to provide a compressible, resilient foot platform (See FIGS. 1 and 2). As it is designed to support the foot and to be incorporated into conventional footwear, the midsole 18 is generally foot-shaped. The midsole 18 may, however, take on other shapes, as desired, to accommodate various alternative sole designs. In the illustrated embodiment, the midsole 18 is manufactured from EVA foam having a durometer value of approximately 55-60 Asker C Scale. The type of material and density of the midsole 18 material may, however, vary from application to application. In the illustrated embodiment, the midsole 18 is a one-piece, unitary structure, but it may alternatively include a collection of separate elements that cooperatively support the foot. For example, in an alternative embodiment, the midsole 18 may include a forefoot segment that is manufactured from a relatively soft material and heel region manufactured from a more rigid material. The midsole 18 includes a generally smooth upper surface 60 designed to support the wearer's foot (See FIG. 4). The upper surface 60 may include contours, if desired. For example, the upper surface 60 of the midsole 18 may be contoured to match the natural contours of the wearer's foot, for example, by providing the upper surface 60 with a concave heel area, a raised arch area or essentially any other desired shape. The midsole 18 of the illustrated embodiment includes a peripheral lip 68 that extends upwardly around the peripheral edge of the midsole 18. The midsole 18 may directly engage the undersurface of the wearer's foot. In most applications, however, an additional component (not shown) will be incorporated into the sole 10 above the midsole 18. For example, an insole (not shown), sock liner (not shown), footbed (not shown) or other sole element may be incorporated into the sole 10 above the midsole 18. This additional component may be removably fitted into the shoe 200 atop the sole 10.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the midsole 18 includes a disc-shaped plug 62 that is fitted into a corresponding recess 64 in the heel area (See FIG. 1). The plug 62 is manufactured from a relatively soft cushioning material, such as closed cell foam. In the illustrated embodiment, the plug 62 is manufactured from a material having a lower density than the material of the midsole 18. As a result, the plug 62 and recess 64 combination help to center the foot in the heel of the sole 10. The size, shape and configuration of the plug 62 and recess 64 may vary from application to application. For example, the plug 62 and recess 64 combination may be replaced by one or more perforations or cutouts that reduce the resistance of the corresponding region to compression. In this embodiment, the recess 64 is vertically aligned with the convex region of the struts, but that is not strictly necessary.
  • The midsole 18 may be configured to provide ventilation as shown in the illustrated embodiment. In this embodiment, the midsole 18 defines a plurality of ventilation holes 70 through the sidewall of the midsole 18 and a series of ventilation channels 72 in the upper surface 60 of the midsole 18 (See FIG. 4). The ventilation channels 72 communicate with the ventilation holes 70 to permit air and water to ventilate through the midsole 18 (See FIG. 3). Again, this is optional and the present invention may be incorporated into a non-ventilated midsole as desired.
  • Referring again to FIG. 4, the midsole 18 may also include a plurality of flex grooves 74 a-c to facilitate flexing of the midsole 18. In the illustrated embodiment, the midsole 18 includes flex grooves 74 a-c extending substantially laterally across the sole 10 in the forefoot region. If desired, the flex grooves 74 a-c may be eliminated or replaced by other structure intended to improve flexibility. For example, the flex grooves 74 a-c may be replaced by a relatively shallow recess (not shown) in the top surface of the midsole 18 that is filled with a pad (not shown). The pad may have a lower density than the material of the midsole 18. The pad may be cemented within the recess.
  • The undersurface 66 of the midsole 18 may be contoured to compliment the shape of the outsole 12, heel wedge 14 and insert 16 (See FIG. 5). In the illustrated embodiment, the undersurface 66 of the midsole 18 is contoured to define a plurality of support tube recesses 78 that are adapted to closely receive the support tubes 46 a-j of the insert 16. If desired, an insert recess 76 may be defined in the undersurface 66 so that the insert 16 can be recessed or inset into the midsole 18. For example, the midsole 18 may define a plurality of strut recesses 82 adapted to receive the struts 38 a-d of the insert 16. The recess 76 may also extend through the extents of the arch portion 42 (including the wings 50 a-b) and forefoot extension 44. Alternatively (or in addition), recesses (not shown) may be formed in the top surface of the outsole 12 to receive all or a portion of the insert 16.
  • The midsole 18 and heel wedge 14 are separate components in the illustrated embodiment. The present invention extends, however, to applications in which the midsole and heel wedge are integral. For example, in an alternative embodiment, the appropriate material (e.g. EVA foam) may be injected or poured into a mold about the insert to entrap the insert in a single piece midsole/heel wedge combination.
  • The above description identifies certain approximate durometer values for the various components of the sole 10 of the illustrated embodiment. The recited values are merely exemplary and the present invention is not limited to sole constructions with the specific recited durometer values. To the contrary, the present invention should be broadly interpreted to extend to sole components having different compressibility values.
  • The above description is that of various embodiments of the invention. Various alterations and changes can be made without departing from the spirit and broader aspects of the invention as defined in the appended claims, which are to be interpreted in accordance with the principles of patent law including the doctrine of equivalents. Any reference to claim elements in the singular, for example, using the articles “a,” “an,” “the” or “said,” is not to be construed as limiting the element to the singular.

Claims (28)

  1. 1. An insert for an article of footwear comprising:
    a plurality of resilient compressible support tubes, each of said support tubes defining an internal void; and
    a plurality of webs, each of said webs being disposed within a corresponding one of said support tubes and extending at an orientation, said orientation of each of said webs being pre-selected to provide said insert with a support profile.
  2. 2. The insert of claim 1 wherein each of said support tubes is generally annular in cross section.
  3. 3. The insert of claim 2 wherein each of said webs is a chord with respect to said corresponding one of said support tubes.
  4. 4. The insert of claim 3 wherein each of said webs extends along a diameter of said corresponding one of said support tubes.
  5. 5. The insert of claim 4 wherein said plurality of support tubes generally extend along a first common plane.
  6. 6. The insert of claim 1 wherein said plurality of support tubes includes a plurality of medial support tubes disposed on a medial side of the insert and a plurality of lateral support tubes disposed on said lateral side of the insert.
  7. 7. The insert of claim 6 wherein said medial support tubes are spaced apart from said lateral support tubes.
  8. 8. The insert of claim 7 further including at least one strut interconnecting, said strut interconnecting at least one of said medial support tubes and at least one of said lateral support tubes.
  9. 9. The insert of claim 7 further including a plurality of struts, each of said struts interconnecting one of said medial support tubes with a corresponding one of said lateral support tubes.
  10. 10. The insert of claim 9 wherein at least one of said struts is concave.
  11. 11. The insert of claim 1 wherein the insert includes a heel portion and an arch portion, said plurality of support tubes being disposed in said heel portion, said arch portion being integral with said heel portion.
  12. 12. The insert of claim 11 wherein said arch portion defines a slot to receive a gaiter strap.
  13. 13. The insert of claim 11 wherein the insert further includes a forefoot extension, said forefoot extension being integral.
  14. 14. The insert of claim 6 wherein said webs of said lateral support tubes generally extend along a second common plane, said webs of said medial support tubes extending at an angle to said second common plane.
  15. 15. The insert of claim 6 wherein the insert has a front and a rear, said orientation of said webs of said medial support tubes increasing in angle with respect to said second common plane from said front to said rear.
  16. 16. An article of footwear comprising:
    an upper; and
    a sole interconnected with said upper, said sole including a midsole, a heel wedge and an insert, said insert disposed at least partially between said heel wedge and said midsole, said insert including a plurality of support tubes, each of said support tubes including an internal web extending at an orientation, said orientation of at least one web varying from said orientation of at least one other web.
  17. 17. The article of claim 16 wherein said orientation of each of said webs is pre-selected to provide said insert with a support profile.
  18. 18. The article of claim 16 wherein said plurality of support tubes includes a plurality of medial support tubes disposed on a medial side of the insert and a plurality of lateral support tubes disposed on said lateral side of the insert.
  19. 19. The article of claim 18 wherein said webs of said lateral support tubes generally extend along a common plane, said webs of said medial support tubes extending at an angle to said common plane.
  20. 20. The article of claim 19 wherein said sole has a front and a rear, said orientation of said webs of said medial support tubes increasing in angle with respect to said common plane from said front to said rear.
  21. 21. The article of claim 18 wherein said medial support tubes are spaced apart from said lateral support tubes; and wherein insert further includes a plurality of struts, each of said struts interconnecting one of said medial support tubes with a corresponding one of said lateral support tubes.
  22. 22. The article of claim 21 wherein said struts cooperatively define a concave region.
  23. 23. The article of claim 16 wherein each of said support tubes is generally annular in cross section and each of said webs is a chord with respect to said corresponding one of said support tubes.
  24. 24. The article of claim 21 wherein each of said webs extends along a diameter of said corresponding one of said support tubes.
  25. 25. The article of claim 24 wherein said insert further includes an integral arch portion and an integral forefoot extension.
  26. 25. A sole for an article of footwear comprising:
    an outsole;
    a heel wedge disposed above and connected to said outsole at least in said heel region;
    an insert disposed above and connected to said heel wedge;
    a midsole disposed above and connected to said insert; and
    wherein said insert include a plurality of medial support tubes disposed along a medial side of the sole and a plurality of lateral support tubes disposed along a lateral side of the sole, said medial tubes being spaced apart from said lateral support tubes to define a heel centering region therebetween.
  27. 26. The sole of claim 25 wherein each of said support tubes includes an internal web having an orientation, said orientation of said webs varying in a predetermined manner to define a desired support profile.
  28. 27. The sole of claim 26 wherein each of said webs extends along a diameter of a corresponding one of said tubes.
US11143063 2005-06-02 2005-06-02 Footwear sole Abandoned US20060277791A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11143063 US20060277791A1 (en) 2005-06-02 2005-06-02 Footwear sole

Applications Claiming Priority (10)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11143063 US20060277791A1 (en) 2005-06-02 2005-06-02 Footwear sole
TW95104172A TWI304328B (en) 2005-06-02 2006-02-08 Footwear sole insert and article of footwear comprising the sole
CA 2538656 CA2538656A1 (en) 2005-06-02 2006-03-02 Footwear sole
RU2006107064A RU2330593C2 (en) 2005-06-02 2006-03-09 Sole for shoes
EP20060251336 EP1728446A1 (en) 2005-06-02 2006-03-14 Footwear sole (trailspring II dual)
AU2006201182A AU2006201182B9 (en) 2005-06-02 2006-03-22 Footwear sole
JP2006095380A JP2006334395A (en) 2005-06-02 2006-03-30 Footwear sole
CN 200610072061 CN1871964A (en) 2005-06-02 2006-04-04 Footwear sole
US11419043 US7398608B2 (en) 2005-06-02 2006-05-18 Footwear sole
US11465281 US7395613B2 (en) 2005-06-02 2006-08-17 Footwear sole

Related Child Applications (2)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US11419043 Continuation-In-Part US7398608B2 (en) 2005-06-02 2006-05-18 Footwear sole
US11465281 Continuation US7395613B2 (en) 2005-06-02 2006-08-17 Footwear sole

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20060277791A1 true true US20060277791A1 (en) 2006-12-14

Family

ID=36677280

Family Applications (2)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US11143063 Abandoned US20060277791A1 (en) 2005-06-02 2005-06-02 Footwear sole
US11465281 Expired - Fee Related US7395613B2 (en) 2005-06-02 2006-08-17 Footwear sole

Family Applications After (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US11465281 Expired - Fee Related US7395613B2 (en) 2005-06-02 2006-08-17 Footwear sole

Country Status (6)

Country Link
US (2) US20060277791A1 (en)
EP (1) EP1728446A1 (en)
JP (1) JP2006334395A (en)
CN (1) CN1871964A (en)
CA (1) CA2538656A1 (en)
RU (1) RU2330593C2 (en)

Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20090056165A1 (en) * 2004-12-15 2009-03-05 Ryn Korea Co., Ltd. Health footwear having improved heel
US7565754B1 (en) * 2006-04-07 2009-07-28 Reebok International Ltd. Article of footwear having a cushioning sole
US20150272269A1 (en) * 2012-11-05 2015-10-01 Feet2 Oy Midsole structure for a sports shoe and sports shoe
US9456657B2 (en) 2013-07-31 2016-10-04 Nike, Inc. Article of footwear with support assembly having tubular members

Families Citing this family (20)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US7398608B2 (en) * 2005-06-02 2008-07-15 Wolverine World Wide, Inc. Footwear sole
US8176657B2 (en) 2006-12-04 2012-05-15 Nike, Inc. Article of footwear with tubular support structure
US8056261B2 (en) * 2007-07-20 2011-11-15 Wolverine World Wide, Inc. Footwear sole construction
US9788603B2 (en) 2007-10-23 2017-10-17 Nike, Inc. Articles and methods of manufacture of articles
US9795181B2 (en) * 2007-10-23 2017-10-24 Nike, Inc. Articles and methods of manufacture of articles
FR2940019B1 (en) * 2008-12-22 2011-03-25 Salomon Sas Shoe sole assembly improves
US20100307032A1 (en) * 2009-06-05 2010-12-09 Red Wing Shoe Company, Inc. Footwear with shaped sole surface
US8850718B2 (en) * 2009-09-23 2014-10-07 Shoes For Crews, Llc Shoe with support system
US8782924B2 (en) * 2010-05-11 2014-07-22 Nike, Inc. Article of footwear having a sole structure with a framework-chamber arrangement
US8931187B2 (en) * 2011-08-25 2015-01-13 Tbl Licensing Llc Wave technology
US9144265B2 (en) 2011-09-14 2015-09-29 Shoes For Crews, Llc Shoe with support system
CN102429400B (en) * 2011-12-16 2014-04-09 吴荣照 Sport shoes and soles thereof
CN103284400B (en) * 2012-03-02 2015-06-10 德尔惠股份有限公司 Sports shoe sole provided with functions of damping and smooth protection
US20150135558A1 (en) * 2012-05-10 2015-05-21 Asics Corporation Shoe Sole Having Diagonal Groove
CN104095350B (en) * 2013-04-10 2018-09-28 安踏(中国)有限公司 And have the kind of sole shoe soles
US9693604B2 (en) * 2014-05-30 2017-07-04 Nike, Inc. Article of footwear with inner and outer midsole layers
US9820529B2 (en) * 2015-02-20 2017-11-21 Nike, Inc. Asymmetric torsion plate and composite sole structure for article of footwear
US9814280B2 (en) 2015-08-12 2017-11-14 Ariat International, Inc. Heel dampening systems and footwear including the same
WO2017143043A1 (en) * 2016-02-16 2017-08-24 Nike Innovate C.V. Footwear sole structure
US10034516B2 (en) 2016-02-16 2018-07-31 Nike, Inc. Footwear sole structure

Citations (26)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4506461A (en) * 1978-04-14 1985-03-26 Asics Corporation Sport shoe sole
US4523393A (en) * 1980-08-04 1985-06-18 Asics Corporation Sport shoe sole
US4536974A (en) * 1983-11-04 1985-08-27 Cohen Elie Shoe with deflective and compressionable mid-sole
US4573279A (en) * 1983-12-09 1986-03-04 Adidas Sportschuhfabriken Adi Dassler Stiftung & Co. Kg Running sole for shoes, especially sports shoes, with adjustable heel cushioning
US4593482A (en) * 1983-09-29 1986-06-10 Bata Schuh Ag Modular substrate sole for footwear
US4656760A (en) * 1985-02-26 1987-04-14 Kangaroos U.S.A., Inc. Cushioning and impact absorptive means for footwear
US4754559A (en) * 1987-05-27 1988-07-05 Cohen Elie Shoe with midsole including deflection inhibiting inserts
US4782603A (en) * 1986-08-12 1988-11-08 The Summa Group Limited Midsole
US4864738A (en) * 1988-07-19 1989-09-12 Zvi Horovitz Sole construction for footwear
US4881329A (en) * 1988-09-14 1989-11-21 Wilson Sporting Goods Co. Athletic shoe with energy storing spring
US4910884A (en) * 1989-04-24 1990-03-27 Lindh Devere V Shoe sole incorporating spring apparatus
US4914836A (en) * 1989-05-11 1990-04-10 Zvi Horovitz Cushioning and impact absorptive structure
US4999931A (en) * 1988-02-24 1991-03-19 Vermeulen Jean Pierre Shock absorbing system for footwear application
US5005300A (en) * 1987-07-06 1991-04-09 Reebok International Ltd. Tubular cushioning system for shoes
US5224277A (en) * 1990-05-22 1993-07-06 Kim Sang Do Footwear sole providing ventilation, shock absorption and fashion
US5577334A (en) * 1994-08-03 1996-11-26 Park; Youngsoul Cushioning outsole
US5822886A (en) * 1994-07-25 1998-10-20 Adidas International, Bv Midsole for shoe
US20040049946A1 (en) * 2002-07-31 2004-03-18 Lucas Robert J. Full length cartridge cushioning system
US20040154189A1 (en) * 2003-02-12 2004-08-12 Wang Swei Mu Shoe sole structure
US6782641B2 (en) * 2002-08-12 2004-08-31 American Sporting Goods Corporation Heel construction for footwear
US20040194344A1 (en) * 2003-04-05 2004-10-07 Tadin Anthony G. User-customizable insoles for footwear and method of customizing insoles
US20040211088A1 (en) * 2003-04-25 2004-10-28 Volkart Lauro Alvicio Sport shoe with impact absorber system
US6848201B2 (en) * 2002-02-01 2005-02-01 Heeling Sports Limited Shock absorption system for a sole
US6920705B2 (en) * 2002-03-22 2005-07-26 Adidas International Marketing B.V. Shoe cartridge cushioning system
US6931765B2 (en) * 2001-03-16 2005-08-23 Adidas International Marketing, B.V. Shoe cartridge cushioning system
US6954998B1 (en) * 2000-08-02 2005-10-18 Adidas International Marketing B.V. Chassis construction for an article of footwear

Family Cites Families (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR2684525A1 (en) * 1991-12-10 1993-06-11 Kim Sang Do Shoe sole with aeration (ventilation) and shock-absorbing system
FR2738118B1 (en) * 1995-09-06 1997-10-24 Salomon Sa Protective footwear for Guetre

Patent Citations (27)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4506461A (en) * 1978-04-14 1985-03-26 Asics Corporation Sport shoe sole
US4523393A (en) * 1980-08-04 1985-06-18 Asics Corporation Sport shoe sole
US4593482A (en) * 1983-09-29 1986-06-10 Bata Schuh Ag Modular substrate sole for footwear
US4536974A (en) * 1983-11-04 1985-08-27 Cohen Elie Shoe with deflective and compressionable mid-sole
US4573279A (en) * 1983-12-09 1986-03-04 Adidas Sportschuhfabriken Adi Dassler Stiftung & Co. Kg Running sole for shoes, especially sports shoes, with adjustable heel cushioning
US4656760A (en) * 1985-02-26 1987-04-14 Kangaroos U.S.A., Inc. Cushioning and impact absorptive means for footwear
US4782603A (en) * 1986-08-12 1988-11-08 The Summa Group Limited Midsole
US4754559A (en) * 1987-05-27 1988-07-05 Cohen Elie Shoe with midsole including deflection inhibiting inserts
US5005300A (en) * 1987-07-06 1991-04-09 Reebok International Ltd. Tubular cushioning system for shoes
US4999931A (en) * 1988-02-24 1991-03-19 Vermeulen Jean Pierre Shock absorbing system for footwear application
US4864738A (en) * 1988-07-19 1989-09-12 Zvi Horovitz Sole construction for footwear
US4881329A (en) * 1988-09-14 1989-11-21 Wilson Sporting Goods Co. Athletic shoe with energy storing spring
US4910884A (en) * 1989-04-24 1990-03-27 Lindh Devere V Shoe sole incorporating spring apparatus
US4914836A (en) * 1989-05-11 1990-04-10 Zvi Horovitz Cushioning and impact absorptive structure
US5224277A (en) * 1990-05-22 1993-07-06 Kim Sang Do Footwear sole providing ventilation, shock absorption and fashion
US5822886A (en) * 1994-07-25 1998-10-20 Adidas International, Bv Midsole for shoe
US5577334A (en) * 1994-08-03 1996-11-26 Park; Youngsoul Cushioning outsole
US6954998B1 (en) * 2000-08-02 2005-10-18 Adidas International Marketing B.V. Chassis construction for an article of footwear
US6931765B2 (en) * 2001-03-16 2005-08-23 Adidas International Marketing, B.V. Shoe cartridge cushioning system
US6848201B2 (en) * 2002-02-01 2005-02-01 Heeling Sports Limited Shock absorption system for a sole
US6920705B2 (en) * 2002-03-22 2005-07-26 Adidas International Marketing B.V. Shoe cartridge cushioning system
US7013582B2 (en) * 2002-07-31 2006-03-21 Adidas International Marketing B.V. Full length cartridge cushioning system
US20040049946A1 (en) * 2002-07-31 2004-03-18 Lucas Robert J. Full length cartridge cushioning system
US6782641B2 (en) * 2002-08-12 2004-08-31 American Sporting Goods Corporation Heel construction for footwear
US20040154189A1 (en) * 2003-02-12 2004-08-12 Wang Swei Mu Shoe sole structure
US20040194344A1 (en) * 2003-04-05 2004-10-07 Tadin Anthony G. User-customizable insoles for footwear and method of customizing insoles
US20040211088A1 (en) * 2003-04-25 2004-10-28 Volkart Lauro Alvicio Sport shoe with impact absorber system

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20090056165A1 (en) * 2004-12-15 2009-03-05 Ryn Korea Co., Ltd. Health footwear having improved heel
US7814683B2 (en) * 2004-12-15 2010-10-19 Ryn Korea Co., Ltd. Health footwear having improved heel
US7565754B1 (en) * 2006-04-07 2009-07-28 Reebok International Ltd. Article of footwear having a cushioning sole
US20150272269A1 (en) * 2012-11-05 2015-10-01 Feet2 Oy Midsole structure for a sports shoe and sports shoe
US9456657B2 (en) 2013-07-31 2016-10-04 Nike, Inc. Article of footwear with support assembly having tubular members

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
CN1871964A (en) 2006-12-06 application
US7395613B2 (en) 2008-07-08 grant
CA2538656A1 (en) 2006-12-02 application
JP2006334395A (en) 2006-12-14 application
EP1728446A1 (en) 2006-12-06 application
RU2006107064A (en) 2007-10-20 application
US20060283047A1 (en) 2006-12-21 application
RU2330593C2 (en) 2008-08-10 grant

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US2981010A (en) Air-filled sandals
US4481727A (en) Shoe sole construction
USRE33066E (en) Shoe sole construction
US5220737A (en) Shoe sole having improved lateral and medial stability
US4335530A (en) Shoe sole construction
US4854057A (en) Dynamic support for an athletic shoe
US4364188A (en) Running shoe with rear stabilization means
US5381607A (en) Stabilized honeycomb shoe sole, particularly for athletic shoes
US5542196A (en) Insole
US7565754B1 (en) Article of footwear having a cushioning sole
US5435078A (en) Shoe suspension system
US4454662A (en) Athletic shoe sole
US4676010A (en) Vulcanized composite sole for footwear
US4624061A (en) Running shoes
US5152081A (en) Shoe soles having a honeycomb insert and shoes, particularly athletic or rehabilitative shoes, utilizing same
US7444763B2 (en) Footwear with separable upper and sole structure
US4783910A (en) Casual shoe
US2773317A (en) Articles of footwear
US6968637B1 (en) Sole-mounted footwear stability system
US7234251B2 (en) Toe protection sandal
US5619809A (en) Shoe sole with air circulation system
US20050060914A1 (en) Footwear having an enclosed and articulated toe
US4881328A (en) Custom midsole
US4380878A (en) Outsole
US5775005A (en) Footwear sole with cleated window

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AS Assignment

Owner name: WOLVERINE WORLD WIDE, INC., MICHIGAN

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:SCHOENBORN, MARY L.;REARDON, DONALD R.;REEL/FRAME:016652/0004

Effective date: 20050527