US20110258882A1 - Removable walking attachment for ski boots - Google Patents

Removable walking attachment for ski boots Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110258882A1
US20110258882A1 US12/768,455 US76845510A US2011258882A1 US 20110258882 A1 US20110258882 A1 US 20110258882A1 US 76845510 A US76845510 A US 76845510A US 2011258882 A1 US2011258882 A1 US 2011258882A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
toe
heel
pad
ski boot
support surface
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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
US12/768,455
Inventor
Merrick Jones
Steve Couder
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Implus Footcare LLC
Original Assignee
Implus Footcare LLC
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 Implus Footcare LLC filed Critical Implus Footcare LLC
Priority to US12/768,455 priority Critical patent/US20110258882A1/en
Assigned to IMPLUS FOOTCARE, LLC reassignment IMPLUS FOOTCARE, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: JONES, MERRICK, Couder, Steve
Publication of US20110258882A1 publication Critical patent/US20110258882A1/en
Assigned to GENERAL ELECTRIC CAPITAL CORPORATION reassignment GENERAL ELECTRIC CAPITAL CORPORATION SECURITY AGREEMENT Assignors: IMPLUS FOOTCARE, LLC, YAKTRAX LLC
Assigned to IMPLUS FOOTCARE, LLC reassignment IMPLUS FOOTCARE, LLC RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST IN PATENTS RECORDED AT R/F 027154/0441 Assignors: GENERAL ELECTRIC CAPITAL CORPORATION
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B5/00Footwear for sporting purposes
    • A43B5/04Ski boots; Similar boots
    • A43B5/0415Accessories
    • A43B5/0417Accessories for soles or associated with soles of ski boots; for ski bindings
    • A43B5/0419Accessories for soles or associated with soles of ski boots; for ski bindings for walking aids
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B3/00Footwear characterised by the shape or the use
    • A43B3/16Overshoes
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B5/00Footwear for sporting purposes
    • A43B5/04Ski boots; Similar boots
    • A43B5/0415Accessories
    • A43B5/0417Accessories for soles or associated with soles of ski boots; for ski bindings
    • A43B5/0421Accessories for soles or associated with soles of ski boots; for ski bindings located underneath the sole

Abstract

A removable walking attachment for a ski boot includes an elastomeric body defining a toe pad and a heel pad interconnected by a flexible connector. The toe pad includes a toe base and an upright wall, the latter forming a rearwardly open cavity for receiving a toe portion of a ski boot. The toe base includes a toe underside and an upwardly facing toe support surface. The heel pad includes a heel base and an upright wall, the latter forming a forwardly open cavity for receiving a heel portion of a ski boot. The heel base includes an underside and an upwardly facing heel support surface. The undersides of the toe pad and the heel pad define a common plane when the attachment is not being worn. When attaching the attachment to a ski boot, the undersides of the toe and heel pads will be flexed upwardly to enable a more natural walking motion to be achieved.

Description

    BACKGROUND
  • The present invention relates to a removable walking attachment for ski boots for improving traction and mobility comfort.
  • Ski boots are constructed to have a rigid (inflexible) outer (bottom) sole. That makes walking on the boots difficult and dangerous, as the wearer must walk flat-footed, i.e., a so-called duck-walk. Ski boot wearers tend to walk with their legs splayed outwardly in order to gain more stability. Removable attachments for ski boots have been proposed for the purpose of facilitating walking in the boots and/or improving traction. However, room for improvement remains.
  • SUMMARY
  • A removable walking attachment for a ski boot comprises a one-piece body formed of an elastomeric material and defining a toe pad, a heel pad disposed rearwardly of the toe pad, and a flexible connector interconnecting the toe pad and the heel pad for permitting relative movement therebetween. The toe pad includes a toe base and an upright wall, the wall forming a rearwardly open cavity configured to receive a toe portion of a ski boot and including a rearwardly projecting lip disposed at an upper end of the cavity and adapted to overlie and engage a lower front rim of a ski boot when the attachment is worn. The toe base includes a toe underside and an upwardly facing toe support surface, wherein the toe underside, when lying flat on a planar surface, defines a plane. The heel pad includes a heel base and an upright wall, the wall of the heel base forming a forwardly open cavity configured to receive a heel portion of a ski boot and including a forwardly projecting lip disposed at an upper end of the forwardly open cavity and adapted to overlie and engage a lower rear rim of a ski boot when the attachment is worn. The heel base includes a heel underside and an upwardly facing heel support surface, wherein the heel underside, when lying flat on a planar surface, lies in said plane. The respective configurations of the toe and heel support surfaces are such as to cause the underside of the toe pad to become inclined forwardly/upwardly relative to said plane, and the heel pad to be inclined rearwardly/upwardly relative to said plane, when the attachment is worn on a ski boot.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
  • FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of two removable walking attachments for a pair of ski boots.
  • FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of the removable attachments shown in FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of a ski boot to which one of the removable attachments has been attached.
  • FIG. 4 is a longitudinal sectional view taken through one of the removable attachments.
  • FIGS. 5 a-5 c are perspective views of a ski boot showing a sequence of steps for applying one of the removable attachments to a ski boot.
  • FIG. 6 is a bottom rear perspective view of the ski boot of FIG. 3.
  • FIG. 7 is a bottom side perspective view of the ski boot of FIG. 3.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • Depicted in the figures is an improved removable walking attachment for ski boots which provides a more natural walking motion and greater traction in ice and snow. A pair of the attachments 10, 10A would be available in various sizes to fit different sizes of ski boots.
  • The attachments 10, 10A are essentially identical, except for a slight difference adapting one attachment to be worn of the left ski boot and the other on the right ski boot. Thus, only one attachment 10 will be described in detail herein. That attachment 10 comprises a one-piece body formed of an elastomeric material such as natural rubber or thermoplastic urethane rubber (TPU rubber) for example. By “one-piece” is meant that the below-described toe pad, heel pad and connector of the body are formed simultaneously of the same material, e.g., by molding, in contrast to being formed of separate pieces that are then bonded to one another. Optional toe and heel wear pieces 14, 16 can be bonded to the body as will be later explained.
  • The one-piece body includes a toe pad 18, a heel pad 20, and a connector 22 interconnecting a rear side of the toe pad to the front side of the heel pad. The horizontal width of the connector preferably narrows at its midpoint to a width W which is shorter than the width of each of the toe and heel pads (FIG. 1). Also, a vertical thickness T of the connector 22 is less than the thickness of each of the toe and heel pads (see FIG. 4). An underside of the connector is disposed vertically higher than the undersides of the toe and heel pads (see FIG. 4).
  • The toe pad 18 includes a toe base 24 and an upright wall structure 26. The toe base 24 includes an underside having a suitable traction pattern thereon, such as spaced apart projections 25 (see FIG. 2). Lower tips of the projections 25 define a plane 29 when the attachment is not worn and lays flat on a surface (see FIG. 4). The wall structure includes a front portion 28 disposed at a front side of the toe base and two side portions 30, 30 extending along at least a portion of respective lateral sides of the toe base.
  • The wall structure is shown as solid, but it could instead be somewhat skeletal. The toe wall structure 26 forms a toe cavity which is open in a rearward direction and configured to receive a toe portion of a ski boot SB. An upper edge of the front portion 28 includes a rearwardly extending lip 34 adapted to overlie and engage the standard lower front rim R of a ski boot to secure the toe pad to the ski boot (see FIG. 5 a).
  • The toe base 24 includes an upwardly facing toe support surface 35 adapted to support the toe portion of a ski boot. The toe support surface 35 includes front portion 36 and a rear portion 38. The front portion 36 is in the form of a surface which defines a floor of the toe cavity. The vertical thickness of the toe base is not uniform in the fore-aft direction thereof. Rather, the thickness is greater adjacent the rear portion 38 of the toe support surface 35 than adjacent the front portion 36 thereof and progressively decreases from the rear to the front. Thus, when the attachment is not being worn and is seated flat against a planar surface, as shown in FIG. 4, the vertical distance D from the plane 29 to the rear portion 38 of the toe support surface is greater than a distance d from the plane 29 to the front portion 36 of the toe support surface. Preferably, an intermediate portion 39 of the toe support surface 35 extending between the front and rear portions 36, 38 is inclined forwardly/downwardly. Also, that inclined portion preferably includes closed-bottom recesses 37 forming a rib pattern for the purpose of reducing the weight of the attachment. Alternatively, the inclined portion could be solid and/or the front portion 36 could be ribbed.
  • The vertical distance between the front portion 36 of the toe support surface to the underside of the lip 34 corresponds substantially to the standard vertical thickness of the lower front rim R of a ski boot (see FIG. 5 a). As will be explained later, the above-described relationship of the heights D and d results in the front end of the toe pad being raised up when the attachment is placed on a ski boot, whereby the underside of the toe pad becomes inclined upwardly/forwardly relative to the plane 29.
  • The heel pad 20 includes a heel base 54 and an upright wall structure 56. The heel base 54 includes an underside having a suitable traction pattern thereon, such as spaced apart projections 55 (FIG. 2). Lower tips of the projections lie in the plane 29 when the attachment lays flat on a surface. The wall structure 56 includes a rear portion 58 disposed at a rear side of the heel base and two side portions 60, 60 extending along at least a portion of respective lateral sides of the heel base. The wall structure 56 is shown as solid, but it could instead be somewhat skeletal. The wall structure 26 forms a heel cavity which is open in a forward direction and configured to receive a heel portion of a ski boot. An upper edge of the rear portion 58 includes a forwardly extending lip 64 adapted to overlie and engage the standard lower rear rim R′ of a ski boot to secure the heel pad thereto (FIG. 5).
  • The heel base 54 includes an upwardly facing heel support surface 65 adapted to support the heel portion of a ski boot. The heel base 54 includes a rear portion 66 and a front portion 68. The rear portion 66 is in the form of a surface which defines a floor of the heel cavity. The vertical thickness of the heel base is not uniform in the fore-aft direction thereof. Rather, the thickness is greater adjacent the front portion of the heel support surface than adjacent the rear portion thereof and progressively decreases from the front to the rear. Thus, when the attachment is not being worn and is seated flat against a planar surface, as shown in FIG. 4, the vertical distance D′ from the plane 29 to the front portion 68 of the heel support surface 65 is greater than a distance d′ from the plane 29 to the rear portion 66 of the heel support surface 65. Preferably, an intermediate portion 69 of the toe support surface 65 disposed between the front and rear portions 66, 68 is inclined rearwardly/downwardly. Also, that inclined portion 69 includes closed-bottom recesses 67 forming a rib pattern for the purpose of reducing weight. Alternatively, the inclined portion could be solid, and/or the rear portion 66 could be ribbed.
  • The vertical distance between the rear portion 66 of the heel support surface to the underside of the lip 64 corresponds substantially to the standard vertical thickness T′ of the lower rear rim R′ of a ski boot (FIG. 5 a). As will be explained later, the above-described relationship of the heights D′ and d′ results in the rear end of the heel pad 20 being raised up when the attachment is worn on a ski boot, whereby the underside of the heel pad becomes inclined upwardly/rearwardly relative to the plane 29. In order to mount the attachment 10 or 10A to a ski boot SB, the boot wearer inserts the lower front rib R of the boot into the toe cavity such that the rim R underlies the front lip 34, as shown in FIG. 5 a. Then, the wearer grasps a tab 100 projecting from an upper edge of the rear wall portion 58 and pulls the heel pad 20 rearwardly and upwardly to stretch the attachment and insert the heel of the ski boot into the heel cavity until the lower rear rim R′ of the ski boot underlies the forwardly projecting lip 64 (see FIG. 5 b). The wearer then releases the tab 100, causing the attachment to elastically snap back and become tightly secured to the ski boot.
  • When the wearer then stands on a surface, the flat underside of the boot comes to rest on the rear portion 38 of the toe pad and the front portion 68 of the heel pad. Due to the difference between the distances D and d, and between the distances D′ and d′, the front end of the toe pad 18 and the rear end of the heel pad 20 are caused to be flexed upwardly. That results in the underside of the toe pad becoming inclined forwardly/upwardly at a slight angle A, e.g., of about 10 degrees, relative to the plane 29 and the heel pad becoming inclined rearwardly/upwardly at a slight angle B, e.g., of about 10 degrees, relative to the plane 29 (see FIG. 3). Such inclining of the toe and heel pads is permitted by the fact that, when the attachment is not being worn, the intermediate portion of the toe support surface 35 is inclined forwardly/downwardly from the rear end 38 thereof, and the intermediate portion of the heel support surface 65 is inclined rearwardly/downwardly from the front end 68 thereof.
  • As the skier walks while wearing the attachments, a more natural walking motion is possible, due to the inclinations of the undersides of the toe and heel pads. That is, as one foot of the wearer pushes off a surface along the toe pad 18, a more natural rolling motion is achieved by the forwardly/upwardly inclined underside of that toe pad. Likewise, as the wearer lands on the heel pad 20 of the other foot, a more natural rolling motion is achieved due to the forward/downward inclination of the underside of the heel pad 20.
  • The gap between the underside of the toe pad and the underside of the heel pad, i.e., the region beneath the connector 22, is situated beneath the wearer's arch and thus permits this natural motion to occur. That is in contrast to previously proposed ski boot attachments in which the entire bottom surface of the attachment is convexly curved from front to back, such that the thickest part of the underside lies beneath the wearer's arch, causing an unnatural up/down movement as the wearer walks.
  • The respective vertical thicknesses of the toe pad 18 and the heel pad 20 should be large enough to enable the undersides of the toe and heel pads to be inclined sufficiently to achieve the more natural walking motion. If the pads 18, 20 are too thin, their undersides cannot be so inclined without making the pads too fragile and susceptible to abrasive wear. Preferably, the thickest part of each of the toe and heel pads, i.e., at the rear portion 38 of the toe pad and the front portion 68 of the heel pad, should be at least ½ inch, more preferably at least ¾ inches. The difference between the distances D and d, and between the distances D′ and d′ should be at least ⅜ inch, more preferably at least ⅝ inches; that is also true of the difference between the distances D′ and d′.
  • Since abrasive wear of the toe and heel pads is most prevalent at the front lower edge of the toe pad and the lower rear edge of the heel pad, it is preferable to embed the wear pieces 14 and 16 in those edges. Each wear piece 14, 16 extends laterally across the respective pad 18 or 20 and is formed of a stiff material, e.g., of plastic such as urethane and includes projections 14 a, 16 a whose bottom tips lie in the plane 29 when the attachment is not worn and lays flat against a surface.
  • It will be appreciated that the embodiment described above is only a preferred embodiment, and that additions, deletions, modifications, and substitutions not specifically described may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

Claims (16)

1. A removable walking attachment for a ski boot, comprising:
a one-piece body formed of an elastomeric material and defining a toe pad, a heel pad disposed rearwardly of the toe pad, and a flexible connector interconnecting the toe pad and the heel pad for permitting relative movement therebetween;
the toe pad including a toe base and an upright wall, the wall forming a rearwardly open cavity configured to receive a toe portion of a ski boot and including a rearwardly projecting lip disposed at an upper end of the cavity and adapted to overlie and engage a lower front rim of a ski boot when the attachment is worn;
the toe base including a toe underside and an upwardly facing toe support surface, wherein the toe underside, when lying flat on a planar surface, defines a plane;
the heel pad including a heel base and an upright wall, the wall of the heel base forming a forwardly open cavity configured to receive a heel portion of a ski boot and including a forwardly projecting lip disposed at an upper end of the forwardly open cavity and adapted to overlie and engage a lower rear rim of a ski boot when the attachment is worn;
the heel base including a heel underside and an upwardly facing heel support surface, wherein the heel underside, when lying flat on a planar surface, lies in said plane;
wherein the respective configurations of the toe and heel support surfaces cause the underside of the toe pad to become inclined forwardly/upwardly relative to said plane, and the heel pad to be inclined rearwardly/upwardly relative to said plane, when the attachment is worn on a ski boot.
2. The removable walking attachment for a ski boot according to claim 1, wherein the toe support surface is inclined toward said plane from a rear end of the toe support surface, and the heel support surface is inclined toward said plane from a front end of the heel support surface.
3. The removable walking attachment for a ski boot according to claim 1, wherein the toe pad has a thickness of at least ½ inch at a rear portion of the toe support surface, and the heel pad has a thickness of at least ½ inch at a front portion of the heel support surface.
4. The removable walking attachment for a ski boot according to claim 4, wherein said thickness of the toe pad and heel pad is at least ¾ inch.
5. The removable walking attachment for a ski boot according to claim 1, further including a front wear piece embedded in a front edge of the underside of the toe pad, and a rear wear piece embedded in a rear edge of the underside of the heel pad, wherein the front and rear wear pieces are formed of a stiff material.
6. A removable walking attachment for a ski boot, comprising:
a one-piece body formed of an elastomeric material and defining a toe pad, a heel pad disposed rearwardly of the toe pad, and a flexible connector interconnecting the toe pad and the heel pad for permitting relative movement therebetween;
the toe pad including a toe base and an upright wall, the wall forming a rearwardly open cavity configured to receive a toe portion of a ski boot and including a rearwardly projecting lip disposed at an upper end of the cavity and adapted to overlie and engage a lower front rim of a ski boot when the attachment is worn;
the toe base including a toe underside and an upwardly facing toe support surface, wherein a rear portion of the toe support surface is disposed on a thicker portion of the toe pad than is a front portion of the toe support surface, wherein the toe underside, when lying flat on a planar surface, defines a plane disposed closer to the front portion of the toe support surface than to the rear portion of the toe support surface;
the heel pad including a heel base and an upright wall, the wall of the heel base forming a forwardly open cavity configured to receive a heel portion of a ski boot and including a forwardly projecting lip disposed at an upper end of the forwardly open cavity and adapted to overlie and engage a lower rear rim of a ski boot when the attachment is worn;
the heel base including a heel underside and an upwardly facing heel support surface, wherein a front portion of the heel support surface is disposed on a thicker portion of the heel pad than is a rear portion of the heel support surface, wherein the heel underside, when lying flat on a planar surface, lies in said plane which is disposed closer to the rear portion of the heel support surface than to the front portion of the heel support surface;
wherein, when the attachment is attached to a ski boot, the underside of the toe pad becomes inclined forwardly/upwardly relative to said plane, and the heel pad becomes inclined rearwardly/upwardly relative to said plane.
7. The removable walking attachment for a ski boot according to claim 6, wherein the connector has less horizontal width and less vertical thickness than each of the toe and heel pads.
8. The removable walking attachment for a ski boot according to claim 6, wherein each of the toe and heel support surfaces includes an intermediate portion extending between the front and rear portions thereof, each of said intermediate portions including closed-bottom recesses to form a ribbed pattern.
9. The removable walking attachment for a ski boot according to claim 6, wherein the front portion of the toe support surface and the rear portion of the heel support portion are non-ribbed.
10. The removable walking attachment for a ski boot according to claim 6, wherein the toe pad has a thickness of at least ½ inch at the rear portion of the toe support surface, and the heel pad has a thickness of at least ½ inch at the front portion of the heel support surface.
11. The removable walking attachment for a ski boot according to claim 10, wherein said thickness of the toe pad and heel pad is at least ¾ inch.
12. The removable walking attachment for a ski boot according to claim 10, wherein the vertical distance between said plane and the rear portion of the toe support surface is at least ⅜ inches greater than the vertical distance between said plane and the front portion of the toe support surface, and the vertical distance between said plane and the front portion of the heel support surface is at least ⅜ inches greater than the vertical distance between said plane and the rear portion of the heel support surface
13. The removable walking attachment for a ski boot according to claim 6, wherein the elastomeric material of the one-piece body is TPU rubber.
14. The removable walking attachment for a ski boot according to claim 6, further including a front wear piece embedded in a front edge of the underside of the toe pad, and a rear wear piece embedded in a rear edge of the underside of the heel pad, wherein the front and rear wear pieces are formed of a stiff material.
15. The removable walking attachment for a ski boot according to claim 14, wherein the stiff material is plastic.
16. The removable walking attachment for a ski boot according to claim 6, wherein the heel pad includes a manually graspable tab projecting rearwardly from an upper end of the upright rear wall of the heel pad.
US12/768,455 2010-04-27 2010-04-27 Removable walking attachment for ski boots Abandoned US20110258882A1 (en)

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Cited By (6)

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US20150317912A1 (en) * 2014-05-02 2015-11-05 Christopher C. Wike Footwear for training or learning how to march in a group
US20150313317A1 (en) * 2014-05-02 2015-11-05 Christopher C. Wike Device and method for training or learning how to march in a group
US9775398B1 (en) * 2014-05-28 2017-10-03 Jimmy Hinh Chang Device which fits over a shoe and method of use
US20180255867A1 (en) * 2017-03-07 2018-09-13 Lorri Cornett Cycling Shoe Cover
CN108882987A (en) * 2016-03-15 2018-11-23 金忠焕 Leg protector and sole for it
DE102017116922A1 (en) 2017-07-26 2019-01-31 Marcus Maaßen Walking aid for shoes, shoe system with a shoe and a walker and system of a walker and a stick

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US20150317912A1 (en) * 2014-05-02 2015-11-05 Christopher C. Wike Footwear for training or learning how to march in a group
US20150313317A1 (en) * 2014-05-02 2015-11-05 Christopher C. Wike Device and method for training or learning how to march in a group
US9775398B1 (en) * 2014-05-28 2017-10-03 Jimmy Hinh Chang Device which fits over a shoe and method of use
CN108882987A (en) * 2016-03-15 2018-11-23 金忠焕 Leg protector and sole for it
EP3476373A1 (en) * 2016-03-15 2019-05-01 Kim, Choonghwan Leg protector and shoe sole for same
US20180255867A1 (en) * 2017-03-07 2018-09-13 Lorri Cornett Cycling Shoe Cover
DE102017116922A1 (en) 2017-07-26 2019-01-31 Marcus Maaßen Walking aid for shoes, shoe system with a shoe and a walker and system of a walker and a stick
WO2019020146A1 (en) 2017-07-26 2019-01-31 Maassen Marcus Walking aid for shoes, shoe system comprising a shoe and a walking aid, and system consisting of a walking aid and a stick

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