US20140013625A1 - Golf shoe - Google Patents

Golf shoe Download PDF

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Publication number
US20140013625A1
US20140013625A1 US13836544 US201313836544A US2014013625A1 US 20140013625 A1 US20140013625 A1 US 20140013625A1 US 13836544 US13836544 US 13836544 US 201313836544 A US201313836544 A US 201313836544A US 2014013625 A1 US2014013625 A1 US 2014013625A1
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
outsole
shoe
golf
upper
heel
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
US13836544
Inventor
Marco Grott
Ernie Rustam
Gerald Kuhtz
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.)
adidas-Salomon (USA) Inc
Original Assignee
adidas-Salomon (USA) Inc
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B5/00Footwear for sporting purposes
    • A43B5/001Golf shoes
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B13/00Soles; Sole and heel units
    • A43B13/02Soles; Sole and heel units characterised by the material
    • A43B13/04Soles; Sole and heel units characterised by the material plastics, rubber or vulcanised fibre
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B13/00Soles; Sole and heel units
    • A43B13/02Soles; Sole and heel units characterised by the material
    • A43B13/12Soles with several layers of different materials
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43CFASTENINGS OR ATTACHMENTS OF FOOTWEAR; LACES IN GENERAL
    • A43C15/00Non-skid devices or attachments
    • A43C15/16Studs or cleats for football or like boots

Abstract

Described herein is a golf shoe that includes an upper with an exterior layer and an internal reinforcing band positioned interiorly of the exterior layer. A portion of the internal reinforcing band extends across a toe region of the upper. The internal reinforcing band is made from a polymeric material. The golf shoe also includes an outsole that is coupled to the upper. Further, the golf shoe includes a plurality of traction elements that are removably coupled to the outsole.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    This patent application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/670,524, filed Jul. 11, 2012, which is incorporated herein by reference.
  • FIELD
  • [0002]
    The present application is related generally to foot apparel, and more specifically to a cleated golf shoe.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0003]
    Athletic shoes, particularly golf shoes, are designed with at least one of traction, comfort, and low-weight in mind. Unfortunately, most athletic shoes fail to provide a satisfactory combination of traction, comfort, and low-weight.
  • [0004]
    The need for providing improved traction members for the soles of shoes on turf surfaces is well known, particularly in the field of golf. In golf applications, the need for providing improved traction members, which include cleats, must be considered in combination with the various components of the golf swing and their mechanics and how the traction requirements at the various point of contact of the golf shoe outsole and cleats with the turf are tailored to these mechanics.
  • [0005]
    Additionally, in many sports, acceleration influences the performance of an athlete. For example, in the case of a golfer, acceleration occurs as a result of the changes in direction through the golf swing. According to the laws of physics, acceleration directly depends on the mass to be moved. It is therefore an important objective in the design of golf shoes, to reduce the overall weight as much as possible to increase the acceleration at a given force throughout the golf swing. Presently, the lightest available cleated golf shoes have seemingly low weights. But even such low weights, which might seem minor, may impair a player's swing speed and mechanics. Also, the inertial mass of the golf shoe at the player's legs may affect the fatigue of the golfer. For example, the mass of a golf shoe has a significant impact on the fatigue of the golfer when the golfer is walking the course. Because a single round of golf could last in excess of five hours and require the golfer top walk over six miles carrying or transporting a heavy golf bag, the functional properties (e.g., comfort and stability) and weight of the shoe can be extremely important.
  • [0006]
    Some prior art golf shoe manufacturers attempting to improve the traction of a golf shoe often do so at the expense of the comfort and weight of the golf shoe. In contrast, some golf shoe manufacturers attempting to improve the comfort of a golf shoe often do so at the expense of the traction capabilities and weight of the golf shoe. Further, some golf shoes designed to reduce the weight of the golf shoe often do so at the expense of traction capabilities and comfort of the golf shoe. In other words, known golf shoes fail to provide a satisfactory optimization of traction capability, comfort, and low weight.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0007]
    The subject matter of the present application has been developed in response to the present state of the art, and in particular, in response to the problems and needs in athletic and golf shoe art that have not yet been fully solved by currently available athletic shoes. Accordingly, in certain embodiments, a cleated golf shoe is disclosed herein that provides a more optimized combination of traction, comfort, and low weight compared to known cleated golf shoes. In other words, the cleated golf shoe described in the present disclosure overcomes many of the shortcomings of the prior art.
  • [0008]
    According to one embodiment, a golf shoe includes an upper that has an exterior layer and an internal reinforcing band positioned interiorly of the exterior layer. A portion of the internal reinforcing band extends across a toe region of the upper. The internal reinforcing band is made from a polymeric material. The golf shoe also includes an outsole that is coupled to the upper. Further, the golf shoe includes a plurality of traction elements that are removably coupled to the outsole.
  • [0009]
    In some implementations of the golf shoe, the internal reinforcing band is made from a thermoplastic polyurethane. According to yet some implementations, the internal reinforcing band is flexible. In certain implementations, the internal reinforcing band has a thickness of at most about 0.08 mm.
  • [0010]
    According to certain implementations of the golf shoe, the internal reinforcing band is a first internal reinforcing band. The upper can have a second internal reinforcing band that is positioned interiorly of the exterior layer and extends along a lateral side of the upper from the first internal reinforcing band away from the outsole. The upper may additionally include a third internal reinforcing band that is positioned interiorly of the exterior layer and extends along a lateral side of the upper from the first internal reinforcing band away from the outsole and toward the second internal reinforcing band.
  • [0011]
    In another embodiment, a golf shoe includes an upper and an outsole coupled to the upper. The outsole is made from a thermoplastic block copolymer that has a hardness between about 25 Shore D and about 72 Shore D. The golf shoe also includes a plurality of traction elements that are removably coupled to the outsole. According to some implementations, the thermoplastic block copolymer includes a thermoplastic amide block copolyether. In yet some implementations, the entire outsole is made from the thermoplastic block copolymer that has a hardness between about 25 Shore D and about 75 Shore D.
  • [0012]
    According to certain implementations of the golf shoe, a toe portion of the outsole is made from the thermoplastic block copolymer having a hardness between about 25 Shore D and about 75 Shore D, and midfoot and heel portions of the outsole are made from a polymeric material having a lower hardness than the thermoplastic block copolymer of the toe portion. The polymeric material of the midfoot and heel portions may include a polyamide produced by the polycondensation of 1,6-hexamethylenediamine or 1,10-decamethylenediamine, and 1,10-decanedicarboxylic acid (sebacic acid,) or 1,12-dodecanedicarboxylic acid.
  • [0013]
    According to another embodiment, a golf shoe includes an upper and an outsole coupled to the upper. The outsole includes a heel portion coupled to a toe portion of the outsole via a midfoot portion of the outsole. An interior surface of the outsole includes a plurality of reinforcing ribs that extend longitudinally along the midfoot portion of the outsole. A plurality of traction elements are removably coupled to an exterior surface of the outsole. In some implementations, a height of at least one of the plurality of reinforcing ribs gradually decreases in a toe-to-heel direction. In certain implementations, a width of at least one of the plurality of reinforcing ribs varies along a length of the at least one of the plurality of reinforcing ribs.
  • [0014]
    In some implementations of the golf shoe, the outsole includes a base that has a substantially constant thickness throughout the toe, heel, and midfoot portions of the outsole. The plurality of reinforcing ribs extend uprightly from the base. A thickness of the base throughout the toe, heel, and midfoot portions can be between about 1.2 mm and about 1.5 mm. The golf shoe may also include a heel pad adjoined to the base at the heel portion of the outsole adjacent the plurality of reinforcing ribs. The heel pad can be made from a foam rubber material. The heel pad can be coupled to the plurality of reinforcing ribs, and an upper surface of the heel pad can be substantially flush with upper surfaces of the plurality of reinforcing ribs.
  • [0015]
    According to yet another embodiment, a golf shoe includes an upper that includes a closure region, a sole region, and a side region that extends between the closure and sole regions. The golf shoe also includes an outsole attached to the sole region of the upper, where the outsole includes at least ten receptacles. Additionally, the golf shoe includes at least ten traction members each removably coupled to a respective one of the at least ten receptacles. The golf shoe has a weight of less than about 13 ounces. In certain implementations, the golf shoe has a weight of less than about 12 ounces. In yet some implementations, the golf shoe has a weight of less than about 11 ounces.
  • [0016]
    In another embodiment, a golf shoe includes an upper that has a closure region, a sole region, and a side region that extends between the closure and sole regions. The upper includes an exterior layer and a plurality of internal reinforcing bands that are positioned interiorly of the exterior layer. A portion of one of the plurality of internal reinforcing band extends across a toe region of the upper. The plurality of internal reinforcing bands are made from a thermoplastic polyurethane and have a thickness of no more than about 0.08 mm. The golf shoe also includes an outsole attached to the sole region of the upper. The outsole includes at least ten receptacles. Further, the entire outsole is made from a thermoplastic amide block copolyether that has a hardness between about 25 Shore D and about 72 Shore D. An interior surface of the outsole includes a plurality of reinforcing ribs that extend longitudinally along a midfoot portion of the outsole. The outsole includes a base that has a thickness between about 1.2 mm and about 1.5 mm throughout toe, heel and midfoot portions of the outsole. Additionally, the golf shoe includes at least ten traction members each removably coupled to a respective one of the at least ten receptacles. Further, the golf shoe has a weight of less than about 13 ounces.
  • [0017]
    The described features, structures, advantages, and/or characteristics of the subject matter of the present disclosure may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments and/or implementations. In the following description, numerous specific details are provided to impart a thorough understanding of embodiments of the subject matter of the present disclosure. One skilled in the relevant art will recognize that the subject matter of the present disclosure may be practiced without one or more of the specific features, details, components, materials, and/or methods of a particular embodiment or implementation. In other instances, additional features and advantages may be recognized in certain embodiments and/or implementations that may not be present in all embodiments or implementations. Further, in some instances, well-known structures, materials, or operations are not shown or described in detail to avoid obscuring aspects of the subject matter of the present disclosure. The features and advantages of the subject matter of the present disclosure will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, or may be learned by the practice of the subject matter as set forth hereinafter.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0018]
    In order that the advantages of the subject matter may be more readily understood, a more particular description of the subject matter briefly described above will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments that are illustrated in the appended drawings. Understanding that these drawings depict only typical embodiments of the subject matter and are not therefore to be considered to be limiting of its scope, the subject matter will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the drawings, in which:
  • [0019]
    FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a cleated golf shoe according to one embodiment;
  • [0020]
    FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the cleated golf shoe of FIG. 1;
  • [0021]
    FIG. 3 is a bottom view of an outsole of a cleated golf shoe according to one embodiment;
  • [0022]
    FIG. 4 is a first side view of the outsole of FIG. 3;
  • [0023]
    FIG. 5 is a second side view of the outsole of FIG. 3;
  • [0024]
    FIG. 6 is a rear view of the outsole of FIG. 3;
  • [0025]
    FIG. 7 is a top view of an outsole of a cleated golf shoe according to one embodiment;
  • [0026]
    FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional side view of the outsole of FIG. 7 taken along the line A-A of FIG. 7;
  • [0027]
    FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional rear view of the outsole of FIG. 7 taken along the line B-B of FIG. 7;
  • [0028]
    FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional rear view of the outsole of FIG. 7 taken along the line C-C of FIG. 7;
  • [0029]
    FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional rear view of the outsole of FIG. 7 taken along the line D-D of FIG. 7;
  • [0030]
    FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional rear view of the outsole of FIG. 7 taken along the line E-E of FIG. 7;
  • [0031]
    FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional rear view of the outsole of FIG. 7 taken along the line F-F of FIG. 7;
  • [0032]
    FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional rear view of the outsole of FIG. 7 taken along the line G-G of FIG. 7;
  • [0033]
    FIG. 15 is a cross-sectional rear view of the outsole of FIG. 7 taken along the line H-H of FIG. 7;
  • [0034]
    FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional side view of a toe portion of a cleated golf shoe according to another embodiment;
  • [0035]
    FIG. 17 is a cross-sectional perspective view of an outsole of a cleated golf shoe according to one embodiment;
  • [0036]
    FIG. 18 is a side elevation view of a heel portion of a cleated golf shoe according to one embodiment;
  • [0037]
    FIG. 19 is a frontal perspective view of a cleated golf shoe according to one embodiment; and
  • [0038]
    FIG. 20 is a bottom view of a cleated golf shoe according to one embodiment.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0039]
    Reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment,” “an embodiment,” or similar language means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present disclosure. Appearances of the phrases “in one embodiment,” “in an embodiment,” and similar language throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily, all refer to the same embodiment. Similarly, the use of the term “implementation” means an implementation having a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with one or more embodiments of the present disclosure, however, absent an express correlation to indicate otherwise, an implementation may be associated with one or more embodiments.
  • [0040]
    Referring to FIG. 1, according to one embodiment, a golf shoe 10 is shown in a side elevation view. The golf shoe 10 includes an upper 20 coupled to an outsole 30. Further, the golf shoe 10 includes a plurality of traction elements or cleats 40 that are removably coupled to the outsole 30. Because the golf shoe 10 includes removable cleats 40, the golf shoe is defined herein as a cleated golf shoe, as opposed to a non-cleated golf shoe that lacks removable cleats.
  • [0041]
    The upper 20 can be made from one or more layers of any of various materials that are both lightweight and have sufficient wear resistance or strength. For example, the upper 20 can be made from various types of natural and artificial leathers, textile materials, polymers, and the like. The upper 20 can include multiple layers and/or sections coupled together to form an outer protective covering for the foot of a user, as well as aesthetically pleasing elements of the golf shoe 10. In one implementation, the upper 20 includes a first layer and/or section made from a first material, and a second layer and/or section made from a second material that is different than the first material. Additionally, any of various protective or aesthetic coatings may be applied to the interior and/or exterior surfaces of the upper 20. For ventilation, one or more sections of the upper 20 may include ventilation slits, perforations, or be made from breathable materials.
  • [0042]
    The upper 20 includes a closure region 28, a sole region (not shown), and a side region. The side region includes a toe portion 22 coupled to a heel portion 24 via a midfoot portion 26. The closure portion 28 includes apertures for receiving a shoelace and a tongue (not shown) for providing an interface between the foot of a user and the shoelaces. The sole region includes a layer or layers of material underneath a foot of a user when worn by the user and is attached to the outsole 30 of the shoe 10.
  • [0043]
    The upper 20 includes an internal band or web 80 positioned adjacent the outsole 30 that extends from the midfoot portion 26 of the upper on a lateral side 12 of the shoe 10, about the toe portion 22 of the upper, to the midfoot portion 26 of the upper on the medial side 14 of the shoe. The internal band 80 is positioned interiorly of an exterior layer 21 of the upper 20 (see, e.g., FIG. 16). For example, as shown in FIG. 19, the internal band 80 is hidden by the exterior layer 21 of the upper 20, but the upper periphery of the internal band 80 is evident by an indentation 85 in the exterior layer 21. In some implementations, the internal band 80 is positioned between an exterior layer of the upper 20 and an interior layer 81 of the upper. The internal band 80 is made from a material that is more rigid (e.g., harder) than the exterior layer of the upper 20, and if applicable, more rigid than an interior layer of the upper. In certain implementations, the internal band 80 has a thickness that is less than the thickness of the exterior layer of the upper 20, and if applicable, less than the thickness of an interior layer of the upper. For example, in some implementations, the thickness of the internal band 80 (and other internal bands) is less than or equal to 1.5 mm, less than or equal to about 3.0 mm, or less than or equal to about 0.08 mm. In view of the small thickness of the internal band 80, the internal band can be positioned on an interior of the shoe 10 without negatively affecting the comfort level of the shoe. Likewise, with the internal band 80 being more rigid than the other layers of the toe and midfoot portions 22, 26 of the upper 20, the internal band improves the rigidity, structure, and durability of the shoe.
  • [0044]
    In some embodiments, the upper 20 includes additional internal bands to replace or supplement the internal band 80 (hereinafter “toe band”). For example, the upper 20 can include one or more internal side bands 82, 84 as shown in FIG. 1. Like the toe band 80, each of the internal side bands 82, 84 is positioned interiorly of the exterior layer 21 of the upper 20, or between exterior and interior layers (see, e.g., interior layer 81 of FIG. 16) of the upper. The side bands 82, 84 can be made from the same or a similar material as the toe band 80. As shown, the side band 82 extends upwardly toward the closure portion 28 in a toe-to-heel direction. In contrast, the side band 84, which can be defined as a cross-member band, extends downwardly away from the closure portion 28 in the toe-to-heel direction. Lower ends of the side bands 82, 84 may be integrally coupled with or attached to the toe band 80 and or integrally coupled with or attached to each other at a location away from the toe band as shown. Although not shown, in some implementations, upper ends of the side bands 82, 84 may be coupled together proximate the closure portion 28 and form part of the closure portion 28 (e.g., define the eyelets through which the shoelace is threaded).
  • [0045]
    Generally, the side bands 82, 84 assist in transferring tension across the lateral side 12 of the shoe 10 and providing structural rigidity to the shoe. Additionally, because the internal bands 82, 84 are relatively thin, they can be positioned on an interior of the shoe 10 without negatively affecting the comfort level of the shoe. Further, like the internal toe band 80, the internal bands 82, 84 being more rigid than at least the exterior layers of the upper 20, the internal bands 82, 84 improve the rigidity, structure, and durability of the shoe. The added rigidity, structure, and durability provided by the internal bands 82, 84 facilitate the use of lighter materials for the construction of the upper 30 and thus an overall lighter shoe 10.
  • [0046]
    In some implementations, the internal bands 80, 82, 84 are made from a hardened polymeric material, including, but not limited to, ethyl vinyl acetate (EPA) or blown thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), or blown thermoplastic polyurea (TPUA). Other suitable materials include both natural and synthetic rubbers, such as cis-1,4-polybutadiene, trans-1,4-polybutadiene, 1,2-polybutadiene, cis-polyisoprene, trans-polyisoprene, polychloroprene, polybutylene, the styrenic block copolymers such as styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS), styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene, (SEBS) and styrene-ethylenepropylene-styrene (SEPS), (commercial examples include SEPTON marketed by Kuraray Company of Kurashiki, Japan; TOPRENE by Kumho Petrochemical Co., Ltd and KRATON marketed by Kraton Polymers®, ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA), nylon, carbon fiber, glass fiber, polyaramid (generally designated in the art as an aromatic polycarbonamide) which include those commercially available under the tradenames Kevlar® (E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company), Twaron® (Akzo Nobel), Technora (Teijin), Nomex® and Nomex Z200 (E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company), Teijinconex (Teijin), and Apial (Unitika). Other suitable materials include the amide block copolymers and ester block copolyethers. The amide block copolymers (PEBA) are well known under the trademark PEBAX® commercialized by ATOCHEM. The ester block polyethers (PEBE), include products that have a rigid phase of the terephtalate polybutadiene type (PBT). These are known under the trademark HYTREL® (E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company) or ARNITEL® (AKZO). The hardness of the material of the internal bands 80, 82, 84 is between about 80 and about 95 Shore A. The internal bands 80, 82, 84 may be formed by applying a layer of the polymeric material in a malleable state to a textile base layer 83 (see, e.g., FIG. 16) and allowing the material to harden, thus bonding the polymeric material to the base layer. The combination internal band and textile base layer can then be assembled together with the other layers of the upper 20 and outsole 30.
  • [0047]
    As shown in FIG. 1, the side internal bands 82, 84 are positioned on a lateral side 12 of the shoe 10. Accordingly, the side bands are defined as lateral side bands 82, 84. However, in certain implementations, the golf shoe 10 includes medial side bands positioned on the medial side 14 of the shoe. The size, position, and orientation of the medial side bands can substantially match the same characteristics as the lateral side bands 82, 84, or can have dissimilar characteristics (e.g., can be asymmetric). In some implementations, the lateral and medial side bands can be made from the same material. However, in other implementations, the lateral and medial side bands are made from different materials, such as materials with different hardness values. For example, the hardness of the material of the medial side bands may be lower than the hardness of the material of the lateral side bands 82, 84. The lateral and medial side bands may be directly coupled to each other, or be spaced-apart from each other. For example, although not shown, the golf shoe 10 can include a bridge band that interconnects one or more of the bands of the lateral and medial side bands. The bridge band essentially spans across the upper 20 between the lateral and medial sides 12, 14. The bridge band can be made from the same or a similar material as the side bands.
  • [0048]
    Although the lateral side bands of the illustrated golf shoe 10 define a web that includes a single main side band 82, a single cross-member side band 84, and multiple eyelet bands 86, in other embodiments, the golf shoe can include fewer or more than the number of side bands shown. For example, the lateral side of the golf shoe 10 may include a web of multiple main side bands 82 and multiple cross-member side bands 84. Additionally, the orientation of the main side band 82 relative to the cross-member side band 84 may be the same as illustrated or different (e.g., defining a different angle with respect to each other). Further, although the bands 80, 82, 84 have been described above as being arranged interiorly of the exterior layer of the shoe 10, in some embodiments, the bands can be positioned exteriorly of the exterior layer of the shoe.
  • [0049]
    The toe, heel, and midfoot portions 22, 24, 26 of the upper 20 are coupled to respective toe, heel, and midfoot portions 32, 34, 36 of the outsole 30. The portions of the upper 20 can be coupled to the respective portions of the outsole 30 with any of various materials (e.g., adhesives) and/or using any of various coupling techniques (e.g., bonding, welding, stitching, etc.). The outsole 30 includes an exterior surface 38 and an opposing interior surface (see, e.g., interior surface 139 of FIG. 7). The exterior surface 38 includes a plurality of features for enhancing the grip of the shoe, a plurality of features for improving the strength of the shoe, and a plurality of receptacles for securing the traction elements 40 to the outsole 30.
  • [0050]
    Referring to FIG. 2, which is a bottom view of the shoe 10, the exterior surface 38 includes a set 50 of first grip-enhancing features 52. The set 50 is positioned about the toe portion 32 of the outsole 30 with the features 52 sized, shaped, and oriented for enhancing grip or traction during particular actions. Each of the first grip-enhancing features 52 forms a multi-sided protrusion. In the illustrated implementation, each first grip-enhancing feature 52 is a generally three-sided, pyramidal-shaped protrusion. To enhance the grip of the shoe during a step-off or push-off action associated with walking, or the transfer of weight during a golf swing, the grip-enhancing features 52 are oriented such that one side of the protrusion substantially faces away from outer periphery of the toe portion 32 toward the heel portion 34. Although not shown, the heel portion 34 of the outsole 30 may include a set of grip-enhancing features similar to the set 50 of features 52, but with each oriented in a manner that generally opposes the features 52 (see, e.g., the features 192 of FIG. 3).
  • [0051]
    The exterior surface 38 also includes a set 60 of second grip-enhancing features 62 positioned about the midfoot (e.g., at least slightly away from the outer periphery of the outsole 30) of the toe and heel portions 32, 34 of the outsole. The second grip-enhancing features 62 of the set 60 can also be interspersed between the traction element receptacles and traction elements 40. The second grip-enhancing features 62 of the set 60 are shaped, sized, oriented, and numbered to enhance grip or traction for general movement during golfing activities. Each second grip-enhancing feature 62 forms a multi-sided protrusion. For example, the illustrated features 62 each include three pyramidal-shaped protrusions equally spaced apart about a common centerline. The height of each feature 62 is substantially less than the height of the features 52. However, the set 60 has substantially more features 62 than the set 50 of feature 52 (e.g., the set 60 has a higher density of features per area than the set 50).
  • [0052]
    The outsole 30 also includes features for providing structural stability during a golf swing. For example, as shown in FIG. 1, the outsole 30 includes a plurality of tabs 70, which are positioned, although not necessarily in all embodiments, adjacent respective traction elements 40 and receptacles. The tabs 70 extend upward about and are coupled to the side region of the upper 20 adjacent the sole region of the upper to counter the various forces exerted on the upper 20 and outsole 30 during the various actions associated with playing golf, such as during a golf swing. For example, the tabs 70 strengthen the attachment points between the outsole 30 and upper 20 proximate the tractions elements to reduce upper and outsole detachment commonly associated with such attachment points. Additionally, the outsole 30 includes a toe tab 72 (e.g., an external heel counter) and a heel tab 74 (e.g., a heel counter) that extend upward about and couple to the upper 30 to strengthen the attachment points between the upper 20 and outsole at the toe and heel, respectively. Additionally, the tabs 72, 74 improve the structural stability of the shoe 10 at the respective toe and heel of the shoe. However, aside from the receptacle, toe, and heel tabs 70, 72, 74, the shoe is substantially void of rands or welts adjoining the outsole and the upper (see, e.g., the upper 120 and outsole 130 of FIG. 20) about the perimeter of the shoe.
  • [0053]
    The outsole 30 includes ten receptacles for removably securing ten traction members 40. The heel portion 34 of the outsole 30 includes four receptacles and traction members 40, and the toe and midfoot portions 32, 36 include six receptacles and traction members. Although not shown, the receptacles of the shoe 10 can have the same or similar features as the receptacles described in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2010/0257751, filed Apr. 9, 2010, which is incorporated herein by reference. Similarly, the traction members 40 can be the same as or similar to the traction members described in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2010/0257751. Alternatively, the receptacles and/or traction members can have any of various other configurations conducive to a golf shoe with enhanced comfort, low-weight, and traction. Although the illustrated embodiment includes an outsole 30 for accommodating ten traction members, in other embodiments, the outsole 30 can be configured to removably secure more or less than ten traction members.
  • [0054]
    Referring to FIGS. 3-15, according to another embodiment, a golf shoe (see, e.g., golf shoe 110 of FIG. 20) may have an upper similar to the upper 30 described above, but coupled to an outsole 130. The outsole 130 is similar to the outsole 30 with like numbers referring to like elements. Accordingly, the above description associated with elements of outsole 30 also applies to the like elements of outsole 130 unless otherwise noted. For example, as shown in FIGS. 3-6 (e.g., a bottom view, medial side view, lateral side view, and rear view, respectively), the outsole 130 includes an exterior surface 138 with first and second grip-enhancing sets 150 and 160 each with a plurality of grip-enhancing features 152, 162, respectively. However, the outsole 130 also includes a third set 190 of grip-enhancing features 192 positioned about the heel portion 134 of the outsole. The features 192 can be similar in size and shape to the features 152, but the orientation of the features 192 may be different than the features 152 to provide grip enhancement in a different direction (e.g., for a different action) than the features 152. In some implementations, the third set 190 of grip-enhancing features 192 are made from a material different than the material of the outsole 130 and attached to the outsole. The material of the features 192 can be more elastomeric than the material of the outsole 130.
  • [0055]
    Similar to the outsole 30, the outsole 130 includes support bases 142 that define and position the traction member receptacles. The support bases 142 are positioned such that a substantial portion of the bases and associated traction members 140 are located beyond the outer periphery or footprint of the heel portion 134 (see, e.g., FIG. 18). In other words, the maximum lateral distance from one traction member 240 in the heel portion 134 to a lateral traction member in the heel portion is much greater than the maximum width of the heel portion at the location from where the corresponding support bases 142 extend. This configuration results in a heel portion 134 with minimal material, and thus less weight, that nevertheless allows for large lateral spacing between the heel traction members 140 to provide a wider, more stable, support.
  • [0056]
    Referring to FIGS. 7, 8 (e.g., a top view and a cross-sectional side view taken along the line A-A of FIG. 7), and 12 (e.g., a cross-sectional rear view taken along the line E-E of FIG. 3) an interior surface 139 of the outsole 130 includes weight-saving and structural rigidity features. For example, the outsole 130 includes a plurality of reinforcing ribs 194 and corresponding grooves 196 adjacent and defined by the ribs. The ribs 194 and grooves 196 extend substantially longitudinally along a length of the outsole. In the illustrated embodiment, the ribs 194 and grooves 196 are positioned along the midfoot portion 136 of the outsole 130. Accordingly, in some implementations, the ribs 194 and grooves 196 initiate and terminate within the midfoot portion 136 of the outsole 130 such that the toe and heel portions 132, 134 are void of internal ribs and grooves. Alternatively, in some implementations, the ribs 194 and grooves 196 extend longitudinally along at least a portion of the toe and/or heel portions 132, 134.
  • [0057]
    The height of the ribs 194 and depth of the grooves 196 vary along the length of the respective ribs and grooves. For example, as shown in FIG. 8, the height of the central rib 194 (and associated groove(s)) relative to a base 131 of the outsole 130 steadily increases in a toe-to-heel direction until a rearward end 195 of the rib that terminates away from the heel end of the outsole. The rearward end 196 of the rib 194 includes a curved but abrupt drop in the height of the rib down to the base 131. In other words, the rearward end 195 has a more abrupt (e.g., less gradual) drop in height than the forward end of the rib. In some embodiments, the rearward end 195 of the rib 194 may include a sharp and drastic drop in height, or a more gradual drop in height than in the illustrated embodiment.
  • [0058]
    Additionally, the width of the ribs 194 and grooves 196 may vary along the length of the respective ribs and grooves. As shown in FIG. 7, the width of the ribs 194 increase in a heel-to-toe direction, particularly proximate portions of the ribs closest to the toe portion 132. Also, the width of the grooves 196 may increase in a heel-to-toe direction proximate portions of the grooves closest to the toe portion 132. However, the width of the grooves 196 may also increase in a toe-to-heel direction, particularly with portions of the grooves closes to the heel portion 134.
  • [0059]
    Coupled to the heel portion 134 of the outsole 130 within a space defined between the rearward ends 196 of the ribs 194 and the raised heel tab 274 is a heel pad 198. The heel pad 198 can be made from any of various types of foam rubber, such as synthetic rubbers (e.g., polyurethane foam) or natural rubbers (e.g., latex foam). In one specific implementation, the heel pad 198 is made from an open cell polyurethane foam having a density of 35 kg/m3, but can be any material commonly used to make open cell foams such as PP, PE, EVA, PVC, EPDM, polyether, and the like. Generally, in some implementations, the heel pad 198 is made from a material with a hardness and density that is substantially less than the hardness and density of the material from which the outsole 130 is made. Accordingly, the heel pad 198 facilitates a reduction in weight of the golf shoe, but not a reduction in the comfort of the golf shoe. Also, the use of a heel pad 198 may be integrated with a waterproofing membrane to facilitate waterproofing of the shoe.
  • [0060]
    The heel pad 198 can be coupled to the outsole 130 using any of various techniques, such as pre-forming the pad and bonding the pad to the outsole, molding or forming the pad in place within the defined space of the heel portion 134, and the like. In some implementations, an overhang portion 199 of the heel pad 198 contacts and is supported by the rearward ends 196 of the ribs 194. In this manner, the upper surfaces defined by the ribs 194 and the upper surface of the heel pad 198 can be substantially congruous and, in some implementations, flush with each other as shown. In certain implementations, some portions of the heel pad 198 extend at least partially into the grooves 196, but preferably do not extend a substantial length into the grooves. According to a similar embodiment, a heel pad 198 is shown in the cross-sectional view of FIG. 17 coupled (e.g., attached or adjoined) to the heel portion 134 of the outsole 130 with a portion 200 of the pad supported by the rib 194 and a portion 202 of the pad extending into the groove 196.
  • [0061]
    The use of the heel pad 198 also allows the thickness of the base 131 to remain substantially constant throughout the length of the outsole 130 from the toe portion 132 to the heel portion 134. Such a configuration not only reduces the overall weight of the shoe, but can simplify the manufacturing process and costs of the outsole. In one implementation as shown, the thickness of the base 131 remains substantially constant within a thickness range of between about 1.2 mm and about 1.5 mm. Accordingly, the use of the heel pad 198 facilitates a thickness of the base 131 in the heel portion 134 to be very thin (e.g., about 1.5 mm) compared to prior art golf shoe designs. Cross-sectional rear views of the outsole 130 at various locations along the length of the outsole (e.g., taken along the respective lines B-B, C-C, D-D, E-E, F-F, G-G, and H-H of FIG. 7) are shown in FIGS. 9-15. FIGS. 13-15 are useful in showing the configuration of the heel pad 198 relative to the outsole 130.
  • [0062]
    As shown, a portion of the receptacles 142 for receiving the traction members 140 are coupled to and exposed through respective openings 143 formed in the interior surface 139 of the outsole 130.
  • [0063]
    The outsoles 30, 130 described herein are made from a material not previously used for the outsole of a golf shoe. Typical golf shoe outsoles are made from polymers with relatively high densities, relatively high elastomeric properties, and relatively low hardness, such as ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), and thermoplastic polyurethane resin (TPU). However, the outsoles 30, 130 of the present disclosure are made from polymeric materials with relatively low densities, relatively low elastomeric properties, and relatively high hardness. For example, in one implementation, the outsoles 30, 130 are made from thermoplastic elastomers having block copolymers, such as a polyether block amide (e.g., an amide block copolyether). According to some implementations, the outsoles 30, 130 are made from materials having low densities (e.g., between about 0.5 g/cm3 and about 1.5 g/cm3, and preferably between about 0.75 g/cm3 and about 1.25 g/cm3), low elastomeric properties (e.g., flexural modulus between about 10 MPa and about 500 MPa), and high hardness (e.g., between about 25 and 75 Shore D).
  • [0064]
    Although not shown, the outsoles 30, 130 can be made from more than one material. For example, in one implementation, the toe portions 32, 132 of the outsoles can be made from one material, and the heel portions 34, 134 and midfoot portions 36, 136 can be made from another material. According to one specific dual-material implementation, the toe portions 32, 132 of the outsoles can be made from one material (e.g., amide block copolymers and thermoplastic amide block copolyethers), and the heel portions 34, 134 and midfoot portions 36, 136 can be made from another material (e.g., EVA, TPU, and polyamides, such as one produced by the polycondensation of 1,6-hexamethylenediamine or 1,10-decamethylenediamine, and 1,10-decanedicarboxylic acid (sebacic acid,) or 1,12-dodecanedicarboxylic acid).
  • [0065]
    At least some of the above-described characteristics of the cleated golf shoe allow the golf shoe to have a weight that is lower than conventional cleated golf shoes. For example, according to some implementations, the golf shoe 10, or a golf shoe having the outsole 130, with ten removable traction elements has a weight less than about 13 ounces (about 368 grams), less than about 12 ounces (about 340 grams), or less than about 11 ounces (about 312 grams).
  • [0066]
    In the above description, certain terms may be used such as “up,” “down,” “upper,” “lower,” “horizontal,” “vertical,” “left,” “right,” and the like. These terms are used, where applicable, to provide some clarity of description when dealing with relative relationships. But, these terms are not intended to imply absolute relationships, positions, and/or orientations. For example, with respect to an object, an “upper” surface can become a “lower” surface simply by turning the object over. Nevertheless, it is still the same object. Further, the terms “including,” “comprising,” “having,” and variations thereof mean “including but not limited to” unless expressly specified otherwise. An enumerated listing of items does not imply that any or all of the items are mutually exclusive and/or mutually inclusive, unless expressly specified otherwise. The terms “a,” “an,” and “the” also refer to “one or more” unless expressly specified otherwise. Further, the term “plurality” can be defined as “at least two.”
  • [0067]
    Additionally, instances in this specification where one element is “coupled” to another element can include direct and indirect coupling. Direct coupling can be defined as one element coupled to and in some contact with another element. Indirect coupling can be defined as coupling between two elements not in direct contact with each other, but having one or more additional elements between the coupled elements. Further, as used herein, securing one element to another element can include direct securing and indirect securing. Additionally, as used herein, “adjacent” does not necessarily denote contact. For example, one element can be adjacent another element without being in contact with that element.
  • [0068]
    The present subject matter may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.

Claims (22)

    What is claimed is:
  1. 1. A golf shoe, comprising:
    an upper comprising an exterior layer and an internal reinforcing band positioned interiorly of the exterior layer, wherein a portion of the internal reinforcing band extends across a toe region of the upper, the internal reinforcing band being made from a polymeric material;
    an outsole coupled to the upper; and
    a plurality of traction elements removably coupled to the outsole.
  2. 2. The golf shoe of claim 1, wherein the internal reinforcing band is made from a thermoplastic polyurethane.
  3. 3. The golf shoe of claim 1, wherein the internal reinforcing band is flexible.
  4. 4. The golf shoe of claim 1, wherein the internal reinforcing band has a thickness of at most about 0.08 mm.
  5. 5. The golf shoe of claim 1, wherein the internal reinforcing band is a first internal reinforcing band, the upper further comprising a second internal reinforcing band positioned interiorly of the exterior layer and extending along a lateral side of the upper from the first internal reinforcing band away from the outsole.
  6. 6. The golf shoe of claim 5, wherein the upper further comprises a third internal reinforcing band positioned interiorly of the exterior layer and extending along a lateral side of the upper from the first internal reinforcing band away from the outsole and toward the second internal reinforcing band.
  7. 7. A golf shoe, comprising:
    an upper;
    an outsole coupled to the upper, wherein the outsole is made from a thermoplastic block copolymer having a hardness between about 25 Shore D and about 72 Shore D; and
    a plurality of traction elements removably coupled to the outsole.
  8. 8. The golf shoe of claim 1, wherein the thermoplastic block copolymer comprises a thermoplastic amide block copolyether.
  9. 9. The golf shoe of claim 1, wherein the entire outsole is made from the thermoplastic block copolymer having a hardness between about 25 Shore D and about 75 Shore D.
  10. 10. The golf shoe of claim 1, wherein a toe portion of the outsole is made from the thermoplastic block copolymer having a hardness between about 25 Shore D and about 75 Shore D, and midfoot and heel portions of the outsole are made from a polymeric material having a lower hardness than the thermoplastic block copolymer of the toe portion.
  11. 11. The golf shoe of claim 10, wherein the polymeric material of the midfoot and heel portions comprises a polyamide produced by the polycondensation of 1,6-hexamethylenediamine or 1,10-decamethylenediamine, and 1,10-decanedicarboxylic acid (sebacic acid,) or 1,12-dodecanedicarboxylic acid.
  12. 12. A golf shoe, comprising:
    an upper;
    an outsole coupled to the upper, the outsole comprising a heel portion coupled to a toe portion of the outsole via a midfoot portion of the outsole, wherein an interior surface of the outsole comprises a plurality of reinforcing ribs extending longitudinally along the midfoot portion of the outsole; and
    a plurality of traction elements removably coupled to an exterior surface of the outsole.
  13. 13. The golf shoe of claim 12, wherein a height of at least one of the plurality of reinforcing ribs gradually decreases in a toe-to-heel direction.
  14. 14. The golf shoe of claim 12, wherein a width of at least one of the plurality of reinforcing ribs varies along a length of the at least one of the plurality of reinforcing ribs.
  15. 15. The golf shoe of claim 12, wherein the outsole comprises a base having a substantially constant thickness throughout the toe, heel, and midfoot portions of the outsole, the plurality of reinforcing ribs extending uprightly from the base.
  16. 16. The golf shoe of claim 15, wherein the thickness of the base throughout the toe, heel, and midfoot portions is between about 1.2 mm and about 1.5 mm.
  17. 17. The golf shoe of claim 15, further comprising a heel pad adjoined to the base at the heel portion of the outsole adjacent the plurality of reinforcing ribs, the heel pad being made from a foam rubber material.
  18. 18. The golf shoe of claim 17, wherein the heel pad is coupled to the plurality of reinforcing ribs, an upper surface of the heel pad being substantially flush with upper surfaces of the plurality of reinforcing ribs.
  19. 19. A golf shoe, comprising:
    an upper comprising a closure region, a sole region, and a side region extending between the closure and sole regions;
    an outsole attached to the sole region of the upper, the outsole comprising at least ten receptacles;
    at least ten traction members each removably coupled to a respective one of the at least ten receptacles;
    wherein the golf shoe has a weight of less than about 13 ounces.
  20. 20. The golf shoe of claim 19, wherein the golf shoe has a weight of less than about 12 ounces.
  21. 21. The golf shoe of claim 19, wherein the golf shoe has a weight of less than about 11 ounces.
  22. 22. A golf shoe, comprising:
    an upper comprising a closure region, a sole region, and a side region extending between the closure and sole regions, wherein the upper comprises an exterior layer and a plurality of internal reinforcing bands positioned interiorly of the exterior layer, wherein a portion of one of the plurality of internal reinforcing band extends across a toe region of the upper, the plurality of internal reinforcing bands being made from a thermoplastic polyurethane and having a thickness of no more than about 0.08 mm;
    an outsole attached to the sole region of the upper, the outsole comprising at least ten receptacles, wherein the entire outsole is made from a thermoplastic amide block copolyether having a hardness between about 25 Shore D and about 72 Shore D, and wherein an interior surface of the outsole comprises a plurality of reinforcing ribs extending longitudinally along a midfoot portion of the outsole, the outsole comprising a base having a thickness between about 1.2 mm and about 1.5 mm throughout toe, heel and midfoot portions of the outsole; and
    at least ten traction members each removably coupled to a respective one of the at least ten receptacles;
    wherein the golf shoe has a weight of less than about 13 ounces.
US13836544 2012-07-11 2013-03-15 Golf shoe Abandoned US20140013625A1 (en)

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