WO2001049142A1 - Stiffener for footwear - Google Patents

Stiffener for footwear Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2001049142A1
WO2001049142A1 PCT/US2001/000287 US0100287W WO0149142A1 WO 2001049142 A1 WO2001049142 A1 WO 2001049142A1 US 0100287 W US0100287 W US 0100287W WO 0149142 A1 WO0149142 A1 WO 0149142A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
stiffener
tongue
medial
portion
lateral
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2001/000287
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Peter Curran
Original Assignee
The Burton Corporation
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
Priority to US47928300A priority Critical
Priority to US09/479,283 priority
Application filed by The Burton Corporation filed Critical The Burton Corporation
Publication of WO2001049142A1 publication Critical patent/WO2001049142A1/en

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B5/00Footwear for sporting purposes
    • A43B5/04Ski boots; Similar boots
    • A43B5/0401Snowboard boots
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B23/00Uppers; Boot legs; Stiffeners; Other single parts of footwear
    • A43B23/26Tongues for shoes

Abstract

A tongue construction for footwear is configured with a tongue and a stiffener that provides non-uniform stiffness such that the resistance to flexing in one direction is greater than in another. The stiffener also may be moved relative to the tongue, thereby resisting pinching of the rider's foot as the boot is flexed. Footwear having desired stiffness while substantially reducing discomfort, especially during flexing of the footwear is therefore provided. Consequently, a soft or hybrid snowboard boot is provided that provides both enhanced power transmission as well as improved wearer comfort.

Description

STIFFENER FOR FOOTWEAR

Background of the Invention Field of the Invention The invention relates to footwear, and more particularly to a stiffener for footwear.

Related Art

Snowboard boots provide a rider with a selected combination of flexibility and support for comfort and board response. Snowboard boots also provide the rider with "feel" or feedback from the board as it traverses terrain to allow for improved board control in a variety of conditions.

Board control may be affected by the stiffness of the boot. With increased stiffness, such as is provided with hard boots, comes increased force transmission and greater board control. However, hard boots may be uncomfortable, especially while walking. On the other hand, flexible boots (soft and hybrid boots) may be less responsive to rider-induced forces but are more comfortable. Hybrid boots include features of both soft and hard boots. In this respect, hybrid boots may include a rigid or semi-rigid sole and an upper portion divided into a rigid or semi-rigid lower portion and a flexible top portion.

Boots are known which attempt to balance the comfort of a soft or hybrid boot with the force transmission of a hard boot. These soft or hybrid boots may include a tongue configured with a rigid member or stiffener for imparting stiffness and resulting power transmission particularly on toe-side turns.

Such tongue constructions, however, provide uniform stiffness, which may not always be desirable for particular riders or particular riding styles. In addition, such tongue constructions may create pressure points on a user's foot or leg when the boot is flexed. In this respect, as a rider leans against the top portion of the boot tongue during a toe-side maneuver, the stiffener may bend at the mid-section, which may pinch the dorsal area of the rider's foot near the ankle. In addition, flexing of the tongue may cause the front end of the stiffener to dig into the dorsal area of the rider's foot near the toe. It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved tongue construction. Summary of the Invention

In one illustrative embodiment of the invention, a tongue construction for an article of footwear includes a flexible tongue and a stiffener. The tongue construction includes a flexible tongue having a bottom edge and a stiffener including an elongated stiffener body supported by the tongue. The stiffener body has a bottom edge that is spaced from the bottom edge of the tongue, the stiffener body is constructed and arranged with a non-uniform stiffness such that the resistance to flexing of the stiffener in one of a medial and lateral direction is greater than in the other of the medial and lateral direction.

In another illustrative embodiment of the invention, a stiffener for a tongue of an article of footwear is provided. The stiffener includes an elongated stiffener body having a lateral portion and a medial portion. The lateral portion includes a lateral outer peripheral edge having a first edge shape and the medial portion includes a medial outer peripheral edge having a second edge shape. The first edge shape is different from the second edge shape to provide the stiffener body with a non-uniform stiffness such that, when the stiffener is flexed, the resistance to flexing in one of a medial and lateral direction is greater than in the other of the medial and lateral direction.

In yet another illustrative embodiment of the invention, a stiffener for a tongue of an article of footwear is provided. The stiffener includes an elongated stiffener body having a longitudinal axis, a medial portion on one side of the axis and a lateral portion on the other side of the axis. The body is free of a cutout extending therethrough. The stiffener further includes a stiffened zone formed at least partially on one of the medial and lateral portions to impart a non-uniform stiffness to the stiffener body such that, when the stiffener is flexed, the resistance to flexing in one of a medial and lateral direction is greater than in the other of the medial and lateral direction. In still another illustrative embodiment of the invention, a stiffener for a tongue of an article of footwear is provided. The stiffener includes an elongated stiffener body having a lateral side and a medial side. The lateral side is curved in a side-to-side direction to define a first curve length and the medial side is curved in the side-to-side direction to define a second curve length. The first curve length is different from the second curve length to provide the stiffener body with a non-uniform stiffness such that, when the stiffener is flexed, the resistance to flexing is greater in one of a medial and lateral direction than in the other of the medial and lateral direction. In another illustrative embodiment of the invention, a stiffener for a tongue of an article of footwear is provided. The stiffener includes an elongated stiffener body having a medial portion and a lateral portion. One of the medial and lateral portions having a stiffness that is greater than the other of the medial and lateral portions. The stiffener body being capable of receiving a cutout therethrough. The stiffness of the one of the medial and lateral portions remaining greater than the other of the medial and lateral portions if a cutout is subsequently formed in the stiffener body.

In another illustrative embodiment of the invention, a tongue construction for an article of footwear includes a flexible tongue and a stiffener. The stiffener includes an elongated stiffener body supported by the tongue for movement relative thereto as the tongue is flexed forwardly. The stiffener body is constructed and arranged with a non-uniform stiffness such that the resistance to flexing of the stiffener in one of a medial and lateral direction is greater than in the other of the medial and lateral direction.

Various embodiments of the present invention provide certain advantages. Not all embodiments of the invention share the same advantages and those that do may not share them under all circumstances. This being said, the present invention provides numerous advantages including the noted advantage of providing enhanced flexibility in a desired flex direction while reducing discomfort during flexing of the boot.

Further features and advantages of the present invention, as well as the structure and operation of various embodiments of the present invention are described in detail below with reference to the accompanying drawings.

Brief Description of the Drawings

The invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is a front view of a tongue construction configured with a tongue and a stiffener for a right foot boot according to one aspect of the present invention;

Figure 2 is a front view of a tongue construction configured with a tongue and a stiffener for a left foot boot; Figure 3 is an exploded perspective view of a boot including a tongue construction according to one aspect of the present invention; Figure 4 is a cross-sectional view of the tongue construction taken along line 4-4 of Figure 1; and

Figure 5 is a cross-sectional view of the tongue construction taken along line 5-5 of Figure 1.

Detailed Description

The present invention is directed to a stiffener and to a tongue including a stiffener (hereinafter referred to as a "tongue construction") that provide enhanced footwear stiffiiess for enhanced board control. The stiffener is constructed and arranged with non-uniform stiffness such that the resistance to flexing of the stiffener in one direction is greater than the resistance to flexing in another direction. In addition, the stiffener may be configured for movement relative to the tongue as the footwear is flexed forward to minimize pinching of the dorsal area near the ankle as well as digging of the stiffener into the dorsal area near the toe or shin. Figures 1-3 show a tongue construction according to one illustrative embodiment of the invention. A stiffener 20 includes an elongated body 22 that has non-uniform stiffness. The stiffener is constructed and arranged to cooperate with a tongue 24 of an article of footwear, such as a boot 26. The stiffener body 22 includes a longitudinal axis 28 extending in a shin-to-toe direction. When the stiffener 20 is supported by the tongue 24, the longitudinal axis 28 of the stiffener 20 lies along a central longitudinal axis 30 of the tongue 24. The stiffener body 22 includes a lateral side portion 32 and a medial side portion 34. The stiffener body 22 also includes an upper portion 50 configured to lie near a shin area 52 of the tongue 24 and a lower portion 54 configured to lie near a toe area 56 of the tongue 24. When the tongue 24 is flexed, the stiffener imparts a resistance to flexing in a direction toward one of the lateral and medial sides that is greater than toward the other of the lateral and medial sides.

Providing the tongue construction with such non-uniform stiffness may be desirable for a number of reasons. Due in part to the anatomy of the human leg, a rider naturally flexes his or her leg and foot toward the medial side (inside) of the foot rather than toward the lateral side (outside) of the foot. Thus, in one example, the stiffener 20 imparts greater resistance to flexing in a direction toward the lateral side 32 than in a direction toward the medial side 34. The stiffener 20, therefore, may be employed to augment the natural flexing of a rider. In addition, to enhance board control, such as during toe-side turns, it may be desirable to enhance flexing toward the medial side of the rider's foot while resisting flex toward the lateral side of the rider's foot. It should be appreciated that the stiffener 20 instead may be configured to impart greater resistance to flexing toward the medial side 34 than toward the lateral side of the rider's foot. This may be desirable for certain riding styles or preferences.

In one illustrative embodiment, the stiffener is specifically configured for either a right foot, as shown in Figure 1, or a left foot, as shown in Figure 2. In both configurations, the stiffener imparts greater resistance to flexing toward the lateral side. It is to be appreciated however that the present invention is not limited in this respect and that it may be desirable to provide both the right foot and the left foot with a stiffener configured to impart resistance to flexing in opposite directions. For example, one stiffener may be configured to impart greater resistance to flexing toward the lateral direction for one foot whereas another stiffener may be configured to impart greater resistance to flexing toward the medial direction for the other foot.

The stiffener 20 may be configured in any suitable manner, such as with a stiffened area or zone 36, to obtain the desired non-uniform stiffness. For example, the stiffener may be shaped in a manner that imparts the desired non-uniform stiffness. In this respect, the stiffener may include an asymmetric shape. The non-uniform stiffiiess also may be achieved with the use of desired materials having desired properties. Alternatively, any combination of shapes or materials or material properties may be employed to achieve the desired non- uniform stiffness.

The asymmetric shape of the stiffener may be implemented in any suitable manner. In one example, the cross-sectional area of the stiffener body on one side is different from the corresponding cross-sectional area on the other side. Specifically, as best shown in Figure 4, the cross-sectional area on the lateral side 32 is greater than the corresponding cross-sectional area on the medial side 34 to provide the lateral side with greater resistance to flexing relative to the medial side 34. However, should it be desirable to provide the medial side 34 with increased resistance to flexing relative to the lateral portion 32, then the medial side 34 would be configured with a cross-sectional area that is greater than the corresponding cross-sectional area on the lateral side 32. In another embodiment, the distance between the longitudinal axis and a point on the outer peripheral edge of the stiffener on one side of the longitudinal axis is different from the distance between the longitudinal axis and a corresponding point on the outer peripheral edge of the stiffener on the other side of the longitudinal axis. Specifically, also as shown in Figure 4, the distance between the longitudinal axis 28 (which extends into the plane of the figure) and a point 40 on the outer peripheral edge 41 of the stiffener on lateral side 32 is greater than the distance between the longitudinal axis 28 and a corresponding point 42 on the outer peripheral edge 43 of the stiffener on the medial side 34 to provide the lateral side with greater resistance to flexing relative to the medial side 34. However, should it be desirable to provide the medial side 34 with increased resistance to flexing relative to the lateral side 32, then the distance between the longitudinal axis 28 and a point on the outer peripheral edge of the stiffener on medial side 34 would be greater than the distance between the longitudinal axis 28 and a corresponding point on the outer peripheral edge of the stiffener on the lateral side 32. In another example, the curvature of the stiffener body on one side is different from the curvature of the stiffener body on the other side. As shown in Figure 4, the curvature of the lateral side 32 is greater than the curvature on the medial side 34 to provide the lateral side with greater resistance to flexing relative to the medial side 34. As illustrated, the lateral side 32 extends through a longer arc than the medial side 34. Specifically, the lateral side is curved in a side-to-side direction to define a first curve length and the medial side is curved in the side-to-side direction to define a second curve length. The first curve length is greater that the second curve length to provide the lateral side with greater resistance to flexing relative to the medial side 34. However, should it be desirable to provide the medial side 34 with increased resistance to flexing relative to the lateral portion 32, then the curvature of the stiffener body 22 on the medial side 34 would be greater than the curvature of the stiffener body 22 on the lateral side 32.

It is also contemplated to vary the curvature between the upper portion and the lower portion. For example, the curvature of the upper portion may be greater along the lateral side than along the medial side, while the curvature of the lower portion may be greater along the medial side than along the lateral side. Thus, in this embodiment, at the upper portion, the stiffness of lateral side is greater than the stiffness of the medial side whereas, at the lower portion, the stiffness of medial side is greater than the stiffiiess of the lateral side. The non-uniform stiffness may also be achieved by varying the thickness of the stiffener body. Specifically, also shown in Figure 4, the thickness "tL" of the stiffener body 22 on the lateral side 32 is greater than the thickness "tM" of the stiffener body 22 on the medial side 34 to provide the lateral side with greater resistance to flexing relative to the medial side 34. However, should it be desirable to provide the medial side 34 with increased resistance to flexing relative to the lateral side 32, then the thickness of the stiffener body 22 on the medial side 34 would be greater than the thickness of the stiffener body 22 on the lateral side 32.

In still another example, also shown in Figure 4, a plurality of stiffening ribs 44 may be formed or otherwise disposed at least partially on one side of the stiffener body 22. The stiffening ribs 44 may generally extend in a direction of the longitudinal axis 28 and may be spaced apart from one another. In the embodiment shown, the stiffener includes five spaced- apart stiffening ribs. The stiffening ribs 44 are disposed on the lateral side 32 to impart greater resistance to flexing toward the lateral side 32. However, should it be desirable to provide the medial side 34 with increased resistance to flexing relative to the lateral side 32 , then the stiffening ribs 44 may be disposed on the medial side 34.

The stiffening ribs 44 may shift toward the medial side 34 at the lower portion of the stiffener body 22. Thus, in one embodiment, in the upper portion, the stiffness of lateral side is greater than the stiffness of the medial side whereas, in the lower portion, the stiffness of medial side is greater than the stiffness of the lateral side.

It should be noted that the stiffening ribs 44 have not been shown in Figures 1-3 for the sake of clarity. However, the stiffening ribs 44 generally are formed within, or in some embodiments define, the stiffened zone 36.

As indicated above, rather than form the stiffener body 22 with an asymmetric shape, the stiffener body 22 may be formed with one or more materials having different material stiffnesses to obtain the desired non-uniform stiffness. Thus, the stiffener body 22 may be formed of a material having a first stiffness on one side of the longitudinal axis 28 and a second stiffness on the other side of the longitudinal axis 28. Continuing with reference to Figure 4, in one embodiment, one or more of the stiffening ribs 44 may be formed of a material having a stiffness that is greater than the stiffiiess of the same or a different material forming the stiffener body 22. Although in this example the stiffening ribs 44 are formed with a stiffer material, the present invention is not limited in this respect and no ribs need be employed to achieve the desired stiffness. For example, the stiffener body 22 may be of a uniform shape, yet the stiffness of the material forming one side of the stiffener body 22 may be different from the stiffness of the material forming the other side of the stiffener body 22. Portions of the stiffener body 22 may be formed of a semi-rigid material, such as polyurethane, polyester, PVC or nylon, using any suitable manufacturing technique, such as injection molding. In one embodiment, a portions of the stiffener body 22 is formed of a polyurethane material having a durometer ranging between about 40 and about 60 Shore D. Another portion of the stiffener body may be formed with the polyurethane material having a durometer ranging between about 60 and about 70 Shore D. It should be noted that forming the stiffener from materials having different properties may be achieved by employing multi- injection molding techniques or other techniques known to those of skill.

One example of a suitable material for forming at least a portion of the stiffener body 22 is Hytrel®, which is a polyester elastomer available from the E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, USA. It is also contemplated to fabricate the stiffener from non-plastic materials. The stiffener may also be formed of two or more materials, each material providing a different desired property (i.e., stiffiiess).

Continuing with reference to Figures 1-3, in one illustrative embodiment, the stiffener body 22 may be shaped to approximate the contour of the tongue 24. Alternatively, the stiffener body 22 may be sufficiently flexible to conform to the tongue as the rider's foot is secured within the boot or as the boot is secured within the binding. In one embodiment, a top surface 58 of the stiffener body 22 may have a concave shape in a direction that extends from the upper portion 50 to the lower portion 54. The top surface 58 may also have a convex shape in a direction that extends from the lateral side 32 to the medial side 34. The apex 60 (see Figures 4 and 5) formed by the lateral-to-medial convex top surface lies along the longitudinal axis 28 of the stiffener body 22. The stiffener body 22 includes a complementary shaped bottom surface that is convex in a direction that extends from the upper portion 50 to the lower portion 54 and that is concave in a direction that extends from the lateral side 32 to the medial side 34.

The outer peripheral edges 41, 43 of the lateral and medial sides 32, 34, respectively, may converge from a top end toward a transition section 62 of the stiffener body 22 and then may diverge toward a bottom end such that the resultant shape resembles an hourglass. The reduced width at the transition section 62 or waist allows a change in the stiffness of certain portions of the stiffener body 22 relative to other portions. In this respect, the stiffener body 22 may easily bend about the transition section 62. The converging outer peripheral edges 41, 43, and resultant hourglass shape, also limits the amount of material at the transition section 62. Thus, as the tongue is flexed forward, the lateral and medial sides 32, 34 may remain substantially in contact with the tongue, thereby minimizing bulging of the stiffener body 22. However, the present invention is not limited in this respect and other suitable methods for causing the lateral and medial sides to remain in contact with the tongue may be employed. In this regard, the stiffener may be formed with straight sides, each having a slit extending perpendicular to the longitudinal axis 28 at generally the transition section 62 of the stiffener body 22. Thus, as the tongue and stiffener is flexed forward, the sides separate at the slit, thereby causing the sides to substantially remain in contact with the tongue and minimizing bulging of the stiffener. In another example, the sides of the stiffener adjacent the transition section 62 may include a relatively elastic material so as to conform to the resulting shape of the flexed tongue. The stiffener may have a size and shape that cooperate with the closure of the boot.

The boot includes medial and lateral eye stays 61, 63 (see Figure 3) having lower ends that converge toward each other. In one illustrative embodiment, the width of the upper portion 50 is greater than the width of the lower portion 54 and is greater than the width between the eye stays of a closed boot. In this manner, the eye stays overlap the stiffener. On the other hand, the width of the lower portion is less than the width between the eye stays of the closed boot. In this manner, the eye stays may not interfere with the stiffener. In addition, the length of the stiffener may be less than the length of the eye stays such that, upon flexing of the tongue, the lower portion of the stiffener remains spaced from the portion of the boot where the eyes stays converge. It is to be appreciated that, as used herein, eye stays are the lateral and medial portions of the boot upper that overlies the boot tongue whether or not laces are used to close the boot.

The stiffener body 22 may also have a size and shape that provides enhanced comfort to a rider. Specifically, the stiffener body 22 may be sized and shaped to accommodate one or more bones of the rider's foot so as not to create a pressure point. In one embodiment, the stiffener body 22 includes one or more cutouts (also referred to as a bone-out relief). The cutout may be formed in a location suitable to accommodate a particular bone. It is to be appreciated that the stiffener has a non-uniform stiffiiess regardless of whether a cutout is present. That is, the non-uniform stiffness of the stiffener is independent of the cutout and the difference in stiffness between the lateral side of the stiffener and the medial side of the stiffener remains even after the cutout is formed.

Those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that other suitable techniques to accommodate the bones of the rider's foot may be employed. For example, the stiffener body 22 may include a bulge configured to accommodate the bone. Alternatively, the stiffener body may include a different material or a material that is less rigid in the desired area. Those of skill will readily appreciate other suitable techniques. Further, additional features on the stiffener body 22 may be provided to accommodate muscle, nerves or blood vessels of the rider's foot to reduce discomfort.

Although a variety of stiffener configurations that provides non-uniform stiffness has been described, it is to be appreciated that the present invention is not limited in this respect and that other suitable configurations may be employed. In addition, any combination of the above described or other suitable configurations may be employed. In a representative embodiment, the stiffener includes an hourglass shaped body that has a top surface that is concave in a shin-to-toe direction and convex in a lateral-to-medial direction. The stiffener body also has an outer peripheral edge, a lateral side portion and a medial side portion. The upper portion of the stiffener body is larger than the lower portion. In addition, the shape of the stiffener about the longitudinal axis in the upper portion is asymmetric. In this respect, the maximum distance between the longitudinal axis and a point on the outer peripheral edge of the lateral side is between about 2.25 inches and 2.50 inches and the maximum distance between the longitudinal axis and a corresponding point on the outer peripheral edge of the medial side is between about 1.75 inches and 2.00 inches. The lower portion has a maximum width between about 2.25 inches and 2.50 inches. The body has a length between about 7.00 inches and 8.00 inches, wliich may be less than the length of the tongue.

Continuing with this representative embodiment, the body further includes five stiffening ribs formed on the lateral side of the stiffener body at the upper portion thereof. The stiffening ribs extend generally in a direction along the longitudinal axis toward the lower portion of the stiffener body and tend to shift toward the medial side at the lower portion. Each stiffening rib has a thickness of about 1/8" whereas the thickness of the stiffener body outside the ribs is about 1/16". The width of each rib is about 1/4". The stiffening ribs are formed of the same material as the stiffener body, however, the material of the stiffening ribs has a higher durometer than the material of the body. The body is formed of a polyurethane material and has a durometer between about 40 and 60 Shore D. The stiffening ribs are also formed of a polyurethane material having a durometer between about 60 and 70 Shore D.

In the embodiments described herein, the stiffener 20 overlies an outward-facing surface of the tongue 24. However, it is to be appreciated that the present invention is not limited in this respect and that other suitable locations may be utilized. For example, the stiffener 20 may be mounted within the tongue 24 or may underlie the tongue 24 on an inward-facing surface thereof.

According to another aspect of the invention, as shown in Figure 5, the stiffener 20 is engaged with the tongue in a manner to allow at least a portion of the stiffener 20 to move relative to the tongue 24, at least along a shin-to-toe direction. In one embodiment, the stiffener 20 is attached to the shin area 52 of the tongue 24 but may move near the toe area 56 of the tongue. Thus, the upper portion 50 of the stiffener body 22 is attached to the shin area 52 of the tongue 22 and the lower portion 54 of the stiffener body 22 is not attached to the toe area 56 of the tongue 22. Therefore, as the tongue 24 is flexed in a direction shown as arrow "A," the lower portion 56 of the stiffener body 22 is free to move, such as by sliding, in a direction shown by arrow "B," relative to and over, or along the surface of, the tongue 24. Movement of the stiffener body 22 as the tongue 24 (or boot) 26 is flexed reduces the likelihood of discomfort to the rider. For example, pinching of the dorsal area of the rider's foot near the ankle by the transition section 62 of the stiffener body 22 as well as digging into the dorsal area near the rider's toe by the lower portion 56 of the stiffener body 22 may be minimized. Although the stiffener moves relative to the tongue, it nevertheless cooperates with the tongue to provide a stiffer tongue construction through which to transmit rider- induced forces particularly on toe side turns as compared to the same tongue having no stiffener. In one embodiment, the extent to which the stiffener moves is limited so as not to press into the rider's leg. The length of the stiffener may be less than the length of the tongue to ensure that, upon flexing, the stiffener does not extend beyond the ends of the tongue. Flexing in the medial or lateral direction also may be provided by allowing limited movement of the stiffener 20 in a sideways, or partially sideways direction, relative to the tongue. In this respect, as the rider rolls his foot outwardly (laterally) or inwardly (medially), the stiffener 20 may shift over the tongue. If the stiffener was otherwise constrained, the stiffened tongue would resist medial or lateral flexing, thereby potentially limiting the performance and comfort of the boot.

The stiffener 20 may be permanently or removably attached to the tongue 24. In one illustrative embodiment, as shown in Figures 1-3, a hook 70, which may be attached to the shin area 52 of the tongue 24, may be used. The stiffener 20 may include a slot 72 that is adapted to engage with the hook 70. It is to be appreciated that other suitable attachment techniques may be employed, such as screws, rivets, hook and loop fasteners, stitches, straps, adhesives, clamps, etc. For example, a pocket may be formed either within the tongue itself or by simply stitching a cover over the surface of the tongue. The stiffener also may be configured with grooves that fit into corresponding guides in the tongue. In another illustrative embodiment, the upper portion 50 of the stiffener body 22 may include one or more eyelets (not shown) for receiving the lace of the boot. The tongue 24 may also be formed with one or more corresponding eyelets (not shown). Thus, the lace may be used to secure the upper portion 50 of the stiffener body 22 to the tongue 24, while centering the tongue 24 relative to the boot 26.

The stiffener may be fixed to the tongue to provide a controlled movement of the stiffener in a shin-to-toe direction relative to the tongue upon flexing. In this respect, each time the tongue is flexed, the stiffener may be able to return to its original position. Thus, whenever subsequent flexing occurs, a similar performance of the boot may be provided.

Although the stiffener 20 is shown as fixed at the shin area 52, it is to be appreciated that the present invention is not limited in this respect and other suitable fixing locations may be provided so long as at least a portion of the stiffener is capable of moving relative to the tongue as the tongue or footwear is flexed. For example, the stiffener may be fixed at an intermediate point, such as along one or both sides, with free upper and lower portions.

Alternatively, the stiffener may be fixed at the lower portion with a free upper portion. Other suitable locations or combination of locations will be apparent to one of skill in the art. To aid in maintaining the stiffener 20 adjacent the tongue 24 while allowing for relative movement between the two, a strap 73 may be stitched or otherwise joined to the tongue 24. The strap 73 may be formed of leather or a synthetic fabric or other suitable material that is durable yet sufficiently resilient to allow controlled flexing or movement of the stiffener 20. The strap 73 may also loosely constrain shin-to-toe movement while restricting medial and/or lateral movement of the stiffener 20 Alternatively, the strap may restrict movement of the stiffener 20 in the shin-to-toe direction but may loosely constrain medial and/or lateral movement of the stiffener. In addition, such an arrangement may be configured to loosely hold the stiffener 20 adjacent the tongue 24 such that limited movement of the stiffener 20 away from the surface of the tongue 24 may be provided.

Although a strap is illustrated, other arrangements for maintaining the stiffener 20 adjacent the tongue 24 may be utilized. One such arrangement includes harnessing the stiffener with a cover extending across at least the lower portion of the stiffener or with the laces of the boot as the laces are tightened. Another such arrangement includes providing the tongue and stiffener with a post and mating slot to receive the post. The post is able to slide within the slot to allow relative movement of the stiffener and the tongue. Another arrangement includes forming a pocket in the tongue so that at least the lower portion of the stiffener may be held therewithin. Other suitable arrangements will be apparent to one of skill in the art. In addition, it is to be appreciated that no such arrangement is necessary for the stiffener to function according to the invention.

As discussed above, the upper portion of the stiffener may be held to the tongue with the use of a cover, strap or pocket. When such an arrangement is used in combination with a cover, strap or pocket that holds the lower end of the stiffener to the tongue, the stiffener may be configured as a free-floating stiffener, wherein the entire stiffener is configured for limited movement relative to the tongue. Other suitable techniques for allowing the stiffener to move in a limited manner relative to the tongue, whether free-floating or not, may be employed.

In one embodiment the tongue 24 may be formed with a recess 80 configured to receive the stiffener 20 that allows the tongue and stiffener to form a slender profile. In one embodiment, the recess 80 has a depth approximately equal to the thickness of the stiffener body 22 such that presence of the stiffener 20 limits pressure against the wearer's foot or leg. For example, the boot 26 may be configured with closure devices, such as laces, straps, cables, cords, and other devices recognized by those of skill in the art, that extend across the tongue 24. Tightening the closure devices may cause a downward force on the tongue 24 that can be distributed over both the surface of the tongue 24 as well as the stiffener 20, rather than just over the stiffener 20, because, in this embodiment, the amount that the stiffener 20 protrudes beyond the profile of the tongue is minimized. It should be appreciated that such a downward force on the tongue and stiffener may not only arise from tightening a wearer's foot within the boot, but also may arise when securing the boot to a strap binding for a snowboard where the strap extends across the front of the boot, as is the case with conventional tray bindings for snowboards.

Of course, it should be appreciated that the present invention is not limited in this respect and that a recess need not be provided or may be deeper or shallower, as desired, depending upon the thickness of the stiffener.

The recess 80 may be longer than the stiffener 20, thereby defining an open area 82 between the lower portion 54 of the stiffener 20 and a lower edge 84 of the recess 80 that provides a path for the stiffener to move in the recess upon flexing of the boot. The open area 82 should be large enough to allow the stiffener 20 to slide through a predetermined angle of flex of the footwear. For example, the recess 80 may be configured to allow the footwear to be flexed up to an angle of 45° from its rest position, without the end of the stiffener 20 abutting the lower edge 84 of the recess. In one embodiment, the recess is about 2 cm longer than the stiffener, although more or less distance may be provided. Although the recess 80 is longer than the stiffener 20, it should be appreciated that the present invention is not limited in this respect and that the recess may be made substantially the same size as the stiffener, where the stiffener is not intended to move appreciably relative to the tongue.

In the embodiments where the lower portion of the stiffener is fixed to the lower end of the tongue, an open area may be formed at the top of the recess in which the stiffener may move when the boot is flexed forwardly. Similarly, in embodiments where the stiffener is fixed at an intermediate location, the recess may be configured to provide an open area at an upper end, at a lower end or at both the upper and lower ends. Also, if no recess is provided, the ends of the stiffener may be spaced from the corresponding ends of the tongue.

The width of the lower end of the stiffener may taper toward the tip. Such tapering may be suitable to further facilitate movement of the stiffener relative to the tongue. This tapering may also facilitate insertion of the stiffener beneath the cover or into another suitably configured arrangement to hold the lower end of the stiffener adjacent the tongue. Further, the surfaces of the stiffener may be lightly textured so as to permit ease of movement relative to the tongue and other components of the footwear. In some instances, it may be desirable to control the flexibility of the tongue and subsequently the boot and this flexibility may be controlled in a number of ways. The stiffener 20 may be removable from the tongue 24 allowing the rider to choose between a more stiff boot (with the stiffener attached) and a more flexible boot (with the stiffener removed). The boot may be also be provided with interchangeable stiffeners, each having a different flexibility. Thus, the wearer may select from a variety of stiffeners to alter the properties of the boot. The flexibility or rigidity of the stiffeners themselves may be varied in any of a number of ways; for example, by forming the stiffeners with different materials or by forming the stiffeners with different shapes or dimensions.

The various embodiments of the stiffener described may be used with any suitable footwear cooperating with a tongue. In one example, as shown in Figure 3, the tongue 24 is attached to a soft or hybrid snowboard boot. Specifically, the tongue 24 is attached to a boot upper 90, which extends from a flexible sole 92, near a toe area 94 of the boot upper 90. The tongue 24 may be a molded plastic tongue or a stitched tongue, such as a stitched fabric or leather tongue. In embodiments where the tongue is formed of a plastic material, the tongue 24 may have a durometer of between about 55 and about 58 Asker C. Of course, the tongue may be configured with other suitable material properties. A fabric may be stretched over the tongue.

The tongue 24 may be joined to the upper 90 by stitching, bonding or other suitable joining arrangements as would be apparent to one of skill in the art. The upper 90 is formed of a suitable material, such as leather or fabric. To provide traction on snow covered terrain, the sole may be formed with treads. The sole may also include a foam inner sole or midsole to dampen shock transmission to the rider's feet induced during various maneuvers, such as landing jumps. An inner bladder or boot liner, whether permanent or removable, may also be provided for a snug fit and insulation from cold temperatures, snow and water. The boot may be constructed with any suitable closure device, such as buckles, laces, rotary closure systems and the like. Although the tongue is shown attached to the boot upper, it should be appreciated that the present invention is not limited in this respect. Instead, the upper may be formed without a tongue, and the tongue may be part of the inner bladder. In addition, the tongue may be a free-floating tongue.

For ease of understanding, and without limiting the scope of the invention, the stiffener for footwear to which this patent is addressed is discussed particularly in connection with a snowboard boot. However, it should be appreciated that the present invention is not limited in this respect, and that the aspects of the present invention described herein can be used in association with other types of footwear. Having thus described certain embodiments of the present invention, various alterations, modification and improvements will readily occur to those skilled in the art. Such alterations, modifications, and improvements are intended to be within the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the foregoing description is by way of example only, and not intended to be limiting. The invention is limited only as defined in the following claims and the equivalent thereof.

What is claimed is:

Claims

1. A tongue construction for an article of footwear comprising: a flexible tongue having a bottom edge; and a stiffener including an elongated stiffener body supported by the tongue, the stiffener body having a bottom edge that is spaced from the bottom edge of the tongue, the stiffener body being constructed and arranged with a non-uniform stiffness such that the resistance to flexing of the stiffener in one of a medial and lateral direction is greater than in the other of the medial and lateral direction.
2. The tongue construction according to claim 1, wherein the stiffener body includes a medial portion and a lateral portion, the lateral portion providing greater resistance to flexing than the medial portion.
3. The tongue construction according to claim 1, wherein the stiffener body includes a medial portion and a lateral portion, the medial portion providing greater resistance to flexing than the lateral portion.
4. The tongue construction according to claim 1, wherein the stiffener body is asymmetrically shaped.
5. The tongue construction according to claim 1, wherein the stiffener body includes a medial portion and a lateral portion, the lateral portion including a first cross-sectional area and the medial portion including a corresponding second cross-sectional area, the first cross- sectional area being different from the second cross-sectional area.
6. The tongue construction according to claim 1, wherein the stiffener body includes a medial portion and a lateral portion, the lateral side being curved in a side-to-side direction to define a first curve length, the medial side being curved in the side-to-side direction to define a second curve length, the first curve length being different from the second curve length.
7. The tongue construction according to claim 1, wherein the stiffener body includes a medial portion and a lateral portion, the lateral portion including a lateral outer peripheral edge having a first edge shape and the medial portion including a medial outer peripheral edge having a second edge shape, the first edge shape being different from the second edge shape.
8. The tongue construction according to claim 1, wherein the stiffener body includes a medial portion and a lateral portion, the lateral portion including a first thickness and the medial portion including a second thickness, the first thickness being different from the second thickness.
9. The tongue construction according to claim 1, wherein the stiffener body includes a longitudinal axis, a medial portion and a lateral portion, at least one of the lateral portion and the medial portion of the stiffener body including a plurality of stiffening ribs generally extending in a direction of the longitudinal axis.
10. The tongue construction according to claim 1, wherein the stiffener body is formed of a first material having a first stiffness and a second material having a second stiffness, the first stiffness being different from the second stiffness.
11. The tongue construction according to claim 10, first material is different from the second material.
12. The tongue construction according to claim 1, wherein the stiffener body includes an upper portion, at least the upper portion being constructed and arranged with the non-uniform stiffness.
13. The tongue construction according to claim 1, wherein the stiffener body is removably fixed to the tongue.
14. The tongue construction according to claim 1, wherein the stiffener body includes an upper portion that is removably fixed to the tongue.
15. The tongue construction according to claim 1, wherein the stiffener is movable relative to the tongue, the tongue including a central longitudinal axis that extends in a shin-to-toe direction, the stiffener being movable substantially in a direction of the central longitudinal axis.
16. The tongue construction according to claim 1, wherein the tongue includes a recess formed in an outward-facing surface thereof that is constructed and arranged to receive the stiffener.
17. The tongue construction according to claim 16, wherein the stiffener is movable relative to the tongue, the recess including a lower edge and a length that is larger than a length of the stiffener body, thereby defining an open area between the lower edge of the stiffener body and the lower edge of the recess, the open area facilitating relative movement of the stiffener within the recess.
18. The tongue construction according to claim 16, wherein the recess has a depth approximately equal to a thickness of the stiffener.
19. The tongue construction according to claim 1, wherein the stiffener is movable over the tongue and wherein the tongue is constructed and arranged to maintain a portion of the stiffener adjacent to the tongue while allowing relative movement between the stiffener and the tongue.
20. The tongue construction according to claim 1, in combination with the article of footwear, wherein the tongue is constructed and arranged to cooperate with the article of footwear.
21. The combination of claim 20, further comprising a plurality of interchangeable stiffeners, each stiffener having a different stiffness.
22. The combination of claim 20, wherein the article of footwear is one of a soft and a hybrid snowboard boot.
23. A stiffener for a tongue of an article of footwear, the stiffener comprising: an elongated stiffener body having a lateral portion and a medial portion, the lateral portion including a lateral outer peripheral edge having a first edge shape and the medial portion including a medial outer peripheral edge having a second edge shape, the first edge shape being different from the second edge shape to provide the stiffener body with a non- uniform stiffiiess such that, when the stiffener is flexed, the resistance to flexing in one of a medial and lateral direction is greater than in the other of the medial and lateral direction.
24. The stiffener according to claim 23, wherein the lateral portion of the stiffener body includes a first thickness and wherein the medial portion of the stiffener body includes a second thickness, the first thickness being different from the second thickness.
25. The stiffener according to claim 23, wherein the stiffener body includes a longitudinal axis, at least one of the lateral portion and the medial portion including a plurality of stiffening ribs generally extending in a direction of the longitudinal axis.
26. The stiffener according to claim 25, wherein the stiffener body is formed of a first material having a first stiffness and a second material having a second stiffness, the first stiffness being different from the second stiffness.
27. The stiffener according to claim 23, wherein the first material is different from the second material.
28. The stiffener according to claim 23, wherein the lateral portion includes a first cross- sectional area and wherein the medial portion includes a corresponding second cross- sectional area, the first cross-sectional area being different from the second cross-sectional area.
29. The stiffener according to claim 23, wherein the stiffener body includes an upper portion and a lower portion and wherein, in at least the upper portion, a distance between the longitudinal axis and a point on the lateral outer peripheral edge is different from a distance between the longitudinal axis and a corresponding point on the medial outer peripheral edge.
30. The stiffener according to claim 23, wherein the resistance to flexing in the lateral direction is greater than in the medial direction.
31. The stiffener according to claim 23, wherein the resistance to flexing in the medial direction is greater than in the lateral direction.
32. The stiffener according to claim 23, wherein the stiffener body further includes a portion thereof that is constructed and arranged to removably engage with the tongue.
33. The stiffener according to claim 23, wherein the stiffener body includes an upper portion, at least the upper portion being constructed and arranged with the non-uniform stiffness.
34. A stiffener for a tongue of an article of footwear, the stiffener comprising: an elongated stiffener body having a longitudinal axis, a medial portion on one side of the axis and a lateral portion on the other side of the axis, the body being free of a cutout extending therethrough; and a stiffened zone formed at least partially on one of the medial and lateral portions to impart a non-uniform stiffiiess to the stiffener body such that, when the stiffener is flexed, the resistance to flexing in one of a medial and lateral direction is greater than in the other of the medial and lateral direction.
35. The stiffener according to claim 34, wherein the stiffener body has a first thickness and a second thickness that is greater than the first thickness, the second thickness defining the stiffened zone.
36. The stiffener according to claim 34, wherein the stiffened zone includes a plurality of stiffening ribs generally extending in a direction of the longitudinal axis.
37. The stiffener according to claim 34, wherein the stiffener body is formed with a first material having a first material stiffness and a second material having a second stiffness, the second material defining the stiffened zone.
38. The stiffener according to claim 37, wherein first material being different from the second material.
39. The stiffener according to claim 34, wherein the lateral portion includes a first cross- sectional area and wherein the medial portion includes a corresponding second cross- sectional area, the first cross-sectional area being greater than the second cross-sectional area, the first cross-sectional area defining the stiffened zone.
40. The stiffener according to claim 34, wherein the stiffener body includes an upper portion and a lower portion and wherein the stiffened zone is formed at least in the upper portion and on one of the medial and lateral sides.
41. The stiffener according to claim 40, wherein the stiffened zone is formed at the lower portion and on the other of the medial and lateral sides.
42. The stiffener according to claim 34, wherein the resistance to flexing in the lateral direction is greater than in the medial direction.
43. The stiffener according to claim 34, wherein the resistance to flexing in the medial direction is greater than in the lateral direction.
44. The stiffener according to claim 34, wherein the stiffener body further includes a portion thereof that is constructed and arranged to removably engage with the tongue.
45. A stiffener for a tongue of an article of footwear, the stiffener comprising: an elongated stiffener body having a lateral side and a medial side, the lateral side being curved in a side-to-side direction to define a first curve length, the medial side being curved in the side-to-side direction to define a second curve length, the first curve length being different from the second curve length to provide the stiffener body with a non-uniform stiffness such that, when the stiffener is flexed, the resistance to flexing is greater in one of a medial and lateral direction than in the other of the medial and lateral direction.
46. The stiffener according to claim 45, wherein the lateral portion includes a first thickness and wherein the medial portion includes a second thickness, the first thickness being different from the second thickness.
47. The stiffener according to claim 45, wherein the stiffener body includes a longitudinal axis, at least one of the lateral portion and the medial portion includes a plurality of stiffening ribs generally extending in a direction of the longitudinal axis.
48. The stiffener according to claim 45, wherein the stiffener body is formed of a first material having a first stiffness and a second material haying a second stiffness, the first stiffness being different from the second stiffness.
49. The stiffener according to claim 48, wherein the first material is different from the second material.
50. The stiffener according to claim 45, wherein the lateral portion includes a first cross- sectional area and wherein the medial portion includes a corresponding second cross- sectional area, the first cross-sectional area being different from the second cross-sectional area.
51. The stiffener according to claim 45, wherein the resistance to flexing in the lateral direction is greater than in the medial direction.
52. The stiffener according to claim 45, wherein the resistance to flexing in the medial direction is greater than in the lateral direction.
53. The stiffener according to claim 45, wherein the stiffener body includes an upper portion, at least the upper portion being constructed and arranged with the non-uniform stiffness.
54. A stiffener for a tongue of an article of footwear, the stiffener comprising: an elongated stiffener body having a medial portion and a lateral portion, one of the medial and lateral portions having a stiffness that is greater than the other of the medial and lateral portions, the stiffener body being capable of receiving a cutout therethrough, the stiffness of the one of the medial and lateral portions remaining greater than the other of the medial and lateral portions if a cutout is subsequently formed in the stiffener body.
55. The stiffener according to claim 54, wherein the lateral portion includes a first thickness and wherein the medial portion includes a second thickness, the first thickness being different from the second thickness.
56. The stiffener according to claim 54, wherein the stiffener body includes a longitudinal axis, at least one of the lateral portion and the medial portion includes a plurality of stiffening ribs generally extending in a direction of the longitudinal axis.
57. The stiffener according to claim 54, wherein the stiffener body is formed of a first material having a first stiffiiess and a second material having a second stiffness, the first stiffness being different from the second stiffness.
58. The stiffener according to claim 57, wherein the first material is different from the second material.
59. The stiffener according to claim 54, wherein the lateral portion includes a first cross- sectional area and wherein the medial portion includes a corresponding second cross- sectional area, the first cross-sectional area being different from the second cross-sectional area.
60. The stiffener according to claim 54, wherein the resistance to flexing in the lateral direction is greater than in the medial direction.
61. The stiffener according to claim 54, wherein the resistance to flexing in the medial direction is greater than in the lateral direction.
62. A tongue construction for an article of footwear comprising: a flexible tongue; and a stiffener including an elongated stiffener body supported by the tongue for movement relative thereto as the tongue is flexed forwardly, the stiffener body being constructed and arranged with a non-uniform stiffness such that the resistance to flexing of the stiffener in one of a medial and lateral direction is greater than in the other of the medial and lateral direction.
63. The tongue construction according to claim 62, wherein the stiffener body includes a medial portion and a lateral portion, the lateral portion providing greater resistance to flexing than the medial portion.
64. The tongue construction according to claim 62, wherein the stiffener body includes a medial portion and a lateral portion, the medial portion providing greater resistance to flexing than the lateral portion.
65. The tongue construction according to claim 62, wherein the stiffener body is asymmetrically shaped.
66. The tongue construction according to claim 62, wherein the stiffener body includes a medial portion and a lateral portion, the lateral portion including a first cross-sectional area and the medial portion including a corresponding second cross-sectional area, the first cross- sectional area being different from the second cross-sectional area.
67. The tongue construction according to claim 62, wherein the stiffener body includes a medial portion and a lateral portion, the lateral side being curved in a side-to-side direction to define a first curve length, the medial side being curved in the side-to-side direction to define a second curve length, the first curve length being different from the second curve length.
68. The tongue construction according to claim 62, wherein the stiffener body includes a medial portion and a lateral portion, the lateral portion including a lateral outer peripheral edge having a first edge shape and the medial portion including a medial outer peripheral edge having a second edge shape, the first edge shape being different from the second edge shape.
69. The tongue construction according to claim 62, wherein the stiffener body includes a medial portion and a lateral portion, the lateral portion including a first thickness and the medial portion including a second thickness, the first thickness being different from the second thickness.
70. The tongue construction according to claim 62, wherein the stiffener body includes a longitudinal axis, a medial portion and a lateral portion, at least one of the lateral portion and the medial portion including a plurality of stiffening ribs generally extending in a direction of the longitudinal axis.
71. The tongue construction according to claim 62, wherein the stiffener body is formed of a first material having a first stiffness and a second material having a second stiffiiess, the first stiffness being different from the second stiffness,.
72. The tongue construction according to claim 71, wherein the first material is different from the second material.
73. The tongue construction according to claim 62, wherein the stiffener body includes an upper portion and a lower portion, at least the upper portion being constructed and arranged with the non-uniform stiffness.
74. The tongue construction according to claim 62, wherein the stiffener is removably fixed to the tongue.
75. The tongue construction according to claim 62, wherein the stiffener body includes an upper portion that is removably fixed to the tongue.
76. The tongue construction according to claim 62, wherein the tongue includes a central longitudinal axis that extends in a shin-to-toe direction, the stiffener being movable substantially in a direction of the central longitudinal axis.
77. The tongue construction according to claim 62, wherein the tongue includes a recess formed in an outward-facing surface thereof that is constructed and arranged to receive the stiffener.
78. The tongue construction according to claim 77, wherein the recess includes a lower edge and wherein a length of the recess is formed larger than a length of the stiffener body, thereby defining an open area between a lower end of the stiffener body and the lower edge of the recess, the open area facilitating relative movement of the stiffener within the recess.
79. The tongue construction according to claim 77, wherein the recess has a depth approximately equal to a thickness of the stiffener.
80. The tongue construction according to claim 62, wherein the stiffener overlies the tongue and wherein the tongue is constructed and arranged to maintain a portion of the stiffener adjacent to the tongue while allowing relative movement between the stiffener and the tongue.
81. The tongue construction according to claim 62, in combination with the article of footwear, wherein the tongue is constructed and arranged to cooperate with the article of footwear.
82. The combination of claim 81 , further comprising a plurality of interchangeable stiffeners, each stiffener having a different stiffness.
83. The combination of claim 81, wherein the article of footwear is one of a soft and a hybrid snowboard boot.
PCT/US2001/000287 2000-01-06 2001-01-04 Stiffener for footwear WO2001049142A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

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US47928300A true 2000-01-06 2000-01-06
US09/479,283 2000-01-06

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AU27623/01A AU2762301A (en) 2000-01-06 2001-01-04 Stiffener for footwear

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Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR2827485A1 (en) * 2001-07-20 2003-01-24 Salomon Sa Boot, in particular suitable for snow boarding, comprising tongue with gradually activated reinforced areas
EP1329169A1 (en) 2002-01-18 2003-07-23 Skis Rossignol S.A. Semi-rigid tongue for a sports shoe with a high upper
EP2925174A4 (en) * 2012-11-30 2016-12-21 Vans Inc Tuning elements for footwear

Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5606808A (en) * 1995-03-28 1997-03-04 Gilliard; James F. Adjustably stiffenable snowboard boot
WO1997032496A1 (en) * 1996-03-06 1997-09-12 Salomon S.A. Boot with a flexible upper and a reinforcing frame therein, particularly for snowboarding

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5606808A (en) * 1995-03-28 1997-03-04 Gilliard; James F. Adjustably stiffenable snowboard boot
WO1997032496A1 (en) * 1996-03-06 1997-09-12 Salomon S.A. Boot with a flexible upper and a reinforcing frame therein, particularly for snowboarding

Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR2827485A1 (en) * 2001-07-20 2003-01-24 Salomon Sa Boot, in particular suitable for snow boarding, comprising tongue with gradually activated reinforced areas
US6839985B2 (en) 2001-07-20 2005-01-11 Salomon S.A. Tongue for a boot, and boot provided with such tongue
US6993860B2 (en) 2001-07-20 2006-02-07 Salomon S.A. Tongue reinforcement for a boot, a reinforced tongue and a boot provided with such tongue
EP1329169A1 (en) 2002-01-18 2003-07-23 Skis Rossignol S.A. Semi-rigid tongue for a sports shoe with a high upper
CH695006A5 (en) 2002-01-18 2005-11-15 Rossignol Sa semi-rigid strap for a sports shoe high rod.
EP2925174A4 (en) * 2012-11-30 2016-12-21 Vans Inc Tuning elements for footwear
US10051912B2 (en) 2012-11-30 2018-08-21 Vans, Inc. Tuning elements for footwear

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