WO2014152180A1 - Resilient stabilizer and connecting member for a cushioning device in an article of footwear - Google Patents

Resilient stabilizer and connecting member for a cushioning device in an article of footwear Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2014152180A1
WO2014152180A1 PCT/US2014/027043 US2014027043W WO2014152180A1 WO 2014152180 A1 WO2014152180 A1 WO 2014152180A1 US 2014027043 W US2014027043 W US 2014027043W WO 2014152180 A1 WO2014152180 A1 WO 2014152180A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
central portion
invention
portion
connecting member
top
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2014/027043
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Thomas LOMBARDINO
Original Assignee
Aura Technologies Llc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B13/00Soles; Sole and heel units
    • A43B13/14Soles; Sole and heel units characterised by the constructive form
    • A43B13/18Resilient soles
    • A43B13/181Resiliency achieved by the structure of the sole
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B13/00Soles; Sole and heel units
    • A43B13/14Soles; Sole and heel units characterised by the constructive form
    • A43B13/18Resilient soles
    • A43B13/181Resiliency achieved by the structure of the sole
    • A43B13/182Helicoidal springs
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B7/00Footwear with health or hygienic arrangements
    • A43B7/32Footwear with shock-absorbing means Safety footwear

Abstract

A stabilizer and connecting member is provided for a cushioning device in an article of footwear, comprising a top platform with a diameter larger than a central portion, a corresponding bottom platform and a resilient central portion.

Description

RESILIENT STABILIZER AND CONNECTING MEMBER FOR A CUSHIONING DEVICE ΓΝ AN ARTICLE OF FOOTWEAR.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION:

[0001 ] The present invention generally relates to footwear, and more specifically, to a means of stabilizing and retaining a spring or series of springs within a footwear- cushioning device.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

[0002] There are a number of footwear products on the market, or disclosed in prior art, that show a spring based cushioning device either within the heel or forefoot of the footwear. In many applications, the spring based cushioning device is encapsulated within the midsoie of the shoe. In this configuration the springs are free floating, and are retained within the shoe in a spatial horizontal relationship by the outer walls of the midsoie. Other means of retaining the springs within the cushioning device exist, but while these configurations may retain the springs within the cushioning device, the drawback on these designs is that the outer wall of the midsoie, or other connecting means, serves to dampen the effect of the springs. This reduces the springs inherent ability to provide high levels of cushioning or resiliency, since the midsoie limits the springs overall functionality.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] As an improvement to encapsulated spring based footwear cushioning devices, or other means of retaining a spring or series of springs within a cushioning device, the current invention allows the springs to be effectively stabilized and secured within the cushioning device while still allowing the spring to operate fully unencumbered without the need of external encapsulation, thus improving the effectiveness and functionality of the spring.

[0004] Another advantage of the current invention is that it will be made of a high tensile strength material that prevents the top and bottom portions of the cushioning device from separating, thus keeping the springs secure even in extreme use, while still being resilient and strong enough to compress into itself so that the spring functionality is unencumbered by the presence of the current invention when a force is applied.

[0005] Yet another advantage of the current invention is that it incorporates top and bottom platforms that they are resiliently deformable, allowing the current invention to be easily inserted within a spring, whereas the top and bottom platforms will both form a lip around the corresponding top and bottom outer edges of the spring after being inserted. This capability makes assembly of the current invention into a footwear- cushioning device extremely simple and inexpensive.

[0006] The top and bottom platforms further serve to separate the top and bottom edges of the spring from contact with the inside edges of the internal portions of the cushioning device, which can be either a direct attachment to the interior portions of the footwear's midsole and outsole, or to the interior portions of a stabilizing plate, or plates, that may be incorporated to add structural integrity to the cushioning device. This design prevents unwanted friction noise, as well as wear from the spring rubbing against the midsole/outsole material, which may otherwise occur without the presence of the platform lip. ·

[0007] A final benefit of the top and bottom platforms is to provide a more substantial means of fixedly attaching the invention to the inner portions of the cushioning device so that the springs will not be dislocated from their positions during extreme use. Any commercial adhesive could be used to make the attachment. [0008] Another advantage of the design is that since the springs no longer need to be encapsulated within a midsole or other means of encapsulation, it adds a novel and unique look to the footwear.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0009] Figure 1 is a profile view of the basic invention.

[0010] Figure 2 is a profile view of the basic invention with phantom lines disclosing a hollow core along the vertical axis of the central portion,

[001 1 ] Figure 3 is a profile view of the invention whereas the central portion has an hourglass like shape.

[0012] Figure 4 is a profile view of the invention whereas the central portion is

comprised of an upper portion and a lower portion, with one said portion comprising a male connector and the opposing portion comprising a female receptacle to receive the male connector for attachment.

[001 3] Figure 5 is a profile view of the invention whereas the central portion further includes a center support ring at its horizontal axis.

[0014] Figure 6 is a profile view of the invention whereas the central portion has a cylindrical profile with a series of varying diameters throughout is length.

[0015] Figure 7 is an alternate configuration of the current invention with phantom lines illustrating a hollow chamber thru its vertical axis to allow a spring to be positioned throughout its length. [0016] Figure 8 is another variation of the alternate configuration with phantom lines illustrating a spring that can be placed within a hollow chamber and is abutted at one end by a top portion of the chamber.

[0017] Figure 9 is a perspective view of the primary configuration of the basic invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0018] Turning now descriptively to the drawings, in which similar reference characters denote similar elements throughout the several views, Figure 1 shows the primary form of the resilient stabilizer and connecting member ( 1 ) consisting of a top platform (2), a bottom platform (4) a resilient central portion (6) and a compression spring (8). While a coil spring is used for example throughout this description, it is understood that any type spring such as coil, wave or conical can be used, and it can be made of any known plastic or metal composition.

[0019] The resilient stabilizer and connecting member (1 ) itself can also be made of any number of materials including rubber, polyurethane, Polyethylene or any other similar material that can be molded into the required shape and which exhibits high levels of durability and resiliency.

[0020] A unique feature of the resilient stabilizer and connecting member (1 ) is that the top platform (2) and the bottom platform (4) are both resiliently deformable as lo allow the spring (8) to slide over the top platform (2) around the central portion (6) and rest on the bottom platform (4), whereas both platforms than form a lip around the top and bottom of the spring (8) for the purposes as was disclosed earlier.

[0021 ] Figure 2 shows a similar configuration of the resilient stabilizer and connecting member (1 ), except this version includes a hollow core (7) throughout its vertical axis. In this figure the spring is not shown for simplicity, The purpose of the hollow core (7) can be to provide additional resiliency to The resilient stabilizer and connecting member ( 1 ), or to allow the insertion of external pins (12) into the top (2) and bottom platforms (4) to better hold the resilient stabilizer and connecting member ( 1 ) in place within the midsole (9) and outsole (1 1 ).

[0022] Figure 3 illustrates the resilient stabilizer and connecting member ( 1 ) in an alternative configuration, having a profile shape similar to that of an hourglass.

[0023] In Figure 4, the central portion (6) is divided into two separate parts, an upper portion (6a) comprising a male connector ( 1 3), and a lower portion (6b) comprising a female receptacle ( 1 5). The upper portion (6a) mates with the lower portion (6b) and is bonded with any type of suitable adhesive. The advantage to this configuration is that in some cases it may be advantageous to have the upper portion (6a) molded directly as a part of the midsole (9) and the lower portion (6b) molded directly as part of the outsole ( 1 1 ) in order to reduce construction costs and simply manufacture. The spring (8) (not shown), would be inserted between the two portions prior to them being bonded and attached. It can be appreciated that while only one resilient stabilizer and connecting member ( 1 ) is shown in this and other drawing figures, that in actuality any number of resilient stabilizer and connecting members ( 1 ) can be positioned within the footwear.

[0024] In a preferred embodiment as is shown in Figure 5, the resilient stabilizer and connecting member ( 1 ) will consist of a top platform (2), a bottom platform (4) a resilient central portion (6) shaped like an hourglass and a center support ring (5) integrally molded around the horizontal axis of the resilient stabilizer and connecting member (1 ). The support ring (5) will added structural integrity to the center portion (6), thus providing additional durability to the overall inventive device. Again for clarity, a spring (8) is not shown in the illustration.

[0025] Figure 6 showns an alternative embodiment whereas the central portion

(60) is comprised of a series of varying diameter cylindrical columns throughout its length. Like the embodiments shown in figures 1 -5, this embodiment also provides for a means of having the resilient stabilizer and connecting member (1 ) compress into itself as best shown in figure 10.

[0026] Skipping ahead to Figure 10, this shows the resilient stabilizer and connecting member ( 1 ) in a fully compressed state. The resilient stabilizer and connecting member (1 ) is designed to have a rate of compression significantly lower than that of the spring (8), therefore allowing the spring to be unencumbered or unrestricted in its travel capabilities. It is also the objective of the resilient stabilizer and connecting member ( 1 ) to be able to compress at a length below the maximum travel capability of the spring (8), again, allowing the spring (8) to operate unrestricted, while still providing a secure and sturdy housing for the spring (8) so that it can be situated within the midsole of an article of footwear.

[0027] Figure 7 illustrates another variation of the current invention whereas the

Central portion (6) is larger than the diameter of the spring (8), so instead of the spring (8) sujTounding the central portion (6), in this configuration the spring is situated within the interior of the central portion (6). The upper platform (2), the lower platform (4) and the central portion (6) would all comprise an expanded hollow center portion (7) as to allow the insertion of the spring (8). This configuration would provide the same benefit as the internal resilient stabilizer and connecting member ( 1 ), except that it would encase the spring (8) to protect it from external elements.

[0028] Figure 8 is a similar configuration to Figure 7, except instead of having a totally hollow center portion (6), the top of the resilient stabilizer and connecting member ( 1 ) is closed off to keep the spring (8) contained within the chamber.

Alternatively, instead of placing the spring (8) inside the chamber, it can be placed outside the central portion (6), with the lower edge of the spring (8) sitting on the inside portion of the bottom platform (4). If added durability is needed, thermoplastic or polyurethane washer can be placed between the . bottom of the. spring (8) and the inside portion of the bottom platform (4). [0029] Figure 10 illustrates the preferred embodiment of the current invention in its compressed state whereas the upper portion (6a) and lower portion (6b) of the central portion (6) compress upon themselves.

[0030] Figure 1 1 shows one version of the current invention as was illustrated in

Figure 5, as it would be situated between the midsole (17) and outsole (18) of an article of footwear.

[00 1 ] Figure 12 shows an alternative embodiment of the current invention as was illustrated in Figure 7, with a spring (8) situated within the central portion (6), and the invention being situated between the midsole ( 17) and outsole ( 18) of an article of footwear.

[0032] Figure 1 3 shows an final alternative embodiment of the current invention as was illustrated in Figure 8, with the spring (8) positioned around central portion (6), and with the invention being situated between the midsole ( 17) and outsole (18) of an article of footwear.

Claims

What is claimed:
1 . A stabilizer and connecting member for a cushioning device in an article of footwear, comprising
a. a top platform with a diameter larger than a central portion
b. a corresponding bottom platform and
c. a resi lient central portion
2. The invention of Claim 1 whereas the central portion has an hourglass profile.
3. The invention of Claim 1 whereas the central portion has a cylindrical profile.
4. The invention of Claim 1 whereas the central portion has a cylindrical profile with a series of varying diameters throughout is length.
5. The invention of Claim 1 whereas the central portion has a hollow interior at its vertical axis.
6. The invention of Claim 2 whereas the central portion further includes a center support ring at its horizontal axis.
7. The invention of Claim 1 whereas the top and bottom platforms are resiliently deformable to allow insertion into a spring.
8. The invention of Claim 1 whereas the central portion is resiliently deformable to allow it to compress upon itself, thereby reducing its operating height by at least 50%.
9. The invention of Claim 1 whereas the central portion has a very high tensile strength, thereby preventing it from being extended beyond its preset operating height during operation.
10. The invention of Claim 1 whereas the resilient central portion is comprised of an upper portion and a lower portion which are fixedly attached at abutting ends to form a unitary portion.
1 1 . The invention of Claim 10 whereas the means of attachment for the upper and lower portions further comprises a male connector on one portion with a female receptacle on the opposing portion.
12. The invention of Claim 1 1 whereas the fixedly attached central portions create an hourglass profile.
13. A stabilizer and connecting member for a cushioning device in an article of footwear, comprising
a. a top lip with a diameter larger than a central portion
b. a bottom lip corresponding in size and placement to the top lip,
c. a resilient central portion consisting of a hollow core to accept a spring within its interior.
14. The invention of Claim 13 stabilizing and connecting member is transparent.
15. A stabilizer and connecting member for a cushioning device in an article of footwear, comprising
a. a top portion
b. a resilient central portion consisting of a hollow core, and
c. a bottom lip with a diameter larger than the central portion and the top portion.
16. The invention of Claim 15 whereas the stabilizing and connecting member is transparent.
PCT/US2014/027043 2013-03-15 2014-03-14 Resilient stabilizer and connecting member for a cushioning device in an article of footwear WO2014152180A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US201361791070 true 2013-03-15 2013-03-15
US61/791,070 2013-03-15

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WO2014152180A1 true true WO2014152180A1 (en) 2014-09-25

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PCT/US2014/027043 WO2014152180A1 (en) 2013-03-15 2014-03-14 Resilient stabilizer and connecting member for a cushioning device in an article of footwear

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US (1) US20140325870A1 (en)
WO (1) WO2014152180A1 (en)

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2017044689A1 (en) * 2015-09-11 2017-03-16 Nike Innovate C.V. Adaptive midsole with pin array

Families Citing this family (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
KR101154356B1 (en) * 2011-01-28 2012-06-14 (주) 엘비스가버 Shock-absorbing sheet for improving body balance and blood flow
US9375048B2 (en) * 2012-12-28 2016-06-28 Nike, Inc. Article of footwear having adjustable sole structure

Citations (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5224278A (en) * 1992-09-18 1993-07-06 Jeon Pil D Midsole having a shock absorbing air bag
US5572804A (en) * 1991-09-26 1996-11-12 Retama Technology Corp. Shoe sole component and shoe sole component construction method
US6055747A (en) * 1999-04-29 2000-05-02 Lombardino; Thomas D. Shock absorption and energy return assembly for shoes
WO2000053043A2 (en) * 1999-03-05 2000-09-14 Michelini, Diego Springing element for footwear soles, particularly for soles with studs and sole, stud and footwear product having such element
US20080263894A1 (en) * 2007-04-25 2008-10-30 Wolverine World Wide, Inc. Shock absorbing footwear construction
US20080313928A1 (en) * 2006-09-08 2008-12-25 Adams Roger R Wheeled footwear with spring suspension system
US20090265961A1 (en) * 2005-10-10 2009-10-29 Karl Muller Footwear as Mat-Socks
US20100058616A1 (en) * 2006-05-23 2010-03-11 Hyun-Wook Ryoo Shoe having an elastic body

Family Cites Families (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4342158A (en) * 1980-06-19 1982-08-03 Mcmahon Thomas A Biomechanically tuned shoe construction
WO2002031377A3 (en) * 2000-10-12 2002-08-29 Skydex Technologies Inc Cushioning structure for floor and ground surfaces
US7152339B2 (en) * 2004-03-11 2006-12-26 Chie-Fang Lo Cushion cell for shoes
WO2006038357A1 (en) * 2004-09-30 2006-04-13 Asics Corporation Cushioning device for shoe bottom
US7748141B2 (en) * 2006-05-18 2010-07-06 Nike, Inc Article of footwear with support assemblies having elastomeric support columns

Patent Citations (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5572804A (en) * 1991-09-26 1996-11-12 Retama Technology Corp. Shoe sole component and shoe sole component construction method
US5224278A (en) * 1992-09-18 1993-07-06 Jeon Pil D Midsole having a shock absorbing air bag
WO2000053043A2 (en) * 1999-03-05 2000-09-14 Michelini, Diego Springing element for footwear soles, particularly for soles with studs and sole, stud and footwear product having such element
US6055747A (en) * 1999-04-29 2000-05-02 Lombardino; Thomas D. Shock absorption and energy return assembly for shoes
US20090265961A1 (en) * 2005-10-10 2009-10-29 Karl Muller Footwear as Mat-Socks
US20100058616A1 (en) * 2006-05-23 2010-03-11 Hyun-Wook Ryoo Shoe having an elastic body
US20080313928A1 (en) * 2006-09-08 2008-12-25 Adams Roger R Wheeled footwear with spring suspension system
US20080263894A1 (en) * 2007-04-25 2008-10-30 Wolverine World Wide, Inc. Shock absorbing footwear construction

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2017044689A1 (en) * 2015-09-11 2017-03-16 Nike Innovate C.V. Adaptive midsole with pin array

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