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1. (WO2017035586) SHOE SOLE
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Shoe Sole

Field of the invention

[001] The present invention relates to sports shoes. More particularly, it relates to the soles for sports shoes which help minimise injuries arising from twisting and turning movements during a sporting activity, particularly those which may occur during a collision with other players, whether in a contact or non-contact sport.

Background of the invention

[002] Sports shoes or boots are designed and manufactured according to the requirements and movements associated with the particular sport. For example, during game play, a rugby, soccer or football player needs to frequently stop and run on the field, and often needs to change directions. Appropriate footwear for soccer or football play thus needs to allow ground grip or traction for the safety of the player, and also enable mobility in different directions. A football or soccer player can also experience collisions or tackles during the course of play. The force from the collisions or tackles may produce twisting or turning movements, potentially resulting in injuries to the person being tackled.

[003] Any reference herein to known prior art does not, unless the contrary indication appears, constitute an admission that such prior art is commonly known by those skilled in the art to which the invention relates, at the priority date of this application.

Summary of the invention

[004] The present invention provides a shoe sole, comprising a bottom surface, the bottom surface having a front array of ground engaging formations having a first height or depth, and a rear array of ground engaging formations having a second height or depth, the rear array of ground engaging formations generally located at a heel portion of the sole, wherein the first height or depth is greater than the second height or depth.

[005] The rear array of ground engaging formations can be protrusions.

[006] The rear array of ground engaging formations can be elongated protrusions, or protrusions which are aligned in a plurality of linear or curved lines.

[007] The elongated protrusions can be approximately 10 to 20 millimetres in length.

[008] The elongated protrusions can be between approximately 2 to 4 millimetres in width as measured transverse to a longitudinal axis of the elongated protrusions.

[009] The rear array of ground engaging formations can be oriented non-parallel to a longitudinal axis of the sole.

[010] The rear array of ground engaging formations can be transverse to the longitudinal axis of the sole.

[011] The rear array of ground engaging formations can be parallel ribs which extend from a lateral side to a medial side of the sole.

[012] The parallel ribs can be approximately 10 millimetres apart.

[013] The rear array of ground engaging formations can be angled from the longitudinal axis of the sole.

[014] The rear array of ground engaging formations can be spaced apart chevrons, boomerang shapes, or crescents.

[015] Apexes of the chevrons or convex centres of the crescents can point toward a rear of the sole.

[016] The rear array of ground engaging formations can be one or a combination of more than one of the following: elongated ribs, conical studs, frusto-conical studs, cylindrical studs, semi- spherical studs.

[017] The height or depth of the rear array of ground engaging formations can be between approximately 2 to 5 millimetres.

[018] The rear array of ground engaging formations can extend perpendicularly from the bottom surface.

[019] The rear array of ground engaging formations can extend obliquely from the bottom surface.

[020] The present invention also provides a heel portion for a shoe sole, adapted to be assembled to a shoe having a front sole portion, the heel portion of the shoe sole carrying a rear array of ground engaging formations, the rear array of ground engaging formations having a height or depth that is less than a height or depth of front ground engaging formations of said front sole portion.

[021] The rear array of ground engaging formations can be integral with the heel portion.

[022] The rear array of ground engaging formations can be detachable.

[023] The rear array of ground engaging formations can be located on detachable plate.

[024] The present invention also provides a shoe sole comprising a heel portion mentioned above.

[025] The present invention further provides a shoe comprising a sole as

mentioned in the paragraphs above.

Brief description of the drawings

[026] An embodiment or embodiments of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

[027] Figure 1 is an underneath view of a shoe sole;

[028] Figure 2 is an elevational view of a front ground engaging formation;

[029] Figure 3 is an elevational view of a shoe having the shoe sole of Figure 1 ;

[030] Figure 4 is an underneath view of a rear array of ground engaging formations;

[031] Figure 5 is an underneath view of a rear array of ground engaging formations according to another embodiment;

[032] Figure 6 is a plan view of a rear array of ground engaging formations according to another embodiment;

[033] Figure 7 is a side view of the sole shown in Figure 4;

[034] Figure 8 is a side view of the sole shown in Figure5;

[035] Figure 9 is an underneath view of a rear array of crescent shaped ground engaging formations;

[036] Figure 10 is an underneath view of a rear array of boomerang shaped ground engaging formations;

[037] Figure 11 is an underneath view of a rear array of ground engaging formations comprising studs;

[038] Figure 12 is an underneath view of a rear array of ground engaging formations comprising aligned studs.

Detailed description of the embodiment or embodiments

[039] For the purpose of this specification, directional references "front", "back",

"left" and "right" are made with respect to the wearer.

[040] Figure 1 depicts a shoe sole 100 which is suitable for a sports boot. It is in particular suitable for sporting activities where the wearer experiences impacts from collisions or tackles, or needs to have the mobility to stop, run, and change directions. The shoe sole 100 provides a quantum of traction in the front region of the shoe which is different or greater than then quantum of traction in the rear region. The outsole 105, being the bottom surface of the shoe sole 100, has a front array of ground engaging formations 110, and a rear array of ground engaging formations 120. The formations are protrusions or extend downwardly from the outsole 105. They can be generally described as ribs, cleats, or studs, or combinations thereof.

[041] During a sporting activity, a player can be tackled or a body collision can occur. However, due to the ground penetration of the ground engaging members, the wearer' s shoe often remains engaged with the ground during the initial impact, rather than moving in response to the impact. As a result, during the initial impact the wearer's heel remains unmoved with respect to the toes, while his or her leg turns or moves sideways from the force of the impact. The twisting or turning which potentially results at the ankle of the player can lead to injuries. The different traction provided by the front and rear arrays of the ground engaging formations 110, 120 respectively assist to minimise the likelihood of injuries of this kind.

[042] In the embodiment shown, the front array of ground engaging formations

110 includes a plurality of, for example seven, bulges or studs 112 which provide traction with respect to the ground. The front array of ground engaging formations 110 are suited for providing traction and reducing slippage, especially during forefoot striking, which frequently occurs when the wearer runs, jumps, or lands from a jump. As shown in Figure 2, the studs 112 are generally shaped like rounded, truncated cones, as is common in the art of football shoes. Projecting from the outsole 105, the stud 112 has a base 114 with a larger diameter "A". From the base 114 the stud 112 decreases in diameter and ends in a crown 116 having a smaller diameter "B". The studs 112 have a first distance or height or depth "C" between the base 114 and the crown 116. That is, in use the studs 112 reach a height or depth "C" from the outsole 105. The crown 116 is rounded in the depicted embodiment, but need not be.

[043] In one example, each stud 112 has a base diameter "A" of about 15 to 20 millimetres (mm), a crown or tip with a diameter "B" of about 8 to 10 mm, and a height or depth "C" of about 10 to 12 mm. Other dimensions may be used to account for factors such as the age, shoe size and gender of the intended wearer.

[044] The shoe sole 100 further includes a rear array of ground engaging formations 120. The rear array 120 of formations are generally located at a heel portion of the sole 100. They provide traction during heel striking which may occur during running, jumping, or landing, and further enhances stability by reducing slippage. The rear array of ground engaging formations 120 therefore also penetrates into the ground. Thus the formations 120 downwardly extend or project from the bottom surface 105 by a distance, height or depth "D". That is, the rear array of ground engaging formations, in use, has a depth "D" from the outsole 105.

[045] To enable the wearer's heel to turn with his or her leg, to reduce the likelihood of twisting injuries, the height or depth "D" of the rear array of ground engaging formations 120 is less than the height or depth "C" of the front array of ground engaging formations 110. Therefore, the front array of ground engaging formations 110 are able to penetrate deeper into the ground than the rear array of ground engaging formation 120. The difference between the height or depth "C" of the front studs 112 and the height or depth "D" of the rear array 120 can be seen in Figure 3. Instead of traditionally shaped studs, the rear array of ground engaging formations 120 include traction pads 122, which provide traction but do not penetrate into the ground to the same extent as the front studs 112. Due to the difference in height, depth or length of penetration, the heel portion will move laterally relative to the front portion with much less force than would be applied to the front portion of the foot to effect the same lateral movement.

[046] In the embodiment shown in Figure 3, the shoe 100 has a raised heel 126

(i.e. the sole 105 includes a raised heel 126). The rear ground engaging formations 122 extend below the raised heel 126. However ground engaging formations can also be

applied to shoes with no raised heels, as represented in dashed lines, where the rear formations 128 extend below a flat heel 130.

[047] Referring to Figures 4 to 6, the rear array of ground engaging formations

120 are oriented to facilitate a sideways movement, or reduce the force required to effect a lateral movement of the shoe heel, and thereby the wearer's heel. The orientations of the rear formations are selected to as to facilitate lateral movement of the shoe heel upon the application of an external lateral force. In the embodiment shown in Figures 1, 4, and 6, the rear array of ground engaging formations 120 are elongated ribs, with a direction of elongation being at an angle to the longitudinal axis "Y" of the sole 100. In the

embodiment shown in Figure 5, the rear array of ground engaging formations 120 are transverse, or at a right angle, to the longitudinal axis "Y". In either case, the rear array of ground engaging formations 120 are non-parallel to the axis "Y".

[048] As shown in Figure 7, the rear array of ground engaging formations 120 have a rounded profile. Each rib or traction pad 122 extends perpendicularly rom the outsole 105 and ends in a rounded tip 123. As shown in Figure 8, the rear formations 820 alternatively extend obliquely from the outsole 105. The oblique angle of formations 820B can be seen in Figure 8. In further embodiments, the rear formations 120 include some formations which extend obliquely and some which extend perpendicularly from the outsole 105. The oblique angle is chosen in accordance with the requirements of the particular sport, and the physiology of the intended wearer.

[049] In the embodiment shown in Figure 4, the rear array of ground engaging formations 400 include a series of spaced part, parallel elongated ribs 420. Each rib 420 takes the shape, or have an outline, of a chevron or an inverted "V", extending between the lateral side of the shoe sole and the medial side, and having its apex 424 along the midline "Y". Divided by the midline represented by "Y", the lateral half and medial half of the ground engaging ribs 420 facilitate movements in their respective orientations.

[050] Other types of ground engaging formations can be used instead of an inverted V or a chevron. Figure 9 depicts a rear array of ground engaging formations 920, which include crescent shaped ribs or pads 922, with convex centres 924 located on the midline "Y" of the shoe sole. Figure 10 depicts a similar rear ground engaging array 1020, but with boomerang shaped formations. The apexes or convex centres 924, 1024 of the ground engaging formations 922, 1022 are shown as pointing toward the front (i.e. toe

region) of the shoe sole, but in other embodiments they point toward the rear (i.e. heel region) of the shoe sole. For example the rear ground engaging formations shown in Figure 4 have central apexes 424 that point toward the rear.

[051] In the embodiment shown in Figure 5, the rear array of ground engaging formations include a series of parallel ribs 520 which are generally straight and extend between the lateral and medial sides of the shoe sole 500.

[052] In the embodiments shown in Figures 4 and 5, each ground engaging formation 420, 520 extend from side-to-side. However the formations need not reach the medial and lateral edges of the shoe sole 400, 500.

[053] As examples only, the ribs shown in Figures 4 and 5 are spaced apart by about 10 mm. Each rib has a height or depth "D" of about 2 to 3 mm, and a width "W", as measured transverse to the longitudinal axis of the rib, of about 3 to 5 mm. These dimensions may be varied according to factors such as the age, shoe size and gender of the wearer.

[054] In the embodiment shown in Figure 6, which is similar to that shown in

Figure 1, the rear ground engaging formations 620 include a plurality of protrusions 620A which are directed in a first orientation, and another plurality of protrusions 620B which are directed in a second orientation. In this example, each protrusion is about 3 to 5 mm in width "W", 10 to 20 mm in length "L", and 2 to 3mm in height (downward length) or depth "D".

[055] The examples of the rear ground engaging formations provided above are not intended to be exhaustive of all formations which embody the spirit of the invention discussed herein. While the rear formations shown in Figures 1, 4, 5, and 6 are elongated, they may have other shapes. For example, as shown in Figure 11, the rear formations 1122 can be cylindrical, hemispherical, spherical, frusto-conical, or conical protrusions or studs. In further embodiments, each single protrusion, instead of being unitary, can comprise a series of aligned studs or protrusions. Each line of aligned studs or protrusions is orientation that is transverse or oblique to the centreline "Y" of the shoe sole. For example Figure 12 shows rear formations comprising discrete studs or protrusions 1222 which are aligned in inverted "V" shapes.

[056] To manufacture the shoe sole, the front array of ground engaging formations 110 are formed, e.g. moulded, integrally or unitarily with the shoe sole.

Alternatively they are formed separately and then attached to the shoe sole, for example by screwing. The rear array of ground engaging formations 120 can also integral or unitary with the sole, or alternatively detachable from and separate to the sole. In further

embodiments, the rear formations 120 are integrally provided on or attached to a separate layer, such as a plate, that is attachable to the shoe sole. The rear formations, carried on the plate, are replaceable when they are worn out, by detaching the plate from the shoe sole. In some embodiments the detachable plate or layer is intended for assembly onto the heel portion of the shoe sole.

[057] Where ever it is used, the word "comprising" is to be understood in its "open" sense, that is, in the sense of "including", and thus not limited to its "closed" sense, that is the sense of "consisting only of. A corresponding meaning is to be attributed to the corresponding words "comprise", "comprised" and "comprises" where they appear.

[058] It will be understood that the invention disclosed and defined herein extends to all alternative combinations of two or more of the individual features mentioned or evident from the text. All of these different combinations constitute various alternative aspects of the invention.

[059] While particular embodiments of this invention have been described, it will be evident to those skilled in the art that the present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiments and examples are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, and all modifications which would be obvious to those skilled in the art are therefore intended to be embraced therein.