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United States Patent Application 20110252664
Kind Code A1
JENNINGS; James Edward October 20, 2011

Cleat Spike Insole

Abstract

A shoe foundation assembly for receiving and retaining a number of cleats or spikes into the bottom sole of the shoe such as might be utilized in various sporting events. The shoe foundation assembly includes a unitarily molded shoe cradle component with a toe guard at a first end, a heel guard at a second end, and arch medial. An outsole is bonded to the midsole component sized and shaped to be positioned on the underside base of the shoe cradle component. The detachable cradle incorporates hillock apertures for positioning a number of sealable inserts to receive the cleat/spikes. Bonded to the midsole is an outsole component having a plurality of slit apertures also positioned to receive the plurality of cleat/spikes. A number of different types of cleats or shoe spikes may be inserted into the apertures in the outsole and through the sealable inserts within the midsole. Each of the cleat/spikes incorporates a structure for the retention of the cleat/spike onto the shoe foundation.


Inventors: JENNINGS; James Edward; (Louisville, CO)
Serial No.: 903322
Series Code: 12
Filed: October 13, 2010

Current U.S. Class: 36/28; 36/59C
Class at Publication: 36/28; 36/59.C
International Class: A43B 13/18 20060101 A43B013/18; A43C 15/00 20060101 A43C015/00


Claims



1. A shoe insole assembly for the optional receipt and retention of a plurality of cleat/spike structures such as those used in sporting events, the shoe foundation assembly comprising: (a) a unitarily molded detachable shoe cradle component comprising a longitudinal platform, a toe guard extending from a first end of the longitudinal support platform, and a heel guard extending from a second end of the longitudinal support platform; (b) a hillock component sized and shaped to be positioned on an underside base of the longitudinal support platform of the shoe cradle component, the cradle having a plurality of hillock apertures positioned to receive the plurality of cleat/spike structures; and (c) a unitarily molded insert shoe cradle component comprising a longitudinal platform, a toe guard extending from a first end of the longitudinal support platform, and a heel guard extending from a second end of the longitudinal support platform.

2. A cleat spike insole shoe for terrain engagement and traction by a plurality of cleat/spike structures such as those used in sporting events, the shoe foundation assembly comprising: (a) a unitarily molded shoe cradle component comprising a longitudinal support platform, a toe guard extending from a first end of the longitudinal support platform, and a heel guard extending from a second end of the longitudinal support platform; (b) a midsole component sized and shaped to be positioned on an underside base of the longitudinal platform of the shoe cradle component; and (c) an outsole component sized and shaped to be positioned on an underside base of the midsole component, the outsole component having a plurality of positioned cleat/spike structures.

3. A metatarsal sole sized and shaped to be positioned on an underside base of the longitudinal platform of a shoe cradle component, the midsole having a plurality of sealable slit aperture pads positioned to receive the plurality of cleat/spike structures; (a) a plurality of bonded sealing insert metatarsal pads positioned one vertical atop each within each of the plurality of sealable slit apertures in the midsole component comprising a no leak cylinder; (b) an outsole component sized and shaped to be positioned on an underside base of the midsole component, the outsole having a plurality of apertures positioned to receive the plurality of X-shape post cleat/spike structures; and (c) a plurality of x-shape post cleat/spike structures insertable into the plurality of apertures in the outsole and through the plurality of sealable insert pads positioned within the plurality of midsole apertures, each of the plurality of cleat/spike structures having means for retention of the same within the bonded x-slit sealing insert pads and midsole apertures.

4. A shoe foundation assembly for the optional receipt and retention of a plurality of cleat/spike structures such as those used in sporting events, the shoe foundation assembly comprising: (a) a unitarily molded detachable shoe cradle component comprising a longitudinal platform, a toe guard extending from a first end of the longitudinal support platform, and a heel guard extending from a second end of the longitudinal support platform; (b) a midsole component sized and shaped to be positioned on an underside base of the longitudinal platform of the shoe cradle component, the midsole having a plurality of sealable apertures positioned to receive the plurality of cleat/spike structures; (c) a plurality of sealing inserts positioned one each within each of the plurality of sealable apertures in the midsole component; (d) an outsole component sized and shaped to be positioned on an underside base of the midsole component, the outsole having a plurality of apertures positioned to receive the plurality of x-shape post cleat/spike structures; and (e) a plurality of x-shape post cleat/spike structures insertable into the plurality of apertures in the outsole and through the plurality of sealable inserts positioned within the plurality of midsole apertures, each of the plurality of cleat/spike structures having means for retention of the same within the x-shaped post sealing inserts and midsole apertures.
Description



CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This is a Continuation-in-Part of application Ser. No. 11/526,372, filed Sep. 25, 2006, which is a Continuation of application Ser. No. 10/900,217, filed Jul. 27, 2004, now abandoned.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The specialization of sports shoes, i.e. football, soccer, baseball, and basketball, has drawn the invention of a multiple or two way sport shoe. This specialization has resulted in the relocation of hardened plastic materials into the interior as cradle insole support and as a means for cleat/spike attachment. The present invention retains a comfortable soft sole versus a conventional hard outsole plate.

[0004] 2. Background of the Invention

[0005] The modern cleated athletic shoe is a combination of many elements which have specific functions, all of which work together for support and protection during an athletic event. The design of athletic shoes has become a science, but there has been little advancement for cleated footwear. The outsole plate and cleats provides traction, protection and a durable wear surface. Outsole plates severally limit running performance. In particular, outsole plates can cause discomfort, fatigue, and injury. Outsole plates inhibit the musculo-skeletal motion with respect to the flexibility movement of the phalanges bones and the metatarsal bones of a wearer's foot.

[0006] The design of the present invention, however takes into account the demands and requirements of the sport as they relate to the performance and safety of athletes. In meeting these demands, the present invention and innovation is directed to creating an "insole cradle connected" cleat/spike shoe. The cleat/spike insole shoe prevents instability leading to fatigue, injury and inefficiency of foot work action. It is desirable to eliminate interference with the bio mechanical running sequence and to enhance performance by providing a shoe that can be used for running and traction.

[0007] Broadly, an article of footwear includes an upper and an insole. The insole includes a plurality of downward extending ground engaging members providing traction. The cradle insole lies next to the foot under a sockliner. The insole is the foundation of the shoe, including an arch support device that cradles the foot and lifts the arch. While the peripheral portions cradle the sides of the foot to reduce pronation and supination.

[0008] The midsole lies between the insole and the outsole. The primary function of the midsole is to provide cushioning to the wearer's heel and forefoot. The outsole is commonly molded from abrasive resistant rubber material and comes in contact with the ground.

[0009] The cleat/spike insole shoe as an article of footwear is herein referred to as a CSI shoe. The features and aspects of the invention apply to the structures and forces associated with the various areas of the shoe. The specific enhancement at the insole area provides flexibility and support. The sock lined insole plastic cradle provides stability that increases energy efficiency during activity.

[0010] A first advantage of the CSI shoe over those described in prior art footwear styles is the flexibility. The sock lined plastic insole cradle is flexible, lightweight and easier to assemble than conventional midsole attached outsole plates. The sole of a typical athletic shoe accounts for at least 50-60% of the total shoe weight. The CSI shoe of the present invention midsole/outsole components can be molded from a combined material. A third advantage is that assembly is reduced to two primary structures. The upper attached sole and cradle insole as one unit combined of arch support, cushioning, heel cup and toe protection. Therefore, reducing costs by eliminating the need for a separate outsole mold, material and assembly line efficiency.

[0011] Finally, bridging with arch support also reduces considerable weight in scaling down of cushioning midsole and outsole material from the mid foot area.

[0012] In view of the foregoing, there is a need for an article of footwear that overcomes deficiencies. The cleat/spike insole shoe of the present invention, is not however, limited and intended only for sports, indoor or outdoor.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0013] The upper of the shoe associated with the structures of the present invention is secured to the sole in conventional manner and forms an interior space for securely and comfortably inserting a foot by a wearer. The upper may be from multiple elements including mesh, Gore-Tex.RTM., synthetic leather and leather. Constructing materials thereof stitched and adhesively bonded together to form a footwear structure.

[0014] The CSI unit fills the inner space adjacent to the topside surface of the sole. The insole cradle unit includes a sock lined plastic layer encompassing a heel cup, arch support and toe protector having cleats/spikes attached, affixed or receptacle means for said cleats/spikes. The sock liner comprises a compressibly resilient foam layer having top and bottom surfaces sized and shaped for insertion into the footwear and for supporting the foot. The sole (mid/out) attenuates reaction forces and absorbs energy as the footwear contacts the surface. The midsole forms the middle layer of the cushion sole and may be composed of resilient foam material, such as polyurethane, or similar or combination of materials. The cleats/spikes are provided at the bottom of the sole for ground engaged traction. The CSI shoe structure reduces manufacturing cost and simplifies manufacturing processes.

[0015] The sock liner is a very soft foam insert that adds plenty of comfort and relieves cleat/spike pressure with light cushioning and shock absorption of the shoe. The foam lower layer has compressibility sufficient to permit the layer to resiliently compress under the foot in response to pressure applied by the foot during periods of a gait cycle when the footwear impacts the ground thereby absorbing shock and cushioning the foot during impact. The sock liner may further comprise an open cell layer. The bottom surface of the upper layer is permanently bonded to the top surface of the lower layer for spacing the lower layer from the foot to reduce heat transfer from the lower layer to the foot and insulate. The sock liner may include a closed cell lower layer and a porous upper level permitting air to pass through to cool and dry the foot. The sock lined bonded plastic unit may be removable and replaceable. The CSI shoe improves stability, propulsion, sides-to-sides and gains maximum foot control. The cleat/spike insole has direct contact creating a natural synergy with the athlete's foot.

[0016] The plastic cradle insole of the present invention provides support and is used for cleats/spikes attachment. The plastic insole cradle can be formed by injection molding a resin into a desired shape, including a receptacle. The receptacle is sized and dimensioned to receive a threaded or locking system head of the shank (cleat component). The resin can be enhanced having a fibrous composition of nylon or glass. Arch support is placed beneath the medial region, and considerable weight may be saved, as conventional mid/out sole materials may be reduced or eliminated. The resistance to flex is important in the arch support region during the gait cycle. In addition, the anterior of the support requires an increase of flexibility for toeing off.

[0017] Cleated athletic shoes typically include a sole having an upper extending upwardly from the sole and into which the foot of the athlete is positioned and secured in place. A conventional cleated athletic shoe usually includes a pattern of cleats in the rearfoot portion and in the forefoot portion of the outsole. CSI spikes/cleats attach to the plastic insole with a screw, threaded shank head, shank lock system and/or have a receptacle disposed on the exterior surface in the molding process. An engagement receptacle would have threads on the interior surface wall. Shoes with studs are designed for efficient, reliable attachment and disengagement. This allows the player to use the optimal stud for different field conditions.

[0018] The sole of a typical athletic shoe accounts for 70% of the total shoe weight. Thus, to significantly reduce the total weight of a shoe, steps must be taken to reduce the weight of the sole. To achieve a sole which is lightweight, the components thereof must be structured from a elimination concept to materials which are functionally efficient. The unisole structure of the present invention is lightweight, provides flexibility, rigidness and is easier to assemble than conventional midsole and outsoles. The unisole is attached to the upper by lasting and/or adhesives. In addition, the unisole reduces molding costs due to the fact that the midsole/outsole, or sole can be formed with one mold from a combined midsole/outsole material which eliminates the need for a separate outsole mold. By using one mold as compared to two molds, simultaneously reduces the thickness, cost and weight. As mentioned above, the unisole uses a combined midsole/outsole material to reduce the weight and increase the stability of the shoe. The stability is vital due to cleat pressure. The unisole and alternative components are molded from a compound comprising cushioning foam (for example, polyurethane or ethyl vinyl acetate) and an abrasion resistant rubber. The EVA foam and compounds are available from Eclipse Polymers Co. Ltd. EVA or polyurethane are both capable of producing a suitable sole, however the primary requirements of the present invention are durability and stiffness value. The unisole is made by injection or form molding. The bottom surface may be molded with a plurality of tread elements to increase the traction. A tread element texturing may take the form of v-shaped flex groves, waffles, or other dimensional projections.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

[0019] FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of the assembly of components of the present invention, in combination with a typical shoe upper, to form a complete shoe.

[0020] FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the assembly of components of the present invention, without the shoe upper and incorporating the sealing inserts into the midsole.

[0021] FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view (a view of the bottom of the midsole for a right foot shoe) of the partially assembled shoe foundation of the present invention.

[0022] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of one of a first embodiment of the sealing insert components of the present invention.

[0023] FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view (a view of the bottom of the outsole for a right foot shoe) of the fully assembled shoe foundation of the present invention.

[0024] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the fully assembled shoe foundation of the present invention, ready for the placement and attachment of a shoe upper.

[0025] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of a cleat/spike for use in conjunction with the shoe foundation of the present invention.

[0026] FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of a cleat/spike for use in conjunction with the shoe foundation of the present invention.

[0027] FIGS. 9-11 are each partial cross-sectional views of the assembled shoe foundation of the present invention, showing the use of the various preferred embodiments of the cleat/spike construction and of the sealing insert construction.

[0028] FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a further alternate embodiment of the fully assembled shoe foundation of the present invention, wherein the integral molded construction actually provides for the upper components of the show and eliminates the need to provide for the separate attachment of a shoe upper.

[0029] FIG. 13 is an exploded perspective view of the assembly of components of the unisole invention, without the shoe upper and without the use of cleat/spikes as may be desired with some sport or non-sport uses of the shoe foundation.

[0030] FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a further embodiment of a cleat/spike for use in conjunction with the shoe foundation of the unisole invention.

[0031] FIG. 15 is a partial cross-sectional view of a further alternate embodiment of the assembled shoe foundation of the present invention, showing the use of the embodiment of the cleat/spike construction shown in FIG. 14.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0032] Reference is made first to FIG. 1 for an overall description of an exploded assembly view of the components that make up the improved cleat/spike insole shoe foundation of the present invention. FIG. 1 represents what may be a typical shoe construction including all of the components for a completed shoe. The assembly 10 of shoe components is shown with the components in their general orientation prior to or in the process of assembly. The present invention generally comprises the shoe foundation 12 components which include all components except for the shoe upper 14 which is shown in dashed outline form in FIG. 1. The balance of the components are shown with alignment lines generally positioned to indicate the point of attachment for cleat/spikes 24a-24n, two of which are shown in FIG. 1 as representative of the total number that might be provided on the shoe.

[0033] The first primary component of the present invention is detachable insert cradle 16 which is a molded plastic component that includes heel guard 26 and toe guard 28 positioned as shown. Positioned or placed on top and within insert cradle 16 may be sock liner 30 that provides a soft cushion for the interior of the shoe. Positioned across the base of cradle 16 are a number of hillock receptacles 32 whose function is described in more detail below, but which line up with each of the alignment components associated with cleat/spikes 24a-24n.

[0034] Detachable insert cradle 16 is positioned on top of midsole 18 and through the midsole to cleats/spikes 24a-24n. Midsole 18 comprises a configured soft sole component with sufficient rigidity to add support and flexibility. Midsole 18 incorporates a number of midsole apertures 34 which again are aligned to receive cleats/spikes 24a-24n. Midsole apertures 34 are shaped and sized to receive and retain sealing inserts 20 shown positioned below midsole 18 in FIG. 1. Sealing inserts 20 are designed to seal the shoe while still allowing for the insertion and removal of cleats/spikes 24a-24n. The structure and function of sealing inserts 20 is described in more detail below.

[0035] Midsole 18 is positioned on top of outsole 22 with sealing inserts 20 incorporated into midsole apertures 34. Like midsole 18, outsole 22 provides a harder yet resilient material that serves as the exterior base sole material for the shoe 10. Like midsole 18, outsole 22 incorporates a number of outsole apertures 36. Outsole apertures 36 are sized smaller than midsole apertures 34 so as to facilitate the retention of sealing inserts 20 within midsole 18. Outsole apertures 36 are just large enough to receive the posts associated with each of the cleat/spikes 24a-24n.

[0036] Reference is now made to FIG. 2 for a further description of a partially exploded view of the shoe foundation 12 of the present invention. In this view of FIG. 2, sealing inserts 20a-20n have been positioned within midsole 18 as described above. The shoe upper has been removed in this view for clarity and to distinguish it as not being part of the present invention. Once in position within midsole 18 sealing inserts 20a-20n are adhered permanently to midsole 18 to prevent their movement or removal from the partially assembled shoe foundation 12. Once again, the components are aligned so as to facilitate the insertion of the posts associated with cleat/spikes 24a-24n through outsole apertures 36, through sealing inserts 20a-20n and into contact with hillock receptacles 32 positioned on the base of unisole cradle 16.

[0037] FIG. 3 provides a bottom plan view of the right foot configuration of the shoe foundation of the present invention looking up on the bottom of the midsole 18 as assembled with sealing inserts 20 as described above. Midsole 18 in this view is shown positioned on the bottom of unisole cradle 16 whose outer edge is just viewed around the perimeter of midsole 18. As indicated, an example of a sealing insert 20b positioned in midsole aperture 34b is shown. A molded in step portion 38 is shown on the base of midsole 18.

[0038] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of one example of a configuration of metatarsal pad sealing insert 20 suitable for placement and positioning within midsole 18. Sealing insert 20n as a representative example incorporates a cylindrical structure made of a resilient but rugged material capable of being inserted and adhered to the material of midsole 18. Cross slits 40n are positioned through the cylindrical structure of sealing insert 20n so as to allow for the passage of the post of a cleat/spike 24n (not shown) while at the same time generally sealing the aperture. Perimeter channel 42n facilitates both the insertion and the retention of sealing insert 20n within the material of midsole 18 through midsole aperture 34, as shown in FIG. 3.

[0039] Reference is now made to FIG. 5 which is again a view of the bottom of a right foot configuration of the present invention, this time incorporating the outsole component and a plurality of cleats/spikes 24. Outsole 22 is shown positioned on the bottom of midsole 18 which again has been retained on the bottom of replaceable insert cradle 16. In this view, it can be seen how a plurality of cleats/spikes 24 (of a variety of different types) may be positioned and oriented on the bottom of the shoe. The manner in which these cleats/spikes 24 are positioned and fixed is described in more detail below.

[0040] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the assembled components as shown in the partially exploded assembly view of FIG. 2. Shoe foundation 12 in this case is shown in its fully assembled condition. Cleats/spikes 24a-24n are shown positioned on the base of shoe foundation 12 while detachable cradle 16 is shown positioned on the top and incorporates heel guard 26, sock liner 30, and toe guard 28, again as described above. The assembled shoe foundation 12 as shown in FIG. 6 is now ready to receive a shoe upper of a variety of configurations depending upon the particular sport for which the shoe is intended.

[0041] Reference is now made to FIGS. 7-11 for a detailed description of a variety of cleat/spike configurations and a variety of sealing insert configurations. Each of these configuration combinations are appropriate mechanisms for receiving and retaining a cleat/spike component into the shoe foundation of the present invention. FIG. 7 represents first preferred embodiment of a cleat/spike 25n which includes spike 45 with retention post 47 terminating in a threaded section 49. In addition to threaded section 49, cleat/spike 25n incorporates a slot key 51 that is utilized to facilitate both the placement of the cleat/spike within the shoe foundation and the orientation of the cleat/spike 25n once in position.

[0042] FIG. 8 provides a somewhat simpler cleat/spike configuration of the type shown in the previous drawings of the exploded assembly views. Cleat/spike 24n shown in FIG. 8 incorporates spike 44 and retention post 46, which is simply a cylindrical post having an X-shaped cross section. This structure facilitates the sealing of the spike through the X-shaped slits in the sealing inserts and eliminates some of the weight of the spike without diminishing its strength or rigidity.

[0043] FIGS. 9-11 provide partial cross-sectional views showing the various cleat/spike configuration combinations and the manner in which they are inserted into the sealing inserts and thereby through the outsole and into the midsole components of the present invention. FIG. 9 shows a first configuration wherein shoe foundation 12 incorporates midsole 18 and outsole 22 with sealing insert 20 positioned generally within midsole 18 and held in place by the adhesion of outsole 22 to midsole 18. Rather than engaging a hillock receptacle 32 as shown in FIG. 1 above, positioned in unisole cradle 16, the configuration in FIG. 9 provides a recess in insert cradle 16 into which the X-shaped cross section retention post 46 is received.

[0044] FIG. 10 demonstrates the utilization of the cleat/spike configuration shown in FIG. 7 wherein hillock receptacle 32 extends from detachable insert cradle 16 to receive the threaded portion 49 of cleat/spike post 47. In this configuration, slot key 51 is positioned so as to maintain the orientation of cleat/spike 25n within the shoe foundation 12 through the sealing insert 20n as shown.

[0045] FIG. 11 provides a hybrid of sorts between the design shown in FIGS. 9 and 10 wherein a simple threading of the cleat/spike into the threaded hillock receptacle 32 is accomplished through sealing insert 20n in a manner that may be more appropriate where orientation of the cleat/spike on the bottom face of the sole of the shoe is less important. Even with the configuration shown in FIG. 11, however, orientation may be retained by simply establishing a fully threaded cleat/spike 23n into the detachable insert cradle 16, resulting in the proper orientation.

[0046] Reference is now made to FIG. 12 for a description of an alternate embodiment of integrated cradle 17. In this view, the molded configuration of integrated cradle 17 extends beyond simply that of heel guard 26 and toe guard 28 and extends up over and around the shoe enclosure by way of plate component 60, which may be open at the top in overlapping fashion that may in a preferred embodiment be sealed with a Velcro.RTM. closure. In this configuration, no shoe upper may be necessary for utilization of the shoe, thereby creating a less expensive but still highly protective and versatile cleat/spike shoe.

[0047] Reference is finally made to FIGS. 13-15 for further alternate embodiments of the present invention. FIG. 13 discloses the unisole shoe foundation of the present invention absent the use of the outsole and any of the cleats/spikes. It is anticipated that a very simple shoe foundation may be utilized without the cleats/spikes and without the outsole as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 whereby the same shoe may be worn off of the sports field or in conditions other than the sporting event to which the cleats/spikes might have been directed. FIG. 13 simply provides an example of how the same structural configuration for the unisole shoe foundation of the present invention may be modified slightly to make the resulting shoe more versatile in use.

[0048] FIGS. 14 and 15 disclose an alternate embodiment for the cleat/spike structure 24n wherein notches 58 are cut into the sides of at least two of the X-shaped cross-sectional portions of retention post 56 extending above the spike 54. In this configuration, cleat/spike 24n may be utilized as shown in FIG. 15 to snap into place in an appropriately configured snap receptacle 60 positioned within the structure of unisole cradle 16. The view of FIG. 15, for example, may be appropriate for use with the shoe foundation structure shown in FIG. 13, wherein the outsole is not utilized and the midsole 18 becomes the outsole for the shoe. In this configuration, a separate aperture may be configured having a sealing insert as shown in FIG. 13 or may simply be the molded configuration of midsole 18. In either case, snap receptacle 60 is positioned with prong catches to engage notches 58 positioned in cleat/spike retention post 56. The configuration shown in FIG. 15 therefore lends itself to both cleats/spikes that require a specific orientation and those that do not.

[0049] Although the present invention has been described in terms of the foregoing preferred embodiments, this description has been provided by way of explanation only, and is not intended to be construed as a limitation of the invention. Those skilled in the art will recognize modifications of the present invention that might accommodate specific types of shoes or specific types of cleat/spikes, as well as variations in the size of the shoe and the materials from which it is constructed. Such modifications, as to configuration and material composition, where such modifications are coincidental to the type and size of the shoe being constructed, do not necessarily depart from the spirit and scope of the invention.

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