Title:
SKATE BOOT
United States Patent 3659361


Abstract:
The present invention relates to skate boots and in particular the present invention relates to an improved skate boot in which the high top shoe quarters thereof fit in a snug or glove-like fashion around the ankles of the wearer.



Inventors:
WHITE THOMAS PAUL SR
Application Number:
04/886704
Publication Date:
05/02/1972
Filing Date:
12/19/1969
Assignee:
THOMAS PAUL WHITE SR.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
36/115
International Classes:
A43B5/16; (IPC1-7): A43B5/16; A43b000/00
Field of Search:
36/2
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
2972822Ankle support device1961-02-28Tanner
2444428Shoe for sports and the like1948-07-06Carrier



Primary Examiner:
Lawson, Patrick D.
Claims:
I claim

1. In a skating boot having medial and lateral high top shoe quarters the improvement in which each of the medial and lateral high top shoe quarters thereof has means defining an opening closely circumscribing the respective malleolus extending completely therethrough, said opening being dimensioned to allow the medial malleolus and the lateral malleolus of the wearer's foot to extend therethrough whereby said high top shoe quarters of said boot may substantially completely follow the contours of said foot, the area below said openings being of flexible material to permit foot-relative-to-leg lateral movements characteristic of skating and being further characterized by the absence of means preventing such movements.

2. A boot as claimed in claim 1 in which each of said openings is closed by a relatively rigid cup member, each cup member being of sufficient depth to avoid engagement and frictionally grasping contact with its respective malleolus whereby to substantially avoid distortion of said openings during use of said boot.

3. A boot as claimed in claim 2 in which the cup members are fixedly attached to the high quarters of the said boot by means of flange portions extending from said cup members only sufficiently to permit attachment of the flange portions to the respective high top shoe quarters immediately peripherally of said openings, then terminating to avoid preventing said characteristic foot-relative-to-leg lateral movements.

4. A boot as claimed in claim 2 in which each cup member is formed from a thicker leather than said high top shoe quarters.

5. In a skating boot having medial and lateral high top shoe quarters the improvement in which each of the medial and lateral high top shoe quarters thereof has means defining an opening extending completely therethrough, said opening being dimensioned to allow the medial malleolus and the lateral malleolus of the wearer's foot to extend therethrough whereby said high top shoe quarters of said boot may substantially completely follow the contours of said foot; each of said openings being closed by a relatively rigid cup member, each cup member being of sufficient depth to avoid engagement and frictionally grasping contact with its respective malleolus whereby to substantially avoid distortion of said openings during use of said boot; the cup member on the lateral high top shoe quarter being indented to accommodate the large tendon extending upwards from the outside ankle bone.

6. In a skating boot having medial and lateral high top shoe quarters made of leather, the improvement in which each of the medial and lateral high top shoe quarters thereof has means defining a border positioned to circumscribe a region immediately adjacent the respective malleolus of the wearer, the boot outside the two said borders substantially completely following the contours of the foot of the wearer; the high top shoe quarters being out of contact with the wearer's malleoli within the region bounded by said border means; the high top shoe quarters within said border including cups which bulge away from the wearer's malleoli, said cups being impressed from the same leather as said high top shoe quarters, said skating boot including said medial and lateral high top shoe quarters, below said borders, being characterized by having sufficient flexiblity to permit foot-relative-to-leg lateral movements characteristic of skating and being further characterized by the absence of means preventing such movements.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In conventional skate boots, both of the speed skating and pleasure skating types, the high top shoe quarters thereof are formed from artificially prepared (tanned) skins of animals and due to the presence of the ankle bones in the wearer's foot, it is impossible for these high top shoe quarters to follow the contours of the bony ankle protrusions since they do not have sufficient flexibility. Thus, when the boot is fitted to the human foot the high top shoe quarters thereof are loosely placed over the outside of the ankle portions of the foot and means, suitably in the form of boot laces, are provided to draw the flat surface of the top area of the high top shoe quarters against the wearer's ankle portion whereby spaces are inherently left between the skin of the wearer's ankle portions and the leather of the high top shoe quarters due to the bony protrusions of the ankle bone which are wedged between the surfaces of the boot. The portion of the high top shoe quarters stretching across these spaces tend to buckle both above and below the contact of the high top shoe quarters with the ankle bones causing accordion-like ripples to form in the leather which accordion-like folds of course expand and contract allowing the foot to bend to one side or the other during skating depending on which side the stress is exerted. This effect is normally referred to as weak ankles and is particularly prevalent with pleasure skaters when the skates are worn by inexperienced skaters. Many attempts have been made to counteract this effect including a variety of so-called "ankle supports" but none of these supports has heretofore provided a satisfactory solution to the problem.

It has now been found according to the present invention that by providing openings in the high top shoe quarters of the boots, which openings extend completely through the high top shoe quarters and are dimensioned to allow the ankle bones to extend therethrough, the high top shoe quarters of the boot may follow snugly the contours of the foot of the wearer of the boot and thus essentially avoid the effect of weak ankles.

According to the present invention therefore there is provided in a skating boot the improvement in which each of the medial and lateral high top shoe quarters thereof has an opening extending completely therethrough, said opening being dimensioned to allow the medial malleolus and the lateral malleolus of the wearer's foot to extend therethrough whereby said high top shoe quarters of said boot may substantially completely follow the contours of said foot.

Further, while the openings in the high top shoe quarters of the boot to allow protrusion of the ankle bones therethrough provide for a snug fit between the high top shoe quarters and the foot of the wearer during skating the openings in the high top shoe quarters of the boots tend to undergo distortion when the skate boot is first reached out in front of the body and then moved to the rear of the body for the thrust stroke. In order to avoid such distortion applicant has found that each opening should suitably be closed by a relatively rigid cup member suitably of greater rigidity than the high top shoe quarters of the boot, the cup members being of sufficient depth to avoid frictionally grasping contact and preferably any contact with the ankle bone, for such contact with the ankle bone would completely nullify the advantages to be gained by allowing the ankle bone to protrude completely through the high top shoe quarters of the boot.

According to the preferred embodiment of the present invention therefore there is provided in a skating boot the improvement in which each of the medial and lateral high top shoe quarters thereof has an opening extending completely therethrough, said opening being dimensioned to allow the medial malleolus and the lateral malleolus of the wearer's foot to extend therethrough whereby said high top shoe quarters of said boot may substantially completely follow the contours of said foot, each of said openings being closed by a relatively rigid cup member preferably of greater rigidity than said high quarters of said boot, each cup member being of sufficient depth to avoid frictionally grasping contact with the respective malleolus whereby to substantially avoid distortion of said openings during use of said boot.

The opening in the medial high top shoe quarter of the skate boot suitably has an ellipse-like configuration so as to be able to accommodate the medial (tibial) malleolus, commonly known as the inside ankle bone, and the opening in the lateral high top shoe quarter of the boot has a generally circular configuration so as to accommodate the lateral (fibular) malleolus, commonly known as the outside ankle bone. The openings must extend completely through the high top shoe quarters of the boot including any reinforcing pieces and/or inner linings so that none of these overlie or frictionally grasp the ankle bone thus allowing the ankle bones to protrude completely through the side of the boot and the depth of the cups is such that no part thereof comes into contact with the ankle bone which contact would completely nullify the advantages to be gained by the modification of the boot according to the present invention of allowing the ankle bones to protrude completely through the side of the boot.

Each of the above openings is desirably closed by a relatively rigid cup member preferably of greater rigidity than the high top shoe quarters of the boot and the cup members are fixedly attached to the boot suitably by flange portions extending therefrom such as by sewing. Each cup member may alternatively be integral with its respective high top shoe quarter. Suitably, the cup members are formed from a semi-rigid material and in a particular embodiment when the high top shoe quarters of the boot are formed from leather, the cup members may be formed from a more rigid leather, e.g., a thicker leather. The cup shaped member attached to the lateral high top shoe quarter is suitably indented to accommodate the large tendon extending upwards from the outside ankle bone. The presence of the cup member is, as aforesaid, to avoid any distortion of the lips of the openings during skating thus preventing the wrinkling or accordion effect in the high top shoe quarters and these cups are not present as ankle supporters and any support for the ankle to be gained from these cups is purely incidental. Further, while the presence of the cups may supply protection for the ankle bone, this again is merely an incidental effect.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be further illustrated by way of the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a sectional rear view of a conventional skate boot as worn on the foot of a skater;

FIG. 2 is an inside elevational view of a skate boot including a generally ellipsoidal opening therein to accommodate the medial malleolus of the skater's foot according to the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an outside elevational view of a skate boot including a generally circular opening therein to accommodate the lateral malleolus of the skater's foot according to the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a detail of the cup members for closing the openings of the skate boot in FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a detail of the cup member for closing the opening in the boot of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a section taken along the line 6--6 of FIG. 5, and

FIG. 7 is a sectional rear view of a skate boot according to one embodiment of the present invention on the foot of a skater.

FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 7 of a modification wherein the cup members are embossed in the leather of the high top shoe quarters. Equivalent parts are designated with primed numerals.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIG. 1, normally a skater selects his boot size such that his foot 1 fits into the boot with the heel of his foot fitting snugly between the counters 2 and having substantial contact in the area of the counters 2 with the inside lining 3, of the boot. The bottom of the foot 1 rests on the insole 4 suitably formed from fiber or leather which insole 4 is separated from the outer sole 6 by a midsole 5 suitably formed from leather and in filler 7 suitably formed from cork.

FIG. 1 illustrates the disadvantages of the conventional skate boot as will be seen from FIG. 1, the high top shoe quarters 8 of the skate boot 2 do not closely follow the contours of the foot 1 and gaps 9 are left between the foot 1 and the high top shoe quarters 8 due to the presence of the ankle bones 10. Those portions of the high top shoe quarters 8 surrounding the gaps 9 tend to buckle causing accordion-like folds 11 during skating which folds 11 expand and contract allowing the foot 1, boot and skate (not shown) to bend to one side or the other depending upon the direction of the stress exerted by the skater thus producing the "weak ankles" in the skater.

To avoid the presence of the gaps 11 according to the present invention, openings 12 and 13 (FIGS. 2 and 3) are formed desirably during manufacture of the boot in the high top shoe quarters 8 of the boot to allow the ankle bones 10 of the foot 1 to protrude therethrough. The opening 12 is generally ellipsoidal to accommodate the medial malleolus and opening 13 is generally circular to accommodate the lateral malleolus.

To avoid distortion of the opening 12 during skating this opening is closed by a generally ellipsoidal cup member 14 (FIG. 4) which is fixedly attached, e.g. sewed to the high top shoe quarters 8 of the boot via the flange 15. Similarly, a generally circular cup member 16 (FIG. 5) closes the opening 13 which cup member 13 is fixedly attached, e.g. sewed to the high top shoe quarters 8 of the boot via the flange 17. As will be seen from FIGS. 5 and 6, the lip 17 and bowl of the cup 16 is suitably indented at 18 to accommodate the large tendon 19 (FIG. 7) extending upwardly from the ankle bone 10 on the outside of the foot 1.

With reference to FIG. 7 which shows the skate boot according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention again the foot 1 fits into the boot with the heel fitting snugly between the counters 2 having substantial contact with the inner lining 3 and the area of the counters 2. The bottom of the boot also has the conventional insole 4, midsole 5, filler 7 and outer sole 6. However, the ankle bones 10 are accommodated by openings 12 and 13 in the high top shoe quarters 8 which openings are closed by the cup shaped members 14 and 16 respectively by means of flanges 15 and 17 respectively. It will readily be seen that the presence of the openings 12 and 13 allows the high top shoe quarters 8 and bottom sides of the boot in the area of the counters 2 to fit snugly to the foot 1 around the ankle bones 10 thus effectively eliminating the gaps and any subsequent accordion-like folds which appear in conventional skate boots during use.

The presence of the openings in the high top shoe quarters of the boot whether or not closed by the relatively rigid cup member will modify the method of manufacture of the boot, i.e. the manufacturing pattern of the high top shoe quarters for the improved skate boot of the present invention, it is not sufficient merely to cut the openings in conventional skate boots to accommodate the ankle bones as the high top shoe quarters of these conventional skate boots have been made, i.e. lasted to pass over the ankle bones and as such the amount of leather in the high top shoe quarters is substantially greater than that required when the high top shoe quarters are formed with the openings of the present invention so as to pass around the ankle bones leading to an undesirable loose fit of the boot around the ankle bones. Further with the modified high top shoe quarters of the present invention as they do not stretch over the ankle bones of the foot but pass around them then the curvature of the boot and portions of the back of the boot will be narrower necessitating an adjustment in the forming of the high top shoe quarters. Thus the pattern of the high top shoe quarters is modified and the openings and when present the relatively rigid cup closure members are incorporated into the high top shoe quarters before assembly to form the boot. Suitably the recessed cup members are impressed into a sheet of leather and the high top shoe quarters include the recessed cup members cut to pattern for the sheet of leather.

As illustrated in FIG. 8, the cup members may be integral with their respective high top shoe quarters.