Title:
SKI BOOT
United States Patent 3713231


Abstract:
A ski boot comprises a lower shell enclosing major parts of a foot and an upper shell in the form of an ankle cuff pivoted to the lower shell and movable back and forth. The boot has means for adjusting forward inclinations of the upper shell provided obliquely between the front surface of the upper shell and the upper surface of the lower shell.



Inventors:
MOCHIZUKI Y
Application Number:
05/151106
Publication Date:
01/30/1973
Filing Date:
06/08/1971
Assignee:
HOPE K K,JA
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B5/04; (IPC1-7): A43B5/04
Field of Search:
36/2
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3619914N/A1971-11-16Hanson et al.
3609887N/A1971-10-05Hickmann et al.
3486247SKI BOOT CONSTRUCTION1969-12-30Franet



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

1. A ski boot comprising a rigid lower shell enclosing major portions of a foot, a rigid upper shell in the form of a shell enclosing an ankle, means connecting said upper shell to said lower shell and permitting their relative movement so that the upper shell inclines toward and away from the lower shell, and an adjustment means obliquely extended between the front surface of said upper shell and the upper surface of said lower shell, said adjustment means adjusting the forward inclination of the upper shell and being compressible by a forward inclined movement of said upper shell.

2. A ski boot as claimed in claim 8 wherein said forward inclinations adjusting means comprises a first rod connected at its one end to the front surface of said upper shell by a universal joint, a second rod connected at its one end to the upper surface of said lower shell by a universal joint, and a resilient adjusting means interconnecting the other ends of said first and second rods and threaded to at least one of said rods to restrict a rearward inclined movement of said upper shell.

3. A ski boot as claimed in claim 1, wherein said upper shell comprises a front upper shell and a rear closure shell both pivoted to the upper portion of said lower shell; and a heel closure shell is located between said front upper shell and said rear closure shell and is hinged to the rear upper end of said lower shell, whereby said ski boot can be fully opened at its rear portion to easily insert a user's foot therein and can be easily closed only by clamping said rear closure shell to said front upper shell.

4. A ski boot as claimed in claim 2, wherein said other ends of said first and second rods are threaded in the opposite directions; and said resilient adjusting means comprises a first cylindrical cap through a closed end of which said first rod is threaded, a second cylindrical cap through a closed end of which said second rod is threaded, said first and second cylindrical caps being slidably engaged with each other at their free end portions, and a compression spring compressed between said closed ends in said first and second cylindrical caps, whereby when said cylindrical caps are rotated in either direction, the forward inclinations of said upper shell are increased or decreased, and when said upper shell is forwardly inclined by a forward thrust applied to the user's leg, the cylindrical caps move to the opposite direction by compressing said spring and absorb said forward thrust.

5. A ski boot as claimed in claim 3, wherein said rear closure shell is provided at its upper end portion with a soft synthetic resin sheet member.

6. A ski boot as claimed in claim 3, wherein an elastic sheet member is provided to close a space between the lower end of said upper shell and the upper end of said lower shell.

7. A ski boot as claimed in claim 4, wherein synthetic rubber members are provided on both sides of said spring, said synthetic rubber members becoming compressed after said spring is fully compressed.

Description:
This invention relates to a ski boot which provides positive foot control, and more particularly to a ski boot comprising a lower shell and an upper shell both made of rigid material, wherein the upper shell, in the form of an ankle cuff, is connected to the lower shell, which lower shell is movable in the forwardly and rearwardly inclined positions.

Recently, in place of a ski boot made of relatively soft leather or the like, there has been developed a ski boot comprising an outer shell made of light and rigid materials such as plastics or metals, and an inner boot positioned within the outer shell which conforms the boot to a user's foot. Such a ski boot is advantageous because it firmly secures the user's foot to the ski without lateral and futile movements which are undesirable for positive ski control. However, the ski boot has to allow the user's ankle to pivotally move to its forwardly and rearwardly inclined positions, which are the natural skiing attitudes. To accomplish such pivotable movements, the outer shell comprises a lower shell enclosing major parts of a foot and an upper shell in the form of an ankle cuff pivotally connected to the lower shell.

In order to hold the upper shell in a predetermined upright position on the lower shell, it is known to provide a tension spring at the back of the upper and lower shells. However, in such a known ski boot, since the upper shell is urged rearwardly to be held in the upright position on the lower shell, the user receives a backward load on his ankle and shin when he takes a largely forwardly inclined attitude for skiing a forwardly inclined steep slope. Thus, the ski boot causes an energy loss to the user and is not desirable for smooth operation for the ski.

In addition, since the tension spring holding the upper shell in the upright position on the shell is provided at the back of these shells, the shells open at their front or side portions to allow the user's foot to be inserted therein. Therefore, while skiing, snow may pile on the closed portion and enter the shell as the closed portion is directly exposed to snow. In addition, when the shells are constructed to open at their front portions, the user's toe has to be inclined forwardly about his ankle to insert his foot to the shells, such insertion being troublesome especially when the user wears thick socks and when he puts on his boot in a cold place.

Accordingly, an objective of the present invention is to provide a ski boot in which forward inclinations of an upper shell in the form of an ankle cuff to a lower shell can be easily and visually adjusted to conform to inclinations of slopes to be skied.

Another objective of the present invention is to provide a ski boot, as defined above, in which a skier's foot can be easily inserted into the boot from the back thereof.

A further objective of the present invention is to provide a ski boot which guards a user's ankle from injuries, such as sprain or fracture, even when the user forcefully falls down forwardly.

Another objective of the present invention is to provide a ski boot which is very convenient to carry.

According to the present invention, a ski boot comprises a rigid lower shell enclosing major parts of a foot, a rigid upper shell in the form of an ankle cuff, means connecting the upper shell to the lower shell to move said upper shell to forwardly and rearwardly inclined positions, and means connected obliquely between the front surface of the upper shell and the upper surface of the lower shell for adjusting forward inclinations of the upper shell.

The aforementioned and other objectives and features of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description of specific embodiments thereof, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a partially sectioned perspective view of a ski boot according to a first embodiment of the present invention, in which rear portions of an upper shell are open;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the ski boot shown in FIG. 1 in which the rear portion of the upper shell is closed;

FIG. 3 is a back view of the ski boot shown in FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is a partially sectioned side view showing upper portions of an upper shell of a ski boot according to another embodiment of the present invention.

Referring now to an embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 to 3, a ski boot 1 has a lower shell 2 and an upper shell separated into a front shell 3 and a rear closure shell 6. The lower shell 2 is integrally made of rigid materials such as fiber reinforced plastic, aluminum alloy or the like and is formed on a sole 4 integrally therewith. As shown in the drawings, the lower shell 2 encloses the major portions of a user's foot. The upper front shell 3 and rear closure shell 6 are also made of rigid materials, such as mentioned above. The front upper shell 3 encircles and holds substantially the front half of the upper portions of a user's ankle and lower portions of a user's shin. The rear closure shell 6, when closed, encircles and holds substantially the rear half of the upper portions of a user's ankle and the lower portions of a user's calf. Thus, the front upper shell 3 and the rear closure shell 6 form the upper shell in the form of an ankle cuff.

The front upper shell 3 and the rear closure shell 6 are pivotally connected to the upper portion of the lower shell 4 by pivots 9 so that the rear closure shell 6 may be outside of the front upper shell 3. Interposed between the upper end of the lower shell 2 and the lower end of the front upper shell 3 is an elastic sheet member 14. This sheet member 14 is adhered at its both ends to the shells 2 and 3 to close an opening between them, thus serving to prevent snow from entering into the shells 2 and 3 while skiing.

A heel supporting shell 5 is hinged at 7 to the rear upper end of the lower shell 2 and is located between the front upper shell 3 and the rear closure shell 6, so that the heel supporting shell 5 pivotally moves back and forth between them. The inner free end of the heel supporting shell 5 contacts to and closes the rear free end of the front upper shell 3 when the rear closure shell 6 is rotated forwardly about the pivots 9. The rearward rotation of the heel supporting shell 5 is restricted by the inner surface of the rear closure shell 6 which is substantially horizontal in its rearwardly rotated position. The heel supporting shell 5 is provided at its outer surface with two spaced projections 8 which are snugly fitted into recesses 10 formed in the inner surface of the rear closure shell 6 when the latter closes the rear opening of the front upper shell 3. Therefore, the heel supporting shell is prevented from lateral movements. The rear closure shell 6 is clamped to the front upper shell 3 by known clamping members 11 and 12 fixed on the side surfaces of the rear closure shell 6 and the front upper shell 3, respectively.

Attached inside of the front upper shell 3, rear closure shell 6, and heel supporting shell 5 are soft pads 13 which surround an inner boot (not shown) conforming to an individual user.

Provided obliquely between the front surface of the front upper shell 3 and the upper surface of the lower shell 2 is means for adjusting forward inclinations of the front upper shell 3. The adjusting means comprises a screw rod 19 connected at its one end to the front surface of the upper shell 3 and another screw rod 18 connected at its one end to the upper surface of the lower shell 2, both screw rods 18 and 19 being threaded in the opposite directions and connected to the shells 2 and 3, respectively, by ball joints (universal joints). The screw rods 18 and 19 are threaded into cylindrical cap members 16a and 16 at their other ends, respectively. The cylindrical member 16 is reduced at its free end which encloses an enlarged free end of the other cylindrical member 16a which diameter is smaller than that of the cylindrical member 16. Within the cylindrical members 16 and 16a a compression spring 15 is provided which both ends are received by annular synthetic rubbers 17 surrounding, with a slight space, the screw rods 18 and 19. The inner ends of the screw rods 18 and 19 pass through the annular synthetic rubbers 17 and partially pass into the compression spring 15.

Accordingly, the cylindrical cap members 16 and 16a are normally urged to be separated from one another, though not disengaged with each other by the enlarged and reduced free ends thereof. But, when a forward thrust is applied to the front upper shell 3, the cylindrical cap member 16 slides forwardly to enclose the opposite cylindrical cap member 16a and, thereby, compresses the spring 15. Further, when an abnormal forward thrust strong enough to fully compress the spring 15 is applied, the annular synthetic rubber 17 is compressed after the compression of the spring and, thereby, absorbs the dangerous forward thrust.

The cylindrical cap members 16 and 16a are respectively threaded by the screw rods 19 and 18 threaded in the opposite directions, so that the rotation of the cylindrical cap members 16 and 16a in either direction increases or decreases the degree of forward inclination of the upper shell 3.

In a second embodiment shown in FIG. 4, the rear closure shell 6 has an elastic calf supporting member 6a attached to the upper end thereof. The calf supporting member 6a is made of soft synthetic resin plate, so that the user does not feel pain on his calf even when he wears the boot for a long time in skiing. Except for this point, the second embodiment is substantially the same as the first embodiment.

The ski boot according to the present invention is so constructed that the forward inclinations of the upper shell are adjustable by operating the cylindrical cap members 16 and 16a so as to conform to the inclinations of the slopes to be skied.

In addition, when an abnormal severe forward thrust is applied to the user's leg, the spring 15 and then the synthetic rubbers 17 in the cylindrical cap members 16 and 16a are compressed to absorb the forward thrust. The synthetic rubber is such that it will become compressed after the spring 15 is fully compressed, so that dangerous forward thrust is positively absorbed by the synthetic rubbers 17.

Furthermore, since the upper shell is opened and closed at its rear portion, not only is the insertion of a user's foot into the boot easy but also snow will not come into the boot, while skiing, through connecting portions of the front upper shell 3 and the rear closure shell 6.

Furthermore, since the cylindrical cap members 16 and 16a and screw rods 18 and 19, which are elements for adjusting forward inclinations of the upper shell, are obliquely provided between the upper and the lower shells, the boot can easily be carried by gripping the cylindrical cap members or by inserting a ski pole between the cap members 16 and 16a and the elastic sheet member 14.

In addition, when the rear upper end of the upper shell is made of soft synthetic resin plate 6a, the user will not feel pain on his calf even when he wears the boot for a long time.

Although the present invention has been described with reference to the preferred embodiments shown in the figures, many modifications and alterations may be made within the spirit of the present invention.