Title:
Sports shoe for practising a gliding sport
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sports shoe (2) for practicing a gliding sport comprising: a relatively rigid sole (201) adapted to be interfaced with a gliding device; a relatively rigid shell (200) associated to said sole (201) and extending beyond said sole for surrounding, at least partially, the user's foot; a cuff (2b) associated to said shell (2a) and extending beyond said shell for surrounding, at least partially, the lower portion of the user's leg; the sports shoe comprising a reinforcing assembly (1), which surrounds, at least partially, the rear region of the lower portion of the user's leg and which is associated to the sports shoe, at least at the approximate anklebone region (701) of the lower portion of the user's leg.



Inventors:
Caeran, Francesco (Montebelluna, IT)
Application Number:
10/296892
Publication Date:
08/28/2003
Filing Date:
11/29/2002
Assignee:
CAERAN FRANCESCO
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B5/04; A43B23/17; (IPC1-7): A43B5/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KAVANAUGH, JOHN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Modiano & Associati (Milan, IT)
Claims:
1. A sports shoe for practicing a gliding sport comprising: a relatively rigid sole adapted to be interfaced with a gliding device; a relatively rigid shell associated to said sole and extending beyond said sole for surrounding, at least partially, the user's foot; a cuff associated to said shell and extending beyond said shell for surrounding, at least partially, the lower portion of the user's leg, characterised in that it comprises at least a reinforcing assembly, which surrounds, at least partially, the rear region of the lower portion of the user's leg and is associated to said sports shoe, at least at the approximate anklebone region.

2. The sports shoe, according to claim 1, characterised in that said reinforcing assembly comprises a first curved strip, which is curved in an approximate half-U-shape, said first curved strip surrounding, at least partially, the rear region of the lower portion of the user's leg and being provided with at least a first free end, which is associated to said sports shoe, approximately at the external malleoli region of the lower portion of the user's leg.

3. The sports shoe, according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterised in that said reinforcing assembly comprises a second curved strip, which is curved in an approximate half-U-shape, said second curved strip surrounding, at least partially, the rear region of the lower portion of the user's leg and being provided with at least a second free end, which is associated to said sports shoe, approximately at the internal malleoli region of the lower portion of the user's leg.

4. The sports shoe, according to claims 2 and 3, characterised in that said first curved strip is associated to said second curved strip, so as to provide a substantially U-shaped support, which surrounds, at least partially, the rear region of the lower portion of the user's leg.

5. The sports shoe, according to claim 1, characterised in that said reinforcing assembly comprises a third curved strip, which is curved in an approximate U-shape, said third curved strip surrounding the rear region of the lower portion of the user's leg and being provided with third free ends, which are associated to said sports shoe, approximately at the external and internal malleoli regions of the lower portion of the user's leg.

6. The sports shoe, according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterised in that said first curved strip and/or said second curved strip and/or said third curved strip are, at least partially, made of metal materials and/or plastic materials and/or carbon materials and/or light alloy materials and/or resilient materials.

7. The sports shoe, according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterised in that said shell is pivotally interconnected to said cuff, said first curved strip and/or said second curved strip and/or said third curved strip being provided respectively with said first free end and/or said second free end and/or said third three ends, which are rigidly connected to said shell, approximately at the region, in which said shell is pivotally interconnected to said cuff.

8. The sports shoe, according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterised in that said first curved strip and/or said second curved strip and/or said third curved strip is connected to said shell according to a non pivoting arrangement.

9. The sports shoe, according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterised in that said cuff is provided with a cut-out approximately at the external side surface of said cuff, said cut-out being designed, so as to define a stepped discontinuity provided with a first edge, which temporarily interacts with an underlying upper second edge of said first curved strip and/or said second curved strip and/or said third curved strip, the interaction between said first edge and said second edge stopping the backward pivoting motion of said cuff, during the sports activity.

10. The sports shoe, according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterised in that said cuff is made, at least partially, of resilient materials.

11. The sports shoe, according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterised in that said shell and/or said cuff comprise stress-relief regions.

12. The sports shoe, according to claim 11, characterised in that said stress-relief regions comprise one or more contoured openings.

13. The sports shoe, according to one or more of claims 11 and 12, characterised in that said stress-relief regions comprise one or more regions that are, at least partially, made of soft or lightweight materials.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a sports shoe for practicing a gliding sport, such as skiing, skating, snowboarding and the like.

[0002] More particularly, the present invention relates to a sports shoe, which is provided with an optimised structure that ensures more comfort, improved performances and more safety during the sports activity.

[0003] A sports shoe of the known type generally comprises a rigid shell member, which is connected to a sole and is connected to a rigid cuff. Typically, the shell is designed to surround the foot of the user while the cuff is designed to wrap around and protect the lower portion of the user's leg. It is known that common sports shoes use structures that are provided with a high intrinsic rigidity, in order to achieve a satisfactory level of force transmission between the gliding device, associated to the sports shoe, and the user's leg. In fact, this is needed to ensure a good manoeuvrability of the gliding device itself. Further, a high level of rigidity makes the sports shoe able to withstand the high stress and vibrations, which arise when practising a sports activity.

[0004] However, in known sports shoes, a suitable level of rigidity is generally achieved by using relatively thick shell and cuff members.

[0005] For example, FR-A-2119653 discloses a ski boot provided with a shell and a cuff that are joined in a single element, which is composed of mutually associated members made of different and relatively thick materials. This kind of approach entails relevant drawbacks, which basically consist in that the sports shoe has a considerable overall weight, which necessarily implies less comfort during the sports activity, a substantial decrease in manageability during carrying as well as a considerable difficulty in introducing the foot in the sports shoe. Further, remarkable difficulties in walking (before and after the sports activity) often arise. Moreover, the use of relatively thick shell and cuff members causes necessarily an increase of the manufacturing costs of the sports shoe.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] Therefore, the aim of the present invention is to provide a sports shoe, which is capable of making the sports activity more comfortable for the user and provide, at the same time, a good manoeuvrability of the gliding device which is to be associated to the sports shoe.

[0007] Within this aim, an object of the present invention is to provide a sports shoe, which is relatively light and low-weight and which has, at the same time, a high level of rigidity, so as to efficiently transmit forces between the the user's leg and the gliding device.

[0008] A further object of the present invention is to provide a sports shoe, which is structurally simple and is made, at least partially, of relatively soft and light materials.

[0009] Another object of the present invention is to provide a sports shoe, which allows easier walking before/after the sports activity as well as easiness in introducing the foot into the sports shoe.

[0010] A further object of the present invention is to provide a sports shoe, which can be produced with relatively low manufacturing costs.

[0011] The above aim and these and other objects which will become better apparent hereinafter are achieved by a sports shoe for practicing a gliding sport comprising:

[0012] a relatively rigid sole adapted to be interfaced with a gliding device;

[0013] a relatively rigid shell associated to said sole and extending beyond said sole for surrounding, at least partially, the user's foot;

[0014] a cuff associated to said shell and extending beyond said shell for surrounding, at least partially, the lower portion of the user's leg, characterised in that it comprises at least a reinforcing assembly which surrounds, at least partially, the rear region of the lower portion of the user's leg and is associated to said sports shoe, at least at the approximate anklebone region.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] Further characteristics and advantages of the sports shoe according to the present invention, will become better apparent from the detailed description of particular embodiments thereof, illustrated by way of non-limitative example in the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[0016] FIG. 1 is a perspective side view of the sports shoe, according to the present invention;

[0017] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a detail related to the sports shoe of FIG. 1, according to the present invention;

[0018] FIG. 3 is a partial section top view of a second embodiment of the sports shoe, according to the present invention;

[0019] FIG. 4 is a perspective side view of a third embodiment of the sports shoe, according to the present invention;

[0020] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a detail related to the sports shoe of FIG. 4, according to the present invention;

[0021] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of another detail related to the sports shoe of FIG. 4, according to the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0022] The sports shoe according to the present invention, will be described hereinafter with particular reference to its use as a ski boot. This is only for sake of simplicity and it does not imply any limitation of the scope of the present invention. In fact, the sports shoe according to the present invention can be advantageously used without distinction in many types of gliding sports, such as skiing, snowboarding, skating and the like.

[0023] With reference to the figures, the sports shoe, according to the present invention, is designated by reference number 2. The sports shoe 2 comprises a relatively rigid sole 201, which constitutes the interface of the sports shoe 2 with a gliding device (not shown). The sports shoe 2 comprises also a relatively rigid shell 2a, which is associated to the sole 201 and extends beyond it for surrounding, at least partially, the foot of the user (not shown). The sports shoe 2 comprises also a cuff 2b, associated to the shell 2a and extending beyond it for surrounding, at least partially, the lower portion of the user's leg (not shown).

[0024] With reference to FIG. 1, the peculiarity of the sports shoe 2 according to the present invention, consists in that it comprises also a reinforcing assembly 1, which surrounds, at least partially, the rear region 700 of the lower portion of the user's leg and is associated to the sports shoe 2, at least at the approximate anklebone region 701.

[0025] With reference to FIG. 2, the reinforcing assembly 1 can comprise advantageously a first curved strip 3a, which is curved in an approximate half-U-shape and surrounds, at least partially, the rear region 700. Further, the strip 3a is provided with at least a first free end 15a, which is associated to the sports shoe 2, approximately at the external malleoli region 6a of the lower portion of the user's leg. Similarly, the reinforcing assembly 1 comprises a second curved strip 3b, which is curved in an approximate half-U-shape and surrounds, at least partially, the rear region 700. Accordingly, the second strip 3b can be advantageously provided with at least a second free end 15b, which is associated to the sports shoe 2, approximately at the internal malleoli region 6b of the lower portion of the user's leg.

[0026] According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention (illustrated in FIG. 3), the second strip 3b can be associated to the first strip 3a (or vice versa), so as to provide an arrangement, which constitutes a substantially U-shaped support that surrounds, at least partially, the rear region 700.

[0027] Alternatively, as illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 4, a third curved strip 3, which is curved in an approximate U-shape, can be used. Moreover, the third curved strip 3 can be positioned to surround the rear region 700. Advantageously, the third curved strip 3 is provided with third free ends 5a and 5b, which are associated to the sports shoe 2, approximately at the external and internal malleoli regions 6a and 6b.

[0028] The first curved strip 3a and/or the second curved strip 3b and/or the third curved strip 3 can be made of various materials, according to the needs. For example, at least partially, they can be made of metal materials and/or plastic materials and/or carbon materials and/or light alloy materials and/or resilient materials.

[0029] Preferably, the first curved strip 3a and/or the second curved strip 3b and/or the third curved strip 3 can be provided with at least a free end, which is rigidly connected to the shell 2a, approximately in the region where the shell 2a is pivotally interconnected to the cuff 2b.

[0030] For instance, taking into consideration the third curved strip 3 in FIG. 2, a pair of bores 7a and 7b can be advantageously provided at the free ends 5a and 5b of the third strip 3, so as to allow the passage of a pair of transverse hinge pins 8 that can be used for realising the interconnection between the third strip 3 and the sports shoe 2.

[0031] Advantageously, this interconnection can occur approximately in the region where the shell 2a is pivotally interconnected to the cuff 2b. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the same pins 8 can be preferably used for realising the pivotal interconnection between the shell 2a and the cuff 2b.

[0032] Advantageously, the first curved strip 3a and/or the second curved strip 3b and/or the third curved strip 3 can be connected to the shell 2a according to a non-pivoting arrangement. Taking into consideration the third curved strip 3 in FIG. 2, a first pair of bores 107a and 107b can be advantageously provided for realising the interconnection between the third strip 3 and the sports shoe 2 (for example by means of a first pair of pins 106a), approximately in the region where the shell 2a is pivotally interconnected to the cuff 2b. Moreover, a second pair of bores 117a and 117b can also be provided at the free ends 5a and 5b of the third strip 3. A second pair of pins 106b can be used for interconnection with the shell 2a. In this way the third curved strip 3 is connected in a non pivoting way to the shell 2a, since there are four points of restraint with the same.

[0033] Preferably, as illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 6, the cuff 2b is provided with a cut-out 121 approximately at the external side surface 120 of the cuff 2b. The cut-out 121 is designed (FIG. 6), so as to define a stepped discontinuity 122 provided with a first edge 122a, which temporarily interacts with an underlying upper second edge 123 of the third curved strip 3 (or in alternative the first curved strip 3a and/or the second curved strip 3b). The interaction between the first edge 122a and the second edge 122b is advantageously aimed at stopping backward pivoting motion of the cuff 2b, during sports activity. For this aim, the cuff 2b can be advantageously made, at least partially, of resilient materials.

[0034] The use of the reinforcing assembly 1 brings about remarkable advantages.

[0035] In fact, when practising sports activity, the forces transmitted between the leg of the user and the gliding device are mainly induce to pass through the reinforcing assembly 1. In practice, these forces are concentrated in a predefined stress region, which extends approximately from the rear region to the anklebone region.

[0036] This fact allows to remarkably reduce the thickness of the shell 2a and the cuff 2b at other regions of the sports shoe 2, which are not included in the mentioned predefined stress region.

[0037] In fact, as schematically illustrated in FIG. 4, the shell 2a can be advantageously fitted with stress-relief regions, designated by 110 and 111, which may be provided at the upper portion and at the heel portion of the shell 2a respectively. These stress-relief regions may comprise advantageously contoured openings 110 or, alternatively, one or more regions 111 can be made of soft or lightweight materials. This allows achieving a remarkable reduction of the overall weight of the sports shoe 2 as well as a reduction of the manufacturing costs.

[0038] A soft liner or inner boot, designated in FIG. 4 by reference number 113, can be used for accomodating the foot of the user. As illustrated in FIG. 4, the liner 113 can be arranged inside the shell 2a and the cuff 2b. According to a preferred embodiment of the sports shoe 2, the liner 113 can comprise waterproof layers of materials and, therefore, can be put in direct contact with external environmental agents (snow, water and the like), for example through the contoured openings 110. This allows achieving a particular flexibility in the aestethic design of the sports shoe 2.

[0039] To permit the fastening of the sports shoe 2, a closing mechanism, which comprises one or more closing buckles 117, can be used. Of course, other closing mechanisms can be adopted, such as tension wire mechanisms, lace arrangements, or the like. Preferably, the buckles 117 are associated to a flap 118 arranged longitudinally along the front upper part of the shell 2a. Advantageously, the flap 118 is suitably curved, so as to follow the shape of the foot. Further, the flap 118 can be arranged, so as to be movable with respect to the toe portion 119 of the shell 2a. This kind of arrangement allows achieving an efficient distribution of the closing force on the entire upper area of the foot, facilitates the introduction of the foot into the sports shoe 2 and allows closing the sports shoe 2 with more comfort for the user.

[0040] It has been proven in practice that the sports shoe 2, according to the present invention, achieves the intended aims and objects.

[0041] The use of the reinforcing assembly 1 allows to make the sports activity more comfortable for the user and ensures, at the same time, a good manoeuvrability of the gliding device, associated to the sports shoe. In fact, the reinforcing assembly 1 ensures a high level of rigidity of the sports shoe 2 and, consequently, an efficient transmission of forces between the user's leg and the gliding device. On the other hand, the use of the reinforcing assembly 1 allows to simplify the structure of the sports shoe (by providing regions made of relatively soft and light materials), since the transmission of forces between the leg of the user and the gliding device is forced to occur in a predefined stress region. This allows reducing the overall weight and size of the sports shoe 2 as well as reducing manufacturing costs. The use of relatively soft and light materials ensures also easier walking before/after the sports activity as well as introducing the foot into the sports shoe.

[0042] The disclosures in Italian Patent Application No. TV2001A000053 from which this application claims priority are incorporated herein by reference.