Title:
Air cylinders for a dynamic shoe fit
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention solves the problem of an adjustable and dynamic fit for a shoe. An air cylinder or cylinders act to pull the shoe snug around the foot yet give with walking or running to maintain a snug fit. This improves comfort as well as fit over existing types of closures.



Inventors:
Hollars, Anthony Scott (Tucson, AZ, US)
Application Number:
10/307031
Publication Date:
06/03/2004
Filing Date:
11/29/2002
Assignee:
HOLLARS ANTHONY SCOTT
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B5/00; A43C11/00; A43C11/16; (IPC1-7): A43C11/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
KAVANAUGH, JOHN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Anthony S. Hollars (Tucson, AZ, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A shoe utilizing at least one air cylinder to secure a shoe on a wearer's foot.

2. Said air cylinder from claim 1 utilizing a positive air pressure on a reverse-acting cylinder causing cylinder to shorten.

3. Said air cylinder from claim 1 utilizing a negative air pressure on a reverse-acting cylinder causing cylinder to shorten.

4. Said shoe from claim 1 comprising said cylinders connected in series.

5. Said shoe from claim 1 comprising said cylinders connected in parallel.

6. Said cylinders from claim 1 comprising a quick-release attachment at least one end.

7. Said quick-release attachment from claim 6 being a commercially available fastener.

8. Said shoe of claim 1 utilizing at least one air cylinder comprising a visible cylinder placement.

9. Said shoe from claim 1 utilizing at least one air cylinder comprising a hidden cylinder placement.

10. A shoe utilizing at least one air cylinder to secure a shoe on a wearer's foot in conjunction with traditional closure(s).

11. Said air cylinder from claim 10 utilizing a positive air pressure on a reverse-acting cylinder causing cylinder to shorten.

12. Said air cylinder from claim 10 utilizing a negative air pressure on a reverse-acting cylinder causing cylinder to shorten.

13. Said shoe from claim 10 comprising said cylinders connected in series.

14. Said shoe from claim 10 comprising said cylinders connected in parallel.

15. Said cylinders from claim 10 comprising a quick-release attachment at least one end.

16. Said quick-release attachment from claim 15 being a commercially available fastener.

17. Said shoe of claim 10 utilizing at least one air cylinder comprising a visible cylinder placement.

18. Said shoe from claim 10 utilizing at least one air cylinder comprising a hidden cylinder placement.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] Not Applicable.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

[0002] Not applicable.

REFERENCE TO A MICROFICHE APPENDIX

[0003] Not applicable.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0004] This invention relates to a system for creating a dynamic shoe fit through the use of pneumatic cylinders.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0005] Conventional technology for fitting shoes consists of laces, velcro closures, stretch fabric or inflatable bladders. All of these have their disadvantages. Shoe laces and velcro closures maintain a constant closure force on a shoe, thus not allowing a dynamic fit as one desires for comfort. Stretch fabric tends to wear out as well as not being adjustable for fit. Inflatable bladders are costly and prone to leaking.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The present invention has solved the problems cited above. Broadly, this invention solves the problem of adjustable and dynamic fit. A series of small air cylinder(s) pulls the shoe snug around the foot yet gives with walking or running and can be adjusted for tightness. A good way to describe this technology is “dynamic fit.”

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional side view of an air cylinder.

[0008] FIG. 2 is a side view of a shoe with air cylinder closures installed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0009] This application claims the benefit of provisional patent application No. 60/340,029 titled “Air Cylinders for a Dynamic Shoe Fit” filed Nov. 29, 2001 by Anthony Scott Hollars.

[0010] Reference will be made in detail below to the preferred embodiment of the present invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

[0011] Conventional technology for fitting shoes consists of laces, velcro closures, stretch fabric and inflatable bladders. All of these have their disadvantages. This invention solves the problem of adjustable and dynamic fit. A series of small air cylinder(s) pulls the shoe snug around the foot yet gives with walking or running and can be adjusted for tightness. A good way to describe this technology is “dynamic fit.” A conceptual marketing name is: X O Skeleton, (read exoskeleton). The diameter of the cylinders can be varied to create different tension for different parts of the shoe. Additional uses are to create spring back in the shoe or compression damping. The cylinders can be curved, straight, long or short. Additionally, the cylinders can have an oval cross-section or round or other shape. Many variations are possible. Many attachments are possible at the ends such as sewn in or loops. The cylinders can be exposed to look cool or covered internally in the shoe.

[0012] Preferably, the cylinders are manufactured from an inexpensive molded type plastic or reinforced plastic-type material. The piston can also be made of similar or identical plastic material and the seal an o-ring or common cup-type seal. The high-pressure side of the piston can cause the cylinder to pull together or by making the other side of the piston the high-pressure side, cause the cylinder to pull apart. One shoe may utilize cylinders of each type to accomplish the desired fit. The plumbing on the cylinders can be linked in parallel or series or independent of other cylinders. The methods of filling the air cylinders can be from a hand type pump, compressed gas source or built-in style of pump. Likewise, vacuum could be pulled on one side of the piston to effectively perform the same function as a compressed gas cylinder.

[0013] The air cylinders can be combined with traditional lacing systems or completely replace these systems. The application is light and simple enough to be utilized on lightweight running shoes yet durable enough to be used on hiking boots. Additionally, ski boots, rock climbing shies, cycling shoes, even swimming fins, concrete worker shoe attachments, etc. could benefit from this dynamic system.

[0014] FIG. 1 shows a side view of an air cylinder labeled 1. At one end of the cylinder is shown an attachment point for the shoe 2. Cylinder housing 3 houses a piston 4 attached to rod 9 which at its terminal end has attachment point 10 for attachment to the shoe. Piston seal 5 allows high-pressure to act on piston 4 to withdraw rod 9 into the cylinder. Seals 6,7 seal rod 9 from the atmosphere. Cylinder end 8 prevents piston 4 from leaving cylinder bore.

[0015] FIG. 2 shows shoe 20 with air cylinder(s) 1 providing closure between side of shoe 21 and opposite side of shoe 22. The action of air cylinder 1 pulls the sides of the shoe 21 and 22 towards each other to provide a snug fit to the wearer. In a dynamic situation such as running or walking, air cylinder 1 allows shoe sides 21 and 22 to move in relationship to each other while remaining snug allowing a dynamic fit.