Title:
Climbing shoe with hooking rim
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rock climbing shoe with hooking rim is provided. The climbing shoe includes an upper portion, and an outer sole attached to the upper portion. The outer sole has an interior area, a raised exterior area, and a hooking rim. The interior area has a thickness ‘t’ and a bottom surface. The thickness ‘t’ is substantially uniform. The raised exterior area are divided into two or more segments and the interior area extends between the segments. The bottom surface is substantially smooth. The hooking rim can hook on a rocky ledge.



Inventors:
Chu, Young (Santa Fe Springs, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/438457
Publication Date:
11/18/2004
Filing Date:
05/16/2003
Assignee:
CHU YOUNG
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B5/00; A43B13/22; (IPC1-7): A43B13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KAVANAUGH, JOHN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PARK LAW FIRM (LOS ANGELES, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A climbing shoe comprising: a) an upper portion; and b) an outer sole attached to the upper portion, the outer sole having an interior area, a raised exterior area, and a hooking rim, wherein the interior area having a thickness ‘t’ and a bottom surface, wherein the thickness ‘t’ is substantially uniform, wherein the raised exterior area are divided into two or more segments and the interior area extends between the segments, and wherein the bottom surface is substantially smooth; whereby the hooking rim can hook on a rocky ledge.

2. The climbing shoe of claim 1, wherein the hooking rim further having a height ‘h’, wherein the height ‘h’ is greater than about one sixteenth of an inch.

3. The climbing shoe of claim 2, wherein the thickness ‘t’ is about one-eight of an inch.

4. The climbing shoe of claim 3, further comprising teeth attached to the hooking rim.

5. The climbing shoe of claim 4, wherein the teeth are a saw-tooth shape.

6. The climbing shoe of claim 5, wherein the teeth have a length ‘L’, wherein ‘L’ is about one sixteenth of an inch.

7. The climbing shoe of claim 5, wherein the outer sole further comprising a front section and a back section, wherein the raised exterior area, the hooking rim, and the teeth are contained within the front section, wherein the interior area extends to substantially cover the back section.

8. The climbing shoe of claim 7, wherein the interior area is slightly concave in shape.

9. The climbing shoe of claim 8, wherein the exterior area having a width ‘w’, wherein the width ‘w’ is between about 0.5 inches and about 1.0 inches.

10. The climbing shoe of claim 9, wherein the exterior area is substantially U-shaped.

11. A climbing shoe comprising: a) an upper portion; and b) an outer sole attached to the upper portion, the outer sole having an interior area, a raised exterior area, and a hooking rim, wherein the interior area having a thickness ‘t’, wherein the thickness ‘t’ is substantially uniform, wherein the raised exterior area are divided into two or more segments and the interior area extends between the segments, and wherein the exterior area is substantially U-shaped; whereby the hooking rim can hook on a rocky ledge.

12. The climbing shoe of claim 11, further comprising teeth attached to the hooking rim.

13. The climbing shoe of claim 12, wherein the outer sole further comprising a front section and a back section, wherein the raised exterior area, the hooking rim, and the teeth are contained within the front section, wherein the back section includes a back raised exterior area, wherein the back raised exterior area are divided into two or more back segments and the interior area extends between the back segments.

14. The climbing shoe of claim 13, wherein the exterior area having a width ‘w’, wherein the width ‘w’ is between about 0.5 inches and about 1.0 inches.

15. The climbing shoe of claim 14, wherein the thickness ‘t’ is about one-eight of an inch.

16. The climbing shoe of claim 15, wherein the teeth are a rounded half-moon shape.

Description:

BACKGROUND

[0001] The invention relates to climbing shoes. More particularly, the invention is relevant to a climbing shoe with a bottom surface that assists the climber in maintaining a firm foothold on the rocks.

[0002] Traditional climbing shoes have generally flat surfaces on the bottom of the climbing shoe. With a flat surface, the edges of the toe are placed on little foot holds on the rocks. Just the placement and pressure of the flat bottom surface of the shoe on the rocks assists in maintaining the foothold on the rocks. The climbing shoe needs great stability, since the whole weight of the individual may be supported by just the edges of the toe and the climber's hands. The climbing shoe must retain a solid hold on the rocks, when the climber stretches to reach the next foothold or handhold in the rocks. Climbing shoes with flat bottom surfaces can be prone to slipping and losing their grip on the rocks.

[0003] There are walking shoes designed to flex when walking to absorb some of the impact of the foot upon the walking surface. The curvature of the outer sole does not remain rigid, and the inner portion of the bottom outer sole flexes to touch the walking surface during walking. The outer sole is thick, so sensitivity is lost. The climber cannot adequately sense and feel the foot holds, when the outer sole is thick. Additionally, walking shoes tend to have cleats or protrusions throughout the entire bottom surface to the walking shoe. The entire bottom surface of the walking shoe contacts the ground, so there is a need for gripping protrusions or indentations throughout the entire bottom surface when walking.

[0004] This walking shoe design is most disadvantageous for climbing. Climbers tend to use just the outer portions of the bottom surface of the climbing shoe for gripping rocks and crevices. The hooking grip of the climbing shoe upon the small crevices can be lost if the bottom outer sole fails to remain substantially rigid. Very small projections in the rocks are used to hook the shoe of a climber. Just a small area of the bottom outer sole may be supporting the climber's weight when hooked on the rock. This exterior area of the outer sole is where the gripping capability is most important. Having protrusions upon the entire bottom surface, as in a walking shoe, only adds to the weight of the shoe without providing adequate gripping support where it is most required.

[0005] In one walking shoe design, the sole tread pattern adapts to all types of ground due to its adjustable stud profile. As the foot presses down, the sole changes shape to grip the ground contours and on soft ground the studs penetrate the soil. The studs are randomly spaced around the entire bottom surface of the walking shoe. As the weight is taken off the sole, it releases energy, giving wearers an added spring to their step. The changing shape of the sole is advantageous for walking, but can be detrimental in rock climbing.

[0006] Therefore, there is a need for a climbing shoe with a bottom surface that has a gripping rim and protrusions or teeth shaped for hooking the shoe on a rock ledge. The new climbing shoe should have a row of teeth along the hooking rim that will provide greater traction and grip when climbing rocks than the traditional walking shoes or climbing shoes.

SUMMARY

[0007] A climbing shoe with teeth fulfills the objective of a climbing shoe with a bottom surface with a hooking rim that is shaped for hooking the shoe on a rock ledge. The addition of teeth along the hooking rim provides greater traction and grip when climbing rocks, which provides greater safety and confidence for the climber.

[0008] The climbing shoe includes an upper portion and an outer sole attached to the upper portion. The outer sole has an interior area, a raised exterior area, and a hooking rim. The interior area has a thickness ‘t’ that is substantially uniform. The hooking rim can hook on a rocky ledge. The raised exterior area is divided into two or more segments, and the interior area extends between the segments.

[0009] The hooking rim has a height ‘h’, which can vary. In one embodiment the height ‘h’ is greater than about one thirty-second of an inch and the height ‘h’ is less than about one eight of an inch. In this version the height ‘h’ is about three-thirtysecond ({fraction (3/32)}) of an inch.

[0010] A climbing shoe also includes teeth attached to the hooking rim. The teeth can vary in shape. The teeth are often a saw-tooth shape or a rounded half-moon shape. The teeth have a length ‘L’. In one embodiment ‘L’ is about one sixteenth of an inch

[0011] The outer sole further includes a front section and a back section. The raised exterior area, the hooking rim, and the teeth are contained within the front section. The interior area extends to substantially cover the back section. The exterior area has a width ‘w’. The width ‘w’ is about eleven-sixteenths of an inch. The hooking rim and teeth added to the bottom surface of the climbing shoe provide increased stability and grip while rock climbing. The back section may also have a back raised exterior area that forms a back hooking rim.

[0012] The climbing shoe with a hooking rim and teeth is further described with detail in the appended figures, description and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] FIG. 1 is a bottom view of the climbing shoe showing the hooking rim.

[0014] FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the climbing shoe showing the hooking rim with saw-tooth teeth.

[0015] FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the climbing shoe showing the hooking rim with half-moon shaped teeth.

[0016] FIG. 4 is a cutaway side view of the climbing shoe along the 4-4 line as shown in FIG. 3.

[0017] FIG. 5 is a cutaway side view similar to FIG. 4, showing a concave shape to the bottom surface of the interior area.

[0018] FIG. 6 is a bottom view of the climbing shoe showing that hooking rims are provided on both the front section and the back section of the outer sole.

[0019] FIG. 7 is a side view of the climbing shoe having hooking rims on both the front section and the back section.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0020] Referring to FIG. 1 through FIG. 5, a climbing shoe 10 includes an upper portion 12 and an outer sole 14 attached to the upper portion 12. The outer sole has an interior area 16, a raised exterior area 18, and a hooking rim 20. The hooking rim 20 is created by the difference in surface height of the interior area 16 and the raised exterior area 18. The hooking rim 20 can hook on a rocky ledge. The interior area 16 is substantially smooth and uniform in thickness. The interior area 16 has a thickness ‘t’ that is about one-eight of an inch in one embodiment. The thickness ‘t’ is substantially uniform. The interior area 16 has a bottom surface 32 that is substantially smooth. The bottom surface 32 does not have any protrusions, studs, or sharp projections projections. The hooking rim 20 is the sole raised area or projection(s) with enough height ‘h’ to effectively hook on a rock. The exterior area 18 is substantially uniform in thickness, with a lower surface 34 that is also substantially smooth.

[0021] There is a thickness variation between the interior area 16 and the raised exterior area 18, which creates the hooking rim 20. The outer sole 14 is thin, particularly the interior area 16, which provides great sensitivity by the climber when securing a foot grip on the rocks.

[0022] Referring to the cutaway view of FIG. 4, the hooking rim 20 has a height ‘h’, which can vary. In one embodiment the height ‘h’ is greater than about one sixteenth of an inch and the height ‘h’ is less than about one eight of an inch. The height ‘h’ is about three-thirtysecond ({fraction (3/32)}) of an inch in this embodiment. There should be sufficient height ‘h’ to create some gripping effect by the hooking rim 20 upon the rocks. The height ‘h’ can be greater than about one eight of an inch. Although, as the height ‘h’ increases the distance between the bottom surface 32 of the interior area 16 and the lower surface 34 of the exterior area 18 also increases. If the height ‘h’ is significant then it is more difficult for the climber to place a substantial portion of the climbing shoe 10 inside of a small hole or crevice for a toehold grip. The thickness ‘t’ is substantially uniform for the interior area 16.

[0023] The climbing shoe 10 also includes teeth 22 attached to the hooking rim 20. The teeth 22 can vary in shape. The teeth 22 are often a saw-tooth shape 24 as shown in FIG. 2 or a rounded half-moon shape 26 as shown in FIG. 3. The teeth 22 have a length ‘L’. In one embodiment ‘L’ is about one sixteenth of an inch. There are about eight teeth 22 per linear inch along the hooking rim 20 in FIG. 3. There are about twelve teeth 22 per linear inch along the hooking rim 20 in FIG. 2.

[0024] The outer sole 14 further includes a front section 28 and a back section 30. The raised exterior area 18, the hooking rim 20, and the teeth 22 are contained within the front section 28. A portion of the interior area 16 is also contained within the front section 28. The interior area 16 extends to substantially cover the back section 30. Climbers predominantly use the front section 28 of the shoe for gripping when climbing. The front section 28 is where the hooking rim 20 and teeth 22 should be concentrated. A hooking rim 20 and teeth 22 on the back section 30 are not essential. The exterior area 18 has a width ‘w’. The width ‘w’ is between about 0.5 inches and about 1.0 inches. The width ‘w’ is about eleven-sixteenths ({fraction (11/16)}) of an inch in this embodiment. The width ‘w’ can vary smaller or larger based on the climber's body size and preferences. The raised exterior area 18 is substantially U-shaped. The exterior area 18 is located adjacent to the edge 36 of the outer sole 14. The raised exterior area 18 and the associated hooking rim 20 can be continuous or the raised exterior area 18 can be broken into multiple segments. FIG. 3 illustrates the raised exterior area 18 broken into three segments 40. A portion of the interior area 16 is located between the segments 40 of the raised exterior area 18. This segmented structure of the raised exterior area 18 makes the climbing shoe 10 lighter, and a climber can feel that there are some discrete points in the hooking rim 20 that can engage with a protruded portion of a rock more stably and firmly with recesses between the segments 40.

[0025] The outer sole 14 can be made primarily from a rubber polymer. The upper portion 12 can include any material commonly used for shoes, such as leather, nylon and cotton fabric. The interior area 16 has about a uniform thickness ‘t’.

[0026] The edges of the outer sole 14 should be thin enough to feel the foothold. Thin edges on the outer sole 14 provide stability, in contrast to the thick edges of the prior art walking shoes that are prone to slipping on the rocks. The teeth 22 and hooking rim 20 provide added edging power for standing on small footholds, because the hooking rim 20 and teeth 22 will grab the foothold and will not move around to allow a slip from the foothold.

[0027] Referring to FIG. 5, the interior area 16 is illustrated with a slightly concave shape. The thickness ‘t’ remains substantially uniform. The concave shape of the interior area 16 does not have any sharp projections or sharp edges like the hooking rim 20 has. The concave shape of the interior area 16 provides a smoothed indentation that provides some assistance to the climber for gripping the rocks.

[0028] The hooking rim 20 and teeth 22 on the outer sole 14 of the climbing shoe 10 provides improved gripping ability for the climber. The climbing shoe 10 with a hooking rim 20 provides added gripping ability, besides just the pressure of the climbing shoe 10 applied downward on the rocks. The hooking rim 20 and the teeth 22 can improve the confidence, climbing ability and safety of the climber.

[0029] FIGS. 6 and 7 show a climbing shoe 60 that has back segments 52 forming a back hooking rim 50 and a back raised exterior area 54 on the back section 30, in addition to front segments 44 forming the hooking rim 20 on the front section 28. The back segments 52 together with the front segments 44 gives the climber a balanced feeling when he or she stands on a flat surface. The back hooking rim 50 may be used to hook the climbing shoe 60 on a protruded portion of a rock.

[0030] Although the present invention has been described in considerable detail with regard to the preferred versions thereof, other versions are possible. Therefore, the appended claims should not be limited to the descriptions of the preferred versions contained herein.