Title:
Shoe ventilation system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The forefoot portion of a shoe bottom includes at least one independent open air cavity composed by complementing concave arcs found in the lower midsole and upper midsole. The upper midsole includes at least one ventilation hole for the passage of air to and from the wearer's foot. During compression of the shoe bottom, caused by the wearer's foot, the open air cavity forces air through the ventilation hole, and through the insole hole introducing air into the shoe interior.



Inventors:
Akhidime, Eval (Playa del Rey, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/223696
Publication Date:
03/08/2007
Filing Date:
09/08/2005
Assignee:
Skechers U.S.A. Inc. II
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B7/06
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060196088Use and proceeding at football shoesSeptember, 2006Forse
20070089323Electrothermal massage shoesApril, 2007Wu
20020007572Shoe sole structure having midsole sidesJanuary, 2002Frampton III
20060254090Sole cover for work shoes or bootsNovember, 2006Baxter
20050262737Footwear outsole with optimized material placementDecember, 2005Vattes
20080263900Therapeutic ShoeOctober, 2008Determe et al.
20030150137Orthopedically adjustable shoe constructionAugust, 2003Rosen
20040237351Combining useful items attached to a shoeDecember, 2004Howell
20090077832Soccer Training Shoe Cover and Method of UseMarch, 2009Flint
20080168683INFANT SHOE HAVING A PIVOTING HEEL PORTIONJuly, 2008Keating
20090307925Shoe Sole ElementDecember, 2009Pfister



Primary Examiner:
MOHANDESI, JILA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Marshall A. Lerner (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A shoe bottom portion which provides ventilation to the interior of the shoe, comprising: an upper midsole; a lower midsole; and a plurality of contacts of said upper midsole with said lower midsole, said contacts being arranged to form at least one independent open air cavity on the side of the forefoot of the shoe bottom, to thereby provide ventilation to the interior of the shoe.

2. A shoe bottom portion as set forth in claim 1, wherein said upper midsole contains at least one ventilation hole in said upper midsole.

3. A shoe bottom portion as set forth in claim 1, further comprising an insole formed above said upper midsole, said insole having at least one insole hole formed therein and wherein said midsole contains at least one ventilation hole associated with said at least one ventilation hole in said insole.

4. A shoe bottom portion as set forth in claim 1, wherein said upper midsole and said lower midsole are adjoined.

5. A shoe bottom portion as set forth in claim 1, wherein said upper midsole and said lower midsole each contain at least one concave form.

6. A shoe bottom portion as set forth in claim 1, wherein said at least one upper midsole concave form is in correspondence with said at least one lower midsole concave form, to thereby form said at least one open air cavity.

7. A shoe bottom portion as set forth in claim 5, wherein said open air cavity does not extend through the shoe bottom.

8. A shoe bottom heel portion as set forth in claim 1, wherein said upper midsole is formed of EVA of approximately 65 shore C durometer hardness, and said lower midsole is formed of EVA of approximately 65 shore C durometer hardness.

9. A shoe bottom portion which provides ventilation to the interior of the shoe, comprising: an upper midsole; a lower midsole; a plurality of contacts of said upper midsole with said lower midsole, said contacts being arranged to form at least one independent open air cavity on the side of the forefoot of the shoe bottom; and at least one ventilation hole in said upper midsole, to thereby provide ventilation to the interior of the shoe.

10. A shoe bottom portion as set forth in claim 9, further comprising an insole formed above said upper midsole, said insole having at least one insole hole formed therein and wherein said midsole contains at least one ventilation hole associated with said at least one ventilation hole in said insole.

11. A shoe bottom portion as set forth in claim 9, wherein said upper midsole and said lower midsole are adjoined.

12. A shoe bottom portion as set forth in claim 9, wherein said upper midsole and said lower midsole each contain at least one concave form.

13. A shoe bottom portion as set forth in claim 9, wherein said at least one upper midsole concave form is in correspondence with said at least one lower midsole concave form, to thereby form said at least one open air cavity.

14. A shoe bottom portion as set forth in claim 13, wherein said open air cavity does not extend through the shoe bottom.

15. A shoe bottom portion which provides ventilation to the interior of the shoe, comprising: an upper midsole; a lower midsole; and a plurality of contacts of said upper midsole with said lower midsole, said contacts being arranged to form a plurality of independent open air cavities on the sides of the forefoot of the shoe bottom, to thereby provide ventilation to the interior of the shoe.

16. A shoe bottom portion as set forth in claim 15, wherein said upper midsole contains at least one ventilation hole in said upper midsole.

17. A shoe bottom portion as set forth in claim 15, further comprising an insole formed above said upper midsole, said insole having at least one insole hole formed therein and wherein said midsole contains at least one ventilation hole associated with said at least one ventilation hole in said insole.

18. A shoe bottom portion as set forth in claim 15, wherein said upper midsole and said lower midsole are adjoined.

19. A shoe bottom portion as set forth in claim 15, wherein said upper midsole and said lower midsole each contain at least one concave form.

20. A shoe bottom portion as set forth in claim 15, wherein said at least one upper midsole concave form is in correspondence with said at least one lower midsole concave form, to thereby form said plurality of open air cavities.

21. A shoe bottom portion as set forth in claim 20, wherein said plurality of open air cavities does not extend through the shoe bottom.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to footwear, more particularly to shoe bottoms for active and sport footwear, and especially a ventilation system for the circulation of air in the forefoot of a shoe.

2. Description of the Related Art

The modern consumer of sport footwear expects a comfortable, supportive, functional, tastefully ornamented product. Footwear designers have responded with products combining new materials and performance engineering features. The present invention relates to a ventilation system for a shoe. Prior art such as U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,393,732 and 6,338,206 have attempted to introduce an effective ventilation system for an athletic shoe with minimal success. These prior art devices have grooves for the introduction of air to the shoe which extend substantially laterally through the forefoot of the shoe in the midsole. The present invention provides a substantial improvement over the prior art. The introduction of an independent open air cavity in the present invention induces air into the interior of the shoe by trapping air in the open air cavity upon compression and forcing it through the ventilation hole. The independent open air cavity created by opposing arcs in the upper midsole and lower midsole, is closed upon compression trapping the air and forcing the air to the interior of the shoe.

The present invention recognizes and addresses a particular need for such refinement by providing a innovative performance shoe containing a laminated shoe bottom portion with a functional, breathable forefoot sole allowing for the circulation of air providing added comfort to the consumer.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a shoe bottom portion with an air circulation system allowing for added comfort and breathability.

In accordance with this object and with others which will be described and which will become apparent, a preferred exemplary embodiment of a shoe bottom portion in accordance with the present invention includes an upper midsole with at least one independent concave arc extending outwards near the center of the sole. A lower midsole with at least one independent concave arc extending outwards near the center of the sole and which corresponds with the upper midsole concave arc. The upper midsole contains a hole at the top of the at least one independent concave arc, and an insole contains at least one hole associated with the at least one upper midsole hole at the top of each independent concave arc. The joining of the upper midsole and lower midsole creates at least one independent open air cavity at the corresponding concave arc. Each independent open air cavity allows for the circulation of air into the shoe through the ventilation hole at the top of the upper midsole and through the associated hole in the insole.

The upper midsole and the lower midsole includes an compression molded portion, which may be, for example, formed of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). In a preferred embodiment, the upper midsole and lower midsole are formed of approximately 65 shore C durometer hardness.

The upper midsole and the lower midsole are adjoined at contact points. The upper midsole and lower midsole may have opposing concave arcs intermediate the contact points, thereby forming an open air cavity intermediate the contact points. The open air cavity compacts upon compression caused by the wearer's foot, forming an enclosed chamber of air and forcing the air through the upper midsole to the wearer's foot. The intermediate contacts found between the open air cavity extend throughout the shoe and support the structure of the shoe. Additionally, the concave arcs also provide added cushioning to the wearer of the shoe.

The upper midsole may have a first edge. The lower midsole may have a second edge, with the first edge at least partially surrounding and embracing the second edge to increase adhesion area between the two and to resist lateral displacement. The contacts may be substantially permanent and may be bonded by an adhesive.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a further understanding of the objects and advantages of the present invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, in which like parts are given like reference numbers and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a right side elevational view of the shoe bottom portion in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view thereof taken along the line 2-2 in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 shows the embodiment as seen in FIG. 2, with the exception that force has been applied to the top of the sole so as to imitate compression caused by a wearer's foot.

FIG. 4 is a right side cross sectional view thereof taken along the line 4-4 in FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 shows the embodiment as seen in FIG. 4, with the exception that force has been applied to the top of the sole so as to imitate compression caused by a wearer's foot.

FIG. 6 is an unfolded perspective view of the forefoot of the shoe bottom including the lower midsole, upper midsole and insole. The upper midsole and insole portions being inverted, the lower midsole portion being rotated approximately ninety degrees. The lower midsole, upper midsole, and insole portions are all separated from one another to show the concave arcs, the ventilation holes, and the insole holes.

FIG. 7 is a side view of the shoe bottom portion with the insole being separated from the adjoined lower midsole and upper midsole portions.

FIG. 8 is an exploded view of the forefoot of the shoe bottom portion with the lower midsole and upper midsole portions adjoined.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The invention will now be described with reference to FIG. 1, which illustrates a side view of the preferred embodiment of a shoe bottom portion in accordance with the present invention. As shown in FIG. 1, a shoe 32 has a shoe upper 34 and a shoe bottom 36 including a forefoot portion 38, an arch portion 40 and a heel portion 42. The forefoot portion 38 is assembled from discretely formed elastic material including an outsole 44, a lower midsole 46, and an upper midsole 48. The arch portion 40 of the shoe bottom 36 includes a shank 70 which extends forward into the forefoot portion 38 and rearward into the heel portion 42, being inserted between the lower midsole 46 and the upper midsole 48. In the finished shoe bottom 36, the upper midsole 48, the lower midsole 46, and the outsole 44 are permanently bonded together. The upper midsole 48 and the lower midsole 46 absorb impact, as well as form the chamber from which air is introduced into the forefoot of the shoe. The outsole 44 provides traction and resists abrasion. At least one open air cavity 66 is formed between the upper midsole 48 and the lower midsole 46.

With reference to FIG. 2, the cross sectional view of the shoe bottom portion 36 shows the insole 50 the outsole 44 the upper midsole 48 adjoined to the lower midsole 46 and the resulting open air cavities 66 formed by the upper midsole rear concave arcs 54 and lower midsole rear concave arcs 58.

With continued reference to FIG. 2, the upper midsole rear concave arcs 54 contain a ventilation hole 60 and the insole 50 contains an insole hole 68 for the passage of air to and from the wearer of the shoe. The means for the passage of air is through a ventilation hole 60, through an insole hole 68 into the interior of the shoe.

With continued reference to FIG. 2, the outsole 44 is permanently attached to the lower midsole 46.

FIG. 3 shows the embodiment as seen in FIG. 2 with the upper midsole 48 compressed against the lower midsole 46 due to compression from the wearer's foot. The compression of the upper midsole 48 and lower midsole 46 caused by a wearer applying pressure when stepping encloses the open air cavity 66 trapping air and forcing it through the ventilation holes 60 and insole holes 68 to the wearer of the shoe.

With reference to FIG. 4, the cross sectional view of the shoe bottom portion 36 shows the insole 50 the upper midsole 48 adjoined to the lower midsole 46 and the resulting open air cavities 66 formed by the upper midsole forward concave arcs 52 and lower midsole forward concave arcs 56.

With continued reference to FIG. 4, the upper midsole forward concave arcs 52 contain a ventilation hole 60 and the insole 50 contains an insole hole 68 for the passage of air to and from the wearer of the shoe. The outsole 44 is permanently attached to the lower midsole 46. In the preferred embodiment the shape of the ventilation hole 60 and insole hole 68 is a slit. However, the holes can be any desired shape.

FIG. 5 shows the embodiment as seen in FIG. 4 with the upper midsole 48 compressed against the lower midsole 46 due to compression from the wearer's foot. The compression of the upper midsole 48 and lower midsole 46 caused by a wearer applying pressure when stepping encloses the open air cavity 66 trapping air and forcing it through the ventilation holes 60 and insole holes 68 to the wearer of the shoe.

FIG. 6 shows an unfolded perspective view of the forefoot of the upper midsole 48, the insole 50, and the lower midsole 46 of the shoe bottom 36 (the upper midsole 48, and insole 50 being inverted, the lower midsole 46 being uplifted and rotated). The insole 50 is shown separated from the upper midsole 48. The upper midsole 48 is shown separated from the lower midsole 46. The forefoot portion 38 of the upper midsole 48 includes left and right forward concave arcs 52, and left and right rear concave arcs 54, these being arranged peripherally near the center of the shoe. The forefoot portion of the lower midsole 46 has left and right forward concave arcs 56 and left and right rear concave arcs 58, which are arranged peripherally near the center of the shoe. The upper midsole forward concave arcs and rear concave arcs each contain at least one ventilation hole 60 for the passage of air. The insole 50 contains insole holes 68 corresponding to the upper midsole ventilation holes 60. The insole 50 is shaped to conform to the upper midsole 48.

FIG. 7 shows the assembled shoe bottom 36 with a separated insole 50. The assembled show bottom 36 composed of the lower midsole 46, upper midsole 48, and outsole 44 shows the open air cavities 66 and the upper midsole ventilation holes 60. The separated insole 50 shows the associated insole holes 68.

With reference to FIGS. 3, 5 and 8, the upper midsole concave arcs 52 and 54, and lower midsole concave arcs 56 and 58, create the open air cavities 66 which allow air to enters the shoe. The assembled forefoot of the shoe bottom 36 shows the path of air through the open air cavities 66 and ventilation holes 60. As the wearer of the shoe exerts pressure on the shoe bottom 36 by stepping, each upper midsole 48 is compressed against the lower midsole 46 thus enclosing the open air cavity 66 and trapping air, which is forced to travel through each ventilation hole 60 and through each insole hole 68, to the interior of the shoe, thereby provide ventilation to the wearer's foot.

With continued reference to FIGS. 2 and 4, the expansion of each open air cavity 66, caused when the wearer of the shoe releases pressure on the shoe bottom 36 by lifting their foot, forces air to travel into each open air cavity 66 thus recreating the entire ventilation process.

With reference to FIGS. 1 and 8, it is noted that the forefoot outward edge 62 of the upper midsole 48 is indented outward, and the forefoot inward edge 64 of the lower midsole 46 is indented inward to create a larger bonding point. The any suitable material.

The lower midsole 46 and upper midsole 48 may be formed of any suitable material. In the preferred embodiment the lower midsole 46 and upper midsole 48 are formed of is composed of compression molded EVA which has a 65 shore C durometer hardness, which is a higher value than the 55 durometer hardness that is commonly used in cushioning elements of footwear. At a hardness of 65 shore C, the lower midsole 46 and upper midsole 48 in this exemplary embodiment of the present invention is stiffer and harder, i.e., more resistant to compression, than it would be at a hardness of 55. The material is therefore more capable of retaining its originally molded shape and dimensions for the lifetime of the product. In particular, at a durometer hardness of 65 shore C, the shoe bottom portion 36 has greater structural definition and durability than it would have at a hardness of 55.

While the foregoing detailed description sets forth exemplary embodiments of a shoe bottom portion in accordance with the present invention, it is to be understood that the above description is illustrative only and not limiting of the disclosed invention. Indeed, it will be appreciated that the embodiments discussed above and the virtually infinite embodiments that are not mentioned could easily be within the scope and spirit of the present invention. Thus, the present invention is to be limited only by the claims as set forth below.