Title:
Air-cooled footwear
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Ventilated (air-cooled) shoes and other footwear having a plurality of crosswise passages opening to the outside of the sole portion on the sides of the footwear, and in which each of the crosswise passages has at least one upright channel opening on the top of the sole portion.



Inventors:
Romero, Edward (Fort Worth, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/894083
Publication Date:
02/26/2009
Filing Date:
08/20/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
36/3R
International Classes:
A43B7/06
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Primary Examiner:
MOHANDESI, JILA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LYNN E BARBER (Anchorage, AK, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. Footwear comprising: a) an upper; and b) a sole portion connected to the upper, the sole portion having a top and a bottom, a front, a back, and a right side and a left side, the sole portion having a plurality of through passages opening to the top of the sole portion and to a side of the sole portion selected from the right and left sides, the front, the back, and the bottom of the sole portion.

2. The footwear according to claim 1, where the through passages comprise a plurality of crosswise passages including a front crosswise passage, a rear crosswise passage and at least one middle crosswise passage, each of the crosswise passages opening to the outside of the sole portion on the right side and on the left side and extending between the right side and left side, and each of the crosswise passages having at least one upright channel opening on the top of the sole portion.

3. The footwear of claim 2, wherein the sole portion further has at least one lengthwise passage extending from the front crosswise passage to the front of the sole portion and opening into the front crosswise passage and on the front of the sole portion.

4. The footwear of claim 2, wherein the sole portion further has at least one lengthwise passage extending from the rear crosswise passage to the back of the sole portion and opening into the rear crosswise passage and on the back of the sole portion.

5. The footwear of claim 2, wherein there are at least four middle crosswise passages.

6. The footwear of claim 2, wherein each crosswise passage has at least three upright channels.

7. The footwear of claim 1, wherein the through passages comprise upright through channels that extend between the top of the sole portion and the bottom of the sole portion.

8. Footwear comprising: a) an upper; and b) a sole portion connected to the upper, the sole portion having a top and a bottom, a front, a back, and a right side and a left side, the sole portion having a plurality of crosswise passages including a front crosswise passage, a rear crosswise passage and at least one middle crosswise passage, each of the crosswise passages opening to the outside of the sole portion on the right side and on the left side and extending between the right side and left side, and each of the crosswise passages having at least one upright channel opening on the top of the sole portion.

9. Footwear according to claim 8, wherein the sole portion further has at least one lengthwise passage extending from the front crosswise passage to the front of the sole and opening into the front crosswise passage and on the front of the sole portion.

10. The footwear of claim 8, wherein the sole portion further has at least one lengthwise passage extending from the rear crosswise passage to the back of the sole portion and opening into the rear crosswise passage and on the back of the sole portion.

11. The footwear of claim 8, wherein there are at least four middle crosswise passages.

12. The footwear of claim 8, wherein each crosswise passage has at least three upright channels.

13. Footwear comprising: a) an upper; and b) a sole portion connected to the upper, the sole portion having a top and a bottom, a front, a back, and a right side and a left side, the sole portion having upright through channels that extend between the top of the sole portion and the bottom of the sole portion.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to footwear, and in particular, relates to footwear having ventilation in the sole area. On footwear with any number of layers of the sole, the air passages connect the inner sole to the outside air.

2. Description of the Related Art

Historically shoes have very little ventilation; heat is built up inside the shoe during walking, jogging or performing some physical activities such as playing basketball, football, tennis, etc. Many types of shoes and other footwear are made partially or completely of plastics and other materials that are impermeable or which impede the flow of air. As is well-known, the foot releases moisture, especially during sports and other vigorous activities. To avoid excessive humidity in the shoe, which can lead to discomfort, odor and foot diseases, it is desirable to provide ventilation in shoes, especially those used for running, sports, exercising and the like.

Prior efforts to address this problem include the ventilating footwear of Gallegos (U.S. Pat. No. 7,055,264), having apertures in the heel, sole and/or midsole in communication with an air compartment. There may be air channels in the top side of the sole or midsole directing air from the compartment to beneath the wearer's foot.

The patent of Deem et al. (U.S. Pat. No. 7,178,266) provides an air circulating shoe that has least one vent in a shank incorporated in the sole assembly, as well as a plurality of air circulation channels in the sole assembly and ventilation holes in the footbed, which is over a waterproof layer.

The shoe ventilation system of Van Noy et al. (U.S. Pat. No. 7,210,248) has at least one opening in the shoe upper and at least one guiding surface over the opening, oriented so that airflow is directed into the opening as the shoe moves.

Many of the prior shoe ventilation systems have complicated means of delivering air to the foot, or have forced air delivery means, for example by providing a blast of air when the person wearing the shoe steps on the inner sole of the shoe.

It is therefore an object of the invention to provide footwear having ventilation. It is a further object of the invention that may have any number of air passages connecting the inner sole to outside air.

Other objects and advantages will be more fully apparent from the following disclosure and appended claims.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention herein is ventilated (air-cooled) shoes and other footwear having a plurality of crosswise passages opening to the outside of the sole portion on the sides of the footwear, and in which each of the crosswise passages has at least one upright channel opening on the top of the sole portion.

Other objects and features of the inventions will be more fully apparent from the following disclosure and appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a first embodiment of footwear of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the footwear in FIG. 1 as viewed from the top.

FIG. 3 is an elevational view of a second embodiment of the footwear of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the footwear of FIG. 3 as viewed from the bottom.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION AND PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS THEREOF

The present invention provides cooling to the feet by having air vent holes in the sole of the shoe or other footwear. These air vent holes are preferably around the entire side surface of the sole or base of the shoe. The air vents interconnect with other air vent holes inside the sole of the shoe, the sole portion of the shoe that comes into contact with the foot of the person wearing the shoe. This allows air to enter through the side air ports which then transmit the air into the sole of the shoe in contact with the person's foot. The air vents which are located in the front of the shoe in the preferred embodiment also provide an air ramming effect when the person is walking or running forward. This ramming effect forces air through the front air vents which in turn forces air into the vents that come into contact with the person's foot. Unlike some of the prior ventilated footwear, the invention herein does not have air compartments separate from the passages.

Referring in greater detail to the figures, the footwear 10 of the invention comprises an upper 12; and a sole portion 14 connected to the upper 12. The sole portion, which may comprise a simple sole or multiple layers forming the bottom of the shoe as is known in the art, has a top 16 and a bottom 18, a front side 20 and a back side 22, and a right side 24 and a left side 26 as known in the art.

In the various embodiments of the invention, there are through passages extending completely through the sole portion 14, and openings to the top of the sole from the through passages. In the first embodiment (FIGS. 1-2), these through passages comprise crosswise passages 28 that have at least one opening to a side of the sole portion, and upright channels 36 that extend from the crosswise passages 28 to the top of the sole portion 14, opening to the interior of the shoe. In the second embodiment (FIGS. 3-4), the through passages comprise upright through channels 44 between the bottom 18 and the top 16 of the sole portion 14.

In particular, in the first embodiment there is a plurality of crosswise passages 28 in the sole portion 14, including a front crosswise passage 30, a rear crosswise passage 32 and at least one middle crosswise passage 34. Preferably there are at least four middle crosswise passages 34. Depending on the shoe structure, each of these crosswise passages 28 may be located within a single layer of the sole portion 14, or may be located between layers forming the sole portion 14. Different crosswise passages 28 may be in different vertical locations in the sole portion 14 as is desired.

Each of the crosswise passages 28 opens to the outside of the sole portion 14 on the right side 24 and on the left side 26 of the sole portion 14, and extends between the right side 24 and left side 26. Each of the crosswise passages 28 has at least one upright channel 36 having an opening 42 on the top 16 of the sole portion 14, and most preferably each crosswise passage 28 has at least three upright channels 36.

Preferably the sole portion 14 further has at least one front lengthwise passage 38 extending from the front crosswise passage 30 to the front 20 of the sole portion 14 and opening into the front crosswise passage 30 and on the front 20 of the sole portion 14. At least one rear lengthwise passage 40 may also be provided extending from the rear crosswise passage 32 to the back 22 of the sole portion 14, and opening into the rear crosswise passage 32 and on the back 22 of sole portion 14. In addition air passages may be located anywhere along the sole surface of the shoe.

The crosswise passages 28, front lengthwise passages 38, rear lengthwise passages 40 and upright channels 36 are formed as is known in the art of plastics manufacture, for example by molding or other known means.

In the second embodiment of the invention herein, the through passages comprise upright through channels 44 that extend between the top 16 and the bottom 18 of the sole portion 14 as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. Each of these upright through channels 44 has a lower opening (air vent) 46 and an upper opening (air vent) 48 as shown in FIG. 3.

While the invention has been described as two separate embodiments, also included within the scope of the invention are combinations (not shown) of the two embodiments having both crosswise passages 28 and upright through channels 44.

While the footwear of the invention is preferably only worn during dry conditions or in semi wet conditions, it is within the scope of the invention to incorporate one way air valves (not shown) in the air passages as are known in the art. Footwear of the invention includes all types of sport shoes, for example, running, jogging, and training shoes, boots, and any other type of footwear. Thus, the footwear of the invention may be any type having a sole or other foot covering acting as a sole, including water socks. While there are water socks that have holes in the bottom extending into the inner sole of the shoe, the invention herein, with its horizontal passageways reduces the possibility of an object coming into contact with the foot of the person wearing the shoe while still allowing water to evacuate the shoe.

The crosswise and lengthwise passages, the upright channels and the upright through channels are preferably similarly formed as is known in the art and are of a similar diameter, but the diameter may be varied of some or all of these without departing from the invention herein. Most preferably they are about ½ inch in diameter or smaller, so long as large enough for air passage. They can be any shape, but a circular diameter is preferred.

While the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments, it will be appreciated that numerous variations, modifications, and embodiments are possible, and accordingly, all such variations, modifications, and embodiments are to be regarded as being within the spirit and scope of the invention.