Title:
Golf shoe outsole with longitudinally extending bend line
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An outsole for a golf shoe having a plurality of lateral and medial cleats spaced apart longitudinally adjacent the perimeter on each of the lateral and medial sides of the foresole region, and least one cleat adjacent the perimeter on each of the lateral and medial sides of the heel region, with a groove running longitudinally through the foresole region between the medial and lateral cleats, in substantially vertical registry with a region of the foot defined by the center phalange and the lateral and medial phalanges adjacent the center phalange. Preferably another groove extends between the lateral and media sides of the foresole region, having an inverted “V” shape with the apex of the “V” directed forwardly and intersecting the longitudinal groove, in substantially vertical registry with all of the five phalange joints lying midway between the toes and the arches of the foot. In a further preference, a raised pad is provided at the medial side of the arch region.



Inventors:
Norton, Daniel E. (El Paso, TX, US)
Application Number:
12/287214
Publication Date:
04/08/2010
Filing Date:
10/06/2008
Assignee:
Etonic Worldwide LLC (Waltham, MA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
36/59R, 36/67A, 36/25R
International Classes:
A43B5/00; A43B13/00; A43C15/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LALLI, MELISSA LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ALIX, YALE & RISTAS, LLP (HARTFORD, CT, US)
Claims:
1. An outsole for an athletic shoe comprising: an elongated perimeter outlining a substantially planar foresole region, a substantially planar heel region, and an arch region recessed from the foresole and heel regions, each of said regions having medial and lateral sides; a plurality of lateral and medial cleats spaced apart longitudinally adjacent the perimeter on each of the lateral and medial sides of the foresole region, respectively, and rising above the plane of the foresole region; at least one cleat adjacent the perimeter on each of the lateral and medial sides of the heel region and rising above the plane of the heel region; a first groove running longitudinally through the foresole region between all of the medial and lateral cleats; and a second groove extending transversely between the lateral and media sides of the foresole region, having an inverted “V” shape with the apex of the “V” directed forwardly and intersecting the first groove.

2. The outsole of claim 1, wherein the first groove has a substantially continuous curvature.

3. The outsole of claim 1, wherein the first groove has a substantially continuous convex curvature between the cleats as viewed from the medial cleats.

4. The outsole of claim 1, including a raised pad at the medial side of the arch region.

5. The outsole of claim 4, wherein the foresole region, heel region, and pad are substantially coplanar.

6. The outsole of claim 1, wherein the first groove has a front end at a longitudinally front point of the foresole perimeter.

7. The outsole of claim 6, including a raised pad at the medial side of the arch region, said pad having a substantially flat, textured surface lying in a plane at or above the plane of the heel region.

8. The outsole of claim 1, wherein the first groove is defined by sidewalls and an uninterrupted straight line can be extended within the sidewalls between all of the medial and lateral cleats in the foresole region.

9. The outsole of claim 8, wherein the first groove lies midway between or closer to the lateral side of the foresole region, relative to the medial side of the foresole region.

10. A golf shoe outsole comprising: an elongated perimeter outlining a substantially planar foresole region, a substantially planar heel region, and an arch region recessed from the foresole and heel regions, each of said regions having medial and lateral sides; a plurality of lateral and medial cleats spaced apart longitudinally adjacent the perimeter on each of the lateral and medial sides of the foresole region, respectively, and rising above the plane of the foresole region; at least one cleat adjacent the perimeter on each of the lateral and medial sides of the heel region and rising above the plane of the heel region; a groove running longitudinally through the foresole region between at least some of the medial and lateral cleats; and a raised pad at the medial side of the arch region.

11. The outsole of claim 10, wherein the raised pad has a substantially flat, textured surface lying in a plane at or above the plane of the heel region.

12. The outsole of claim 10, wherein at least a portion of the groove between the cleats has a convex curvature as viewed from the medial cleats.

13. The outsole of claim 12, wherein the groove extends between all the lateral and medial cleats in the foresole region.

14. The outsole of claim 13, wherein the groove has a front end at a longitudinally front point of the foresole perimeter.

15. An outsole for a golf shoe, having a perimeter outlining a wearer's foot of given size, an inner surface providing a foot bed and an outer surface having cleats for engaging the ground, wherein said foot includes a heel, a lateral arch, a medial arch, two lateral phalanges, a center phalange, and two medial phalanges, and said outsole comprises: a substantially planar outer foresole region, a substantially planar outer heel region, and an outer arch region recessed from said foresole and heel regions, each of said regions having medial and lateral sides; a plurality of lateral and medial cleats spaced apart longitudinally adjacent the perimeter on each of the lateral and medial sides of said outer foresole region, respectively, and rising above the plane of the foresole region; at least one cleat adjacent the perimeter on each of the lateral and medial sides of said outer heel region and rising above the plane of said heel region; a groove running longitudinally through the outer foresole region between medial and lateral cleats, in substantially vertical registry with a region of the foot defined by the center phalange and the lateral and medial phalanges adjacent the center phalange.

16. The outsole of claim 15, wherein the groove extends from the toes to the arches of the rear most part of the phalanges.

17. The outsole of claim 15, wherein the groove is in substantially vertical registry with a region of the foot defined by the center phalange and the lateral phalange adjacent the center phalange.

18. The outsole of claim 15 wherein the groove is in substantially vertical registry with the center phalange from the toes to the arches of the rear most part of the phalanges.

19. The outsole of claim 15, including another groove extending between the lateral and media sides of the outer foresole region, having an inverted “V” shape with the apex of the “V” directed forwardly and intersecting said longitudinal groove, wherein the other groove lies in substantially vertical registry with all of the five phalange joints lying midway between the toes and the arches of the foot.

20. The outsole of claim 15, including a raised pad at the medial side of the outer arch region.

21. The outsole of claim 19, including a raised pad at the medial side of the outer arch region.

Description:

BACKGROUND

The present invention relates to athletic shoes, and particularly to outsoles for golf shoes.

In many sports or athletic games, the player wears specialized shoes having a construction, especially an outsole, which is adapted to support the player in the particular movement characteristic of that sport or game. For the game of golf, the shoes should remain in contact with the ground throughout the swinging of the club, but during such swing, the weight distribution shifts dramatically, and portions of the shoe lift off the ground. A well designed and well fitting golf shoe not only conforms to the shape of the foot, but also supports the regions of the foot that remain grounded during the swing.

For many years, the outsoles of golf shoes have included projecting spikes or cleats to prevent slippage during the swing. More recently, the foresole, arch and heel regions have been partially decoupled, to improve the flexure of the shoe during the swing. Grooves or channels in the foresole further enhance flexibility.

Such efforts to improve flexibility have focused on the shoe, without regard to the detailed anatomy of the foot.

SUMMARY

The present invention is directed to an outsole having features that more closely integrate the support and flexure of the shoe with the dynamic anatomical characteristics of the foot during athletic movements.

One embodiment is directed to an outsole for a golf shoe, having a perimeter outlining a wearer's foot of given size, an inner surface providing a foot bed and an outer surface having cleats for engaging the ground. A normal foot has a heel, a medial arch, a lateral arch, two medial phalanges (#1 and #2), a center phalange (#3), and two lateral phalanges (#4 and #5). The outsole comprises a substantially planar outer foresole region, a substantially planar outer heel region, and an outer arch region recessed from the foresole and heel regions, each of these regions having medial and lateral sides. A plurality of lateral and medial cleats are spaced apart longitudinally adjacent the perimeter on each of the lateral and medial sides of the outer foresole region, respectively, and project from the plane of the foresole region. At least one cleat is situated adjacent the perimeter on each of the lateral and medial sides of the outer heel region and project from the plane of the heel region. According to one feature of the present disclosure, a flex groove runs longitudinally through the outer foresole region between medial and lateral cleats, in a substantially vertical registry with a region of the foot defined by the center phalange (#3) and the medial and lateral phalanges (#2 and #4) adjacent the center phalange.

Preferably, the groove is in substantially vertical registry with a region of the foot defined between the medial phalange (#2) and the closer lateral phalange (#4), from the toes to the lateral arch of the foot. Ideally, the groove is in a substantially vertical registry with a region of the foot defined by the center phalange (#3) and the #4 lateral phalange, from the toes to the arch of the foot.

Many golf instructors believe that during the most important parts of the golf swing, the golfer's weight should be supported in the medial regions of the foot. During the back swing, the weight shifts from a substantially even 50-50 per cent distribution on the front and back feet, to an 80-20 per cent distribution on the back foot. At the top of the backswing and during the transition to the downswing, the 80 per cent on the back foot is split 80-20 per cent favoring the medial side of the back foot. After impact and during release of the club, the weight shifts to an 80-20 per cent distribution on the front foot, with the 80 per cent on the front split 80-20 per cent favoring the medial side of the front foot.

The natural bend line of the foot for implementing this movement extends longitudinally from the junction of the medial and lateral arch, forwardly between the medial phalange (#2) and the closer lateral phalange (#4). A corresponding longitudinal groove in the outsole reduces a lever angle effect and promotes a substantially flat contact with the ground on the medial side while the lateral side can lift off the ground. In practice, the groove on the outer foresole can still be more effective than conventional grooves, even if not perfectly aligned between the medial (#2) phalange and the closer lateral phalange (#4)

In a further preference, another, transverse groove extends between the lateral and media sides of the outer foresole region, having an inverted “V” shape with the apex of the “V” directed forwardly and intersecting the longitudinal groove. The transverse groove should ideally lie in substantially vertical registry with all of the five phalange joints that lie midway between the toes and the arches of the foot, at the natural flex points of the foot (i.e., the metatarsal heads).

This V groove provides improved front/back flexure, in a synergistic combination with the lateral bend line provided by the longitudinal groove.

In yet another feature, the outsole includes a raised pad at the medial side of the outer arch region. During the critical parts of the swing when weight is shifting from the medial side of the back foot to the medial side of the front foot, only about half of the foresole and heel on the outsole support the weight shift. Conventionally, the arch is not a weight bearing region. Locating a raised, textured pad in the medial arch increases the contact area with the ground and thus increases the margin to slippage. Furthermore, the pad in the arch can provide an unaccustomed sensation felt through the shoe to the arch of the foot, indicating that the weight has been properly shifted to the medial sides from the top of the backswing through release after impact.

Although the longitudinal groove and the arch pad provide distinct advantages, they are best employed together. The longitudinal groove enhances the lateral bend, whereby more weight can be shifted with confidence to the medial side of the outsole, and the raised pad in the medial arch region improves the player's confidence that the shoe will remain in stable, supportive contact with the ground during the further weight shift toward the front foot.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Various embodiments will be described in greater detail below with reference to the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic of the outsole of a golf shoe for the right foot, embodying the longitudinal flex groove and the arch pad features of the present disclosure;

FIGS. 2-4 are more realistic views corresponding to FIG. 1, showing the additional feature of the transverse flex groove; and

FIG. 5 is an illustration of the human foot as would be seen looking upward through the outsole of a shoe according to the present disclosure, such as shown in FIGS. 1-4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 shows an outsole 10 having an elongated perimeter 12 corresponding to the shape of a right foot of given size, outlining a substantially planar foresole region 14, a substantially planar heel region 16, and an arch region 18 recessed from the foresole and heel regions, each of the regions having medial M and lateral L sides. A plurality of lateral and medial cleats 20, 22 are spaced apart longitudinally adjacent the perimeter on each of the lateral and medial sides of the foresole region, respectively, and project above the plane of the foresole region. At least one cleat 24, 26 is adjacent the perimeter on each of the lateral and medial sides of the heel region 16, and project above the plane of the heel region. A first groove 28 runs longitudinally through the foresole region 14 between all of the medial and lateral cleats 20, 22.

In FIG. 1, the groove 28 is defined by sidewalls 30, 32, which are shown as straight in FIG. 1 but which may provide a continuous convex curvature between the cleats 20, 22 of the foresole region 14, as viewed from the medial cleats 22. The groove 28 preferably has a front end at a longitudinally front point of the foresole region. In essence, a straight line 34 can be extended within the sidewalls 30, 32, between all of the medial and lateral cleats in the foresole region. This span is indicated by the dashed line 36. The groove 28, and in particular the straight line 34, lies about midway between or preferably closer to the lateral side L of the foresole region 14, relative to the medial side M of the foresole region.

In FIG. 2, the outsole 100 has a foresole region 102 having a longitudinal groove 104 that is similar to the groove 28 of FIG. 1, except that two cross grooves 106, 108 are provided. Each resembles a broad “V”, with the apex intersecting the longitudinal groove 104. The apex of the more forward groove 106 points rearward, whereas the apex of the more rearward groove 108 points forward.

In FIG. 3, the outsole 200 has a slightly “S” shaped longitudinal groove 204. However, between the forward most cleat and the rearmost cleat in the foresole region 202, a straight line can be drawn within the walls of the groove. This embodiment also has the two transverse or cross grooves 206, 208. The apex of transverse groove 208 intersects the longitudinal groove 104, slightly on the medial side of the straight line through groove 204.

In FIG. 4, the outsole 300 has longitudinal groove 304 in the foresole region 302, with a continuous convex curvature between the cleats of the foresole region, as viewed from the medial cleats. This embodiment also has the two cross grooves 306, 308.

In FIG. 5, the medial M and lateral L sides of the foot 400 are evident, along with the medial arch 402, medial phalanges (#1 and #2) 404, 406, the center phalange (#3) 408, the lateral arch 410 and lateral phalanges (#4 and #5) 412, 414. The phalanges extend from toes such as 416 rearward to the junction 418 with the respective arch bones. Line B1 indicates the anatomical bend line of the foot when the person moves from side to side (lateral bend line) and line B2 indicates the anatomical bend line of the foot when a person moves forward, such as in walking.

According to one feature of the present disclosure, the longitudinal groove 28, 104, 204 as shown in FIGS. 1-3 runs through the outer foresole region between medial and lateral cleats, in substantially vertical registry with a region of the foot defined by the center phalange 408 and the lateral and medial phalanges 412 and 406 adjacent the center phalange from the toes to the arch of the foot. This region is indicated by 420 in FIG. 5.

Preferably, the groove such as 28, 104, 204 is in substantially vertical registry with a region of the foot defined by the center phalange 408 and the adjacent lateral phalange 412. In this case, as shown in FIG. 1, the straight line 34 within the longitudinal groove 28 in the foresole region is vertically aligned with the anatomical bend line B1.

As shown in FIGS. 24, optionally but preferably, a transverse groove 108, 208, 308 extends between the lateral and media sides of the outer foresole region, having an inverted “V” shape with the apex of the “V” directed forwardly and intersecting the longitudinal groove 104, 204, 304. The transverse groove should ideally lie in substantially vertical registry with all of the five phalange joints such as 420′, 420″ lying midway between the toes 416 and the intersection 418 with the arch.

This V groove provides improved front/back flexure, in a synergistic combination with the lateral bend line provided by the longitudinal groove.

In yet another optional but preferred feature, the outsole 10, 100, 200, 300 includes a raised pad 38, 110, 210, 310 at the medial side of the arch region. The pad such as 38 can have texture surface, for example inwardly (laterally) directed pyramids, wedges or cones 40 that will engage the ground and help stabilize the medial side of the shoe during weight transfer in the swing. For example, this height can be at or above the plane of the foresole and the heel, and approximately the same as the height of the base portion of the cleats. This stabilization, coupled with the greater flexibility for lateral bending about bend line B1, should improve the pivot action of the golf swing.