Title:
FLEXIBLE FOOTWEAR
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to flexible footwear that comprises flexing means, either in the sole or in the upper, or in both, and said means in turn comprise a groove placed transversely and 5 recovering means placed transversely to said groove such that, when the footwear flexes along the groove, the action of said recovery means cause the footwear to recover, promoting recovery of the initial form of the footwear upon completion of each step, and thereby enhancing walking comfort.



Inventors:
Izquieta Anaut, Jose Maria (Pamplona, ES)
Application Number:
13/497130
Publication Date:
07/19/2012
Filing Date:
11/05/2009
Assignee:
DESARROLLO INTEGRAL DEL MOLDE, S.L. (Pamplona, Navarra, ES)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KANE, KATHARINE GRACZ
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ALBERT BORDAS, P.A. (MIAMI, FL, US)
Claims:
1. Flexible footwear characterised in that it comprises flexion means (1) that in turn comprise at least one groove (1.1) placed transversely in the anterior part of said footwear and recovery 5 means (1.2) placed transversely to said groove (1.1), such that when the footwear flexes along the groove (1.1) it is recovered by the action of said recovery means (1.2).

2. Flexible footwear according to claim 1, characterised in that the ends of the recovery means (1.2) extend beyond the width of the groove (1.1), these being placed in incisions (1.3) of the groove (1.1).

3. Flexible footwear according to claim 1, characterised in that the recovery means (1.2) are placed perpendicular to the tangent to the groove (1.1).

4. Flexible footwear according to claim 1, characterised in that the recovery means (1.2) are placed forming a broken line along the groove (1.1).

5. Flexible footwear according to claim 1, characterised in that the recovery means (1.2) are placed in two's, forming crosses along the groove (1.1).

6. Flexible footwear according to claim 1, characterised in that the flexion means (1.2) are placed in the sole (2) of the footwear.

7. Flexible footwear according to claim 6, characterised in that the flexion means are formed integrally with the sole (2) of the footwear.

8. Flexible footwear according to claim 6, characterised in that the flexion means (1.2) are formed separately to the sole (2) of the footwear and are joined to it by gluing or sewing.

9. Flexible footwear according to claim 1, characterised in that the flexion means (1.2) are placed in the upper (3) of the footwear.

10. Flexible footwear according to claim 1, characterised in that the groove (1.1) of the flexion means has a concave curvature with respect to the front end of the footwear.

11. Flexible footwear according to claim 1, characterised in that the groove (1.1) of the flexion means has a convex curvature with respect to the front end of the footwear.

12. Flexible footwear according to claim 5 1, characterised in that the groove (1.1) of the flexion means is straight.

13. Flexible footwear according to claim 1, characterised in that there are at least some flexion means in the anterior part (4) of the footwear and/or at least other flexion means in the mid area (5) of the footwear, coinciding with the two flexion areas of the foot.

14. Flexible footwear according to previous claims, characterised in that the flexion means of the upper (3) and of the sole (2) coincide in the same transverse section of said footwear so that the flexion and its recovery take place at the same time in the flexion means of the upper (3) and of the sole (2).

Description:

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

The present invention belongs to the field of footwear that flexes when walking.

This invention is a flexible footwear that comprises flexing means, either in the sole, in the upper or in both, said means in turn comprising a groove placed transversely and recovery means placed transversely to said groove, such that when the footwear flexes along the groove the action of said recovery means causes the footwear to recover, promoting recovery of the initial form of the footwear upon completion of each step, thereby enhancing walking comfort.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In line with the current trend to improve the ergonomics of footwear so that it is as well adapted as possible to walking movements, the footwear is designed and built to try to adapt it as much as possible to the natural movement of the foot.

To this end, one of the first characteristics that must be fulfilled is flexibility, which is achieved initially by materials that, in general, allow the footwear to flex to a greater or lesser extent in order to adapt to the flexion of the foot while walking.

As this flexibility of the materials is not enough, configurations are added to certain areas of the footwear to promote the said flexion.

The incorporation of grooves in the sole of the footwear in order to promote its flexion is known, as described in PCT patent with publication document W02008115743.

Another way to make the footwear flexible is to incorporate in its upper a bellows-like configuration, as in European patent with publication number EP109385.

However, these solutions are insufficient for adapting to the movement naturally executed by the foot while walking.

In addition to said flexion, the foot must recover its form prior to the flexion with the original disposition, repeating step after step with the least possible effort and maximum comfort.

The state of the art does not solve the adaptation of the flexion and recovery needed for an ideal adaptation to the movement of the foot.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is established and characterised in the independent claims, while the dependent claims describe additional characteristics thereof.

The present invention relates to a flexible footwear that comprises flexion means which in turn comprise at least one groove placed transversely in the anterior part of the footwear and recovery means placed transversely to said groove, so that when the footwear flexes about the groove it is recovered by the action of said recovery means.

The disclosed invention solves the drawbacks of the state of the art, as it proposes in the same footwear a combination of flexion and recovery, with the advantage of being adapted as much as possible to the natural movement of the foot, this is, optimising the ergonomics, resulting in further advantages such as comfort, reduced fatigue, etc.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

The present specification is accompanied by a set of figures that illustrate and in no way limit the preferred embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 1 shows a perspective detail of the flexion means that form an integral part of the footwear.

FIG. 2 shows a plan detail view of the recovery means perpendicular to the tangent to the groove.

FIG. 3 shows a plan detail view of the recovery means forming a broken line.

FIG. 4 shows a plan detail view of the recover means forming crosses by pairs.

FIG. 5 shows a plan view of the sole with concave and convex flexion means.

FIG. 6 shows a plan view of the sole with flexion means that form part of it separately.

FIG. 7 shows an elevation view of a shoe with flexion means in the sole and the upper.

FIG. 8 shows a plan view of the sole with flexion means having straight grooves.

FIG. 9 shows a sole with flexion means duplicated in the anterior and mid areas.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present embodiment of the invention describes a shoe with flexion means (1) that include a groove (1.1) placed transversely in the anterior part of said shoe and recovery means (1.2) placed transversely to said groove (1.1), such that when the shoe flexes along the groove (1.1) it recovers by the action of said recovery means (1.2).

The anterior part of the shoe refers to the part of the shoe that flexes when walking, that is, the part between the toe and the start of the heel.

The groove (1.1) is a notch or channel made transverse to the shoe, that is, the longitudinal axis of said groove (1.1) is essentially transverse to the longitudinal axis of the shoe, by which is meant an approximately right angle between these longitudinal axes.

The same terms are used to describe the transverse arrangement of the recovery means (1.2) with respect to the groove (1.1), understanding as a transverse situation the one formed between the two longitudinal axes and approaching a right angle.

Specifically, the recovery means (1.2) are longitudinal configurations whose ends extend beyond the width of the groove (1.1), as shown in FIG. 1, these ends being housed in incisions (1.3) that are local extensions of the groove (1.1) beyond its average width.

The recovery means (1.2) can be placed differently with respect to the groove (1.1) and depending on its curvature:

    • perpendicular to the tangent to the groove (1.1), thereby including both the radial arrangements when the groove (1.1) is curved, as shown in FIG. 2, and the parallel ones when the groove (1.1) is straight, as shown in FIG. 8;
    • forming a broken line, so that the end of one recovery means is adjacent to the end of the next recovery means, as shown in FIG. 3;
    • forming X's by pairs, so that they cross to form an X as shown in FIG. 4.

The flexion means (1) are located in a specific embodiment in the sole (2) of the shoe, either forming an integral part of it or separately.

By forming an integral part is meant that they are made of the same material as the sole (2) and by known manufacturing methods, such as injection, vulcanisation, casting, compression, etc.

One example of flexion means (1) that form an integral part of the sole (2) is shown in FIG. 1. The mechanical operation of the recovery means (1.2) is such that when the sole (2) is flexed, the means that have been stretched recover their initial length elastically, thereby assisting in the recovery of the original form of the foot.

In the case of artisanal or “artistic” soles, such as leather soles, the flexion means (1) are placed separately, meaning that they form a separate element joined to the sole (2) by known methods such as gluing, sewing, etc.

In the sole (2), the attachment grooves (1.1) are located in the areas of the foot where the flexion takes place when walking, flexing in a direction transverse to the longitudinal axis of the foot. These areas are placed according to the result of biomechanical medical studies performed by specialised orthopaedic podiatrists.

The areas of the foot where the flexion occurs when walking are: an anterior area (4), near the toes; a mid area (5), at the end of the metatarsal. Between these areas is the tread area, which is flat and is a transition between the anterior and mid areas.

When walking the step begins by striking the ground with the heel, following by the mid area (5) where a flexion occurs, and then the tread area from the mid area (5) to the anterior area (4), where there is another flexion, finally reaching the end of the toes.

The flexion in the flexion areas is enabled by the groove (1.1) and the elastic properties of the recovery means (1.2); these properties also mean that the elastic tension will invert the initial flexion 5 to return the groove (1.1) to its initial position.

The materials used for the flexion means (1) are those with “memory”, as they have optimum elastic properties for intensive use in footwear, both in the sole (2) and in the upper (3).

As regards the form of the grooves (1.1), maintaining the aforementioned transverse orientation, the grooves (1.1) are straight, as shown in FIG. 8, or have different curvatures, either both concave, both convex or a combination thereof. A specific embodiment with this combination is shown in FIG. 5, where the flexion means (1) of the anterior part (4) are concave with respect to the toe and the flexion means (1) of the mid part (5) are convex with respect to the toe.

The flexion means (1) can also form part of the upper (3) of the shoe, and normally are of the type that are joined separately by gluing, sewing, etc., that is, by any known means used to manufacture a footwear upper (3).

In order to achieve the object of the invention in an optimum manner, the flexion means (1) of the upper (3) and sole (2) coincide in the same transverse section of said shoe so that its flexion and recovery occurs at the same time in the flexion means (1) of the upper (3) and of the sole (2), as shown in FIG. 7.

In order to aid the functioning of the footwear in very large sizes or with very thick soles, the flexion means (1) may be doubled, as shown in FIG. 9, tripled, etc.

The present embodiment shows a shoe, a specific example of footwear, but is equally valid for other types of footwear such as boots, sandals, etc.





 
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