FIELD OF THE INVENTION
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to athletic shoes and, more particularly, to the construction of athletic shoe soles, especially for use in baseball and other sports in which high speed lateral, forward, and rotational movements are necessary.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Athletic shoes have been known for a long time. However, conventional sports shoes do not always give the user the high degree of maneuverability they may need. Baseball players move in various directions at a high rate of speed, for example, laterally when running between bases. Additionally, conventional athletic shoes fail to give adequate rotational traction so that when the shoe is being used by an athlete, for example, when a baseball player is batting, he or she can easily rotate while their feet remain firmly planted on the ground. Accordingly, a shoe that can respond quickly to the natural movement of its user is needed.
An aspect of the invention, among others that may be evident to the reader, is to overcome the problems of the aforementioned athletic shoes.
According to the present invention, there is provided an athletic shoe comprising a sole, an upper portion having opposing eyelets through which shoelaces are adapted to be drawn together. A flap extends over a portion of the eyelets. The sole is designed in such a manner that it provides maximum traction under the ball of the foot and accentuates the natural rotational movement for athletes, such as baseball players, as they perform the primary movements in their sports.
An athletic shoe consistent with the present invention provides an upper portion; a sole comprising a first set of protrusions located substantially at the region of the shoe that corresponds to the ball of the foot, which, when used in conjunction with at least one second protrusion located at the boundary of the athletic shoe, provides maximum traction underneath the ball of the foot and accentuates the natural rotational movement of a user of the athletic shoe
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Another aspect of the invention is to improve the flexibility and comfort of the user.
The figures depict, in highly simplified schematic form, exemplary embodiments reflecting the principles of the invention. Many items and details that will be readily understood by one familiar with this field have been omitted so as to avoid obscuring the invention. In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the bottom, front, and side of an athletic shoe in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the athletic shoe.
FIG. 3 is a rear elevational view of the athletic shoe.
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the athletic shoe.
FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of the athletic shoe.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS
FIG. 6 is a bottom view of the sole of the athletic shoe.
Yet other combinations and subcombinations of the various exemplary embodiments described above will occur to those familiar with this field, without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention.
FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of the athletic shoe in an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. An upper portion 1 may be made of porous material to allow the foot of the wearer to breathe. The upper portion 1 is suitably padded or cushioned, and has a raised heel portion 17 to support the back of the leg when the shoe is worn. The upper portion 1 also has two flaps 14, substantially parallel to each other, and which are adapted to be drawn together by a shoelace (not shown) over the instep of the wearer. The flaps are provided with eyelets (not shown) to receive the shoelace.
The upper portion of the shoe is also accentuated with a corset 15 (shown in FIG. 2) which is formed of a padded material. This corset 15 covers the upper part of the foot and serves to protect the tarsus-metatarsus region of the foot. The corset 15 ends in a V-shaped, tapered tongue (not shown) which extends over the upper eyelets. The tongue has two holes in its lower portion, which allow the shoelace to pass through. A Velcro strip (not shown) is attached to the center of the tongue, and allows the tongue to be secured to the corset portion of the shoe.
As shown in FIG. 1, sole 2 may be constructed using a dual-plate technology. The sole 2 may include a first plate 8 located substantially at the region of the shoe that covers the ball of the foot and a second plate 10 located at the region of the shoe that covers the heel of the foot. These plates 8 and 10 which may be separated by a mid-sole region 7, serve as added protection for the foot and cushions the wearer against the pressure and sharp shocks that the wearer is exposed to when running. However, the construction of the athletic shoe is not limited to a dual-plate technology. The sole may be constructed using a single plate or multiple plates without reducing the protection or comfort of the wearer.
On plate 8, first, second and third protrusions or cleats (discussed below) may be located on raised (land) segments 13, composed of, for example, rubber, ceramic, or plastic, but is not limited thereto. These segments 13 may also contain grooves which may be spaced apart at regular intervals, and may assist in improving the traction of the user of the athletic shoe. The plate 8 may also contain a fourth set of cleats 6 (discussed below) that may or may not be positioned on the land segments 13.
The portion 8 of the sole that protects the ball of the foot comprises various sets of protrusions or cleats. A first set of protrusions 4 may be located substantially at the ball region of the foot, and may be elliptical shaped with sharply tapered edges. However, the first set of protrusions 4 are not limited to an elliptical shape, but may be designed in any other shape, for example, a diamond shape. These protrusions 4 (two, for example) are substantially the same size, and are composed of, for example, synthetic rubber, ceramic, plastic or leather, but are not limited thereto.
A second set of protrusions 3, which may be of a greater height than the first set of protrusions 4, are located in a substantially circular pattern around the boundary of the region of the shoe that corresponds to the ball of the foot, and may be metallic in composition, but are not limited thereto. They may be used to improve traction when the shoe is being used by the wearer.
One of the protrusions 3A is generally concentrically located with the first set of protrusions 4, such that when this protrusion 3A is used in conjunction with the first set of protrusions 4, they provide maximum traction underneath the ball of the foot, and accentuates the natural rotational movement of a user of the athletic shoe. For example, when a baseball player hits a ball, the natural tendency is for the player to pivot in the direction in which the bat was swung. Protrusions or cleats 3A and 4 allow the player to rotate or pivot in a smooth, natural manner, without unwanted slipping or backward, forward or lateral movement, or more specifically, without losing traction. This design also imparts additional flexibility to the shoe, and allows the shoe to conform to the flexing of the foot when the wearer moves in a lateral direction.
A third set of protrusions 5 is located towards the rear of the area of the shoe that relates to the ball of the foot, and also assists in improving the tractional and rotational capability of the shoe. These protrusions may also be elliptical shaped with sharply tapered edges (or any other shape), and may be composed of various materials, for example, rubber, plastic, ceramic or leather, but are not limited thereto. The third set of protrusions 5 may be shorter in height compared to the first set of protrusions 4 or the second set of protrusions 3.
A fourth set of protrusions 6 is located towards the boundary of the shoe. These protrusions 6 may also be elliptical shaped with sharply tapered edges (or any other shape), and also assist in improving the tractional and rotational capability of the shoe. These protrusions 6 may be the shortest in height when compared to the first set of protrusions 4, the second set of protrusions 3, and the third set of protrusions 5.
The third set of protrusions 5 and fourth set of protrusions 6 serve to provide additional contact with the ground when the shoe is in use, thereby also improving traction.
The first, second, and third sets of protrusions may be situated on the three separate land segments 13 which are attached to the plate 8, while the fourth set of protrusions 6 may be located directly on the plate 8. However, the placement of the first, second, and third sets of protrusions on the land segments 13 is not limited thereto. The first, second, and third sets of protrusions may be placed directly on the plate 8.
The heel region 12 of the shoe includes a further set of protrusions 11. These protrusions are located around the boundary of the heel region and, in concert with a lip 9, add to the improved tractional capability of the shoe.
FIG. 2 shows a front view of the shoe, with the padded corset 15 and opposing flaps 14, each formed of, for example, a leather material, but are not limited thereto. The inside of the shoe is suitably padded, and its overall construction makes the shoe very comfortable to wear. The toe region 16 of the shoe may be constructed with a sturdy rubber, plastic, ceramic or leather material (but is not limited thereto) and serves to protect the toes of the user.
FIG. 3 shows a rear view of the shoe, with the raised heel portion 17 and padded portion 18 shown in phantom. The raised portion 17 may be constructed of a hard rubber, plastic, ceramic or leather material (but is not limited thereto), and serves to further protect the heel and ankle. The padded portion 18 also adds to the protection and comfort of the ankle of the wearer.
FIGS. 4 and 5 are side views of the shoe, and show the padded region 18 of the upper portion of the shoe; the sturdy rubber, ceramic, plastic or leather (or any other material) portion 17 at the heel of the shoe, and the protrusions at the sole of the shoe.
FIG. 6 shows a bottom view of the sole 2 of the shoe, and the specific arrangement of the individual protrusions.
The above description is illustrative and not restrictive. Many variations of the invention will become apparent to those of skill in the art upon review of this disclosure. The scope of the invention should, therefore, be determined not with reference to the above description, but instead should be determined with reference to the appended claims along with their full scope of equivalents.