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Publication numberUS2774152 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date18 Dec 1956
Filing date1 Jun 1955
Priority date2 Oct 1954
Publication numberUS 2774152 A, US 2774152A, US-A-2774152, US2774152 A, US2774152A
InventorsAlber Robert
Original AssigneeAlcosa Ets
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Article of footwear
US 2774152 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 18, 1956 R. ALBER 2,774,152

ARTICLE OF FOOTWEAR Filed June 1, 1955 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. ROBE/P7 4155/? Dec. 18, 1956 R. ALBER 2,774,152

ARTICLE OF FOOTWEAR Filed June 1, 1955 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.

R055??? Al 5 1? United States Patent l ARTICLE OF FOGTWEAR Robert Alber, St. Anton, Austria, assignor to Alcosa-Etablissemeut, Vaduz, Liechtenstein, a company of Liechtenstein Application June 1, 1955, Serial No. 512,461 Claims priority, application Austria October 2, 1954 3 Claims. (Cl. 3671) The present invention relates to an article of footwear comprising a bladder, equipped with an inflation valve which bladder contains a resilient medium and extends around the sides and back of the foot, the said article being largely designed for sports wear, particularly for use in connection with a ski boot.

Ski boots are known which have foam rubber pads incorporated in the upper outside the leather lining. Such pads are largely designed to eliminate the. difliculties frequently encountered in lacing ski boots having double uppers which are consequently very stiff. Such foam rubber pads protect the constricted foot.

Articles of footwear, particularly boots, having airfilled side and heel portions are already known. In such arrangements, the entire surface of a foot embraced or covered by the walls of a boot has a space around it which is subdivided into cells which in turn can be filled with air. This known arrangement is designed particularly to protect the wearer of the boot against cold feet. Another design is known in which the padding extends around the side and heel portions of a boot. This padding is designed as a lining which may be inflated with air. This lining surrounds the heel portion of the foot and covers the side portions thereof below the ankle. The object of this design is to eliminate pressure or friction areas frequently present in boots. By enclosing particularly theheel portion of the foot by an air cushion, possible unevennesses in the leather are prevented from contacting the foot proper.

Modern skiing techniques at present require the ski to be attached to the foot almost rigidly. The first prerequisite, i. e. rigid attachment of the ski to the boot,-is achieved by a binding designed in accordance with all the refinements of modern mechanics, so that the ski is rigidly held by the boot. This gives rise to a new difiiculty: so far it has been impossible with conventional economical means to fit a boot rigidly yet resiliently to the foot as required by the above mentioned factors. The first difiiculty arises from the impossibility of associating intimately enough the upper formed of strong double leather to the foot. As has already been stated, foam rubber pads were therefore designed to remedy this dithculty. But even when such pads fit the shape of the foot, this cannot be adequately achieved becauseof differences in the position and shape of the ankle, and a perfect adaptation to such shapes is impossible even with custom-made boots. Moreover, this shape varies always with the required movements in skiing. This also prevents these pads from being given a shape even remotely adequate. This difliculty is so serious that owing to stresses a somewhat narrow foot can slide out of the boot at least in the heel portion when the attachment of the ski to the boot is eflicient. This cannot be avoided even with padding arranged around the heel portion and the foot portions below the ankle since it is particularly the wide portions of the heels that are surrounded by the air cushion, thus in no way assuring an effective obstacle to pulling the foot out of the boot.

The present invention obviates the disadvantages described by providing means afiording the extension of two lobes over the area of the two ankles and ove'r'the area above the heel with its bridgetype portion.

While air-cushioned boots are known, they envisage an objectentirely different from that underlying the present invention. The soles or portions of the soles of boots are designed with air cushions in order to make walking more comfortable, i. e. to inhibit tiring due to walking. It is the object of the cushion, then, to provide a soft, cushioned support forthe foot.

It is another object of this invention, to provide means facilitating the filling of the spaces between the leather of the boot and the foot, in particular the portions above the heel, due to the shape of the lobe-equipped bladder.

A particularly advantageous design of such a boot according to the invention is achieved by incorporating a bladder formed of rubber or the like to hold the air cushion in the upper portion consisting mainly of leather.

The design, which is particularly employed for ski boots, provides two insert portions which largely cover the two ankle areas of the upper and are connected to form a single insert by means of a bridge overlying the area above the heel. The cushion according to this invention hugs a substantial portion of the foot and thereby adapts the leather sheath formed by the upper to the shape of the foot.

A suitable development of the invention provides a container arranged outside the boot walls to hold the medium exercising the equalizing action between the shape of the foot and the leather sheath. This cushion is, as it were, changeable outside the boot walls. It is considered particularly advantageous to arrange the said container in a textile garment worn adjacent the foot. By way of example, it is possible to arrange the container, which comprises a rubber insert, a suitable designed plastic receptacle or the like, so as to form a unit with the lower portion of a stocking, or to attach it to the lower portion of a trouser leg.

It is obvious that the invention may also be applied to climbing or skating boots, and to sturdy, preferably ankle boots, particular attention being devoted in such types to providing a soft and resilient shape.

The drawings illustrate embodiments by way of example. Fig. l is a side view of a ski boot made in accordance with the invention; Fig. 2 shows a detail and Fig. 3 a section taken along line 33 in Fig. 1.

Fig. 4 shows the bladder according to the invention applied directly to a stocking and held in position thereon by a retaining unit, parts thereof being broken off.

Fig. 5 shows on a reduced scale a cross-section taken along lines 5-5 of Fig. 4.

Fig. 6 is a somewhat enlarged elevational view, partly in section and with parts thereof broken off, of a bladder according to the invention as applied to a trousers leg.

Fig. 7 is an elevational view with parts broken off and showing on a reduced scale the application of the bladder of Fig. 6 to a trousers leg.

The boot disclosed in Fig. l is provided with a sole portion 3 equipped with the heel groove 2 typical of ski boots, to which is attached an upper 5 such as by welt and stitching 4. A bladder 7 according to this invention is indicated in broken lines in Fig. l; the drawing shows how bladder 7 comprising two side portions is arranged mainly along the area of the ankle 6 also indicated by broken lines. To both ankle portions on opposite sides of the boot are applied respective bladder portions. In this particular embodiment the bladder 7 has the shape shown in developed and inflated state in Fig. 2. As seen in Fig. 1 the heel portion 8 of the boot is not enclosed by the bladder, and in Fig. 2 the recess 9 extending between the side portions 10 and 11 of the bladder 7 is visible.

bladder 7,,t11ereforc. .consist rp twcside.nortions tor and 11 connected by a bridge portion 12 and adapted for position far above the heel portion 8 and the recess 9, respectively. vAs seen in: Fig; -:2 .:=thertwo: lob'eefortning 2 side Tportidnswldandi 11- ;have e lorxgatedloweri or EbfiS; Zport-ions,

which are larger 1 in, width. than: the upper portions :thereof, the latterfbeing interconnected by bridge portion :12,

formed-of rubber or the like; it is ea'syt'o do this sin'ce the boothpper consistsof a double leather sheath and the flat valve is arranged in the inner ply as the bladder 7 is preferably arranged between the inner ply and the lining of the boot. i

ln the sec'tion shown in Fig. 3 the upper 5 connected with-the sole portion 3 is shown as a one-pl-y leather sheath-for thesake of simplicity, and'a foot is shown v in order to facilitate understanding of the function of the bladder7. The-ankle'portions 6 of-the foot and the heel.

ball -16, which is larger at the bottom, are shown diagrammatically. The portions 10 and 11 of the bladder extend laterally and forwardly at-both sides of the foot l5, particularly around the ankle portions '6. The manipulation and function of a bladder according to'this invention will now be described in conjunction with Figs.

. land 3.

By way of example, the bladder 7 is incorporated in the upper 5 of a boot, preferably in a positionas closely as possible adjacent the foot 15, such as betWeentheTIining and the; inner surface of the leather ply of the upper 5. The boot is put on the foot in the normal manner with the bladder deflated, and the leather ply is thenclosed by means of lacing or other attaching means provided thereon. 'It is pointed out, however, that lacing the boot as hitherto required is no longer necessary when the bladder'is'employedinaccordance with this invention. Then the bladder 7, which is preferably designedinithe shape illustrated in Fig. 2, is then inflated via theinlet opening 13,'a .valve or the like, until the wearer of 'theboot ifeels the boot fitting'immovably on his-foot. ,Inflationmay be efiected by either a hand'pumporsirnilajr means. Thanks to 'thewide bales v16'and the sidewardlyprojecting ankle portionsfithe foot is now held and rigidly retainedin the boot. Thejconne ctingbridge 12,'too,'positivel'y prevents any slipping of the foot out of the boot owing to itsposition rearwardly of and directly above the heel boner.

Practical tests have revealed that whenever it is attempted "to pull the foot from the boot such an air-cushion functions like a cast, apart-from its natural resiliency to moventents .ofthe foot within the boot; there .are no hard or otherwise pain causing means which would prevent the foot from slipping out, but there is anaircu shion achieving the eflFect desired through the leather sheath. The outer leath'er'ply of the -upper'5 can then be laced as usual or closed in any manner provided, and thanks to the conyentionaldesign of theexterior'of the boot the-'footjshows the-same shape as ina boot without the aircushion'according to this invention.

The design of a'container' arranged as a separate unit may :be similar, in particular, to..the bladder shown in Fig. 2. in view of the :various designs-and materials of garments .worn on the footpo'rtion m'any designs can be provided for incorporation. It is possible to design th'e containeras a stocking by incorporating it in a preferably jersey-type leg ga rment'or in wool. 1

This valve-may be 'Ifhe container formed of rubber or asynthetic plastic compound may be shaped as a sock having ends projectwhich is adapted to encircle the upperrrearwa'rdsportion ing from the edge of the container space, which are adapted to the shape of the foot and may be of closed configuration. Particularly advantageous results may be obtained by incorporating the container in the foot portion of a stocking, the container forming a unit with the stocking. Since this container, filled with a suitable me- -dium, is,used'mainly for-skiing, it .is advantageousitopro which ope'n'ingiis preferably provided with a fiatwalve 3 wear formed inthismanneror in an analogous. mannerl Naturally, the front portion of the boot, such the,

vide these. containers in the lower legportions of the ski trousers where they can be sewn in or incorporatedin-the material by suitably cutting thelatter. -.In this design, as in a stocking, application ofthe invention is most advantageous since -it eliminates all uneven and pressure areas respectively.

Referring now more particularly to Figs. 4 to 7 inclusive, there is disclosed a stocking 20 over the lower portion 'ofwhich a unit 21 is placed. This unit zl in'cl-ude's a rubberbladder 22 similar in shape and structure to bladder 7 seen in Fig. .1, and includinga suitable rubber :valve 23 passing from said bladder through opening 23d of cover unit 21 for permitting inflation'of'bladder zz from the rear portion 24 thereof. Unit 21 -madetrom any suitable material has a bridge portion 21 and iscut and constructed to retain bladder 22 between the stocking or sock 20and theinner surface-of said unit. Function' and configuration of bladder 2Z'is otherwise the same as :hereinabove referred to. Unit 21 may be permanently attached to stocking 20 along seams-25, 26. In Fig.5 7

the rear part of a foot 27 'to which sock or stocking 20 is applied, is outlined depicting 'how the inner bladder wall 28 conforms '-to the ankle bonesat 29, 30 while :air

cushions '31, 32 embrace the rear and side portions adja- This'leg has'atransverse or cross member-44 exteiiding over the arch of the sole of-a sock 45, between which and the inner surface'of said'trousersleg-bladder 40 is firnily held by 'meansof .a pocket or the like outlined by "seams 46, '47.

Valve 41 extends through opening 48 provided in the trousersleg-43and serves the purpose of operating said bladder 40 in the manner as hereinabove 'explainedwith respect to bladder 20. V

The -inflation;opening may here be arranged similar or analogous tothat indicated in Fig. 1. V I

'It is also possible .to employ a liquid medium instead of agaseous medium suchas air to "fill anrarticle of foottongue, rnay be designed to beinflatable, in sucha case, the outer ply of the boot would first be laced and -..the'air pumped into these Zboot portions afterwards;

The, great advantage of the .design .of, the boot-for V inflation bylmeans of a gaseous or liquid'medium .also' resides in the fact that the medium-employed-will;yield to the movements of the footdun'ng skiing so :that no painful or sore areas willdevelop' dcspite perfect attach ent- 7 l r Various changes and modifications may ibemade with out departing from the spirit and scope of thegpresentinvention and it is intended that such obvious changes and modifications be embraced bytheiannexed claims.

Having thus described the invention, vvhatzis claimed as;n'ew and desired to be secured ;by LettersiPatenLis:

v 1. In .an article-of .footwearLihavingi-aibladderadapted tocontain a fluid and .having a valve {for inflating said bladder by said fluid and for deflating said bladder; said bladder comprising a hollow body of plastic materialysubstantially flat when insdeflate'd condition, saidlbodyiinclud per narrower portion and a lower wider portion, a bridge portion interconnecting said upper portions of said lobes, said valve extending from said bridge portion beyond the said upper portions of said lobe, said lower lobe portions being shaped at their peripheral boundaries and with re spect to said bridge portion so that when said footwear is applied to the foot of the wearer said lower lobe portions and said upper lobe portions cover substantially the ankle bones of the wearers foot as well as regions adjacent thereto, and said bridge portion overlies the area above the heel bone and covers the Achilles tendon of the foot of the wearer, said valve being located centrally of the rear of said article of footwear.

2. In an article according to claim 1 in which said bladder is incorporated in a shoe having an upper; said body being retained by said upper and within the confines of the latter, the rear of said upper being provided with an opening through which said valve upwardly projects beyond said upper.

3. In an article of footwear according to claim 1, said valve being positioned immediately above and centrally of said bridge portion, said lower lobe portions being spaced from each other a predetermined distance from the center line passing through said bridge portion and said valve.

Keen Dec. 8, 1903 Bulla-rd May 19, 1953

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U.S. Classification36/71, 128/DIG.200, 2/22
International ClassificationA43B5/04
Cooperative ClassificationY10S128/20, A43B5/0407
European ClassificationA43B5/04B2