Comprising Fluid Cushion Patents (Class 36/153)
  • Patent number: 10645996
    Abstract: A sole structure for an article of footwear comprises a midsole system with a plurality of cushioning units, each having multiple cushioning layers configured to work together as a system to absorb a compressive load, such as a dynamic compressive load due to impact with the ground, in stages of progressive cushioning according to the relative stiffness values of the layers. Various midsole systems disclosed include isolated cushioning units, linked cushioning units, sole layers having stanchions interfacing with the midsole system, midsole systems with sole layers having keyed and unkeyed portions overlying a bladder, and midsole systems with vertically-stacked cushioning units disposed in inverted relationship to one another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2020
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Patrick Case, Zachary M. Elder, Lee D. Peyton
  • Patent number: 10485298
    Abstract: An article of footwear is disclosed that comprises a sole structure having a bladder element that includes multiple cushioning components. Each cushioning component includes an enclosed fluid-filled cavity. The cushioning components may include a first cushioning component and a second cushioning component. The first cushioning component has a single central opening extending completely therethrough, and a continuous fluid-filled cavity surrounding the central opening. The second cushioning component has multiple connecting features positioned inward of an outer periphery of the second cushioning component. The connecting features connect a first side of the second cushioning component to a second side of the second cushioning component opposite the first side. A method of manufacturing an article of footwear with such cushioning components is disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Pamela S. Greene
  • Patent number: 10463107
    Abstract: An article of footwear is disclosed that includes a sole structure having a fluid-filled bladder element. The bladder element includes multiple fluid-filled cushioning components each having a single central opening extending completely therethrough and a continuous fluid-filled cavity surrounding the central opening. The cushioning components are spaced apart from one another so that an outer surface of each of the cushioning components is substantially decoupled from an outer surface of an adjacent one of the cushioning components. A method of manufacturing a sole structure of an article of footwear comprises forming such a bladder element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Pamela S. Greene
  • Patent number: 10362833
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing a bladder element comprises forming at least one of a first, a second, and a third polymeric sheet to have a contoured surface profile. The first, the second, and the third polymeric sheets are stacked so that the second polymeric sheet is between the first polymeric sheet and the third polymeric sheet. The method comprises applying fluid pressure between the first polymeric sheet and second polymeric sheet, between the second polymeric sheet and the third polymeric sheet, or between both, forcing a first surface of the second polymeric sheet into contact with an inner surface of the first polymeric sheet, or a second surface of the second polymeric sheet into contact with an inner surface of the third polymeric sheet, or both. A bladder element is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Fidencio Campos, II, Zachary M. Elder, Benjamin J. Monfils
  • Patent number: 10278449
    Abstract: An adjustable multiple bladder system for an article of footwear is disclosed. The bladder system includes an outer bladder that may be inflated using an external pump. A valve member is disposed within the outer bladder and divides the outer bladder into two distinct inflation chambers. The inflation chambers may be inflated separately.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Elizabeth Langvin, James Molyneux, Lee D. Peyton, Ty A. Ransom, Nicola J. Reynolds, Aaron B. Weast
  • Patent number: 10201211
    Abstract: An insole for an article of footwear includes a base that extends generally in the transverse direction, and the base includes a base superior surface and a base inferior surface. Furthermore, the insole includes a dampener that is resiliently flexible to cushion the foot of the wearer. The dampener extends inferiorly from the inferior surface of the base and terminates at a dampener inferior surface. The dampener also is rounded in a cross section taken in the inferior-superior direction. The dampener also includes an opening that extends through the dampener inferior surface and that extends superiorly therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2019
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: James E. Diepenbrock
  • Patent number: 10130504
    Abstract: A foot support for a prosthetic boot has a shape-holding layer and cushion layers on opposite sides of the shape-holding layer. Covers made of nylon and vinyl laminates surround the layers. The vinyl laminates are fused by welding edges of the cover around the foot support. The edge welding surrounds the foot support. An inner parallel welding holds a valve and forms an inflation passage. The inner welding continues around concave curved edges of the shape-holding and cushion layers and terminates where it rejoins the outer welding, forming an inflatable tarsal and metatarsal supporting chamber. A small hard pump has two ends to either increase or reduce pressure in the supporting chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2018
    Inventor: Rodney Matthews
  • Patent number: 10070691
    Abstract: An article of footwear is disclosed that comprises a sole structure having a bladder element that includes multiple cushioning components. Each cushioning component includes an enclosed fluid-filled cavity. The cushioning components may include a first cushioning component and a second cushioning component. The first cushioning component has a single central opening extending completely therethrough, and a continuous fluid-filled cavity surrounding the central opening. The second cushioning component has multiple connecting features positioned inward of an outer periphery of the second cushioning component. The connecting features connect a first side of the second cushioning component to a second side of the second cushioning component opposite the first side. A method of manufacturing an article of footwear with such cushioning components is disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2018
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Pamela S. Greene
  • Patent number: 10034517
    Abstract: A sole includes an upper sole portion having a region and a toe region, and a pod assembly disposed below the upper sole portion. The pod assembly includes at least five pods fluidly connected in a substantially linear arrangement extending from the heel region to the toe region. The pods are fluidly connected in series.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2018
    Assignee: REEBOK INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
    Inventors: Brian Christensen, William Marvin, Kevin Leary, William McInnis, Paul E. Litchfield
  • Patent number: 9854869
    Abstract: An article of footwear with a midsole has an auxetic bladder member formed from inflated components surrounding star-shaped apertures. The inflated components form one or more auxetic bladders, and may have a triangular geometry. The inflated components are fluidly connected to adjoining components. Adjoining inflated components are hingedly connected, so that they can rotate with respect to each other in the plane of the midsole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2018
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Matthew D. Nordstrom
  • Patent number: 9847006
    Abstract: A fall detection and alert system and associated methods are described. The system includes a right footwear item and a left footwear item, each of which includes foot pressure sensors, communications circuitry configured to transmit foot pressure signals from the pressure sensors to a mobile device, such as a smartphone, and a power source. The system also includes an application for the mobile device that causes the mobile device to receive transmitted foot pressure signals from the communications circuitry of the footwear, analyze the foot pressure signals to determine whether a wearer of the footwear items has fallen, display a warning if it is determined that the wearer of the footwear items has fallen, along with an option to cancel the warning, and send a signal to a caregiver if the warning has not been canceled within a predetermined period of time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2017
    Inventor: Shintaro Asano
  • Patent number: 9839260
    Abstract: A pneumatic insole includes airbags, channels, two arch-related chambers, a push-type inlet valve, an inlet channel, a check valve, a recessed portion, a push-type adjustment valve, and an outlet channel. The channels interconnect the airbags. The push-type inlet valve is located in the first arch-related chamber. The inlet channel connects the first arch-related chamber to a leading one of the airbags. The check valve is arranged between the inlet channel and the inlet airbag. The recessed portion is located between the arch-related chambers. The push-type adjustment valve is located in the recessed portion and formed with an upper face that extends lower than that of the first and second arch-related chambers. The outlet channel connects the push-type adjustment valve to another one of the airbags.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2017
    Inventor: Chi-Yuan Chang
  • Patent number: 9788773
    Abstract: Preferably, an embodiment of a vein presentation enhancement device includes at least, an interior cover supporting a first fastening member, and an exterior cover communicating with the interior cover, wherein the exterior cover provides a first securement member that interacts with the first fastening member to secure the preferred device positioned about a limb of a subject. The preferred embodiment further includes a bladder formed between the interior and exterior covers, and an air transfer assembly connected to said bladder for transfer of air into and out of said bladder, wherein said interior and exterior covers collectively provide a plurality of projections defining a blood access window.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2017
    Inventor: Robert J. Perry
  • Patent number: 9775407
    Abstract: An article of footwear is disclosed that includes a sole structure having a fluid-filled bladder element. The bladder element includes multiple fluid-filled cushioning components each having a single central opening extending completely therethrough and a continuous fluid-filled cavity surrounding the central opening. The cushioning components are spaced apart from one another so that an outer surface of each of the cushioning components is substantially decoupled from an outer surface of an adjacent one of the cushioning components. A method of manufacturing a sole structure of an article of footwear comprises forming such a bladder element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2017
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Pamela S. Greene
  • Patent number: 9737110
    Abstract: The present invention is a method for manufacturing inflatable bladders for use in articles of manufacture. The method includes the steps of providing a first polymer film, applying a curable release coating to the polymer film in a pattern that corresponds to the configuration of the inflatable bladder, curing the release coating to the first polymer film, providing a second polymer film with the first polymer film to form a layered element such that the release coating is disposed between the polymer films, positioning the layered element between two plies of material, applying heat and pressure to adhere the polymer films together except in the area where the release coating has been applied to form an inflatable compartment surrounded by a sealed perimeter, and removing the plies of material from the adhered first and second polymer films.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2017
    Assignee: Reebok International Limited
    Inventors: Paul M. Davis, Frank Millette, Paul E. Litchfield
  • Patent number: 9730487
    Abstract: A sole structure for an article of footwear may include a chamber for receiving a pressurized fluid, the chamber having a first chamber barrier layer and a second chamber barrier layer bonded to the first chamber barrier layer about peripheral portions of the first chamber barrier layer and the second chamber barrier layer to define an interior void between the first chamber barrier layer and the second chamber barrier layer. The sole structure may also include a tensile member bonded to, and extending between, the first chamber barrier layer and the second chamber barrier layer. The sole structure may include a bond inhibiting material located between the tensile member and the first chamber barrier layer, the tensile member and the first chamber barrier layer being unbonded in an unbonded area in which the bond inhibiting material is disposed. The chamber may include an outwardly extending bulge in the unbonded area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Darren C. Davison
  • Patent number: 9682003
    Abstract: Therapeutic devices and methods stretching the Achilles tendon. Each device includes base and wedge portions. The wedge portion has heel and toe ends, inside-foot and outside-foot edges, and an upper surface that includes a planar surface portion that lies in a wedge plane and an arcuate surface portion defined by a projection that extends out of the wedge plane. The wedge plane has a nonuniform elevation relative to the base portion as a result of the wedge portion having a fore-aft taper in the fore-aft direction and a lateral taper in the lateral direction. The fore-aft taper and the lateral taper are sufficient so that placement of a user's foot on the upper surface of the wedge portion causes supination and locking of the foot and enables stretching of the Achilles complex, while the arch of the user's foot is against and supported by the arcuate surface portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2017
    Inventor: Prasad Gourineni
  • Patent number: 9554623
    Abstract: An article of footwear includes an upper for securing the article of footwear to a wearer. The footwear also includes a sole assembly operatively coupled to the upper. The sole assembly includes a bladder that contains a fluid. The bladder has a posterior portion, an anterior portion, and a middle portion disposed between the posterior and anterior portions. The posterior portion has a heel recess that is approximately coincidental with a center of a heel of the wearer. The middle portion includes a neck chamber that extends between the posterior and anterior portions. The neck chamber is elongate and has a width that is less than both the posterior and anterior portions, and the anterior portion has a plurality of toe recesses that extend generally away from the neck chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2017
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Dervin A. James
  • Patent number: 9510646
    Abstract: An article of footwear may include an upper forming a void within the footwear, a sole structure secured to the upper, and a chamber that encloses a pressurized fluid. The sole structure includes a depression. The chamber is located within the void of the upper and located on the depression of the sole structure. The chamber may include a plurality of fluid-filled subchambers, a manifold, and a connection fluidically-connected at least one of the subchambers to the manifold. The subchambers may enclose the pressurized fluid at different pressures. The subchambers may be separated from one another by a bonded area in the direction extending between the heel and toe of the chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2016
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Scott C. Holt
  • Patent number: 9375050
    Abstract: An insole with individual elastic components has an elastic pad with a ventilative layer adhered to the top surface and a supporting block disposed at the heel region on the bottom surface. The elastic pad has first hollow elastic pillars in the foot-thenar region and second hollow elastic pillars in the foot-arch region, with both pillars extending from the bottom surface and having openings toward the top surface. The elastic pad is formed as a single body. The height of the first hollow elastic pillars and the second hollow elastic pillars is greater than the height of the supporting block so that ventilation and cushioning effects are provided to improve air circulation inside the shoe when the insole is pressed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2016
    Assignee: ZEN YANGS INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Chih Chiu
  • Patent number: 9320320
    Abstract: A shoe constructed to provide exercise to a wearer while walking or jogging is provided. The shoe provides two bladders partially filled with liquid in the shoe's insole. The bladders are positioned rearward and forward and are interconnected by means of a hollow, flow resisting conduit. Heat venting is provided through fabric panels in the shoe upper, perforations in the shoe insole, metallic fibers in the shoe outsole, and vent tubes in the shoe inner sole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2016
    Inventor: Harry A. Shamir
  • Patent number: 9220316
    Abstract: An inner sole includes a heel air bag for supporting the heel and a first arch air bag for supporting the plantar arch which is connected to the heel air bag through a passageway. The heel air bag and the primary arch air bag are coupled to the bottom surface of the inner sole. A second arch air bag is disposed over the first arch air bag to communicate with the primary arch air bag. When the heel air bag is pressed, air pressure is uniformly applied to the second arch air bag through the first arch air bag.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2015
    Inventor: Seong Sun Kim
  • Patent number: 9198477
    Abstract: The present invention is a method for manufacturing inflatable bladders for use in articles of manufacture. The method includes the steps of providing a first polymer film, applying a curable release coating to the polymer film in a pattern that corresponds to the configuration of the inflatable bladder, curing the release coating to the first polymer film, providing a second polymer film with the first polymer film to form a layered element such that the release coating is disposed between the polymer films, positioning the layered element between two plies of material, applying heat and pressure to adhere the polymer films together except in the area where the release coating has been applied to form an inflatable compartment surrounded by a sealed perimeter, and removing the plies of material from the adhered first and second polymer films.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2015
    Assignee: Reebok International Limited
    Inventors: Paul M. Davis, Frank Millette, Paul E. Litchfield
  • Patent number: 9161591
    Abstract: An article of footwear and insert for an article of footwear are provided with means for provisional instantaneous enhancing cutaneous mechanoreceptors pressure sensation from the plantar surface (sole) of the foot perimeter zone. Such instantaneous stimulation ought to compensate age/illness—related deterioration of plantar cutaneous sensation; it enhances its ability to detect and react to the shifts of the body's Center of Gravity (COG) toward the edges of the feet which, if left uncorrected right away, cause ankle sprain, and/or loss of balance and fall. An insole disclosed is provided with a set of pressure-activated protrusions, which form a narrow strip in close proximity to the perimeter of the insole inside the inner neighborhood of the plantar sole perimeter, and becomes active just when the Center Of Pressure (COP) of the wearer of the footwear is shifting dangerously toward the edges of the feet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2015
    Inventors: Alexander Landau, Ruth Shrairman
  • Patent number: 9011353
    Abstract: Apparatuses, systems, and methods for applying reduced pressure to a tissue site on a foot are provided. An apparatus may include an insole and a tissue contacting surface covering at least a portion of the insole. At least one portion of the tissue contacting surface is removable to form a void. The apparatus may also include a reduced-pressure interface for receiving reduced pressure from a reduced-pressure source, and at least one flow channel fluidly coupled to the reduced-pressure interface and the void.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: KCI Licensing, Inc.
    Inventors: Ian James Hardman, Colin John Hall
  • Patent number: 8911577
    Abstract: A fluid-filled chamber may be incorporated into footwear and other products. The chamber is formed from a polymer material that defines a first surface, a second surface located opposite the first surface, and a sidewall surface extending around a periphery of the chamber and between the first surface and the second surface. A plurality of bonds are spaced inward from the sidewall surface and join the first surface and the second surface, and the bonds are distributed to form a regularly-spaced array, such as a hexagonal array. In some configurations, the first surface and the second surface may define elliptically-shaped structures between the bonds. In addition, the bonds may be formed to have a slope that is an average of slopes of the first surface and the second surface in areas proximal the bonds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2014
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott C. Holt, Troy C. Lindner, Christopher W. L. Brandt
  • Patent number: 8800167
    Abstract: A pneumatic inflation device disposed within the sole of a shoe and comprising a pump with integral air release valve and which is entirely within the sole, a pump actuator which is entirely within the sole when not in use, and an inflatable bladder which is entirely within the sole and is operatively connected to the pump. Such a device can include a mechanism to lock the pump actuator within the sole such that the mechanism's cap is flush with the outer wall of the sole and finger-operable to allow the shoe-wearer to easily operate the inflation device and release air therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2014
    Inventor: Harold S. Doyle
  • Patent number: 8621768
    Abstract: A golf shoe having an upper, a midsole, and an outsole is provided. A collapsible support element is positioned in a recess proximate to a wearer's first metatarsal bone. The collapsible support element has anisotropic mechanical properties and includes a series of longitudinal wave elements. The wave elements are stiffer in a longitudinal direction and more collapsible in a transverse direction. The wave elements resist collapsing when a golfer walks but have a propensity to collapse during the golfer's swing, which allows more efficient transfer of energy during the swing. The shoe further includes flexing channels in a forward portion as well as a flexing channel in the rear portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2014
    Assignee: Acushnet Company
    Inventors: Douglas K. Robinson, Jr., John J. Erickson
  • Patent number: 8572867
    Abstract: Several sole components and a method of manufacturing those sole components are disclosed. In general, each sole component includes a fluid-filled bladder and a reinforcing element extending around a portion of the bladder. The reinforcing element is bonded to the exterior of the bladder, and may be recessed into the bladder. In some configurations, the reinforcing element is die-cut from a sheet of polymer material, and the reinforcing element may exhibit a layered configuration. In manufacturing the sole component, the reinforcing element may be located within a mold, and the polymer material forming the bladder may be bonded to the reinforcing element during the molding process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Christopher O. Parker
  • Patent number: 8313449
    Abstract: Apparatuses, systems, and methods for applying reduced pressure to a tissue site on a foot are provided. An apparatus may include an insole and a tissue contacting surface covering at least a portion of the insole. At least one portion of the tissue contacting surface is removable to form a void. The apparatus may also include a reduced-pressure interface for receiving reduced pressure from a reduced-pressure source, and at least one flow channel fluidly coupled to the reduced-pressure interface and the void.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2012
    Assignee: KCI Licensing, Inc.
    Inventors: Ian James Hardman, Colin John Hall, Keith Patrick Heaton
  • Patent number: 8281504
    Abstract: An inner sole for an insole has a body made of flexible material and adapted to be laid on an insole of a shoe. Liquid containing spaces are formed in the body of the inner sole for sealingly and flowably containing liquid. Dam portions divide the liquid containing spaces into a toe region, a heel region and a middle region between the two. Orifices communicate the liquid between mutually adjacent regions. The orifice formed by the dam portions that divides the liquid containing spaces into the heel region and the middle region opens toward one side edge portion to cause an eddy of liquid, flowing from the heel region into the middle region, that substantially fills the whole middle region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2012
    Assignees: Nobuyoshi Morita, Walking Day Co., Ltd., Daimatu Inc.
    Inventors: Nobuyoshi Morita, Junichi Takano
  • Patent number: 8037623
    Abstract: An article of athletic footwear having an air-filled bladder disposed in a sole structure is disclosed. The air-filled bladder is in fluid communication with ambient air through a filter that permits ambient air to enter the bladder but restricts liquids and particulates from entering the bladder. In operation, the filter and bladder may be portions of a bladder system that absorb shock when the footwear contacts a playing surface. Alternatively, the filter and bladder may be portions of a bladder system that ventilates the interior of the footwear. The filter may be formed of a material such as expanded polytetrafluoroethylene that is attached to a carrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2011
    Assignee: Nike, Inc.
    Inventors: Joel Passke, Fred Dojan, Peter K. Hazenberg, John Swigart
  • Patent number: 8015728
    Abstract: A shoe insert to be used for heating or cooling the foot. They are to be manufactured and sold as pairs of left and right shoe inserts. The insert has a number of components forming a sandwich within a sandwich. The outer sandwich has the shape of a shoe, and is partly adjustable in size to fit a range of shoe sizes. So, the inserts may be sold in sizes, for example, small, medium, and large, and these sizes may then be fine tuned to fit a sub-range of shoe sizes. The inner sandwich is smaller than the outer sandwich. The inner sandwich is a pouch positioned at the instep which ruptures when pressure is applied. This pouch contains a liquid that can then flow into a cushioned region. The cushioned region contains a chemical, which when combined with the liquid from the pouch, emits heat (exothermic reaction) or absorbs heat (endothermic reaction). An exothermic reaction would heat the foot while an endothermic reaction would cool the foot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2011
    Inventor: Eugene L Benfatti
  • Patent number: 7950169
    Abstract: A fluid-filled chamber may be incorporated into footwear and other products. The chamber is formed from a polymer material that defines a first surface, a second surface located opposite the first surface, and a sidewall surface extending around a periphery of the chamber and between the first surface and the second surface. A plurality of bonds are spaced inward from the sidewall surface and join the first surface and the second surface, and the bonds are distributed to form a regularly-spaced array, such as a hexagonal array. In some configurations, the first surface and the second surface may define elliptically-shaped structures between the bonds. In addition, the bonds may be formed to have a slope that is an average of slopes of the first surface and the second surface in areas proximal the bonds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2011
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott C. Holt, Troy C. Lindner, Christopher W L Brandt
  • Patent number: 7895773
    Abstract: A shoe comprising an upper, a midsole, and an outsole, wherein a collapsible support element is positioned in a recess proximate to a wearer's first metatarsal bone, and the collapsible support element is stiffer in a longitudinal direction and is more collapsible in a transverse direction. The collapsible support element comprises a collapsible gel pad encased in a thermoplastic urethane, or a single collapsible element having a wave configuration, or a series of collapsible wave elements. Each embodiment of the collapsible support element resists collapsing when a golfer walks but have a propensity to collapse during the golfer's swing, which allows more efficient transfer of energy during the swing. The shoe further comprises flexing channels in a forward portion as well as a flexing channel in the rear portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2011
    Assignee: Acushnet Company
    Inventors: Douglas K. Robinson, Jr., John J. Erickson
  • Patent number: 7805859
    Abstract: A therapeutic device includes a supporting member that continuously and flexibly supports and bounds a plurality of small sized hard surfaced force members that support a user's foot during movement without clumping. The force members are slidable relative to each other and require no additional lubrication although dry or non-tacky liquid lubrication may be added. The support member is positioned on a support surface of a shoe sole and a shoe is constructed including the same. Alternative designs include structural members or positioning stitches relative to the supporting member minimizing undesirable movement of force members during use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2010
    Assignee: Kenneth Cole Productions (Lic), Inc.
    Inventor: Wayne Finkelstein
  • Publication number: 20100050322
    Abstract: An orthotic device having an arch gel pad formed of resilient material. The gel pad is designed to be removably placed into and housed within an elongated pocket which sewn into the interior of a foot sock and along the sock bottom, wherein the arch gel pad pocket is capable of housing the arch gel pad.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 1, 2009
    Publication date: March 4, 2010
    Inventor: Matthew James Zagula
  • Publication number: 20090288312
    Abstract: A fluid-filled may include including an outer barrier, a tensile member, and a fluid. The tensile member may be located within barrier and formed from a textile element that includes a pair of spaced layers joined by a plurality of connecting members. In some configurations, an edge of the tensile member may have a finished configuration or the tensile member may be contoured. The fluid is also located within the barrier and pressurized to place an outward force upon the barrier. In manufacturing a fluid-filled chamber, a textile tensile member may be formed with at least one contoured surface or a finished edge. The tensile member is then located within a polymer barrier and bonded to opposite sides of the barrier.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 20, 2008
    Publication date: November 26, 2009
    Applicant: Nike, Inc.
    Inventor: Bhupesh Dua
  • Patent number: 7562469
    Abstract: A sole component and a method of manufacturing the sole component are disclosed. In general, the sole component includes a fluid-filled bladder and a reinforcing structure extending around the bladder. The reinforcing structure is bonded to the exterior of the bladder, and may be recessed into the bladder. In some embodiments, the reinforcing structure extends along the side surfaces of the bladder and between upper and lower surfaces of bladder. In manufacturing the sole component, the reinforcing structure may be located within a mold, and the polymer material forming the bladder may be bonded to the reinforcing structure during the molding process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2009
    Assignee: Nike, Inc.
    Inventor: Frederick J. Dojan
  • Publication number: 20090113765
    Abstract: The present invention concerns a shoe comprising an upper, a midsole, and an outsole, wherein a collapsible support element is positioned in a recess proximate to a wearer's first metatarsal bone, wherein said collapsible support element is stiffer in a longitudinal direction and is more collapsible in a transverse direction. More specifically, the collapsible support element comprises a collapsible gel pad encased in a thermoplastic urethane, or a single collapsible element having a wave configuration, or a series of collapsible wave elements. Each embodiment of the collapsible support element resists collapsing when a golfer walks but have a propensity to collapse during the golfer's swing, which allows more efficient transfer of energy during the swing. The shoe further comprises flexing channels in a forward portion as well as a flexing channel in the rear portion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 6, 2007
    Publication date: May 7, 2009
    Inventors: Douglas K. Robinson, JR., John J. Erickson
  • Patent number: 7484318
    Abstract: A therapeutic device includes a supporting member that continuously and flexibly supports and bounds a plurality of small sized hard surfaced force members that support a user's foot during movement without clumping. The force members are slidable relative to each other and require no additional lubrication although dry or non-tacky liquid lubrication may be added. The support member is positioned on a support surface of a shoe sole and a shoe is constructed including the same. Alternative designs include structural members or positioning stitches relative to the supporting member minimizing undesirable movement of force members during use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2009
    Assignee: Kenneth Cole Productions (LIC), Inc.
    Inventor: Wayne Finkelstein
  • Patent number: 7475498
    Abstract: A cushioning member for an article of footwear. The cushioning member is a flexible bladder having a fluidly interconnected heel chamber and forefoot chamber. The bladder is disposed above the sole and beneath the wearer's foot to provided added cushioning to the wearer. The bladder contains air at slightly above ambient pressure and can be formed by thermoforming or by welding two sheets of resilient, flexible material together. A connecting passage fluidly connects the heel chamber and the forefoot chamber. The connecting passage is narrow to control the flow of air between the two chambers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2009
    Assignee: Reebok International Ltd.
    Inventors: Paul E. Litchfield, Matthew J. Montross, Steven F. Smith, J. Spencer White, Alexander W. Jessiman
  • Patent number: 7448150
    Abstract: The invention is a support and cushioning system for an article of footwear. The system includes a resilient insert disposed within the sole of the shoe including several fluidly interconnected chambers. The chambers include first chambers disposed in the forefoot area of the sole and second chambers disposed in the heel portion of the sole. In one embodiment, the resilient insert is air inflatable using an on-board inflation mechanism disposed in the sole, wherein the resilient insert remains generally rigid when not inflated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2008
    Assignee: Reebok International Ltd.
    Inventors: Paul M. Davis, Todd Ellis
  • Publication number: 20080078106
    Abstract: A shoe including a spikeless and cleatless sole configured to substantially conform to the contours of a surface engaged by the sole such that a human foot within the shoe conforms to the contours of the surface engaged by the sole substantially as if the foot were bare.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 2, 2006
    Publication date: April 3, 2008
    Inventor: Donna Ilene Montgomery
  • Patent number: 7181867
    Abstract: A cushioning member for an article of footwear. The cushioning member is a flexible bladder having a fluidly interconnected heel chamber and forefoot chamber. The bladder is disposed above the sole and beneath the wearer's foot to provided added cushioning to the wearer. The bladder contains air at slightly above ambient pressure and can be formed by thermoforming or by welding two sheets of resilient, flexible material together. A connecting passage fluidly connects the heel chamber and the forefoot chamber. The connecting passage is narrow to control the flow of air between the two chambers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2007
    Assignee: Reebok International Ltd.
    Inventors: Paul E. Litchfield, Matthew J. Montross, Steven F. Smith, J. Spencer White, Alexander W. Jessiman
  • Patent number: 7159259
    Abstract: Novel gelatinous compositions and articles are formed from an intimate melt blend admixture of one or more of a selected block SEEPS copolymers in combination with one or more polymers of poly(styrene-butadiene-styrene), poly(styrene-butadiene)n, poly(styrene-isoprene-styrene), poly(styrene-isoprene)n, poly(styrene-ethylene-propylene), poly(styrene-ethylene-propylene-styrene)n, poly(styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene)n, poly(styrene-ethylene-butylene), poly(styrene-ethylene-propylene)n, poly(styrene-ethylene-butylene)n, polystyrene, polybutylene, poly(ethylene-propylene), poly(ethylene-butylene), polypropylene, and polyethylene, and a plasticizing oil.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2007
    Assignee: Applied Elastomerics, Inc.
    Inventor: John Y. Chen
  • Patent number: 6971193
    Abstract: A shock absorbing bladder for use in the sole of an article of footwear is disclosed. The bladder includes a plurality of inflated chambers at different pressure levels. The bladder includes a first sealed chamber formed of a barrier material. The first chamber contains a fluid at a first fluid pressure. A second sealed chamber also forms part of the bladder. The second chamber is formed of a second barrier material and contains an inflation fluid at a second fluid pressure that is greater than said first fluid pressure. The second chamber is operatively coupled to the first chamber so that the inflation fluid from the second chamber moves into the first chamber to replenish fluid leaving the first chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2005
    Assignee: Nike, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel R. Potter, David B. Herridge
  • Patent number: 6967044
    Abstract: A heat reflection device for footwear includes a first layer of fluid-impervious material, a second layer of fluid-impervious material and a sac arranged between the first and second layers. The sac contains a heat reflective material therein. In use the device is positioned in relation to the sole of the footwear so that at least some heat conducted or converted through the sole is reflected away from the foot of the wearer of the footwear. The heat reflective material may be a mixture of heat reflective powder or particulate, thickening agent and fluid. The heat reflective powder or particulate may be one or a combination of two or more materials selected from titanium dioxide, zirconium and zinc oxide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2005
    Assignee: Footfridge PTY LTD
    Inventor: Peter O'Brien
  • Patent number: 6892477
    Abstract: An article of footwear with a dynamically-controlled cushioning system is disclosed. The cushioning system includes a sealed, fluid-filled bladder formed with a plurality of separate cushioning chambers, and a control system. The control system, which includes a CPU, pressure sensors and valves, controls fluid communication between the chambers to dynamically adjust the pressure in the cushioning chambers for various conditions such as the activity that the footwear is used in, the weight of the individual and the individual's running style. Certain adjustments can be made while the footwear is in use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2005
    Assignee: Nike, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel R. Potter, Allan M. Schrock
  • Patent number: 6865823
    Abstract: The invention relates to an insole for footwear. The insole comprises a top foil and a bottom foil in between which a number of cavities are formed containing liquid or gel. The top foil and/or bottom foil are equipped with fabric which in the plane of the fabric has a tensile strength that is higher than the tensile strength of the top and/or the bottom foil. Thereby, the fabric prevents creep of the plastic of which the top foil and/or the bottom foil usually are made. Preferentially, the fabric is joined with the foil such that the fabric extends on the outside or at least to the outside the foil. Thereby, the fabric constitutes a layer between the sole and the bottom of the footwear and, respectively, between the sole and the foot or the sock/stocking on the foot. Thereby, it is possible to select the frictional conditions such that the sole lies firmly in the footwear and such that the foot slides easily on the sole in order to reduce the formation of heat to the foot as a result of friction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2005
    Inventor: Søren Vindriis