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Title:
PIVOTING FOOTWEAR SYSTEMS AND, CONFIGURABLE TRACTION SYSTEMS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2007/058719
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
A device is disclosed that traverses snow and ice covered terrain. The device includes footwear (10) that has the ability to mount directly to a sliding device (31) or snowshoe and pivot without the need of a mounting plate or base plate. The footwear (10) may also be configured for use in snowboard (15) boot retaining bindings (23). The footwear (10) may have strapless and detachable crampons (92). Additionally, the crampons (92) may have a coating for repelling snow and ice covering exterior surfaces of the crampon (92). A configurable crampon (104) may additionally be joined to a rear portion of the footwear (10). Furthermore, a mounting plate (59) with a toe cleat (18) and heel cleat (12)are disclosed as being removably coupled with the mounting plate (59) able to be attached to sliding or snowshoe devices in a quick-release manner and quick connecting manner. Also disclosed is a movable traction system (355) that may be raised and lowered through a sliding surface (367).

Inventors:
EKBERG, Lane, A. (7135 Ponderosa Drive, Salt Lake City, UT, 84121, US)
Application Number:
US2006/039839
Publication Date:
May 24, 2007
Filing Date:
October 10, 2006
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
EKBERG, Lane, A. (7135 Ponderosa Drive, Salt Lake City, UT, 84121, US)
International Classes:
A43B5/04
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KUNZLER, Brian, C. et al. (8 East Broadway, Suite 600Salt Lake City, UT, 84111, US)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A device for traversing over snow and ice covered terrain, the device comprising: a ski with a mechanism that can removably couple footwear directly to the ski engaging at least one outside perimeter of footwear and at least one are directly on the ski to releasably couple the footwear to the ski.

2. The device of claim I, further comprising a ski which has a mounting area for the said footwear and the footwear containing a pivotal mounting axis in its surface area.

3. The device of claim 2, further comprising a footwear that has at least one axis to pivot on a the ski.

4. The device of claim 2, further comprising pivotally equipped footwear in its surface area that may be mounted to a snowshoe that is configured to accept pivotally equipped footwear and pivot with the heel of the footwear moving in an upward and downward motion without the use of a mounting plate for the footwear to rest on. 5. The device of claim 1, wherein the footwear is able to mount directly to a plurality of apparatuses that traverse over snow and ice covered terrain without the use of a base plate or mounting plate.

6. The device of claim 2, wherein a snowboard boot may have optional locking means built in the sole preventing the heel trom moving in an up and down motion. 7. The device of claim 2, wherein the footwear may have optional locking means in the heel to prevent the pivoting the heel trom moving up and down.

8. The device of claim 2, wherein the ski has a plurality of axes attachment holes.

9. The device of claim 5, wherein the footwear can detachably mount to a group consisting of a snowshoe, ski, snowshoe ski hybrid and split-board by means of at least one spring loaded pivotally equipped detachably coupled axis.

10. The device of claim 1 , wherein the pivot axis attachment hardware consists of an apparatus that may move through the perimeter of the footwear sole and device the footwear is coupling to.

11. The device of claim 4, wherein the footwear contains a snowshoe pivot mounting area and an approach ski pivot mounting area in the same footwear.

12. The device of claim 4, wherein a strapless toe crampon containing traction cleats and coupling means able to mount to the front half of footwear in a quick-attach manner and also a quick-release manner.

13. The device of claim 12, wherein a independently functional strapless toe crampon

under the ball of the foot toe containing traction cleats and coupling means can optionally couple to a heel crampon portion containing traction cleats and coupling means forming one conventional crampon unit

14. The device of claim 5, wherein the footwear has at least one axis mounting hole through the sole in which an axle may move through to mount the foot in a pivotally equipped position or an unlocked position in which the axle may move through the axis mounting hole allowing the footwear to be dismounted and mounted to the group consisting of a ski, snowshoe, crampon, and snowshoe ski hybrid.

15. The device of claim 4, wherein the snowboard boot has at least one pivotal axis in its surface area which to mount allowing the heel to move up and down.

16. The device of claim 5, wherein the footwear can be manufactured for the group consisting of a snowboard boot, hiking boot, or shoe.

17. The device of claim 16, wherein the devices for traversing over snow and ice from the group consisting of a snowshoe, ski, snowboard, crampon, snowshoe ski hybrid, and mounting plate are equipped to accept mounted footwear with at least one pivotally equipped axis built into the footwear.

18. The device of claim 2, wherein at least one ski pivot axis located on the ski is spring loaded and may be manipulated from open to close modes and uses footwear that has pivoting means in the surface area of the footwear. 19. The device of claim 1, further comprising a spring loaded pivot axis is located in the snowboard boot design.

20. The device of claim 1, wherein the snowboard boot axis may be locked or unlocked in a quick-release quick-attach fashion from a group consisting of a snowshoe, ski, crampon, split-board, and snowshoe ski hybrid. 21. The device of claim 20, wherein the pivotally enabled detachably coupled axis

'may be found on the surface area of footwear from the group consisting of a snowboard boot, shoe, or hiking boot, and may be locked or unlocked in a quick-release manner from the group consisting of a snowshoe, crampon, snowshoe ski hybrid, or split-board. 22. A device for traversing over snow and ice covered terrain, the device comprising: footwear having a surface area to protect a human foot; and, a pivot axis in the design of the footwear enabling the footwear to pivot on a pivoting axis system within its own surface area creating an upward and downward motion of the foot wear heel; and,

detachable coupling means for the footwear directly to and from the surface of the device that moves over snow and ice.

23. The device of claim 22, further comprising footwear that can quickly attach to a ski with a metal rod and cotter pin with the footwear heel able to move in an up and down.

24. The device of claim 22. further comprising footwear that can releasably couple to a device without the use of a foot mounting plate from a group consisting of a ski, snowshoe, split-board, and snowshoe ski hybrid.

25. The device of claim 24, comprising a snowboard boot with pivotal means built into its surface area allowing it to be used as a pivoting device on an approach ski as well as being readily accepted in snowboard boot equipped bindings for retention on a snowboard.

26. A mounting plate for winter footwear to be mounted to; and: a front traction portion that is detachable and attachable in a quick-release manner under the ball of the foot region of the mounting plate; and, a rear heel traction portion of the mounting plate that is detachable and attachable in a quick release manner.

27. The device of claim 26, wherein the mounting plate can attach to a snowshoe, snowshoe ski hybrid, ski, split-board, in a detachable coupling manner

28. The device of claim 27, wherein the mounting plate may be a metal material and may include a separate piece of plastic coupled to it to repel snow and ice.

29. A device for providing traction over snow and ice while repelling snow from its surface area device comprising; Metal traction cleats that have plastic coupled to part of the cleat to act as a barrier from snow and ice buildup; and, wherein the metal traction is quick-releasable and quick-attaching to a group consisting of a snowshoe, snowshoe ski, and footwear mounting plate. 30. The device of claim 29, wherein the plastic is coupled to the metal traction cleat by means of pop-rivets.

31. The device of claim 30, wherein the plastic is coupled to the metal traction by nuts and bolts.

32. The device of claim 31 , wherein a suitable apparatus that provides coupling

means may be used to attach the metal traction cleat to plastic.

33. A device for providing traction over snow and ice covered landscapes the device comprising;

Metal cleat traction that may be quickly attached or quick released from another device; and,

The metal cleat traction has snow repellent material coupled to it to prevent snow and ice build-up.

34. The device of claim 33, wherein the quick-release and quick-attaching metal cleat traction can mount to a snowshoe. 35. The device of claim 33, wherein the quick-release and quick-attaching traction can mount to a ski.

36. The device of claim 33, wherein the quick-release and quick-attaching traction can mount to a foot binding plate.

37. The device of claim 33, wherein the metal cleat traction can be quick released from a device for traversing snow and ice covered landscapes without the use of nuts and bolts.

38. The device of claim 33, wherein the metal cleat traction can be quick released from a device for traversing snow and ice covered landscapes by means of a spring loaded operation. 39. The device of claim 36. wherein the spring loaded release mechanism in the metal detachable cleat system can be manipulated to an open and closed position by a human hand.

40. The device of claim 33. Wherein two or more separate metal cleats can be joined together for easier storage. 41. The device of claim 40. wherein two or more separate traction cleats can be joined together and secured by a lock apparatus.

42. A method of providing traction for devices which traverse over snow and ice covered terrain, the method comprising; traction that can be raised and lowered by manipulation of an apparatus to change the traction configuration; and when the traction is moved from any position the coefficient of friction can either elongate or shorten.

43. The device of claim 42. wherein the traction can be raised and lowered through devices from the group consisting of a snowshoe. ski and snowshoe ski hybrid.

44. The device of claim 42, wherein the traction can be raised and lowered through a sliding surface to facilitate different coefficients of friction.

45. The device of claim 42, wherein the traction may be tooth structuring.

46. A device for traversing over snow and ice covered terrain device comprising; a sliding surface; and, cleat traction which may mount to the portion facing the ground when device is moving over snow and ice covered terrain.

47. The device of claim 46, wherein the sliding device may be from the group consisting of a ski and hybrid snowshoe ski. 48. The device of claim 47, wherein the cleat traction may be quick-release and quick attaching. 49. The device of claim 48, wherein the cleats may be in the form of teeth.

Description:

PIVOTING FOOTWEAR SYSTEMS AND, CONFIGURABLE TRACTION SYSTEMS

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to winter sports equipment and more particularly relates to a winter footwear pivot system allowing transition from one binding apparatus to another providing different modes of winter foot travel with a footwear pivot system. Also disclosed is a configurable crampon and a strapless crampon system as well as configurable traction. DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ART

Approach "randonee" climbing skiing is a popular winter sport that provides backcountry exploration, exercise, and entertainment. Likewise, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, and snowboarding are enjoyed for many of the same reasons. In a single day, backcountry enthusiasts typically approach ski or snowshoe to their destination and return on skis, snowshoes, or snowboards. Unfortunately for such adventures, enthusiasts must pack extra equipment or heavy equipment for traversing winter terrain. The added weight and hassle of packing up the necessary gear is an obvious disadvantage of these activities of hiking up an incline to then ski or snowboard down an incline.

A solution to the added weight and expense of extra gear, space consuming gear, or heavy gear, is to offer a footwear system in which the boot or shoe of the user is able to mount up to an approach ski system in a fashion wherein the footwear becomes part of the binding. Combining the footwear and the binding eliminates the need for a mounting base or plate for the footwear to mount to. The footwear is then easily removed by quick-release means. When fully released from the approach ski the footwear can be immediately used on a snowboard binding or other winter gear. The ski or (optional) configurable binding plate, in accordance with the present invention may be made of carbon fiber and/or other extremely lightweight materials. Prior approach ski snowboard systems have been extremely heavy to operate and are expensive.

Approach skis are heavy and most do not accept snowboard boots. They do not pack very easily, and they do not offer multi-functions wherein the user may quick release and attach a variety of foot binding set-ups. A split-board is a snowboard design which is able to split into two approach skis able to aid a user in climbing up an incline. When the user desires to snowboard back down the incline they reattach the two approach skis forming a snowboard setup. The problem with this system includes: weight, expense, does not ski well down hill, and the snowboard does not ride as comfortably as a normal snowboard setup. The approach ski mode is too heavy and limits the range a user can hike because of fatigue.

Three current solutions exist that enable a winter enthusiast to hike up and slide down on

a snowboard. The first solution is to use snowshoes up an incline and then snowboard down the incline. Snowshoes are too bulky and do not pack well. They are also to slow in a constant up and down hike in which every small hill you must hike over the snowshoes can only walk down every hill instead of sliding. This method is more tiring and time consuming. Typical snowshoe bindings also offer a flimsy foot binding that prevents the binding and the snowshoe from working effectively together. The second solution is using a split-board which is very heavy, and it is very expensive. The third solution is to use current approach free heel designs that are too heavy and expensive and do not pack well.

What is needed is a device that overcomes weight, expense, and the current function in the art to hike a snowboard enthusiast into the backcountryto eventually ride the snowboard down an incline. What is needed is a light weight device that is relatively inexpensive, easy to use, and is easy to store on a back pack when the snowboard is in use. Additionally, what is needed is a strapless, and extreme light weight foot retention means to hold a hiking boot or snowboard boot to an approach ski without the need of a mounting base plate. A system is needed that eliminates foot retention hardware and straps wherein only the footwear the user uses acts as the binding when coupling means is placed through the footwear.

Additionally, what is needed is a ski that has the capability to have a plurality of foot retaining mounting binding plates that are quick-release and have a variety of designs and functions. One function that includes a detachable ski mounting plate that includes quick-release traction cleats that sit in the heel region and in the toe region forming a crampon with full heel to toe traction. Furthermore, detachable cleats for the mounting plate as well as snowshoes and snowshoe ski systems need a detachable cleat that includes snow and ice sticking repellent in the form of a coupled plastic piece to the crampon.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is in response to the current state of the art, and in particular, in response to the problems and needs in the art that have not been fully solved by current available ski, snowboard, snowshoe, their foot binding devices, and needed footwear. Accordingly, the present invention has been developed to provide pivotally equipped able footwear, a light weight climbing approach ski system, and a heel to toe detachable traction for a ski foot binding device or snowshoe binding system in response to needed gear not yet available or developed for backcountry snowboarders, snowshoers, and skiers.

The device may include a base for traversing over snow and ice covered terrain, a removable axis (axle) rotatably coupling footwear from group consisting of, snowboard boots, hiking boots, shoes, soft-shell, hard-shell boots, and footwear able to be used on snow and ice.

Additionally, an optional mounting plate may attach and detached from the base member in place of the pivotally equipped footwear and the area from the heel to toe of the mounting plate may receive quick-attaching cleat traction in separate parts. This traction may also quick-release from the mounting plate. In another embodiment, the sole of the footwear has a hole running through the sole allowing an axle to be placed through the sole allowing rotatable coupling means of the footwear consisting from the group of: snowboard boots, hiking boots, shoes, soft- shell, hard-shell boots, and all footwear able to be used in snow and ice and attaches to any device that traverses snow and ice covered terrain and holds a human foot.

In another embodiment the pivoting footwear is coupled to an approach ski with an axle running through the base of the footwear allowing forward walking and climbing motion. The pivoting footwear can be quick-released by moving the axle (axis) from its locked position in the sole of the footwear when the approach ski is no longer needed. The released footwear may now be placed in a snowboard binding for a snowboard descent down an incline. The footwear thus described would typically be a snowboard boot, ski boot, and the like with an axis hole through its sole to allow optional coupling means to an approach ski or snowshoe.

In a further embodiment, the device comprises pivoting means in the footwear with attaching means to an approach ski. The approach skis when free from the said footwear by quick-release means can be placed together with ski against ski so that each ski is fitted to the other ski for easy pack storage. Securing means may be present to hold the skis together to form a compact object for easy storage.

In one embodiment, the device comprises a boot with pivoting means in the sole construction and a locking feature in the heel of the footwear that may lock the heel. The heel can be optionally locked if the free heel motion is not wanted. In one instance the heel can be locked if the user intends to ski down an incline with the desire to have the heellOcked thus the device can be used in a variety of skiing methods.

The device may also comprise a climbing skin that can be used on the ski to allow traction up a congealed precipitated incline. The climbing skin fitted to the base of the ski in a permanent or non-permanent manner. Other traction means may also be applied to the ski base in alternative ski base constructions including bases that accept metal traction mounted through them or on them.

Another embodiment of the device comprises a ski for traversing over snow and ice that contains attaching means on the ski surface area for footwear that has pivoting means and retention means in the sole of the boot Furthermore, the said ski has heel retention means built in

the ski surface area to limit or stop footwear pivoting when the footwear is mounted to the ski device.

Another embodiment of the device includes footwear with traction mounting to areas in the surface area of the footwear. When the footwear is released from the ski it is able to accept traction mounted into the sole of the footwear. Traction mounting areas may be located in the heel area, the toe area, and in between. In one method the footwear is released from the ski by removing the pivot axle (axis) freeing space in the sole of the footwear to allow traction to be mounted in that same space or traction may be mounted in a strapless manner on the toe and ball of the foot region of the footwear. The heel area of the footwear is also capable of accepting attaching traction. Thus, the locking and pivoting areas in the sole of winter footwear can be used in a plurality of ways including mounting footwear to a ski or snowshoe and the same footwear bottom can accept crampons where the boot can now climb ice and snow covered terrain.

A further embodiment included a foot plate with two quick-release cleat portions in the front half of the mounting plate and heel part of the mounting plate. The heel cleat when released can also be used as snowshoe cleat traction quickly attaching to the base of a snowshoe. Additionally, the cleats may have plastic coupled to the cleat to prevent snow and ice build-up.

Another embodiment included in the disclosure is movable traction that is able to raise and lower through a sliding surface providing traction when lowered and sliding when raised. A further embodiment of traction in the device is traction that mounts to the bottom of a ski or on the sliding surface side of the apparatus.

Reference throughout this specification to features, advantages, or similar language does not imply that all of the features and advantages that may be realized with the present invention should be or are in any single embodiment of the invention. Rather, language referring to the features and advantages is understood to mean that a specific feature, advantage, or characteristic described in connection with an embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, discussion of the features and advantages, and similar language, throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily, refer to the same embodiment.

Furthermore, the described features, advantages, and characteristics of the invention may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments. One skilled in the relevant art will recognize that the invention may be practiced without one or more of the specific features or advantages of a particular embodiment. In other instances, additional features and advantages may be recognized in certain embodiments that may not be present in all embodiments of the invention.

These features and advantages of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, or may be learned by the practice of the invention as set forth hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In order that the advantages of the invention will be readily understood, a more particular description of the invention briefly described above will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments that are illustrated in the appended drawings. Understanding that these drawings depict only typical embodiments of the invention and are not therefore to be considered to be limiting of its scope, the invention will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is a side view diagram illustrating one embodiment of footwear in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 2 is a side view diagram illustrating one embodiment of pivoting footwear and its plurality of uses including that of an approach ski and a snowboard in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 3 is a top perspective view illustrating one embodiment of a ski in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 4 is a side perspective view illustrating an alternative embodiment of footwear in accordance with the present invention; Figure 5 is a side perspective view illustrating one embodiment of a mounting plate that has a quick-release toe cleat portion and coupling system and a quick-release heel cleat portion and coupling system in accordance with the present;

Figure 6 is a side perspective view illustrating pivoting footwear on ski and snowshoe devices and a strapless toe crampon device in accordance with the present invention; Figure 7 is a side perspective view illustrating snowshoe pivotally mountable footwear in accordance with the present invention footwear with approach ski means and snowshoe pivot means in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 8 is a side perspective view illustrating one embodiment of pivotally mountable footwear with a spring loaded axis in accordance with the present invention; Figure 9 is a top plan view illustrating one embodiment of a winter device that uses pivotally mountable footwear in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 10 is a top plan view illustrating one embodiment a sliding device and a bottom plan view of pivotally mountable footwear in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 11 is a side perspective view illustrating one embodiment of pivoting footwear

and a strapless toe and the ball of the foot crampon system in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 12 is a top plan view illustrating ski devices and pivoting footwear in accordance with the present invention; Figure 13 is a top plan view and side perspective view illustrating a sliding and snowshoe device that accepts pivoting footwear, climbing skins, and foot binding plates in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 14 is a side perspective view illustrating one embodiment of a heel to toe traction and configurable crampon system able to split into a front strapless toe under the ball of the foot crampon and a rear portion of a foot crampon (heel crampon) in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 15 is a perspective view illustrating traction that can be raised and lowered through a sliding surface in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 16 is a top plan view illustrating one embodiment of the configurable mounting plate through the plane pivot of the present invention.

Figure 17 is a top plan view illustrating one embodiment of the configurable mounting plate top pivot of the present invention.

Figure 18 is a bottom perspective view diagram illustrating one embodiment of the spiked traction binding strap in accordance with the present invention. Figure 19 is a top perspective view illustrating one embodiment of the pointed traction strap in accordance with the present invention.

Figure 20 is several perspective views illustrating an embodiment of detaching and attaching traction through the base of the ski in accordance with the present invention.

Figure 21 is several perspective views of an embodiment illustrating retracting traction and recessed traction on a mounting plate in accordance with the present invention.

Figure 22 is a top perspective view diagram illustrating a multipivoting ski in accordance with the present invention.

Figure 23 is a side perspective view illustrating footwear including a boot that is configured with multi-pivot axis points for a variety of foot placement on a winter device in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Reference throughout this specification to "one embodiment," "an embodiment," or similar language means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention.

Thus, appearances of the phrases "in one embodiment," "in an embodiment," and similar language throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily, all refer to the same embodiment.

Furthermore, the described features, structures, or characteristics of the invention may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments. In the following description, numerous specific details are provided in order to give a thorough understanding of embodiments of the invention. One skilled in the relevant art will recognize, however, that the invention may be practiced without one or more of the specific details, or with other methods, components, materials, and so forth. In other instances, well-known structures, materials, or operations are not shown or described in detail to avoid obscuring aspects of the invention.

Figure 1 is a side perspective view diagram illustrating one embodiment of footwear 10 and toe pivot 77. In one embodiment the footwear 10 is configured to accept an axle 51 (axis) in accordance with the present invention. In one embodiment, the footwear 10 may secure a users foot by the use of laces 57, Velcro (not shown), or ski buckles (not shown). The heel portion 25 of the footwear 10 can be locked to retard or stop the pivoting motion. The footwear 10 may be in the form of a hiking boot, snowboard boot, or shoe with a single pivot toe pivot 77 in the toe region of the footwear allowing the footwear to pivot on a ski or snowshoe device.

Figure 2 is a side perspective view illustrating sliding devices including a snowboard 15, snowboard bindings 23, approach skis 31, and toe pivoting 77 footwear 10. In one embodiment, the pivoting footwear 10 can be removed from the approach ski 31 by moving the axle 51 from its locked position allowing the footwear 10 to release from the approach ski 31 in a quick- release manner. When the footwear 10 is released it may be placed in the snowboard binding 23 if the footwear is a snowboard boot. The approach skis 31 can be fitted together and stowed away in a back pack allowing the user to freely use the snowboard 15 with the pivotally equipped footwear 10.

Figure 3 is a top plan view illustrating approach ski 31 sliding devices that use pivotally quick m ountable footwear in accordance with the present invention. Toe pivot slots 20 allow either one setting (not shown) or a plurality of settings as illustrated by slots 20. A plurality of pivot slots 20 allow different sizes of footwear 10 as well as a comfortable adjustment on the sliding ski device.

The approach ski 31 may include a heel lift 17 to maintain a proper skiing platform. The heel lift may also include a footwear heel lock 51 mounted to the top side of the approach ski (not shown). Also, an adjustable heel lift may be used to relieve stress on the calve muscle when climbing inclines. The axle 52 may be stored on the sliding device 2 when the footwear 10 is

removed from the sliding device 2.

Figure 4 is a side perspective view illustrating footwear 90 that contains a toe pivot 77 which allows a pivoting approach ski and a snowshoe pivot 64 that allows a pivot in a snowshoe style. The snowshoe pivot 64 allows the toe of the footwear 90 to pivot through the device it is mounted to with axle 51. The heel lock 25 may be used to lock the heel of the footwear 90 to the sliding device or snowshoe (not shown). The strapless toe crampon lock hole 121 is located on both sides of the footwear and retains the spring loaded pin which holds in place the strapless toe crampon 92 (see figure 11 and Figure 13).

Figure 5 is a side perspective view illustrating a platform for footwear called a mounting plate 59 that has a toe cleat 18 system that may couple to the mounting plate 59. The toe cleat 18 system consists of a spring loaded pin 137 to couple the toe cleat to the foot plate and a plurality of cleats 110 for traction. The toe cleat 18 system can be used together with a heel portion of traction by attaching the heel cleat 12 and the toe cleat 18 traction to the mounting plate 59. A spring loaded pin 138 located on the heel cleat 12 is used to couple the heel cleat to the mounting plate 59 or a snowshoe, cleat ski, or snowshoe ski hybrid (not shown). When the heel cleat 12 is quick-released from the mounting plate 59, the heel cleat 12 can be quickly attached to a snowshoe or a snowshoe ski hybrid device (not shown) for traction.

The toe cleat 18 may also be used when the mounting plate 59 is attached to a snowshoe or hybrid snowshoe ski. Foot coupling straps may bolt to nut and bolt holes 160. The mounting plate heel area may lock by engaging heel lock hole 109 which prevents mounting plate from pivoting allowing the heel portion to move up and down. Also, disclosed is a plastic cleat piece 210 that couples to the toe cleat 18 or heel cleat 12 by coupling means 208 and coupling means 207. The plastic cleat cover repels snow and ice build-up on the metal quick-release cleats. When the toe cleat 18 and the heel cleat 12 are quick-released from the foot mounting plate 59 they may be detachably coupled (222) to one another with the spring loaded pin 137 holding them together for easy pack storage. A plastic snow repellent guard may also be placed on a metal version of the mounting plate. (See Fig. 6 and Fig. B).

Figure 6 is a side perspective view illustrating the snowshoe ski hybrid 80 using footwear 90 with a multi-pivoting system built in to the footwear 90. The toe pivot 77 allows the device to become an approach ski when the toe pivot 77 is locked in place with the toe pivot hole 20 on the device with axle axis 51. The snowshoe pivot 60 and 64 allows the footwear 90 to pivot through the plane of the device allowing the spring loaded strapless toe crampon system 92 and cleats 44 to grip snow and ice. The climbing skin 33 may be used when the ski mode is configured.

Figure 7 is a side perspective view illustrating one embodiment of a single snowshoe axis

pivot 64 on footwear 81 in accordance with the present invention. This system can only be used on a snowshoe (Not shown) or devices that are hybrid snowshoe skis 200. Footwear 81 may be a shoe, boot, or snowboard boot. (See Figure 12).

Figure 8 is a side perspective view illustrating one embodiment of pivoting footwear 80 that uses a "footwear spring loaded axis axle 99 technology", The footwear spring loaded axis 99 retracts and expands to allow the footwear to quickly attach or detach from the device the footwear is mounting or dismounting to. A mechanism manipulates the release and lock sequence of the footwear spring loaded axis axle 99. The footwear spring loaded axis axle 99 may be mounted to approach skis and snowshoes (Not shown) which may have a plumlity of mount settings.

Figure 9 is a top plan view illustrating a spring loaded axis axle 85 built into the device 2. The device may be a foot mounting Plate, ski, snowshoe ski hybrid, or a snowshoe able to receive footwear that contains pivoting technology built in accordance with the present invention. In a further embodiment, the drawstring 29 manipulates an open or closed position of the spring loaded axis axle 85.

Figure 10 is a top plan view illustrating sliding devices or snowshoes 2 and bottom plan views of footwear soles 23 and 71. In one embodiment, the sliding device or snowshoe 2 includes a fixed axle 84 that sole 71 mounts to by means of a groove 93 with groove locks (not shown). The fixed axle 84 may be moved to holes 76 to change the position of footwear pivoting.

In another embodiment, the footwear 71 may have one or more axle axes that footwear 71 can mount or dismount to in a quick fashion. The side rail 66 may be present wherein axis fittings are located. The side rail may be included in all of the foot pivoting embodiments in accordance with the present invention. Figure 11 is a side perspective view of pivotally mountable footwear 90 that has a strapless toe crampon 92 attached and fitted under the ball of the foot. The strapless toe crampon 92 is held to footwear by a button tab 154 and spring loaded pins 125. The crampon also includes a plurality of cleat traction 44 to grip snow and ice. The strapless toe crampon may be released with the spring loaded release pins 125. When the snowshoe pivot 64 is being utilized in the footwear 90 on certain snowshoe ski hybrids and snowshoes then the toe crampon 92 is used. To form a conventional crampon the footwear is released from the device with the toe crampon attached to the footwear and the heel crampon 9 can be attached to the front toe crampon 98. (See figure 5 and Figure 14).

Figure 12 is a top perspective view of two pivotally mountable footwear modes. In one

embodiment the footwear can pivot at the toe using pivot hole 20. When the user desires to lock the heel the heel lock 39 is engaged into heel portion 25 of the footwear. In another embodiment the footwear is pivoting in the snowshoe pivot 60 with the strapless toe crampon 92 attached. The rear detachable crampon 12 is used to provide further traction when in the snowshoe mode. The rear detachable crampon fits on the surface area of the snowshoe, snowshoe ski hybrid, or ski that contacts the snow and may be locked and unlocked with lock 39.

Sliding winter device 80 shows a movable portion 65 which pivoting footwear may rotate through when the portion 65 is opened. Sliding winter device 31 shows a typical ski sliding surface in which the pivoting footwear can also be used with when mounted to pivoting holes 20 in accordance with the present invention.

Figure 13 is several perspective views illusl rating equipment that is used in conjunction with pivoting footwear 90. The footwear 90 has pivot holes 77 for approach skiing. The footwear 90 has snowshoe pivot holes 64 for snowshoe style pivoting. The pivot equipped footwear is mounted to any of the pivoting style holes by inserting an axis axle 51 into the pivot position 20 or 60 on the ski, snowshoe ski hybrid, or snowshoe device, and locking the axis axle in to place by inserting a cotter pin 16. A c-clamp 61 may also be used. A climbing skin 33 may be included in any number of climbing configurations that include pivotally mountable footwear. Pivoting footwear equipped skis, snowshoe ski hybrids, and snowshoes may also optionally use a mounting plate. Rear lock 39 locks attachable cleat traction and also locks the heel of pivoting footwear and the heel of a mounting plate. A further embodiment shows cleat traction 12 able to mount to the bottom surface of a ski 80 on the portion that faces the terrain.

Figure 14 is a side perspective view illustrating an embodiment of a separate strapless toe crampon system and a separate heel crampon system joined to form a complete heel to toe traction crampon system 98 in accordance with the present invention. The strapless toe crampon may be joined to the heel crampon 104 by using coupling strap 101 and connecting coupling strap 101 to toe crampon loop 114 forming a conventional heel to toe crampon system 98. Strap positioner 132 built in to the footwear 90 encourages the heel crampon portion to stay firm on the footwear 90. The heel crampon 104 has downward pointing traction cleats 42 as well as heel coupling means to the footwear 90. Figure 15 shows perspective views of an embodiment of movable traction 355 that can be raised and lowered through ski slots 370 sliding surface 367 forming friction enhancement when lowered and friction decrease when raised. Toothed traction 391 is one embodiment of traction means. The moveable traction 355 is raised and lowered on traction hinge 379 and the movable

traction is locked with the movable traction lock hole 380 when a metal axle 51 is placed through it.

Figure 16 is a perspective view diagram of a mounting plate axis 1602 able to pivot a configurable mounting plate 1604 through the snowshoe ski hybrid 80 by moving front mounting plate portion 1606 outward rotating on the configurable mounting plate 1604 portion axis 1608. The front quick-release mounting plate traction 1610 can be attached to mounting plate by moving the mounting plate traction lock lever 1612 into slot 1614. A portion of the ski hybrid 80 {See Figure 6) must be opened and in this configuration the sliding device can climb similarly to a snowshoe and the configurable mounting plate can also be used as a separate climbing device when released from the ski. The heel of the configurable mounting plate 1604 can be locked or unlocked by moving the heel lock 1616 to open or closed position.

Figure 17 is a perspective diagram view of a mounting plate pivot axis 1602 able to pivot the mounting plate 1604 above the sliding device by moving the front mounting plate portion 1606 inward by rotating on the configurable mounting plate 1604 portion axis 1616. In this configuration the sliding device can climb like an approach ski with skins (not shown) with the configurable mounting plate 1604 pivoting on the top side of the hybrid ski. The configurable mounting plate 1604 can lock so that the mounting plate cannot not move by locking heel lock 1616.

Figure 18 is a bottom perspective view illustrating a mounting plate strap 1800 used for mounting boots, shoes, and various footwear to a sliding device, non-sliding winter foot travel, or snowshoe. The strap contains pointed strap traction 1802 facing into the boot or shoe which holds the boot on the device in a non-slip manner. The traction strap can be mounted to a wide variety of winter foot transportation devices by coupling means and to mounting plate holes 1804. This type of strap also allows a single strap set-up instead of the standard multiple strap systems found on snowboard bindings and some snowshoes.

Figure 19 is a top view diagram illustrating the strap buckle system 1806 which is used to couple the straps together and may even include a ratchet system. The binding holes 1808 provide coupling means to a winter foot travel device.

Figure 20 is several perspective views of a configurable ski 2000 that may have traction 2002 mounted through a slot or opening 2001 in the ski 2000 with the traction being locked into place by the use of a lock 2004. The ski 2000 may have a hole 2006 through its base to allow the mounting plate to rotate through or in a second option it may rotate only above the plane of a typical ski 2000.

Figure 21 illustrates two perspective views illustrating retractable or foldable traction 2102 on a mounting plate or binding. The traction retracts into a recess. The mounting plate 2104 for the retaining the foot of the user contains retracting traction 2102. The retracted mounting plate traction position 2106 and extended traction position 2108 eliminate the need for removable quick-release mounting plate traction as another option. The traction rotates on traction axis 2110. The mounting plate includes holes 2112 for coupling straps to the mounting plate 2104. It must be noted that the retracting traction system can also be used on other type device bindings and mounting plates as well and would be obvious to one skilled in the art to utilize retracting traction cleats on other winter foot bindings and mounting plate devices not named in this disclosure.

Figure 22 is a perspective view diagram illustrating a configurable ski 2200 with a plurality of axis pivots 2202 in which to pivot the mounting plate or boot 2204 {See Figure 23). The axle 2206 can be removed by releasing the locking pin 2208 and allowing the axle to be placed in any of the plurality of axis pivots 2202 on the configurable ski 2200. The mounting plate may also have a plurality of pivots as well to have a wide range in which the user can customize the set up in a snowshoe style pivot or an approach "randonee" style pivot dependent on his choice of setting the axle (axis) 2210 and locking it in place with the locking pin 2208.

Figure 23 is a side perspective view illustrating foot wear or a boot 2204 with a plurality of axis pivot points 2302 allowing the position of pivoting determined in the boot 2204 apparatus. This particular set up offers an alternative to a multi-pivoting mounting plate and a configurable mounting plate in which the boot 2204 with a plurality of pivoting can achieve the same task of coupling a user in a plurality of pivot positions customizing the pivot for approach skiing or snowshoeing etc. In another embodiment the foot ware or boot 2204 may contain only a single pivot in the sole (not shown). The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope. What is claimed is: