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Title:
STRONG LIGHTWEIGHT SHANKBOARD SYSTEM FOR FOOTWEAR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/061093
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present disclosure relates to a strong lightweight footwear shankboard construction that uses thin, lightweight, and/or flexible sheets of material that may include one or more structures that strengthen the sheet of material so that when the sheet of material is attached to a composite board (or the like) to form the shankboard, the shankboard provides the stability and/or durability that is necessary to support a foot and give shoes (or other footwear) structure.

Inventors:
FREY ZACH (US)
SCHNEIDER JUSTIN (US)
Application Number:
US2019/052461
Publication Date:
April 01, 2021
Filing Date:
September 23, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
WOLF & SHEPHERD INC (US)
International Classes:
A43B13/16; A43B13/12; A43B13/14
Foreign References:
US20160255905A12016-09-08
US4398357A1983-08-16
US2644250A1953-07-07
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BIBBY, Gina A. (21650 Oxnard St. Suite 50, Woodland Hills CA, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A strong lightweight footwear shankboard comprising: a board having a first surface, a second surface opposite the first surface, and a cutout portion; and a sheet of material coupled to the first or second surface of the board, wherein a portion of the sheet of material is aligned to cover the cutout portion of the board.

2. The shankboard of claim 1, wherein the cutout portion of the board extends from the first surface of the board through to the second surface of the board.

3. The shankboard of claim 1, wherein the sheet of material further comprises at least one strengthening structure, and wherein the at least one strengthing structure strengthens the sheet of material.

4. The shankboard of claim 3, wherein at least a portion of the at least one strengthening structure is accommodated by the cutout portion of the board.

5. The shankboard of claim 3, wherein the at least one strengthing structure is a corrugated strengthening structure, the corrugated strengthing structure comprising one or more parallel furrows and one or more corresponding parallel ridges.

6. The shankboard of claim 5, wherein a depth of each of the one or more parallel furrows is between approximately 0.5 mm to 10 mm.

7. The shankboard of claim 5, wherein a distance between adjacent corresponding parallel ridges is approximately 2 mm to 20 mm.

8. The shankboard of claim 1, wherein the board is selected from a group of material consisting of composite, cardboard, paper fiber, polyester, Texon® board, leather, acrylic, or microfiber. 9. The shankboard of claim 1, wherein the board comprises a thickness of approximately 5mm to 3mm.

10. The shankboard of claim 1, wherein the sheet of material is a thin, lightweight and/or flexible material.

11. The shankboard of claim 1, wherein the sheet of material is selected from a group of material consisting of carbon fiber, carbon glass, full glass fiber, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), or bamboo.

12. A method of constructing a strong lightweight footwear shankboard, the method comprising: providing a board having a first surface, a second surface opposite the first surface, and an opening formed by a cutout portion of the board; providing a sheet of material; and coupling the sheet of material to the first or second surface of the board, wherein a portion of the sheet of material is aligned to cover the opening formed by the cutout portion of the board.

13. The method claim 12, wherein providing the sheet of material further comprises providing the sheet of material having at least one strengthening str ucture, and wherein coupling the sheet of material to the first or second surface of the board further comprises aligning the sheet of material with the board so that at least a portion of the at least one strengthening structure is coextensive with the opening.

14. The method of claim 12, wherein the at least one strengthening structure is a corrugated strengthing structure.

15. The method of claim 12, wherein the board comprises a thickness of approximately 5mm to 3mm.

16. The method of claim 12, wherein providing the board further comprises selecting the board from a group consisting of composite, cardboard, paper fiber, polyester, Texon® board, leather, acrylic, or microfiber.

17. The method of claim 12, wherein providing the sheet of material further comprises selecting the sheet of material from a group of material consisting of carbon fiber, carbon glass, full glass fiber, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), or bamboo.

Description:
STRONG LIGHTWEIGHT SHANKBOARD SYSTEM FOR FOOTWEAR

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] Embodiments herein relate generally to footwear, and more specifically, to a shankboard system and method for use in constructing strong, thin, lightweight, durable, comfortable and flexible insoles for footwear.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Provided herein is a shankboard system and method of fabricating the same consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure. In one embodiment, the shankboard may include a board made of composite, cardboard, paper fiber, polyester, Texon® board, leather, acrylic, microfiber material, or the like, and a sheet of thin lightweight material made of carbon fiber, carbon glass, full glass fiber, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), bamboo, or the like. The sheet of thin lightweight material may be attached to a surface of the board (e.g., top or bottom surface) using a secure attachment method such as glue, adhesive, and the like. In one embodiment, the sheet of material may include at least one strengthening structure that increases the natural durability and/or strength properties of the sheet of material. In one embodiment, the board may include a cutout to accommodate the strengthening structure of the sheet of material. The cutout may extend from the top surface of the board through to a bottom surface of the board. In one embodiment, the board and sheet of material may be aligned prior to attachment so that a strengthening structure of the sheet of material is coextensive with (or accommodated) by an opening formed by the cutout; for example, the strengthening structure may cover the opening at a top surface of the board and may be exposed through the opening at a bottom surface of the board.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0003] The written disclosure herein describes illustrative embodiments that are non- limiting and non-exhaustive. Reference is made to certain illustrative embodiments that are depicted in the figures, wherein:

[0004] FIG. 1A illustrates a top perspective view of an exemplary right shoe shankboard consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure; [0005] FIG. IB illustrates a bottom perspective view of the exemplary right shoe shankboard of Fig. 1 A consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure;

[0006] FIG. 2 A illustrates a top perspective view of an exemplary right foot board, including a cutout, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure;

[0007] FIG. 2B illustrates a bottom perspective view of the exemplary right foot board of FIG. 2A consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure;

[0008] FIG. 3A illustrates a top perspective view of an exemplary right foot board, including a cutout, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure;

[0009] FIG. 3B illustrates a top perspective view of an exemplary right foot board, including a cutout, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure;

[0010] FIG. 3C illustrates a top perspective view of an exemplary right foot board, including a cutout, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure;

[0011] FIG. 3D illustrates a top perspective view of an exemplary right foot board, including a cutout, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure;

[0012] FIG. 4A illustrates a top perspective view of an exemplary sheet of material, including a strengthing structure, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure;

[0013] FIG. 4B illustrates a bottom perspective view of the exemplary sheet of material of FIG. 4A, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure;

[0014] FIG. 4C illustrates a side view of the exemplary sheet of material of FIG. 4A, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure;

[0015] FIG. 4D illustrates a cutaway side view of an exemplary sheet of material including a corrugated strengthening structure attached to a board consistent with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0016] FIG. 5A illustrates a top perspective right foot view of an exemplary sheet of material including a strengthing structure, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure;

[0017] FIG. 5B illustrates a top perspective right foot view of an exemplary sheet of material including a strengthing structure, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure;

[0018] FIG. 5C illustrates a top perspective right foot view of an exemplary sheet of material, including a strengthing structure, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure;

[0019] FIG. 5D illustrates a top perspective right foot view of an exemplary sheet of material including a strengthing structure, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure; [0020] FIG. 6 A illustrates an exemplary board lasted right foot shankboard, consist with embodiments of the present disclosure;

[0021] FIG. 6B illustrates an exemplary strobel lasted right foot shankboard, consist with embodiments of the present disclosure;

[0022] FIG. 6C illustrates an exemplary board-strobel combination lasted right foot shankboard, consist with embodiments of the present disclosure; and

[0023] FIG. 7 illustrates an exploded view of an exemplary shoe including a shankboard consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0024] A detailed description of the embodiments of the present disclosure is provided below. While several embodiments are described, the disclosure is not limited to any one embodiment, but instead encompasses numerous alternatives, modifications and equivalents. In addition, while numerous specific details are set forth in the following description to provide a thorough understanding of the embodiments disclosed herein, some embodiments can be practiced without some or all of these details. Moreover, for clarity, certain technical material that is known in the related art has not been described in detail to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the disclosure.

[0025] The description may use perspective-based descriptions such as up, down, back, front, top, bottom, interior and exterior. Such descriptions are used merely to facilitate the discussion and are not intended to restrict the application of disclosed embodiments. The description may use the terms “embodiment,” or “embodiments,” which may each refer to one or more of the same or different embodiments. The terms “comprising,” “including,” “having,” and the like, as used with respect to embodiments, are synonymous, and are generally intended as “open” terms. For example, the term “includes” should be interpreted as “includes but is not limited to,” the term “including” should be interpreted as “including but not limited to” and the term “having” should be interpreted as “having at least.”

[0026] Regarding the use of any plural and/or singular terms herein, those of skill in the relevant art can translate from the plural to the singular and/or from the singular to the plural as is appropriate to the context and/or application. The various singular and/or plural permutations may be expressly set forth herein for the sake of clarity. [0027] As used in this description, the term “a” or “an” means “at least one” or “one or more.” The singular forms “a,” “an,” and “the include plural references unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Any reference to “or” herein is intended to encompass "and/or" unless otherwise stated. The term “about” or “approximately” refers to a range of values within plus or minus 10% of the specified number.

[0028] Unless otherwise defined, all technical terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this disclosure belongs.

[0029] The embodiments of the disclosure may be understood by reference to the drawings, wherein like parts may be designated by like numerals. The components of the disclosed embodiments, as generally described and illustrated in the figures herein, could be arranged and designed in a wide variety of different configurations. Thus, the following detailed description of the embodiments of the disclosure is not intended to limit the scope of the disclosure, as claimed, but is merely representative of possible embodiments of the disclosure. In addition, the steps of any method disclosed herein do not necessarily need to be executed in any specific order, or even sequentially, nor need the step be executed only once, unless otherwise specified.

[0030] A shankboard (also referred to as a “shank” or “insole board”) is a supportive structure that typically sits between a shoe’s footbed and midsole and runs underneath the arch of the foot. The shankboard supports the foot and gives a shoe structure. Its main disadvantage, however, is it may add weight and bulk to a shoe, which may compromise a shoe’s comfort and flexibility. Accordingly, various embodiments herein provide a strong, thin, lightweight, flexible and durable shankboard that may, among other things, be used to construct a lighter weight, more comfortable and/or more flexible shoe without compromising the shoe’s strength, stability or durability.

[0031] In Figs. 1 A and IB, an exemplary shankboard 100 construction consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure is shown. In one embodiment, the shankboard 100 may include a board 110 and a sheet of thin lightweight material 120 that may be attached to a top surface 112 of the board 110 using a secure attachment method such as glue, adhesive, and the like. In one embodiment, the board 110 may include a cutout 140 generally located at the midfoot area of the footwear (i.e., where a conventional steel shank is typically located) to accommodate a strengthening structure 200 of the sheet of material 120. The cutout 140 may extend from the top surface 112 of the board 110 through to a bottom surface 114 of the board 110 to form an opening 141 not shown (see Fig. 2). In one embodiment, the board 110 and sheet of material 120 may be aligned prior to attachment so that the strengthening structure 200 is partially or entirely coextensive with (or accommodated by) the cutout 140. For example, as shown in FIGs. 1 A and IB, the strengthening structure 200 is coextensive with the cutout 140 at the top 112 and bottom 114 surfaces of the board 110 and is exposed through (and coextensive with) the opening 141 (see FIG. 2) formed by the cutout 140 at the bottom surface 114 of the board 110.

[0032] Consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure, it is desirable to form the board 110 using material that is as thin and lightweight as possible without compromising the strength and/or stability of a shankboard 100. Thus, in one embodiment, the board 110 may have a thickness of approximately 5mm to 3 mm and may be formed of materials such as composite, cardboard, paper fiber, polyester, Texon® board, leather, acrylic, microfiber, or other composites (e.g., wood pulp, recycled paper, recycled cotton, glue, etc.), and the like. In addition, the board 110 may be a moldable or flexible material that allows the shankboard 100 to be appropriately contoured. In one embodiment, the board 110 may contoured using methods that include, without limitation, compression molding, injection molding, extrusion molding, thermoforming, traditional lasting, and the like. The size and/or outline shape of the board 110, which is typically in the shape of a left or right foot, may vary depending upon the particular shoe (or other footwear) being constructed.

[0033] Further, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure, it is desirable to form the sheet of material 120 from a thin, lightweight, and/or flexible material . Thus, in one embodiment, the sheet of material 120 may be formed of carbon fiber, carbon glass, full glass fiber, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), bamboo, any other thin, lightweight, flexible, and/or durable material, or any other material that may properly support the foot and give a shoe (or other footwear) structure without adding weight and/or bulk to the shoe. Consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure, the sheet of material 120 may be formed by injection molding, casting, blow molding, compression molding, rotational molding, extrusion molding, thermoforming, or other similar processes. The size and/or shape of the sheet of material 120, may vary depending upon the particular shoe (or other footwear) being constructed.

[0034] As previously discussed, and as shown in further detail in Figs. 2 A and 2B, a cutout 140 may extend from a top surface 112 of the board 110 through to a bottom surface 114 of the board 110 (or vice-versa), thereby creating an opening 141. The l ocation of the cutout 140 on the board 110 may be determined based upon the desired lasting tolerance for a shoe upper (i.e., width) and the distance needed to bridge between the ball of the foot and the heel piece of the shoe (i.e., length). For example, in one embodiment, and edge of the cutout 140 may be approximately 17 mm from the outer edges of the board 110 on either side (116A, 116B) and 35 mm from the outer edge of the board 110 at the heal portion 118 of the board 110.

[0035] It is important to note, however, that the geometry or shape of a cutout 140 may be determined based upon the shape needed to accommodate any protruding geometry of a strengthening structure 200 (see FIG. 4). In other words, the cutout 140 geometry (or shape) of a board 110 is not limited to the exemplary embodiments disclosed herein. For example, FIGs. 3 A through 3D illustrate some other non-exhaustive exemplary cutout 140 geometries of a board 110 consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure.

[0036] In one embodiment, the cutout 140 may be formed by die cutting or any other similar process. It is important to note that many other configurations of the cutout 140, including the shape, location and depth of the cutout 140, are possible consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure. For example, instead of extending from a top surface 112 of a board 110 through to a botton surface 114 of the board 110 to create an opening 141 (or vice-versa), the cutout 140 may be only partial ly extend through a depth of the board 110 starting from a top 112 towards a bottom 114 surface of the board 110, or vice-versa, to create a hole.

[0037] Turning now to Figs. 4A, 4B, 4C and 4D, in one embodiment, a sheet 120 may comprise one or more strengthening structures 200 that reinforce, strengthen and or increase the natural rigidity of the thin, lightweight and/or flexible materials of which a sheet 120 may be made. For example, a sheet 120 may comprise a corrugated strengthening structure 200 (see also Figs. 1A and IB). In one exemplary embodiment, the corrugated strengthening structure 200 may comprise one or more parallel furrows 210 and one or more corresponding parallel ridges 212. Consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure, the depth of a furrow 210 may be approximately 0.5 mm to 10 mm. The distance between adjacent ridges 212 may approximately 2 mm to 20 mm. For example, as shown in Fig. 4D, an exemplary corrugated strengthening structure 200 is illustrated having a furrow 210 depth of approximately 2 mm and the distance between adjacent ridges 212 approximately 6 mm. Consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure, the number of furrows 210 and ridges 212, the furrow 210 depths and/or the distance between adjacent ridges 212 may be modified to achieve a desired strength, rigidity and/or flexibility of a shankboard 100. It is also important to note, that other strengthening structures 200 are possible consistent with embodiments of the present invention to achieve a desired strength, rigidity, and/or flexibility of a shankboard 100. For example, without limitation, the non- exhaustive exemplary strengthening structures 200 having the geometries illustrated in Figs. 5A through 5D are possible consisten with embodiments of the present disclosure.

[0038] As discussed above, the shankboard 100 of the present disclosure is not limited for use with a particular type of shoe (or other footwear). Similarly, the shankboard 100 of the present disclosure is also not limited for use with a particular type of lasting method. For example, consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure, a board lasting method (Fig. 6 A), strobel lasting method (Fig. 6B), and a board-strobel combination lasting method (Fig. 6C), and the like, may be used with the shankboard 100 of the present disclosure.

[0039] As shown in Fig. 7, and as discussed above, a shankboard 100 of the present disclosure may be one of several components used to construct a shoe (or other footwear) 400. For example, the exemplary shoe 400 of Fig. 7 includes an upper 410, footbed (or sock liner) 412, midsole 414, outsole 416, and a shankboard 100 consistent with embodiments of the present disclosure disposed between the footbed (or sock linker) 412 and the midsole 414. By using the shankboard 100 of the present disclosure, more lightweight, thin and/or flexible shoes may be constructed without compromising strength, stability or durability.

[0040] Persons of ordinary skill in the art may appreciate that numerous design configurations may be possible to enjoy the functional benefits of the inventive systems. Thus, given the wide variety of configurations and arrangements of embodiments of the present disclosure, the scope of the invention is reflected by the breadth of the claims below rather than narrowed by the embodiments described above. Moreover, any element in a claim that does not explicitly state “means for” performing a specified function, or “step for” performing a specified function, is not to be interpreted as a “means” or “step” clause as specified in 35 U.S.C. In particular, any use of “step of’ in the claims is not intended to invoke the provision of 35 U.S.C.