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Número de publicaciónUS20130283644 A1
Tipo de publicaciónSolicitud
Número de solicitudUS 13/456,093
Fecha de publicación31 Oct 2013
Fecha de presentación25 Abr 2012
Fecha de prioridad25 Abr 2012
Número de publicación13456093, 456093, US 2013/0283644 A1, US 2013/283644 A1, US 20130283644 A1, US 20130283644A1, US 2013283644 A1, US 2013283644A1, US-A1-20130283644, US-A1-2013283644, US2013/0283644A1, US2013/283644A1, US20130283644 A1, US20130283644A1, US2013283644 A1, US2013283644A1
InventoresEduardo Quiroz Ramirez
Cesionario originalEduardo Quiroz Ramirez
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Shoe pivot reduction device
US 20130283644 A1
Resumen
A gripping device is provided for increasing traction in a shoe. In one embodiment, the gripping device includes a first arcuate surface having an inner row of teeth extending generally in a first direction, wherein the arcuate surface is configured to generally extend along an outer contour of the shoe. The gripping device further includes a second arcuate surface having an outer row of teeth extending outward from the first arcuate surface, the inner row of teeth and the outer row of teeth forming a generally V-shaped channel therebetween having an acute angle. The gripping device also includes a plurality of attachment tabs on the first arcuate surface and extending generally in a second direction opposite the first direction.
Imágenes(8)
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Reclamaciones(15)
What is claimed is:
1. A gripping device for increasing traction in a shoe the gripping device comprising:
a first arcuate surface having an inner row of teeth extending generally in a first direction, wherein the arcuate surface is configured to generally extend along an outer contour of the shoe;
a second arcuate surface having an outer row of teeth extending outward from the first arcuate surface, the inner row of teeth and the outer row of teeth forming a generally V-shaped channel therebetween having an acute angle; and
a plurality of attachment tabs on the first arcuate surface and extending generally in a second direction opposite the first direction.
2. The gripping device of claim 1, wherein at least one of the plurality of attachment tabs has an opening configured to receive an attachment mechanism for securing the gripping device to the shoe.
3. The gripping device of claim 1, wherein the inner row of teeth are substantially triangular.
4. The gripping device of claim 1, wherein the inner row of teeth are angled toward a rear end of the gripping device.
5. The gripping device of claim 1, further comprising a pivot on a rear end of the gripping device.
6. The gripping device of claim 1, wherein the gripping device comprises acetal plastic.
7. The gripping device of claim 1, wherein each tooth of the inner row of teeth substantially overlaps with a tooth of the outer row of teeth.
8. The gripping device of claim 1, wherein the first arcuate surface is flexible.
9. The gripping device of claim 1, further comprising notches formed between the attachment tabs, wherein the inner row of teeth and the outer row of teeth substantially overlap with the notches.
10. The gripping device of claim 1, wherein the opening in each of the attachment tabs are elongated slots.
11. A shoe assembly configured to reduce pivot comprising:
a shoe having a sole; and
a gripping device on the shoe, the gripping device comprising:
a first arcuate surface having an inner row of teeth extending generally in a first direction and protruding past the sole; and
a second arcuate surface having an outer row of teeth, the second arcuate surface extending outward from the first arcuate surface, the outer row of teeth protruding past the sole.
12. The assembly of claim 11, further comprising:
a plurality of attachment tabs on the first arcuate surface and extending generally in a second direction opposite the first direction; and
an attachment mechanism connecting the gripping device to the shoe.
13. The assembly of claim 12, wherein the attachment mechanism securing the gripping device to the shoe comprises a strap.
14. The assembly of claim 12, wherein the attachment mechanism securing the gripping device to the shoe comprises a plurality of fasteners.
15. The assembly of claim 12, wherein the attachment mechanism securing the gripping device to the shoe comprises a bonding agent.
Descripción
  • [0001]
    TECHNICAL FIELD
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates generally to shoes, and more particularly to golf shoes.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    Cleated shoes are commonly worn during activities that require increased traction, such as football, soccer, and golf. Conventional cleated shoes, however, are not specifically configured to prevent the user's foot from rotating, specifically abducting (i.e., pivoting outward) and supinating (i.e., rolling outward). Rotation of a golfer's front foot during his/her downswing may result in an undesirable trajectory of the ball (e.g., slicing or hooking of the ball). Additionally, it is inconvenient and time consuming for users to adjust the configuration of conventional cleated shoes because each individual cleat must be separately removed and then replaced by a cleat with the desired configuration.
  • [0004]
    As such, there is a need for a device configured to connect to a golf shoe and which minimizes, or at least reduces, the degree that the user's front foot pivots during the downstroke of his/her swing. Additionally, there is a need for a pivot reduction device which is easily and quickly interchangeable and adjustable.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0005]
    The present invention is directed to a gripping device configured to increase the traction of a user's shoe and thereby reduce the degree that the user's foot abducts and supinates during certain activities, such as golfing. According to an embodiment of the present invention, the gripping device includes a first arcuate surface having an inner row of teeth extending generally in a first direction, wherein the arcuate surface is configured to generally extend along an outer contour of the shoe. The assembly also includes a second arcuate surface having an outer row of teeth extending outward from the first arcuate surface. In one embodiment, the inner row of teeth and the outer row of teeth protrude past a sole of the shoe to which the gripping device is configured to attach. The inner row of teeth and the outer row of teeth form a generally V-shaped channel therebetween having an acute angle. Additionally, in one embodiment, the gripping device includes a plurality of attachment tabs formed on the first arcuate surface and extending generally in a second direction opposite the first direction. The attachment tabs are provided to receive an attachment mechanism securing the gripping device to the user's shoe. In one embodiment, the attachment mechanism comprises a strap. In another embodiment, the attachment mechanism comprises a plurality of fasteners. In yet another embodiment, the attachment mechanism comprises a bonding agent. In a further embodiment, the gripping device may be integrated with the sole of the shoe. In one embodiment, at least one of the plurality of attachment tabs has an opening, such as an elongated slot, configured to receive the attachment mechanism securing the gripping device to the shoe. In a further embodiment, the inner row of teeth are substantially triangular. In yet another embodiment, the inner row of teeth are angled toward a rear end of the gripping device. In another embodiment, each tooth of the inner row of teeth substantially overlaps with a tooth of the outer row of teeth. In yet another embodiment, the gripping device includes notches formed between the attachment tabs, wherein the inner row of teeth and the outer row of teeth substantially overlap with the notches.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0006]
    These and other features and advantages of the present invention will be better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
  • [0007]
    FIGS. 1A and 1B are perspective views of an embodiment of the pivot reduction device attached to a shoe with fasteners and straps, respectively;
  • [0008]
    FIG. 1C is a perspective view of an embodiment of the pivot reduction device integrated with the sole of a shoe;
  • [0009]
    FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the pivot reduction device having two rows of elongated slots;
  • [0010]
    FIG. 3 is a left side view of an embodiment of the pivot reduction device;
  • [0011]
    FIG. 4 is a right side view of the embodiment of the pivot reduction device shown in FIG. 3;
  • [0012]
    FIG. 5A is a bottom view of an embodiment of the pivot reduction device;
  • [0013]
    FIG. 5B is a bottom view of the embodiment of the pivot reduction device of FIG. 5A, showing the user's foot in an abducted position;
  • [0014]
    FIG. 6A is a cross-section view of the embodiment in FIG. 5A; and
  • [0015]
    FIG. 6B is a cross-section view of the embodiment in FIG. 5A, showing the user's foot in a supinated position
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0016]
    The present invention relates generally to shoes, and more particularly to a device for reducing rotation in a golf shoe during the golfer's swing, particularly during the downswing. The present invention may be used as a training tool for amateur golfers or may be used as standard equipment by more experienced golfers. In general, the assembly is configured to be secured to the outside surface of the shoe corresponding to the golfer's lead or front foot. In the illustrated embodiments, the device is shown attached to a left shoe, which corresponds to the lead foot of a right-handed golfer. Embodiments of the present invention, however, can be adapted for use on either a left shoe or a right shoe. The assembly is configured to minimize, or at least reduce the degree that the golfer's front foot abducts (i.e., pivots outward) and supinates (i.e., rolls outward) during the downswing of his/her golf swing. The assembly is also configured to be quickly interchangeable such the user can easily attach the assembly before use and remove the assembly from his/her shoe after use. The assembly is also flexible such that the assembly adapted to generally fit the contour of any standard pair of shoes. The position of the assembly relative to the shoe is also adjustable. As will be appreciated, embodiments of the present invention can be used on cleated golf spikes or regular athletic shoes or other shoes that are not cleated.
  • [0017]
    In the illustrated embodiments shown in FIGS. 1A-1C, the assembly 10 comprises a gripping device 11 and an attachment mechanism 12, 112 for securing the gripping device 11 to a shoe 13. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1A, the assembly 10 is secured to the shoe 13 by means of a plurality of fasteners 14 (e.g., ranging between about two and six), such as button head screws or rivets. In this disclosed embodiment, the fasteners 14 extend through attachment tabs 20 formed in the gripping device 11 and extend into a side of the sole 15 or lower portion of the shoe 13.
  • [0018]
    In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1B, the assembly 10 is secured to the shoe 13 by means of a strap 16, such as a hook-and-loop type strap or a strap having button snaps. The strap 16 may be formed from any suitable material, for instance, nylon, polypropylene, cotton, or an elastic polymer. In this disclosed embodiment, a single strap 16 may be wrapped around the shoe 13 multiple times or multiple straps 16 may be wrapped around the shoe 13 a single time to secure the gripping device 11 to the shoe 13. In general, the number of times the strap 16 is wrapped around the shoe 13, or the number of straps 16 that are used generally corresponds to the number of attachment tabs 20 formed in the gripping device 11, as described in detail below. However, as will be appreciated, a single strap 16 wrapped a single time around the shoe may be sufficient to hold the gripping device 11 in place.
  • [0019]
    In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1C, the assembly 10 is integrated with the sole 15 of the shoe 13 (i.e., the gripping device 11 is formed as an integrated part of the shoe 13 during production of the sole 15 of the shoe 13). The gripping device 11 may alternately be secured to the shoe 13 by any other suitable means, such as adhering or bonding. The gripping device 11 may also be integrated into a spandex sock which is configured to slip over the proximal end of the user's shoe 13.
  • [0020]
    With continued reference to the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B, the plurality of attachment tabs 20 (e.g., ranging between about two and five) formed on the gripping device 11 extend upward and away from an inner row 21 and an outer row of teeth 22. The attachment tabs 20 are provided to receive the attachment mechanism 12 (e.g., fasteners 14 or straps 16) and thereby secure the gripping device 11 to the user's shoe 13. The attachment tabs 20 are formed on an arcuate surface 17 configured to rest flush or extend generally against a contoured outer surface 23 of the sole 15 when the gripping device 11 is secured to the shoe 13, as shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B. In one embodiment, the gripping device 11 is comprised of a flexible material such that the gripping device 11 can be contoured to match the contoured outer surface 23 of any average or standard size shoe 13. The thickness of the attachment tabs 20 may be less than about 0.25-inch, and in embodiments, between about 0.06-inch and 0.15-inch, and specifically about 0.10-inch. The thickness of the attachment tabs 20, however, may vary depending upon the material from which the attachment tabs 20 are formed.
  • [0021]
    With continued reference to FIGS. 1A and 1B, notches 24 are formed between adjacent attachment tabs 20. The notches 24 extend downward from an upper portion 25 of the gripping device 11 such that the gripping device 11 has a scalloped profile. In one embodiment, the notches 24 extend below the attachment mechanism 12 securing the gripping device 11 to the shoe 13. In the illustrated embodiment, the notches 24 are substantially U-shaped, although the notches 24 may be any other suitable shape, for instance, trapezoidal or V-shaped. The notches 24 formed between the attachment tabs 20 provide added flexibility to the gripping device 11 such that the user can easily bend the gripping device 11 to generally match the contoured outer surface 23 of the shoe 13. In the illustrated embodiment, the attachment tabs 20 have a wider lower portion 26 which tapers to a narrower upper portion 27. In the disclosed embodiments, the notches 24 are approximately four times narrower than the width of the attachment tabs 20, although the notches 24 may be wider than the attachment tabs 20 and still fall within the scope and spirit of the present invention. In general, wider notches 24 provide the gripping device 11 with greater flexibility. Additionally, in the disclosed embodiment, each of the three attachment tabs 20 are substantially the same size and shape. Although the gripping device 11 has been described with reference to a plurality of attachment tabs 20, in the embodiments in which the gripping device 11 is bonded or adhered to the shoe 13, or the embodiment in which the gripping device 11 is integrated with the sole 15 of the shoe 13, the gripping device 11 may be provided without attachment tabs 20 or with only a single attachment tab.
  • [0022]
    With continued reference to the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B, each of the attachment tabs 20 contains an opening 30, such as an elongated slot 31, configured to receive the attachment mechanism 12 securing the gripping device 11 to the shoe 13. In the illustrated embodiments, the elongated slots 31 are oriented lengthwise along the length of the gripping device 11 (i.e., the lengthwise direction of the elongated slots 31 are oriented substantially horizontally when the gripping device 11 is attached to the shoe 13). In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1A, the elongated slots 31 are configured to receive the plurality of fasteners 14. In this disclosed embodiment, the height of the elongated slots 31 is configured such that the heads of the fasteners 14 securing the gripping device 11 to the shoe 13 extend over the peripheral edges 32 of the elongated slots 31 (i.e., the height of the slots 31 is shorter than the diameter of the heads of the fasteners 14 securing the gripping device 11 to the shoe 13, as shown in FIG. 1A). Moreover, in this disclosed embodiment, the elongated slots 31 permit the fore and aft adjustment (arrow 33) of the gripping device 11 along the length of the shoe 13. In use, the user may loosen the fasteners 14 securing the gripping device 11 to the shoe 13, and then slide (arrow 33) the gripping device 11 either distally or proximally into a desired translational position. The user then re-tightens the fasteners 14 to lock the gripping device 11 into the desired position. This adjustability permits the user to select the desired position of the gripping device 11 to suit the user's individual preference. In general, the closer the gripping device 11 is located towards the front end of the shoe, the less the user's foot is permitted to rotate.
  • [0023]
    In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1B, the slots 31 formed in the attachment tabs 20 are configured to receive the strap 16. In one embodiment, the width of the strap 16 is substantially equal to the width of the elongated slots 16. In this embodiment, the user may position the gripping device 11 by loosening the straps 16, sliding the assembly 10 into the desired position along the shoe 13, and then re-tightening the straps 16 to secure the gripping device 11 in the desired position. In an alternate embodiment, the elongated slots 16 are substantially wider than the width of the strap(s) 16 to permit the user to adjust (arrow 33) the fore and aft position of the gripping device 11 along the length of the shoe 13, as described above.
  • [0024]
    Referring now to the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2, each of the attachment tabs 20 include two elongated slots, an upper slot 35 and a lower slot 36, for receiving an attachment mechanism 12 securing the gripping device 11 to the shoe 13. In this disclosed embodiment, the two elongated slots 35 and 36 may be located in parallel. Providing two rows of elongates slots 35, 36 per attachment tab 20 may permit the user to more securely attach the gripping device 11 to the shoe 13. Providing two rows of elongated slots 35, 36 also permits the user to select the appropriate row (upper row 35 or lower row 36) given the configuration of the shoe 13 (i.e., the two rows of slots 35, 36 adapt the gripping device 11 to attach to shoes 13 with a variety of different configurations). For instance, if the sole 15 of the shoe 13 is relatively thick, the user may select to use the upper row of slots 35 to secure the gripping device 11 to the shoe 13, which would permit the gripping device 11 to attach lower on the shoe, and thereby ensure that the inner and outer row of teeth 21 and 22, respectively, extend below the thick sole 15 of the shoe 13 and engage the ground.
  • [0025]
    Although the openings 30 formed in the gripping device 11 have been described with reference to horizontal elongated slots 31, the gripping device 11 may have openings 30 with other shapes and orientations and still fall within the scope and spirit of the present invention. For instance, in an alternate embodiment, the gripping device 11 may have vertical slots, in place of or in addition to, the elongated horizontal slots 31. Vertical slots would permit the user to vertically adjust the gripping device 11 and thereby raise the inner and outer rows of teeth 21 and 22, respectively, off the ground when not in use. That is, the vertical slots permit the user to adjust the gripping device 11 between an engaged position and a stored position off the ground. Otherwise, the gripping device 11 may be subject to premature wear if the teeth contact the ground when the user is engaged in an activity that does not require additional traction. In use, the user may loosen the attachment mechanism 12 (e.g., the fasteners 14) and then adjust the gripping device 11 upward to prevent the teeth from engaging the ground when the user is not engaged in an activity that requires increased traction. Then, when the user is ready to engage in the activity, the user adjusts the gripping device 11 downward until the teeth are in contact with the ground. The user then retightens the attachment mechanism 12 to secure the gripping device 11 in the engaged position. Additionally, the openings 30 formed in the attachment tabs 20 may be other shapes, such as key-hole shaped or circular and still fall within the scope and spirit of the present invention.
  • [0026]
    With reference now to the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, the inner row of teeth 21 and the outer row of teeth 22 extend downward from the gripping device 11. In one embodiment, when the gripping device 11 is attached to the shoe 13, at least some of the inner and outer row of teeth 21 and 22, respectively, are configured to extend below (i.e., protrude from) a bottom surface 37 (FIGS. 1A-1C) of the sole 15 of the shoe 13 and thereby engage the surface on which the bottom surface of the sole 15 is resting. It will be appreciated that, in another embodiment, some or all of the teeth of the inner and outer rows 21, 22 do not protrude past the bottom surface 27 when the user's foot is generally flat on the ground, but rather are raised from the ground and are configured to only contact the ground if the user's foot is supinated. As such, the user may be able to walk across concrete or other hard surfaces without affecting the teeth or the user's ability to walk normally. In the illustrated embodiment, the inner row of teeth 21 is formed on the first arcuate surface 17 (i.e., the inner row of teeth 21 is formed on the same surface 17 as the attachment tabs 20) such that a portion of the inner row of teeth 21 is configured to rest flush or extend generally against the contoured outer surface 23 of the sole 15 of the shoe 13 when the gripping device 11 is secured to the shoe 13. The outer row of teeth 22 is formed on a second arcuate surface 38. In one embodiment, the second arcuate surface 38 is canted outward from the first arcuate surface 17 on which the inner row of teeth 21 is formed. Specifically, the outer row of teeth 22 may thus extend outward from the inner row of teeth 21 at an acute angle θ (e.g., ranging between about 10° and 45°).
  • [0027]
    Referring now to the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4, the inner row 21 is comprised of a plurality of teeth (e.g., ranging between about two and six) spanning from a distal end 61 of the gripping device 11 nearest the back end of the shoe 13 to a proximal end 62 of the gripping device 11 nearest the front end of the shoe 13. Specifically, in the disclosed embodiment, the inner row of teeth 21 is comprised of a single distal tooth 41 and two pairs of teeth 42, 43 proximal to the distal tooth 41. The pairs of teeth 42, 43 taper from a wider upper portion 44 to a narrower lower portion 45. In the illustrated embodiment, the teeth forming the two pairs of teeth 42, 43 are substantially triangular such that the teeth form a point on their narrower lower portion 45. In the disclosed embodiment, the pairs of teeth 42, 43 are angled distally (e.g., ranging between about 15° and 60°) such that the teeth form an angle a with a vertical reference line shown in FIG. 4, although it will be appreciated that the pairs of teeth 42, 43 may also be angled proximally or not at all. Moreover, in the disclosed embodiment, the teeth forming the pairs of teeth 42, 43 are interconnected by a fillet 60, although the teeth forming the pairs of teeth 42, 43 may alternately be spaced apart by a predetermined distance. The two pairs of teeth 42, 43 are configured to dig into the surface on which the user is standing and thereby provide a force which resists the user's foot from abducting (arrow 66 in FIG. 5B) and supinating (arrow 65 in FIG. 6B), such as during the golfer's downswing. Although the two pairs of teeth 42, 43 have been described in reference to a triangular shape, the two pairs of teeth 42, 43 may alternately be formed from any other shape suitable for engaging the ground, for instance, trapezoidal or crescent-shaped. In contrast to the two pairs of teeth 42, 43 in the illustrated embodiment, the distal tooth 41 is substantially rectangular such that a lower portion of the distal tooth 41 is flat, the significance of which is explained below.
  • [0028]
    Referring now to the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3, the outer row of teeth 22 is comprised of a plurality of teeth (e.g., ranging between about two and four) spanning between the distal end 61 and the proximal end 62 of the gripping device 11. The outer row of teeth 22 is formed on the second arcuate surface 38, described above. In the illustrated embodiment, the outer row of teeth 22 comprises a distal tooth 47, a proximal tooth 48 near the proximal end 62 of the gripping device 11, and two central teeth 49, 50 located between the distal tooth 47 and the proximal tooth 48. The teeth 47, 48, 49, and 50 formed on the outer row 22 extend downward toward the ground when the gripping device 11 is connected to a shoe 13. In one embodiment, the teeth 47, 48, 49, and 50 formed on the outer row 22 are substantially equidistant to each other (i.e., the distance between adjacent teeth is constant). Moreover, the central teeth 49, 50 formed on the outer row 22 are substantially aligned with the two pairs of teeth 42, 43 formed on the inner row 21. In an alternate embodiment, the central teeth 49, 50 formed on the outer row 22 may be arranged in a staggered configuration relative to the two pairs of teeth 42, 43 formed on the inner row 21. Additionally, in the illustrated embodiment, the width of the central teeth 49, 50 is substantially equal to the width of the two pairs of teeth 42, 43 formed on the inner row 21. In one embodiment, the thickness of the teeth formed on the inner row 21 is substantially equal to the thickness of the attachment tabs 20.
  • [0029]
    With continued reference to FIG. 3, the teeth 47, 48, 49, and 50 are separated by trapezoidal notches 46 formed in the second arcuate surface 38. The central teeth 49, 50 are formed from substantially trapezoidal protrusions having a forward edge 51, a lower edge 52, and a rear edge 53. The rear edges 53 of the central teeth 49, 50 are angled distally (i.e., a lower portion of the rear edge 53 is distal to an upper portion of the rear edge 53). The angle formed between the rear edges 53 and the lower edges 52 of the central teeth 49, 50 may be less than about 90°, in one embodiment between about 15° and 60°, and specifically about 45°. Angling the rear edges 53 of the central teeth 49, 50 distally enables the teeth 49, 50 to dig into the surface on which the user is standing and thereby provide a force which resists the user's foot from abducting (arrow 66 in FIG. 5B) and supinating (arrow 65 in FIG. 6B). In the illustrated embodiment, the lower edges 52 of the central teeth 49, 50 are substantially parallel to the ground when the gripping device 11 is installed on the shoe 13, the significance of which is described below. In the illustrated embodiment, the proximal tooth 48 formed on the outer row 22 is substantially narrower than the central teeth 49, 50. In an alternate embodiment, the proximal tooth 48 may be substantially the same width as the central teeth 49, 50. Similar to the central teeth 49, 50 described above, a rear edge 55 of the proximal tooth 48 is angled distally such that the proximal tooth 48 is configured to dig into the ground.
  • [0030]
    With continued reference to the embodiments shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the two pairs of teeth 42, 43 formed on the inner row 21 and the central teeth 49, 50 formed on the outer row 22 are substantially aligned with the notches 24 formed between the attachment tabs 20. Aligning the teeth 42, 43, 49, and 50 with the notches 24 between the attachment tabs 20 increases the structural integrity of the gripping device 11. Otherwise, aligning the notches 24 between the attachment tabs 20 with the notches 46 between the teeth 42, 43, 49, and 50 may substantially weaken the gripping device 11.
  • [0031]
    With continued reference to FIGS. 3 and 4, the teeth formed on the inner row 21 extend below the teeth 47, 48, 49, and 50 formed on the outer row 22. Accordingly, the inner teeth are configured to engage the surface on which the user is standing before the outer teeth 47, 48, 49, and 50. In one embodiment, the outer teeth 47, 48, 49, and 50 engage the ground once the user's foot begins to supinate (arrow 65 in FIG. 6B). The flat lower edges 52 of the central teeth 49, 50 are configured to resist the user's foot from supinating (arrow 65 in FIG. 6B) beyond a predetermined degree. The degree that the user's foot is permitted to supinate is a function of the angle θ formed between the outer row of teeth 22 and the inner row of teeth 21 and the amount that that inner row of teeth 21 extends below the outer row of teeth 22, as shown in FIGS. 6A and 6B. In general, the greater the angle θ formed between the outer row of teeth 22 and the inner row of teeth 21, and the farther the inner row of teeth 21 extends below the outer row of teeth 22, the greater the amount the user's foot is permitted to supinate (arrow 65 in FIG. 6B).
  • [0032]
    As described above, both the inner row 21 and the outer row of teeth 22 include a single distal tooth 41 and 47, respectively. Together, the distal tooth 47 on the outer row 22 and the distal tooth 41 on the inner row 21 form a pivot, as shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B. The pivot is configured to permit a small degree of abduction (arrow 66) in the user's foot before the teeth dig into the ground and resist further rotation. That is, the user's foot is permitted to rotate a nominal amount about the pivot, such as during the downswing of a golf stroke, before the teeth engage the ground and resist further abduction of the user's foot. The degree that the user's foot is permitted to abduct is a function of the number, shape, and size of the teeth. In general, the greater the number of teeth formed on the gripping device 11, the less the user's foot is permitted to abduct (arrow 66).
  • [0033]
    With continued reference to FIGS. 5A-6B, the angle θ between the inner row of teeth 21 and outer row of teeth 22 forms a V-shaped channel 40 between the inner row and outer row of teeth 21, 22. The V-shaped channel 40 is configured to provide added flexural strength to the assembly 10. Otherwise, a single row of teeth might be susceptible to breaking under the forces supplied by the user's rotating foot. The V-shaped channel 40 is also configured to permit the outer row of teeth 22 to elastically deform a predetermined amount toward the inner row of teeth 21. As the user's foot begins to abduct (arrow 66 in FIG. 5B) and supinate (arrow 65 in FIG. 6B), such as during the golfer's downswing, the ground supplies a transverse force (arrow 58) against the outer row of teeth 22 which tends to cause the outer row of teeth 22 to deflect inward and thereby narrow the V-shaped channel 40. If the transverse load (arrow 58) applied to the outer row of teeth 22 is sufficient to completely close the channel 40, the inner row of teeth 21 will provide additional support which resists the outer row of teeth 22 from deflecting inward beyond its elastic point. After the transverse force (arrow 58) is removed, such as when the user completes his golf swing, the outer row of teeth 22 will return to its original neutral position.
  • [0034]
    The gripping device 11 may be made of any suitably strong and flexible material, such as but not limited to acetal plastic, thermoplastic polyurethane, aluminum alloy, or carbon fiber reinforced plastic. In one embodiment, the gripping device 11 is made of a transparent material, which facilitates proper alignment of the gripping device 11 with the sole 15 of the shoe 13. The gripping device 11 may be formed from any suitable process, such as liquid injection molding, milling, composite layering, or rapid prototyping using additive manufacturing.
  • [0035]
    In use, the user selects the gripping device 11 with the desired configuration based upon the configuration of the user's shoes 13 and the desired performance characteristics (e.g., gripping force and flexibility of the gripping device 11). The user then positions the gripping device 11 along the user's lead shoe 13 (i.e., the user's left shoe for a right-handed golfer) and secures the gripping device 11 to the user's lead shoe 13 with the attachment mechanism 12 (e.g., fasteners 14, straps 16, or adhesive). If necessary, the user may adjust the position of the gripping device 11 by loosening the attachment mechanism 12 and then sliding the gripping device 11 into the desired position. In one embodiment, the user may adjust the vertical position of the gripping device 11 until the inner row 21 and outer row of teeth 22 are raised off the ground in stored position. When the user is ready to engage in the activity which requires increased traction, the user may then lower the gripping device 11 until the inner row of teeth 21 engage the ground. The user then tightens the attachment mechanism 12 to lock the gripping device 11 into the engaged position before engaging in the activity.
  • [0036]
    Although the present invention has been described in reference to use during golf, the present invention is also adapted for alternate uses, such as to provide added traction during mountain climbing or rock climbing. In the embodiment where the assembly is used for rock climbing or mounting climbing, a pair of assemblies 10 may be provided such that one assembly 10 is installed per shoe 13. Alternatively, four assemblies 10 may be provided such that the interior and exterior sides of both shoes 13 are fitted with an assembly 10.
  • [0037]
    While this invention has been described in detail with particular references to exemplary embodiments thereof, the exemplary embodiments described herein are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the scope of the invention to the exact forms disclosed. Persons skilled in the art and technology to which this invention pertains will appreciate that alterations and changes in the described structures and methods of assembly and operation can be practiced without meaningfully departing from the principles, spirit, and scope of this invention, as set forth in the following claims. Although relative terms such as “outer,” “inner,” “upper,” “lower,” “below,” “above,” “distal, “proximal” and similar terms have been used herein to describe a spatial relationship of one element to another, it is understood that these terms are intended to encompass different orientations of the various elements and components of the device in addition to the orientation depicted in the figures. Moreover, the figures contained in this application are not necessarily drawn to scale.
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Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.36/127
Clasificación internacionalA43C15/00
Clasificación cooperativaA43B5/001, A43C15/02