ASICS has filed a patent for a shoe sole with a shock absorber that buckles under compressive force. The shock absorber is designed to start buckling when the stress is between 0.15 MPa and 0.80 MPa, and the strain is between 10% and 60%. The maximum stress until a specific time point is 0.80 MPa or less, and the tangential elastic modulus is 5.00 MPa or less. The shoe sole has a three-dimensional shape with a wall defined by parallel flat or curved surfaces. GlobalData’s report on ASICS gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on ASICS, footwear 3D Printing was a key innovation area identified from patents. ASICS's grant share as of September 2023 was 46%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

The patent filed is for a shoe sole with a buckling shock absorber

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: ASICS Corp

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230309652A1) describes a shoe sole with a unique shock absorber design. The shoe sole has a bottom surface for ground contact and a top surface opposite to it. The shock absorber within the sole has a three-dimensional shape defined by a wall with parallel flat or curved surfaces. When the shock absorber receives compressive force in the normal direction, it is designed to buckle.

The patent claims that when a load is gradually applied to the shoe sole, causing compressive force on the shock absorber, it will start to buckle when the stress within the absorber is between 0.15 MPa and 0.80 MPa, and the strain in the normal direction is between 10% and 60%. Additionally, the maximum stress occurring in the shock absorber until a specific time point, where the strain energy density reaches 0.157 J/cm3, is 0.80 MPa or less. The tangential elastic modulus of the shock absorber at this specific time point is 5.00 MPa or less.

The patent also mentions various configurations for the placement of the shock absorber within the shoe sole. It can be located in the portion supporting the heel, hypothenar, or ball of the foot. The shock absorber can be made up of a three-dimensional structure consisting of unit structure bodies arranged in a regular and continuous manner. These unit structure bodies can have a Kelvin, octet, cubic, or cubic-octet structure. Alternatively, the shock absorber can be made up of a structure unit with a Schwartz P, gyroid, or Schwartz D structure.

The shoe sole may also include a midsole made of a less rigid material than the shock absorber, with an outsole covering the lower surface of the midsole. In some embodiments, a highly rigid plate is embedded in the midsole, intersecting with the normal direction. The shock absorber is embedded in the midsole, with its upper surface defining the top surface and its lower surface reaching the highly rigid plate or the outsole.

Overall, this patent describes a shoe sole with a unique shock absorber design that allows for controlled buckling under compressive force. The various configurations and structures mentioned provide flexibility in the placement and composition of the shock absorber within the sole.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.