NIKE has filed a patent for a device designed to make it easier to put on shoes. The device consists of a control bar and a base, with the control bar having a center segment and two side arms. The control bar is elastically bendable and stores potential energy, allowing it to return to its original position after being bent. The device is intended to surround the heel region of a shoe and assist with foot entry into the shoe. GlobalData’s report on NIKE gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on NIKE, AI-assisted fitness tracking was a key innovation area identified from patents. NIKE's grant share as of September 2023 was 76%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

A device for easing foot entry into footwear

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: NIKE Inc

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230309655A1) describes a device designed to ease foot entry into the heel region of a shoe. The device consists of a control bar and a base, with the control bar having a center segment, a medial side arm, and a lateral side arm. The base is connected to the control bar at the forward portions of the medial and lateral side arms and extends transversely under the foot-receiving cavity.

The first claim states that the device is a single, unitary, one-piece component, indicating that it is designed to be a seamless part of the shoe. The second claim specifies that the base extends rearward from the junction of the control bar, and the fourth claim adds that the base tapers in width as it extends rearward. This design feature may provide additional support and stability to the foot.

The sixth claim states that the base can extend both forward and rearward from the junction of the control bar, potentially allowing for a more versatile and adaptable design. The seventh claim describes different configurations for the base, including forward and rearward-extending protrusions and a notch in the rear edge of the base.

The twelfth claim highlights the resilience of the device, stating that the medial and lateral side arms can bend to a loaded position when a downward force is applied to the center segment, storing potential energy that returns the control bar to an unloaded position when the force is removed. This feature may enhance comfort and ease of use for the wearer.

The patent also includes claims related to an article of footwear incorporating the device. The fourteenth claim describes an article of footwear with a control bar and base connected to the footwear upper, with the base extending transversely under the foot-receiving cavity. The sixteenth claim mentions the possibility of the base extending both forward and rearward from the junction of the control bar.

Overall, this patent describes a device and its application in footwear to facilitate foot entry into the heel region. The device is designed to be a single, unitary component and offers various configurations and features to enhance comfort and functionality.

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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.