Perhaps I jumped the gun a bit with my prior post titled “Would These Shoes Have Saved Tiger’s Knee,” because recently a patent was granted on a pair of golf shoes that would have surely prevented the injury! Maybe? OK, I doubt it!
The patent is USPN 7549239 titled “Sports Shoe Having Movable Ground Engaging Elements” and discloses the following golf shoes.
The patent explains:
When driving the ball, especially when teeing-off, the player’s trunk and waist should ideally rotate about a stationary axis which should coincide with the player’s spinal column. The player should swing the golf club in upward direction, then back and in downward direction, forwards and through the position of the ball, and should finally continue the swinging movement in the direction of the envisaged target, while rotating his trunk and waist, and terminate the movement in a posture in which his breast and his pelvis are turned in the direction in which the golf ball flies. At the end of the swinging movement, the player’s posture should be such that he looks in the direction of his target, with his breast and pelvis facing the target, while his left foot–if he is a right-hander–remains standing in its original direction, crosswise to the finishing line, but is clearly bent over in the direction of the target, so that the outer edge of the user’s left foot points toward the ground and the inner edge of his left foot is lifted off, while his right foot has been turned into the direction of his target with the heel lifted high up from the ground. For a left-handed player, the roles of his left and right foot, respectively, are reversed so that the left foot is bent over and his right heel is lifted off the ground. During the driving movement, the player’s body is subjected to heavy torsion, which propagates from the foot to the top of his spinal column and which strains his ligaments and joints. It is for this reason that golfers, especially players who practice their sport frequently and who are or not so thoroughly trained and/or have already reached a certain age–this is almost the rule with golfers–frequently suffer from strain, overstretching, tenseness, dislocation and/or pain in the region of their back and their legs. A golf shoe known from DE 100 30 917 A1, provided with a twisting plate with spikes on its heel portion, is likewise not capable of preventing these effects.
Now it is the object of the present invention to open up a way how to mitigate the strain and damaging effects on players’ bodies that occur as a result of the unnatural swinging movements performed when driving the golf ball.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
This object is achieved by a sports shoe having the features defined in the claims.
While the invention will be described hereafter only with reference to a right-handed person, the explanations given apply to left-handed persons correspondingly.
When a golfer–a right-hander–wears a conventional golf shoe his left foot, which has the function to provide the necessary stability during swinging movements, cannot follow that movement because the spikes have dug into the ground or the turf. On the other hand, however, it is not possible for the golfer to lift his left foot during the swinging movement and to turn it into the swinging plane in the same was as his right foot, as the player would then loose his hold under the momentum of the movement, and would fall over forwards.
The situation is absolutely different when a sports shoe according to the invention is used: While the spikes of a sports shoe according to the invention will likewise dig into the ground, the shoe still has the capability to turn from the starting position about a limited angle into the targeted direction because the spikes are guided along an arc of a circle, preferably due to the fact that the spikes are provided on one or more movable supports that are guided and held by guide means that either have the shape of, or guide the spikes along, an arc of a circle. Consequently, the shoe is capable of rotating correspondingly relative to the spikes while the latter remain anchored in the ground. The turning movement of the left shoe occurs without the golfer’s stability being endangered, as the spikes of the left shoe remain stuck in the ground during the turning movement provoked by the swinging movement.
The invention offers important advantages: Torsion of the body, the waist, the knee and ankle joints during the swinging movement is reduced. Even if the torsion angle is reduced by a few degrees only, this already brings great relief and alleviation to the player, as in the case of conventional golf shoes the turning movement gets ever harder as the turning angle increases and because the last degrees of the turning movement are the hardest and the most straining for the body and mark, or even exceed the upper limits of what many players can stand. A little less torsion therefore already means that the player’s ligaments are no longer overstretched by the turning movement and that his joints are no longer overstrained. The risk of injury is greatly reduced, especially in the region of the spinal column and in the region of the ankle and knee joints. The risk of luxation, or even of a prolapse of a disk, is considerably reduced. The player’s stability is increased in the final phase of the swinging movement as the golfer’s weight is shifted from its outer edge to the forefoot during the turning movement of the shoe. The forefoot is that part of the foot by which a swinging movement can be balanced out most easily and safely. Playing golf is rendered less tiring and strenuous. Surprisingly, a considerable increase in precision is observed in the driving of golf balls. Although this result is unexpected, it is of course highly desirable as it improves the golfer’s proficiency and, thus, his joy in playing.
David Dawsey – The Golf Lawyer
PS – click here to check out another interesting golf shoe invention