Charlie's Sneaker FAQ and Glossary - U
This FAQ and Glossary defines a number of terms used in regards to athletic shoes, Charlie, or sneakers.
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A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
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A river, city, and United States National Forest located in the area of Douglas
County, Oregon. Probably the inspiration for the naming
of the Nike Umpqua sport sandal.
- United Kingdom
- An island off the coast of Europe. Europeans sometimes call it "the wet and cloudy
island off the coast." Some residents of the United Kingdom
object, saying this is only sometimes the case. Other things to know about the United Kingdom:
- Their traditional gym
kit used to contain plimsolls, but trainers are now their usual athletic shoe.
- If their stockist
is busy, residents must wait in queue to purchase their kit.
- United Kingdom (Question about the United
- A question asked by a reader from the United Kingdom who
had watched television shows that came from the United States: "Do they call trainers
'high-tops' in the United States?"
My response was: "Only if they are high-tops!" That's
in the United Kingdom are almost always low-tops,
high-tops are almost unseen.
- Unusually sized footwear
- The National Shoe Retailers' Association has a referral service for dealers in your area
that carry unusual sized shoes. Please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to:
ATTN: Consumer Requests
National Shoe Retailers' Association
7386 North La Cholla Boulevard
Tucson, AZ 85741-2305
- United States
- Large nation with many sneaker fanatics. Conveniently
fills the hole in the globe that would otherwise exist between Canada and Mexico. Once
known as the "United Colonies" but they split away from the United Kingdom about 140 years before Marquis Converse invented the basketball boot.
- United States [sneakers made here]
- To summarize the point, there aren't many. Maybe President Donald Trump can change things. See "International Manufacturing" for
- The externally visible top portion of a sneaker, and
the inside lining, located above the sole. See the color-coded sneaker for an
- Upper (height of)
- Modern athletic shoe design has a
continuum of upper heights, including low-top,
high, high-top (and beyond).
It's known that athletes have fewer ankle
problems with mid-top and high-top shoes. Research into why this is the case indicates
that it's not the shoe keeping the foot out of harms' way (despite the
requirement for wrestling shoes
that they provide "firm support for the ankles"). Instead, the
protective effect is from the sensation of the upper giving the wearer an
indication that the foot is out of alignment. In the early 1990's, Nike
came out with a number of designs that exploited this effect, among them the
Air Huarache series and the Air
Carnivore. However, many models nowadays trim back the back portion of the upper.
A line of
shoes designed for speedy players. Kobe Bryant is probably the best-known
player to wear shoes from the Uptempo line (one of the recent
Air Huarache styles). Also see Flight
and Force for other Nike basketball shoe lines.
- In (originally) Harlem and (later) Queens, New York City,
Nike Air Force One sneakers.
- US Design Patent 298981
- Describes the pocket in KangaROOS sneakers.
- US Patent 3629962
Converse athletic shoe
outsole intended to combine
good lateral traction yet not collect debris. (Apparently, the shoe that
used this outsole was not only endorsed by baseball player Lou Brock but it featured an outsole designed and
patented by Lou Brock.)
- US Patent 3793750
- Describes an athletic shoe for
turf, invented by Bill Bowerman,
co-founder. The patent pictures show the famous waffle
outsole in detail.
- US Patent 4098011
- Describes cleats for
turf, invented by a group of three at BRS
including Bill Bowerman,
co-founder. It describes a refinement of the waffle
- US Patent 4183156
- This patent, by Marion Frank Rudy,
describes possible insole construction
details used with numerous Nike
- US Patent 4219945
- An invention by Marion Frank Rudy.
Known to runners everywhere as that
ultra-comfy Nike AIR.
- US Patent 4255877
- A design for an external counter that wraps around the heel, designed by
Bill Bowerman, Nike
- US Patent 4271606
- Another improvement in athletic shoes
by the prolific inventor Marion Frank
Rudy. A refinement of Nike
which involved arranging the outsole
projections under the AIR chambers.
- US Patent 4287675
- A New Balance design for heel counters.
- US Patent 4288929
- A New Balance design for a stabilizing
plastic cup that partially surrounds the heel.
- US Patent 4297796
- The Dellinger Web shock-dispersing
device. Invented by William ("Bill")
Dellinger and Ronald Stirtz.
- US Patent 4297797
- It looks to me like the same basic idea as Nike
except using a fluid.
- US Patent 4327503
- A Nike design for a bi-level
outsole, originally designed for
cleats but also seen in
- US Patent 4335530
- Describes an athletic shoe
outsole with multiple sole densities.
- US Patent 4340626
- A molecular trick that makes Nike
finish its inflation after they seal it. The combination of the
gas molecules and the chamber materials make atmospheric air diffuse
into the chamber. Yet another Marion
Frank Rudy creation.
- US Patent 4354318
- A Nike design that incorporates a sidewall
bead to increase stability.
- US Patent 4364188
- An insole design that features tubes of
material that are stiffer than the remainder of the insole. Also discusses
the possibility of user-adjustable tubes.
- US Patent 4364189
- The classic dual-density midsole: A
stiffer medial layer, and a less firm lateral layer. (The patent includes
comparisons to other shoes of the day, made by adidas,
Nike, and Osaga [a long gone shoe brand].)
- US Patent 4372058
Describes the AVIA
Cantilever athletic shoe
- US Patent 4445283
- A technology similar to Nike
except the chambers were shaped differently.
- US Patent 4584782
- The first sport sandal patent by
Thatcher, inventor of the Teva. Mark's
first design covered the design of a heel strap that could be folded forward
(resulting in a "flip-flop") or wrapped around the ankle (to keep
the sport sandal from flying off).
- US Patent 4793075
- Another invention related to sport
sandals, developed by Mark Thatcher.
This patent covers the Teva "Universal" strapping system.
- US Patent 4817304
- Why Nike changed the design of Nike
AIR athletic shoes so one could see the
air chambers. It was not merely a decorative touch but it improves the
function of the shoe.
- US Patent 4817307
- A patent titled "Bumper mounting assembly for a snowplow." For some reason I (Charlie) do not know, people search for the number and end up on this Website. The only place I can find it is in the log of search strings that brought people to this site. Go figure!
- US Patent 4906502
- A plastic-fabric composite sandwich structure inflated with
Appears to be the Zoom AIR design. According to inventor
Rudy, this results in a more stable athletic
shoe than the earlier designs.
- US Patent 4936029
- An enhancement of the Nike
design that mixes crystalline material into the AIR capsule. According to
inventor Marion Frank
Rudy, this provides more stable pressurization throughout the life of
- US Patent 4944310
- The "Device For Treating Snoring Sickness," known to many
satisfied (and frustrated) patients as CPAP.
- US Patent 4989350
- A Converse design for a
high-top basketball shoe that featured plastic struts to prevent unwanted
- US Patent 5042176
- An enhancement of the Nike
design described in US Patent 4936029.
According to inventor Marion Frank
Rudy, this allows creating an AIR capsule that can be inflated with
- US Patent 5083361
- Marion Frank Rudy makes
additional improvements to the basic design described in
- US Patent 5113599
- Known to sneaker freaks everywhere as
The Reebok PUMP.
- US Patent 5152082
- A proposed high-top internal support
structure that looked akin to a plastic picket fence.
- US Patent 5247742
- A motion control device developed by
Nike that embeds a plastic serrated structure in
- US Patent 5343639
- A design for a user-tunable version of Nike Shox ("Son of
anyone?) Also see US Patent 5353523.
- US Patent 5353459
technique Nike uses when inflating the
AIR styles that include a ring of high-pressure
gas surrounding a center of lower-pressure inert gas. These include the
Air Max 2 running shoe series as well as
certain Charles Barkley styles.
- US Patent 5353523
- The design of the heel columns in Nike Shox shoes.
- US Patent 5572804
- The design of the cup-shaped elements that put the "Tuned" in
- US Patent 5704706
The design of the
LA Gear light GEAR cartridge.
- US Patent 5713141
- A method of combining polyurethane and EVA copolymer that results in a
multilayer Nike AIR
capsule with superior gas retention capabilities.
- US Patent 5896683
- A Nike design incorporating plastic
outriggers molded to the upper. This design appears
similar to the so-called "monkey paw" on
some Nike styles.
- US Patent 5952065
- Refinements to US Patent 5713141.
- US Patent 6013340
- Describes the methods of making a polyester polyol-urethane mixture used
in the walls of certain Nike AIR
- US Patent 6406038
- Covers the design characteristics of the wheel assembly in the "Heelys"
brand of shoe.
- US Patent 6487796
- A further improvement to the Nike Shox
technology that shapes the columns to obtain enhanced lateral stability.
- US Patent Office
- As indicated by the many sneaker patents
they have issued... a United States
government office that keeps very busy!
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Last Updated: 17 June 2017
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Charlie's Sneaker Pages copyright 1995-2017 by Charles L. Perrin.
READERS PLEASE NOTE: Names of athletic shoe manufacturers, shoe styles, and technologies may be trademarked by the manufacturers. Charlie's Sneaker Pages uses these names solely to describe the shoes with the same familiar nomenclature used by the manufacturer and recognized by the reader.