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WO 96/18317 6/1996 WIPO .
Primary Examiner—Paul T. Sewell
Assistant Examiner—Anthony Stashick
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Fish & Richardson PC.
A shoe cushioning system having a thin midsole, a first forefoot element, a second forefoot element and a heel element is described. The first forefoot element is connected to the midsole near the front of the forefoot region, the second forefoot element is connected to the midsole near the rear of the forefoot region, and the heel element is connected to the midsole in the heel region. The first and second forefoot elements are separated by a flex zone. The first forefoot element, second forefoot element and heel element each comprise an elastically deformable cushion with substantially planar top and bottom sides, and an attached cap structure. The first forefoot element may have a curved front edge and a substantially linear rear edge, wherein the curved front edge approximately follows the curved line defined by the metatarsal heads of the metatarsus bones of the foot. In addition, the second forefoot element may have a curved rear edge approximately in the region of the proximal ends of the metatarsals of the metatarsus bones of the foot.
16 Claims, 5 Drawing Sheets