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Número de publicaciónUS20100263230 A1
Tipo de publicaciónSolicitud
Número de solicitudUS 12/760,306
Fecha de publicación21 Oct 2010
Fecha de presentación14 Abr 2010
Fecha de prioridad15 Abr 2009
También publicado comoUS8523194, US20100263231, US20100263232, US20150047226
Número de publicación12760306, 760306, US 2010/0263230 A1, US 2010/263230 A1, US 20100263230 A1, US 20100263230A1, US 2010263230 A1, US 2010263230A1, US-A1-20100263230, US-A1-2010263230, US2010/0263230A1, US2010/263230A1, US20100263230 A1, US20100263230A1, US2010263230 A1, US2010263230A1
InventoresMarie Smirman
Cesionario originalMarie Smirman
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Insert for rockered foot bed of footwear
US 20100263230 A1
Resumen
A molded insert, and methods for forming same, for a rockered foot bed of a boot, such as, but not limited to ice skating boots, or a rockered foot bed of a shoe, such as, but not limited to exercise, therapeutic, or physiological footwear, is described. The molded insert can be formed of any moldable material that is substantially firm when cured or dried. The moldable material can be used to fill in the concave portion of the rockered foot bed to form a substantially flat or level surface for the bottom of the wearer's foot, especially in the area corresponding from the beginning of the heel portion of the foot to the beginning of the ball of the foot (e.g., the mid-foot), thus providing adequate support for the foot's arch during typical ice skating maneuvers.
Imágenes(4)
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Reclamaciones(20)
1. A method for forming an insert for an area defining a depression formed in a foot bed of a piece of footwear, comprising:
placing an amount of moldable material onto the depression;
causing a substantially planar top surface to be formed on the moldable material; and
allowing the moldable material to cure or harden.
2. The invention according to claim 1, wherein the piece of footwear is selected from the group consisting of shoes, boots, and combinations thereof.
3. The invention according to claim 1, wherein the piece of footwear is selected from the group consisting of figure skating boots, hockey boots, and combinations thereof.
4. The invention according to claim 1, wherein the depression extends along the length or width of the foot bed.
5. The invention according to claim 1, wherein the depression extends along the mid-foot area of the foot bed.
6. The invention according to claim 1, wherein the depression extends from between about the heel portion to about the fore-foot portion of the foot bed.
7. The invention according to claim 1, wherein the moldable material is manipulated so as to form the substantially planar top surface.
8. The invention according to claim 1, wherein the piece of footwear is manipulated so as to allow the moldable material to form the substantially planar top surface.
9. The invention according to claim 1, wherein the substantially planar top surface extends along the mid-foot area of the foot bed.
10. The invention according to claim 1, wherein the substantially planar top surface extends from between about the heel portion to about the fore-foot portion of the foot bed.
11. The invention according to claim 1, wherein the moldable material substantially fills the entire volume of the depression.
12. The invention according to claim 1, wherein the insert includes a curved bottom surface.
13. The invention according to claim 1, wherein the insert includes a lip portion extending along a side surface thereof.
14. A method for forming an insert for an area defining a depression formed in a foot bed of a piece of footwear, wherein the depression extends from between about the heel portion to about the fore-foot portion of the foot bed, wherein the piece of footwear is selected from the group consisting of shoes, boots, and combinations thereof, comprising:
placing an amount of moldable material onto the depression, wherein the moldable material substantially fills the entire volume of the depression;
causing a substantially planar top surface to be formed on the moldable material, wherein the substantially planar top surface extends from between about the heel portion to about the fore-foot portion of the foot bed; and
allowing the moldable material to cure or harden.
15. The invention according to claim 14, wherein the moldable material is manipulated so as to form the substantially planar top surface or wherein the piece of footwear is manipulated so as to allow the moldable material to form the substantially planar top surface.
16. The invention according to claim 14, wherein the insert includes a curved bottom surface.
17. The invention according to claim 14, wherein the insert includes a lip portion extending along a side surface thereof.
18. An insert for filling in an area defining a depression formed in a foot bed of a piece of footwear, wherein the depression extends from between about the heel portion to about the fore-foot portion of the foot bed, wherein the piece of footwear is selected from the group consisting of shoes, boots, and combinations thereof.
19. The invention according to claim 18, wherein the insert substantially fills the entire volume of the depression and wherein the insert includes a substantially planar top surface extending from between about the heel portion to about the fore-foot portion of the foot bed.
20. The invention according to claim 18, wherein the insert includes a curved bottom surface or a lip portion extending along a side surface thereof.
Descripción
    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    The instant application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/169,346, filed Apr. 15, 2009, U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/169,350, filed Apr. 15, 2009, and U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/169,493, filed Apr. 15, 2009, the entire specifications of all of which are expressly incorporated herein by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates generally to inserts for footwear, such as shoes or boots, and, more specifically to a molded insert, and methods for forming same, for a rockered foot bed of a boot, such as, but not limited to ice skating boots, or a rockered foot bed of a shoe, such as, but not limited to exercise, therapeutic, or physiological footwear.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    Referring to FIGS. 1, 3 and 4, conventional boots 10 (as well as shoes) are typically constructed with at least a slightly rockered or curved foot bed 12 and/or sole 14, especially in the longitudinal direction L. The rocker 16 in the foot bed 12 thus defines a slightly depressed or concave surface 18 (i.e., relative to the heel and forefoot portions) formed thereon. The presence of the rocker 16 is typically not a problem for walking in conventional boots 10, and, in fact, may actually help. For example, the slightly rockered bottom of the foot bed 12 and/or sole 14 helps the walking gait by acting as a partial “wheel” to propel the body forward. Because the normal walking gait typically transfers weight from the heel to the front of the foot (e.g., forefoot, i.e., the ball of the foot and/or the toes) such that the force of the weight moves over the foot, there is not a constant pressure over the foot's arch, and therefore the concave foot bed 12 and/or sole 14 does not harm the foot in any substantial manner. On flat ground, the foot also transfers weight off the arch to the lateral sides of the foot, that is, the same mechanical principle under which all arches work on flat ground.
  • [0004]
    Referring specifically to FIG. 2, in the case of rockered exercise, therapeutic, or physiological footwear 20 (e.g., MBT brand shoes, which are readily commercially available from Swiss Masai Marketing GmbH, St. Gallerstrasse 72, 9325 Roggwil TG, Switzerland), the rocker 21 of the foot bed 22 and/or sole 24 is more extremely concave than conventional shoes or boots, and much more rigid than conventional shoes or boots. These types of exercise, therapeutic, or physiological footwear, which require the wearer to balance across a line extending through the center of the width of the sole, generally include those types of shoes that supposedly have a number of positive effects not only on the foot but on the whole body, including toning of various muscle groups and/or alleviating stress on various joints.
  • [0005]
    Although none of these conditions are present during typical ice skating maneuvers with ice skating boots (i.e., wherein the foot is balancing on a point of a rockered skating blade), conventional skating boots are still made from the same types of shoe or boot last shapes, i.e., that are rockered or concave in the foot bed or sole. Because of these different mechanical conditions being present, the ice skater's foot has constant pressure on the arch, and, with a concave gap formed in the rockered foot bed, the muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments of the foot (especially in proximity to the arch) can become stressed and/or injured as the foot (especially the arch) repeatedly collapses (or attempts to collapse) into this space.
  • [0006]
    Additionally, individuals with pre-existing arch problems may find walking in the afore-mentioned exercise, therapeutic, or physiological footwear difficult or painful for at least the same reasons discussed in the preceding paragraph.
  • [0007]
    Therefore, it would be advantageous to provide a new and improved molded insert, and methods for forming same, for a rockered foot bed of a boot, such as, but not limited to ice skating boots, or a rockered foot bed of a shoe, such as, but not limited to exercise, therapeutic, or physiological footwear, that overcomes at least one of the aforementioned problems.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0008]
    In accordance with the general teachings of the present invention, a new and improved molded insert for a rockered foot bed of a boot, such as, but not limited to ice skating boots, or a rockered foot bed of a shoe, such as, but not limited to exercise, therapeutic, or physiological footwear, is provided. The molded insert can be formed of any moldable material that is substantially firm when cured or dried. The moldable material can be used to fill in the concave portion of the rockered foot bed to form a substantially flat or level surface for the bottom of the wearer's foot, especially in the area corresponding from the beginning of the heel portion of the foot to the beginning of the ball of the foot (e.g., the mid-foot), thus providing adequate support for the foot's arch during typical ice skating maneuvers.
  • [0009]
    In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, a sufficient amount of the moldable material (e.g., in the uncured or unhardened form) can be placed onto the concave portion of the rockered foot bed of the empty ice skating boot or shoe, as the case may be. A pressing tool having a flat surface can then be pressed against the moldable material so as to cause the moldable material to substantially fill the concave portion of the rockered foot bed. The moldable material can then form a substantially flat or level surface for the bottom of the wearer's foot, especially in the area corresponding from the beginning of the heel portion of the foot to the beginning of the ball of the foot (e.g., the mid-foot), thus providing adequate support for the foot's arch during typical ice skating maneuvers. The moldable material can then be allowed to sufficiently cure or harden, thus forming the finished insert of the present invention.
  • [0010]
    In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the insert can be formed of a material that is shaped rather than molded. By way of a non-limiting example, the material can be formed of compressed materials (e.g., sawdust/resin mixtures and/or the like), shaped materials (e.g., cork and/or the like), and/or the like. That is, the shape of the insert can be determined in any way, and the insert cut or otherwise shaped to an appropriate form, e.g., outside of the boot or shoe. However, the shaped insert would nonetheless still need to fill the concave portion of the rockered foot bed and provide a substantially flat or level surface for the bottom of the wearer's foot, especially in the area corresponding from the beginning of the heel portion of the foot to the beginning of the ball of the foot (e.g., the mid-foot), thus providing adequate support for the foot's arch during typical ice skating maneuvers.
  • [0011]
    In accordance with still another aspect of the present invention, the inset can be formed of a material that is poured onto the concave portion of the rockered foot bed of the empty ice skating boot or shoe. By way of a non-limiting example, the particular piece of footwear can be oriented such that the concave portion of the rockered foot bed of the empty ice skating boot or shoe can be held in a “level” position such that the pourable moldable material can not migrate to other portions of the foot bed. In this manner, a relatively flat and level insert can be formed without the need for any pressing step. The moldable material can then be allowed to sufficiently cure or harden, thus forming the finished insert of the present invention.
  • [0012]
    In accordance with still another aspect of the present invention, the insert can be provided at the time of original manufacture, or can be provided later on an after-market basis, e.g., as a kit.
  • [0013]
    In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, a method is provided for forming an insert for an area defining a depression formed in a foot bed of a piece of footwear, comprising: (1) placing an amount of moldable material onto the depression; (2) causing a substantially planar top surface to be formed on the moldable material; and (3) allowing the moldable material to cure or harden.
  • [0014]
    In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, a method is provided for forming an insert for an area defining a depression formed in a foot bed of a piece of footwear, wherein the depression extends from between about the heel portion to about the fore-foot portion of the foot bed, wherein the piece of footwear is selected from the group consisting of shoes, boots, and combinations thereof, comprising: (1) placing an amount of moldable material onto the depression, wherein the moldable material substantially fills the entire volume of the depression; (2) causing a substantially planar top surface to be formed on the moldable material, wherein the substantially planar top surface extends from between about the heel portion to about the fore-foot portion of the foot bed; and (3) allowing the moldable material to cure or harden.
  • [0015]
    In accordance with still another embodiment of the present invention, an insert is provided for filling in an area defining a depression formed in a foot bed of a piece of footwear, wherein the depression extends from between about the heel portion to about the fore-foot portion of the foot bed, wherein the piece of footwear is selected from the group consisting of shoes, boots, and combinations thereof.
  • [0016]
    Further areas of applicability of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description provided hereinafter. It should be understood that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating the preferred embodiment of the invention, are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0017]
    Other advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
  • [0018]
    FIG. 1 is a broken away elevational view of a boot, in accordance with the prior art;
  • [0019]
    FIG. 2 is a broken away elevational view of a shoe, in accordance with the prior art;
  • [0020]
    FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 1, in accordance with the prior art;
  • [0021]
    FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 1, in accordance with the prior art;
  • [0022]
    FIG. 5 is a schematic view of a moldable material being placed onto the rockered foot bed of a piece of footwear, in accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0023]
    FIG. 6 is a schematic view of a pressing tool pressing the moldable material into the concave portion of the rockered foot bed of the piece of footwear, in accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0024]
    FIG. 7 is a detailed view of the insert formed in the concave portion of the rockered foot bed of the piece of footwear, in accordance with a third embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0025]
    FIG. 8 is a detailed view of the wearer's foot contacting the insert, in accordance with a fourth embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0026]
    FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken along line 9-9 of FIG. 7, in accordance with a fifth embodiment of the present invention; and
  • [0027]
    FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the insert, in accordance with a sixth embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0028]
    The same reference numerals refer to the same parts throughout the various Figures.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0029]
    The following description of the preferred embodiment(s) is merely exemplary in nature and is in no way intended to limit the invention, or uses.
  • [0030]
    Referring to FIGS. 5-10, a new and improved molded insert 30 is provided for a rockered foot bed 32 of a piece of footwear, e.g., a boot 34, such as, but not limited to ice skating boots (e.g., figure skating boots, hockey boots, and/or the like), or a rockered foot bed 36 of a shoe 37, such as, but not limited to exercise, therapeutic, or physiological footwear.
  • [0031]
    The molded insert 30 can be formed of any moldable material that is substantially firm when cured or dried. The moldable material can be used to fill in a concave portion 38 (typically in the longitudinal direction L, but also may include a concavity in the width direction W (e.g., see FIG. 3)) defined by the rockered foot bed 32, 36 to form a substantially flat or level surface 40 for the bottom 42 of the wearer's foot 44, especially in the area corresponding from the beginning 46 (e.g., see FIG. 3) of the heel portion 48 (e.g., see FIG. 3) of the foot 44 to the beginning 50 (e.g., see FIG. 3) of the ball 52 (e.g., see FIG. 3) of the foot 44, thus providing adequate support for the foot's arch 54 during typical ice skating maneuvers. Thus, the resulting insert 30 can have a substantially flat or level top surface 40 (with gradually tapered end portions 40 a and 40 b) and a generally curved or rounded bottom portion 56 which represents a “positive” mold of the “negative” concave portion 38 of the rockered foot bed 32, 36. Optionally, an upturned lip portion 57 (e.g., corresponding to the upper arch surface of the wearer's foot) may be formed on one or more side surfaces of the insert 30.
  • [0032]
    The insert 30 can also be formed of a material that is shaped, e.g., by hand, rather than molded in place. By way of a non-limiting example, the material can be formed of compressed materials (e.g., sawdust/resin mixtures and/or the like), shaped materials (e.g., cork and/or the like), and/or the like, that are shaped by hand (e.g., pressing, cutting, shaving, and/or the like). That is, the shape of the insert 30 can be determined in any way (e.g., trial and error), and the insert 30 shaped to an appropriate form, e.g., outside of the boot or shoe. However, the shaped insert 30 would nonetheless still need to fill the concave portion 38 of the rockered foot bed 32, 36, so as to provide a substantially flat or level surface 40 for the bottom 42 of the wearer's foot 44, especially in the area corresponding from the beginning 46 of the heel portion 48 of the foot 44 to the beginning 50 of the ball 52 of the foot 44, thus providing adequate support for the foot's arch 54 during typical ice skating maneuvers.
  • [0033]
    With respect to forming the insert 30, one illustrative method includes placing a sufficient amount of the moldable material 58 (e.g., in the uncured or unhardened form) onto the concave portion 38 of the rockered foot bed 32, 36 of the empty ice skating boot or shoe, as the case may be. The material 58 can be any type of moldable material, such as but not limited to plastics (e.g., thermoplastics, thermosets, and/or the like), foams (e.g., open cell, closed cell, and/or the like), gels, and/or the like, that is substantially moldable in an uncured or unhardened state, and is substantially firm in a cured or hardened state. By way of a non-limiting example, the moldable material 58 can be comprised of various silicones, urethanes, epoxies, and/or the like. By way of another non-limiting example, a two part silicone composition, such as but not limited to a mixture (e.g., 1:1 by volume) of platinum silicone putty (Part A) such as EQUINOX Series (Smooth-On, Inc. Easton, Pa.), e.g., a mixture of polyorganosiloxanes, amorphous silica, platinum-siloxane complex, and mineral oil, and platinum silicone putty (Part B) such as EQUINOX 40 Slow (Smooth-On, Inc. Easton, Pa.), e.g., a mixture of polyorganosiloxanes, amorphous silica, and mineral oil. The pot times, cure times, and demold times can vary depending, in part, on the particular materials selected. By way of a non-limiting example, the resulting softness/hardness of the cured or hardened moldable material can be in any range desired by the wearer provided that the cured or hardened moldable material can adequately fill in the concave portion 38, as previously described.
  • [0034]
    In this respect, the moldable material should be sufficiently viscous to prevent excessiveness “runniness” when it is placed into the particular piece of footwear. If the moldable material has a tendency to excessively migrate when placed into the footwear, it can be first placed into a pouch or bag (either sealed or partially open), with the pouch or bag then being placed onto the concave portion of the rockered foot bed of the empty ice skating boot or shoe, as the case may be. A moldable material having a “putty-like” consistency can be “pre-molded” into the desired shape and placed fairly precisely into the concave portion 38 of the rockered foot bed 32, 36 of the empty ice skating boot or shoe.
  • [0035]
    Once the moldable material 58 is appropriately placed, a pressing tool 60, with a flat surface 62, can be pressed against the moldable material 58 so as to force the moldable material into the concave portion 38 of the rockered foot bed 32, 36 so as to provide a substantially flat or level top surface 40 for the bottom 42 of the wearer's foot 44, especially in the area corresponding from the beginning 46 of the heel portion 48 of the foot 44 to the beginning 50 of the ball 52 of the foot 44, thus providing adequate support for the foot's arch 54 during typical ice skating maneuvers. The moldable material 58 can then be allowed to sufficiently cure or harden, thus forming the finished insert 30 the present invention.
  • [0036]
    If, however, the moldable material 58 has a relatively low viscosity and is therefore easily pourable, the particular piece of footwear can be manipulated (e.g., rotated, fixtured, and/or the like) so that the moldable material 58 is confined atop the concave portion of the rockered foot bed of the empty ice skating boot or shoe. That is, the particular piece of footwear can be oriented such that the concave portion of the rockered foot bed 32, 36 of the empty ice skating boot or shoe is held in a “level” position such that the pourable moldable material 58 can not migrate to other portions of the foot bed 32, 36. In this manner, a relatively flat and level insert 30 can be formed without the need for any pressing step. As with the previously described method, the moldable material can then be allowed to sufficiently cure or harden, thus forming the finished insert of the present invention.
  • [0037]
    Although the insert 30 can be most easily constructed at the time of original manufacture, it should be noted that the insert 30 can be made to correct deficiencies in already produced boots or shoes that include rocker portions that define concave portions formed on the foot beds thereof. By way of a non-limiting example, appropriate materials and instructions for the use thereof can be provided in a kit form, allowing wearers of these boots and shoes to form inserts, e.g., as previously described, to overcome the afore-mentioned problems.
  • [0038]
    With respect to all of the previously described methods, the insert 30 can be secured to the foot bed 32, 36 by any methods, including adhesives, tapes, glues, fasteners, and/or the like. Additionally, the insert 30 can be physically and/or chemically bonded to the foot bed 32, 36 to provide a permanent attachment.
  • [0039]
    Although the present invention has been described primarily in reference to skating boots (e.g., figure skating boots, hockey boots, and/or the like) and exercise, therapeutic, or physiological footwear, it should be noted that the present invention can be used with any type of footwear, especially those that include rocker portions formed in the foot beds or soles thereof, wherein the presence of the rocker portion causes the wearer foot problems as a result.
  • [0040]
    While the invention has been described with reference to an exemplary embodiment, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes can be made and equivalents can be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications can be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from the essential scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.
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Citada por
Patente citante Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
US20150282563 *18 Jun 20158 Oct 2015Marie SmirmanInsert for rockered foot bed of footwear
US20160278475 *10 Jun 201629 Sep 2016Theodore B. HadjisMoldable and reusable material positionable in footwear and a tool for inserting, shaping, and removing the same
Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.36/43, 12/146.00R
Clasificación internacionalA43B13/38, A43D11/00
Clasificación cooperativaA43B7/143, A43B7/142, A43B5/1641, A43B7/24, A43B7/14, B29D35/08
Clasificación europeaB29D35/08, A43B7/14A20C, A43B7/14, A43B5/16S, A43B7/14A20A