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Número de publicaciónUS20100263232 A1
Tipo de publicaciónSolicitud
Número de solicitudUS 12/760,652
Fecha de publicación21 Oct 2010
Fecha de presentación15 Abr 2010
Fecha de prioridad15 Abr 2009
También publicado comoUS8523194, US20100263230, US20100263231, US20150047226
Número de publicación12760652, 760652, US 2010/0263232 A1, US 2010/263232 A1, US 20100263232 A1, US 20100263232A1, US 2010263232 A1, US 2010263232A1, US-A1-20100263232, US-A1-2010263232, US2010/0263232A1, US2010/263232A1, US20100263232 A1, US20100263232A1, US2010263232 A1, US2010263232A1
InventoresMarie Smirman
Cesionario originalMarie Smirman
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Moldable arch support for footwear
US 20100263232 A1
Resumen
A molded insert, and methods for forming same, for an arch cavity of a boot, such as, but not limited to ice skating boots, or an arch cavity 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, yet comfortable, when cured or dried. The moldable material can be used to fill in the arch cavity to form a substantially firm, yet comfortable, surface to support the arch 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) and includes a vertically extending side portion along the side of the foot's arch, thus providing adequate support for the foot's arch during typical ice skating maneuvers.
Imágenes(4)
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Reclamaciones(19)
1. A method for forming an insert for an arch cavity defined as an area between an interior surface of a piece of footwear and an arch portion of a foot, comprising:
placing an amount of moldable material in proximity to the arch cavity;
causing the moldable material to substantially fill the volume of the arch cavity; 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 arch cavity extends along an area proximate to an internal side portion or a foot bed portion of the piece of footwear.
5. The invention according to claim 1, wherein the arch cavity extends along an area proximate to a mid-foot area or a foot bed portion of the piece of footwear.
6. The invention according to claim 1, wherein the arch cavity extends from between about the heel portion to about the fore-foot portion of the piece of footwear.
7. The invention according to claim 1, wherein the moldable material is manipulated so as to substantially fill the volume of the arch cavity.
9. The invention according to claim 1, wherein the insert extends along the mid-foot area of the piece of footwear.
10. The invention according to claim 1, wherein the insert 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 insert substantially fills the entire volume of the arch cavity.
12. The invention according to claim 1, wherein the insert includes a substantially planar top surface portion.
13. The invention according to claim 1, wherein the insert includes a curved bottom surface.
14. The invention according to claim 1, wherein the insert includes at least one lip portion extending along a side surface thereof.
15. The invention according to claim 1, wherein the insert includes two spaced and opposed lip portions extending along side surfaces thereof.
16. A method for forming an insert for an area defining an arch cavity formed in a piece of footwear, wherein the arch cavity extends along an area proximate to an internal side portion or a foot bed portion of the piece of footwear, comprising:
placing an amount of moldable material in proximity to the arch cavity;
causing the moldable material to substantially fill the volume of the arch cavity by inserting a foot into the piece of footwear such that the foot contacts and presses against the moldable material; and
allowing the moldable material to cure or harden.
17. The invention according to claim 16, wherein the insert includes at least one lip portion extending along a side surface thereof, wherein the at least one lip portion substantially fills the volume of the arch cavity.
18. An insert for filling in an area defining an arch cavity formed in a piece of footwear, wherein the arch cavity extends along an area proximate to an internal side portion or a foot bed portion of the piece of footwear, wherein the piece of footwear is selected from the group consisting of shoes, boots, and combinations thereof.
19. The invention according to claim 17, wherein the insert substantially fills the entire volume of the arch cavity
20. The invention according to claim 18, wherein the insert includes a substantially planar top surface portion, a curved bottom surface, or at least one 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 an internal arch cavity of a boot, such as, but not limited to ice skating boots, or an internal arch cavity 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 (or shoes 20) are typically constructed with relatively straight or slightly curved arch portions 12. The arch portion 12 thus defines an arch cavity 14 relative to the wearer's foot 16, especially in proximity to the foot's arch 18. The presence of the arch cavity 14 is typically not a problem for individuals with normal arches or even fallen arches (e.g., “flat feet”) skating or walking in conventional boots 10.
  • [0004]
    Referring specifically to FIG. 2, the shoes 20 can include exercise, therapeutic, or physiological footwear (e.g., MBT brand shoes, which are readily commercially available from Swiss Masai Marketing GmbH, St. Gallerstrasse 72, 9325 Roggwil TG, Switzerland), wherein the arch portion 22 may also define an arch cavity 24 relative to the wearer's foot 16, especially in proximity to the foot's arch 18 (e.g., similar to FIG. 4). As with conventional boots, the presence of the arch cavity 24 in these types of shoes is typically not a problem for individuals with normal arches or even fallen arches (e.g., “flat feet”). 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]
    Because typical ice skating maneuvers with ice skating boots require the foot to be able to balance on a point of a rockered skating blade, it is important for the wearer's foot to have constant arch support. This is a special concern for those skaters that have one or both feet that have high arches. The presence of arch cavities in boots cause the skater's foot to collapse into the arch cavity due to the foot's high arch. Needless to say, skating performance would be expected to significantly suffer under these circumstances.
  • [0006]
    The problem of arch cavities may be due to the trend of conventional skating boots being made from shoe or boot last shapes that are fairly straight or only slightly curved (as opposed to substantially curved) through the arch portion of the foot bed or sole. Because of these different mechanical conditions being present, the ice skater's foot needs constant support against the arch, and, with an arch cavity being present, 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 cavity.
  • [0007]
    Additionally, shoes having arch cavities can be painful for individuals with highly arched feet to walk in, as the foot constantly wants to “roll over” or pronate. For example, individuals with high arches may find walking in the afore-mentioned exercise, therapeutic, or physiological footwear difficult or painful, despite the purported health benefits.
  • [0008]
    Therefore, it would be advantageous to provide a new and improved molded insert, and methods for forming same, for an arch cavity of a boot, such as, but not limited to ice skating boots, or an arch cavity 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
  • [0009]
    In accordance with the general teachings of the present invention, a new and improved molded insert is provided for an arch cavity of a boot, such as, but not limited to ice skating boots, or an arch cavity of a shoe, such as, but not limited to exercise, therapeutic, or physiological footwear. The molded insert can be formed of any moldable material that is substantially firm, yet comfortable, when cured or dried. The moldable material can be used to fill in the arch cavity of the boot or shoe to form a substantially firm, yet comfortable, surface to support the arch 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) and including a vertically extending side portion along the side of the foot's arch, thus providing adequate support for the foot's arch during typical ice skating maneuvers.
  • [0010]
    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 arch cavity area of the empty ice skating boot or shoe, as the case may be. The wearer's foot can then be inserted into the boot or shoe and contacts the moldable material so as to cause the moldable material to substantially fill the arch cavity of the boot or shoe. The moldable material can also optionally migrate into areas adjacent to the arch cavity, including but not limited to the foot bed of the boot or shoe, as well as up along the side of the arch area where there may be a gap between the wearer's foot and the interior surface of the boot or shoe. The moldable material can then form a substantially firm, yet comfortable, surface for supporting the arch 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.
  • [0011]
    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 arch cavity of the boot or shoe and provide a substantially firm, yet comfortable, surface for supporting the arch 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.
  • [0012]
    In accordance with still another aspect of the present invention, the insert 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 arch cavity defined as an area between an interior surface of a piece of footwear and an arch portion of a foot, comprising: (1) placing an amount of moldable material in proximity to the arch cavity; (2) causing the moldable material to substantially fill the volume of the arch cavity; 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 an arch cavity formed in a piece of footwear, wherein the arch cavity extends along an area proximate to an internal side portion or a foot bed portion of the piece of footwear, comprising: (1) placing an amount of moldable material in proximity to the arch cavity; (2) causing the moldable material to substantially fill the volume of the arch cavity by inserting a foot into the piece of footwear such that the foot contacts and presses against the moldable material; 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 an arch cavity formed in a piece of footwear, wherein the arch cavity extends along an area proximate to an internal side portion or a foot bed portion of the piece of footwear, 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 an 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 arch cavity area of a piece of footwear, in accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0023]
    FIG. 6 is a schematic view of a wearer's foot about to be inserted into the piece of footwear having the moldable material on the arch cavity area of the piece of footwear, in accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0024]
    FIG. 7 is a schematic view of a wearer's foot inserted into the piece of footwear and contacting the moldable material on the arch cavity area of the piece of footwear, in accordance with a third embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0025]
    FIG. 8 is a schematic view of the insert formed in the arch cavity area of the piece of footwear, in accordance with a fourth embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0026]
    FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken along line 9-9 of FIG. 8, 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 an arch cavity 32 of a piece of footwear, e.g., a boot 34, such as, but not limited to ice skating boots, or an arch cavity 36 of a shoe 37, such as, but not limited to exercise, therapeutic, or physiological footwear. By “arch cavity,” as that phrase is used herein, it is meant any cavity, space, volume and/or the like adjacent to and/or proximate to the arch of the foot when it is placed in a piece of footwear.
  • [0031]
    The molded insert 30 can be formed of any moldable material that is substantially firm, yet comfortable, when cured or dried. The moldable material can be used to fill in, at least substantially, the volume of the arch cavity 32, 36 to form a substantially firm, yet comfortable, surface 40 for supporting the arch 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 portion 52 (e.g., see FIG. 3) of the foot 44 and includes a vertically extending side portion along the side of the foot's arch, thus providing adequate support for the foot's arch 42 during typical ice skating maneuvers. By “arch,” as that term is used herein, it is meant to include, without limitation, any area including the arch itself and/or areas proximate to the arch.
  • [0032]
    The resulting insert 30 can have a substantially triangular or wedge-shaped arch portion 52 (for supporting the major portion of the arch) and an optional sole portion 54, e.g., integrally formed therewith. The optional sole portion 54 may include a top surface that is substantially planar. By including the optional sole portion 54, the insert 30 can easily be placed into and removed from the piece of footwear without having to tape, glue or otherwise secure the arch portion 52 in place against the interior side of the piece of footwear proximate to the arch cavity 32, 36. Additionally, the optional sole portion 54 can potentially remedy any defects or problems in the foot bed 56 of the piece of footwear, e.g., depressions formed therein. Furthermore, an optional upturned lip portion 58 (e.g., corresponding to the other side of the wearer's foot) may be formed on the far side surface of the insert 30. In this manner, the insert 30 can be held securely in place against the wearer's foot 44, especially in the mid-foot area. Accordingly, use of the insert 30 can provide the wearer's foot with a “custom fit” to the boot 34 or shoe 37.
  • [0033]
    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 arch cavity 32, 36 to form a substantially firm, yet comfortable, surface 40 for supporting the arch 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, for example.
  • [0034]
    With respect to forming the insert 30, one illustrative method includes placing a sufficient amount of the moldable material 60 (e.g., in the uncured or unhardened form) onto the arch cavity 32, 36 of the empty ice skating boot or shoe, as the case may be. The material 60 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, yet comfortable, in a cured or hardened state. By way of a non-limiting example, the moldable material 60 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 hardness of the cured or hardened moldable material can be in the range of about 10 Shore A to about 50 Shore A, although it should be appreciated that hardness's outside of this range can also be used in the practice of the present invention.
  • [0035]
    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 arch cavity 32, 36 of the empty ice skating boot or shoe, as the case may be. A moldable material having a “putty-like” consistency would be preferred as it can be molded into the desired general shape and placed fairly precisely into the arch cavity 32, 36 of the empty ice skating boot or shoe. It should also be noted that even viscous materials can be first placed into a pouch or bag (either sealed or partially open), with the pouch or bag then being placed onto the arch cavity 32, 36 of the empty ice skating boot or shoe, e.g., for sanitary reasons.
  • [0036]
    Once the moldable material 60 is appropriately placed, the wearer's foot 44 can then be placed into the empty ice skating boot or shoe and presses against the moldable material 60 so as to force the moldable material 60 into the arch cavity 32, 36 so as to provide a substantially firm, yet comfortable, surface 40 for the arch 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 wearer's foot 44 can also be first placed into a pouch or bag (either sealed or partially open) e.g., for sanitary reasons.
  • [0037]
    Optionally, some of the moldable material 60 (or additional moldable material can be initially placed into the boot or shoe) can be caused to flow, or otherwise be disposed, under the wearer's foot 44 so as to form the optional sole portion 54 and/or the optional upturned lip portion 58. The moldable material 60 can also optionally migrate into other areas adjacent to the arch cavity 32, 36, including but not limited to up along the side of the arch area where there may be a gap between the wearer's foot 44 and the interior surface of the boot or shoe.
  • [0038]
    The moldable material 60 can then be allowed to sufficiently cure or harden, thus forming the finished insert 30 the present invention.
  • [0039]
    It should be noted that the insert 30 can be made to correct deficiencies in already produced boots or shoes that include arch cavities formed in the boots or shoes. 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 to overcome the afore-mentioned problems.
  • [0040]
    Although the present invention has been described primarily in reference to ice 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 arch cavities formed therein, wherein the presence of the arch cavity causes the wearer foot problems as a result.
  • [0041]
    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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Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.36/43, 12/146.00M, 36/145
Clasificación internacionalA43B7/14, A43B13/38
Clasificación cooperativaA43B5/1641, A43B7/14, B29D35/08, A43B7/24, A43B7/142, A43B7/143
Clasificación europeaA43B7/14, A43B7/14A20C, B29D35/08, A43B5/16S, A43B7/14A20A