US20110302805A1 - Adjustable and interchangebale insole and arch support system - Google Patents

Adjustable and interchangebale insole and arch support system Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110302805A1
US20110302805A1 US12/802,664 US80266410A US2011302805A1 US 20110302805 A1 US20110302805 A1 US 20110302805A1 US 80266410 A US80266410 A US 80266410A US 2011302805 A1 US2011302805 A1 US 2011302805A1
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Prior art keywords
arch support
support member
insole
arch
contoured
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Abandoned
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US12/802,664
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Robert A. Vito
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Matscitechno Licensing Co
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Vito Robert A
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Priority to US12/802,664 priority Critical patent/US20110302805A1/en
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Assigned to MATSCITECHNO LICENSING CO. reassignment MATSCITECHNO LICENSING CO. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: VITO, ROBERT A.
Assigned to ALLIANCE BANK reassignment ALLIANCE BANK SECURITY AGREEMENT Assignors: MATSCITECHNO LICENSING COMPANY
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B17/00Insoles for insertion, e.g. footbeds or inlays, for attachment to the shoe after the upper has been joined
    • A43B17/02Insoles for insertion, e.g. footbeds or inlays, for attachment to the shoe after the upper has been joined wedge-like or resilient
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B7/00Footwear with health or hygienic arrangements
    • A43B7/14Footwear with foot-supporting parts
    • A43B7/1405Footwear with foot-supporting parts provided with pads or holes on one or more locations, or having an anatomical or curved form
    • A43B7/1415Footwear with foot-supporting parts provided with pads or holes on one or more locations, or having an anatomical or curved form characterised by the location under the foot
    • A43B7/142Footwear with foot-supporting parts provided with pads or holes on one or more locations, or having an anatomical or curved form characterised by the location under the foot situated under the medial arch, i.e. the navicular or cuneiform bones
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B7/00Footwear with health or hygienic arrangements
    • A43B7/14Footwear with foot-supporting parts
    • A43B7/1405Footwear with foot-supporting parts provided with pads or holes on one or more locations, or having an anatomical or curved form
    • A43B7/1455Footwear with foot-supporting parts provided with pads or holes on one or more locations, or having an anatomical or curved form with special properties
    • A43B7/1465Footwear with foot-supporting parts provided with pads or holes on one or more locations, or having an anatomical or curved form with special properties with removable or adjustable pads to allow custom fit

Abstract

An insole and arch support system which may be secured to the interior of a shoe and includes a set of arch support members. Each arch support member of the system is provided with a different density to provide varying levels of hardness and stability to the arch of the foot of the individual user, and may be secured to the insole at adjustable locations. An appropriate arch support member and insole member are secured together and inserted into the shoe, with the arch support member positioned at the desired location relative to the arch of the foot. The shoe is then worn in the normal manner.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention pertains to an insole and arch support system. In particular, the present invention pertain to an adjustable and interchangeable insole and arch support system for use with footwear, namely, athletic footwear and sports shoes for men, women and children.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART
  • A variety of methods and devices are known in the art which seek to add cushioning or stability to a shoe to absorb the impact shock of walking, running, standing, jogging and other activities, and in turn to provide protection to the shoe wearer's foot. An arch support is particularly desirable for use with athletic footwear where the foot is exposed to repeated shocks from impact in running and other athletic activities. Typical prior art devices have been developed to provide cushioning, custom fit, support or stability to the foot inside a shoe which range from merely constructing the shoe sole from a softer, more resilient material, to incorporating fluid filled pads or bladders inside or otherwise attached to the sole of a shoe. Arch supports support and control the muscles, ligaments and plantar fascia to prevent fatigue, and other foot issues.
  • Typical arch supports known in the art have a polypropylene shell that is flexible enough to provide comfort, while being rigid enough to properly support the person's arch and to restore foot structure to a natural position during activity.
  • The semi-rigid shell are often-times custom milled to fit a particular individual's foot structure using a medical foot casting system. The resulting custom-fit arch support can be quite expensive. Moreover, obtaining replacement arch supports for replacing broken, worn-down, lost or otherwise ineffective custom-fit arch supports can be cost prohibitive.
  • Alternatively, generic shapes and sizes can be purchased based on foot size and arch height. In such instances, conventional arch supports provide varying levels of support by providing a range of arch supports made of different materials and/or different thicknesses. Although less expensive than custom-fit arch supports, generic-shaped arch supports of different thicknesses can cause an uncomfortable and unbalanced sensation to the user since a support of one thickness can be employed in one shoe while an arch support of a different thickness is employed in the other shoe.
  • Additionally, many conventional arch supports bear directly against the arch of the foot. This can also cause an uncomfortable sensation for the user since part of the foot would bear against the insole while the arch of the foot bears against the arch support. Many users often times would prefer that the foot bear against a consistent and smooth surface devoid of irregularities to maintain consistency and comfort.
  • Generic shaped arch supports made of different thicknesses and materials can also still be relatively expensive to manufacture since a different die or mold would be required to manufacture each different sized arch support.
  • Alternative conventional methods include the manufacture of a shoe or sandal with a built-in permanent arch support. Built-in arch supports are disadvantageous in that satisfactory arch support to meet particular requirements for the user is often not achieved.
  • In regards to shoe soles employing fluid filled pads or bladders to provide cushioning to the foot, the particular fluid filled bladders employed are often incapable of providing cushioning to the foot for all of the varying magnitudes of force exerted on the foot and the varying areas of the foot subjected to the forces in footstep impacts in jogging, running and other athletic activities. Prior art fluid filled bladders are typically designed to provide cushioning in the particular area of the shoe sole where the bladder is located, for example in the heel or forefoot areas of the shoe sole. These prior art devices provide no cushioning for other areas of the shoe sole where footstep impact may occur, such as in the arch of the foot. Many prior art fluid filled bladders are effective in providing cushioning to the foot only when the force of footstep impact is concentrated at the center of the fluid filled bladder. Should forces from footstep impact occur along the outer or inner edge of the runner's foot, as is very often the case, the footstep impact forces exerted on the outer or inner edges of the prior art fluid bladders often cause the fluid to be forced from these areas to other areas of the bladders. With the fluid having been forced elsewhere from the inner or outer areas of the bladders, these bladders are unable to provide sufficient cushioning to the foot.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,400,528 (Skinner, et al.) provides a cushion insole for a shoe having a cushion insole member and a separate arch support member which may be secured to the insole member or shoe foundation and which includes an arch support section bearing against the arch of the foot. The arch support member is available in various sizes to conform to the arch of the foot of the individual user, and may be secured to the insole member or shoe foundation. Arch support members may be provided having arch support sections varying in thicknesses. By thus providing a range of sizes, the user is thus able to select an arch support member which will provide the desired amount of arch support. The selected arch support member is then secured to the insole member, and positioned inside the shoe. The means for securing the arch support member to the insole member comprises a plurality of projecting members (or studs) on either the insole member or the arch support member. The other member includes a plurality of holes for receiving the projecting members. If desired, a stud array may be formed in the arch support member, and a cooperating hole array is provided in either the insole member or the shoe interior for securing the arch support member.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 4,557,060 (Kawashima) teaches an insole for a sports shoe having recesses formed in the heel and forefoot areas.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,369,896 (Frachey, et al.) provides a sports shoe having a vamp and a lower support part which includes a sole and an insert having elements which are elastically deformable under pressure and which are enclosed in an airtight casing made of a plastic material. An insert comprising an elastically deformable element of substantially similar height and diameter and made of thermoplastic material enclosed in an air-tight casing is arranged in the lower part of the shoe.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 7,392,604 (Greene, et al.) provides a foot-supporting member that is modifiable with respect to the arch configuration. One of the insert portions which has varying thicknesses and contours may be positioned within an aperture to provide various degrees of arch support.
  • Accordingly, there is an unsatisfied need for an improved, cost-efficient, comfortable and easily manufactured insole and arch support system for use with footwear and which can be easily adapted for variable levels of desired arch support.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention is an adjustable and interchangeable insole and arch support system for a shoe. The system includes a modified insole and a set of adjustable and interchangeable arch support members for individual use. The adjustable and interchangeable insole and arch support system is easy to use and inexpensive to manufacture.
  • More particularly, in a first embodiment of the present invention, the adjustable and interchangeable insole and arch support system comprises an insole member and a plurality of separate arch support members that are interchangeable with each other depending on the preferences of the user. Each arch support member comprises a substantially identical shape, size and thickness to the others. Each arch support member may also comprise the same material as each additional arch support member of the plurality of arch support members. However, each arch support member comprises a different density of the specified employed material so as to provide each arch support member of the plurality of arch support members with a different level of hardness and resiliency, and in turn a different level of desired arch support.
  • The arch support member of the present invention is capable of being readily secured to the insole member by a securing mechanism, such as a tongue and groove interlocking arrangement. Each arch support member has a first, grooved section and an arch support section provided for securing the arch support member to the underside of the insole. An attachment mechanism is such that the grooved section lies generally in an interlocking manner against the lower surface or underside of the insole such that the arch support member extends upwardly so as to be positioned, when the insole is disposed in a shoe, to bear against the instep of the shoe and underneath the insole, i.e., between the insole and the shoe.
  • Arch support members may be provided having arch support members varying in densities but substantially uniform in size, shape and thickness. By thus providing a set of arch support members where each arch support is provided having a different density, the user is thus able to select a particular arch support member having a specific level of arch support which will thus provide the desired level of arch support while maintaining consistency and uniformity within the overall thickness of the system and between each shoe of the user. The selected arch support member is then secured to the underside of the insole, and positioned inside the shoe. It should be appreciated that a user could of course use an arch support member with one level of arch support with a first density in one foot, while using a second arch support member having a different density and thus a different level of arch support in the other foot. Of course, an arch support member can also be used with just one foot while no arch support is used at all in the second foot.
  • In a first embodiment, the mechanism for attaching or securing each arch support member to the insole includes a tongue-and-groove arrangement where the corresponding respective grooves in each of the insole and the arch support member are equidistant from each other. It should be appreciated that alternative methods for securing each arch support member to the insole may be employed, such as a hook and loop arrangement, a sliding grooved lock-in arrangement, a plurality of projecting members on one surface, such as on a surface of the arch support, corresponding to a plurality of receiving holes on an opposing surface, such as on the underside of the insole or an adhesive agent. In the first embodiment, the number of corresponding grooves provided on each arch support member and the insole are the same.
  • In a second embodiment of the present invention, a tongue-and-groove arrangement is provided as the securing mechanism in which additional grooves are provided on the underside of the insole relative to the number of corresponding grooves on the arch support member. In this embodiment of the present invention, the adjustable securing mechanism allows for the adjustable positioning of the arch support member within the shoe in either lengthwise direction on the underside of the insole to allow the arch support member to be positioned at an adjustable desired location relative to the individual's arch, i.e., closer to the heel end of the shoe or closer to the toe end of the shoe.
  • In an embodiment of the present invention, the insole's underside comprises a contoured arch portion for receiving and engaging with the arch support member. The arch support member is arranged to bear against the contoured arch portion so as to act in conjunction with the insole in providing arch support for the user. In a first embodiment, the size of the arch portion and arch support member are equal. In a second embodiment, the arch support portion is larger than the arch support member to allow a user to secure arch support member at variable locations on the underside of the insole as explained above. In other words, the user may move the arch support member forwardly or rearwardly as desired.
  • It is an object of the present invention to provide an arch support system that comprises interchangeable arch support members to provide variable desired levels of arch support for the user.
  • It is another object of the present invention to provide an arch support system that comprises interchangeable arch support members so that a user can easily provide one level of desired arch support in one shoe and a second level of desired arch support in another shoe.
  • It is still another object of the present invention to provide an arch support system where each interchangeable arch support member of a plurality of arch support members can be easily secured and removed from the insole.
  • It is yet another object of the present invention to provide an arch support system where each arch support member of the plurality of arch support members has substantially uniform size, thickness, shape and material.
  • It is another object of the present invention to provide an arch support system where each arch support member of the plurality of arch support members has a different density for providing different levels of hardness and resiliency between each separate arch support member of the set of arch support members.
  • It is still another object of the present invention to provide an arch support system which is easily and inexpensively manufactured.
  • It is yet another object of the present invention to provide an arch support system where the set of arch support members can be manufactured from a single dye or mold by conventional injection molding processes.
  • Still other objects and aspects of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the following description wherein there is shown and described a preferred embodiment of the present invention, simply by way of illustration of one of the best modes suited to carry out the invention. As it will be realized, the invention is capable of other different embodiments, and its several details are capable of modifications in various obvious aspects all without deviation from the invention. Accordingly, the drawings and descriptions should be regarded as illustrative in nature and not as restrictive.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective sectional view of the shoe, illustrating the arch support system according to the present invention.
  • FIG. 2A is a bottom view of an insole and a top view of an arch support member according to a first embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2B is a bottom view of an insole illustrating an engagement with an arch support member according to a first embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 3A is a bottom view of an arch support member according to a first embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 3B is a top view of an arch support member according to a first embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an arch support member according to a first embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 5 is a front view of an arch support member according to a first embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 6A is a bottom view of an insole and a top view of an arch support member according to an alternative embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 6B is a bottom view of an insole illustrating an engagement with an arch support member in a first position according to an alternative embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 6C is a bottom view of an insole illustrating an engagement with an arch support member in a second position according to an alternative embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 7A is a bottom view of an insole and a top view of an arch support member according to another alternative embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 7B is a bottom view of an insole illustrating an engagement with an arch support member according to another alternative embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIGS. 8A and 8B are top and bottom views of an alternative embodiment of an arch support member according to the present invention.
  • FIGS. 9A, 9B and 9C are perspective view of another alternative set of arch support members having variable thicknesses.
  • FIG. 10 is a bottom view of an insole illustrating an engagement with an arch support member in a another alternative embodiment of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • The present invention is now described in its preferred embodiments. In the following description, for purposes of explanation, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention. It will be evident, however, to one skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced without these specific details.
  • An adjustable and interchangeable insole and arch support system 1 according to the present invention comprises an insole 10 and an arch support member 20. As shown in FIGS. 1-5, the insole 10 includes a body 11 which has the general overall configuration of a conventional sports shoe (or other footwear) cushion insole, with a generally flat sole portion 12, a toe end 14, a heel end 16 and a contoured arch support receiving area 18. Sole portion 12 can include treads 40 and air portals or breathing holes 42, as conventional in the art. The insole body 11 may comprise a cushioned material as conventional in the art, and may be formed in accordance with known constructions, for example, a resilient foam or rubber body covered by an upper felt layer.
  • Contoured arch support receiving area 18 is integral with and formed into the underside of insole member 10. In a first embodiment, contoured arch support receiving area 18 comprises dimensions, or a “footprint,” that substantially corresponds to arch support member 20 to facilitate the placement of each arch support member 20 into contoured arch support receiving area 18. Contoured arch support receiving area 18 further comprises a plurality of grooves 30 that are evenly spaced from one another. Plurality of grooves 30 are arranged on the underside of insole 10 and within the footprint of contoured arch support receiving area 18. Plurality of grooves 30 form an engagement point or area for securing each arch support member 18 to the underside of insole 10.
  • Referring to FIGS. 3-5, arch support member 20 includes an attachment side 32 and a contoured arch support side 34. The arch support side 34 is contoured as conventional in the art and to provide sufficient arch support for the user. The attachment side 32 of arch support member 20 comprises a plurality of groves 36 that are equally spaced from each other. Plurality of grooves 36 are arranged on the attachment side 32 of arch support member 20 for corresponding to and engaging with the plurality of grooves 30 of contoured arch support receiving area 18. As illustrated in FIGS. 3A-5, grooves 30 are squared-grooves being formed at substantially right angles relative to the insole 10. Alternative shaped grooves 30, such as triangular-shaped grooves 30A (FIG. 8A) may also be employed in accordance with the present invention and would engage with correspondingly-shaped grooves in the arch support receiving area 18. It should be appreciated that grooves may be incorporated having any shape conventional in the art for securing arch support member 20 to the arch support receiving area 18. Plurality of grooves 36 form an engagement point or area for securing each arch support member 20 to the underside of insole 10.
  • As illustrated, grooves 30, 36 are oriented and engaged in a substantially perpendicular fashion relative to the central axis of the insole 10. It should be appreciated that grooves 30, 36 may alternatively be oriented substantially parallel to the central axis of the insole, or in any other orientation within the spirit of the present invention.
  • In accordance with the present invention, each arch support member 20 of the plurality of interchangeable arch support members comprises the same material but comprises different levels of density, which in turn provides each arch support member 18 with a separate level of hardness and resiliency while maintaining thickness, shape and size consistency. Varying levels of density between each arch support member 20 allows the user to select a particular arch support member 20 for providing a desired level of required arch support. Arch support members 20 may comprise any material known in the art for the manufacture of arch supports. Each arch support member 20 may comprise an elastomer material, a thermoplastic material or a thermoset material, or combinations of such materials. In one embodiment of the present invention, each arch support member 20 may comprise a polypropylene (PP) (polypropene) material with each arch support member 20 comprising a different density of polypropylene for providing varying levels of arch support. In another embodiment, each arch support member 20 may comprise an elastomer material, such as natural rubber, synthetic polyisoprene, butyl rubber, a copolymer of isobutylene and isoprene, halogenated butyl rubbers, chloro butyl rubber, bromo butyl rubber, polybutadiene, styrene-butadiene rubber, copolymer of polystyrene and polybutadiene, nitrile rubber, copolymer of polybutadiene and acrylonitrile, hydrogenated nitrile rubbers, chloroprene rubber, polychloroprene, neoprene, EPM (ethylene propylene rubber, a copolymer of ethylene and propylene), EPDM rubber (ethylene propylene diene rubber, a terpolymer of ethylene, propylene and a diene-component), epichlorohydrin rubber, polyacrylic rubber, silicone rubber, fluorosilicone rubber, fluoroelastomers, perfluoroelastomers, polyether block amides, chlorosulfonated polyethylene, ethylene-vinyl acetate, thermoplastic elastomers, thermoplastic vulcanizates, thermoplastic polyurethane, thermoplastic olefins, or polysulfide rubber, or combinations thereof. In yet another embodiment, the material may be a closed cell foam.
  • In accordance with the present invention, the density levels of the specific material(s) for manufacturing the arch support members comprise density levels in the range of 5 A to 90 A on the Shore A durometer scale. For example, in an embodiment where the system comprises three arch support members having three different densities, a first arch support member can have a density to produce a Shore A hardness of 10 A, a second arch support member can have a density to produce a Shore A hardness of 50 A and a third arch support member can have a density to produce a Shore A hardness of 80 A.
  • Also in accordance with the present invention, the set of arch support members can be colored according to the specific density level to assist the user's ability to identify an arch support member having a specific density and hardness. For example, in an embodiment where the system comprises three arch support members having three different densities, a first arch support member can have the lowest density to produce the lowest hardness, identified by a no color or an opaque clear color, a second arch support member can have a medium density to produce a medium hardness, identified by a color, such as orange, and a third arch support member can have the highest density to produce the highest hardness, identified by black.
  • It should be appreciated, however, that the set of arch support members can still be provided having varying levels of thicknesses (FIGS. 9A, 9B and 9C) in addition to, or instead of, varying levels of densities in accordance with the present invention. For example, FIG. 9A illustrates an arch support member 20 having a thickness (T) at the arch of about ⅛ inch and progressively tapering to a thickness of about 1/16 inch at each end. FIG. 9B illustrates an arch support member 20 having a thickness (T) at the arch of about ¼ inch and progressively tapering to a thickness of about ⅛ inch at each end. FIG. 9C illustrates an arch support member 20 having a thickness (T) at the arch of about ½ inch and progressively tapering to a thickness of about ¼ inch at each end.
  • Referring to FIG. 2B, the arch support member 20 is secured to the insole member 10 by positioning the attachment side 32 (in the illustrated embodiment, a square-shaped grooved-attachment) of arch support member 20 to the underside of insole 10. The respective grooves 30, 36 of arch support receiving area 18 and arch support member 20 engage in an interlocking manner in order to secure arch support member 20 to the underside of insole 10. As mounted, the attachment side 32 of the arch support member 20 bears against the lower surface of the insole body 11 and the arch portion 34 of the arch support member 20 bears directly against the shoe while in use.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 6A, 6B, 7A and 7B, alternative embodiments of the insole and arch support member system is shown and referred to generally at 50. The alternative embodiment of the insole 51 is essentially identical to the first embodiment as discussed above. However, an arch support portion receiving area 52 of insole 51 comprises a larger footprint than the corresponding feature as shown in the first embodiment and FIG. 1. Arch support receiving area 52 having a larger footprint facilitates allowing the user to secure the interchangeable arch support member 54 at variable locations on the underside of the insole 51. In other words, the user may thus move or adjust or move the arch support member 54 forwardly or rearwardly as desired to allow for sufficient arch support at any desired location on the foot. As illustrated, arch support member 54 may be adjustable in a sliding manner (FIGS. 7A and 7B) having grooves 56 that are oriented substantially parallel to the central axis of the insole 51 with sliding being contact between the arch support member and the arch support receiving area of the insole is substantially maintained. Alternatively, as illustrated, arch support member 54 may be adjustable in a “lift and shift” manner (FIGS. 6A, 6B and 6C) having grooves 56 that are oriented substantially perpendicular to the central axis of the insole 51 with “lift and shift” being contact between the arch support member and the arch support receiving area of the insole is disengaged and then the arch support member is replaced in a different location at the arch support receiving area.
  • In this manner, in accordance with the arch support system of the invention, the location of the grooves, and thereby the general location of the arch support member within the shoe, is based upon the size of the insole member (or shoe) and the personal preferences of the user. However, because the securing mechanism (e.g., tongue-and-groove system) allows the position of the arch support member to be adjusted, the arch support member can be moved both axially and laterally to position the arch support member 54 at the optimal location for the individual's foot.
  • In yet another alternative embodiment as shown in FIG. 10, arch support members 20 may be stackable upon one another to provide additional thickness and arch support. For purposes of illustration, two arch support members 20 a, 20 b are shown being stackable. It should be appreciated that any desirable number of arch support members may be stacked upon one another in accordance with the present invention. A securing arrangement, such as a post 60 a and hole 60 b arrangement, may also be provided in connection with arch support members to facilitate the arch support members being stackable and to maintain stacking integrity.
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a shoe 100, in which the upper 102 and a portion of the insole 10 have been cut away to illustrate the shoe interior 104 and placement of system 1 within the shoe 100. The shoe includes a foundation, which may include an outsole secured to a piece of soling material, having a flat upper surface 106. The foundation may be formed in any conventional manner.
  • In this manner, as shown in FIG. 1, an adjustable and interchangeable insole and arch support system can easily be inserted inside the shoe 100 with the arch support member 20 secured between the shoe and the insole to provide sufficient arch support, as well as a consistent and smooth surface to bear against the foot.
  • In accordance with the present invention, shoes are provided, in addition to the appropriately sized insole 10, with arch support members of various densities. Different size arch support members may be packaged together with the shoes when sold, or may be available separately at the retailer as a separate system purchased in conjunction with the footwear. When the shoes are purchased, the user then selects the appropriate arch support member from the set, and secures it to the insole at the desired location. Because the arch support member is releasably secured to the insole, the user may sample different sized arch support members and/or locations, and thus select the appropriate configuration for each foot. Once the correct arch support member and/or location has been selected, if desired, the arch support member may be permanently secured to the insole member or shoe foundation using conventional methods, such as an adhesive.
  • The foregoing represents preferred embodiments of the present invention. Variations and modifications will be apparent to persons skilled in the art, without departing from the inventive concepts disclosed herein. While arch support members of different densities and hardnesses have been shown to illustrate the principles of the invention, preferably at least three different arch support members having three different densities and hardnesses are available, corresponding to low, medium, and high densities and hardnesses. All such modifications and variations are intended to be within the skill of the art, as defined in the following claims.
  • What has been described above are preferred aspects of the present invention. It is of course not possible to describe every conceivable combination of components or methodologies for purposes of describing the present invention, but one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that many further combinations and permutations of the present invention are possible. Accordingly, the present invention is intended to embrace all such alterations, combinations, modifications, and variations that fall within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

Claims (18)

1. An insole and arch support system for insertion into a shoe, said system comprising:
an insole member having an upper surface and a lower surface for defining a cushioned body, said insole member having toe and heel areas and a contoured arch support receiving area between said sole and heel areas, wherein said contoured arch support receiving area comprises a first portion of a securing mechanism; and
a plurality of interchangeable arch support members, wherein one arch support member of said plurality of interchangeable arch support members is employed with said system, each arch support member comprising a first surface and a second surface for defining a contoured body, said first surface of said arch support member comprising a second portion of a securing mechanism for corresponding to said first portion of a securing mechanism of said contoured arch support receiving area, and wherein said first portion of a securing mechanism and said second portion of a securing mechanism correspond to and engage with each other for engaging said arch support member with said contoured arch support receiving area.
2. The system according to claim 1, wherein said arch support member is selected from a set of arch support members, each arch support member of said set comprising a different density and hardness from each other arch support member of said set.
3. The system according to claim 1, wherein each arch support member comprises a different density for providing a specific hardness level, said hardness level being in the range between 5 A and 90 A on the Shore A durometer scale.
4. The system according to claim 1, wherein said securing mechanism affects the engagement between said arch support member and said contoured arch support receiving area.
5. The system according to claim 4, wherein said securing mechanism is selected from the group consisting of a tongue-and-groove interlocking arrangement, a hook and loop arrangement, a sliding grooved lock-in arrangement, a plurality of projecting members corresponding to a plurality of receiving holes and an adhesive agent.
6. The system according to claim 5, wherein the grooves of said tongue-and-groove interlocking arrangement are selected from the group consisting of square-shaped grooves and triangular-shaped grooves.
7. The system according to claim 1, wherein said insole comprises a plurality of breathing holes.
8. The system according to claim 1, wherein each arch support member of said group of arch support members comprises a different density of the same material for providing a variable level of hardness and a variable level of support for each of said arch support members.
9. The system according to claim 1, wherein each arch support member comprises a material selected from the group consisting of elastomers, thermoplastics and thermosets.
10. The system according to claim 9, wherein each arch support member comprises a material selected from the group consisting of polypropylene, a rigid or semi-rigid thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) soft plastic, nylon, rubber, foam, cork, thermoplastic urethane and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene, and combinations of said materials.
11. The system according to claim 9, wherein said elastomer material is selected from the group consisting of natural rubber, synthetic polyisoprene, butyl rubber, a copolymer of isobutylene and isoprene, halogenated butyl rubbers, chloro butyl rubber, bromo butyl rubber, polybutadiene, styrene-butadiene rubber, copolymer of polystyrene and polybutadiene, nitrile rubber, copolymer of polybutadiene and acrylonitrile, hydrogenated nitrile rubbers, chloroprene rubber, polychloroprene, neoprene, EPM (ethylene propylene rubber, a copolymer of ethylene and propylene), EPDM rubber (ethylene propylene diene rubber, a terpolymer of ethylene, propylene and a diene-component), epichlorohydrin rubber, polyacrylic rubber, silicone rubber, fluorosilicone rubber, fluoroelastomers, perfluoroelastomers, polyether block amides, chlorosulfonated polyethylene, ethylene-vinyl acetate, thermoplastic elastomers, thermoplastic vulcanizates, thermoplastic polyurethane, thermoplastic olefins, and polysulfide rubber, or combinations thereof.
12. The system according to claim 1, wherein at least two arch support members are stackable on top of one another.
13. An insole and arch support system for insertion into a shoe, said system comprising:
an insole member having an upper surface and a lower surface for defining a cushioned body, said insole member having toe and heel areas and a contoured arch support receiving area between said sole and heel areas, wherein said contoured arch support receiving area comprises a first portion of a securing mechanism; and
a plurality of interchangeable arch support members, wherein one arch support member of said plurality of interchangeable arch support members is employed with said system, each arch support member comprising an upper surface and a lower surface for defining a contoured body and wherein each arch support member comprises an area that is less than the area of said contoured arch support receiving area, said upper surface of said arch support member comprising a second portion of a securing mechanism for engaging with said first portion of a securing mechanism of said contoured arch support receiving area, and wherein said first portion of a securing mechanism and said second portion of a securing mechanism engage with each other for securing said arch support member with said contoured arch support receiving area at variable locations on the underside of said insole between said toe area and said heel area, and wherein said arch support member is movable relative to the securement with said arch support receiving area.
14. The system according to claim 13, wherein said arch support member is movable relative to the securement with said arch support receiving area in a manner selected from the group consisting of a sliding arrangement and a lift and shift arrangement.
15. The system according to claim 13, wherein at least two arch support members are stackable on top of one another.
16. The system according to claim 1, wherein said plurality of interchangeable arch support members comprise a thickness at the arch area in the range of between about ⅛ inch to about ½ inch and progressively tapering towards each end to a thickness in the range of about 1/16 inch to about ¼ inch.
17. The system according to claim 1, wherein said wherein said plurality of interchangeable arch support members comprise arch support members having varying levels of thicknesses.
18. An insole and arch support system for insertion into a shoe, said system comprising:
an insole member having an upper surface and a lower surface for defining a cushioned body, said insole member having toe and heel areas and a contoured arch support receiving area between said sole and heel areas, wherein said contoured arch support receiving area comprises a plurality of grooves; and
a plurality of interchangeable arch support members, wherein one arch support member of said plurality of interchangeable arch support members is employed with said system, each arch support member comprising a first surface and a second surface for defining a contoured body, said first surface of said arch support member comprising a plurality of grooves for corresponding to said plurality of grooves of said contoured arch support receiving area, and wherein said plurality of grooves of said arch support member and said plurality of grooves of said contoured arch support receiving area correspond to and engage with each other for engaging said arch support member with said contoured arch support receiving area.
US12/802,664 2010-06-11 2010-06-11 Adjustable and interchangebale insole and arch support system Abandoned US20110302805A1 (en)

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