US20120017467A1 - Orthotic shoe and insole assemblies - Google Patents

Orthotic shoe and insole assemblies Download PDF

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Publication number
US20120017467A1
US20120017467A1 US13/126,101 US200913126101A US2012017467A1 US 20120017467 A1 US20120017467 A1 US 20120017467A1 US 200913126101 A US200913126101 A US 200913126101A US 2012017467 A1 US2012017467 A1 US 2012017467A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
central axis
foot
portion
resilient member
sole
Prior art date
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Abandoned
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US13/126,101
Inventor
Kendrick Whitney
James McGuire
Richard Posoff
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Temple University
Original Assignee
Temple University
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Publication date
Priority to US10866408P priority Critical
Priority to US61/108664 priority
Application filed by Temple University filed Critical Temple University
Priority to US13/126,101 priority patent/US20120017467A1/en
Priority to PCT/US2009/062024 priority patent/WO2010062539A2/en
Assigned to TEMPLE UNIVERSITY - OF THE COMMONWEALTH SYSTEM OF HIGHER EDUCATION reassignment TEMPLE UNIVERSITY - OF THE COMMONWEALTH SYSTEM OF HIGHER EDUCATION ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: MCGUIRE, JAMES, POSOFF, RICHARD, WHITNEY, KENDRICK
Publication of US20120017467A1 publication Critical patent/US20120017467A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B13/00Soles; Sole and heel units
    • A43B13/14Soles; Sole and heel units characterised by the constructive form
    • A43B13/18Resilient soles
    • A43B13/20Pneumatic soles filled with a compressible fluid, e.g. air, gas
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B13/00Soles; Sole and heel units
    • A43B13/14Soles; Sole and heel units characterised by the constructive form
    • A43B13/18Resilient soles
    • A43B13/187Resiliency achieved by the features of the material, e.g. foam, non liquid materials
    • 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
    • A43B3/00Footwear characterised by the shape or the use
    • A43B3/0031Footwear provided with a pocket, e.g. for keys or a card
    • 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
    • A43B7/144Footwear 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 heel, i.e. the calcaneus bone
    • 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
    • A43B7/1445Footwear 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 midfoot, i.e. the metatarsal
    • 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 orthotic shoe sole assembly and an orthotic insole are disclosed herein. The orthotic shoe assembly includes a shoe sole having an exposed surface and at least one exposed cavity accessible via the exposed surface. The at least one exposed cavity includes a central region and a plurality of channels extending from the central region. A resilient member is removably positioned within the central region of the exposed cavity. The resilient member is configured to resiliently expand into at least one of the plurality of channels of the exposed cavity. The orthotic insole is removably positioned to selectively conceal the exposed cavity of the shoe sole and the resilient member. The orthotic insole includes a central axis member for supporting a foot along its central axis.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to orthotic shoe and insole assemblies.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • External orthotic treatment of the human foot is desirable to enhance comfort of the foot, relieve pain associated with weakness, injuries, and malformation of the foot and to prevent tissue damage from conditions such as plantarfasciitis, heel pain, arch strain, ball-of-the-foot pain (metatarsalgia), tendonitis, arthritis and diabetic foot disorders.
  • While many known orthotic shoes and insoles incorporate shock-attenuating materials for alleviating one or more of the above conditions, such shoes and insoles typically limit expansion of the shock-attenuating materials. Expansion of the shock-attenuating material is limited by the interior confines of those shoes thereby limiting the cushioning and comforting potential of the shock-attenuating materials. For that reason, those shoes inadequately attenuate shock and impact over a large surface area of the user's foot. Furthermore, those orthotic shoes and insoles do not typically support an end-user's foot along its central axis.
  • For at least those reasons, improvements in the design of orthotic shoes and insoles are continually sought in the interest of comfort and relieving pain associated with plantarfasciitis, heel pain, arch strain, metatarsalgia (ball-of-the-foot pain), tendonitis, arthritis and diabetic foot disorders.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • Aspects of the invention relate to an orthotic shoe sole assembly and an orthotic insole that provide a unique form of central axis torsional support and a pressure absorbing energy return system in the sole that work in conjunction to provide for enhanced comfort, improved biomechanical function, and increased shock attenuation during the contact and propulsive phases of gait.
  • The orthotic shoe sole assembly disclosed herein includes a shoe sole defining a cavity and a resilient member positioned within the cavity. The cavity includes a series of channels into which the resilient member may expand under the force of compression. Accommodating expansion of a resilient member is beneficial for enhancing the distribution of forces applied by the foot thereby resulting in more efficient energy return of those forces.
  • The orthotic insole disclosed herein includes a central axis member for supporting the foot along its central axis. The central axis reinforces the heel cup of the insole and provides linear arch elevation and torsional control under the anatomical “spine” of the foot permitting greater mobility of the medial and lateral borders of the foot. Utilized together, the shoe sole assembly and the insole direct the forces of gait to allow for a smooth transition from heel-strike to toe-off. The shoe sole assembly and the shoe insole may be used independently or in combination.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The invention is best understood from the following detailed description when read in connection with the accompanying drawing. It is emphasized that, according to common practice, the various features of the drawing are shown schematically and may not be to scale. Included in the drawing are the following figures:
  • FIG. 1 depicts a top side perspective view of a shoe sole including two exposed cavities formed therein according to one aspect of the invention.
  • FIG. 2 depicts a top plan view of the shoe sole of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 3 depicts a perspective view of a resilient member that is sized for placement within an exposed cavity of the sole of FIG. 1 according to one aspect of the invention.
  • FIG. 4A depicts a top side perspective view of a shoe sole assembly comprising two resilient members positioned within respective exposed cavities of the shoe sole of FIG. 1, wherein the resilient members are illustrated in an uncompressed state.
  • FIG. 4B depicts the resilient members of FIG. 4A in a compressed state.
  • FIG. 5 depicts a top side perspective view of an orthotic insole according to one aspect of the invention.
  • FIG. 6 depicts a bottom plan view of the orthotic insole of FIG. 5.
  • FIG. 7 depicts a top side perspective view of a central axis member of the orthotic insole of FIG. 6.
  • FIG. 8 depicts a cross-sectional side view of a shoe including the orthotic insole of FIG. 5 positioned on the exposed surface of the shoe sole assembly of FIG. 4A, wherein the upper of the shoe is illustrated in broken lines.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention will next be illustrated with reference to the figures. Such figures are intended to be illustrative rather than limiting and are included herewith to facilitate explanation of the present invention. In the figures, like items numbers refer to like elements throughout.
  • FIGS. 1 and 2 depict a top side perspective view and a top plan view, respectively, of shoe sole 10 according to one exemplary embodiment of the invention. Shoe sole 10 is a component of a shoe, such as a sport shoe, a dress shoe, a therapeutic shoe or slipper, for example. Shoe sole 10 may also be referred to in the art as an outsole. According to this exemplary embodiment, shoe sole 10 is a double-rocker sole, as described in greater detail with references to FIG. 8. Shoe sole 10 defines tread surface 12, a small portion of which is illustrated, for contacting a ground surface (not shown). Sole 10 further defines an exposed surface 14 (i.e., exposed to an end-user) that is oriented opposite tread surface 12 of sole 10. A recess 15 is defined in sole 10 and is sized for accommodating an insole (not shown). In use, an insole (not shown in FIGS. 1 and 2) is removably positioned in recess 15 and rests on exposed surface 14 of sole 10.
  • Two exposed cavities 16 and 18 are formed on exposed surface 14 of sole 10. Exposed cavities 16 and 18 are accessible to an end-user by removing the insole (not shown) positioned on exposed surface 14. As described in greater detail with reference to FIGS. 4A and 4B, a resilient member is positioned within each exposed cavity 16 and 18.
  • As best shown in FIG. 2, exposed cavity 16 is positioned at a location corresponding to a hindfoot region or heel portion of a foot when the foot is positioned within a shoe including sole 10. Exposed cavity 16 extends into sole 10 a portion of the depth “D” (see FIG. 8) of sole 10 between exposed surface 14 and pad mounting surface 20. Exposed cavity 16 includes an elliptical central region 24, as indicated by broken lines, and a plurality of expansion channels 28 (eight shown) each extending from central region 24 and toward exterior surface 31 of sole 10.
  • Expansion channels 28 of exposed cavity 16 may extend a desired length from central region 24 and may have essentially any desired cross-sectional shape such as square (as shown), circular, elliptical, rectangular, and so forth. Additionally, although not shown, one or more expansion channels 28 may extend through exterior surface 31, such that a resilient member (not shown in FIG. 2) that is positioned within exposed cavity 16 can be viewed externally of the shoe. Suitable lengths and shapes of expansion channels will be understood by any one of skill in the art from the description herein.
  • Central region 24 of exposed cavity 16 is substantially elliptical. The major axis of central region 24 extends substantially parallel to a central axis “A” of sole 10 and the minor axis of central region 24 extends substantially perpendicular to central axis “A” of sole 10. In such an orientation, central region 24 conforms to the shape of the heel portion of a foot.
  • Exposed cavity 18 is positioned at a location corresponding to a forefoot region of a foot when the foot is positioned within a shoe including sole 10. Exposed cavity 18 extends into sole 10 a portion of depth “E” of sole 10 (see FIG. 8) between exposed surface 14 and pad mounting surface 22. Exposed cavity 18 includes an elliptical central region 26, as indicated by broken lines, and a plurality of expansion channels 30 (fourteen shown) each extending from central region 26 and toward exterior surface 31 of sole 10. Central region 26 of exposed cavity 18 is substantially elliptical. The minor axis of central region 26 extends substantially parallel to central axis “A” of sole 10 and the major axis of central region 26 extends substantially perpendicular to central axis “A” of sole 10. In such an orientation, central region 26 conforms to the shape of the forefoot portion of a foot at a location corresponding to the base of the metatarsals of the foot.
  • Similar to expansion channels 28 of exposed cavity 16, channels 30 of exposed cavity 18 may extend any desired length from central region 26 and may have any desired cross-sectional shape such as square (as shown), circular, elliptical, rectangular, and so forth. Additionally, although not shown, one or more channels 30 may extend through exterior surface 31 of outsole 10, such that a resilient member (not shown in FIG. 2) that is positioned within exposed cavity 18 can be viewed externally of the shoe through a port that connects exterior surface 31 of sole 10 with exposed cavity 18. While a series of ports 32 shown in FIG. 1 are ornamental, they depict the location of such ports for viewing the resilient member.
  • Exposed cavities 16 and 18 of sole 10 are not limited to that shown and described herein, as sole 10 may include any number of exposed cavities that are positioned at any desired location along exposed surface 14 of sole 10.
  • FIG. 3 depicts a perspective view of a resilient member 34 that is sized to fit within exposed cavity 16 of sole 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2. The description of resilient member 34 provided hereinafter also applies to resilient member 36, which is sized to fit within exposed cavity 18 of sole 10. The resilient members may be otherwise referred to herein as a viscoelastic pad, a coil, an amoebic coil, a gel pad or an insert.
  • Resilient members 34 and 36 have a substantially elliptical shape. The overall perimeter of resilient members 34 and 36 conforms to the size and shape of central region 24 and 26 of each exposed cavity 16 or 18, respectively. The depth of each resilient member 34 and 36 is approximately equal to the depth “D” and “E” of exposed cavity 16 and 18 of sole 10 (see FIG. 8), respectively. The size and shape of each resilient member 34 and 36 may vary to conform to the size and shape of each exposed cavity 16 or 18, respectively. The resilient members 34 and 36 may be substantially the same size so that they may be interchangeable or may be different sizes.
  • According to this exemplary embodiment, resilient member 34 includes a resilient medium encapsulated within a fluid-tight barrier material. By way of non-limiting example, the resilient medium may be a gas, a high viscosity liquid, a polymer, or any other resilient fluid or solid known to those skilled in the art. The density of the resilient medium of the resilient member 34 may vary to accommodate the weight or firmness desired by the end-user.
  • Resilient member 34 may be composed of a plurality of elliptical rings that are adhered or otherwise coupled together, or, alternatively, the resilient member 34 may be a single unitary structure. Resilient member 34 may incorporate a ribbed top surface and a ribbed bottom surface, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 8.
  • Although not shown, each resilient member may include indicia corresponding to its density, firmness, elasticity or recommended weight of the end-user, for example, enabling an end-user to select and install the most appropriate resilient member. The indicia may also refer to the size of the resilient member or the proper position of the resilient member, e.g., heel or forefoot, left foot or right foot, top side of resilient member or bottom side of resilient member, and so forth. The indicia may be provided in the form of a label that is applied to the resilient member, or the indicia may be printed directly on the surface of the resilient member.
  • According to an aspect of the invention, an orthotic shoe sole assembly kit is provided. The shoe sole assembly kit includes shoe sole 10 and at least three resilient members. Each resilient member has a pre-determined density, elasticity or firmness, wherein at least two of the resilient members have a different density, elasticity or firmness. Each resilient member includes indicia corresponding to its respective density, elasticity or firmness, for example, thereby enabling an end-user to select and install an appropriate resilient member based upon the density, elasticity or firmness of the selected resilient member. The end-user can replace the installed resilient member with another resilient member provided with the kit if so desired.
  • FIG. 4A depicts a top side perspective view of shoe sole assembly 38 which comprises two resilient members 34 and 36 removably positioned within respective exposed cavities 16 or 18 of sole 10 of FIG. 1. Resilient members 34 and 36 are shown in an uncompressed state in FIG. 4A. As best shown in FIG. 4A, the overall perimeter of resilient members 34 and 36 (in an uncompressed state) conform to the size and shape of central region 24 and 26 of each exposed cavity 16 or 18, respectively.
  • In an exemplary embodiment, in the uncompressed state, resilient members 34 and 36 do not intrude upon, i.e., enter, channels 28 and 30 of exposed cavities 18 and 20, respectively. As shown in FIG. 4A, the uncompressed resilient members 34 and 36 are sized to fill the elliptical void of central regions 24 and 26, respectively. In an alternative exemplary embodiment, the resilient members may extend into channels 28 and 30 (e.g., slightly) when in the uncompressed state and may extend further into channels 28 and 30 when in the compressed state.
  • The radial distance separating the boundary of each resilient member 34 and 36 and the boundary of a respective central region 24 and 26 influences the expansion of the resilient member under an applied load. Increasing the radial distance between a resilient member and a respective central region permits greater expansion of the resilient member under an applied load, and vice versa.
  • The respective sizes of resilient member 34 and central region 24 may be tailored to achieve a desired firmness at the heel region of sole 10. Similarly, the respective sizes of resilient member 36 and central region 26 may be tailored to achieve a desired firmness at the forefoot of sole 10. Decreasing the size of a resilient member with respect to the size of a central region in which the resilient member is accommodated would decrease firmness of sole 10 at a particular area, and vice versa. Additionally, the size and number of channels 28 and 30 may also be varied to achieve a desired firmness of orthotic sole 10 at either the heel or the forefoot region. Decreasing the size and number of channels of an exposed cavity would increase firmness and vice versa. Furthermore, the density of the resilient medium within a resilient member may be varied to adjust the firmness of sole 10. It will be understood by those skilled in the art that numerous ways exist to vary the firmness of sole 10 at a particular location without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention.
  • FIG. 4B depicts resilient members 34′ and 36′ of sole assembly 38 in a compressed state. The prime designation of the item numbers indicates that the resilient members are shown in a compressed state. In a compressed state, under the weight of the end-user's foot during stance or ambulation, the boundaries of resilient members 34 and 36 expand into channels 28 and 30 of exposed cavities 16 and 18, respectively. In use, as best illustrated in FIG. 4B, resilient member 34 expands into channels 28 of exposed cavity 20 upon compression of the heel during weight bearing (referred to as heel-strike). Resilient member 34 retracts from channels 28 upon unloading (referred to as heel-off). Similarly, resilient member 36 expands into channels 30 of exposed cavity 22 upon weight bearing of the forefoot. Resilient member 36 retracts from channels 30 upon unloading (referred to as toe-off). It should be understood that, by virtue of the resilient nature of resilient members 34 and 36, the resilient members return to their original uncompressed state upon unloading of the foot.
  • Accommodating expansion of resilient members 34′ and 36′ is beneficial for enhancing the distribution of forces applied by the foot, thereby resulting in more efficient energy return of those forces when the compressive forces are relieved. While many known orthotic shoes and insoles incorporate shock-attenuating materials for alleviating one or more of the above conditions, such shoes and insoles typically limit expansion of the shock-attenuating materials. Expansion of the shock-attenuating material is limited by the interior confines of those shoes thereby limiting the cushioning and comforting potential of the shock-attenuating materials.
  • Although not shown in FIGS. 1-4B, an insole may be removably positioned over exposed surface 14 of sole 10, thereby enabling an end-user to remove, replace or install resilient members 34 and 36 at will. To remove or install resilient member 34 or 36, an end-user simply removes the insole. Most conventional orthotic shoes do not provide a resilient member that is accessible to the end-user.
  • According to another exemplary embodiment not illustrated herein, one or more exposed cavities (similar to cavities 16 and 18) may be formed on a lower surface of an insole and resilient members 34 and 36 may be positioned within those cavities of the insole. In that exemplary embodiment, the sole may not include any cavities for accommodating resilient members.
  • FIGS. 5 and 6 depict a top side perspective view and a bottom plan view, respectively, of an orthotic insole 40 according to one aspect of the invention. The orthotic insole 40 may generally be referred to herein as a shoe insert or an orthotic. The illustrated orthotic insole 40 is sized and shaped for resting in a shoe and is a full-length insert, i.e., it expands the entire length of the foot.
  • Insole 40 defines a top surface for supporting a foot and a bottom surface for resting against exposed surface 14 of sole 10 (see FIG. 8). Insole 40 generally includes a hindfoot portion for supporting a heel of the foot, a midfoot portion extending from the hindfoot portion along the central axis “A” of the foot and a forefoot portion extending from the midfoot portion along the central axis “A”.
  • According to one aspect of the invention, orthotic insole 40 includes two portions 42 and 43 of varying material properties, such as rigidity, firmness, density and/or elasticity. As shown in FIG. 6, portion 42 is positioned on the bottom side of portion 43 and extends a portion of the length of insole 40. Portion 42 of insole 40 is also referred to hereinafter as a central axis portion or a central axis member because is it configured to support a foot along its central axis. If portion 42 is integral with portion 43, then portion 42 may be characterized as a ‘central axis portion.’ Alternatively, if portion 42 is not integral with portion 43, e.g., it is connected to portion 43 or it is positioned against portion 43, then portion 42 may be characterized as a ‘central axis member.’ The terms central axis member and central axis portion may be used interchangeably herein.
  • Portion 43 of insole 40 represents the remaining portion of insole 40. Portion 43 is provided for cushioning the end-user's foot. Portion 43 includes metatarsal pad 45 that is defined on the top surface of insole 40 for cushioning the region of the end-user's forefoot corresponding to the head region of the metatarsals. Metatarsal pad 45 may be integral with, coupled to or positioned on the top surface of insole 40.
  • FIG. 7 depicts a top side perspective view of central axis member 42 of orthotic insole 40 of FIG. 6. Central axis member 42 generally encompasses a heel cup 44 that is positioned to correspond with the heel of a user's foot, a central section 46 that is positioned to correspond with an arch of the foot and a flat or slightly elevated forefoot section 48 that is positioned to correspond with a location of the end-user's foot that is immediately behind the metatarsal heads.
  • Heel cup 44 has a substantially conical shape for seating a user's heel. Opening 50 is provided in the center of heel cup 44 for retaining the user's heel over heel cup 44. Central section 46 of central axis member 42 is a narrow portion of insole 40 that is defined between heel cup 44 and forefoot section 48. Central section 46 is positioned within insole 40 to correspond with and extend along central axis “A” of a user's foot (see FIG. 2) for supporting the foot along its central axis “A.” Forefoot section 48 of central axis member 42 extends from central section 46 and has a substantially elliptical shape. Forefoot section 48 is sized and shaped within insole 40 to correspond with a location of the foot that is directly beneath the neck region of the metatarsals. Forefoot section 48 is anatomically shaped or slightly elevated to support a region of the end-user's foot that corresponds to the neck region of the metatarsals in an effort to offload the metatarsals during stance and ambulation.
  • Central axis member 42 reinforces the heel portion and provides linear arch elevation and torsional control under the anatomical “spine” of the foot (i.e., corresponding to the second cuneiform and 2nd metatarsal shaft), thereby permitting greater mobility of the medial and lateral borders of the foot. Furthermore, central axis member 42 permits free mobility of the medial and lateral borders of the foot.
  • Portions 42 and 43 of insole 40 may be composed of two different materials. Alternatively, portions 42 and 43 of insole 40 may be composed of the same material with varying material properties, such as density, rigidity and/or elasticity. According to one aspect of the invention, central axis portion 42 has a greater rigidity (i.e., firmness) than portion 43 of insole 40 for firmly supporting the foot along its central axis and evenly distributing a user's weight over the surface area of the resilient members.
  • By way of non-limiting example, central axis member 42 of insole 40 may be composed of polypropylene, Subortholen®, a moldable polymer or any other suitable material known to those skilled in the art. Also, by way of non-limiting example, portion 43 of insole 40 may be composed of foam, Ethylene vinyl acetate, urethane, or any other suitable material which will be understood to those skilled in the art from the description herein.
  • Central axis portion 42 may be integrally formed with portion 43 or permanently mounted to portion 43 by an adhesive, for example. According to one aspect of the invention, portions 42 and 43 are molded together in a molding operation. Portion 43 may be partially or entirely molded around central axis portion 42. If portion 43 is partially or entirely molded around central axis portion 42, portion 43 may be considered as an ‘outer shell’ of insole 40 because it encases central axis portion 42 within an interior region of the outer shell. Those skilled in the art will recognize others ways to fabricate an insole having portions of varying material properties from the description herein without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention.
  • According to another aspect of the invention, central axis member 42 and portion 43 of insole 40 are formed independently and are releasably coupled together such that central axis member 42 can be replaced by an end-user. In that respect, the material of central axis member 42 may be tailored to complement the weight or ailment of an end-user or to influence the degree of control applied to the end-user's foot. Moreover, insole 40 may be provided in kit form including a portion 43 and several central axis members 42 of varying material properties, thereby enabling a user to select the most appropriate central axis member 42 to complement his or her unique condition.
  • FIG. 8 depicts a cross-sectional side view of a shoe 52 including orthotic insole
  • of FIG. 5 resting on exposed surface 14 of sole assembly 38. Vamp 53 of the shoe is connected to sole 10 and is illustrated in broken lines. Insole 40 is removably positioned over exposed surface 14 of sole 10, thereby enabling an end-user to easily remove insole 40 to remove or install resilient members 34 or 36.
  • Shoe sole 10 illustrated in FIG. 8 is a double-rocker sole. Integral tread 12 formed in the over-mould of sole 10 comprises a first rocker profile 54 that extends under the hindfoot and a second rocker profile 56 that extends under the forefoot. The zone between rocker profiles 54 and 56 is relieved to support the arch of the foot. The hindfoot and forefoot rockers 54 and 56 are designed to assist the user's body in moving rapidly over the heel, the arch area and the ball of the foot. It should be understood by those skilled in the art that sole 10 may include a single rocker, or no rocker at all, without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention.
  • By positioning one or more resilient members 34 and 36 within a double rocker sole (or within an orthotic insert), resilient members 34 and 36 cushion the foot and work with sole 10 to provide for a smooth, energy efficient gait, as well as increased shock attenuation over conventional solid cushioning designs. Shoe 52 redistributes compressive forces during loading and directs the progression of the foot from heel-strike to toe-off by virtue of the arrangement of rockers 54 and 56 and resilient members 34 and 36.
  • Furthermore, utilized together, sole assembly 38 and insole 40 direct the forces of gait to allow for a smooth transition from heel-strike to toe-off. Heel cup 44 and forefoot section 48 of central axis member 42 seat the wearer's heel and ball of the foot directly over resilient members 34 and 36, respectively. Heel cup 44 and forefoot section 48 of central axis member 42 direct the pressure that is applied by the foot onto resilient members 34 and 36 which expand and contract into and out of expansion channels 28 and 30, respectively.
  • At the moment of heel-strike, heel cup 44 directs the pressure that is exerted by the foot onto resilient member 34 thereby compressing resilient member 34 into channels 28 of the exposed cavity 20. In a compressed state, resilient member 34 is a source of potential energy. Upon heel-off, resilient member 34 retracts from channels 28 of insole 10 and the potential energy stored within resilient member 34 is converted to kinetic energy propelling central axis member 42 along with the heel of the foot in the upwards direction. Additionally, by virtue of the resilient nature of central axis member 42, central axis member 42 stores energy during heel-strike and torsional distortion and returns that energy upon heel-off.
  • Similarly, at the moment of toe-strike, forefoot section 48 of central axis member 42 directs the pressure that is exerted by the foot onto resilient member 36 thereby compressing resilient member 36 into channels 30 of exposed cavity 22. Upon toe-off, resilient member 36 retracts from channels 30 of insole 10 and the potential energy stored within resilient member 36 is converted to kinetic energy propelling central axis member 42 along with the toe of the foot in the upwards direction. Central axis member 42 also stores energy during toe-strike and torsional distortion and returns that energy upon toe-off propelling the toe of the foot in the upwards direction.
  • The combination of shoe sole assembly 38 and orthotic insole 40 provides improved enhanced mechanical support and pressure off-loading to relieve foot pain and prevent tissue damage from conditions such as plantarfasciitis, heel pain, arch strain, metatarsalgia (ball-of-the-foot pain), tendonitis, arthritis and diabetic foot disorders. While orthotic insole 40 is desirably utilized in combination with sole sole assembly 38, both insole 40 and shoe sole assembly 38 may be utilized, sold and distributed separately.
  • Shoe sole assembly 38 and insole 40 can be incorporated into any shoe design in an effort to protect the foot, enhance ambulatory function, and increase comfort for the end-user. By way of non-limiting example, insole 40 and shoe sole assembly 38 can both be incorporated into slippers, sport shoes, dress shoes, or therapeutic shoes for enhancing comfort, preventing injury, and improving foot function.
  • While exemplary embodiments of the invention have been shown and described herein, it will be understood that such embodiments are provided by way of example only. Numerous variations, changes and substitutions will occur to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention. Accordingly, it is intended that the appended claims cover all such variations as fall within the spirit and scope of the invention.

Claims (5)

1. An orthotic shoe assembly comprising:
a shoe sole having an exposed surface and at least one exposed cavity accessible via the exposed surface, said at least one exposed cavity including a central region and a plurality of channels, each channel extending from the central region of the exposed cavity toward an outer boundary of the shoe sole;
a resilient member removably positioned at least partially in the central region of the exposed cavity, the resilient member formed from a viscoelastic material having a compressed state and a free state; and
an insole removably positioned to selectively conceal the exposed cavity of the shoe sole and the resilient member;
wherein the resilient member expands into at least one of the plurality of channels of the exposed cavity when in the compressed state and the resilient member does not enter the plurality of channels of the exposed cavity when in the free state.
2. The orthotic shoe assembly of claim 1, wherein said central region of said at least one exposed cavity corresponds to a hindfoot region or a forefoot region of the shoe sole.
3. A kit comprising the orthotic shoe assembly of claim 1 and a plurality of other resilient members, each resilient member having a pre-determined density, wherein at least two of the resilient members have different densities and each resilient member includes indicia corresponding to its respective density thereby enabling an end user to select and install an appropriate resilient member based upon the density of the selected resilient member.
4. An orthotic insole assembly for stabilizing a foot along a central axis of the foot, the assembly comprising:
a molded outer shell that is sized and shaped for resting in a shoe, said molded outer shell having an interior region; and
a central axis member oriented along the central axis and at least partially encapsulated within the interior region of said molded outer shell, said central axis member including a heel cup portion, a central portion extending from the heel cup portion along the central axis for supporting an arch of a foot, and a forefoot portion extending from the central portion along the central axis;
wherein said central axis member is coupled to the outer shell and is formed from a material having a lower elasticity than a material of the molded outer shell for stabilizing a foot along the central axis.
5. A unitized orthotic insole for stabilizing a foot along a central axis of the foot comprising:
a shell portion having an exterior surface that at least partially defines a sole contacting surface that is positioned for contact with a sole of a shoe and a foot contacting surface that is positioned for contact with a foot; and
a central axis portion integrally formed with the shell portion and disposed between the sole contacting surface and the foot contacting surface of the shell portion, said central axis portion defining a heel cup portion, a central portion extending from the heel cup portion along the central axis for supporting an arch of a foot, and a forefoot portion extending from the central portion along the central axis;
wherein a density of the central axis portion of the unitized orthotic insole is greater than a density of the shell portion of the unitized orthotic insole for stabilizing a foot along the central axis.
US13/126,101 2008-10-27 2009-10-26 Orthotic shoe and insole assemblies Abandoned US20120017467A1 (en)

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US10866408P true 2008-10-27 2008-10-27
US61/108664 2008-10-27
US13/126,101 US20120017467A1 (en) 2008-10-27 2009-10-26 Orthotic shoe and insole assemblies
PCT/US2009/062024 WO2010062539A2 (en) 2008-10-27 2009-10-26 Orthotic shoe and insole assemblies

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US20120159814A1 (en) * 2010-12-28 2012-06-28 Smith Christopher E Footwear with orthotic midsole
US20130333249A1 (en) * 2010-11-29 2013-12-19 Jean-Luc Guer Athletic shoe having cleats
US20160150854A1 (en) * 2014-12-01 2016-06-02 Stanley George Hockerson Shoe Tuning System and Method
US20160235159A1 (en) * 2013-10-25 2016-08-18 Bauerfeind Ag Visco-elastic insert
US20160345661A1 (en) * 2015-05-28 2016-12-01 Nike, Inc. Sole Plate For An Article Of Footwear
WO2017160996A1 (en) * 2016-03-15 2017-09-21 Nike Innovate C.V. Sole plate for an article of footwear

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US8782924B2 (en) * 2010-05-11 2014-07-22 Nike, Inc. Article of footwear having a sole structure with a framework-chamber arrangement
GB201020758D0 (en) * 2010-12-08 2011-01-19 Clark C & J Int Ltd An article of footwear
US20140259752A1 (en) * 2013-03-14 2014-09-18 Daniel D. Feldman Footwear, Insoles, Inserts, Kits and Methods

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US20020050077A1 (en) * 1999-06-18 2002-05-02 Jack Wang Footwear with visible, replaceable cushioning cassette
US6796056B2 (en) * 2002-05-09 2004-09-28 Nike, Inc. Footwear sole component with a single sealed chamber
US7707745B2 (en) * 2003-07-16 2010-05-04 Nike, Inc. Footwear with a sole structure incorporating a lobed fluid-filled chamber
US7020988B1 (en) * 2003-08-29 2006-04-04 Pierre Andre Senizergues Footwear with enhanced impact protection

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US20130333249A1 (en) * 2010-11-29 2013-12-19 Jean-Luc Guer Athletic shoe having cleats
US20120159814A1 (en) * 2010-12-28 2012-06-28 Smith Christopher E Footwear with orthotic midsole
US8341856B2 (en) * 2010-12-28 2013-01-01 Superfeet Worldwide, Inc. Footwear with orthotic midsole
US9259050B2 (en) 2010-12-28 2016-02-16 Superfeet Worldwide, Inc. Footwear with orthotic midsole
US20160235159A1 (en) * 2013-10-25 2016-08-18 Bauerfeind Ag Visco-elastic insert
US10383400B2 (en) * 2013-10-25 2019-08-20 Bauerfeind Ag Visco-elastic insert
US20160150854A1 (en) * 2014-12-01 2016-06-02 Stanley George Hockerson Shoe Tuning System and Method
US20160345661A1 (en) * 2015-05-28 2016-12-01 Nike, Inc. Sole Plate For An Article Of Footwear
US10292451B2 (en) * 2015-05-28 2019-05-21 Nike, Inc. Sole plate for an article of footwear
WO2017160996A1 (en) * 2016-03-15 2017-09-21 Nike Innovate C.V. Sole plate for an article of footwear

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WO2010062539A2 (en) 2010-06-03

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