US20120227291A1 - High-heeled foot apparel - Google Patents

High-heeled foot apparel Download PDF

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Publication number
US20120227291A1
US20120227291A1 US13/042,354 US201113042354A US2012227291A1 US 20120227291 A1 US20120227291 A1 US 20120227291A1 US 201113042354 A US201113042354 A US 201113042354A US 2012227291 A1 US2012227291 A1 US 2012227291A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
high
encapsulated gel
heeled shoe
cavity
top
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
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US13/042,354
Inventor
Ori Rosenbaum
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Auri Design Group LLC
Auri Footwear Inc
Original Assignee
Auri Design Group LLC
Auri Footwear Inc
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Publication date
Application filed by Auri Design Group LLC, Auri Footwear Inc filed Critical Auri Design Group LLC
Priority to US13/042,354 priority Critical patent/US20120227291A1/en
Assigned to AURI DESIGN GROUP, LLC reassignment AURI DESIGN GROUP, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: ROSENBAUM, ORI
Priority claimed from US13/111,288 external-priority patent/US20110214310A1/en
Assigned to Auri Footwear, Inc. reassignment Auri Footwear, Inc. MERGER (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: AURI DESIGN GROUP, LLC
Publication of US20120227291A1 publication Critical patent/US20120227291A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B21/00Heels; Top-pieces, e.g. high heels, heel distinct from the sole, high heels monolithic with the sole
    • A43B21/24Heels; Top-pieces, e.g. high heels, heel distinct from the sole, high heels monolithic with the sole characterised by the constructive form
    • 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
    • A43B13/189Resilient soles filled with a non-compressible fluid, e.g. gel, water
    • 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
    • A43B7/1425Footwear 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 ball of the foot, i.e. the joint between the first metatarsal and first phalange

Abstract

Devices, methods, and systems discussed herein relate to a high-heeled shoe; and more particularly, for providing improved comfort and/or to alleviate foot pain related to the wearing of a high-heeled shoe. For example, a high-heeled shoe may include an insole or a top outer layer and a bottom rigid structure. The bottom rigid structure may include a front portion, a mid portion, and an end portion. The front portion of the bottom rigid structure may include a cavity or cut-out portion for insertion of an encapsulated gel. When the shoe is worn, the encapsulated gel may expand laterally in response to an introduction of pressure on a top surface of the encapsulated gel thereby dispersing pressure on the balls of the foot.

Description

    BACKGROUND
  • 1. Field
  • The present invention relates to a device, method, and/or system for alleviating pressure, soreness, or pain to a person's foot resulting from the person wearing a high-heeled shoe.
  • 2. Description of Related Art
  • A woman's high-heeled shoe, commonly known as “high-heels” or just “heels”, is a vital part of any woman's shoe collection. Traditional high-heels are virtually the only accepted form of footwear for a woman attending a formal or professional event. However, because high-heels have evolved and become more popular as a fashion statement, “pumps”, “stilettos”, “wedges”, and other types of casual high-heeled shoes have also achieved significant success in the marketplace.
  • Despite the increased popularity of high-heels and variations thereof, at least one major drawback remains. In contrast to flat-soled shoes such as sneakers or sandals where the weight of a woman's body is spread out over the entire foot, high-heeled shoes require that a woman carry more or most of her weight on the balls of her foot, thereby focusing significant pressure on the front area of the foot. For example, for flat, non-high-heeled shoes, less than 50% of the person's weight is distributed over the balls of the person's foot. However, for high-heeled shoes having at least a two-inch heel, over 70% of the person's weight may be borne by the balls of the person's foot, which is an increase of over 20%. Such discomfort may be further exacerbated as a result of the height of the heels, which elevate the person in the heel or calcaneus area of the foot. As heel height increases, the percentage of a person's weight borne by the balls of the foot also increases. The medical issues that may arise from wearing high-heels are not limited to pain in the front area of the foot, but may extend to other areas of the foot, ankle, knee, hip, and even the person's back. Moreover, high-heels may significantly alter a person's natural stance, posture, and/or gait. Not surprisingly, women commonly report pain or discomfort after walking in high-heels. However, for most women, the price of discomfort is still worth the benefits of wearing high-heels.
  • The structural differences between flat-heeled and high-heeled shoes are also very significant. For example, flat-heeled shoes such as sneakers allow greater flexibility and movement so that the wearer can pronate her feet. However, because high-heels are designed to increase a woman's height by slanting the foot forward and down while elevating the heel away from the ground, high-heels that are too flexible and unsupported may pose a risk of injury. Accordingly, a rigid structure may be beneficial to reduce foot, ankle, and other injuries.
  • Because aesthetic appeal is typically the primary driving factor in the sale of high-heeled shoes, any advancement in high-heeled shoes must be designed with aesthetic appeal in mind. Moreover, because of the structural and stylistic elements peculiar to high-heels, advancements developed for other types of footwear (e.g., sneakers) cannot simply be imported and applied to high-heels. What is needed is a high-heeled shoe that minimizes discomfort without significantly restricting the design attributes of the high-heeled shoe.
  • SUMMARY
  • This Summary is included as to introduce, in an abbreviated form, various topics to be elaborated upon below in the Detailed Description. This Summary is not intended to identify key or essential aspects of the claimed invention. This Summary is similarly not intended for use as an aid in determining the scope of the claims.
  • Devices, methods, and systems discussed herein relate to a high-heeled shoe and more particularly, for providing improved comfort and/or to alleviate foot pain related to the wearing of a high-heeled shoe.
  • In one embodiment, a high-heeled shoe may include an insole or a top outer layer and a bottom rigid structure. The bottom rigid structure may include a front portion, a mid portion and an end portion. The front portion of the bottom rigid structure may include a cavity or cut-out portion for insertion of an encapsulated member. When the shoe is worn, the encapsulated member may expand laterally in response to an introduction of pressure on a top surface of the encapsulated member thereby dispersing pressure on the balls of the foot.
  • In one embodiment, the cavity for the encapsulated member may be configured to contact one side of a foam layer, while the other side of the foam layer contacts a bottom surface of the encapsulated member. In other words, the foam layer may separate the surface of the cavity from a surface of the encapsulated member.
  • In one embodiment, a high-heeled shoe may include a top rigid structure and a bottom layer. The top rigid structure may be shaped to have a raised end portion, a sloped mid portion and a substantially flat front portion. The top rigid structure may further include an embedded encapsulated member located within a cut-out or cavity of the top rigid structure. The bottom layer may include a flexible flat portion and a heel portion attached to a heel stake. The bottom layer may be attached to the top rigid structure such that the flexible flat portion may take the shape of the top rigid structure.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The features, obstacles, and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the detailed description set forth below when taken in conjunction with the drawings, wherein:
  • FIG. 1A illustrates a high-heeled shoe in accordance with one or more embodiments described herein;
  • FIG. 1B illustrates a deconstructed high-heeled shoe of FIG. 1A in accordance with one or more embodiments described herein;
  • FIG. 1C illustrates a further deconstructed high-heeled shoe of FIGS. 1A and 1B in accordance with one or more embodiments described herein;
  • FIG. 1D illustrates an exploded view of the high-heeled shoe of FIGS. 1A, 1B and 1C in accordance with one or more embodiments described herein;
  • FIG. 1E illustrates a side view of the high-heeled shoe of FIGS. 1A, 1B, 1C and 1D in accordance with one or more embodiments described herein;
  • FIG. 2A illustrates a perspective view of an encapsulated member in accordance with one or more embodiments described herein;
  • FIG. 2B illustrates a top view of an encapsulated member in accordance with one or more embodiments described herein;
  • FIG. 2C illustrates a side view of an encapsulated member in accordance with one or more embodiments described herein;
  • FIG. 3A illustrates a high heeled shoe in accordance with one or more embodiments described herein;
  • FIG. 3B illustrates a deconstructed high-heeled shoe of FIG. 3A in accordance with one or more embodiments described herein;
  • FIG. 3C illustrates a further deconstructed high-heeled shoe of FIGS. 3A and 3B in accordance with one or more embodiments described herein;
  • FIG. 3D illustrates an exploded view of the high-heeled shoe of FIGS. 3A, 3B and 3C in accordance with one or more embodiments described herein;
  • FIG. 3E illustrates a side view of the high-heeled shoe of FIGS. 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D in accordance with one or more embodiments described herein;
  • FIG. 4A illustrates a high-heeled shoe in accordance with one or more embodiments described herein;
  • FIG. 4B illustrates a first component of a deconstructed high-heeled shoe of FIG. 4A in accordance with one or more embodiments described herein;
  • FIG. 4C illustrates a second component of a deconstructed high-heeled shoe of FIG. 4A in accordance with one or more embodiments described herein;
  • FIG. 4D illustrates an exploded view of the high-heeled shoe of FIGS. 4A, 4B and 4C in accordance with one or more embodiments described herein;
  • FIG. 4E illustrates a side view of the high-heeled shoe of FIGS. 4A, 4B, 4C and 4D in accordance with one or more embodiments described herein;
  • FIG. 5A illustrates a high-heeled shoe in accordance with one or more embodiments described herein;
  • FIG. 5B illustrates a cross-sectional view of a portion of the high-heeled shoe of FIG. 5A in accordance with one or more embodiments described herein; and
  • FIG. 6 illustrates a view of a high-heeled shoe showing the different geometric planes therein in accordance with one or more embodiments described herein.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Apparatus, systems, and/or methods that implement the embodiments of the various features of the present invention will now be described with reference to the drawings. The drawings and the associated descriptions are provided to illustrate some embodiments of the present invention and not to limit the scope of the present invention. Throughout the drawings, reference numbers are re-used to indicate correspondence between referenced elements.
  • As used herein, the terms “front portion”, “mid portion” and “end portion” are used to describe different portions of the shoe. In some embodiments, the front portion may correspond to the area of the shoe which contacts or corresponds with a “ball of the foot” or an area between the arch and the end of the toes—which may or might not include the toes themselves. In some embodiments, the mid portion may correspond to the area of the shoe which contacts or corresponds with an arch of the foot. In some embodiments, the end portion may correspond to the area of the shoe which contacts or corresponds with a heel of the foot. Accordingly, “front portion” may be used interchangeably with “ball portion”, “mid portion” may be used interchangeably with “arch portion” and “end portion” may be used interchangeably with “heel portion”. Furthermore, as used herein, the term “rigid” includes, but is not limited to, different degrees of rigidity from semi-rigid (e.g., a durometer of 80) to very rigid (e.g., a durometer of 115), but preferably is within a durometer range of between about 80-115, and more preferably is within a durometer range of between about 90-105.
  • FIG. 1A illustrates a platform high-heeled shoe 100 with a front portion 105, a mid portion 110, an end portion 115 and a heel portion 120. Other portions of the shoe that hold the foot to the shoe (e.g., shoe straps) have been omitted for clarity. While the shoe 100 is illustrated to have a heel length of over two inches, the heel length may vary. The heel length may be defined as the difference between the height of the heel raised above the ground and the height of the toes raised above the ground. As the heel length increases, the slope of the mid portion 110 and the end portion 115 may also increase.
  • FIG. 1B illustrates a deconstructed view of the shoe 100. The shoe 100 may include a top outer layer 130 which may be a flat, thin platform for the foot to rest upon. The top outer layer 130 may include a front portion 135 for placement of the toes and the balls of the foot, a mid portion 140 for placement of the arch or “middle” of the foot, and an end portion 145 for placement of the heel of the foot. The top outer layer 130 may be attached on top of a bottom rigid structure 150 when the shoe 100 is fully constructed. The bottom rigid structure 150 may include a front portion 155, a mid portion 160, and an end portion 165 which correspond directly and may be in physical contact with the front portion 135, the mid portion 140, and the end portion 145 of the top outer layer 130, respectively. The bottom rigid structure 150 may include a rigid base 175 constructed out of a hard polymer or plastic and may be configured to support and withstand several hundred pounds of human weight without breaking. In one embodiment, the rigid base 175 may be non-flexible (e.g., not capable of bending). The rigid base 175 may span the front portion 155, the mid portion 160 and the end portion 165 of the bottom rigid structure 150. An encapsulated member 170 may be inserted into the rigid base 175. The rigid base 175 may be configured to form a continuous, rigid border around the edges of the encapsulated member 170. For example, the rigid base 175 may form a border of at least three-sixteenth of an inch, but the border may increase to over half an inch in some embodiments. The border might not be uniform in width surrounding the encapsulated member 170. In one embodiment, the border may be formed by cutting out a portion of the rigid base 175 or forming the rigid base 175 with a cavity for the encapsulated member 170. In this manner, the encapsulated member 170 may be held in place and localized only in the front portion 155 of the bottom rigid structure 150. For design purposes, an outer layer 180 may surround the outside edges of the rigid base 175. In one embodiment, several holes 185 and 190 may be drilled or formed into the rigid base 175 which may allow the shoe 100 to minimally flex, thereby preventing the shoe 100 from cracking when a large amount of pressure is exerted on the shoe 100 by the wearer's weight. The holes 185 and 190 may be differently sized, and may range from 2-3 millimeters to 5-6 millimeters in diameter. The holes 185 and 190 may be drilled in the mid portion 160 and the end portion 165 and may be orthogonal to the surface upon which the shoe 100 is resting. As the mid portion 160 and the end portion 165 may be sloped, the holes 185 and 190 may be non-orthogonal to the mid portion 160 and the end portion 165.
  • FIG. 1C illustrates a further deconstructed view of the bottom rigid structure 150 of the shoe 100. As shown, the encapsulated member 170 has been removed to better illustrate the cavity 197. In addition, an optional thin foam layer 195 is shown in the cavity 197. The cavity 197 may be formed by a continuous smooth wall substantially similar in shape as the thin foam layer 195 and the encapsulated member 170. The cavity 197 may have a depth slightly less than the thickness of a combination of the thin foam layer 195 and the encapsulated member 170. In other words, when the encapsulated member 170 is positioned inside the cavity 197, the top of the encapsulated member 170 may protrude out of the cavity 197. Accordingly, when the top layer 130 is affixed to the bottom rigid structure 150, the encapsulated member 170 may slightly bulge and press into the top layer 130.
  • FIG. 1D illustrates an exploded view of the shoe 100. As shown, the top outer layer 130 may cover the bottom rigid structure 150 when the encapsulated member 170 is inserted into the cavity 197 of the bottom rigid structure 150.
  • FIG. 1E illustrates a side view of the shoe 100 with a cross sectional view of the front portion 155. As shown, the encapsulated member 170 may be located in and/or fixed to one or more walls of the bottom rigid structure 150 forming the cavity 197. As shown, the top of the encapsulated member 170 may protrude out of the cavity 197.
  • FIG. 2A illustrates a perspective view of the encapsulated member 200, as isolated from the shoe 100. In the absence of an encapsulated member 200, pressure caused by walking on a high-heeled shoe is mostly re-absorbed by the balls of the foot since the structure of a high-heeled shoe is typically rigid and non-compliant, even if other layers or materials are included to cushion the foot. In contrast, the inclusion of the encapsulated member 200 operates to disperse pressure placed on the foot. The encapsulated member 200 may be constructed of an elastic membrane (e.g., a plastic) infused with a viscous fluid or gel. Alternatively, the encapsulated member 200 may be filled with air, water and/or any other appropriate substance. While any non-rigid substance may be utilized, a gel may be preferred.
  • As shown in FIG. 2B, when a force is exerted on the filled portion 230 of the encapsulated member 200 (e.g., by a person stepping on the shoe), lateral displacement of the substance within the filled portion 230 may result. In so doing, the encapsulated member 200 enlarges the point of pressure on the balls of the foot. Pressure caused by walking on the high-heeled shoe is thereby dispersed over a larger area (i.e., over the surface area of the encapsulated member 200) instead of being focused and directed on one small point. As a result, the foot may feel reduced pressure and the wearer may be able to walk a longer duration before feeling any discomfort. In one embodiment, by having the encapsulated member 200 at the front portion of the shoe 100, the encapsulated member 200 does not suffer from increased internal pressure resulting from too large of a surface area.
  • In one embodiment, the encapsulated member 200 may be asymmetrically formed. Alternatively, the encapsulated member 200 may be configured to be symmetrical and may be a geometric (e.g., square, rectangular, triangular, trapezoidal, etc.) or non-geometric shape (e.g., shaped to mimic the footprint of a typical foot). In one embodiment, the encapsulated member 200 may have an enlarged flat base 205 including a continuous flange portion 225 about the perimeter. The continuous flange portion 225 is about one-eighths of an inch wide. However, any width (e.g., between one-sixteenth of an inch to a half of an inch) may be possible. As viewed in FIG. 2B, the continuous flange portion 225 is relatively thin compared to the actual thickness of the filled portion 230. The continuous flange portion 225 may function to create a space between the encapsulated member 200 and the cavity in which the encapsulated member 200 sits. This space allows the encapsulated member 200 to laterally expand without leaking or otherwise losing efficacy when pressure is exerted on a top surface of the encapsulated member 200. The continuous flange portion 225 may also serve to ensure that the encapsulated member 200 is fixed to one position and does not move about the cavity (e.g., cavity 197). An optional adhesive may be used to further fix the encapsulated member 200 to the cavity 197. However, an adhesive alone might not be as effective without the continuous flange portion 225 or might not function for a long enough duration. In one embodiment, the encapsulated member 200 may further include a top portion 210 and a bottom portion 215 separated by an indented portion 220.
  • In one embodiment, the encapsulated member 200 may have a flat base without any flanges (not shown). In other words, the surface area of the top surface and the surface area of the bottom surface may be equal.
  • FIG. 2C is a side view of the encapsulated member 200. Although the height of the indented divider 220 is shown to be approximately half the height of the other filled portions 230, other height ratios are possible. In one embodiment, the ratio of the height of the indented divider 220 to the height of the other filled portions 230 may decrease proportionally as the height of the heel increases. The indented portion 220 may allow for a portion of an attached layer to protrude into the indented portion 220, thereby reducing slippage and increasing the effectiveness of the encapsulated member 200. In one embodiment, the indented portion 220 may be removed or omitted resulting in an encapsulated member 200 having a continuous volume of gel.
  • FIG. 3A illustrates a classic high-heeled shoe 300 with a front portion 305, a mid portion 310, an end portion 315, and a heel stake 320. As shown, the mid portion 310 may be raised off the ground by the heel stake 320, the latter of which may vary in height. Other portions of the shoe 300 which may hold the foot to the shoe (e.g., shoe straps) have been omitted for clarity.
  • FIG. 3B illustrates a deconstructed view of the shoe 300. The shoe 300 may include a top outer layer 330 which may be configured to rest upon a bottom structure 350. The top outer layer 330 may include a front portion 335 for placement of the toes and the balls of the foot, a mid portion 340 for placement of the arch or “middle” of the foot, and an end portion 345 for placement of the heel of the foot. The top outer layer 330 may be attached on top of the bottom structure 350 when the shoe 300 is fully constructed. The bottom structure 350 may include a front portion 355, a mid portion 360, and an end portion 365 which correspond directly and may be in physical contact with the front portion 335, the mid portion 340, and the end portion 345 of the top outer layer 330, respectively. The bottom structure 350 may include a thick, rigid base 375 at the front portion 355. The rigid base 375 may include a front lip 380 about the perimeter of the front portion 355. The front lip 380 may be configured to hold the front portion 335 of the top outer layer 330 in place when the shoe 300 is fully constructed. The rigid base 375 may also include a cavity towards the center of the rigid base 375 for holding the encapsulated member 370. In one embodiment, the rigid base 375 may be constructed out of a hard polymer or plastic and may be configured to support and withstand several hundred pounds of human weight without breaking. The rigid base 375 may be configured to form a continuous, rigid border around the edges of the encapsulated member 370. For example, the rigid base 375 may form a border of at least three-sixteenth of an inch, but the border may increase to over half an inch in some embodiments. The border might not be uniform in width surrounding the encapsulated member 370. In one embodiment, the border may be formed by cutting out a portion of the rigid base 375 or forming the rigid base 375 with a cavity for the encapsulated member 370. In this manner, the encapsulated member 370 may be held in place and localized in the front portion 355 of the bottom structure 350.
  • Attached to the rigid base 375 is the mid portion 360. The mid portion 360 may be a thin, flexible structure for supporting the mid portion 340 of the top outer layer 330. In one embodiment, the mid portion 360 may be a thin piece of wood. Attached to the mid portion 360 is the end portion 365 of the bottom structure 350. The heel stake 320 may be attached towards the center of the end portion 365 and raise the foot off the ground.
  • FIG. 3C illustrates a further deconstructed view of the bottom structure 350 of shoe 300. As shown, the encapsulated member 370 has been removed to better illustrate the cavity 397. In addition, an optional foam layer 395 is shown remaining in the cavity 397. The cavity 397 may be formed by a continuous smooth wall substantially similar in shape as the foam layer 395 and the encapsulated member 370. The cavity 397 may have a depth slightly smaller than a thickness of the combination of the thin foam layer 395 and the encapsulated member 370. In other words, when the encapsulated member 370 is positioned inside the cavity 397, the top of the encapsulated member 370 may protrude out of the cavity 397. In one embodiment, encapsulated member 370 may be the encapsulated member 200 as discussed above with respect to FIGS. 2A-2C.
  • FIG. 3D illustrates an exploded view of the shoe 300. As shown, the top outer layer 330 may cover the bottom structure 350 when encapsulated member 370 is inserted into the cavity 397 of the bottom structure 350.
  • FIG. 3E illustrates a side view of the shoe 300 with a cross sectional view of the front portion 355. As shown, the encapsulated member 370 may be located in and/or fixed to one or more walls of the bottom rigid structure 350 forming the cavity 397. As shown, the top of the encapsulated member 370 may protrude out of the cavity 397.
  • Turning to FIG. 4A, a high-heeled shoe 400 is illustrated with a front portion 405, a mid portion 410, an end portion 415, and a heel stake 420. As shown, the mid portion 410 may be raised off the ground by the heel stake 420, the latter of which may vary in height. Other portions of the shoe that hold the foot to the shoe (e.g., shoe straps) have been omitted for clarity.
  • FIG. 4B is a deconstructed view of the shoe 400, and in particular, the top rigid layer 430 of the shoe 400. The top rigid layer 430 may sit on top of (and be attached to) bottom liner layer 450 of FIG. 4C. The top rigid layer 430 may include a front portion 435 for placement of the toes and the balls of the foot, a mid portion 440 for placement of the arch or “middle” of the foot, and an end portion 445 for placement of the heel of the foot. As shown, the structure of the top rigid layer 430 may be flat at the front portion 435 and slope upwards when moving from the front portion 435 to the end portion 445. The top rigid layer 430 may be a polymer wrapped with a soft vinyl or leather outer surface. Additional inserts such as a suede lining may be added. The top rigid layer 430 may also include an encapsulated member 470 (e.g., encapsulated member 200) embedded inside of the front portion 435 of the top rigid layer 430. While not shown, the encapsulated member 470 may sit within a cavity (e.g., similarly to encapsulated member 170 and 370). As shown by the dotted border, the encapsulated member 470 may be located within a central portion of the front portion 435, and may be surrounded laterally and underneath by a rigid structure having a durometer rating higher than the encapsulated member 470. In addition, the encapsulated member 470 may be covered with soft vinyl or leather. Because the soft vinyl or leather covering is not rigid, the encapsulated member 470 may absorb and disperse pressure when the balls of the foot press against the top rigid layer 430.
  • FIG. 4C illustrates the bottom liner layer 450. The bottom liner layer 450 may include a flexible portion 455, a rigid portion 460, and a heel stake 420. The flexible portion 455 may be thin and constructed out of a dense foam or elastic polymer. The flexible portion 455 may correspond with and span the front portion 435 of the top rigid layer 430 and the mid portion 440 of the top rigid layer 430. The flexible portion 455 may also be attached to the heel stake 420 in a tapered manner along side a flat length of the heel stake 420. The flexible portion 455 may be configured to take the shape of the top rigid layer 430 when attached to the top rigid layer 430 and further support the attachment of the heel stake 420 to the end portion 445 of the top rigid layer 430.
  • FIG. 4D illustrates an exploded view of the shoe of FIG. 4A-4C. As shown, top rigid layer 430 may include an encapsulated member 470 embedded within a top layer and a bottom rigid layer 495 fixed to or sitting within a cavity 497 of the bottom rigid layer 495. The top rigid layer 430 may be attached to the heel stake 420 and the flexible portion 455.
  • FIG. 4E illustrates a side view of the shoe 400 with a cross sectional view of the front portion 455. As shown, the encapsulated member 470 may be located in and/or fixed to one or more walls of the top rigid layer 430 forming the cavity 497.
  • FIG. 5A illustrates an embodiment of a high-heeled boot 500 having a front portion 505, a mid portion 510, an end portion 515, and a heel stake 520. FIG. 5B illustrates a close-up, cross-sectional view of a front portion 505 of the high-heeled boot 500 of FIG. 5A. As shown, the insole of the front portion 505 may include a first lining layer 530 followed by a foam layer 535, and then a rigid structural layer 575 with an encapsulated member 570. The first lining layer 530 may be configured to be a thin upper membrane configured to contact the foot (or sock). The membrane may be any suitable material including suede, vinyl, leather, and the like. The foam 535 may be configured to take the form of the user's foot when pressure from the foot is transferred to the foam 535 (e.g., “memory” foam). The rigid structural layer 575 may be similar to the rigid base 175 or 375 and may include a cavity for the encapsulated member 570. As the layers of material between the foot and the encapsulated member 570 are all compliant and relatively thin, the pressure (and force) from the foot is still transferred to the encapsulated member 570 for dispersal.
  • FIG. 6 illustrates a view of a high-heeled shoe 600 showing the different geometric planes therein in accordance with one or more embodiments described herein. The geometric planes illustrated with respect to the shoe 600 may be applicable to any high heeled shoe discussed herein. As shown, the shoe 600 may be divided into a front or “balls” portion 605 being defined by or lying along a first plane 655, a mid or arch portion 610 being defined by or lying along a second plane 660 and an end or heel portion 615 being defined by or lying along a third plane 665. The first plane 655 may lie along a substantially flat surface of the front portion 605 and have a slope of zero or close to zero. The second plane 660 may lie along a substantially flat surface of the mid portion 610 and have a slope greater than the slope of the first plane 655. In one embodiment, the angle created between the first plane 655 and the second plane 660 is between 90 degrees and 150 degrees, but preferably between 115 degrees and 135 degrees. The third plane 665 may lie along a substantial flat surface of the end portion 615 and may have a slope equal to or less than the second plane 660. As shown, the three planes, 655, 660 and 665 may all be non-parallel. However, in some embodiments, planes 655 and 665 may be parallel to one another. Regardless, the distance between the intersection points of the planes 655 and 665 and axis 670 is at least one inch. However, preferably, the distance between the intersection points is one and a half inches or greater.
  • Several examples of different embodiments of a high-heeled shoe have been illustrated and described herein. However, the concepts described herein are not limited to the specific embodiments but may be applicable to any high-heeled sandal, shoe, boot or footwear. In addition, skilled artisans may implement the described functionality in varying ways for each particular application, but such implementation decisions should not be interpreted as causing a departure from the scope of the disclosed apparatus and/or methods.
  • The previous description of examples is provided to enable any person of ordinary skill in the art to make or use the disclosed methods and apparatus. Various modifications to these examples will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the principles defined herein may be applied to other examples without departing from the spirit or scope of the disclosed method and apparatus. The elements and uses of the above-described embodiments can be rearranged and combined in manners other than specifically described above, with any and all permutations within the scope of invention. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive and the scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope. In addition, the invention is not limited to the illustrated embodiments, and all embodiments of the invention need not necessarily achieve all the advantages or purposes or possess all characteristics identified herein.

Claims (20)

1. A high-heeled shoe comprising:
a bottom rigid, non-flexible structure having a ball portion located on a first geometric plane having a first slope, a mid portion located on a second geometric plane having a second slope greater than the first slope, and a heel portion located on a third geometric plane having a slope between the first slope and the second slope, the bottom rigid structure defining a cavity in the ball portion, the ball portion having a bottom surface for contacting a ground surface;
a heel attached to the heel portion of the bottom rigid structure;
an encapsulated gel located in the cavity of the ball portion; and
a top layer covering the encapsulated gel and for contacting and supporting a foot of a human.
2. The high-heeled shoe of claim 1, wherein the encapsulated gel comprises an enlarged bottom surface with a continuous flange, and wherein the high heeled shoe further comprises a foam layer between a top surface of the cavity and the enlarged bottom surface of the encapsulated gel.
3. The high-heeled shoe of claim 2, wherein a surface area of the top surface of the encapsulated gel is smaller than a surface area of the enlarged bottom surface of the encapsulated gel.
4. The high-heeled shoe of claim 1, wherein each wall forming the cavity of the ball portion is rigid.
5. The high-heeled shoe of claim 1, wherein the encapsulated gel further includes an indented divider.
6. The high-heeled shoe of claim 2, wherein the continuous flange of the encapsulated gel is at least one-eighth of an inch wide.
7. The high-heeled shoe of claim 6, wherein the continuous flange of the encapsulated gel is substantially flat and has a uniform thickness about the entire perimeter of the continuous flange.
8. The high-heeled shoe of claim 7, wherein the continuous flange of the encapsulated gel creates a gap between a top surface of the encapsulated gel and each wall forming the cavity.
9. The high-heeled shoe of claim 1, wherein a rigid border surrounding the perimeter of the encapsulated gel is at least three-sixteenth of an inch thick.
10. The high-heeled shoe of claim 1, wherein the encapsulated gel is filled with a viscous fluid.
11. A high-heeled shoe comprising:
a top rigid structure having a ball portion located on a first geometric plane having a first slope, a mid portion located on a second geometric plane having a second slope greater than the first slope, and a heel portion located on a third geometric plane having a slope between the first slope and the second slope, the top rigid structure for contacting and supporting a foot of a human, the top rigid structure further having an embedded cavity in the ball portion;
a bottom structure coupled to the top rigid layer, the bottom structure having a flexible membrane and an attached heel stake; and
an encapsulated gel located in the cavity of the ball portion of the top rigid structure.
12. The high-heeled shoe of claim 11, wherein the encapsulated gel comprises an enlarged bottom surface with a continuous flange, and wherein each wall forming the cavity of the front portion of the top rigid structure is non-compliant.
13. The high-heeled shoe of claim 12, wherein the continuous flange of the encapsulated gel is at least one-eighth of an inch wide.
14. The high-heeled shoe of claim 13, wherein the continuous flange of the encapsulated gel is substantially flat and has a uniform thickness about the entire perimeter of the continuous flange.
15. The high-heeled shoe of claim 14, wherein the continuous flange of the encapsulated gel creates a gap between a top surface of the encapsulated gel and each wall forming the cavity.
16. The high-heeled shoe of claim 11, wherein a rigid border surrounding the perimeter of the encapsulated gel is at least three-sixteenth of an inch thick.
17. The high-heeled shoe of claim 11, wherein the encapsulated gel is filled with a viscous fluid.
18. A high-heeled boot comprising:
a bottom rigid base having a ball portion located on a first geometric plane having a first slope, a mid portion located on a second geometric plane having a second slope greater than the first slope, and a heel portion located on a third geometric plane, the bottom rigid base defining a cavity in the ball portion, the ball portion having a bottom surface for contacting a ground surface;
a heel attached to the heel portion of the bottom rigid structure, the heel being at least one and a half inches in length;
an encapsulated gel located in the cavity of the ball portion; and
a top flexible membrane spanning at least the ball portion and the mid portion, the top flexible membrane for contacting and supporting a foot of a human; and
a memory foam coupled to the top flexible membrane, the memory foam for cushioning the foot of the human.
19. The high-heeled boot of claim 18, wherein the encapsulated gel includes a continuous flange, and further wherein a surface area of the top surface of the encapsulated gel is smaller than a surface area of the enlarged bottom surface of the encapsulated gel.
20. The high-heeled shoe of claim 18, wherein the continuous flange of the encapsulated gel is substantially flat and has a uniform thickness about the entire perimeter of the continuous flange and further wherein the continuous flange of the encapsulated gel creates a gap between a top surface of the encapsulated gel and each of the one or more side walls forming the cavity.
US13/042,354 2011-03-07 2011-03-07 High-heeled foot apparel Abandoned US20120227291A1 (en)

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US13/111,288 US20110214310A1 (en) 2008-01-31 2011-05-19 Shoe chassis
PCT/US2012/050804 WO2013006869A1 (en) 2011-03-07 2012-08-14 High-heeled foot apparel

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