US 3903621 A
A supportive type of innersole device to automatically control proper placement of a molding mixture to receive and maintain the contours of a foot resting within any type of shoe.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Dubner CONFORMING SUPPORTIVE INNERSOLE DEVICE  Inventor: Benjamin B. Dubner, 229-02 Merrick Rd., Laurelton, N.Y. 11413  Filed: Sept. 26, 1974  Appl. No.: 509,439
Primary ExaminerAlfred R. Guest Attorney, Agent, or FirmCharles E Temko  ABSTRACT A supportive type of innersole device to automatically [451 Sept. 9, 1975 control proper placement of a molding mixture to receive and maintain the contours of a foot resting within any type of shoe.
The first innersole element conforms generally to the shape of the sole and sides of the foot and shoe, extending back from the general area of the ball of the foot to the back of the heel, with centrally located opposing generally semi-circular cut out areas. A second innersole element of a generally dumbbell configuration is partially disposed beneath said first innersole elements semi-circular cut out areas, and is centrally connected to it to permit three dimentional conformity to the shape of shoe and foot in the absence of wrinkling, Disposed beneath these innersole elements is a flexible envelope containing novel means to prevent entry of the molding mixture into selected areas of the envelope, and to control the entry of the mixture into other areas of the envelope, said means consisting of a resilient cushion impermiably connected to selected areas of the top and bottom of the envelope, and a shaped semi-flexible plastic piece connected to the inside front edge of the envelope. The bag is provided with perforations thru which small amounts of the molding mixture pass to provide cementitious effect to unite all three elements with each other as well as anchoring the device to the shoe, A larger self sealing opening permits controlled entry of the molding mixture into the envelope,
7 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures CONFORMING SUPPORTIVE INNERSOLE DEVICE The invention relates generally to the field of supportive innersoles of shoes and boots, and more particularly to a device that may be caused to automatically conform to and maintain the various contours of the resting foot in the shoe of the individual wearer in one short operation that can be performed by semi-skilled personnel. Further, the invention relates to a supportive innersole device that may be incorporated into a shoe at the time of manufacture or may be added into the shoe at a later time. In either instance the molding of the device to the shape of the foot, and the cementing of the various parts of the device to each other and the shoe are automatically part of the one operation, to make possible a low cost for the procedure.
Supportive innersoles are well known in the art, and are of two basic types. The first consists generally of a sponge rubber or similar foamed material covered by a strip of leather. it deforms under the weight of the wearer to provide a cushioned effect. This is of limited value as it does not control or change any of the contours of the foot in walking.
This improvement relates to the second type, which is of a rigid construction to generally maintain a foot in a selected position which has been found to be of benefit in improving the action of the foot in the complicated act of walking.
Such rigid devices may be entirely of plastic or a metal, such as stainless steel, or they may be fabricated of combinations of metal, leather, rubber, cork or similar materials. However they are made they fall into one of two catagories. The first are generally manufactured in sizes, and sold by size. Because of the many varying configurations of a foot within a specific size, the fit of such a "support" is poor and therefore this type is recognized as being unscientific and of dubious value.
This improvement relates to the second catagory which are custom made for the individual foot over a Plaster Cast of the foot. After its fabrication, such an arch" must be adjusted to the shoe of the wearer. As such a device is a complete entity capable of being moved from shoe to shoe, it must of necesity be bulky enough to require a larger type of shoe, such as an oxford, which shoe must usually be of a larger size than usually worn. Thus, a purchase of such a support necitates several visits to a manufacturing establishment, which is usually not the place where shoes may be purchased, and which, being often centrally located requires relatively much travel to reach. Further, as skilled personnel are required for the many operations, the procedure is costly in money as well as time, which factors have greatly restricted the use of such appliances by the general public.
An optimal device which would bring the benefits of proper support in a shoe to the general public would be one that was economically acceptable in that it could be fabricated easily and automatically correct by semiskilled personnel in one quick operation, which operation could be performed where ever shoes are sold.
Several methods are known in the art which have attempted to solve the above problems. These have avoided the necesity of a Plaster of Paris cast by the expediance of using an individual s foot in the shoe to impart its resting shape to a quick setting molding material contained in a novel envelope, resting under the inner sole of the shoe, or by other means, such as protected by US. Pats. numbered 2,794,270, 3,444,586, and 3,736,673 issued to this inventor.
The second improvement listed above, designed to be manufactured into a shoe, required extensive and expensive'changes in the manufacturing process, and the complicated method of controlling the flow of the molding mixture combined to make this method economically and practically unfeasible. The third improvement listed above was designed to be added to a shoe at the time of molding, whether that was at the time of sale or a later time, was similar in some respects to other devices in the art, such as the first of the above numbered improvements, and had some of the flaws common to all of such devices.
These devices consist generally of a flexible envelope covered by an innersole. As the area of the foot to be supported extends from the ball of the foot to the back of the heel, these devicescovered that area and extend some some distence up the side of the sole and heel areas of the shoe. To permit the semi-flexible innersole to follow the varied three dimentional contours of the sole and sides of the foot and shoe without wrinkling, the innersoles are of two parts, which, in the examples herein cited, are loosely interconnected to/each other and the envelope.
A fast setting mixture may be inserted into the enve lope thru appropriate openings, or the two parts of a foaming resin or similar system may be contained in individual flexible containers within the envelope. To activate the latter device, the containers are ruptured and the contents mixed within the envelope and the device is then placed within the shoe. Then the foot is inserted into the shoe to enable the mixture to conform to the contours of the foot and shoe. In this conforming position the different parts of the device are cemented to each other and the shoe by small amounts of the mixture seeping thru small holes to complete the process in the one operation.
Ideally, the mixture automatically fills in all the empty space between the sole and sides of the foot and shoe. However, in practice, such devices often result in an uncomfortable and unwearable supportive device for any of several reasons. The flexible envelope, while of a particular shoe size, cannot exactly fit into the area just behind the ball of the foot as required because of the many variations in the shape and height of this area of the foot that may fall within the same shoe size. Proper fit is also hindered by the fact that placement of the device within the shoe cannot be precisely controlled. lt is difficult to work within the confines of a shoe, and it is also difficult to judge position of the device because of the various shapes of shoes and heel heights. Therefore, in many instances, an envelope of a size will fit longer for some feet of that size and thus extend under the ball of the foot rather then extending just to the ball of the foot. Molding mixture flowing into this area, or pushed into it by the pressure of the foot sliding forward in the shoe, will, upon setting, be felt as an uncomfortable lump that must be removed. Further, if the device does not properly reach the ball of the foot, it will not be effective. Tolerances in this area are very small.
Another area that frequently requires correction is the part under the inner aspect of the long arch of the foot. This approximates the inner Tarsal area of the foot, consisting of the bases of the First and Second Metatarsal bones, the adjoin-Cuniaform bones, and the Scafoid bone, all of which are rough for ligamentous attachments and are not meant to bear weight directly. Usual factory made supportive devices, frequently referred to as arches", usually do not reach the very arch" they are meant to support, and so may be worn and achieve some meaure of benefit because of contact made with other parts of the foot. However, custom made molds made in the above manner will contact this arched" area of the foot, and thus be uncomfortable and unable to be worn until this area of pressure is removed.
Another cause of improper molding may be static electricity, or moisture, which may cause the two sides of the envelope to remain adhered to each other and thus impede the free flow of the molding mixture. Further, the free flow may be hindered by wrinkling of the material of the envelope.
Other reasons for discomfort may arise from the two part innersoles, which, because the parts are loosely interconnected, may be pushed toward, folded upon itself, or otherwise deformed as the foot is inserted and pressed forward on it. Further, as the volumn of the foaming mixture is at first very small, the innersole lies almost flat in the shoe. Therefore, the pressure of the ball of the foot and the heel area on the innersole will not permit the area in between to respond freely to the foaming expansion underneath it, and therefore it will not conform to the height of the sole of the foot where such a rise is desirable to fulfill the supportive function of the molded innersole.
Present means of breaking the two inner containers is by the application of pressure to the outside of the envelope which results in freeing the enclosed material in many directions thru out the envelope, making impossible a properly proportioned mixture, with resulting molds of inferior strength and rigidity.
Any of the above problems will require that the device be removed from the shoe, the parts seperated and then adjusted by trial and error, which can at best only result in an approximation of the contour of the foot, after which the device must be reglued into its proper place in the shoe. Such corrective operations now require the use of highly skilled personnel, as well as increasing the amount of time involved, all of which necesitate a higher cost, and thus defeats the original purpose of such a device.
It is therefore among the principle objects of the present invention to provide an improved supportive innersole construction in which the above mentioned disadvantages have been substantially eliminated, to permit a totally automatic and correct molding of the supportive device in one operation of such simplicity as to allow the use of semi skilled personnel.
Another objective of the invention lies in the construction of a two part innersole, which parts will be connected in a manner to permits its assumption of the three dimentional character of the foot and shoe, yet will not deform or come apart by reason of the pressure of the foot being inserted over it.
Another object is to provide means to deny entry of the molding mixture to selected portions of the envelope of the device.
Another object is to provide means to control the re lationship of the forward part of the envelope to the ball of the foot by first denying entry of the molding mixture to that area by means which will automatically allow entry at a later time in the operation to achieve proper molding of that area.
Another object is to provide means to force the upper surface of the device to conform to the contours of the foot immediatly it is placed in the shoe, before, and without requiring the action of the molding mixture, which means shall also act to permit the free flow of the molding mixture into all necesary parts of the envelope.
Another object is to provide a device that can either be incorporated into a shoe at the time of manufacture, or added at a later time.
Another object is to provide a device with self sealing openings.
Another object is to provide for proper placement of said resinous system containers to facilitate proper mixture of the contents.
A further object of the invention lies in the provision of an improved supportive innersole construction of the class described, in which the cost of fabrication may be of a reasonably low order, with consequent sale, distribution and use.
These objects, as well as other incidental ends and advantages will more fully appear in the progress of the following disclosure, and be pointed out in the appended claims.
In the drawings, to which reference will be made in the specification, similar reference characters have been employed to designate corresponding parts thruout the several views.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the invention in a shoe.
FIG. 2 is a detail view of the several parts of the invention.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the two parts of the innersole part of the invention.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the bottom of the envelope part of the invention, illustrating one position of the opening sleeve into the envelope.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the envelope illustrating the tuck in the front of the envelope.
FIG. 6 is a longitudinal sectional view of the envelope as seen from the plan 6-6 in FIG. 2.
FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view as seen from plane 7-7 in FIG. 6.
FIG. 8 is a fragmented perspective view showing a step in the construction of an inner part of the envelope.
FIG. 9 is a perspective view showing a further step in the construction of an inner part of the invention.
FIG. I0 is a longitudinal sectional view as seen from the plane l010 in FIG. 1, in place for activation.
FIG. 11 is a longitudinal sectional view as seen from the plane 10l0 in FIG. 1 with the invention in place, after the addition of the molding mixture.
FIG. 12 is a cross sectional view as seen from plane 12-12 in FIG. 11.
FIG. 13 is a fragmented perspective view of the envelope illustrating a second embodiment of the invention, particularly the position of the two inner bags, as well as another position of the self sealing sleeve opening, to facilitate the entry of a pair of scissors.
In accordance with the first embodiment of the invention, the device, generally indicated by referred character 10 comprises broadly: an upper innersole element 11, a lower innersole element 12, and a supportive envelope element 13.
The upper innersole element 11 may be formed of leather or synthetic resinous material either alone or in conjunction with fibrous material. It generally conforms to the shape of the foot of the wearer extending back from the general area of the ball of the foot to the back of the heel area, and generally extending up along the sides of the shoe, as best seen in FIG. 1. It is bounded by an upper surface 4 and a lower surface 15. It includes a forward or metatarsal portion 16, and arch portion 17, and a heel portion 18. The arch portion has two generally opposing cut out concave areas 19 and 20. The heel portion 18 has a slit 21 extending in from the back periphery to permit that portion of the heel area 18 to overlap itself as it curves upwardly to follow the contours of the foot and the back of the shoe without wrinkling.
The lower innersole element 12 is of a generally dumbbell shaped configuration, as seen in FIG. 3 and includes opposing generally semi-circular elements 22 and 23, which are connected by the transverse area 24.
It will be observed that the lower innersole element 12 extends under the upper innersole element arch area 17. The two elements are connected centrally, in this instance by a staple 25. The one connection permits a three dimentional conformity of the metatarsal area 16, the arch area 17, and the heel area 18, without wrinkling when final positioning is obtained as seen in FIGS. 11 and 12.
The supportive envelope element 25 includes a sealed envelope 26 which underlies the innersole elements 11 and 12. The envelope 26 includes a heat sealed continuous periphery 27, and is generally narrowed at both ends 28 and 29. The envelope 26 contains a shaped resilient cushion 27A within the envelope 26.
Before its periphery 27 is sealed, the envelope material 34 is laid out flatly as shown in FIG. 8 and the cushion 27A is placed in its proper position on it. A piece of flexible plastic 35 is placed over the cushion 27A and it is heat sealed to the underlying envelope material 34 around the periphery of the cushion 28, 29, 31, 32. Then one side of the material 34 is folded over the sealed cushion 27A as illustrated in FIG. 9 and the envelope material 34 is sealed to the cushion piece 27A at edges 36, 37, 38 which completes the sealing off of the cushion 27A within the envelope 26 which is formed when the outer periphery 27 is sealed to give the envelope its proper shape (FIG. 9.)
Self sealing open sleeve 39 is seal joined to the envelope 26 a site 40 or 41. The location of the site varies with the use to be made of the opening. The sleeve 39 is generally placed in the outer middle area of the envelope 26 if the first embodiment of the invention is to be used. In the second embodiment FIG. 13, the sleeve 39 is located along the outer edge of the heel area 40.
The self sealing open sleeves 39 are made up of two pieces of plastic 40 and 41 heat sealed at opposing edges 42 and 43. Each piece 40, 41 is made up of overlapping folds of its material as illustrated in FIG. 11.
A semi flexible plastic piece, folded over on itself 44 is joined to the front edge of the inner aspect of the envelope 26 at area 45. The joining may be by heat sealing, or. in this illustration. by stapling.
The first embodiment which is placed into the shoe at the place of manufacture has small through perforations 46 throughout the bag area that is not included in the sealed off cushion area 27A.
The two sided adhesive tapes 47, 48, 49 on top of the envelope 26 are for attachment of the envelope to the underside 15 of the innersole element 11.
Two sided adhesive tapes 61, 62, 63 are adhered to the bottom side of the envelope 26 for adhesion of the envelope 26 to the inner sole of the shoe 56a.
After the innersole elements are adhered to the envelope, the front end of the envelope 50 is tucked in on itself as illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 10. The sleeve 39 is folded on itself to fit over the cutout area in the bottom of the shoe sole 51. The bag is then adhered to the inner sole of the shoe 560 by tapes 61, 62, 63.
In the first embodiment, the device is readied for installation of molding mixture by removal of the plug 52 from the hole in the sole of the shoe 51. The sleeve is then drawn down thru the hole 51 and a tube 53 from the machine that will supply a flow of mixed quick setting material is inserted into the sleeve 39. The mixture, which may be a synthetic resinous system, is mixed just prior to its use. The person receiving this molding sits easily in a perferred position wherein the back is at right angles to the thighs, the thighs at right angles to the legs and the legs vertical to the floor. The molding mix is then injected under light pressure to completely fill all the empty spaces in the envelope 26. The pressure causes the front of the envelope which has been tucked in to be pushed out until the semi flexible plastic piece 44 engages the angle 55 between the foot and the sole of the shoe, to prevent the front end of the envelope 26 being pushed under the ball of the foot. The pressure also causes small amounts of the molding mix to flow thru the perforations 46 to effect a cementitious bond between the envelope 26 and the lower surfaces 15 of the innersole elements 11 and 12, and the inner exposed surfaces of the shoe sole 56a.
After a short interval, about midway thru the setting time of the molding mix, the exposed area of the sleeve may be cut away evenly with the outside of the shoe sole to effect a neat closure of the opening 51. After the molding mix has set, usually about 10 minutes, the entire process is completed. It is to be noticed that no molding mix can enter the cushioned area 27A and that the front of the envelope extends only to the ball of the foot 55, and not under it.
In the second embodiment of the invention FIG. 13 used when the device is to be added to the shoe at the time of molding, the envelope 26 contains two flexible tubes 57, 58, each containing one phase of a two phase solid foam synthetic resinous system.
The device is readied for installation by slitting open the two flexible tubes 57 and 58 by means of a scissor 59 momentarily inserted thru the self sealing sleeve 39. Placement of the tubes one above the other facilitates this method of opening the tubes. The sleeve 39 may then be folded between the envelope 26 and the overriding innersole elements 11 and 12 to insure nonleak age, as well as to seat this item neatly out of sight. The liquid of the two phases are urged forward from the tubes and into the heel area 60 of the envelope 26 by manual pressure. Here, the two liquids are mixed thor oughly by kneading, and then spread manually throughout the envelope. Then, perforations similar to 46 are made throughout the area not enclosing the sealed ofi cushion 27a by the repeated application of a pointed instrument such as an ice pick.
The device is then placed within the shoe, and then the foot is placed over it within the shoe. Through the chemical reaction instigated by the mixing of the two phases of the resins, a foam is created, whose pressure expands to fill in all the 54 empty places in the envelope 26. This pressure also pushes out the tucked in front area 50 of the envelope 26 to its proper position 55 which is determined by the relationship of the semiflexible piece 44 to the narrowing spaces between the foot and the shoe 55.
It is to be noted that in both embodiments the molding feature extends around the periphery of the rearwood part of the foot and shoe to provide a considerable degree of supportive effect on the lateral and medial sides of the foot. Extension of the sides would premit use of this construction in service type footgear, ice skate shoes, ski boots and the like.
1 wish it to be understood that I do not consider the invention limited to the precise details of the structure herein set forth in these specifications, for obviously modifications will occur to those skilled in the art to which it pertains. For example, the device may be simplified in that the basic part of this improvement, the resilient cushion 27A may be used with a variation of the containing envelope 26. In such an embodiment the variation of the envelope would result from the use of another type of innersole with three dimentional properties. This innersole could be a one pience of stretchable impervious material, such as a rubberized knit cloth, as illustrated in my US. Pat. No. 2,794,270 previously mentioned. This innersole is attached to the sides and back of the shoe, and to the sole of the shoe at the ball of the foot area to effectively create an envelope for the containment of the molding mix. The imperviously resilient cushion would be adhered to the sole of the shoe and the underside of the one piece innersole, and the molding mix would be admitted through the cut out in the sole of the shoe as herein illustrated in the first embodiment.
1. A supportive innersole device for use in a shoe or boot, comprising: A first relatively upwardly positioned innersole element conforming generally to the shape of the sole and sides of a shoe or boot and extending generally from the area of the ball of the foot to the back of the heel, with generally semi-circular areas cut out of opposing sides of the central part; a second innersole element, partially disposed beneath said first innersole element's cut out areas, and extending outwardly on each side form a generally dumbbell configuration, the two innersole elements being attached to each other at a central point; a flexible envelope underlying the innersole elements, said envelope containing within part of its area a resilient cushion, which cushion is imperviously sealed on all sides, and which is imperviously connected to parts of the upper and lower sides of the envelope; a rolled semi-flexible piece within the envelope, said piece being connected to the front of the envelope, which front edge is shaped to permit easy tucking in of the front edge of the envelope within itself; an open sleeve into the envelope, said sleeve containing means for self sealing.
2. Structure in accordance with claim 1, within the envelope, a semi-flexible plastic film rolled up upon itself to form a hollow cylinder with extensions connected to the inside edge of the front of the envelope.
3. Structure in accordance with claim 1, with a pair of flexible containers, each containing one phase of a two phase synthetic resinous foam system, within the envelope, one container being disposed beneath the other.
4. Structure in accordance with claim 3 in which said sleeve is of an internal width sufficient to permit insertion of a tool into the interior of said envelope to open said flexible containers.
5. Structure in accordance with claim 1 the opposing sides of the sleeve are each serially pleated, the convexities of one side fitting into the concavities of the other.
6. Structure in accordance with claim 1, with small perforations throughout the unconnected sides of the envelope.
7. Structure in accordance with claim 1 in which the sleeve is positioned to communicate with a source of moldable material at one end thereof, and at a second end thereof with the interior of said envelope.
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