Title:
COMBINATION MASSAGING, AIR-CUSHIONING AND VENTILATING INSOLE
United States Patent 3716930


Abstract:
A combination massaging, air cushioning and ventilating insole unit having top, center and bottom layers of air impervious material shaped peripherally to fit within a shoe, the peripheries of the three layers being adhered together to form an air tight top chamber between the top and center layers and an air tight bottom chamber between the center layer and the bottom layer, an air intake and pumping chamber formed in the heel portion of the insole unit, a resilient open-cell foam pad positioned in said air intake and pumping chamber, means in the heel portion of the insole unit providing access of the ambient air to the intake and pumping chamber, discharge means provided in the forward portion of the top layer, and means for controlling flow of air from the intake and pumping chamber to the discharge means in the top layer.



Inventors:
BRAHM H
Application Number:
05/136715
Publication Date:
02/20/1973
Filing Date:
04/23/1971
Assignee:
BRAHM H,US
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B17/08; (IPC1-7): A43B7/06
Field of Search:
36/3R,3A,3B
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3475836AIR PUMPING INSERT FOR SHOES1969-11-04Brahm
3005271Ventilating insole for footwear1961-10-24Brahm
2797501Air conditioning cushion insole unit1957-07-02Brahm



Primary Examiner:
Lawson, Patrick D.
Claims:
I claim

1. An insole unit for shoes particularly useful for massaging, air cushioning and ventilating, said insole unit comprising top, center and bottom layers of air impervious material shaped peripherally to fit within a shoe, the peripheries of the three layers being adhered together to form an air tight top chamber between the top and center layers and an air tight bottom chamber between the center layer and the bottom layer, an air intake and pumping chamber formed in the heel portion of the insole unit, a resilient open-cell foam pad positioned in said air intake and pumping chamber, means in the heel portion of the insole unit providing access of the ambient air to the intake and pumping chamber, discharge means provided in the forward portion of the top layer, and means for controlling flow of air from the intake and pumping chamber to the discharge means in the top layer.

2. The invention as set forth in claim 1 and wherein the means for controlling the flow of air from the intake and pumping chamber to the discharge means discharge the top layer comprises a plurality of openings in the center layer and transverse seals between the center layer and the top and bottom layers.

3. The invention as set forth in claim 2 wherein the plurality of openings in the center layer and transverse seals are so arranged that the insole unit is divided into a rear top air chamber, a forward top air chamber and a forward bottom air chamber and the air is conducted from the intake and pumping chamber into the rear top air chamber, then into the bottom forward air chamber, then into the top forward air chamber and out the discharge means.

4. A combination massaging, air cushioning and ventilating insole unit comprising top, center and bottom layers of air impervious materials shaped to fit within a shoe, the peripheries of the three layers being adhered together to form an air tight top chamber between the top and center layers and an air tight bottom chamber between the center and bottom layers, an air intake and pumping chamber formed in the heel portion of the insole by a first transverse seal holding the center and bottom layers together in an air tight manner at a point forward of the heel portion, the bottom air chamber forward of this transverse seal becoming a forward bottom air chamber, a resilient open-celled foam pad positioned in the intake and pumping chamber, an intake opening extending through the top and center layers and communicating with the intake and pumping chamber, said intake opening being centrally positioned in the heel portion of the top layer and having a plurality of annular ridges formed around the opening, a second transverse seal holding the top and center layers together in an air tight manner forward of the first transverse seal to form the top air chamber into a forward top air chamber and a rear top air chamber, a plurality of discharge openings in the forward portion of the top layer for discharging air from the forward top air chamber, a plurality of slits formed in the center layer rearward of the first transverse seal to provide communication between the intake and pumping chamber and the rear top air chamber, a plurality of slits formed in the center layer between the first and second transverse seals to furnish communication between the rear top air chamber and the forward bottom air chamber and a plurality of slits formed in the center layer forward of the second transverse seal to provide communication between the forward bottom air chamber and the forward top air chamber whereby air drawn in through the intake opening is pumped out of the intake and pumping chamber serially through the rear top air chamber, the forward bottom air chamber, the forward top air chamber and out the discharge openings in the top layer to provide ventilating action as the air is discharged from the discharge openings, to provide a massaging action to the sole of the foot as the mass of air proceeds through the insole chambers and to further provide an air cushion.

Description:
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A large number of insoles are on the market today which allegedly provide various forms of cushioning and ventilating. Some of the insoles even provide both ventilating and cushioning. However, there are none which provide a combination of massaging, air cushioning and ventilating, particularly in a very uncomplicated construction which in essence has no complicated valves or pumps for accomplishing these three functions.

In view of the above, it is an object of this invention to provide an insole unit which will provide massaging to the sole of the foot, air cushioning and ventilating action.

It is another object of this invention to provide an insole unit which will provide massaging, air cushioning and ventilation and yet have virtually no complicated valves and pumps.

It is still another object to provide an insole unit having top, center and bottom layers of air impervious material shaped peripherally to fit within a shoe, the peripheries of the three layers being adhered together to form an air tight top chamber between the top and center layers and an air tight bottom chamber between the center layer and the bottom layer, an air intake and pumping chamber formed in the heel portion of the insole unit, a resilient open-cell foam pad positioned in said air intake and pumping chamber, means in the heel portion of the insole unit providing access of the ambient air to the intake and pumping chamber, discharge means provided in the forward portion of the top layer, and means for controlling flow of air from the intake and pumping chamber to the discharge means in the top layer.

The above and other objects and advantages will become more apparent when taken in conjunction with the following detailed description and drawings illustrating one embodiment of this invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a plan view of the combination insole,

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 2--2 of FIG. 1,

FIG. 3 illustrates the intake action of the insole wherein the heel is lifted to allow air to enter the heel chamber,

FIG. 4 illustrates the second phase of the insole action wherein the heel commences its downward motion and starts to compress the air in the heel chamber,

FIG. 5 illustrates the third phase of the insole action wherein the heel has completed its downward movement and the air has been forced into the forward portion of the insole, and

FIG. 6 illustrates the fourth phase of the insole action wherein the forepart of the foot has forced the air out the forward openings in the insole.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 the combination massaging, air cushioning and ventilating insole 10 comprises three layers of air impervious material, namely, top layer 12, center layer 14 and bottom layer 16, which are similarly shaped to conform in plan to the shape of the insole of a shoe into which the combination insole fits. The edges of the layers 12, 14 and 16 are adhered together to form a peripheral air tight seal 18, thus forming an upper air chamber 20 defined by top layer 12 and center layer 14 and a bottom air chamber 22 defined by center layer 14 and bottom layer 16.

An enlarged pocket 24 is formed in the heel portion 26 of the combination insole between the center layer 14 and the bottom layer 16 and is further defined by peripheral seal 18 and transverse seal 28 which extends completely across the insole and seals the center layer 14 and the bottom layer 16 together in an air tight manner at a point at the forward end of the heel section 26. A resilient open-celled foam pad 29 is placed in the pocket 24 and thus serves to transform the pocket into an intake and pumping chamber 44. An intake opening 30 is formed in top layer 12 and center layer 14 to provide access for the pocket 24 to The ambient air. Both layers are held together immediately around intake 30 by means of circular air tight seal 31.

A plurality of annular ridges 32 are formed in the exposed surface of the top layer 12 immediately adjacent and around intake opening 30. Similarly, the center layer 14 is provided with a plurality of annular ridges 34 surrounding the intake opening 30 and facing the foam pad 29.

A second transverse air tight seal 36 is formed completely across the insole forwardly of the first transverse seal 28 and adheres top layer 12 and center layer 14 together in an air tight manner thus forming the top air chamber 20 into a forward top air chamber 38 and a rear top air chamber 40. Similarly, the transverse seal 28 divides the bottom air chamber 22 into a forward bottom air chamber 42 and a rear intake and pumping chamber 44.

In order to allow air to pass from the intake and pumping chamber 44 into the forward top air chamber 38 and then out through discharge slits 46 cut in the forward portion of the top layer 12, a series of slits are provided in the center layer 14. Specifically, a plurality of slits 48 are cut in the center layer 14 slightly to the rear of the transverse seal 28 to provide communication between intake and pumping chamber 44 and rear top air chamber 40. Next, a plurality of slits 50 are cut in the center layer 14 slightly forward of transverse seal 28 to provide communication between forward bottom air chamber 42 and rear top air chamber 40. Further forward slits 52 are formed in the center layer 14 just forward of transverse seal 36 to furnish communication between forward bottom air chamber 42 and forward top air chamber 38. It is thus apparent that the air enters intake opening 30 and follows the path indicated by the arrows serially through chambers 44, 40, 42, 38 and then out discharge slits 46.

For a further and more complete understanding of this invention it should be noted that in actual construction the layers 12, 14 and 16 are generally in contact with each other, i.e., there is no space maintained between layers except in the pocket 24 where foam pad 29 provides variable spacing between layers 14 and 16. Thus the transverse seals 28 and 36 are in reality transverse sections where the respective layers are held together in an air tight manner throughout the width of the layers at the specific point. The same also applies to circular seal 31.

The intake and pumping chamber 44 is of substantial cubic capacity in comparison to the other air chambers in the insole thus making possible the desired multiple action of this invention. The action that takes place in the insole as the user walks is depicted in FIGS. 3-6. As shown in FIG. 3, the forepart 60 of the foot is resting in the forward portion of the insole and the heel 62 is raised thus allowing the intake and pumping chamber 44 to fully expand under the force of resilient open-celled foam pad 29 thereby drawing air into the chamber 44. At this point the chamber 44 is filled with air drawn in through intake opening 30. Next the heel 62 comes down into contact with the heel portion 26 of the inside and bears down against annular ridges 32 to close off intake 30. It has been found that the pressure of the heel on ridges 32 produces an excellent sealing action particularly in view of the fact that the heel may be covered with some type of porous material in the form of a sock.

Further depression of the heel 62 causes air to be forced through slits 48 into rear top air chamber 40 and then through slits 50 into forward bottom air chamber 42. From forward bottom air chamber 42 a substantial portion of the air passes through slits 52 into forward top air chamber 38. As the air proceeds thusly a wave-like section 64 is formed in the forward top air chamber 38. As pressure of the heel 62 continues as illustrated in FIG. 5, the wave-like section moves forward toward the toe end of the inner sole. Movement of the wave-like air mass 64 produces a massaging action on the sole of the foot in the area just forward of the heel up to the toe portion of the foot. As the air mass 64 moves under the ball or forepart 64 of the foot, the heel commences to rise as shown in FIG. 6 and the forepart 64 of the foot presses downward to force the air out through discharge slits 46 to ventilate the forepart of the foot and the shoe itself.

It should further be noted that the bottom forward air chamber 42 extends from just forward of the heel to the forward end of the insole. A small amount of air is forced in this chamber especially forward of slits 52, thus providing a substantial air cushioning for the forepart of the foot. The intake and pumping chamber 44 provides the air cushioning for the heel 62. After discharge of air from the forward top air chamber 38 through the discharge slits the top layer 12 and center layer 14 will no longer be held in spaced relation; consequently, force will be brought to bear on the area surrounding the slits 52 and 50, thereby trapping the residual air in bottom forward air chamber 42 and to a lesser extent in top rearward air chamber 40 to provide the air cushioning after discharge of the bulk of the air through the discharge slits 46. Obviously there is substantial air cushioning when the heel is impressing the resilient pad 29 to force air through the insole. Thus this insole provides massaging, air cushioning and ventilating without the use of any valves or similar mechanisms.

A purification agent, deodorant, or other similar substance may be placed in the heel pocket 24 or even in the foam pad 29 to treat the air as it passes through the insole.

The types of material that may be employed in making this insole are varied and many. Plastics are quite desirable due to their adaptability for heat sealing and relative freedom from chemical or other types of reactions.