Title:
CUSHIONED SOCK FOR HIGH HEEL FOOTWEAR
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present disclosure relates to cushioned socks or stockings particularly adapted for use with high heel footwear. The disclosed socks or stockings include a cushioning pad that is positioned below the metatarsal region of the foot, also known as the ball of the foot, and may extend under all or a part of the toes. Socks or stockings according to the present disclosure may be toe socks designed for dress shoes, ankle high, calf high, or longer. The disclosed cushioning pad stocking adapts and adjusts to different shoes (e.g., different height heels). The disclosed cushioned pad sock also adapts and adjusts to the foot as the wearer walks or otherwise shifts their weight on their feet.



Inventors:
Feeman-fick, Catherine Elizabeth (Pardeeville, WI, US)
Application Number:
13/302929
Publication Date:
03/22/2012
Filing Date:
11/22/2011
Assignee:
FEEMAN-FICK CATHERINE ELIZABETH
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41B11/00
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Primary Examiner:
SUTTON, ANDREW W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Boardman & Clark LLP (1 South Pinckney St. P.O. Box 927 Madison WI 53701-0927)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A foot cushion, comprising: a sock formed from a stretchable material having a toe portion and a lower sole portion adapted to extend under a toe portion and the lower sole portion of a foot; and a pad attached to the lower sole portion of the sock such that the pad is positioned substantially under the metatarsal bones and extends under at least a portion of the toes; wherein the pad comprises: a cushioning material capable of adapting to the shape of a shoe and the shape and distribution of weight of a foot; and a relatively thicker portion and at least one relatively thinner portions; wherein the relatively thicker portion of the pad is positioned substantially under the ball of the foot.

2. The foot cushion of claim 1 wherein the pad further comprises a relatively thicker portion between two relatively thinner portions.

3. The foot cushion of claim 1 wherein the pad further comprises two or more cells.

4. The foot cushion of claim 1 wherein the cushioning material further comprises a gel pad.

5. The foot cushion of claim 4 wherein the gel comprises a viscoelastic gel material.

6. The foot cushion of claim 4 wherein the gel comprises polyurethane, silicone, or a thermoplastic rubber.

7. The foot cushion of claim 1 wherein the cushioning material further comprises a foam pad.

8. The foot cushion of claim 1 wherein the sock comprises a toe cap sock extending over the toe portion of the foot.

9. The foot cushion of claim 1 wherein the sock comprises a full sock covering the entire foot at least up to the ankle.

10. The foot cushion of claim 1 wherein the thick portion of the pad is approximately double the thickness of the thin portion.

11. A foot cushioning sock, comprising: a toe sock hood having an opening designed for insertion of a wearer's foot wherein the toe sock hood is adapted to fit over and cover the toe region of a foot and to extend under the metatarsal region of the foot; a cushion pad attached to the toe sock hood such that it is positioned under the metatarsal region of the foot; wherein the cushion pad comprises: a cushioning material capable of adapting to the shape of a shoe and the shape and distribution of weight of a foot; and a relatively thicker portion and at least one relatively thinner portions; wherein the relatively thicker portion of the pad is positioned substantially under the ball of the foot; and an elastic band on the sock circling the opening.

12. The foot cushioning sock of claim 11 wherein the cushion pad further comprises a relatively thicker portion between two relatively thinner portions.

13. The foot cushioning sock of claim 11 wherein the pad further comprises two or more cells.

14. The foot cushioning sock of claim 11 wherein the cushioning material further comprises a gel pad.

15. The foot cushioning sock of claim 13 wherein the gel comprises a viscoelastic gel material.

16. The foot cushioning sock of claim 13 wherein the gel comprises polyurethane, silicone, or a thermoplastic rubber.

17. The foot cushioning sock of claim 11 wherein the cushioning material further comprises a foam pad.

18. The foot cushioning sock of claim 11 wherein the thick portion of the pad is approximately double the thickness of the thin portion.

Description:

PRIORITY

This application claims priority to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 29/354,096 filed on Feb. 12, 2010, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

The present disclosure relates to a padded footwear such as socks. More particularly, it relates to a padded sock adapted for use with high heel shoes or boots.

2. Related Art

In many social situations, especially where formal clothing is worn, many women prefer to wear high heel shoes. Unfortunately, wearing high heel shoes for even a few hours can cause pain and discomfort. This problem can be especially acute for those with various foot problems, such as bunions, numbness, pain, and calluses. The normal discomfort associated with spending a long time on one's feet is exacerbated by high heel shoes because all of the wearer's weight is shifted forward on to the balls of the feet, which can damage the soft tissue bearing the wearer's weight. The stress placed on the balls and toes only increases as the height of the heels is increased. For example, wearing one inch heels increases the pressure on the forefoot by about 22%. For two inch heels, the increase is about 57% and is about 76% for three inch heels.

OUTLINE OF BASIC & OTHER ADVANTAGEOUS FEATURES

It would be desirable to provide a cushioned sock or the like of a type disclosed in the present application that includes any one or more of these or other advantageous features:

    • That provides relief from the pain and discomfort associated with high heel footwear, particularly those with two inch or higher heels;
    • That adapt to the foot and shoe as the wearer walks or moves their feet;
    • That can be worn with a variety of different types of shoes; and
    • That is held in proper position on the foot.

These and other features and advantages of various embodiments of systems and methods according to this invention are described in, or are apparent from, the following detailed description of various exemplary embodiments of various devices, structures, and/or methods according to the present disclosure.

SUMMARY

An exemplary embodiment relates to a foot cushion, comprising a sock formed from a stretchable material having a toe portion and a lower sole portion adapted to extend under a toe portion and the lower sole portion of a foot and a pad attached to the lower sole portion of the sock such that the pad is positioned substantially under the metatarsal bones and extends under at least a portion of the toes Wherein the pad comprises a cushioning material capable of adapting to the shape of a shoe and the shape and distribution of weight of a foot and a relatively thicker portion and at least one relatively thinner portions wherein the relatively thicker portion of the pad is positioned substantially under the ball of the foot.

Another exemplary embodiment relates to a foot cushioning sock, comprising a toe sock hood having an opening designed for insertion of a wearer's foot wherein the toe sock hood is adapted to fit over and cover the toe region of a foot and to extend under the metatarsal region of the foot, a cushion pad attached to the toe sock hood such that it is positioned under the metatarsal region of the foot wherein the cushion pad comprises a cushioning material capable of adapting to the shape of a shoe and the shape and distribution of weight of a foot and a relatively thicker portion and at least one relatively thinner portions wherein the relatively thicker portion of the pad is positioned substantially under the ball of the foot, and an elastic band on the sock circling the opening.

These and other features and advantages of various embodiments of systems and methods according to this invention are described in, or are apparent from, the following detailed description of various exemplary embodiments of various devices, structures, and/or methods according to the present disclosure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Various exemplary embodiments of the systems and methods according to the present disclosure will be described in detail, with reference to the following figures, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a side view of an exemplary embodiment of a sock toe cap according to the present disclosure on a foot with bones shown in phantom;

FIG. 2 is a top side perspective view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 on a foot;

FIG. 3 is a bottom side perspective view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 on a foot;

FIG. 4 is a top view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 on left and right feet;

FIG. 5 is a top view of an exemplary embodiment of a cushioning pad according to the present disclosure;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional side view of the embodiment of FIG. 5 along line 6-6;

FIG. 7 is a side view of the embodiment of FIG. 5 compressed by a foot with bones shown in phantom;

FIG. 8 is a side view of an exemplary embodiment of a sock according to the present disclosure on a foot with bones shown in phantom;

FIG. 9 is a top side perspective view of the embodiment of FIG. 8 on a foot;

FIG. 10 is a bottom side perspective view of the embodiment of FIG. 8 on a foot; and

FIG. 11 is a top view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 on left and right feet.

It should be understood that the drawings are not necessarily to scale. In certain instances, details that are not necessary to the understanding of the invention or render other details difficult to perceive may have been omitted. It should be understood, of course, that the invention is not necessarily limited to the particular embodiments illustrated herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

The present disclosure relates to socks containing cushioned pads adapted for use while wearing high heel footwear. In various exemplary embodiments, the disclosed sock includes an attached pad that is placed below the ball of the foot (i.e., the metatarsal bone region), at least part of the toes, and possibly other parts of the foot. In various exemplary embodiments, the thickness of the cushioning pad is varied such that it is thicker under the ball of the foot and thinner elsewhere. In various exemplary embodiments, the cushion pad adapts to the shape of the foot and the sole of the shoe. In various exemplary embodiments, the cushion pad adapts to the foot as the wearer moves (e.g., walking) and the distribution of weight on the feet changes.

FIG. 1 shows a foot 90 positioned as it might be wearing a high heel shoe. In various exemplary embodiments, as shown in FIGS. 1-4, a toe sock 100 is designed and shaped to cover the toes 92 and metatarsal bones 91 of a foot 90. Toe sock 100 has a scoop front for use with high heel shoes that leave much of the top of the wearer's foot exposed. A cushioning pad 110 is attached to the sock 100 such that it is positioned and held in place substantially under the ball 91 and toes 92 of the foot 90. In various exemplary embodiments, the socks are made from a stretchable antibacterial fabric material that fits the front of the foot area conforms to the foot so as to hold the cushioning pad in place.

In various exemplary embodiments, the gel-cushioning pad 110 is attached or inserted into bottom of the stretchable antibacterial fabric material of the sock 100 into a pocket area (e.g., in a space between outer and inner layers of the fabric material) at the front of the sock to provide protective cushioning for a wearer's foot, including an area extending from the front tips of the toes to the metatarsal region 91 (i.e., the ball portion of the foot). In various exemplary embodiments, the cushioning pad 110 is formed from a material that is capable of substantially cushioning the weight of the wearer's foot upon use, such as, for example, a gel, foam, or compressible pad. In various exemplary embodiments, elastic band 101 extends around the sock under about the midpoint of the arch of the foot to keep the sock comfortably in place. Elastic band 101 also helps to hold the sock 100 in place so that the cushioning pad 110 is held in proper position under the metatarsals 91. Although the elastic band 101 is shown positioned at the sock opening, it should be noted that an elastic band 101 may be located elsewhere in the sock 100.

In various exemplary embodiments, the sock 100 is preferably formed of a fibrous material, such as, for example, nylon, wool, cotton, or any other fibrous material that can help reduce perspiration and odors. The fibrous material can be stretchable such that the sock 100 can conform to a wide range of wearer's feet. In various exemplary embodiments, the sock 100 can be designed to incorporate dual layers of material. For example, the cushioning pad 70 can be secured to the sock 100 and then sealed between the dual layers of material so as not to allow the cushion pad 110 to be movable therein.

FIGS. 5-7 show an exemplary embodiment of a cushioning pad according to the present disclosure. As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the cushioning pad comprises two or more areas of differing thickness. In various exemplary embodiments, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the main body 111 of the cushioning pad is relatively thicker than the peripheral portions 112. As shown in FIG. 7, the cushion pad 110 provides support under the metatarsal region 91 and toes 92. The cushion pad 110 is designed to adapt to various surface load configurations with the support concentrated under the metatarsal region or ball region of the foot.

As the wearer walks, the disposition of the foot and the weight distribution across the bottom of the foot constantly changes. In various exemplary embodiments, the cushioning pad 110 simultaneously changes shape to adapt to changes in the foot as well as the shoe sole.

In various exemplary embodiments, the cushion pad comprises a gel or a foam. For example, an appropriate gel may be made from polyurethane, silicone, or thermoplastic rubber. In various exemplary embodiments, the cushion pad comprises a viscoelastic gel material. In various exemplary embodiments, the cushion pad is made from non-foam elastomers such as the class of materials known as viscoelastic gel polymers, which provide high energy absorption. For example, gels that can be used according to the present disclosure are thermoplastic elastomers (elastomeric materials), such as materials made from many polymeric families, including but not limited to the Kraton family of styrene-olefin-rubber block copolymers, thermoplastic polyurethanes, thermoplastic polyolefins, polyamides, polyureas, and polyesters, triblock copolymers, diblock copolymers, thermoplastic elastomers, thermoplastic olefins, thermoplastic vulcanates, thermoplastic urethanes, vinyl copolymers, polyvinyl acetate and copolymers thereof, acrylics, polyesters, polyurethanes, polyethers, polyamides, polybutadienes, polystyrenes, polyisoprenes, polyethylenes, polyolefins, polyvinyl butyral, epoxyacrylate interpenetrating networks, natural and synthetic rubbers, silicon rubbers, nitrile rubbers, butyl rubbers, low density granular materials, foamed polymers, and ionomers. In various other exemplary embodiments, the cushion pad comprises a typical foam mechanical spring, shock absorption layer that cushions the foot, in order to decrease pressure.

In various exemplary embodiments, a gel cushion pad may also comprise various additives including, but not limited to, curing agents, cross-linking agents, fillers, colorants, processing aids, antioxidants, foaming agents, blowing agents, plasticizers, and mixtures thereof.

In various exemplary embodiments, the cushion pad may be a laminate or multilayered composite of one or more materials, such as those discussed above. In various exemplary embodiments, the cushion pad 110 is divided into two or more cells by, for example, one or more dividing walls. For example, the thicker main body 111 and the peripheral portions 112 may be hydraulically separated to prevent the gel from flowing away from the metatarsal region 91 during use. Furthermore, the main body 111 and/or periphery 112 may be subdivided into two or more hydraulically divided regions.

FIGS. 8-11 show an exemplary embodiment of a sock 200 designed to extend over the calf to just below the knee (e.g., for wear with dress boots) with a cushioning pad 210 according to the present disclosure. The cushioning pad 210 is attached to the sock 200 such that it is positioned and held in place substantially under the ball 91 and toes 92 of the foot 90. In various exemplary embodiments, the socks are made from a stretchable antibacterial fabric material that fits the front of the foot area conforms to the foot so as to hold the cushioning pad in place.

In various exemplary embodiments, the gel-cushioning pad 210 is attached or inserted into bottom of the stretchable antibacterial fabric material of the sock 200 into a pocket area (e.g., in a space between outer and inner layers of the fabric material) at the front of the sock to provide protective cushioning for a wearer's foot, including an area extending from the front tips of the toes to the metatarsal region 91 (i.e., the ball portion of the foot). In various exemplary embodiments, the cushioning pad 210 is formed from a material that is capable of substantially cushioning the weight of the wearer's foot upon use, such as, for example, a gel, foam, or compressible pad. In various exemplary embodiments, elastic band 201 extends around the sock about the midpoint of the wearer's calf to keep the sock comfortably in place.

Although the disclosed sock is shown as a toe sock or a full sock (e.g., calf-high), it should be noted that the shape and length of the sock may be varied as desired to accommodate different styles of footwear, weather, or fashion. For example, the sock may be any length. Although the disclosed socks are particularly designed for use with high heel footwear, they could be worn with other shoes. Although the disclosure discusses socks, it should be understood that this includes stocking, pantyhose, or any other foot covering intended to be worn inside a shoe.

As utilized herein, the terms “approximately,” “about,” “substantially,” and similar terms are intended to have a broad meaning in harmony with the common and accepted usage by those of ordinary skill in the art to which the subject matter of this disclosure pertains. It should be understood by those of skill in the art who review this disclosure that these terms are intended to allow a description of certain features described and claimed without restricting the scope of these features to the precise numerical ranges provided. Accordingly, these terms should be interpreted as indicating that insubstantial or inconsequential modifications or alterations of the subject matter described and claimed are considered to be within the scope of the invention as recited in the appended claims.

It should be appreciated that the construction and arrangement of the cushioning sock, as shown in the various exemplary embodiments, is illustrative only. While the cushioning sock, according to this invention, has been described in conjunction with the exemplary embodiments outlined above, various alternatives, modifications, variations, improvements, and/or substantial equivalents, whether known or that are or may be presently unforeseen, may become apparent. Accordingly, the exemplary embodiments of the cushioning sock, according to this invention, as set forth above, are intended to be illustrative, not limiting. Various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Therefore, the description provided above is intended to embrace all known or later-developed alternatives, modifications, variations, improvements, and/or substantial equivalents.