Title:
RIGID ORTHOTIC AND METHOD OF FORMING
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rigid foot orthotic for walking or running. The orthotic is designed to bend slightly at the heel and near the toes—or the front and back portions of a person's step. The middle guides the ankles slightly outward but gently guides the inner foot down to the toe for the “push off” or forward motion of the step.



Inventors:
Wilson, Blaine Elliott (Detroit, MI, US)
Application Number:
15/367913
Publication Date:
06/08/2017
Filing Date:
12/02/2016
Assignee:
Wilson Blaine Elliott
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B7/14; A43B17/00; A43B17/14; A43D3/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FERREIRA, CATHERINE M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig PLLC (211 Church Street, S.E. Leesburg VA 20175)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of forming an orthotic device, comprising: heating a thermally moldable plastic foot form to a moldable state; forming the thermally moldable plastic foot form to a bottom surface a wearer's foot; and cooling the thermally moldable plastic foot form.

2. The method of claim 1, further comprising: forming a bottom surface of the thermally moldable foot form to be substantially flat between a heel portion and a toe portion.

3. The method of claim 2, further comprising: inserting the thermally moldable foot form within a shoe.

4. The method of claim 3, further comprising: removing an inner sole of the shoe before inserting the thermally moldable foot form.

5. The method of claim 4, further comprising: wearing the shoe with the thermally moldable foot form.

6. The method of claim 2, further comprising: trimming the thermally moldable foot form to fit one or more interior dimensions of the shoe.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the thermally moldable plastic is selected from a material that is substantially rigid once cooled.

8. A rigid orthotic, comprising: a formed substantially rigid thermal plastic material having a substantially flat bottom surface extending from a heel portion to a toe portion; an arch portion formed protruding from a top surface of the thermal plastic material along an instep side of the orthotic, the arch having a medial portion that is sloped gradually upwardly from the top surface of the orthotic proximal to median portion of the orthotic, a forward portion that slopes gradually upwardly and rearward from a point intermediate the toe portion and a high middle arch defined by an apex of the arch, and an aft portion that is sloped gradually upwardly and forward from a point intermediate a heel end of the orthotic and the high middle arch, wherein the thermal plastic material is adapted to be formed to the arch of a wearer's foot when the thermal plastic material is in a semi molten formable condition.

9. The rigid orthotic of claim 8, wherein the toe portion is formed to a thickness of about 1/16 of an inch to provide a spring to the user's step.

10. The rigid orthotic of claim 8, wherein the aft arch portion gradually rises from about 0 degrees to between about 9 degrees and about 12 degrees beginning at a point approximately one third of a length of the orthotic from the heel end.

11. The rigid orthotic of claim 9, wherein the forward portion of the arch gradually rises from between about 5 degrees to about 23 degrees.

12. The rigid orthotic of claim 9, wherein the thickness of the orthotic at the high middle arch is approximately ⅝ of an inch.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of priority of U.S. provisional application No. 62/261,939, filed Dec. 2, 2015, the contents of which are herein incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to orthotic inserts, and more particularly orthotics for minimizing over-pronation.

Most orthotics presently available are flimsy and are made of soft plastic. They are not designed to support the pounding feet take while running. Also, most orthotics do not tilt the ankle outward to help form the foot's arch, a condition known as over pronation.

As can be seen, there is a need for a sturdy orthotic that tilt the ankle outwardly to assist in forming the foot's arch.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect of the present invention, a method of forming an orthotic device, includes heating a thermally moldable plastic foot form to a moldable state. The user then forms the thermally moldable plastic foot form to a bottom surface a wearer's foot and allows the thermally moldable plastic foot form to cool. The method may also include forming a bottom surface of the thermally moldable foot form to be substantially flat between a heel portion and a toe portion. The thermally moldable foot form may then be inserted within a shoe. The method may also include removing an inner sole of the shoe before inserting the thermally moldable foot form and wearing the shoe with the thermally moldable foot form. In some instances, the user may need to trim the thermally moldable foot form to fit the interior dimensions of the shoe. Preferably, the thermally moldable plastic is selected from a material that is substantially rigid once cooled.

Other aspects of the invention include a rigid orthotic formed from a substantially rigid thermal plastic material having a substantially flat bottom surface extending from a heel portion to a toe portion. An arch portion is formed protruding from a top surface of the thermal plastic material along an instep side of the orthotic, the arch having a medial portion that is sloped gradually upwardly from the top surface of the orthotic proximal to median portion of the orthotic. A forward portion of the arch slopes gradually upwardly and rearward from a point intermediate the toe portion and a high middle arch defined by an apex of the arch. An aft portion is sloped gradually upwardly and forward from a point intermediate a heel end of the orthotic and the high middle arch. The thermal plastic material is adapted to be formed to the arch of a wearer's foot when the thermal plastic material is in a semi molten formable condition.

In certain embodiments the toe portion is formed to a thickness of about 1/16 of an inch to provide a spring to the user's step. In other embodiments of the invention, the aft arch portion gradually rises from about 0 degrees to between about 9 degrees and about 12 degrees beginning at a point approximately one third of a length of the orthotic from the heel end. Similarly, the forward portion of the arch may gradually rise from between about 5 degrees to about 23 degrees. n certain preferred embodiments, the thickness of the orthotic at the high middle arch is approximately ⅝ of an inch.

These and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following drawings, description and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a wedge orthotic.

FIG. 2 is a section view of the invention illustrating the wedge orthotic in use.

FIG. 3 is a section view of the wedge orthotic taken from line 3-3 in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of a wedge orthotic.

FIG. 5 is a right side elevation view of a wedge orthotic.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following detailed description is of the best currently contemplated modes of carrying out exemplary embodiments of the invention. The description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the invention, since the scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims.

Broadly, an embodiment of the present invention provides a rigid wedge orthotics of a single formed out of thermoplastic. The orthotic of the present invention is designed to place the foot in the right position while walking or running. It helps support a weak arch, while allowing the toes, outer foot and heel to touch ground. These four points of contact provide improved balance for the wearer and strengthens the foot muscles with each step.

As seen in reference to FIG. 1, a rigid foot orthotic 10 is illustrated. The Orthotic 10 has an arch portion 12 located on the instep side of the orthotic 10. The arch 12 has is medial portion that is sloped gradually upwardly from a top surface of the orthotic 10 proximal to a median portion of the orthotic 10. The arch 12 will also be sloped gradually upwardly and rearward from a point intermediate a toe portion and a high middle arch 14, defined by an apex of the arch 12. Similarly, the arch 12 is sloped gradually upwardly and forward from a point intermediate a heel end of the orthotic 10 and the arch 12. The gradual upward sloped areas rise in a generally crescent shaped wedge to the high middle arch 14.

The orthotic insert 10 of the present invention is preferably made of solid plastic and is able to support a person weighing hundreds of pounds. As seen in reference to FIG. 2, the orthotic insert 10 is also designed to be worn under the inner sole, or sole insert 16 of an athletic shoe 20.

The foot 22 is a load-bearing limb of the body. A soft orthotic simply gives way to the weight of the individual, does not provide “push back” or maintain its shape throughout a person's step, particularly for larger individuals.

The orthotic of the present invention is designed to bend slightly at the heel and near the toes—or the front and back portions of a person's step. The middle guides the ankles slightly outward but gently guides the inner foot down to the toe for the “push off” or forward motion of the step.

As seen in reference to FIG. 2, the orthotics 10 of the present invention are intended to be inserted in an athletic shoe 20, so the shoe 20 and orthotics 10 work as one. The wearer places the orthotic 10 under the rubber sole insert 16 of the shoe. As the wearer walks or runs, the orthotics 10 of the present invention are designed to not slip or slide inside the shoe 20. Because the orthotics 10 help balance the foot 22, wear and tear on the shoe bottom 18 is spread out and more evenly distributed, than with the wearer's conventional un-assisted steps.

The orthotics 10 may be custom fit to the wearer's foot 22 using a thermally moldable plastic material, formed to the individual's foot 22. The plastic is first boiled and softened at 200 degrees F. In this state, the plastic is a gooey, moldable and very soft. The user molds the orthotics 10 based on the shape and conditions of the wearer's feet 22. Using shims, the softened plastic is pressed and molded to the shape of the wearer's foot 22 until it cools. After the molded orthotic 10 is cooled sufficiently, the newly formed orthotics 10 are ready to wear. Although the contour and form factor may change slightly, the orthotics 10 basic shape stays the same. To improve the orthotic's 10 comfort and feel, 2 layers or foam rubber—a soft top layer may be added.

An individual would select the proper orthotics size in relation to their shoe size. The orthotics 10 of the present invention work best when worn under the inner rubber sole 16 of an athletic shoe 20.

As seen in reference to FIGS. 3-5, the following is a description of the representative shape, size, length, width and thickness of an orthotic for a person wearing a size 12, 5xx shoe.

From the edge of the heel, or back end of the orthotic 10, the inside portion of the orthotic, or arch area 12, may rise from 0 degrees to 9 degrees at 3 inches from the heel. At roughly 4½ inches from the heel, the angle for the inside portion of the orthotic 10 may level out at 11 degrees with a thickness of approximately ⅝ inches. The angle from there slopes down to 0 degrees at 8½ inches from the heel. The last 1½ inches of the inside area of the orthotic runs at 0 degrees with a thickness of approximately 1/16 of an inch.

The outside area along the length of the orthotic 10 may rise from 0 degrees to 4 degrees at 3¼ inches. The angle slopes down to 0 degrees at 5½ inches. The outside area remains at 0 degrees to the front of the orthotic (baby toe area).

From the edge of the heel, the middle area of the orthotic 10 progresses from 0 degrees to a 3 degree slope from inside (arch area) to outside at 3 inches. At 5½ inches, the slope from inside edge to outside edge is 12 degrees. From ¾ inches from the inside edge of the orthotic at 5½ inches the orthotic slopes down to 0 degrees to ½ inch from the front edge (toe area) and to ¾ inch from the outside edge.

Length: is approximately 10¼ inches from the edge of the back edge (heel) to the front edge (toe). These dimensions for the orthotic 10 a suitable for use with a size 12 shoe.

Width: (Measurements from the heel) 2 5/16 inches at 2 inches (for a 5xx shoe), 2¾ at 6 inches, 3¼ inches at 9¼ inches.

It should be understood, of course, that the foregoing relates to exemplary embodiments of the invention and that modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the following claims.