Title:
Arch Support
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An adjustable arch support for a shoe is provided. The adjustable arch support forms a loop within the shoe, surrounding the arch. An end of a band forming the loop within the shoe can be drawn tight, thereby providing additional support for the arch. The end can then be loosened to release the foot or to provide less support.



Inventors:
Fadil, Mark (Palo Alto, CA, US)
Application Number:
14/977784
Publication Date:
06/22/2017
Filing Date:
12/22/2015
Assignee:
Fadil Mark
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B7/14; A43B3/26
View Patent Images:
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20050198867Self tying shoeSeptember, 2005Labbe
20070074425Retractable Type Lining Foot-WearsApril, 2007Leong
20080092407Type of Nail that is Attached to a Metal PieceApril, 2008Ramirez
20080052959SHOES WITH REPLACEABLE TOE PORTION OR REPLACEABLE HEEL PORTIONMarch, 2008Hu
20050268489Resilient shoe liftDecember, 2005Austin
20090056164Supporting pad for high heelsMarch, 2009Chen



Primary Examiner:
MOHANDESI, JILA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAMBERT & ASSOCIATES (92 STATE STREET BOSTON MA 02109-2004)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A shoe comprising: a body; a sole connected to a bottom of the body, wherein the body and the sole define a cavity into which a foot of a user may fit; an arch support positioned within the cavity, the arch support comprising: a band having a first end and a second opposite end, the first end of the band positioned securely adjacent to a lateral side of the shoe, the band extending towards an opposite medial side of the shoe, and then looping back towards the lateral side, forming a loop through which a foot may pass; wherein the second end passes through an opening defined by the body in the lateral side of the shoe, the band slideable through the opening adjacent to its second end, the sliding of the band through the opening controlling a size of the loop formed by the band; wherein the second end is connectable to the body of the shoe in a plurality of different adjustment positions.

2. The shoe of claim 1 wherein the band is formed of an elastic material.

3. The shoe of claim 1 wherein the first end of the band is attached to an insole of the shoe.

4. The shoe of claim 1 wherein the band splits into two second ends.

5. The shoe of claim 4 wherein the body forms two openings in the lateral side, and wherein one of the two second ends passes through one of two openings.

6. The shoe of claim 1 wherein the band comprises two separate bands, each of the two separate bands having a first end attached to the shoe, and a second opposite end passing through an opening formed by the body on the lateral side.

7. The shoe of claim 1 wherein the second end is connectable to the body by a hook and loop connector.

8. The shoe of claim 1 wherein the second end is connectable to the body by a strap.

9. The shoe of claim 1 wherein the second end is connectable to the body by a lace passed through an eye formed by the second end.

10. The shoe of claim 1 wherein the band passes under a tongue of the shoe.

11. The shoe of claim 1 wherein the opening in the lateral side of the body is a slit.

12. A shoe comprising: a body; a sole connected to a bottom of the body, wherein the body and the sole define a cavity into which a foot of a user may fit; an arch support positioned within the cavity, the arch support comprising: a plurality of bands, each band of the plurality of bands having a first end and a second opposite end, the first end of each of the plurality of bands positioned securely adjacent to a lateral side of the shoe, the plurality of bands extending towards an opposite medial side of the shoe, and then looping back towards the lateral side, each of the plurality of bands forming a loop through which a foot may pass; wherein the second end of each of the plurality of bands passes through an opening defined by the body in the lateral side of the shoe, each of the plurality of bands slideable through the opening adjacent to the second end, the sliding of each of the plurality of second ends through the opening controlling a size of the loop formed by each of the plurality of bands; wherein each of the plurality of second ends is connectable to the body of the shoe in a plurality of different adjustment positions.

13. The shoe of claim 12 wherein at least one of the plurality of bands is formed of an elastic material.

14. The shoe of claim 12 wherein the first end of each of the plurality of bands is attached to an insole of the shoe.

15. The shoe of claim 12 further comprising a plurality of openings defined by the body on the lateral side of the shoe, wherein one of the plurality of second ends passes through one of the plurality of openings.

16. The shoe of claim 12 wherein the second end of each of the plurality of bands is connectable to the body by a hook and loop connector.

17. The shoe of claim 1 wherein the second end of each of the plurality of bands is connectable to the body by a strap.

18. The shoe of claim 1 wherein the second end of each of the plurality of bands is connectable to the body by a lace passed through an eye formed by the second end.

19. A method of supporting an arch of a foot using the shoe of claim 1 comprising the steps of: placing a foot within the cavity of the body, the step of placing the foot into the cavity comprising passing the foot through the loop formed by the arch support; tightening the arch support by drawing the band through the opening in the lateral side of the shoe by a pulling of the band adjacent to the second end; connecting the second end to the body of the shoe after the tightening step.

20. The method of supporting an arch of a foot using the shoe of claim 19 further comprising the step of further tightening the arch support by drawing an additional second end through the opening; and connecting the additional second end to the body of the shoe after the further tightening step.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to an arch support device of a shoe. More particularly the present invention relates to an arch support that wraps about a foot of a shoe wearer within the shoe that can be loosened and tightened.

Description of Related Art

During exercise, support of all areas of the feet of a person exercising is important to prevent degradation in performance, or injury. This is especially the case for repeated use exercise such as walking, running, and the like. Areas of the foot requiring support may include the heel, ankle, arch, top and front of foot, and toes.

One particular part of a foot that varies substantially between individuals is the arch. Some have flat arches, some have high arches, and many are in between. Arch variation leads to many shoes not fitting properly. For those using ill-fitting shoes, excessive fatigue and injury can result.

Therefore, what is needed is a device that may allow for an adjustable and effective arch support within the shoes.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The subject matter of this application may involve, in some cases, interrelated products, alternative solutions to a particular problem, and/or a plurality of different uses of a single system or article.

In one aspect, a shoe is provided. The shoe comprises a body, a sole, with a cavity formed by the two to fit a foot of a user. An arch support is positioned within this cavity. The arch support comprises a band with a first end and a second opposite end. The first end of the band is positioned securely near a lateral side of the shoe. The band extends towards an opposite, medial side of the shoe, and then loops back towards the lateral side, thereby forming a loop through which a foot may pass. The band, at its second end, passes slideably from the cavity within the shoe to an outside of the shoe, through an opening defined by the body in the lateral side of the shoe. By moving the second end to various positions through the opening, a user can control a size of the loop formed by the band. In turn, the user can control the amount of support on the arch by this adjustment by way of an increased pressure and tightness about the arch of the foot. Once properly positioned by the user to provide arch support, the second end can be connected to the body of the shoe.

In another aspect, a method of operating an arch support is provided to support to a foot of a user. The method includes placing a foot within a cavity of a shoe having an arch support, the cavity is formed by a shoe body and the sole. The arch support is positioned in the cavity. In this aspect, the step of placing the foot into the cavity further involves passing the foot through a loop formed by an adjustable band of the arch support. Once the foot is within the shoe and positioned in the loop formed by the arch support, the arch support can be tightened by drawing a second end of the arch support band through an opening in a lateral side of the shoe. Once tightened snugly around the foot of the user to support the arch, the second end may then be secured in place to the body of the shoe.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 provides a side view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 provides a rear view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 provides an elevation view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 provides a rear perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 provides a side view of another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 provides a view of an interior of an embodiment of the shoe of the present invention.

FIG. 7 provides a side view of yet another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8 provides a view of an interior of another embodiment of the shoe of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The detailed description set forth below in connection with the appended drawings is intended as a description of presently preferred embodiments of the invention and does not represent the only forms in which the present invention may be constructed and/or utilized. The description sets forth the functions and the sequence of steps for constructing and operating the invention in connection with the illustrated embodiments.

Generally, the present invention concerns a tightenable and adjustable arch support for a shoe. The arch support is formed of a band that forms a loop through which a foot may pass. A portion of this band passes through an opening in a lateral side of a shoe and can be loosened and tightened by pulling or releasing the portion of the arch support extending through the side of the shoe. The band may be formed of any material, though is typically fabric and in some embodiments may have a degree of elasticity. The system may be integrated into a shoe in some embodiments, or may be provided as a shoe add-on in other embodiments.

The shoe of the present invention that either has the arch support integrated therein, or having it as an add-on (such as part of an installable insole) may be formed as a typical shoe. The shoe may have a body, a sole, laces or other closure mechanism, and a tongue in some cases. The body and the sole of the shoe define a cavity into which a foot of a user may fit. The arch support is positioned in this cavity. Typically, for embodiments having the arch support system built into the shoe, the body of the shoe may form a slit or opening in the lateral side of the shoe (opposite to the arch on the medial side) through which a band of the arch support may pass. However, it should be understood that this opening in the body may not be required.

The arch support may be formed as a band. The band is positioned to form a loop within the cavity of the shoe, starting with a first end of the band positioned by the lateral side of the shoe, the band extends towards the medial side, then loops back to the lateral side and out of the shoe body. As such, the band forms something of a ‘C’ of ‘O’ shape with the open end of the ‘C’ facing the lateral side of the shoe body. In some embodiments a first end of the band may be attached inside the shoe, such as to an insole, or a lateral side of the body. A second opposite end of the band may extend out of the shoe body, through, for example, the slit in the shoe body. In other embodiments, two opposing sides of the band may extend out of the shoe body through, for example, the slit of the shoe body.

When adjusting the arch support, for example to tighten it for more support, or to loosen it for a more relaxed fit, the second end of the band extending from the shoe body may be drawn away from the body to tighten, or pushed into the body to loosen. This adjustment of the second end adjusts the size of the loop within the shoe.

A connector may be connectable to the second end of the band to secure it in place when the adjustment is completed. For example, a hook and loop connector, snap fit, ratchet mechanism, ties, clip, additional straps, lacing, and the like may all be used to hold the second end of the band in place attached to the body.

A top end of the loop formed by the band of the arch support may be positioned in a number of places on or within the shoe. For example, in one embodiment, the band may pass under a tongue of the shoe. In another embodiment, the band may pass over the tongue. In still another embodiment, the band may pass over the tongue and under shoe laces. In yet another embodiment, the band may pass through the tongue, for example through an opening de fined by the tongue.

While the term ‘band’ is used in the singular herein, it should be understood that the arch support may have one or a plurality of bands operating as the arch support. This may allow for varied adjustment of the arch support. Further, a single band may branch into one or a plurality of second ends and may extend out of the body of the shoe as one or more second ends.

Turning now to FIG. 1, a side view of an embodiment of the present invention is provided. The shoe 1 of the present invention is formed of a body 13, with a sole 16 attached to a bottom of the body. Body 13 tapers to an end at the toe 17. The body forms a cavity into which a foot of a user may fit. The arch support (not fully shown) is within the cavity and is positioned such that the foot of the user also passes through it when entering the cavity. A shoelace 15 is used in this shoe 1 to loosen and tighten the shoe 1 about the foot (not shown). However it should be noted that in this embodiment, the shoelace 15 is not used to tighten the arch support. Second ends 11 of the arch support band can be seen extending from a thin slit opening formed by the lateral side of the body 13. These second ends 11 can be used to loosen or tighten the arch support. A portion of the band 21 of the arch support can be seen positioned over a tongue of the shoe 1 and under the lace 15.

FIG. 2 shows another embodiment of the present invention from a rear view. In this view, the cavity of the shoe can be seen, as can the arch support band 21. The band 21 is shown having a first end 23 attached to the lateral side of the shoe. Band 21 is formed of a flexible, and typically elastic material, and has a width approximately equal to a length of an arch of a typical human foot. In this embodiment band 21 is attached by the insole, but it may be attached anywhere on the shoe body without straying from the scope of the present invention. The band 21 extends toward the opposite, medial side of the shoe, and then loops back towards the lateral side, with the second ends 11 extending through the shoe body opening (See FIG. 1). The band 21 as positioned, forms a loop 22 through which a foot may pass when entering the shoe. The band 21 in this embodiment extends over the tongue 24 and beneath laces 15. In operation, a user may put their foot in the shoe cavity, and pass it through the loop opening 22, fitting the foot into the shoe 1. The second end 11 of the band 21 may be pulled tight to provide added support to an arch of the foot (which will be on the bottom medial side of the shoe 1). The second end 11 may be secured in place once tightened, thereby holding the arch support band 21 in a supporting position.

FIG. 3 provides a top view of an embodiment of the shoe having an adjustable arch support of the present invention. In this view, a top of the band 21 can be seen passing over the tongue and under laces 15 (though as noted, band 21 may also pass under the tongue in other embodiments). In this view, the second end 11 of the band 21 is in a single piece. However, it should be understood that the second end 11 and/or the band 21 itself may be formed of multiple pieces as well, without straying from the scope of the present invention. Such a multi-piece configuration may allow the band 21 to be adjusted in portions to provide a more customizable support than a single piece band. Second end 11 extends through an opening 12 in the body 13 shown in this embodiment as a thin slit.

FIG. 4 provides a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention. In this view, band 21 is shown having a first end 23 attached to the lateral side of the shoe. Band 21 also splits into two second ends 11. The band 21 extends toward the opposite, medial side of the shoe, and then loops back towards the lateral side, with the second ends 11 extending through the shoe body opening 12. The band 21 as positioned, forms a loop 22 through which a foot may pass when entering the shoe. The band 21 in this embodiment extends under the tongue and beneath laces 15. One or both of the second ends 11 may be tightened and loosened to adjust the size of loop 22, and may be secured in place once tightened, thereby holding the arch support band 21 in a supporting position.

FIG. 5 provides a side view of another embodiment of the present invention. In this view, shoe body 13 has two openings 12 in the lateral side. Through each opening 12, second ends 51 of the band are passed. The second ends 51 may be fully separate from each other, or may be joined to a single band body in varying embodiments. In this view, tongue 24 is positioned above the second ends 51 of the band. The second ends 51 are held in place by a strap having a hook and loop fastener system 52, allowing the second ends 51 to be adjusted and held in place in a plurality of different adjustment positions. The strap having the hook and loop fastener 52 passes through ring 53 which is connected or formed at an end of each second end 51. The hook and loop fastener system 52 is shown connected to a strap on an outside of the shoe body 13 and passed through a ring 53 on the second ends 51. However, in other embodiments, similar structure may be used such as a first side of the hook and loop system 52 on the body 13, and the other side on the second ends 51.

FIG. 6 provides a view of an embodiment of the arch support without the shoe being shown. In this view, the arch support can be seen as it would be positioned if in a shoe.

The band 21 extends from a first end 61 at a lateral side, here attached to an insole 60 of the shoe. The band 21 extends to the medial side of the shoe, and then loops back towards the lateral side, forming a loop. The band 21 splits into two second ends 51, each second end and the band being passable through a body of the shoe (see FIG. 5) and adjusted, to provide support for an arch of a user's foot. Ring 53 is connected to each second end 51 to allow the second ends 51 to be tightened, supporting the arch of a foot passed over band 21.

FIG. 7 provides a side view of yet another embodiment of the present invention. In this view, shoe body 13 defines a plurality of openings 12 in the lateral side. Through each opening 12, second ends 71 of the band are passed. The second ends 71 may be fully separate from each other, or may be joined to a single band body in varying embodiments. Tongue 24 is positioned below the second ends 71 of the band. The second ends 71 are held in place by a lace 74 that can be tightened and loosened, and then secured allowing the second ends 71 to be adjusted and held in place. The tightening drawing second ends 71 closer to a sole of the shoe. The lace 74 is shown passed through not only second ends 71 but also loops 72, 73 built into the body 13. This configuration serves to connect the second ends to the body. However, it should be understood that any lace 74 orientation may be used to tighten and loosen the second ends 71 of the band that forms the arch support. A particular advantage of this embodiment is that in addition to adjusting the arch support band, the lace 74 and second ends 71 configuration also adjusts an overall tightness of the shoe.

FIG. 8 provides a view of an embodiment of the arch support. In this view, the arch support can be seen as it would be positioned if in a shoe. The band 21 extends from a first end 61 at a lateral side, here attached to an insole 60 of the shoe. The band 21 extends to the medial side of the shoe, and then loops back towards the lateral side, forming a loop. The band 21 splits into three second ends 71, each second end being passable through a body of the shoe (see FIG. 7) and adjusted, to provide support for an arch of a user's foot. Applicant again reiterates, with respect to all of the figures and particularly FIGS. 2, 6, and 8, that band 21 is attached to the lateral side, and can lift upwards away from the remainder of the lower portion of the shoe and/or insole, allowing it to tighten by wrapping around an arch of the foot of the user adjacent to the medial side of the shoe. The band 21 is free aside from its ends where it is secured in position to be tightened to contact and support the arch of the foot.

While several variations of the present invention have been illustrated by way of example in preferred or particular embodiments, it is apparent that further embodiments could be developed within the spirit and scope of the present invention, or the inventive concept thereof. However, it is to be expressly understood that such modifications and adaptations are within the spirit and scope of the present invention, and are inclusive, but not limited to the following appended claims as set forth.