Title:
Shoes - a new design
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A new design, applicable to most shoe types, having isolated, compressible rubber cushions as the only contact points with the ground. These cushions, usually 4 in number, are attached at only key points to an overlying flexible skeleton, made of a durable but bendable support structure. The ‘skeleton’ in turn is affixed to an overlying compressible ‘mattress’. This entire structure, consisting of compressible mattress, skeleton, and cushions duplicates the arch of the foot. Under the force of walking, running, etc. the rubber cushions will compress to absorb the force of the step. The overlying skeleton will also absorb energy by bowing convex downward at the toes, middle, and heel of the foot. Similarly the air space of the overlying mattress will also be compressed, absorbing pressure. Upon lifting the foot, the opposite actions will occur, releasing energy in an upward and forward direction, and thereby both lifting and propelling the foot.



Inventors:
Held, Jerry Martin (Monterey, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/627312
Publication Date:
02/03/2005
Filing Date:
07/28/2003
Assignee:
HELD JERRY MARTIN
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
36/28, 36/31, 36/103
International Classes:
A43B13/18; (IPC1-7): A43B13/18; A43B13/12; A43B13/14; A43B13/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060042118Structure of slipperMarch, 2006Chi
20070051014Overshoe for sportsMarch, 2007Cromley
20040088890Slip-on footwear systemMay, 2004Matis et al.
20050138839Dance shoe and last for making a dance shoeJune, 2005Terlizzi et al.
20070209238VAMP WITH EDGINGSeptember, 2007Barteet
20080078104Shoe Construction With Double TongueApril, 2008Riebesell
20080222914FootwearSeptember, 2008Sherman
20040025373Footwear having a window for visual sizingFebruary, 2004Schuver et al.
20030200680Shoe with a counter portionOctober, 2003Chang
20040010943Traction system and footwearJanuary, 2004Bishop
20070101618Cleat for athletic shoeMay, 2007Peake



Primary Examiner:
KAVANAUGH, JOHN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Jerry M. Held (Monterey, CA, US)
Claims:
1. - The invention, FIG. 1.

2. - The mattress support (3) in FIG. 1. This is shaped in the form of the arch of the foot and is continuous from toe to heel. The mattress may vary in thickness from ¼ inch to ¾ inch, depending upon the type of shoe. The mattress consists of 2 to 5 layers, (13) in FIG. 3. The layers are affixed together with adhesive at their corresponding edges. Each layer is in the form of a monolayer of solid spheres, taking the form of a ‘bubble pack’. The layers can be made from soft rubber, gel, nylon, soft plastic, etc. In affixing the layers, spaces are created between the spheres, which become distorted or partially obliterated upon compression with walking.

3. - Compressible rubber cushions as (4,5) in FIG. 1 and (8,9,10,11) in FIG. 2. The cushions serve as the only contact points with the ground below. They are of thickness from ¼ to 1 inch, depending on the type of shoe. The undersurface may be scored, or patterned depending on the function. The cushions are attached to the above skeleton at the key points of the talus-calcaneus and secondly at the metatarsal heads/MT joints in FIG. 1 by short but sturdy bolts or interlocking male-female parts: (8,9,10) in FIG. 2 into (32,33,34) in FIG. 5. (15,16,17) in FIG. 2 into (20,21,22) in FIG. 4. (18, 19) in FIG. 2 into (23,24) in FIG. 4. Alternatively, contact could be with adhesive, staples, etc. Each cushion (FIG. 6) is made of a durable undersurface (29) and a softer, compressible upper portion (28).

4. - The skeletal support of the shoe, (6,7), in FIG. 1, consists of 2 separate parts, FIGS. 4 and 5. Each part is separately attached to the rubber cushions below (as in claim #3.) In FIG. 4, the back portion of the skeleton is configured to duplicate the arch of the foot. In FIG. 4, (25.26.27) are solid but bendable, but (30, 31) are empty spaces. This structure is duplicated in FIG. 5, the toe portion of the skeleton, but with different dimensions. The skeleton can be made of different materials, including plastic, composite, graphite, polyethylene, etc. The skeleton will bow downward under the force of contacting the surface, acting both as a Dynamic cushion and unidirectional spring. Each part of the skeleton, FIGS. 4 and 5, is surrounded by a flexible rubber casing, and affixed to the mattress, 3 in FIG. 1, by various possible adhesives. Accessory, common components of the invention include #2 in FIG. 1 (a thin comfortable cloth cushion) and #1 in FIG. 1 (the shoe cover.) The shoe cover is attached to the bottom surface of the skeleton. While in the foregoing, embodiments of the present invention have been set forth in great detail for the purpose of making a complete disclosure of the invention. It may be apparent, to those of skill in the art that numerous changes may be made in such detail without departing from the spirit and principles of the invention.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a novel contact surface and support structure for a shoe. Shoes are almost universal apparel, worn for both appearance and function. This varies from walking, running, jumping, etc. and are used by both athletes and amputees. This invention seeks to enhance and complement the normal structure and function of the foot, rather than merely surround it in a box.

The human foot is a dynamic structure intended to contact the found at predominantly two areas—the heel (talo-calcaneous) and the metatarsal-phalangeal joints (MT) and metatarsal heads. These structures are strongly formed and well supported by ligaments, tendons, and connective tissue. In contrast the toes (phalanges) and metatarsals (M) are lightweight, and weekly formed and protected. They are easily bruised, sprained, and broken.

A traditional shoe provides some arch support, but transmits force to both the toes and metatarsal areas in a crushing manner. The submitted invention prevents, or minimizes, this injury by minimizing contact with the toes and M areas, and instead transmitting all force to sturdy areas. This is accomplished through contact pads located over the heel and metatarsal heads/MT areas. Stress on the foot is also minimized by the pad compressibility and mattress, in addition to the coiling of the skeleton. Because of the form of the skeleton, consisting of two independent portions inserting separately and at different points into the compressible pads, the energy captured on downward contact gives a lift and forward thrust upon lifting the foot, with the MT essentially action as a fulcrum.

The presented invention would be a notable advance in the field, enhancing comfort and athletic performance while minimizing injury.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The inventor of the above shoe is a physician with a public health group and a marathon runner. Dr. Held has personally experienced the frustrations of currently available shoes, providing health care to many patients with foot and leg problems, diabetes, obesity, circulatory and neurological problems.

This novel shoe design is lighter in weight that the traditional, and also less expensive. The compressible rubber cushions are replaceable, thereby creating ‘reusuable shoes.’ Replacement should rarely be needed, as the underlying contact surface of the cushions is very sturdy, The contact cushions can be scored or imprinted on the bottom, maximizing traction or other functions. The cushions are screwed into the above skeleton, or possibly snapped with female and male portions, emphasizing reusability. The form of the cushions may vary to serve different functions—as tennis, basketball, running, walking. etc.

The skeleton is structured of either polyethylene, lightweight metal, plastic, polyvinyl, composite, etc. Its form is perforated in the center, or potentially could be constructed in a ‘rebar’ type structure. This structure will be durable, but also allows bendability in the center to maximize comfort and efficiency.

The invention allows great variety of the ‘foot cover’, providing both comfort and attractive design.

The invention can be personalized to an individual's foot structure or needs and pressure points through creating a unique set of cushions, skeleton, and overlying mattress.

The invention possesses other objects and advantages, especially as concerns particular characteristics and features thereof which will become apparent as review and specification coutinues.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a side view of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a view from below the shoe.

FIG. 3 is a view from above (or below) one layer of the mattress.

FIG. 4 is a view from below the back portion of the skeleton.

FIG. 5 is a view from below the front part of the skeleton.

FIG. 6 is a side view of the contact cushion

DETAILED DEXCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF INVENTION

Various aspects of the invention will evolve from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments thereof, which should be referenced to the prior described drawings. This is especially expected to occur if this novel invention is adapted to mass production.

The essence of this invention is 4 components: