Title:
Adjustable insole for custom forefoot and rearfoot shoe fitment
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A shoe insole has an insole body with forefoot and rearfoot regions having respective shapes. A first sizing pad is securable to the insole body via securing material and may be secured to the footward or soleward surface of the insole body. The sizing pad can be shaped to correspond to the forefoot or rearfoot region shape and can be of various thicknesses. Addition or removal of a sizing pad permits a user to customize the forefoot and/or rearfoot fitment of a shoe.



Inventors:
Bobbett, Jonathan H. (Portsmouth, NH, US)
Gorman, James T. (Hopkinton, MA, US)
Application Number:
11/045020
Publication Date:
09/15/2005
Filing Date:
01/26/2005
Assignee:
BOBBETT JONATHAN H.
GORMAN JAMES T.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B13/38; A43B17/18; (IPC1-7): A43B13/38
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
KAVANAUGH, JOHN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Miller Nash LLP (Portland, OR, US)
Claims:
1. A shoe insole, comprising: an insole body having: a forefoot region having an insole rearfoot shape, a rearfoot region having an insole forefoot shape, a footward surface, and a soleward surface; a first sizing pad; and securing material disposed at least one of the footward surface, the soleward surface or the first sizing pad; wherein the first sizing pad is structured to be secured to the insole body.

2. The shoe insole of claim 1 wherein the first sizing pad is structured to have a corresponding to the insole rearfoot shape.

3. The shoe insole of claim 1 wherein the first sizing pad is structured to have a corresponding to the insole forefoot shape.

4. The shoe insole of claim 1 wherein the securing material is disposed on the footward surface.

5. The shoe insole of claim 1 wherein the securing material is disposed on the soleward surface.

6. The shoe insole of claim 5 wherein the securing material is disposed in the rearfoot region.

7. The shoe insole of claim 5 wherein the securing material is disposed in the forefoot region.

8. The shoe insole of claim 1, further comprising: a second sizing pad structured to be securable to the securing material and structured to have a corresponding to one of the insole rearfoot shape or the insole forefoot shape.

9. The shoe insole of claim 8 wherein the first sizing pad is structured to have a corresponding to the other one of the insole rearfoot shape or the insole forefoot shape.

10. The shoe insole of claim 8 wherein the first sizing pad is structured to have a corresponding to the same one of the insole rearfoot shape or the insole forefoot shape.

11. A shoe insole, comprising: an insole body having: a forefoot region having an insole forefoot shape, a rearfoot region having an insole rearfoot shape, and a soleward surface; securing material; a first sizing pad structured to be securable to the insole body via the securing material, said first sizing pad having a first sizing pad thickness.

12. The shoe insole of claim 11 wherein the securing material is a hook and loop material.

13. The shoe insole of claim 11 wherein the securing material is an adhesive material.

14. The shoe insole of claim 13 wherein the securing material is a releasable adhesive material.

15. The shoe insole of claim 11, further comprising: a second sizing pad structured to be securable to the securing material.

16. The shoe insole of claim 15 wherein: the first sizing pad is structured to have a shape corresponding to one of the forefoot region shape or the rearfoot region shape; and the second sizing pad is structured to have a shape corresponding to the same one of the forefoot region shape or the rearfoot region shape, and the second sizing pad has a second sizing pad thickness that is not equal to the first sizing pad thickness.

17. The shoe insole of claim 15 wherein: the first sizing pad is structured to have a shape corresponding to one of the forefoot region shape or the rearfoot region shape; and the second sizing pad is structured to have a shape corresponding to the other one of the forefoot region shape or the rearfoot region shape.

Description:

PRIOR APPLICATION DATA

This application is based on provisional application number 60/539,474 filed on Jan. 26, 2004.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to a shoe insole, and more specifically to an insole or insert structured to fit within the footbed of a shoe and provide adjustable fitment of the shoe.

Shoes generally include an outsole, midsole, insole and upper. The insole is disposed in the shoe and typically is the surface upon which the wearer's foot rests when the shoe is worn.

Insoles generally—and insoles for athletic shoes in particular—are of laminar construction, with a fabric or other soft, durable material on the footward side and coupled to an energy-absorbing insole body. The typical insole may also have a cupped shape at the periphery of the heel in the rearfoot area.

Shoe sizes and widths are standardized. As well, each standard size/width (e.g., 10D) presents a standardized forefoot width and rearfoot width. Nevertheless, shoe sizing varies by manufacturer, according to foot last shapes and markets. Foot shapes also vary from one person to the next, making it unlikely that two shoes of different origin will fit a particular individual or that the individual will fit any one manufacturer's shoe model(s).

Individuals are frequently outside this forefoot-rearfoot width standard. A person with a narrower than average heel therefore will encounter difficulty in finding a properly fitted shoe. Further, persons desiring a tighter or looser fit in one region or the other must presently search for a manufacturer using a last of acceptable dimensions.

In response, insoles have been introduced of various thickness. In this manner, an individual may exchange the stock insole for one that is thicker, reducing volume in the shoe and providing a tighter fit. This practice is particularly common with athletes; for example, a long-distance runner may replace the stock insole in a training shoe with a more cushioned insole for better shock absorption, and that same runner may also replace the insole in racing shoes with thinner insoles to reduce weight.

These practices do nothing to solve the problem of a forefoot-rearfoot fitment imbalance. To address this issue, wearers have altered the stock insole (e.g., cutting or partial removal) or inserted used heel cups, moleskin, paper, or other materials to take up volume and provide a snugger fit. These modifications are short-term (due to durability), overly complicated, and/or cannot be transferred from shoe to shoe.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top view of a first embodiment insole constructed according to the present disclosure.

FIG. 2 is a bottom view of a first embodiment insole constructed according to the present disclosure, with a forefoot pad fastened thereto.

FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the embodiment of FIG. 2, with the forefoot pad removed.

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the forefoot pad shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a top view of the forefoot pad shown in FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

Turning to FIG. 1, a first embodiment of the insole includes an insole body having an overall silhouette commonly be found in a shoe insole. The rearfoot region of the insole preferably is rounded to provide a heel cup or heel cradle, but such feature is not necessary for the advantages of the present invention.

A top pad is shown affixed to the footward surface of the insole body in the heel and arch regions. This pad similarly is not necessary for the advantages of the present invention. However, it may be added to the insole body on the footward surface to provide a more comfortable surface, greater cushioning, or other benefit to the wearer.

An underside of the shoe insole is shown in FIGS. 2-3. The soleward surface of the insole body has affixed thereon a fastening material. In this embodiment, the fastening material is the hook portion of a hook-and-loop fastening mechanism disposed in the forefoot region.

A forefoot sizing pad according to this embodiment (FIGS. 4-5) has a top surface comprising a fastening mechanism, and a bottom or sole surface. The fastening material in this embodiment is the loop portion of the hook-and-loop mechanism.

In operation, the insole may be placed into a shoe in a conventional manner. The insole occupies volume within the shoe and, in combination with the shoe itself, determines a particular fit in the rearfoot and forefoot regions thereof.

In one embodiment, the insole is structured to have a “standard” size with the forefoot pad fastened to the bottom surface of the insole body. In this configuration, the forefoot is structured to occupy a specific volume and provide thereby the standard fit of the shoe. A shoe wearer alternatively may unfasten the forefoot pad and remove it, providing a looser fit in that region of the shoe. The rearfoot portion of the insole occupies its normal volume in both cases.

In another example, an insole is structured to have a “standard” size without a the forefoot pad fastened to the bottom surface of the insole body. In this configuration, the insole in toto again may be is structured to occupy a specific volume and provide thereby the standard fit of the shoe. A shoe wearer alternatively may fasten a forefoot pad, providing a snugger fit in the forefoot region of the shoe. The rearfoot portion of the insole occupies its normal volume in this case as well.

In still another embodiment, a shoe user may be provided with an insole and a variety of forefoot pads. In this manner, the user may fit the shoe first for rearfoot fit, then customize the forefoot to a desired fit (e.g., extra-narrow, narrow, standard, wide, extra-wide relative to the rearfoot).

In yet another alternative embodiment, a fastening material may be positioned on the top surface of the insole and in the rearfoot region, and employed to fasten and retain the heel/arch having complementary fastening material on a bottom surface thereof. Such an insole provides a shoe fitment wherein the forefoot may initially be fitted, an then the rearfoot region custom-fitted to the user's preference.

In still another alternative embodiment, a fastening material may be positioned on the bottom surface of the insole and in the rearfoot region and on the top surface of the rearfoot region. This embodiment enables the user to custom-fit both forefoot and rearfoot regions of the shoe to personal tastes.

It should be readily apparent to one of ordinary skill that the forefoot pad could be fastened to the top surface of the insole, or that the rearfoot pad could be structured to fasten to the bottom surface of the insole. Such modifications do not depart from the inventive principles disclosed herein.

A person skilled in the art will be able to practice the present invention in view of the present description, where numerous details have been set forth in order to provide a more thorough understanding of the invention. In other instances, well-known features have not been described in detail in order not to obscure unnecessarily the invention.

While the invention has been disclosed in its preferred form, the specific embodiments thereof as disclosed and illustrated herein are not to be considered in a limiting sense. Indeed, it should be readily apparent to those skilled in the art in view of the present description that the invention can be modified in numerous ways. The inventor regards the subject matter of the invention to include all combinations and subcombinations of the various elements, features, functions and/or properties disclosed herein.





 
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