Title:
Ergonomic bed/slipper-sock
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An Ergonomic Bed/Slipper-Sock (EBSS) combines a sock component with a sole component that may be shock-absorbing, integrated medium-density, highly flexible and slip-resistant. The sock component can be integrated (pre-vulcanized) with inserts to prevent the twisting or turning of the EBSS when worn on a foot of a user. The sole component may ergonomically conform to the anatomy of the foot and be fabricated from a variety of materials.



Inventors:
Davenport, Ronald K. (Tustin, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/378837
Publication Date:
10/12/2006
Filing Date:
03/17/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41B11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ronald K. Davenport (Tustin, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A bed slipper/sock article for providing stability and impact dampening for a foot of a patient with a floor, the article comprising: a sole component comprising: a sole exterior defining a mid-section, a frontal section, and a heel section, the mid-section including concave-rib shaped members and convex-rib shaped members, the concave and convex-rib shaped members being operative to increase stability of the foot, the frontal section and the heel section including a grid feature, the grid feature being configured as a plurality of elevated surface for increasing traction of the sole exterior, the grid feature further including a plurality of channels interposed between the plurality of elevated surfaces, the channels being sized and configured to disperse fluids that the sole exterior may come into contact with; and a top surface defining a ball of the foot area, an arch support area, a heel area, and a sole periphery, the heel area including a heel cup, the arch support area being sized and configured to provide support for the foot, the top surface further including a vertical periphery that extends upwardly therefrom to provide support for the foot of the patient; and a sock component including a toe section, a middle section, a heel section, an ankle section, and a sock periphery, the sock component being attached to the sole component about the sole periphery.

2. The article of claim 1 wherein the vertical periphery of the sole component extends only about the heel area, the vertical periphery tapering toward the top surface at the arch support area of thereof, the vertical periphery tending to provide support to the foot at the arch support area and the heel area.

3. The article of claim 1 wherein the vertical periphery of the sole component extends about the ball of the foot area, the vertical periphery tending to provide support to the foot at the ball of the foot area.

4. The article of claim 1 wherein the top surface of the sole component further defines a frontal section, the frontal section including a toe bar being sized and configured to provide customizable shock absorbance and dynamic response to the foot.

5. The article of claim 1 wherein the sole component is sized and configured with the sole exterior thereof being planar for ensuring complete contact with the floor, the sole component extending downwardly from the arch support area of the top surface until reaching the planar sole exterior, the sole component being solid and being operative to provide support to a mid-section of the foot in response to planar contact of the planar sole exterior with the floor and contact of the arch support area of the top surface with the foot.

6. The article of claim 1 wherein the sole exterior of the sole component includes concave-members being disposed at the heel section of the sole exterior, the concave members being operative to provide friction between the floor and the heel section.

7. The article of claim 1 wherein the sole exterior of the sole component includes convex-members being disposed at the heel section of the sole exterior, the convex-members being operative to provide stability and friction between the floor and the heel section.

8. The article of claim 1 wherein the heel cup is fabricated from a shock-dampening material for reducing impact of the heel section when striking the floor.

9. The article of claim 1 wherein the sole component defines opposing sides, and wherein the vertical periphery is configured to extend about the opposing sides from the heel area of the sole component toward the arch support area, the vertical periphery tapering toward the top surface of the sole component at substantially equal points on the opposing sides.

10. The article of claim 10 wherein the top surface of the sole component is oriented substantially parallel to the sole exterior thereof at the ball of the foot area, the sock periphery being attached to the sole periphery about the ball of the foot area.

11. The article of claim 1 further comprising inserts being attachable to the sole component, the inserts being fabricated from a gel-cushion-material.

12. The article of claim 12 wherein the inserts are disposed in one of the heel area, the ball of the foot area, and the arch support area of the sole component for providing cushion to the foot along the heel area.

13. The article of claim 12 wherein the sole component further includes a toe bar, and wherein the inserts are disposed in the toe bar for providing cushion to the foot along the toe bar.

14. The article of claim 1 wherein the sock component includes an integral heel component being sized and configured to correspond to the configuration of the heel cup of the sole component, the integral heel component being operative to mitigate torsional displacement of the article from the foot during use.

15. The article of claim 1 wherein the sock component includes a ribbed band having an elastic component, the ribbed band being disposed about the ankle section of the sock component.

16. The article of claim 1 wherein the sock component includes a ribbed band having an elastic component, the ribbed band being disposed about the middle section of the sock component.

17. The article of claim 1 wherein the sock component includes an integrated pull-tab extending from the ankle section thereof, the pull-tab being operative to assist in donning the article.

18. The article of claim 1 wherein the sock component defines an interior base, the interior base being including that portion of the sock component being disposed adjacent the sole component, the interior base and the heel section of the sock component being fabricated of terrycloth.

19. The article of claim 1 wherein the toe section of the sock component is rounded.

20. The article of claim 1 wherein the sock component is permanently affixed to the sole component utilizing an attachment means being selected from heat, glue, and sewing.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims benefits of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/669,938 filed Apr. 11, 2005, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

STATEMENT RE: FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention, an Ergonomic Bed/Slipper-Sock (EBSS), relates to the healthcare field, and can be used in hospitals, healthcare and recovery facilities, as well as at home. The bed/slipper sock is equipped with an ergonomic, shock-absorbing, and highly flexible polymer sole or base component that is structurally integrated with a textile sock component. The medium-density polymer sole includes any or all of the following features: a heel-cup, an arch support, a toe ridge, ball-of-the-foot and heel cushioning, and/or any design features that allow the sole to conform to the anatomical configuration of the foot.

BACKGROUND

The prior-art bed/slipper-socks, commonly used in healthcare and hospital settings, are constructed of a terrycloth-material, in a tube-sock configuration, worn on the foot. Some of these products are tube-style socks, often including non-skid-materials affixed to the terrycloth, thereby defining the bottom or sole of the sock. In other products, there are certain selected areas of the bottom of the sock that are affixed (pre-vulcanized) with slip resistant polymer paint strips to one side of the bed/slipper sock. Other types of existing products are constructed of a knitted-sock, worn on the foot, combined with an attached sole. They are often stitched or sewn in place, to the bottom component (sole), and might include a non-skid material that is attached to the sole.

Although all these products are widely used in the health care field, the conventional designs lack support to the arch of the foot, as well as a stabilizing heel. The products that are commonly in use incorporate materials and designs that insignificantly inadequately reduce the impact of the heel, and/or ball-of-the-foot, when striking the floor, therefore providing very limited protection to the wearer. These products may contribute to and even exacerbate the incident falls of individuals. When causing injuries, these products may in some instances lead to mortality. The prior-art slipper-socks do not provide the essential shock absorption, and ergonomic support to the foot. The terrycloth tube-style sock often twist around the foot, so the slip-resistant strips or threads become incorrectly placed on the foot and thus not only prevent the incidents of falls, but actually create the opportunity for the individual to slip. To mitigate the morbidity and mortality associated with the assortment of products currently in use there is an increasing need in the field for a drastically improved shock absorbing and ergonomically configured bed/slipper-sock that can significantly help to prevent the incident falls and slipping.

BRIEF SUMMARY

The invention, an ergonomic bed/slipper sock (EBSS), is a healthcare and life-supporting device that combines the functions of shock absorption, slide prevention, and ergonomic comfort and support to the foot. The ergonomic bed/slipper sock is equipped with an ergonomic and shock-absorbing polymer sole or base component that is structurally integrated with a textile sock component. The sole may be constructed from a medium-density and highly flexible polymer, that may be designed, integrated and structured to include any or all of the following features: a heel-cup, an arch support, a toe ridge, and ball-of-the-foot and heel-strike cushioning properties. Its design may allow the sole to conform to the anatomical configuration of the sole of the foot.

In a preferred embodiment, in contrast to the prior-art tube-sock, the suggested sock includes an integral sole-component. This integral sole-component may be affixed and/or pre-vulcanized to the textile sock component that includes both a woven heel-section as well as a woven toe-section configured to correctly fit the proportions of the foot, therefore, securing the foot. The sock component may prevent twisting and/or turning of the EBSS on the foot, as opposed to the prior art tube-sock products.

The top surface of the insole may be ergonomically engineered to replicate the characteristics of the bottom surface of the human foot. With this approach, the EBSS sock pair may be used distinctly on either the right or left foot. The reiterations of the fabrication to the top of the insole include: a toe-bar component; an arch-support, to aid with the balance when walking or standing; a heel-cup component designed to stabilize the ankle, with the enhanced properties of impact protection; and a ball-of-the-foot configuration to aid in balance.

The bottom of the EBSS sole may be designed and fabricated from a shock absorbing, medium-density, highly flexible, polymer, with a high friction coefficient. The heel-cup feature stabilizes the ankle in its correct natural position, which in turn stabilizes the knee and the hip-joint of the wearer. All the combined features of the invention lead to the improved homeostasis, which enhances the prospect for a shorter recovery period of a patient. Thus, in contrast to prior-art solutions, the entire base of the sole may be constructed of a non-slip material, increasing the area of resistance to slipping and sliding, and helping to prevent the episodes of injuries and death.

Aspects of the above described embodiments and features substantially increase the comfort, safety and stability for the wearer. They improve overall support to the foot and increase the balance of the wearer while walking or standing. With all these features the ergonomic bed/ slipper-sock remains soft and flexible, therefore, comforting the wearer while situated in bed or ambulating. Its ergonomics increase safety and the overall well being of the individual, providing increased stability and balance when walking, or during physical therapies after surgeries or other medical procedures. In various embodiment implementations, EBSS may also include additional distinctive properties that further protect the wearer and comfort the foot.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other features and advantages of the various embodiments disclosed herein will be better understood with respect to the following description and drawings, in which like numbers refer to like parts throughout, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a left side view of an ergonomic bed/slipper sock (EBSS) illustrating a sock component and a sole component according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 1a is a left side view of the EBSS illustrating another embodiment of the present invention wherein the sole component includes a vertical periphery that extends about a ball-of-the-foot area of the sole component, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 1b is a right side perspective view of the EBSS illustrating a ribbed band and a pull-tab included in the sock component of the EBSS, according to another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2a is a top view of the sole component illustrating an arch support area, a ball-of-the-foot area, a heel area, and a heel cup, according to another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2b is a left side perspective view of the sole component illustrating the vertical portions of the sole component which surround the heel area and form the heel cup, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional side view of the EBSS of FIG. 1b illustrating shaping of the sole component, according to an aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 4a is a rear cross-sectional topographical view toward the heel area of the EBSS illustrating a cross-section of the arch support area, as well as a portion of the vertical periphery surrounding the heel area of the EBSS;

FIG. 4b is a front cross-sectional view of the sole component illustrated in FIG. 2b showing the contour of the ball-of-the-foot area and the arch support area according to an aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 4c is a front cross-sectional topographical view toward the ball-of-the-foot area of the EBSS illustrating a cross-section of the arch-support area, and the toe-section, of an interior base of the sole component;

FIG. 4d is a rear cross-sectional view of the sole component illustrated in FIG. 2b showing the contour of the heel cup, the heel area, and the arch support area according to another aspect of the present invention; and

FIG. 5 shows a bottom view of the sole component illustrating a grid feature, convex-rib shaped members, concave-rib shaped members, concave members and convex members, according to yet another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to the drawing wherein the showing is for purposes of illustrating a preferred embodiment of the invention only, and not for purposes of limiting the same, FIGS. 1, 1a and 1b illustrate an ergonomic bed/slipper sock article (EBSS) 10. The EBSS 10 combines a sock component 12 with a sole component 14, and may easily be worn on a human foot 16. The sock component 12 is preferably a textile sock component 12. Additionally, the sole component 14 is preferably fabricated from a shock absorbing, medium density, highly flexible and slip resistant foam. Additionally, the sole component 14 may configured to include a wholly encircling vertical periphery 18, which may be comprised of a raised edge that extends upwardly from the sole component 14.

The EBSS 10 comprises the sock component 12 and the sole component 14. The sock component 12 includes a toe section 20, a middle section 22, a sock heel section 24, an ankle section 26 and a sock periphery 28. The sock component 12 is attached to the sole component 14 about the sole periphery 56.

The sole component 14 comprises a sole exterior 30 and a top surface 32. The sole exterior 30 defines a mid-section 34, a frontal section 36 and a sole heel section 38. The mid-section 34 may include concave rib shaped members 40 and convex rib shaped members 42. The concave and convex rib shaped members 40, 42 may be operative to increase stability of the foot 16. The frontal section 36 and the sole heel section 38 include a grid feature 44. The grid feature 44 may be configured as a plurality of elevated surfaces 46 for increasing traction of the sole exterior 30. The grid feature 44 may further include a plurality of channels 48 interposed between the plurality of elevated surfaces 46. The channels 48 may be sized and configured to disperse fluids that the sole exterior 30 may come into contact with.

The top surface 32 of the sole component 14 defines a ball-of-the-foot area 50, an arch support area 52, a heel area 54 and a sole periphery 56. The heel area 54 includes a heel cup 58. The arch support area 52 may be sized and configured to provide support for the foot 16. The top surface 32 further includes the vertical periphery 18 that extends upwardly therefrom to provide support for the foot 16 of the patient.

Referring now to FIG. 1b, the sock component 12 may also include a ribbed band 60 for the mid-sole of the sock component 12. The back of the sock component 12 may also include a pull tab 62 to assist in donning the EBSS 10. Additionally, the sock component 12 may further include a toe section 20, which is preferably correctly proportioned.

According to an aspect of the present invention, the sole component 14 shown in FIGS. 2a and 2b may include a cushioned heel area 54, a cushioned ball-of-the-foot area 50, an arch support area 52, and an integrated heel cup 58. The sole component 14 ergonomically conforms to the anatomy of the foot 16. The sock component 12 can be integrated (pre-vulcanized) with inserts 64 to the ball-of-the-foot area 50 and the heel area 54 providing the increased prevention from the twisting and/or turning of the EBSS 10 on the foot 16. The inserts 64 may be made of polymer, and may be shaped and designed according to the therapeutic needs of the foot 16. Other considerations and details of the inserts 64 are discussed further below. In a preferred embodiment, the sock component 12 includes a sock heel section 24. The sock heel section 24 provides the increased prevention from the twisting and/or turning of the EBSS 10 on the foot 16.

FIGS. 2a and 2b detail the top and side views of the sole component 14 of the EBSS 10. As shown therein, the sole component 14 may include the cushioned heel area 54, the cushioned ball-of-the-foot-area 50, the arch support area 52 and the vertical periphery 18 of the sole component 14, which surrounds the heel area 54. A top surface 32 of the sole component 14, as shown in FIG. 2a, may preferably be ergonomically engineered to fit a bottom surface of the human foot 16. Therefore, the EBSS 10 may be designed to be used distinctly on either the right or left foot 16. The EBSS 10 may also be designed in different sizes. As mentioned, the top surface 32 of the sole component 14 may further include the corresponding arch support area 52 to help keep balance when walking or standing. As shown in FIG. 2b, the vertical periphery 18 of the heel cup 58 of the sole component 14 may taper toward the forward most part of the arch support area 52 of the sole component 14. The heel area 54 may also provide enhanced impact protection utilizing the anatomically proportioned heel cup 58. Finally, the ball-of-the-foot area 50 may provide cushioning and aid in balance.

The sole exterior 30 of the sole component 14 of the EBSS 10 is preferably designed and fabricated from a shock absorbing, medium-density, highly flexible, polymer, also having high friction coefficient.

FIG. 3 shows a cross-sectional side view of the EBSS 10 being worn on the foot 16. In this illustration, an exemplary position of the sole component 14 is also shown.

In most applications, the primary materials of the sole component 14 are various grades of polyurethane polymers. The material inserts 64 that increase the damping of the sole component 14 may be formed from different grades of silicones. Several more polymers can also be used to match the ordinary and special features of the suggested product. Furthermore, co-molding and co-vulcanization may be used to fabricate the sole component 14, and may thus employ different materials in the fabrication thereof, which is also mentioned further below.

FIG. 4a shows a rear cross-sectional topographical view toward the heel area 54 of the EBSS 10 illustrating a cross-section of the arch support area 52, as well as a portion of the vertical periphery 18 surrounding the heel area 54 of the EBSS 10 and details the topology of the sole component 14 in its longitudinal, in-plane, and cross-plane directions.

FIG. 4b shows a cross-section of the arch support area 52 and the interior heel area 54 of the base of the sole component 14.

FIG. 4c shows the arch support area 52 and the toe section 20 of the sole component 14.

FIG. 4d is a rear cross-sectional view of the arch support area 52, the heel area 54, as well as an upraised heel cup 58 surrounding the heel area 54 of the EBSS 10.

Referring now to FIG. 5, the revealed shape of the sole exterior 30 of the sole component 14 may include a concave rib shaped member 40 and a convex rib shaped member 42 at a mid-section 34 of the sole component 14. The concave rib shaped member 40 and the convex rib shaped member 42 support or bolster the mid-section 34 of the sole exterior 30 of the sole component 14, and, therefore, increase stability when walking or standing. The sole component 14 may also include a grid feature 44 in both the heel area 54 and the ball-of-the-foot area 50. The grid feature 44 defines an elevated surface 46, which may be utilized to increase traction of the outer surface of the sole component 14.

The grid features 44 in the heel area 54 and the ball-of-the-foot area 50 may additionally include channels 48 between the aforementioned elevated-surfaces 46. The channels 48 may help to allow for the dispersal of fluids on the floor that the sole component 14 may come into contact with. The sole component 14 may be configured in a manner providing direct contact and support to the arch of foot 16. Thus, the arch of the foot 16 may be supported through the arch support area 52, which may be a mold configuration that provides support to the arch and mid-section 34 of the foot 16. It is contemplated that the arch support area 52 is the portion of the sole component 14 that directly contacts the floor surface and precisely supports the body weight at the arch of the foot 16. The arch support area 52 of the sole component 14 may therefore preferably be ergonomically wedge-shaped and relatively solid, yet soft and flexible.

The heel cup 58 of the sole component 14, as previously mentioned, may include the vertical periphery 18. The vertical periphery 18 should preferably be ergonomically designed along the sides and back of the heel area 54 for improved fit of the foot 16 therein, and consequently improved ankle stability of the foot 16. The back of the heel area 54 may also include a concave member 66, which may contribute to a better transfer of weight to the floor through its ergonomically shaped foot-sole interface and a polymer having increased coefficient of friction between the floor-surface and the heel area 54. The back of the heel area 54 also includes the concave members 66 and convex members 68, which contribute to the improved safety when a person transfers body weight to the floor from a sitting position through its ergonomically shaped foot-sole interface. Having a substantially improved grip, the EBSS 10 incorporates these design features allowing the consumer to gain a sufficient degree of stability through the non-skid properties of the polymer, while in the process of standing erect.

As mentioned above, the top surface 32 of the sole component 14 may be ergonomically engineered to fit the bottom of the human foot 16. The major features can be fabricated in several generic shapes and various sized pre-forms. This approach simplifies the mass production of the pre-forms of the molded sole component 14. The sole component 14 can also be cast and precisely manufactured to fit the foot 16 bottom of an individual.

The sole exterior 30 of the sole component 14 is preferably fabricated from a shock absorbing, medium-density, highly flexible, polymer, also having high friction coefficient. This may be performed using the co-molding and co-vulcanization processes mentioned above. Preferably, the sole exterior 30 of the sole component 14 should be non-skid and hypoallergenic. In most applications, the primary materials of the sole component 14 are various grades of polyurethane polymers. However, in many cases, one material cannot satisfy the multiple optimization requirements, so two different polymers, for example, urethane and silicone, may be used. The material inserts 64 increase the damping of the sole by using different grades of silicones. Several more polymers can also be used to match the ordinary and special features of the suggested product. The co-molding and co-vulcanization can be used to fabricate the composite soles. This selection is not limited to the mentioned polymers, but might include several other materials and/or co-molded composites that are known to those skilled in the art of polymers.

In various embodiments, the heel cup 58 may be designed and fabricated to be a shock absorber. In most of the applications, the heel cup 58 can be fabricated from the same or other polymer (polyurethane), as the remaining part of the sole component 14. In order to increase the damping of the sole component 14, a different material insert (such as silicone) can be co-molded. The increased dampening may reduce minor pain associated with the impact of the heel of the foot 16 area when striking the floor (i.e. heel strike effect). This primarily affects the safety of the patient in hospital and may accelerate his recovery.

In various embodiments, the vertical periphery 18 surrounding or bordering the exterior region of the heel area 54 of the sole component 14 provides continuing support to the ankle and heel, which may further increase patient safety. For improved stability of the foot 16, the vertical periphery 18 is typically extended to a point across from the opposite interior section of the sole component 14 (as shown in FIG. 2b), where the material tapers toward the forward most part of the arch support area 52, as mentioned above. In other words, the sole component 14 defines opposing sides 76, and the vertical periphery 18 may be configured to extend about the opposing sides 76 from the heel area 54 toward the arch support area 52. In this regard, the vertical periphery 18 may taper toward the top surface 32 of the sole component 14 upon reaching substantially equal tapering points on the opposing sides 76.

In another embodiment, the sole component 14 may continue on a plane parallel to the base of the sole of the foot 16. In this area, the previously described vertical periphery 18 is no longer employed to the design, where the periphery of the sock component 12 is no longer clad on the vertical plane by the materials of the sole component 14 allowing unhindered flexion of the fore-section of the foot 16.

In another embodiment, the sole exterior 30 of the sole component 14 may have no raised edges, such as the concave rib shaped members 40 or the convex rib shaped members 42, at the forward mid-section 34 of the sole component 14. Additionally, continuing forward from the arch support area 52 of the sole component 14, toward the frontal section 36, including all the areas forward of the arch support area 52, including the ball-of-the-foot area 50, the sole component 14 may taper at the frontal section 36 of the sole component 14.

In yet another embodiment, the vertical periphery 18 of the sole component 14 may include raised edges that extend about the sole component 14 from the forward mid-section 34 continuing forward from the arch support area 52, to the frontal section 36, and extend about all the areas forward of the arch support area 52. Thus, the vertical periphery 18 may encircle the entire frontal section 36 of the sole component 14.

In yet another embodiment, the sole component 14 may be fabricated from a polymer having similar color to the sock component 12. It is contemplated that different colors may be used for the EBSS 10 for size identification. The colors can also define various design customizations. The EBSS 10 can also include the logos indicating the introduced design features and/or modifications.

In yet another embodiment, the ergonomic design of the materials of the sole component 14 and sock component 12 may provide an additional therapeutic environment for the entirety of the foot tissue.

Various therapeutic features are associated primarily with the improved anatomical design of the sole component 14 whose effective operation improves blood circulation.

In another embodiment, the EBSS 10 may ergonomically incorporate the materials providing a therapeutic environment for the vertical tissue of the heel of the foot tissue, as well as an increased stability to the heel and ankle region of the foot 16 through the verticality of the vertical periphery 18 of the heel cup 58.

In another embodiment, the materials of the sole component 14 and the sock component 12 may provide an additional shock absorbing therapeutic environment primarily for tissue of the heel of the foot 16.

Other therapeutic features are associated primarily with improved design of the sole component 14 whose anatomical properties enhance the correct placement of the foot 16 for optimal function that will improve rehabilitation to the muscle and skeletal members of the foot 16.

In yet another embodiment, in order to increase or customize the shock absorbance of the sole component 14, the mass and elasticity of the inserts 64, such as silicone inserts 64, can be “tuned” to match the weight of the patient and his dynamic response. These designs are essential for the patients having obesity. In order to further customize the shock absorbance of the sole component 14, gel-cushioning may also be used in the sole exterior 30 of the sole component 14. For example, the insert 64 may be fabricated from a gel grade silicone or similar polymer that can be packaged with a polyurethane sole component 14.

In yet another embodiment, in order to customize the shock absorbance and dynamic response of the sole component 14, the sole component 14 should preferably be designed and configured to localize gel-cushion materials in the ball-of-the-foot area 50. This feature might be fabricated in a form of an inclusion (insert).

In yet another embodiment, in order to customize the shock absorbance and dynamic response of the sole component 14, the sole component 14 should preferably be designed and configured to incorporate gel-cushion materials into a toe bar 70 feature. The toe bar 70 feature may be incorporated to within the frontal section 36 of the sole component 14, adjacent the ball-of-the-foot area 50. This feature may be fabricated in the form of an inclusion (insert) 64.

In yet another embodiment, in order to customize the shock absorbance and dynamic response of the sole component 14, the sole component 14 may be designed and configured to incorporate gel-cushion materials in the arch support area 52 and heel area 54. This feature might also be fabricated in the form of an inclusion (insert) 64.

In yet another embodiment, in order to customize the therapeutic features of the design with its application to the skin allergic patients, the sock component 12 may be fabricated from a hypo-allergenic textile material.

In yet another embodiment, in order to prevent the EBSS 10 from turning around on the wearers' foot 16, the sock component 12 may be a non-tube type sock having an integral sock heel section 24 that may be designed in unison with the heel-cup 58 of the ergonomic sole component 14.

In yet another embodiment, in order to prevent the EBSS 10 from turning around on the wearers' foot 16 and further increase its stability, the sock component 12 may be equipped with an elastic component that is configured with a ribbed band 60 overlapping the ankle or a leg section of the patient. This ribbed band 60 can be also designed to increase the grip of the sock component 12 such that the sock component 12 securely grips the foot 16.

In yet another embodiment, in order to prevent the EBSS 10 from turning around on the wearers' foot 16 and further increase its stability, primarily in the mid-section 34 of the foot 16, the sock component 12 may be equipped with an elastic component that is configured with the ribbed band 60 overlapping the mid-section 34 of the foot 16, as shown in FIG. 1.

In yet another embodiment, this ribbed band 60 may also increase stability of the foot 16 through the improved grip of the sock component 12 in its mid-section 34.

In yet another embodiment, to further increase its stability, the sock component 12 may be equipped with an integrated pull tab 62 that is extended above the back of the ribbed band 60, at the ankle or leg section, to help in donning the EBSS 10.

In yet another embodiment, the EBSS 10 can be constructed to further provide therapeutic value to the individual. In this design, the sock component 12 may be fabricated in a manner providing additional external compression to the foot 16, ankle and the lower portion of the leg. With this design, the length of the sock component 12 can be extended. The length extension of the sock component 12 may thereby allow the sock component 12 to reach the ankle, mid-calf or over the calf of the patient.

In yet another embodiment, in order to further comfort the wearers' foot 16, an interior base 72 of the sock component 12, which includes that portion of the sock component 12 adjacent the sole component 14, may be constructed of such materials as terrycloth in both the interior base 72 and the sock heel section 24 of the sock component 12.

In yet another embodiment, in order to further increase the grip and to comfort the wearers' foot 16, in contrast to a conventional squared toe section 20 of a tube style type of sock component 12, an additional design feature of the EBSS 10 may include a rounded and anatomically correct toe section 20 of the sock component 12.

In yet another embodiment, in order to further comfort the wearers' foot 16, an interior surface 74 of the sock component 12 may be formed with a textile material, either with or without terrycloth or terrycloth like features. The sock component 12 and its interior surface 74 can be also fabricated from a knit jersey or textile material either with or without terrycloth or terrycloth like features.

In yet another embodiment, in order to provide the structural integrity of the EBSS 10 and reliably mount the sock component 12 to the sole component 14, the sock component 12 may be permanently affixed to an ergonomically designed natural or synthetic polymer sole component 14 by the attachment means of heat, glue, sewing and/or any other methods. The attachment means may therefore properly maintain the integrity and permanent bond between the sole component 14 and sock component 12.

In yet another embodiment, the fabrication of the EBSS 10 includes the separate manufacturing of the sock component 12 and the sole component 14, and their further assembling by integration means of molding, vulcanization, adhesive bonding, sewing and/or any other processes providing their structural integrity. This list of integration processes is not limited to the mentioned methods, but might include several other techniques that are known to those skilled in the art of polymers and textile manufacturing.

In yet another embodiment, the fabrication of the EBSS 10 includes the manufacturing of the sock component 12 from natural or synthetic fibers in a manner, such that the fabricated sock component 12 will provide improved therapeutic functions, thereby increasing the quality of care to human tissue. For instance, the sock component 12 may be fabricated to thereby breathably enhance the environment for the human tissue.

In yet another embodiment, the fabrication of the EBSS 10 includes the manufacturing of the sock component 12 from different natural or synthetic fibers, so that the EBSS 10 products can be optionally disposable, or can have a reasonably extended service life.

In yet another embodiment, the fabrication of the EBSS 10 further includes a sterilization step. Among the sterilization techniques is gamma radiation. The sterilization techniques are not limited to the mentioned method, but might include several other techniques that are known to those skilled in the art of manufacturing of sterile medical components.

The above description is given by way of example, and not limitation. Given the above disclosure, one skilled in the art could devise variations that are within the scope and spirit of the invention disclosed herein, including various ways of manufacturing and modifying the EBSS. Further, the various features of the embodiments disclosed herein can be used alone, or in varying combinations with each other and are not intended to be limited to the specific combination described herein. Thus, the scope of the claims is not to be limited by the illustrated embodiments.