Title:
BALANCING SHOES
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A shoe having an inner insole, an intermediate sole, or an outsole, characterized in that, the sole includes a bar running primarily in the longitudinal direction, which protrudes from an underside of the sole.



Inventors:
Lohrer, Heinz (Liederbach, DE)
Application Number:
11/874472
Publication Date:
06/05/2008
Filing Date:
10/18/2007
Assignee:
ORTHOTECH Beratungs- und Vertreibsges. mbH fur orthopadietechnischen Bedarf (Gauting, DE)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
36/43, 36/103, 36/25R
International Classes:
A43B7/14; A43B13/00; A43B13/38
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KAVANAUGH, JOHN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DeLio Peterson & Curcio LLC (NEW HAVEN, CT, US)
Claims:
Thus, having described the invention, what is claimed is:

1. A sole for a shoe, comprising an inner insole, an intermediate sole, or an outsole, wherein the sole includes a bar running primarily in the longitudinal direction, which protrudes from an underside of the sole.

2. The sole of claim 1 including having the cross-section of the longitudinal bar triangular in shape or limited by a circumferential line bent convexly outward.

3. The sole of claim 1 wherein the longitudinal bar includes a semi-circular cross section.

4. The sole of claim 2 including having the cross section of the longitudinal bar smaller than that of a semi-circle.

5. The sole of claim 1 including having the longitudinal bar run centrally or at least partially oblique to the sole.

6. The sole of claim 1 including having the longitudinal bar placed on the outside surface of the outsole.

7. The sole of claim 1 including having the longitudinal bar placed on the inner surface of the outsole.

8. The sole of claim 1 including having the longitudinal bar placed on the outside of the intermediate sole or the insole.

9. The sole of claim 1 including having the longitudinal bar fastened separately to the sole.

10. The sole of claim 9 wherein said longitudinal bar is cemented to said sole.

11. The sole of claim 1 including having the longitudinal bar formed as one piece with the sole.

12. The sole of claim 1 including having the longitudinal bar extend over one or more segments of the sole.

13. The sole of claim 11 including having the longitudinal bar shorter than the sole and ends at a distance from the front sole edge and/or the rear sole edge.

14. The sole of claim 11 including having the longitudinal bar consist of bendable or elastically springy material.

15. The sole of claim 11 including having the longitudinal bar of the same material as the sole.

16. The sole of claim 11 including having on its outer or inner longitudinal edge a widening which at least partially limits a tipping effect.

17. The sole of claim 11 including having only the rear sole segment in the heel area show widening.

18. A shoe comprising an insole or an intermediate sole or an outsole, characterized in that the sole includes a longitudinal bar.

19. The shoe of claim 18 including having the cross-section of the longitudinal bar triangular in shape or limited by a circumferential line bent convexly outward.

20. The shoe of claim 19 wherein the longitudinal bar includes a semi-circular cross section.

21. The shoe of claim 20 including having the cross-section of the longitudinal bar smaller than that of a semi-circle.

22. The shoe of claim 18 including having the longitudinal bar run centrally or at least partially oblique to the sole.

23. The shoe of claim 18 including having the longitudinal bar placed on the inner surface of the outsole.

24. The shoe of claim 18 including having the longitudinal bar placed on the outside of the intermediate sole or the insole.

25. The shoe of claim 18 including having the longitudinal bar fastened separately to the sole.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to a sole for a shoe in accordance with the main concept of Claim 1, and more specifically to a sole for a shoe that includes a bar running primarily in the longitudinal direction, which protrudes from the underside of the sole. The invention also relates to a shoe so designed in accordance with the main concept of Claim 17.

2. Description of Related Art

It is known how to provide soles for shoes with various shapes in order to achieve certain effects on the wearer of the shoe in this manner. In this context it is desirable to have available a shoe which can be used either in injury prophylaxis and/or rehabilitation in order to achieve an active neuromuscular stabilization of the affected foot, knee, or leg musculature.

In this connection, neuromuscular training forms for the complex stabilization of joints have been used increasingly for years, indeed both in the preventive area and in rehabilitation. The effectiveness of these measures has already been documented by scientific research.

In the past, neuromuscular or proprioceptive training was done using special examination treatments for posture stabilization, either at the physiotherapist's office or—with appropriate training—by means of specific training devices, for example, with so-called tipping boards. These measures however always require additional complications in the form of apparatus and especially time.

The problem to be solved by the invention is therefore, using simple means, to create such a sole for a shoe or a shoe so equipped that with it, whether walking or standing, neuromuscular training is achieved and through this, depending upon the design of the shoe, the ankle-stabilizing musculature or the knee-joint-stabilizing musculature is trained.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In the case of a sole for a shoe, which is equipped with an inner insole and/or an intermediate sole and/or an outsole, the design was made in such a manner that the sole has a bar running essentially in the longitudinal direction, which extends from the underside of the sole.

Bearing in mind the problems and deficiencies of the prior art, it is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a sole for a shoe or a shoe so equipped that with it, whether walking or standing, neuromuscular training is achieved.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a sole for a shoe or a shoe so equipped that with it, whether walking or standing the ankle-stabilizing musculature or the knee-joint-stabilizing musculature is trained.

Still other objects and advantages of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part be apparent from the specification.

The above and other objects, which will be apparent to those skilled in the art, are achieved in the present invention which is directed to

The characteristics of the shoe sole formed in order to solve this problem in accordance with the invention are given in Claim 1 while, by contrast, a shoe so designed is described in Claim 17. Advantageous embodiments hereof are provided by the further claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The features of the invention believed to be novel and the elements characteristic of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The figures are for illustration purposes only and are not drawn to scale. The invention itself, however, both as to organization and method of operation, may best be understood by reference to the detailed description which follows taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 schematically depicts a sole designed in accordance with the invention in a view from below.

FIG. 2 in a cross section according to line 11-11 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a view from below of an advanced embodiment of the sole in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 4 in a cross section according to line IV-IV of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 in a cross section of another developed embodiment of the sole and of the shoe equipped with it.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

In describing the preferred embodiment of the present invention, reference will be made herein to FIGS. 1-5 of the drawings in which like numerals refer to like features of the invention.

The invention is based on the thought of designing the sole in such a manner that it includes a bar oriented largely in the longitudinal direction, which protrudes from the bottom of the sole.

Special advantages in use result from this if the cross section of the longitudinal bar is either triangular or ordered by a circumferential line bent convexly outward.

In this connection, it is within the limits of the invention for the longitudinal bar to have either a semi-circular cross-section or for it to be smaller than that of a semi-circle.

Preferably, the longitudinal bar is centered on the sole. In this connection however, it is also possible, depending upon the desired training effects to be achieved, to place the longitudinal bar off-centered on the sole, specifically either more toward the direction of the outer longitudinal edge or more in the direction of the inner longitudinal edge of the sole. Furthermore, the bar may be placed at least partially oblique to the sole.

With respect to the arrangement of the longitudinal bar in accordance with the invention, multiple possibilities are provided in accordance with the invention. Thus, the longitudinal bar can be placed on the outer surface of the outsole or on the inner surface of this sole. Instead of this, it is also possible to place the longitudinal bar outside on the intermediate sole or the insole.

It is included in the framework of the invention that the longitudinal bar is separately attached to the sole, especially cemented to it. Instead of this, it is also possible to design the longitudinal bar and the sole to be one piece, whether this be the outsole or an intermediate sole.

For reasons of convenience, or for reasons of better rolling of the foot, it is provided, in a further development of the invention, that the longitudinal bar can extend over one or more partial segments of the sole. Thus, for example, the longitudinal bar may be at a distance from the front end of the sole and/or from the rear end of the sole.

It is useful for the longitudinal bar to be made of bendable or elastically springy material. In this connection, it is possible, according to the invention, for the longitudinal bar to be made of the same material as the sole.

In order to limit the desired tilting effect of the shoe, which is achieved by the longitudinal bar, the sole has, on its outside and/or inside longitudinal edge, at least partially, a widening extension. In this connection, it is included in the invention for only the rearward section of the sole to possess such a widening in the heel area.

As already stated, the invention extends not only to the specialty designed sole, but also to a shoe, which is provided with a sole designed in this manner and bearing a longitudinal bar.

Overall, due to the invention, it has been achieved that, using simple means, the shoe is de-stabilized with respect to its standing behavior in the varus/valgus sense. The result of this, when using the sole in accordance with the invention or the shoe equipped with it in accordance with the invention, a special effect mechanism is obtained which consists of the fact that the aforementioned instability upon each contact of the wearer of the shoe with the ground places a neuromuscular stimulus on the wearer. This must be actively controlled, that is to say, stabilized, so that, as a result, the desired neuromuscular training effect occurs.

Due to the low height of the longitudinal bar—and perhaps due to the widening of the sole so as to limit the tipping effect—endangering the wearer is prevented.

With a sole thus designed in accordance with the invention or a shoe equipped with such a sole, which can be called a “balancing shoe,” it is therefore possible, on the basis of direct connection of such a training device to the foot of the user, to achieve a good training effect, both in everyday stressing and also in occupational stressing. In this regard, it is especially advantageous that a particular concentration on training is not necessary. Therefore, by means of the invention, effective stress levels can be reached which are clearly above the previous training times.

The shoe equipped with the sole in accordance with the invention is available everywhere, for example, even on trips and on vacation. As a result, the variability and breadth of the possibilities of use is expanded advantageously.

If the sole designed in accordance with the invention is used on a low-cut shoe, then the training stimulus achieved by the longitudinal bar is directed more to the ankle and foot stabilizing musculature of the wearer. This is in contrast to a sole in accordance with the invention is used on a higher shoe.

The invention is explained in the following in the form of multiple sample embodiments on the basis of the drawing. The following are shown:

As can be seen from FIGS. 1 and 2, the sole 1 has, on its outside, a rod 2 which runs in the longitudinal direction of the sole 1 and, as clearly visible from FIG. 2, has a more or less semi-circular cross section.

In the embodiment represented, the sole is the outsole 1, which is fastened to an intermediate sole 3 of a schematically represented shoe 4.

The radius of the longitudinal bar 2 is, in the sample embodiment shown, at most approximately 1 cm, preferably, however, less.

In the embodiment described, the longitudinal bar 2 consists of a flexible or elastically springy material and is fastened separately to the outside of the outsole 1, especially by cementing it.

In the case of the developed embodiment according to FIGS. 3 and 4, the longitudinal bar 2 does not extend over the entire length of the sole (outsole 1 or intermediate sole 3), but rather ends at the distance indicated to the front edge of the sole and to the rear edge of the sole. As a result, the rolling of the soles 1 and 3 of the shoe 4 is lightened over the front and rear sole ends.

In the sample embodiment represented according to FIGS. 3 and 4, the longitudinal bar 2 has a cross-section which is obviously smaller than that of a semi-circle. In addition, the longitudinal bar 2 is placed on the inner surface of the outsole 1 or on the outward facing surface of the intermediate sole 3 and, for example, fastened to the intermediate sole 3.

In contrast to this, in the case of the further developed sample embodiment according to FIG. 4, the longitudinal bar 2 is formed as one piece with the intermediate sole 3 and therefore consists of the same material as the latter.

The outsole 1 fastened to the outward facing surface of the intermediate sole 3 is, in this connection, necessarily fitted to the outside contour of the intermediate sole 3 in such a manner that the longitudinal bar 2 causes the protrusion of the outsole 1 shown in FIG. 5.

Finally, as can be seen from FIG. 5, the intermediate sole 3 together with the outsole 1 has a widening 5 on both of its longitudinal edges. This limits the tipping effect caused by the longitudinal bar 2. For this purpose, it is, upon request, also sufficient for the widening 5 to extend only over the rear section of the sole in the heel area.

With respect to characteristics of the invention not described above in detail, express reference is made to the drawing as well as the Claims.

While the present invention has been particularly described, in conjunction with a specific preferred embodiment, it is evident that many alternatives, modifications and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art in light of the foregoing description. It is therefore contemplated that the appended claims will embrace any such alternatives, modifications and variations as falling within the true scope and spirit of the present invention.