Title:
INSOLE CUSHION AND COMPOSITE FOOT-BED
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An insole cushion for a shoe and a composite food-bed for a shoe and shoe including a gel pad having a mesh segment cast or formed integrally with the gel pad, that extending beyond at least one peripheral edge of the gel pad. The composite food-bed includes upper and lower foot-bed members with an insole cushion including a gel pad having a mesh segment integral to the gel pad. The get pad is disposed and affixed between the upper and lower foot-bed members and the mesh segment that extends beyond the peripheral edge of the gel pad is affixed between the upper and lower foot-bed members beyond the peripheral edge of the get pad.



Inventors:
Hesse, Jon M. (Livingston, MT, US)
Application Number:
11/686255
Publication Date:
09/18/2008
Filing Date:
03/14/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B13/38
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MOHANDESI, JILA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Joseph W. Holland (Boise, ID, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An insole cushion for a shoe, the insole cushion comprising: a gel pad including a peripheral edge; and a mesh segment formed integrally with the gel pad, the mesh segment extending beyond at least one peripheral edge of the gel pad.

2. The insole cushion of claim 1 wherein the gel pad further comprises a polymeric compound.

3. The insole cushion of claim 1 wherein the gel pad further comprises a polyurethane compound.

4. The insole cushion of claim 1 wherein the gel pad further comprises a two-part polyurethane compound.

5. The insole cushion of claim 1 wherein the gel pad further comprises a two-part polyurethane compound wherein the two-part polyurethane compound is mixed at a ratio in the range of 1 part prepolmer to 1.75 parts polyurethane curative agent to 1 part prepolmer to 2.25 parts polyurethane curative agent.

6. The insole cushion of claim 1 wherein the mesh segment further comprises a plastic mesh having a grid spacing in the range of 0.001 mm to 0.01 mm.

7. A composite food-bed for a shoe, the composite foot-bed comprising: an upper foot-bed member; a lower foot-bed member having an upper surface in contact with and affixed to a lower surface of the lower foot-bed member; and an insole cushion including a gel pad, the gel pad including a mesh segment formed integrally to the gel pad, the gel pad disposed between the upper foot-bed member and the lower foot-bed member, the mesh segment extending beyond at least one peripheral edge of the gel pad, at least one peripheral edge of the mesh segment disposed and affixed between the upper foot-bed member and the lower foot-bed member.

8. The composite foot-bed of claim 7 further comprising a shoe sole affixed to an underside of the lower foot-bed member.

9. The composite foot-bed of claim 7 wherein the gel pad further comprises a polymeric compound.

10. The composite foot-bed of claim 7 wherein the gel pad further comprises a polyurethane compound.

11. The composite foot-bed of claim 7 wherein the gel pad further comprises a two-part polyurethane compound.

12. The composite foot-bed of claim 7 wherein the gel pad further comprises a two-part polyurethane compound wherein the two-part polyurethane compound is mixed at a ratio in the range of 1 part prepolmer to 1.75 parts polyurethane curative agent to 1 part prepolmer to 2.25 parts polyurethane curative agent.

13. The composite foot-bed of claim 7 wherein the mesh segment further comprises a plastic mesh having a grid spacing in the range of 0.5 mm-5.0 mm.

14. A shoe comprising: a foot-bed including an upper foot-bed member and a lower foot-bed member having an upper face in contact with and affixed to a lower face of the lower foot-bed member and an insole cushion disposed and affixed between the upper foot-bed member and the lower foot-bed member, the insole cushion including a gel pad including a mesh segment integral to the gel pad, the mesh segment extending beyond at least one peripheral edge of the gel pad, a portion of the mesh segment disposed and affixed between the upper foot-bed member and the lower foot-bed member; and a shoe sole affixed to an underside of the foot-bed.

15. The shoe of claim 14 further comprising an outer foot-bed member, having a lower face in contact with and affixed to an upper of the upper foot bed member.

16. The shoe of claim 14 further comprising wherein the gel pad further comprises a polymeric compound.

17. The shoe of claim 14 wherein the gel pad further comprises a polyurethane compound.

18. The shoe of claim 14 wherein the gel pad further comprises a two-part polyurethane compound.

19. The shoe of claim 14 wherein the gel pad further comprises a two-part polyurethane compound wherein the two-part polyurethane compound is mixed at a ratio in the range of 1 part prepolmer to 1.75 parts polyurethane curative agent to 1 part prepolmer to 2.25 parts polyurethane curative agent.

20. The shoe of claim 14 wherein the mesh segment further comprises a plastic mesh having a grid spacing in the range of 0.001 mm to 0.01 mm.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

The present invention relates generally to shoe insoles and more particularly to a foot-bed for a shoe that includes one or more insole cushions.

2. Background

A variety of insoles and foot-beds both of the type that are incorporated into the original shoe construction as well as those that are placed in the shoe following purchase have been disclosed in the prior art. One problem with insoles and pads that include a polymer construction is an observed tendency of the polymer portion of the pad or insole to migrate or creep with respect to the foot bed during continued wear. This propensity affects both the comfort and durability of insoles and insole cushions. It therefore appears that there continues to be a need to improve the comfort and durability of insoles and pads that are used in shoes.

In addition, designers of high heel shoes complain that products and solutions to date for the stated problem compromise the design and construction of their shoes, the products that exist on the market do not possess the required degree of softness, and that products and solutions for improving food-bed construction and shoe comfort to date fail to meet their price points. This design allows for the comfort feature to be thin, soft and stable without compromising the thin design of a shoe. It therefore appears that there also continues to be a need to provide a solution that would allow shoe designers to improve the comfort of shoes including high heel shoes while maintaining design criteria and cost.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An insole cushion for a shoe and a composite food-bed for a shoe include a gel pad having a mesh segment cast or formed integrally with the gel pad, that extends beyond at least one peripheral edge of the gel pad. The composite food-bed includes a get pad having an integral mesh segment located between upper and lower foot-bed members. The insole cushion is disposed and affixed between the upper and lower foot-bed members and the mesh segment that extends beyond the peripheral edge of the gel pad is affixed between the upper and lower foot-bed members beyond the peripheral edge of the gel pad.

The gel pad of the present invention is preferably manufactured from polyurethane, although recognized alternatives exist including silicone and polyvinylchloride. In the preferred embodiment, a mesh material is cast within the gel and extends beyond at least one peripheral edge of the gel pad. The gel pad may be formed having any of a number of configurations, including cross-sectional configurations that are known to those skilled in the art and which are generally directed to improving a particular shoes objective, for instance comfort, walking, running, sports, weight or style.

When the gel pad is affixed between the upper and lower foot-bed members, the mesh extends beyond one or more peripheral edges of the gel pad and is therefore glued or otherwise affixed between the upper and lower foot-bed members beyond one or more peripheral edges of the gel pad. The gel pad is thereby better stabilized between the upper and lower foot-bed members and also therefore with respect to the shoe itself.

One or more insole cushions are affixed between the upper and lower foot-bed members the shoe and incorporated in the original shoe construction. Alternately, cushion pads, according to the present invention, may be configured for insert in a shoe.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a representative side view of a high heel shoe including insole cushions according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a representative top view of a high heel shoe including insole cushions according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a representative side cutaway view of a high heel shoe including insole cushions according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a representative side cutaway detail view of an insole cushion incorporated between upper foot-bed and lower foot-bed members according to the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a representative exploded side cutaway detail view of an insole cushion incorporated between upper foot-bed and lower foot-bed members according to the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a representative bottom view of a gel pad according to the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a representative bottom view of a gel pad according to the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a representative bottom view of a gel pad according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIGS. 1-3, high heeled shoe 10 is shown including outer foot-bed member 12. A wearer's foot is held against outer foot-bed member 12 by placement of the toes through upper 14. FIGS. 1 and 3 show heel 13 attached and extending from shoe sole 11. FIG. 3 is a side cutaway view of high heel shoe 10 showing composite foot-bed 20 and the locations of insole cushions 15A and 15B between upper foot-bed member 12 and shoe sole 11. As seen, insole cushion 15A is located in the region of the foot-bed where the ball of the foot would rest while insole cushion 15B is located in that area of the foot-bed where the hell of the foot would rest or strike.

FIGS. 4 and 5 are side cutaway details of that portion of shoe 10, shown in FIGS. 1-3, where insole cushion 15A is located. As seen in FIGS. 4 and 5, foot-bed 20 comprises a composite construction and is shown including insole cushion 15A, which is typical of the construction of insole cushion 15B, shown in FIG. 3. More particularly, and again referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, insole cushion 15A includes gel pad 30 having an integrated mesh segment 31. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, mesh segment 31 includes a plastic mesh having grid spacing in the range of 0.5-5.0 mm. As shown in FIG. 4, gel pad 30 is positioned and affixed between upper foot-bed member 17A and lower foot-bed member 17B. Peripheral edge 34 of mesh segment 31 is shown extending between upper foot-bed member 17A and lower foot-bed member 17B in such a manner that when gel pad 30 is affixed between upper foot-bed member 17A and lower foot-bed member 17B, integrated mesh segment 31 extends beyond gel pad 30 to be secured and affixed directly between upper foot-bed member 17A and lower foot-bed member 17B.

Upper foot-bed member 17A and lower foot-bed member 17B may be formed from a fabric. In one embodiment, upper foot-bed member 17A and lower foot-bed member 17B are formed from a stretch woven fabric. In one embodiment, upper foot-bed member 17A and lower foot-bed member 17B are formed from a stretch woven fabric having a linear density of in the range of 30-60 denier. In a preferred embodiment, upper foot-bed member 17A and lower foot-bed member 17B are formed from a 50 denier stretch woven fabric.

Referring to FIG. 5, in a preferred embodiment, laminate film 18A is applied to a surface of upper foot-bed member 17A between upper surface 29 of laminate film 18A and lower surface 24 of upper foot-bed member 17A. Similarly, laminate film 18B is applied to lower foot-bed member 17B between lower surface 28 of laminate film 18B and upper surface 25 of lower foot-bed member 17B. In the preferred embodiment, laminate films 18A and 18B are formed of a plastic that prevents glue used in the manufacturing process from causing gel pad 30 from decomposing.

Referring to FIG. 6, gel pad 30 is shown in a representative bottom view having a typical toe pad cushion configuration. Gel pad 30 include mesh segment 31 cast or formed integrally to extend beyond peripheral edge of 32 of gel pad 30. Peripheral edge 34 of mesh segment 31 is shown extending beyond peripheral edge of 32 of gel pad 30. Gel pad 30 is shown including a substantially flat bottom surface 33. FIG. 7 shows gel pad 40 in a representative bottom view having a typical heel pad configuration. As shown, mesh segment 41 extends beyond peripheral edge 42 of gel pad 40. Peripheral edge 44 of mesh segment 41 is shown extending beyond peripheral edge of 42 of gel pad 40. Gel pad 40 is shown including a plurality of ridges 45 formed on bottom surface 43 although in the case of either surface 43 or 33 any of a variety of known configurations may be adopted within the scope of the present invention. FIG. 8 shows gel pad 50 in a representative bottom view having a typical insole pad configuration. As shown, mesh segment 51 extends beyond peripheral edge 52 of gel pad 50. Peripheral edge 54 of mesh segment 51 is shown extending beyond peripheral edge of 52 of gel pad 50. Gel pad 50 is shown including a plurality of concave elements 55 formed in bottom surface 53.

Gel pad is formed preferably in a molding process wherein mesh segment 31 is positioned at a location in the mold that approximates a plane that bisects the mold while gel is injected into the mold, or in the alternative by a casting process, wherein a first portion of gel pad 20 is poured in a mold followed by placement of mesh segment 31 in the mold on top of the first half of the poured pad followed by completion of casting the upper half of the pad. Referring to FIG. 6, gel pad 30 is shown in a representative bottom view for a ball of foot pad cushion. As shown, mesh segment 31 extends beyond peripheral edge of 32 of gel pad 30. Gel pad 30 is shown including a substantially flat surface 23. FIG. 7 shows gel pad 40 in a representative bottom view having a typical heel pad configuration. As shown, mesh segment 41 extends beyond peripheral edge 42 of gel pad 40. Gel pad 40 is shown including a ridged surface 43 although in the case of either surface 33 or 43 any of a variety of known configurations may be adopted within the scope of the present invention. FIG. 8 shows get pad 50 in an insole configuration. As shown, mesh segment 51 extends beyond peripheral edge 52 of gel pad 40. Gel pad 50 is shown including a dimpled surface 43.

Referring to FIG. 6, in a preferred embodiment of the invention, a two-part, liquid plastic polyurethane resin is mixed for forming gel pads 30. The mixture ratio depends on the desired thickness of the gel pad to be formed. Preferably, the mixture ratio is in the range of 1 part prepolmer to 1.75 parts polyurethane curative agent for a relatively firm gel pad to 2.25 parts polyurethane curative agent for a relatively soft gel pad. Gel pad 30 has a thickness T, shown in FIG. 5 in the range preferably of 1.0 mm to 5.0 mm.

Referring again to FIGS. 4 and 5, insole cushion 15A, which is typical of the construction of insole cushion 15B, shown in FIG. 3, is formed by placing gel pad 30 with its integrated mesh segment 31 between laminate 18A of upper foot-bed member 17A and laminate 18B of lower foot-bed member 17B, with mesh segment 31 extending between laminate 15A and laminate 18B. This combination is subjected to a heat press operation wherein laminate 18A and laminate 18B fuse trapping the outer edges of mesh segment 31 between and within the fused laminate 18A and laminate 18B. In a subsequent process lower surface 26 of lower foot-bed member 17B is attached to upper surface 27 of shoe sole 11 typically by gluing, stitching or other know means. Similarly, upper surface 22 of upper foot-bed member 17A is attached to lower surface 21 of outer foot-bed member 12 typically by gluing, stitching or other know means.

The foregoing description of the illustrated embodiments has been presented for purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form or to exemplary embodiment(s) and implementation(s) disclosed. Numerous modifications and variations will be apparent to practitioners skilled in this art. Process steps described might be interchangeable with other steps in order to achieve the same result. At least one preferred embodiment was chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and a best mode of practical application, thereby to enable others skilled in the art to understand the invention for various embodiments and with various modifications as are suited to the particular use or implementation contemplated. It is intended that the scope of the invention be defined by the claims appended hereto and their equivalents. Reference to an element in the singular is not intended to mean “one and only one” unless explicitly so stated, but rather means “one or more.” Moreover, no element, component, or method step in the present disclosure is intended to be dedicated to the public regardless of whether the element, component, or method step is explicitly recited in the following claims. No claim element herein is to be construed under the provisions of 35 U.S.C. Sec. 112, sixth paragraph unless the element is expressly recited using the phrase “means for . . . ”