Title:
SOCK FOR MAINTAINING A MODULE PROTECTING ONE ZONE OF THE FOOT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An elastic sock (1) is provided for maintaining at least one protection module for protecting one zone of a foot. The sock includes a tubular part (2) shaped to cover the ankle, a front part (3) shaped to cover the foot and heel, and an opening (4) in a region of the sock corresponding to the curve of the foot. The sock can be pulled on by first pulling on the tubular part (2) around the ankle and by putting the foot into the opening (4), then by pulling on the front part (3) around the foot after having arranged at least one protection module (10) on the foot.



Inventors:
Millet, Jean-claude (Etoile sur Rhone, FR)
Application Number:
11/766830
Publication Date:
09/25/2008
Filing Date:
06/22/2007
Assignee:
MILLET INNOVATION (Loriol Sur Drome, FR)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B17/00
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Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PANITCH SCHWARZE BELISARIO & NADEL LLP (PHILADELPHIA, PA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An elastic sock for holding at least one protection module for protecting a zone of a human or animal foot, the sock comprising a tubular part shaped to cover an ankle, a front part intended to cover the foot and a heel of the foot, and an opening in a region of the sock corresponding to a curve of the foot, such that the sock can be pulled on by first pulling on the tubular part around the ankle and by putting the foot into the opening, then by pulling on the front part around the foot after having arranged the at least one protection module on the foot.

2. The sock according to claim 1, comprising an elastane polyamide material.

3. The sock according to claim 1, wherein the front part comprises a knitted or sewn zone (6) which passes along a part corresponding to a left or right edge of the foot.

4. The sock according to claim 1, wherein the tubular part comprises a knitted or sewn zone (5) which extends at the front of the ankle when pulled on.

5. The sock according to claim 1, wherein the protection module is fitted into the sock.

6. The sock according to claim 5, wherein the protection module is arranged in a material which is knitted or sewn to the sock.

7. A combination of a sock according to claim 1 and a protection module comprising a thin sheet of moisture-absorbing material, shaped to cover all or part of the foot and covered with the sock.

8. A method for holding on a human or animal foot at least one protection module for protecting a zone of the foot, the method comprising: providing an elastic sock comprising a tubular part shaped to cover an ankle of the foot, a front part shaped to cover the foot and heel of the foot, and an opening in a region of the sock corresponding to a curve of the foot; pulling the tubular part on around the ankle by putting the foot into the opening; arranging the at least one protection module on the foot; and pulling the front part on around the foot.

9. The method according to claim 8, wherein the sock comprises an elastane polyamide material.

10. The method according to claim 8, wherein the protection module is fitted into the sock.

11. The method according to claim 10, wherein the protection module is arranged in a material which is knitted or sewn to the sock.

12. The method according to claim 8, wherein the protection module comprises a thin sheet of moisture-absorbing material, covering all or part of the foot and covered with the sock.

13. A method for treating or protecting a zone of a human or animal foot, the method comprising: providing an elastic sock comprising a tubular part shaped to cover an ankle of the foot, a front part shaped to cover the foot and heel of the foot, and an opening in a region of the sock corresponding to a curve of the foot; pulling the tubular part on around the ankle by putting the foot into the opening; arranging the at least one treatment or protection module on the foot; pulling the front part on around the foot; and holding the at least one treatment or protection module on the foot by the front part of the sock.

14. The method according to claim 13, wherein the sock comprises an elastane polyamide material.

15. The method according to claim 13, wherein the protection module is fitted into the sock.

16. The method according to claim 13, wherein the protection module is arranged in a material which is knitted or sewn to the sock.

17. The method according to claim 13, wherein the treatment or protection module comprises a thin sheet of moisture-absorbing material, covering all or part of the foot and covered with the sock.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a Continuation of International Application No. PCT/FR2005/002926, filed Nov. 25, 2005, which was published in the French language on Jul. 13, 2006, under International Publication No. WO 2006/072678 A1 and the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to holding a protection module on the foot for protecting one zone of the foot.

Foot protection modules, also referred to as “protection interfaces,” are commonly used products. They are, for example, small plates of silicone gel of a few centimeters square, for example a composition of silicone gel marketed by Millet Innovation of Luriol Sur Drome, France, under the trademark Epithélium 26®.

The foot of a human has a shock-absorbing layer called the footpad, which is capable of supporting up to eight times the weight of the human body. The footpad enables the mechanical “load” imposed by the weight of the body to be spread. Now, many patients suffer from a temperature rise, wart-corns or pain as a result of inevitable wear of the natural footpad with age. Thus, such protection modules enable the pain to be relieved and all the painful zones of the foot affected by hyper-pressure (wart-corns, corns, soft corns, hallux valgus) or suffering skin trauma (irritation, chapping, plantar warts, etc.) to be protected.

However, holding one or more protection modules on the foot is problematic. After placing a module on the foot at the desired location, the module must not move when the sock is put on. Now, as the module is generally moderately adhesive, it is pulled backwards, then rolls up or the corners turn up when the sock is pulled on. This is a general problem and affects all the parts of the foot.

Furthermore, providing a very adhesive module, covered with a thin layer of glue in addition to the thick layer of silicone gel, which guarantees the distribution of the load over the zone of the foot to be protected, is incompatible with the properties sought for such a module.

So as to avoid adding such an adhesive layer, the protection modules are generally equipped with holding means made of elastic fabric. However, such holding means form a layer of material inside the shoe, in addition to the layer formed by the sock, and affect the comfort of the foot in the shoe.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention solves this problem by providing a “special” sock provided for holding the protection modules at all parts of the foot.

More particularly, the present invention provides an elastic sock for holding at least one protection module for protecting a zone of the foot, comprising a tubular part intended to cover the ankle, a front part intended to cover the foot and the heel, and an opening in a region of the sock corresponding to the curve of the foot, so that it can be pulled on by first pulling on the tubular part around the ankle and by putting the foot into the opening, then by pulling on the front part around the foot after having arranged at least one protection module on the foot.

According to one embodiment, the sock comprises an elastane polyamide material.

According to another embodiment, the front part comprises a knitted or sewn zone which passes along a part corresponding to the left or right edge of the foot.

According to a further embodiment, the tubular part comprises a knitted or sewn zone which extends at the front of the ankle.

According to a still further embodiment, the sock comprises a protection module fitted into the sock.

According to another embodiment, the protection module is arranged in a material which is knitted or sewn to the sock.

The present invention also relates to a combination of a sock according to the present invention and of a of a protection module comprising a thin sheet of moisture-absorbing material, covering all or part of the foot and covered with the sock.

The present invention also relates to a method for holding on the foot at least one protection module for protecting a zone of the foot, comprising providing an elastic sock comprising a tubular part intended to cover the ankle, a front part intended to cover the foot and heel, and an opening in a region of the sock corresponding to the curve of the foot, the tubular part being first pulled on around the ankle by putting the foot into the opening, the front part then being pulled on around the foot after having arranged at least one protection module on the foot.

According to another embodiment, the method comprises providing a sock in an elastane polyamide material.

According to a further embodiment, the sock comprises a protection module fitted into the sock.

According to a still further embodiment, the protection module is arranged in a material which is knitted or sewn to the sock.

According to another embodiment, the protection module comprises a thin sheet of moisture-absorbing material, covering all or part of the foot and covered with the sock.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing summary, as well as the following detailed description of the invention, will be better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there are shown in the drawings embodiments which are presently preferred. It should be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view representation of a sock according to the present invention,

FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 are schematic side view representations similar to FIG. 1 showing an operation of pulling on the sock with positioning of a protection module on a part of the foot, and

FIG. 5 is a schematic side view of a sock of the claimed invention pulled onto the foot, holding the protection module.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As shown in FIG. 1, the present invention comprises a sock 1, which classically comprises a tubular part 2 intended to cover the ankle and a front part 3 intended to cover the foot and heel. The sock 1 has the particular feature of having an opening 4 on the top of the front part 3, in a region corresponding to the top of the foot referred to as the curve.

The sock 1 is made up of an elastic material, either woven or otherwise, for example an elastane polyamide. The tubular part 2 which covers the ankle may comprise a knitted or sewn seam 5. In this case, the seam 5 is preferably arranged in line with the top of the foot, i.e., in front of the tube 2. Furthermore, the top of the front part 3 can be a knitted or sewn piece. In this case, the front part 3 may comprise a knitted or sewn seam 6, which delimits the piece. The seam 6 is preferably arranged laterally, i.e., in the zone which runs along the right edge and/or the left edge of the foot and extends over approximately one third of the front part 3 of the sock.

The opening 4 enables the front part 3 of the sock 1 to be put on by making a movement from back to front, instead of making a movement from front to back as is the case with a classic sock. The opening 4 on the curve indeed enables only the tubular part 2 of the sock to be pulled on around the ankle, by putting the foot through the opening 4, before placing the front part 3 of the sock.

One or more protection modules can then be arranged on any parts of the foot. These modules are generally slightly adhesive by nature (modules made of silicone gel) although not sufficiently to prevent them from rolling up or tearing off when a normal sock is pulled on, as stated above. They are capable of being subject to “hyper-pressure” or friction. Therefore, one begins by arranging the modules located the furthest at the back of the foot and, as these are put in, they are covered with the sock 1 while making sure (which is possible thanks to the elasticity of the fabric) that the fabric is applied perpendicularly to the foot and not tangentially.

The arrangement of the sock 1 and of a protection module 10 is shown on FIGS. 3 to 5. In FIGS. 2 and 3, the tubular part 2 is pulled on up to the ankle (with the seam outwards) by putting the foot through the opening 4. The protection module 10 is then arranged on the foot at the desired location, here below the ankle bone, and stays in place quite easily by adhesion. As shown by FIG. 4, the front part 3 is then pulled forward (arrow 11), by elasticity, thus covering the module 10, until it passes the tip of the foot. It is then turned down over the foot (arrow 12) and is released, such that the tip of the sock is put in place at the end of the foot. As represented in FIG. 5, the module 10 is then held by the sock 1, with reasonable tightening of the ankle and a reasonable tension between the back of the foot and the tip.

Thanks to the present invention, protection modules are not moved at the time of pulling on the sock and remain in place for a long time, including when playing sports.

In one alternative embodiment, one or more modules wrapped in fabric are fixed directly in the sock and are an integral part of the latter. The protection modules fitted into the sock can be arranged in a woven or non-woven material, which is knitted or sewn to the sock. The present embodiment enables, for example, a classic footpad protection (sewn protection module) to be used while enabling removable modules to be held by the sock at any other point of the foot.

The present invention is particularly advantageous for doing sports, such as walking, football, rugby, skate-board, figure skating, and certain combative sports.

Protection modules, mainly made of Epithelium 26′ silicone gel, can be placed at various zones of the foot, heel, sole, ankle bone, tendon, etc.

The present invention also enables protection modules to be held on parts of the foot which have hyperkeratosis to be resorbed (for example heels).

Those skilled in the art will note that various alternatives and embodiments of the present invention are possible, both as regards the shape of the opening 4, which can be adapted to various shapes of modules or to different morphologies of feet, and the materials used to produce the sock.

Various applications of the present invention may also be made, and the nature and the shape of the protection modules used are not limited to the examples described.

According to one advantageous application of the present invention intended for persons subject to perspiration of the feet, the protection module is a thin sheet of moisture-absorbing material, of a thickness in the order of 0.2 mm to 0.8 mm, which covers all or part of the surface of the foot. Such a thin sheet of absorbing material is, for example, made of microporous polyethylene filled with silica, for example the material available commercially under the brand name AEROSHOES®. The protection module sticks to the skin by the effect of pumping the perspiration, but slides on the fabric or on the material of the sock. Thus, the movements of the foot in the shoe do not cause any movement of the absorbing material in relation to the skin, which removes any friction between the skin and the absorbing material. Therefore, a combination of materials forming, for example, an anti-perspiration and anti-friction sock of the sole of the foot is obtained.

It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes could be made to the embodiments described above without departing from the broad inventive concept thereof. It is understood, therefore, that this invention is not limited to the particular embodiments disclosed, but it is intended to cover modifications within the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.