Title:
Rigid Shoe Insert with Raised Heel
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates generally to a shoe insert having a raised heel creating a rigid inner sole extending from the heel to the end of the arch of the foot such that any athletic shoe can be modified for use as a weight lifting shoe by inserting the shoe insert. The insert is capable of being secured into any footwear, thus eliminating the cost of specific shoes for weight lifting activities.



Inventors:
Barr, Erik (Chapel Hill, NC, US)
Application Number:
14/037416
Publication Date:
04/24/2014
Filing Date:
09/26/2013
Assignee:
BARR ERIK
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B13/38
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20080098626Healing Shoe and Decorative Strap ThereforMay, 2008Wright
20110203141SHOE LACE FLAP WITH GOLFING ACCESSORY HOLDERSAugust, 2011Phillips
20160157551ANKLE STABILITY FOOTWEARJune, 2016Goldberg
20130152428ARTICULATED SOLE STRUCTURE WITH REARWARDLY ANGLED MEDIOLATERAL MIDFOOT SIPESJune, 2013Bishop et al.
20090284001Roller ShoeNovember, 2009Lee
20160021978SELF-TAILORED INSOLEJanuary, 2016Bae et al.
20030009907Footwear having a window for visual sizingJanuary, 2003Schuver et al.
20020152640T.P.R. shoe soleOctober, 2002Wu
20030106170Footwear with finished platformJune, 2003Issler



Primary Examiner:
CARTER, CAMERON A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Erik Barr (Chapel Hill, NC, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A rigid shoe insert comprising: a raised heel; a rigid insole extending from the heel, through the arch to the beginning of the forefoot and not extending under the forefoot to a front end, the rigid insole being narrower at the arch than at the front end; a raised edge around the heel, creating a heel cup and securing the position of the heel of the wearer in the insert wherein the insert is within an article of footwear, said raised edge being wider than a base of the raised heel; and wherein the shoe insert is secure in the article of footwear, and the shoe insert is made of a rigid material.

2. The shoe insert of claim 1, wherein the insert is made in one piece.

3. The shoe insert of claim 1, wherein the percent rise from the front end to the raised is approximately 10 percent.

4. The shoe insert of claim 1, wherein at least one support strut extends from the raised heel to the insole on the under side of the shoe insert.

5. The shoe insert of claim 1, wherein the height of the raised edge is approximately half of the height of the raised heel.

6. The shoe insert of claim 1, wherein a lip extends around the circumference of the heel between the raised edge and lower portion of the raised heel.

7. A rigid shoe insert comprising: a raised heel having a raised edge extending from one side of an insole to the opposite side of said insole, said raised edge being approximately half as high, as measured from the insole to the top of the edge, as the raised heel, as measured from a base of the heel to the insole; the insole extending from the heel, through the arch to the beginning of the forefoot and not extending under the forefoot to a front end, the rigid insole being approximately 33 percent narrower at the arch than at the front end, such that the narrow area is easily placed within an athletic shoe; the raised edge around the heel, securing the heel of the wearer in the center of the insert wherein the insert is within the athletic shoe, said raised edge being wider than the raised heel; a lip extending around the circumference of the heel between the raised edge and lower portion of the raised heel; and wherein the raised heel and raised edge fit securely within the athletic shoe, the shoe insert being one piece and is made of a rigid material.

8. The shoe insert of claim 7, wherein the percent rise from the front end to the raised is approximately 10 percent.

9. The shoe insert of claim 7, wherein at least one support strut extends from the raised heel to the insole on the under side of the shoe insert.

10. The shoe insert of claim 7, wherein the height of the raised heel from the base to the insole is approximately ½ inch.

11. The shoe insert of claim 7, wherein the height of the raised edge from the insole to the top of the raised edge is approximately ¼ inch.

12. A rigid athletic shoe insert comprising: a raised heel having a raised edge extending from one side of an insole to the opposite side of said insole, said raised edge being approximately half as high, as measured from the insole to the top of the edge, as the raised heel, as measured from a base of the heel to the insole, and where the raised edge is of larger width than the raised heel; the insole extending from the heel, through the arch to the beginning of the forefoot and not extending under the forefoot to a front end, the rigid insole being approximately 33 percent narrower at the arch than at the front end, such that the narrow area is easily placed within an athletic shoe, and the wider front end secures the insert within the athletic shoe; at least one support strut extending from the raised heel to the insole under the arch of the shoe insert; a lip extending around the circumference of the heel between the raised edge and lower portion of the raised heel; the raised edge around the heel, securing the heel of the wearer in the center of the insert wherein the insert is within the athletic shoe, said raised edge being approximately 33 wider than the base of the raised heel; and wherein the raised heel and raised edge fit securely within the athletic shoe, the shoe insert being one piece and is made of a rigid material.

13. The shoe insert of claim 12, wherein the height of the raised heel from the base to the insole is approximately ½ inch.

14. The shoe insert of claim 12, wherein the height of the raised edge from the insole to the top of the raised edge is approximately ¼ inch.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION DATA

This application is a continuation in part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/037,277 filed Sep. 25, 2013, which is a non provisional application claiming benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/716,493 filed Oct. 20, 2012. Any earlier priority is entirely incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to a rigid shoe insert having a raised heel, creating a rigid inner sole extending from the heel to the end of the arch of the foot such that any athletic shoe can be modified for use as a weight lifting shoe by inserting the shoe insert. The insert is capable of being secured into any footwear, thus eliminating the cost of specific shoes for weight lifting activities.

BACKGROUND

In the past decades athletic footwear has evolved so that many, if not most, activities have their own type of footwear. This evolution has resulted in the creation of many types of footwear that are no longer exchangeable or appropriate for multiple activities. For instance, the high cushioning in a running shoe would not be helpful where the user is playing football, where the user needs more lateral support than cushioning. Even seemingly similar activities, such as baseball, basketball, and football have their own discreet footwear that is marketed as being essential for optimal performance.

Moreover, users with experience in an activity with such technical footwear are resistant to exchanging specified technical footwear for any other (i.e., a professional soccer player would not wear shoes not specifically designed for soccer in conditioning and play).

However, for those who participate in a variety of activities, the specificity of footwear is cumbersome and expensive. Persons participating in a variety activities easily accumulate shoes for each activity (i.e., running, dance, hiking, walking, tennis, etc.).

Still, others prefer to integrate multiple types of activity within a session, the benefits of which are well known. With the advent and popularity of more cross-training exercises, such as CrossFit, there is a need for an athletic shoe that allows a user to move from one activity to another in the same shoe without sacrificing comfort and efficiency.

Multiple references have addressed the need of changing the properties of the shoe for different environments. For example, in U.S. Pat. No. 8,453,345, a removable heel pad is described so that the cushioning of the heel of a shoe can be changed to adapt to the comfort of the wearer. The environment of use is contemplated for a user that wants more cushioning for wear on a hard surface, such as asphalt, or less cushioning for wear on a softer surface, such as a dirt trail or grass.

Similarly, U.S. Pat. No. 8,127,469 describes a removable heel that is color coded so that the color of the heel indicates the level of cushioning that the heel may provide. This patent describes the removable heel to be used in a variety of types of footwear including, casual, sandals, and athletic footwear. Again, the variety of heel types is provided so that the user can attain a maximum level of comfort.

These references, however, do not address the situation where a user is moving from one activity, which would traditionally require one type of footwear, to another activity, which would traditionally require another type of footwear. For instance, in CrossFit training the user engages in a mix of aerobic exercise, gymnastics, and Olympic weight training. The CrossFit program describes the strength and conditioning program as “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement” with the goal of improving fitness. (Glassman, Greg. “Understanding CrossFit” The CrossFit Journal. Retrieved Feb. 18, 2012)

The footwear required to effectively participate in the program is, thus, necessarily varied. A user participating in such conventional CrossFit activities as sprinting, rowing, jumping rope, and flipping tires, weightlifting in a ½ hour session would require multiple types of footwear (i.e., high cushioned footwear for high impact activities and rigid, stable footwear with a raised heel structure for weightlifting activities).

While references describing shoe inserts to convert traditional athletic shoes into weight lifting shoes do exist (See U.S. Pat. No. 6,041,523). Such inserts are, do not encase the heel of the user, and are not sufficiently anchored into the shoe. The strict wedge shape described in the '523 patent fails to provide effective arch support, and is comprised of a material that is a 50 on the shore scale, allowing for too much compression. Providing too much compression results in a loss of power in weight lifting. This previous reference also does not take into account the shape of the heel cup or arch of the shoe so that the insert may fit into the shoe and be sufficiently anchored to provide comfort and reduce slippage.

Other references describing wedge inserts, such as U.S. Pat. No. 7,082,700, are complex, non-rigid, and contemplated for use in high impact activities such as “running, walking, basketball, tennis, and other forms of exercise.” (see col. 4, Ins. 54-55).

Olympic weightlifting, and other forms of weight lifting require a rigid heel with an incline at the heel and descending to the ball of the foot. The heel and arch must be rigid to support the weight lifted by the user. Moreover, any movement within the heel or shoe, or compression of the heel portion of the insert, could have detrimental impact on the user's ability to perform weightlifting.

Any insert to convert a shoe to a weight lifting shoe must be rigid and firmly anchored within the shoe for efficient and appropriate use.

Thus, there is a need for a rigid shoe insert that can be received by a variety of footwear so that a user may effectively and safely perform weightlifting activities without purchasing separate footwear for the activity.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

The present invention is a rigid insert that substantially obviates the needs or problems due to the limitations and disadvantages of the related art.

Additional features and advantages of the invention will be set forth in the description which follows, and in part will be apparent from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention. The objectives and other advantages of the invention will be realized and attained by the structural properties particularly pointed out in the written description and claims, as well as the appended drawings.

To achieve these and other advantages and in accordance with the purpose of the invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, the shoe insert includes a forward or distal region, a heel region, and a mid-foot, or arch region located between the forward region and heel region. The present invention also includes a medial and lateral side.

It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not restrictive of the invention, as claimed.

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a respective view of one embodiment of the shoe insert of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a top view of an embodiment of the shoe insert of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the shoe insert of the present invention, as in one embodiment.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing the underside of the shoe insert, as in an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the front arch end of the shoe insert, as in an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the rear heel of the shoe insert, as in an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Reference will now be made in detail to the present preferred embodiments of the invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Wherever possible, the same reference characters will be used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like parts.

FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment of the shoe insert of the present invention. The insert is capable of being received by and anchored within most athletic type shoes, regardless of the shoes specific characteristics (i.e., running, walking, tennis, cross-training).

As shown in FIG. 1, the shoe insert includes an insole 102 that extends from the heel of the shoe to the end of the mid-foot or arch area 104, terminating at the base of the forward region of the foot. The insert is not contemplated to extend through the forefoot, or ball of the foot region. The insert includes a raised heel 100, and a rigid, raised, heel cup 103 to secure the heel within the shoe.

The entirety of the shoe insert of the present invention can be constructed of any rigid material such as thermoplastics, polymers, plastics, rigid rubbers, and other synthetics. Moreover, the shoe insert may be constructed from one mold, thus maximizing cost efficiency and production time as well as increasing durability. Note, that while measurements are given below for one preferred embodiment, the shoe insert may be made in a variety of sizes to accommodate for various sizes of footwear. Changes in these measurements are known to those skilled in the art and do not depart from the scope of the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows a top view of the insert, illustrating the winged shape of the insole 102. The insole 102 is narrowest at the arch point, and widest at the forward end 104. This shape mimics that of any article of footwear, including an athletic shoe, allowing the insert to securely fit within any footwear.

Specifically, the width of the shoe insert at the widest point of the base of the heel 102 is approximately 2 inches, while the width of the upper ridge portion at the widest point of the heel cup 103 is 3 inches, which provides a contoured shape that fits securely in the heel portion of any article of footwear, including an athletic shoe. The width at the end of the shoe insert 104 is approximately 3 inches. Thus, the heel 102 end is narrower than the forward end 104. The shape of the insole 102 being capable of securing within an athletic shoe. The raised arch insole 102 of the shoe insert is shaped so that the insert sufficiently fits and allows for clearance of the narrow mid-portion of athletic footwear.

The raised heel 100 of the shoe insert of the present invention is well illustrated in FIG. 3. As measured in size ratios, the raised heel is approximately ½ inch. The raised heel 100 being required for safe and efficient Olympic style weightlifting. The degree of rise from the forward end 104 to the raised heel 100 is approximately 10% as in the preferred embodiment.

The raised edge encasing the heel 103 of the raised shoe insert of the present invention is also illustrated in FIG. 3. The raised edge 103 allows the heel of the user to be secured within the insert and shoe such that the heel is not able to move from side to side during activity. This is especially advantageous in weight lifting activities. The raised ridge measures approximately ¼ inch.

The heel portion of the shoe insert of the shoe insert of the present invention includes a lip 106 that runs in between the raised 103 and lower portion of the raised heel 100 (See FIG. 3). The lip 106 extends around the circumference of the heel 100 portion of the shoe insert. The lip 106 further allows the insert to fit securely into the athletic shoe.

Also illustrated in FIG. 3, is a support strut 105, which lends integrity to the arch portion of the shoe insert as it extends from the heel 100 to the forward end 104. The support strut 105 may be a plurality of triangular shaped members between the heel 100 and insole 102, or be made of one singular member extending between the heel 100 and insole 102 under the arch portion of the insert. In another embodiment of the present invention, the arch support 105 may be unnecessary depending on the durability and materials used for constructing the shoe insert.

FIG. 4 illustrates the underside of the shoe insert from a perspective view. This illustration shows three support struts 105, as discussed above. As stated more or less support struts 105 may be used in other embodiments of the present invention. As is shown on the base of the heel 107, a plurality of indentions may exist. These indentions are the result of the molding process and are unnecessary to the proper functioning of the shoe insert. In other embodiments of the present invention, the plurality of indentions at the base of the heel 107 does not exist.

FIG. 5 shows a front view of the shoe insert. The front end 104 of the insole is pointing out, toward the viewer, and the raised edge 103 is away from the viewer. This illustration shows the raised edge 103 from another perspective. It can be seen from this view that the raised edge 103 is almost cup-like and receives the heel of the user and secures the heel in the proper position in the shoe insert within the shoe itself.

FIG. 5 also illustrates the decline from the raised heel 100 to the front end 104 of the insole. Also, the flare from the arch to the front end 104 of the insole is apparent, the widening of the front end 104 being sized to secure the shoe insert within any type of footwear.

FIG. 6 illustrates a back view of the shoe insert of the present invention. This view further shows the raised edge 103 on the heel 100 in relation to the insole 102 of the insert. Again, the heel 100 is narrower at the bottom than the raised edge 103, allowing the insert to secure into the shoe.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made in the shoe insert of the present invention without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention and that certain features of one embodiment may be used or interchangeably in other embodiments. Thus, it is intended that the present invention cover all possible combinations of the features shown in the different embodiments, as well as modifications and variations of this invention, provided they come within the scope of the claims and their equivalents. All measurements are approximate and the size of the insert will vary with the scale remaining close to the preferred embodiment described.