Title:
Sole Pad
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sole pad and a sock that includes a sole pad where the sole pad can include one or more toe enclosures, one or more ball of a foot enclosures, one or more inner arch enclosures, one or more outer upper arch enclosures, one or more outer lower arch enclosures, and one or more heel enclosures. The socks can include a leg section with a sock opening leading to a sock interior; an upper sock section; a lower treading section, where the lower treading section includes a pocket formed from at least a first upper ply and an at least second lower ply; where the sole pad can be placed into the pocket of the lower treading section. The enclosures can be at least partially filled with one or more substrates selected from a group consisting of: peppercorn, lavender plant material, cinnamon plant material, eucalyptus plant material, peppermint plant material, chamomile plant material, rosemary plant material, flax seeds, lentils, rice, barley plant material, wheat plant material, cotton plant material, sand, ceramic balls, and gels.



Inventors:
Nasser, Yulena (Houston, TX, US)
Application Number:
14/693724
Publication Date:
10/27/2016
Filing Date:
04/22/2015
Assignee:
Nasser Yulena
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41B11/00; A43B7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MORAN, KATHERINE M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Yulena Nasser (Houston, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A sole pad comprising: one or more toe enclosures, one or more ball of a foot enclosures, one or more inner arch enclosures, one or more outer upper arch enclosures, one or more outer lower arch enclosures, and one or more heel enclosures.

2. The sole pad of claim 1, wherein the sole pad has one toe enclosure, one ball of a foot enclosure, one inner arch enclosures, one outer upper arch enclosures, one outer lower arch enclosures, and one or more heel enclosures.

3. The sole pad of claim 1, wherein the sole pad has five toe enclosures, one ball of a foot enclosure, one inner arch enclosure, one outer upper arch enclosure, one outer lower arch enclosure, and one or more heel enclosure.

4. The sole pad of claim 1, wherein at least one of the toe enclosures, the ball of a foot enclosures, the inner arch enclosures, the outer upper arch enclosures, the outer lower arch enclosures, or the heel enclosures is at least partially filled with a substrate selected from a group consisting of: one or more peppercorns, one or more lavender plant materials, one or more cinnamon plant materials, one or more eucalyptus plant materials, one or more peppermint plant materials, one or more chamomile plant materials, one or more rosemary plant materials, one or more flax seeds, one or more lentils, one or more rice, one or more barley plant materials, one or more wheat plant materials, one or more cotton plant materials, one or more sands, one or more ceramic balls, and one or more gels.

5. The sole pad of claim 4, wherein the sole pad the toe enclosures, the ball of a foot enclosure, the inner arch enclosure, the outer upper arch enclosure, the outer lower arch enclosure, and the heel enclosure is at least partially filled with lavender.

6. The sole pad of claim 4, wherein the sole pad the toe enclosures, the ball of a foot enclosure, the inner arch enclosure, the outer upper arch enclosure, the outer lower arch enclosure, and the heel enclosure is at least partially filled with peppercorn.

7. A sock comprising: a leg section with an opening leading to a sock interior; an upper sock section; a lower treading section, wherein the lower treading section comprises a pocket formed from at least a first upper ply and an at least second lower ply, wherein the at least second lower ply has a slit transverse to a central axis along a longer tubular dimension of the sock; and a sole pad, wherein the sole pad can be placed into the pocket of the lower treading section, and wherein the sole pad can include one or more toe enclosures, one or more ball of a foot enclosures, one or more inner arch enclosures, one or more outer upper arch enclosures, one or more outer lower arch enclosures, and one or more heel enclosures.

8. The sock of claim 7, wherein the sole pad has one toe enclosure, one ball of a foot enclosure, one inner arch enclosures, one outer upper arch enclosures, one outer lower arch enclosures, and one or more heel enclosures.

9. The sock of claim 7, wherein the sole pad has five toe enclosures, one ball of a foot enclosure, one inner arch enclosures, one outer upper arch enclosures, one outer lower arch enclosures, and one or more heel enclosures.

10. The sock of claim 7, wherein at least one of the toe enclosures, the ball of a foot enclosures, the inner arch enclosures, the outer upper arch enclosures, the outer lower arch enclosures, or the heel enclosures is at least partially filled with a substrate selected from a group consisting of: one or more peppercorns, one or more lavender plant materials, one or more cinnamon plant materials, one or more eucalyptus plant materials, one or more peppermint plant materials, one or more chamomile plant materials, one or more rosemary plant materials, one or more flax seeds, one or more lentils, one or more rice, one or more barley plant materials, one or more wheat plant materials, one or more cotton plant materials, one or more sands, one or more ceramic balls, and one or more gels.

11. The sock of claim 7, wherein the leg section, the upper sock section, the lower treading section, and the sole pad are made from one or more textile material selected from the group: cotton, wool, viscose, polyester, nylon and polypropylene, terry cloth, fleece, and microfibers.

12. The sock of claim 10, wherein the slit is located adjacent to the one or more heel enclosures of the sole pad.

13. The sock of claim 10, wherein the slit is located adjacent to the one or more inner arch enclosures and the one or more outer lower arch enclosures.

14. A sock comprising: a leg section with an opening leading to a sock interior; an upper sock section; a lower treading section, wherein the lower treading section comprises a pocket formed from at least a first upper ply and an at least second lower ply; and a sole pad, wherein the sole pad is integrally positioned into the pocket of the lower treading section, and wherein the sole pad can include one or more toe enclosures, one or more ball of a foot enclosures, one or more inner arch enclosures, one or more outer upper arch enclosures, one or more outer lower arch enclosures, and one or more heel enclosures.

15. The sock of claim 14, wherein the sole pad has one toe enclosure, one ball of a foot enclosure, one inner arch enclosures, one outer upper arch enclosures, one outer lower arch enclosures, and one or more heel enclosures.

16. The sock of claim 14, wherein the sole pad has five toe enclosures, one ball of a foot enclosure, one inner arch enclosures, one outer upper arch enclosures, one outer lower arch enclosures, and one or more heel enclosures.

17. The sock of claim 14, wherein the leg section, the upper sock section, the lower treading section, and the sole pad are made from one or more textile materials selected from the group: cotton, wool, viscose, polyester, nylon and polypropylene, terry cloth, fleece, and microfibers.

18. The sock of claim 14, wherein at least one of the toe enclosure, the ball of a foot enclosure, the arch enclosure, the upper middle enclosure, the lower middle enclosure, or the heel enclosure is at least partially filled with a substrate selected from a group consisting of: one or more peppercorns, one or more lavender plant materials, one or more cinnamon plant materials, one or more eucalyptus plant materials, one or more peppermint plant materials, one or more chamomile plant materials, one or more rosemary plant materials, one or more flax seeds, one or more lentils, one or more rice, one or more barley plant materials, one or more wheat plant materials, one or more cotton plant materials, one or more sands, one or more ceramic balls, and one or more gels.

19. The sock of claim 14, wherein the leg section, the upper sock section, the lower treading section, and the sole pad are made from one or more textile materials selected from the group: cotton, wool, viscose, polyester, nylon and polypropylene, terry cloth, fleece, and microfibers.

20. The sock of claim 15, wherein the sole pad the toe enclosures, the ball of a foot enclosure, the inner arch enclosure, the outer upper arch enclosure, the outer lower arch enclosure, and the heel enclosure is at least partially filled with lavender.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

Embodiments described herein generally relate to a sole pad and a sock including a sole pad. More particularly, such embodiments relate to a sole pad that can include one or more toe enclosures, one or more ball of a foot enclosures, one or more inner arch enclosures, one or more outer upper arch enclosures, one or more outer lower arch enclosures, and one or more heel enclosures. The enclosures can be at least partially filled with one or more substrates selected from a group consisting of: one or more peppercorns, one or more lavender plant materials, one or more cinnamon plant materials, one or more eucalyptus plant materials, one or more peppermint plant materials, one or more chamomile plant materials, one or more rosemary plant materials, one or more flax seeds, one or more lentils, one or more rice, one or more barley plant materials, one or more wheat plant materials, one or more cotton plant materials, one or more sands, one or more ceramic balls, and one or more gels.

2. Description of the Related Art

The human foot is very important in maintaining the mobility of a person. Throughout a person's life the foot is subjected to substantial stresses, which can damage the foot causing inflammation, poor circulation, and pain. For example, many people suffer from plantar fasciitis.

There are many therapeutic socks and orthopedic foot pads that are known to help relieve pain and other ailments of the foot. However, there are no socks or foot pads that can allow for therapeutic acupressure, the application of heat and cold, and the delivery of therapeutic compounds to specific regions on the sole of the foot while also being easily replaceable so that the therapeutic compounds can be readily changed with newer or different compounds.

There is a need, therefore, for new sole pads and socks including sole pads that can allow for therapeutic acupressure, the application of heat and cold, and the delivery of therapeutic compounds to specific regions on the sole of the foot.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A sole pad and a sock including a sole pad are provided. In a specific embodiment, a sole pad can include one or more toe enclosures, one or more ball of a foot enclosures, one or more inner arch enclosures, one or more outer upper arch enclosures, one or more outer lower arch enclosures, and one or more heel enclosures.

In a specific embodiment, the sole pad can have at least one of the toe enclosures, ball of a foot enclosures, arch enclosures, upper middle enclosures, lower middle enclosures, or heel enclosures at least partially filled with a substrate selected from a group consisting of: one or more peppercorns, one or more lavender plant materials, one or more cinnamon plant materials, one or more eucalyptus plant materials, one or more peppermint plant materials, one or more chamomile plant materials, one or more rosemary plant materials, one or more flax seeds, one or more lentils, one or more rice, one or more barley plant materials, one or more wheat plant materials, one or more cotton plant materials, one or more sands, one or more ceramic balls, and one or more gels.

In another specific embodiment, a sock that can include: a leg section with an opening leading to a sock interior; an upper sock section; a lower treading section, where the lower treading section can include a pocket formed from at least a first upper ply and an at least second lower ply, where the at least second lower ply has a slit transverse to a central axis along a longer tubular dimension of the sock; and a sole pad. The sole pad can be placed into the pocket of the lower treading section, and can include one or more toe enclosures, one or more ball of a foot enclosures, one or more inner arch enclosures, one or more outer upper arch enclosures, one or more outer lower arch enclosures, and one or more heel enclosures.

In a specific embodiment, a sock with the sole pad can have at least one of the toe enclosures, ball of a foot enclosures, inner arch enclosures, outer upper arch enclosures, outer lower arch enclosures, or heel enclosures at least partially filled with a substrate selected from a group consisting of: one or more peppercorns, one or more lavender plant materials, one or more cinnamon plant materials, one or more eucalyptus plant materials, one or more peppermint plant materials, one or more chamomile plant materials, one or more rosemary plant materials, one or more flax seeds, one or more lentils, one or more rice, one or more barley plant materials, one or more wheat plant materials, one or more cotton plant materials, one or more sands, one or more ceramic balls, and one or more gels.

In another specific embodiment, a sock that can include: a leg section with an opening leading to a sock interior; an upper sock section; a lower treading section, wherein the lower treading section comprises a pocket formed from at least a first upper ply and an at least second lower ply; and a sole pad, wherein the sole pad can be integrally positioned into the pocket of the lower treading section, and wherein the sole pad can include one or more toe enclosures, one or more ball of a foot enclosures, one or more inner arch enclosures, one or more outer upper arch enclosures, one or more outer lower arch enclosures, and one or more heel enclosures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

So that the manner in which the above recited features of the present invention can be understood in detail, a more particular description of the invention, briefly summarized above, can be had by reference to embodiments, some of which are illustrated in the appended drawings. It is to be noted, however, that the appended drawings illustrate only typical embodiments of this invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope, for the invention can admit to other equally effective embodiments.

FIG. 1 depicts a bottom view of an illustrative the sole pad.

FIG. 2 depicts a side view of an illustrative the sole pad.

FIG. 3 depicts a side view of an illustrative sock that includes the sole pad.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A detailed description will now be provided. Each of the appended claims defines a separate invention, which for infringement purposes is recognized as including equivalents to the various elements or limitations specified in the claims. Each of the inventions will now be described in greater detail below, including specific embodiments, versions and examples, but the inventions are not limited to these embodiments, versions or examples, which are included to enable a person having ordinary skill in the art to make and use the inventions, when the information in this patent is combined with available information and technology.

The sole pad can include one or more enclosures that are at least partially positioned beneath the parts of the sole of the user's foot. For example, the sole pad can include one or more toe enclosures, one or more ball of a foot enclosures, one or more inner arch enclosures, one or more outer upper arch enclosures, one or more outer lower arch enclosures, and one or more heel enclosures.

FIG. 1 is the bottom view of the sole pad 2. The one or more toe enclosures 4 can at least partially lie beneath the user's toes or phalanges. In an aspect, the one or more toe enclosures 4 at least partially lie beneath the 14 bones (i.e., the two in the big toe and the three in each of the other four toes) called phalanges. The one or more toe enclosures 4 can be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, or eight toe enclosures. In an example, the one or more toe enclosures 4 can be just one enclosure that at least partially lies beneath all of the user's toes or phalanges. FIG. 1 depicts just one toe enclosure 4 lying beneath all of the toes of the user. In another example, the one or more toe enclosures can be five separate toe enclosures that at least partially lie beneath each of the user's toes separately. The one or more ball of the foot enclosures 6 at least partially lie beneath the ball of the user's foot. More particularly, the one or more ball of the foot enclosures 6 at least partially lie beneath the heads of the metatarsals where the toes join the rest of the foot. The one or more ball of the foot enclosures 6 can be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, or eight ball of the foot enclosures. FIG. 1 depicts just one ball of the foot enclosure 6. The one or more inner arch enclosures 10 at least partially lie beneath the inner arch area of the foot. In an aspect, the one or more inner arch enclosures 10 at least partially lie beneath the medial arch of the user's foot. In another aspect, the one or more inner arch enclosures 10 at least partially lie beneath the calcaneus, the talus, the navicular, the three cuneiforms, and the first, second, and third metatarsals. The one or more inner arch enclosures 10 can be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, or eight inner arch enclosures. FIG. 1 depicts just one inner arch enclosures 10. The one or more outer upper arch enclosures 8 at least partially lie beneath the outer upper arch area of the foot. In an aspect, the one or more outer upper arch enclosures 8 at least partially lie beneath the lateral arch of the user's foot. In another aspect, the one or more outer upper arch enclosures 8 at least partially lie beneath the calcaneus, the cuboid, and the fourth and fifth metatarsals. The one or more outer upper arch enclosures 8 can be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, or eight outer upper arch enclosures. FIG. 1 depicts one outer arch enclosure 8. The one or more lower upper arch enclosures 12 at least partially lie beneath the lower upper arch area of the foot. In an aspect, the one or more outer lower arch enclosures 12 at least partially lie beneath the lateral arch of the user's foot. In another aspect, the one or more outer lower arch enclosures 12 at least partially lie beneath the calcaneus, the cuboid, and the fourth and fifth metatarsals. The one or more outer lower arch enclosures 12 can be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, or eight outer lower arch enclosures. The defining characteristic between the one or more outer upper arch enclosures 8 and the one or more outer lower arch enclosures 12 is that one or more outer upper arch enclosures 8 lies closer to the user's toes and the one or more outer lower arch enclosures 12 lies closer to the user's heel. In some embodiments, the one or more inner arch enclosures 10, the one or more outer upper arch enclosures 8, and the one or more lower upper arch enclosures 12 can have portions that at least partially extend across both the medial arch and the lateral arch of the user's foot. For example, FIG. 1 depicts one outer arch enclosure 8, which extends across both the lateral arch and the medial arch. Since the inner arch enclosures and the outer arch enclosures 8 can have portions that at least partially extend across both the lateral and medial arches, the defining characteristic between the outer and inner arch enclosures is whether the majority of the area for the enclosures lies beneath the medial arch or the lateral arch. An arch enclosure with the majority of its area under the medial arch is an inner arch enclosure. An arch enclosure with the majority of its area under the lateral arch is an outer arch enclosure. The one or more heel enclosures 14 at least partially lies beneath the heel of the user's foot. In an aspect, the one or more heel enclosures 14 at least partially lie beneath the calcaneus and the talus. The one or more heel enclosures 14 can be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, or eight outer heel enclosures. FIG. 1 depicts just one heel enclosure 14.

FIG. 2 is a side view of sole pad 2. The sole pad 2 can be sized and shaped to fit and contours the bottom of a user's foot. The sock 16 and the sole pad 2 can be of any the standard size ranges. For example, the sock and the sole pad can have infant's sizes from 000 to 13, children's sizes from 5 to 10, adult women's sizes 3 to 10, and adult men's sizes 6 to 14. The one or more toe enclosures 4, the one or more a ball of a foot enclosures 6, the one or more inner arch enclosures 10, the one or more outer arch enclosures 8, and the one or more heel enclosures 14 can be at least partially filled with a substrate to give the enclosures a thickness from a low of about 1 mm, about 5 mm, about 10 mm, or about 15 mm to a high about 30 mm, about 40 mm, about 50 mm, or about 60 mm. For example, the sole pad can have a thickness from about 1 mm to about 5 mm, about 2 mm to about 7 mm, about 5 mm to about 10 mm, about 8 mm to about 15 mm, about 12 mm to about 25 mm, about 15 mm to about 30 mm, about 20 mm to about 40 mm, about 30 mm to about 50 mm, about 35 mm to about 60 mm, about 40 mm to about 50 mm, about 40 mm to about 60 mm, or about 50 mm to about 60 mm.

With reference to the figures, FIG. 3 depicts a side view of an illustrative sock 16 containing the sole pad 2, which can be used for the envelopment of a user's lower leg, ankle and foot. According to some embodiments, the sock 16 can include, but is not limited to, a leg section 18 that encompasses at least a portion of the user's leg and ankle, an upper sock section 26 that encompasses the user's foot, a lower treading section 30 with a pocket 36, and a sole pad 2 that can be inserted into the pocket of the lower treading section.

The leg section 18 has tubular dimension and includes an opening 20 leading to a sock interior (not pictured). The leg section 18 can be elastic and flexible. The leg section 18 can include a cuff 22. The leg section 18 can include elastic 24 to help maintain the sock 16 in place around the user's leg. The leg section 18 lies adjacent to the upper sock section 26. The upper sock section has tubular dimension and is in communication the leg section 18. The leg section 18 and the upper sock section 26 can be made separately and sewn together or can be integrally formed, for example, during the knitting process of the sock. The upper sock section 26 and the leg section 18 can be formed by one or more seams 28. The upper sock section can be closed at an end with one or more seams at or near where the user's toes would be located.

The upper sock section 26 lies adjacent and above a lower treading section 30. The lower treading section 30 is made of at least two-plies of textile material. The at least two-plies of textile material has an at least upper ply 32 made of at least one ply of textile material and an at least lower ply 34 made of at least one ply of textile material. The at least upper ply 32 can be 2-ply, 3-ply, 4-ply, 5-ply, 6-ply, 7-ply, or 8-ply of textile material. The at least lower ply 34 can be 2-ply, 3-ply, 4-ply, 5-ply, 6-ply, 7-ply, or 8-ply of textile material.

A pocket 36 is formed between the upper ply 32 and the lower ply 34. A sole pad 2 can be placed into the pocket 36. For example, the lower treading section 30 can be formed from exactly two plies, i.e., the upper ply 32 and the lower ply 34, where the upper ply 32 lies adjacent and touches the sole of the user's foot and the lower ply 34 comes into contact with the ground when the user is walking, and where a pocket 36 formed by the space between the two plies that can contains a sole pad.

In a specific embodiment, the sock 16 can have in at least one of the plies of the lower treading section a slit 38 transverse to the central axis along the longer tubular dimension of the sock. The slit 38 allows for the insertion of the sole pad in the pocket between the at least two-plies of textile material of the treading section. The slit 38 can be in the upper ply 32. If the slit 38 is in the upper ply 38, the sock to be turned inside out to aid in insertion of the sole pad 2. The slit 38 can also be in the lower ply 34 of the treading section 30. If the slit 38 is in the lower ply 32, the sock 16 does not need to be turned inside out to aid in inserting of the sole pad.

In another specific embodiment, the sock 16 does not include a slit 38 and the sole pad 2 is integrally positioned into the pocket of the lower treading section during the manufacturing of the sock 16. In this embodiment, because there is no slit 38, the sole pad 2 is not replaceable.

The upper sock section 26 and the treading section 30 can be made separately and sewn together or can be integrally formed, for example, during the knitting process of the sock. The upper sock section 26 and the treading section 30 can be formed by one or more seams.

The sock 16 can be manufactured using any of the well-known methods and machines for making conventional socks, such as circular knitting machines. In one embodiment, a conventional sock can be used for constructing the sock 16. For example, a conventional sock can include a leg section 18, an upper sock section 26, and one ply of the lower treading section 32. The at least a second lower ply 34 of the treading section can be attached (sewn) to form the pocket for the sole pad.

The leg section 18, the upper sock section 26, the lower treading section 30, and the sole pad 2 can be made of one or more textile materials. For example, the one or more textile materials can include, but is not limited to: natural yarns, such as cotton and wool yarns, man-made yarns, such as viscose, polyester, nylon and polypropylene. In another example, the one or more textile materials can include terry cloth, fleece, and microfibers are made from polyesters, polyamides (e.g., nylon, Kevlar, Nomex, trogamide), or a combination of polyester, polyamide, and polypropylene. The one or more textile materials can be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, or eight kinds of textile materials. The one or more textile materials can include textile materials in any combinations or weight ratios.

The sole pad 2 can be made out of a polyethylene and ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA). In a specific embodiment, the sole pad 2 can be a minimum of 0.0055 mil polyethylene plastic bag with a minimum of 4 wt % EVA. The EVA can enhance the following bag characteristics: strength, heat diffusion, watertightness, and suitability for both hot and cold applications.

The leg section 18, the upper sock section 26, the lower treading section 30, and the sole pad 2 can be characterized by having the same or different properties such as elasticity, strength, softness, isolation, friction, density, thickness, liquid (such as sweat) absorption, shock absorption, knitting types (such as plain knitting, terry knitting or any other knitting type), material compositions, yarn count (such as yarn thickness), yarn physical properties (such as elasticity, strength or any other property), or any combination thereof.

The one or more toe enclosures 4, the one or more a ball of a foot enclosures 6, the one or more inner arch enclosures 10, the one or more outer arch enclosures 8, and the one or more heel enclosures 14 can be at least partially filled with one or more substrates. The substrates can include, but are not limited to: one or more peppercorns, one or more lavender plant material, one or more cinnamon plant material, one or more eucalyptus, one or more peppermint plant materials, one or more chamomile plant materials, one or more rosemary plant materials, one or more flax seeds, one or more lentils, one or more rice, one or more barley plant materials, one or more wheat plant materials, one or more cotton plant materials, one or more sands, one or more ceramic balls, and one or more gels.

The one or more peppercorns that can be used in the sole pad 2 can include, but is not limited to, peppercorns harvested from plants in the Piperaceae family, including the genera Piper and Peperomia. For example, the peppercorns can be harvested from a black pepper plant, such as Piper nigrum. The peppercorn can be the fruit of the plant. The peppercorn can be dried and/or ground. Dried and ground peppercorn from the Piper nigrum plant is the common spice black pepper often used in cooking. Extracts from the peppercorn can also be used in the sole pad 2. Peppercorns harvested from plants in the Piperaceae family can have the chemical compounds piperine and chavicine. Piperine has been found to act as a thermogenic compound, promoting the thermogenesis of lipids and accelerating the metabolism in the body. Piperine has also been found to increase serotonin and beta-endorphin production in the brain. Extracts from peppercorn have been found to have antioxidant properties and anti-carcinogenic effects. The one or more peppercorns can be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, or eight kinds of peppercorns.

The one or more lavender plant materials can include, but is not limited to: stems, leaves, seeds, roots, flower buds, calyxes, corollas, and flower heads. The lavender can be from the herbaceous shrub of the genus Lavandula, a member of the Mint family, which is known for its fernlike leaves and purple flowers. The lavender that can be used in the sole pad 2 can include, but is not limited to: Spanish, Kew Red Spanish, Yellow, Sweet, French, Allardii, Goodwin Creek Gray, Pinnata, and Woolly Lavender. The lavender can be native to the Mediterranean countries such as Italy, Spain, North Africa, Switzerland, and France. The various lavenders have different fragrance, size, color, texture, and flower heads. Spanish lavender has showy, richly colored bracts extending from the top of the flower head, which like all lavender, is made up of calyxes with tiny blossoms (corollas). The less showy pale mauve bracts of French lavender protrude only slightly above the flower head, and are cupped together more like praying hands.

The lavender can be cut and/or dried before being used in the sole pad 2. For example, the lavender can be harvested in bloom or at the end of the blooming season. The stalks with flower heads can be tied in bundles of from 30 to several hundred, then dried. Drying modes include air drying, oven drying, microwave drying, and freeze-drying. The most common process involves hanging bundles to dry in an inverted position in curing sheds or other facilities. The drying period ranges from several weeks to months, depending on the variety and the use, and the specific drying regimen, including heat and humidity. The dried bundles of lavender can be processed to remove the dried flower buds (corollas/calyxes) wherein the fragrance-containing essential oils are concentrated. The dried buds can be cut or snapped off the stems, and residual bracts, leaves and petals can be shaken out, with the buds being collected. The one or more lavender plant materials can be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, or eight.

The one or more cinnamon plant materials can include, but is not limited to: stems, leaves, seeds, roots, bark, branches, fruit, and flowers. The one or more cinnamon plant materials can be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, or eight. The cinnamon plant can be from the species cinnamonum. The cinnamon plant can include, but is not limited to: Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Cinnamomum mairei, Cinnamomum burmannii, Cinnamomum verum, Cinnamomum aromaticum, and Cinnamomum cassia. The cinnamon can be a small evergreen tree 10-15 meters tall that is native to many countries, such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Inda, and Burma. The leaves of the cinnamon plant can be petiolate and leathery when mature, with a shiny green upper side and lighter underside. The leaves of the cinnamon plant can smell spicy and have a hot taste. The fruit of the cinnamon plant can be an oval berry. The fruit can be bluish when ripe with white spots on it, and with a terebine smell.

Cinnamon has been used in traditional Eastern and Western medicines for many years. According to Eastern traditions, cinnamon may be effective for chest and abdominal pain, diarrhea due to asthenia, and hypofunction of the kidney. In the West, cinnamon is used for loss of appetite and mild spasms of the gastrointestinal tract, bloating, and flatulence. More recently, scientific evidence has supported the use of cinnamon for type 2 diabetes (NIDDM-non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus), anti-oxidant activity, anti-platelet adhesive activity, anti-inflammatory activity, anti-bacterial and fungal activity, and enhancement of brain function. See Khan A et al. Diabetes Care 26:3215-3218, 2003; Anderson R A et al. J Agric Food Chem 52:65-70, 2004; Jarville-Taylor et al. J Am Coll Nutri 20:327-336, 2001; Qin R et al. Horm Metab Res 36:119-123, 2004; Vespohl E J et al. Phytother Res 19:203-206, 2005; Lee S H et al Biochem Pharmacol 69:791-9, 2005; Chericoni S et al. J Agric Food Chem 53:4762-4765, 2005; Lin C C et al. Phytother Res 17:7260730, 2003; Jayaprakasha G K et al. J Agric Food Chem 51:4344-4348, 2003; Huss U et al. J Nat Prod 65:1517-21, 2002; Nagai H et al. Jpn J Pharmacol 32:813-822, 1982; Su M J et al. J Biomed Sci 6:376-386, 1999; Shimada Y et al. Phytomed 11:404-410, 2004; Taher M et al. Med J Malayia 59B:97-98, 2004; Kamath J V et al. Phytother Res 17:970-972, 2003; Kurokawa M et al. Eur J Pharmacol 348:45-51, 1998; Simic A et al. Phytother Res 18:713-717, 2004; Tabak M et al. J Ethnopharmacol 67:269-277, 1999; Kong L D et al. J Ethnopharmacol 73:199-207, 2000; Kwon B M et al. Arch Pharm Res 21:147-152, 1998; Ka H et al. Cancer Lett 196:143-152, 2003.

Cinnamon plant materials may have antimicrobial properties, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Cinnamon may also aid control of the blood sugar levels, which may aid in the treatment of diabetes and high cholesterol. Cinnamon may be useful in treating Alzheimer's, melanoma, and HIV. The medicinal part of cinnamonum species can be the dried bark, separated from the cork and the underlying parenchyma, of young branches.

The one or more eucalyptus plant materials can include, but is not limited to: stems, leaves, seeds, roots, bark, branches, fruit, and flowers. The one or more eucalyptus plant materials can be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, or eight. The eucalyptus plant can be from the species Eucalyptus. The eucalyptus plant that can be used in the sole pad 2 can include, but is not limited to: Eucalyptus robsta and Eucalyptus citriodora. Eucalyptus may exhibit pharmaceutical effects on cold syndromes, diarrhea, enteritis, asthma, and, rhinitis. The eucalyptus leaves can cause a sensation of coolness, and can be used in medicine for a nasal catarrh and bronchial catarrh. Eucalyptus may have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The eucalyptus can be cut fresh, dried, dyed, and preserved to retain its color and fragrance.

The one or more peppermint plant materials can include, but is not limited to: stems, leaves, seeds, roots, bark, branches, fruit, and flowers. The one or more peppermint plant materials can be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, or eight. The peppermint plant can be from the genus Mentha. The peppermint plant that can be used in the sole pad 2 can include, but is not limited to, Mentha piperita. Peppermint has a long tradition of use in folk medicine and aromatherapy. Peppermint may soothe or treat symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, indigestion, irritable bowel, and bloating.

The one or more peppermint plant materials can include peppermint plant extract, such as peppermint oil. According to the German Commission E monographs, peppermint oil (as well as peppermint leaf) has been used internally as an antispasmodic (upper gastrointestinal tract and bile ducts) and to treat irritable bowel syndrome, catarrh of the respiratory tract, and inflammation of the oral mucosa. Externally, peppermint oil has been used for muscle pain and nerve pain. According to Commission E, peppermint oil may also act as a carminative, cholagogue, antibacterial, and secretolytic, and it has a cooling action.

The one or more chamomile plant materials can include, but is not limited to: stems, leaves, seeds, roots, bark, branches, fruit, and flowers. The one or more chamomile plant materials can be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, or eight. The chamomile plant can be from the family Asteraceae. The chamomile plant that can be used in the sole pad 2 can include, but is not limited to: Matricaria recutita, Chamomilla chamomilla, Chamomilla recutita, Matricaria chamomilla, and Matricaria suaveolens. Chamomiles are plants that originate in Europe and are among the oldest herbs that have been used since antiquity. The annual German chamomile, the perennial Roman chamomile, etc., are known among chamomiles, and any of these may be used in this invention. The one or more chamomile plant materials can be an extract. The extract can be derived from the whole plant or from the flower. Extracts may be suitable for the synchronization and the S-phase arrest of abnormal proliferative mammalian cells, especially of cancer cells.

The one or more rosemary plant materials can include, but is not limited to: stems, leaves, seeds, roots, bark, branches, fruit, and flowers. The one or more rosemary plant materials can be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, or eight. The rosemary plant can be from the genus Rosmarinus. The rosemary plant can be used in the sole pad 2 can include, but is not limited to, Rosmarinus officinalis and Rosmarinus eriocalyx. Rosemary can have a strong and pleasant cineolic aroma. For example, rosemary leaves can have an agreeable aromatic odor and camphoraceous taste. The one or more rosemary plant materials can be an extract. For example, rosemary leaves can yield volatile compounds, such as rosemarinic acid, rosamarinol, and rosemaridiphenol. Rosemary may have antioxidant effects.

The one or more flax seeds can include, but is not limited to, the varieties of brown yellow. The one or more flax seeds can be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, or eight kinds of flax seeds. Flax seeds can be flat, oval and pointed at one end. Flax seeds contain a seed coating, an embryo comprising two large, flattened cotyledons, a short hypocotyl and a radical. The seed coating is formed from the ovule and has five layers, two of which are the most important. These two layers consist of the epidermal layer, commonly called the mucilage layer, and the testa which consists of pigmented cells which determine the seed's coloring. The one or more flax seeds can be an extract, such as flaxseed oil and linseed oil. The oil can be separated by pressing or extracting it from the whole grain. The one or more flax seeds can be full fat milled seeds defined as the product milled by any suitable milling process including grinding and impact techniques where the whole seed is milled without any prior extraction of oil or other components. The one or more flax seeds can be defatted flax meal defined as flax meal made from flax seed from which the oil has been extracted therefrom.

Flax seeds may exhibit broad biological activities, including antitumor, antioxidant, antiviral and estrogenic and antiestrogenic activities. Flax seeds may reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. Flax may also lessen the severity of diabetes by stabilizing blood-sugar levels.

The one or more lentils can include the seeds and/or pulse from the plant Lens culinaris. The one or more lentils can be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, or eight kinds of lentils. The one or more lentils can include, but is not limited to, Brown pardina, Spanish pardina, French green lentils, puy, Green, Black, beluga, Yellow, tan, Red Chief, Eston Green, Richlea, Laird, Petite Golden, Masoor, Petite crimson, Macachiados, CDC Richlea, CDC Gold, CDC Royale, CDC Matador, CDC Milestone, CDC Vintage, and CDC Glamis.

The lentils can be whole lentils, dehulled lentils, lentils milling by-product, an extraction. The lentils can be subjected to physical or chemical means which facilitate subsequent solubilization of protein, for example, grinding or otherwise reducing the size of the whole lentils to facilitate extraction of protein therefrom.

The one or more rice can include, but is not limited to, the seeds of the grass species Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or Oryza glaberrima (African rice). The one or more rice can be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, or eight kinds of rice. The rice can be whole rice seeds, dehulled rice seeds, milled rice seeds, or a rice extraction.

The one or more barley plant materials can include, but is not limited to: stems, leaves, roots, seeds, flower buds, calyxes, corollas, and flower heads. The one or more barley plant materials can be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, or eight. The barley plant can be from the species Hordeum vulgare. The barley can be processed by blocking (dehulling), pearling, flaking, and/or milling. A barley extract can be used. Barley contains beta-glucans, B-complex vitamins, vitamin E, tocopherols, and tocotrienols. Barley may reduce cholesterol and regulate blood glucose levels.

The one or more wheat materials can include, but is not limited to: stems, leaves, roots, seeds, flower buds, grain, calyxes, corollas, and flower heads. The one or more wheat plant materials can be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, or eight. The wheat plant can include, but is not limited to: Common Wheat, Triticum vulgare, Durum Wheat, Triticum durum, Club Wheat, Triticum Compactum. A wheat grain can include an outer bran layer, an inner endosperm, and an inner germ. The wheat can be milled, unmilled, or otherwise processed by known methods of processing wheat grain into its constituent parts, e.g., by milling and separation methods. For example, a wheat material may be a very coarse material such as wheat grain in the form of cleaned, mill-quality or sprouting wheat grain. The one or more wheat materials can be an extract.

The one or more cotton plant materials can include, but is not limited to: stems, leaves, roots, seeds, flower buds, grain, calyxes, corollas, and flower heads. The one or more cotton plant materials can be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, or eight. The cotton plant can include plants of the genus Gossypium in the family of Malvaceae. For example, the cotton plant can be Gossypium hirsutum, American Upland cotton, Gossypium barbadense, Pima cotton, Gossypium harbadense, Gossypium arhoreum, Gossypium anomalum, Gossypium armourianum, Gossypium klotzchianum, Gossypium herhaceum, and Gossypium raimondii. The one or more cotton plant materials can be processed using any conventional techniques. The one or more cotton plant materials can be an extract.

The one or more sands can include naturally occurring granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles. The composition of the one or more sands can include, but is not limited to, silicon dioxide, quartz, calcium carbonate, gypsum, magnetite, chlorite, glauconite, and feldspar. The one or more sands can be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, or eight kinds of sand. The sand particles range in diameter from a low of about 0.0625 mm to a high of about 2 mm.

The ceramic balls can be made from high alumina, alumina mullite, chromium corundum mullite or other ceramic materials. The diameter of the ceramic balls can be from a low of about 1 mm, about 2 mm, about 3 mm, or about 4 mm, to a high of about 10 mm, about 20 mm, about 35 mm, or about 50 mm. For example, The diameter of the ceramic balls can be from about 1 mm to about 5 mm, about 2 mm to about 7 mm, about 5 mm to about 10 mm, about 8 mm to about 15 mm, about 12 mm to about 25 mm, about 15 mm to about 30 mm, about 20 mm to about 40 mm, about 30 mm to about 50 mm, about 35 mm to about 60 mm, or about 40 mm to about 50 mm.

The composition of the gel can include, but is not limited to: water, propylene glycol and a superabsorbent polymer. The water can be of any suitable type, such as tap water or distilled water. The values given herein below are with regard to tap water, but other water can be used (e.g., purified, distilled, or de-ionized). The type of water used will likely affect the ratios of the other constituents.

The gel contained inside the sole pad 2 can be responsive to external heating or cooling that is applied to the sole pad 2. For example, the sole pad 2 can be heated in a microwave oven in one or more intervals of about twenty seconds each until a desired temperature is reached. Another example, the sole pad 2 can be heated by running hot tap water over it for from one to twenty minutes. For cooling, the sole pad 2 can be left in a conventional residential refrigerator and/or freezer until ready for use.

Despite being heated or cooled, the gel remains in a gel-like state whereby it provides cushioning means to the temperature pack even when heated or cooled. This cushioning can be used for the benefit of the foot to which the sole pad 2 is applied in the hot and/or cold therapy.

The propylene glycol can provide the flexibility that facilitates the cushioning effect of the gel even when cooled. The propylene glycol can be commercial grade; one supplier of this is Harcros Chemicals Inc. of Kansas City, Kans. Propylene glycol can include 1,2 propanediol; propanediol-1,2; and 1,2-dihydroxypropane.

In an embodiment, the water and propylene glycol are mixed in a ratio of about 13:3 by volume of water to propylene glycol. This mixture is then combined with the superabsorbent polymer in the ratio of about 192:1 by volume of mixture to polymer. This 192:1 ratio specifically applies to the aforementioned brand of crosslinked homopolymer of partially neutralized acrylic acid.

The superabsorbent polymer can include a crosslinked homopolymer of partially neutralized acrylic acid. One particular product that provides this is FAVOR® 210 from Stockhausen, Inc. of Greensboro, N.C. This is a crosslinked homopolymer of partially neutralized acrylic acid, some versions of which may contain a polyalcohol. Neutralization is accomplished with a sodium hydroxide solution. In its dry form, this particular product is a granular powder of crystalline structure. Upon swelling with water, it yields a gel-like suspension. The uptake of water is facilitated by the negative carboxylic groups of the polymer and their hydration with water molecules. The negative carboxylic groups give this brand of polymers a high negative surface charge. Due to its crosslinking, this brand of polymer is essentially insoluble in water. However, incomplete crosslinking results in small amounts of “water extracts” that can be leached out of the polymer matrix by water. High salt concentrations lead to reduced swelling capacity during gel formation and hence to smaller amounts of water extracts. Bivalent and trivalent cations can quickly exchange the sodium and bind themselves to the polymer via the negative carboxylic groups. This leads to shrinkage of the gel, which then becomes inert. Another supplier of a suitable superabsorbent polymer is Nalco Chemical Company of Naperville, Ill.

The one or more toe enclosures 4, the one or more a ball of a foot enclosures 6, the one or more inner arch enclosures 10, the one or more outer arch enclosures 8, and the one or more heel enclosures 14 can be at least partially filled with a substrate in the amount from a low of about 1 mg, about 10 mg, about 1 g, or about 5 g to a high about 25 g, about 50 g, about 100 g, or about 200 g. For example, the sole pad can have a thickness from about 1 mg to about 5 mg, about 4 mg to about 20 mg, about 18 mg to about 30 mg, about 29 mg to about 50 mg, about 49 mg to about 100 mg, about 90 mg to about 150 mg, about 145 mg to about 220 mg, about 219 mg to about 500 mg, about 475 mg to about 800 mg, about 750 mg to about 900 mg, about 50 mg to about 1 g, about 1 g to about 5 g, about 4 g to about 15 g, about 14 g to about 30 g, about 28 g to about 50 g, about 48 g to about 100 g, about 75 g to about 150 g, or about 147 g to about 200 g.

With reference to FIGS. 1-3, the operation of the sock 16 will now be discussed. When the user desires to use the sock 16, the user can insert the sole pad 2 through the slit 38 and into the pocket of the treading section 36. The sole pad 2 can be slid into the interior of the pocket. The user's foot can then be inserted into the opening 20 of the leg section 18 and into the interior of the sock. The pocket of treading section 30 and the force of the user's foot can hold the sole pad 2 in place within the sock 16. The sock 16 can be worn with or without shoes. The user can remove the sole pad 2 as desired to replace with another a sole pad 2 or to clean separately.

The sock 16 and/or sole pad 2 can provide for comfort, therapeutic acupressure, the application of heat and cold, and the delivery of therapeutic compounds for the ailments of the foot. The sock 16 and/or sole pad 2 can target the pressure points on the human foot according to reflexology. The sock 16 and/or the sole pad 2 can be used at ambient temperature or the sock 16 and/or the sole pad 2 can be heated or cooled to stimulate the sensory receptors and help relieve discomfort. The sock 16 and/or the sole pad 2 can be heated or cooled together or separately. The sock 16 and/or the sole pad 2 can be heated by any means. For example, the sock 16 and/or the sole pad 2 can be heated by microwave irradiation or convection oven. The sock 16 and/or the sole pad 2 can be cooled by any means. For example, the sock 16 and/or the sole pad 2 can be cooled by placing in a conventional refrigerator or freezer.

The socks 16 and/or a sole pad 2 can be heated or cooled to a temperature from a low of about −20° C., about −10° C., about 0° C., about 10° C. or about 20° C. to a high of about 30° C., about 40° C., about 50° C., about 60° C., or about 70° C. For example, the socks 16 and/or a sole pad 2 can be heated or cooled to a temperature of about −18° C. to about −2° C., about −18° C. to about −2° C., about −2° C. to about 9° C., about 8° C. to about 15° C., about 14° C. to about 25° C., about 24° C. to about 35° C., about 34° C. to about 45° C., or about 44° C. to about 68° C.

While the present invention is described herein with reference to illustrative embodiments for particular applications, it should be understood that the invention is not limited thereto. Those having ordinary skill in the art and access to the teachings provided herein will recognize additional modifications, applications, and embodiments within the scope thereof and additional fields in which the present invention would be of significant utility. It is therefore intended by the appended claims to cover any and all such applications, modifications and embodiments within the scope of the present invention.

Certain embodiments and features have been described using a set of numerical upper limits and a set of numerical lower limits. It should be appreciated that ranges including the combination of any two values, e.g., the combination of any lower value with any upper value, the combination of any two lower values, and/or the combination of any two upper values are contemplated unless otherwise indicated. Certain lower limits, upper limits and ranges appear in one or more claims below. All numerical values are “about” or “approximately” the indicated value, and take into account experimental error and variations that would be expected by a person having ordinary skill in the art.

Various terms have been defined above. To the extent a term used in a claim is not defined above, it should be given the broadest definition persons in the pertinent art have given that term as reflected in at least one printed publication or issued patent. Furthermore, all patents, test procedures, and other documents cited in this application are fully incorporated by reference to the extent such disclosure is not inconsistent with this application and for all jurisdictions in which such incorporation is permitted.





 
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