Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20040025377 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/217,765
Publication dateFeb 12, 2004
Filing dateAug 12, 2002
Priority dateAug 12, 2002
Publication number10217765, 217765, US 2004/0025377 A1, US 2004/025377 A1, US 20040025377 A1, US 20040025377A1, US 2004025377 A1, US 2004025377A1, US-A1-20040025377, US-A1-2004025377, US2004/0025377A1, US2004/025377A1, US20040025377 A1, US20040025377A1, US2004025377 A1, US2004025377A1
InventorsKaren Brannon
Original AssigneeBrannon Karen E.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Footwear insert to prevent foot sliding
US 20040025377 A1
Abstract
The embodiment of the present invention is directed to comfortable insert that prevents a foot from slipping while remaining thin enough to be hidden when worn with open toed footwear, shoes or sandals. When used with open toed footwear, the insert prevents a person's toes from extending over a front edge of the footwear. The insert may be used for men and women's footwear, and it may be made in a variety of colors and shapes. Furthermore, the insert may be made in a variety of sizes to correspond to small, medium, and large shoe sizes. The insert may be made out of a number of different materials that provide traction to inhibit foot sliding in footwear.
Images(5)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(20)
What is claimed is:
1. An insert for providing traction inside footwear comprising:
a first end, a second end, a center, a bottom, a top, and one or more edges, with said bottom being attachable to an inside of footwear and said top having a grippable material for providing grip for a foot in contact with said top, whereby said insert is concealable and prevents the foot from substantially sliding forward.
2. An insert as in claim 1 wherein the insert is made of material selected from the group consisting of: sponge, leather, fabric, cork, foam, elastomer, and thermoplastic.
3. An insert as in claim 1 wherein the insert is made from polychloroprene.
4. An insert as in claim 1 wherein the insert is made from rubber.
5. An insert as in claim 1 further comprising an inner perimeter spaced at a minimum of about ⅛ in (3.175 mm) inwards from the edges of the insert to define a border, and wherein the border has a thickness tapering down from the inner perimeter to the edges.
6. An insert as in claim 1 wherein said insert is thickest at said center, thinnest at said edges, and has a thickness that varies between the edges and the center.
7. An insert as in claim 1 wherein the insert is shaped as an ovoid and the first end is wider than the second such that when worn, the first end is positioned on a medial side of a foot under a first metatarsal and the second end is thereby positioned near a lateral side of the foot.
8. An insert as in claim 7 wherein the insert at a widest point of the first end has a width of about 1-1.25 inches, a width at a point near the second end of about 0.75-1 inches, and a length of about 2-2.5 inches.
9. An insert as in claim 1 wherein the insert has four edges, wherein two of the four edges correspond to the first end and second end respectively and are straight edges, and two of the four edges are curved.
10. An insert as in claim 1 wherein the insert has a width of about 1.25-1.5 inches and a length of about 3-3.5 inches.
11. An insert as in claim 1 having a maximum thickness of about {fraction (1/16)} in (1.5875 mm) and a minimum thickness of about 0.5 mm (0.0197 in).
12. An insert for providing traction inside footwear comprising: a pad of non-slip material with a bottom, a top, a center, a first end, a second end, an inner perimeter, and one or more edges, with said bottom being capable of fastening to an interior of footwear, with said top inhibiting the sliding of a foot and preventing toes from extending over a front end of open toed footwear, and wherein said pad is thin enough to be hidden by a foot even when worn with open toed footwear, with said pad being thickest at the center and thinnest at the edges, with a thickness tapering from the inner perimeter to the edges.
13. An insert as in claim 12 wherein the insert is made of material selected from the group consisting of: sponge, leather, fabric, rubber, cork, foam, elastomer, and thermoplastic.
14. An insert as in claim 12 wherein the insert is made from polychloroprene.
15. An insert as in claim 12 wherein the inner perimeter is spaced at a minimum of about ⅛ in (3.175 mm) inwards from the edges of the pad to define a border, and wherein the border has a thickness tapering down from the inner perimeter to the edges.
16. An insert as in claim 12 wherein the pad is shaped as an ovoid and the first end is wider than the second end.
17. An insert as in claim 12 wherein the pad has four edges, wherein two of the four edges correspond to the first end and second end respectively and are straight edges, and two of the four edges are curved.
18. An insert as in claim 12 wherein the pad has a width of about 1.25-1.5 inches and a length of about 3-3.5 inches.
19. An insert as in claim 12 having a maximum thickness of about {fraction (1/16)} in (1.5875 mm) and a minimum thickness of about 0.5 mm (0.0197 in).
20. An insert for providing traction inside footwear comprising:
a bottom, a top, a center, a first end, a second end, one or more edges, and an inner perimeter, with said bottom being capable of fastening to an interior of footwear, with said top made of polychloroprene for inhibiting a foot from sliding,
wherein said insert is thin enough to be hidden by a foot even when worn with open toed footwear and said pad is thickest at the center and thinnest at the edges,
wherein the inner perimeter is spaced at a minimum of about ⅛ in (3.175 mm) inwards from the edges of the pad to define a border that tapers from the inner perimeter to the edges,
wherein the insert is shaped as an ovoid and the first end is wider than the second end, such that when worn, the insert is positioned horizontally across the footwear to contact a ball of a foot, with the first end on a medial side of the ball and the second end on a lateral side of the ball,
wherein a maximum thickness of said insert is about {fraction (1/16)} in (1.5875 mm) and a minimum thickness of said insert is about 0.5 mm (0.0197 in).
Description
BACKGROUND

[0001] Field of Invention

[0002] This invention relates to an insert that prevents a person's feet from slipping within footwear. Specifically, the present invention prevents slipping in open and closed toed footwear, high heeled shoes, and sandals.

[0003] Slipping may occur whenever there is inadequate support or frictional resistance for a foot inside a shoe, which may be the result of either the style or the fit of the shoe. When a person walks forward, friction between the ground and their shoes hold the shoes in place during the course of each step. Friction between the interior surfaces of a shoe and a person's foot help prevent slipping within the shoe. If the shoes do not provide sufficient support or frictional resistance for a foot, the momentum of a person's foot may not be halted until the foot has already slipped and become crammed within the front of the shoe. In addition, the foot may become uncomfortably chafed or abraded by shoe materials while it slips within the confines of the shoe. Furthermore, in an open toed shoe or sandal, the foot may not stop sliding forwards until after a person's toes are hanging over the front edge of the shoe, which exposes the toes to injury and infection by allowing them to come in contact with rough objects and debris on the ground.

[0004] For some shoes, aesthetic reasons for preventing a foot from slipping may be just as critical as the functional reasons. For example, in open toed, high heeled shoes, a foot is provided with minimal support and covering while being held at an angle that encourages a foot to slide forwards. The wearers toes may therefore not only be exposed to injury, but the extension of the wearer's toes may make the fit of the shoe appear unattractive. Slipping of a foot may make even an expensive high heeled shoe appear ill fitting, cheap, or awkwardly designed.

[0005] Similarly, men and women who wear sandals may also be concerned about the appearance of their footwear. Even if sandals do not have the inclined sole of high heeled shoes, the looser fit of a sandal also encourages foot slipping. Sandal straps and thongs may thus cause unpleasant and avoidable chafing, binding, or pinching if a foot slips within the sandal.

[0006] Some currently existing inserts may be used to prevent a foot from sliding within a shoe but only at the cost of taking up significant room within a shoe for unnecessary padding. In a closed toe shoe, thicker and wider inserts may cause the top of the foot to chafe or to make the shoe feel as though it were a size too small. Thicker and wider inserts may also create muscle fatigue by adding an obstruction that toes must grip on in order to prevent sliding. Another side effect of thicker and wider inserts may also be the creation of unsightly calluses where the foot becomes abraded by the insert or the shoe interior.

[0007] For wearers of high heeled shoes, appearance and fit are both more important and more difficult to maintain. Because the style of a high heeled shoe often requires that much of the foot be exposed, the shoe lacks sufficient material to prevent a foot from slipping. Also, because the foot is so exposed, a thick or wide shoe insert worn with the shoe will be immediately and unattractively apparent. In addition to styling problems, the design of high heeled shoes inherently make slipping more likely. A forward moving foot resting on an inclined surface is more apt to lose contact with the surface and slip forwards than a foot resting on a level surface. The problem is further aggravated by the smooth soles incorporated into many high heeled shoes.

[0008] Using a thick, wide, visible insert is also unacceptable for men and women who wear sandals. Although not normally worn with formal attire, the appearance of a sandal remains a critical part of a buyer's decision to purchase and wear the sandal. An insert that is immediately visible to others is unlikely to be used with a pair of sandals to resolve slipping issues.

[0009] For the foregoing reasons, there remains a need for an insert that prevents slipping but which is thin and narrow enough to avoid chafing within a closed or open toed shoe or sandal. In addition, there is a need for a concealable shoe insert that prevents a foot from sliding within closed and open toed footwear, high heeled shoes, or sandals.

SUMMARY

[0010] The embodiment of the present invention is directed to an insert that can prevent a foot from slipping while remaining thin enough to be hidden when worn with open toed footwear, shoes or sandals.

[0011] In order to achieve the purposes described above, an embodiment of the present invention consists of a sheet of non-skid material that has a maximum thickness near its center and a minimum thickness near its edges. In an embodiment of the present invention, there is a central region of constant thickness, and an area between the minimum and maximum thickness areas where the thickness varies. The nonskid surface helps prevent a foot from slipping, and the thinness of the sheet and its edges make it inconspicuous even in open toed shoes, sandals, and high heeled shoes.

[0012] In another embodiment of the present invention, the maximum thickness of the sheet is about {fraction (1/16)} in (1.5875 mm). In yet another embodiment, the minimum thickness of the sheet is about 0.5 mm (0.019685). In still another embodiment, there is a region of constant thickness near the edge of the sheet that is bounded between the edge of the sheet and an inner perimeter spaced at about ⅛ in (3.175 mm) inwards from the edge. In still yet another embodiment, the sheet has the shape of an ovoid, with one end being wider than the other. The present invention, in one of its embodiments, may be made of rubber, although other materials may also be used, including sponge, cork, thermoplastics, or leather. In another embodiment, the insert is made of polychloroprene.

[0013] In yet another embodiment, the insert is ovoid in shape, and the insert at the first end has a width of about 1-1.25 inches, a width at the second end of about 0.75-1 inches, and a length of about 2-2.5 inches. In still another embodiment, the insert has four edges, wherein two of the four edges correspond to the first and second end and are straight edges, and two of the four edges are curved. In another embodiment, the insert has a width of about 1.25-1.5 inches and a length of about 3-3.5 inches.

[0014] These and other embodiments of the present invention are further made apparent, in the remainder of the present document, to those of ordinary skill in the art.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] These and other features, aspects and advantages of some embodiments of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following description, appended claims and the accompanying drawings, which are not to be considered limitations in the scope of the invention, but are merely illustrative.

[0016]FIG. 1 illustrated a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention.

[0017]FIG. 2 illustrates a top view of another embodiment of the present invention.

[0018]FIG. 3 illustrates a bottom view of an embodiment of the present invention when in contact with the bottom of a wearer's foot.

[0019]FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention when inserted in an open toed heeled shoe.

[0020]FIG. 5 illustrates a perspective view of another embodiment of the present invention when inserted in an open toed footwear.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS

[0021] The description above and below and the drawings of the present document focus on one or more currently preferred embodiments of the present invention and also describe some exemplary optional features and/or alternative embodiments. The description and drawings are for the purpose of illustration and not limitation. Those of ordinary skill in the art would recognize variations, modifications, and alternatives. Such variations, modifications, and alternatives are also within the scope of the present invention. Section titles are terse and are for convenience only.

[0022] One embodiment of the present invention is an insert that provides traction inside of footwear without being noticeable even when worn with open-toed shoes. The insert may be used by men, women, and children in a variety of different kinds of footwear. It occupies a minimum of space, which helps to make it concealable as well as comfortable. By using a minimum of material, the insert provides traction without reducing the available space within a shoe, which makes it wearable even in closely fitting footwear. An example of such footwear would include high heeled shoes. When used with open toed footwear such as high heeled shoes, sandals, flip-flops, or reef shoes, the insert helps to prevent toes from extending beyond the front edge of a shoe, which may be unsightly and unsafe.

[0023] As shown in FIG. 1, one embodiment of the insert comprises a sheet of grippable material with a first end (10), a second end (15), a center (20), a bottom (25), a top (30), and one or more edges (35). The insert may come in a variety of forms, any of which may help with con fort, fit, improving traction, improving concealability, or making it easier to use. In one embodiment, the insert is thickest at the center (20) and thinnest at the edges (35). In another embodiment, the insert is further comprised of an inner perimeter (40) that defines a border (45) for the insert. This inner perimeter (40) may be spaced at an ⅛ inch or more from the edge (35) of the insert. The border (45) may also taper in thickness from the inner perimeter (40) to the edge (35). The first (10) and second ends (15) may be rounded, square, or have several corners.

[0024] In yet another embodiment, the first end (10) may be wider than the second end (15), like an ovoid shape. In using the insert as illustrated in FIG. 4, the insert is positioned inside the footwear such that the wider first end (10) is placed on the medial side of the footwear and the narrower second end (15) is placed on lateral side of the footwear. Therefore, the insert is positioned to lay horizontally across the interior of the footwear such that the ball of a person's foot contacts the insert. The first end (10) of the insert is thus positioned comfortably on the side of the footwear where the first metatarsal contacts the insert and the second end (15) is positioned comfortably on the side where the other metatarsals are located. This positioning is shown in FIG. 3, whereby first end (10) contacts the big toe side and second end (15) contacts the smaller toes side of the foot.

[0025] In other embodiments, the bottom (25) and top (30) may be, among other forms, flat, concave, convex, textured, or varying in shape. The thickness may therefore be constant or varying, and the surface may not only have ridges but it may include protrusions. The edge (35) of the sheet may be smooth, rounded, straight, curved, jagged, fringed, or it may have angled corners.

[0026] For instance, as shown in FIG. 2, in one embodiment for a male version of the insert, two sides may be straight while two sides are curved, with a width of about 1.25-1.5 inches and a length of about 3-3.5 inches. FIG. 5 further illustrates how placement of the insert is positioned in a left footed open toed footwear such as a sandal, slipper or beach shoe. Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 1, an embodiment for a female version of the insert may be egg shaped, or ovoid, and it may be about 1-1.25 inches wide at the widest part point of the insert, being the first end (10), 0.75-1 inches at a point near the second end (15), and 2-2.5 inches long. FIG. 2, illustrates placement of such an ovoid shaped insert in a left footed female's open toed heel. The shape may be purely stylistic, or it may assist with fitting the insert into a shoe while providing enough surface area to provide traction. Both male and female inserts may come in small, medium and large sizes.

[0027] For example, the women's small size fits sizes from 5 to 7, the medium fits sizes 7 to 9, and the large fits size 9 and greater. The small women's size is approximately 1 inch in width at the first end (10), about 0.75 inches at the point near the second end (15), and about 2 inches in length. The large women's size is about 1.25 inches at the first end (10), about 1 inch at the point near the second end (15), and about 2.5 inches in length. Similarly, the medium version of the male insert is about 1.25 inches wide and about 3 inches long, and it fits shoe sizes from 9 to 11. In addition, the large version is about 1.5 inches wide and about 3.5 inches long, and it fits shoe sizes 11 and larger.

[0028] In alternative embodiments, the insert may be a single continuous piece, an irregular shape, a piece with one or more holes in it, or it may be made of several pieces. Other embodiments might include a pattern of dots, strips, ridges, or panels that individually form separate pieces but which together serve the purpose of preventing foot sliding while remaining thin enough to be concealed. In various embodiments, the insert may be transparent, a solid color, patterned, or it may bear text or designs on its surface. Examples of the colors it may come in include: white, black, tan, red, or gold. The colors may be chosen to match with the interior or exterior of a shoe, or they may be chosen to match with the color of a person's clothing. When a person removes his or her footwear, the footwear remains attractive even with an insert in place because of the thin, narrow and appealing design of the insert. The insert may come with adhesive backing, or it may be made of an extremely tacky material that resists slipping, or it may be fixable by an adhesive of the user's choice.

[0029] An embodiment of the invention may be sold as a complete piece, as part of a perforated sheet with different optional sizes, or as a roll of material. In different embodiments, the shoe insert may therefore be attached with an adhesive backing, glued, or otherwise fastened to the inside of footwear.

[0030] In yet another embodiment, the maximum thickness is about {fraction (1/16)} of an inch thick, which makes the overall insert virtually unnoticeable even when worn with sandals. In another embodiment, the minimum thickness is about 0.5 mm, which makes the material at those points less noticeable, more flexible so they conform better to the surface of footwear, and yet thick enough to maintain structural integrity while resisting the stresses encountered during slip prevention.

[0031] In yet another embodiment, the central area of the insert is a constant thickness, and the border (45) thickness tapers from the inner perimeter (40) to the edge (35). While the overall insert must be thin enough to be concealed beneath a foot, the edges (35) may be tapered to improve concealability of the insert, its ability to conform to different surface shapes, its comfort and its ease of use.

[0032] Embodiments of the present invention may be made out of a variety of materials, including sponge, leather, fabric, cork, foam, elastomer, and thermoplastic. One example of a material that may be used is polychloroprene, which is commonly sold under the trademark “Neoprene”. The insert may also be made out of a natural rubber. In these embodiments, the insert is thin and flexible enough to conform to the interior of footwear, which helps avoid a noticeable separation of the insert edges (35) from the shoe. Any material that provides a grippable surface that is comfortable may be used.

[0033] Throughout the description and drawings, example embodiments are given with reference to specific configurations. It will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art that the present invention can be embodied in other specific forms. Those of ordinary skill in the art would be able to practice such other embodiments without undue experimentation. The scope of the present invention, for the purpose of the present patent document, is not limited merely to the specific example embodiments of the foregoing description, but rather is indicated by the appended claims. All changes that come within the meaning and range of equivalents within the claims are intended to be considered as being embraced within the spirit and scope of the claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7299568Sep 15, 2004Nov 27, 2007Tager Steven EOrthopedic foot devices
US7568299 *Mar 9, 2006Aug 4, 2009Denha Souhayla MShoe insert
US7814684 *May 29, 2007Oct 19, 2010Seward Stephen WShoe insole apparatus
US20120066815 *Nov 22, 2011Mar 22, 2012Catherine Elizabeth Feeman-FickCushioned sock for high heel footwear
WO2006039391A2 *Sep 29, 2005Apr 13, 2006Scott FranklinCustomized footwear and process for manufacturing such footwear
Classifications
U.S. Classification36/59.00R, 36/71
International ClassificationA43B13/22, A43B23/28, A43B17/18
Cooperative ClassificationA43B17/18, A43B23/28, A43B13/226
European ClassificationA43B13/22B2, A43B17/18, A43B23/28
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 12, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: RABOBANK INTERNATIONAL, NEW YORK
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:AGCO CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:016480/0354
Effective date: 20040105