US 20040261289 A1
Yoga Sandal with a sole portion, an elastic foot covering portion and a rear strap portion. The sole portion is flexible, thin and has a non slip surface that makes contact with the floor., The sole portion covers the arch and ball area of the user's foot, but not the toe and heal area The elastic foot covering portion is attached to the sole portion at each side edge of the sole so that the foot covering portion fits snuggly on the top central portion of the user's foot. The strap portion is attached to the rear edge of each side of the elastic foot covering so that the strap can retain the user's foot within the sandal. The sandal can removably retain an orthotic device to provide arch support, and or metatarsal support.
1. Yoga Sandal comprising:
a sole portion;
an elastic foot covering portion;
a rear strap portion;
said sole portion being flexible, thin and having a non slip surface that makes contact with the floor;
said sole portion covering the arch and ball area of the user's foot, but not the toe and heal area;
said elastic foot covering portion being attached to said sole portion at each side edge of said sole so that said foot covering portion fits snuggly on the top central portion of the user's foot; and
said strap portion attached to the rear edge of each side of said elastic foot covering so that said strap can removably retain said user's foot within said sandal.
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 This invention relates generally to the field of sandals and more specifically to a yoga exercise sandal.
 Some types of exercise such as hatha yoga and expressive dance are done by a person while bare foot. In particular, various yoga positions that involve spread legs and arms are held for a period of time by the practitioner. It is imperative that the toes and heals of the person exercising have complete freedom of movement and contact with the floor plane. In an effort to prevent slipping many practitioners of yoga and dance use a mat that is thin yet has a high degree of stiction. In this way the practitioner can maintain a stretched stance that would otherwise be impossible without the use of a commonly used standard sticky mat. In addition, some practitioners of yoga are in need of arch or metatarsal support for optimum exercise results. Obviously, a bare foot practitioner can not wear such an orthotic device because these devices normally are inserted into the user's shoe. Therefore the postures and exercises associated with doing yoga or dance exercise is restricted to the area of the sticky mat which is a rather narrow, confining amount of space. Additionally, the person in need of arch or metitarcal support is unable to obtain such support because the type of exercises being done require bare feet. Additionally, dancers who dance barefoot suffer from wear and tear of the sole of their feet.
 The primary object of the invention is to provide a sandal that helps individuals have non slip footing while doing Yoga exercises and the like.
 Another object of the invention is to provide a sandal that can reomably retain an orthotic device.
 Another object of the invention is to provide a sandal that can be worn inside a standard shoe.
 A further object of the invention is to provide a sandal that helps the user position his or her feet in the correct direction when doing exercises and the like.
 Yet another object of the invention is to provide a sandal that is thin and light so that the user has full flexibility of his or her foot and toes.
 Still yet another object of the invention is to provide a sandal that allows the user's toes and heal to be in full contact with the floor when necessary.
 Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following descriptions, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein, by way of illustration and example, an embodiment of the present invention is disclosed.
 In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention, there is disclosed Yoga Sandal comprising: a sole portion, an elastic foot covering portion and a rear strap portion Said sole portion being flexible, thin and having a non slip surface at its bottom that makes contact with the floor. Said sole portion covering the arch and ball area of the user's foot, but not the toe and heal area. Said elastic foot covering portion being attached to said sole portion at each side edge of said sole so that said foot covering portion fits snuggly on the top central portion of the user's foot. Said strap portion attached to the rear edge of each side of said elastic foot covering so that said strap can removably retain said user's foot within said sandal.
 The drawings constitute a part of this specification and include exemplary embodiments to the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. It is to be understood that in some instances various aspects of the invention may be shown exaggerated or enlarged to facilitate an understanding of the invention.
FIG. 1 is a top view of the invention.
FIG. 2 is a side view of the invention.
FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the invention.
FIG. 4 is a rear view of the invention.
FIG. 5 is a side section view of the invention.
 Detailed descriptions of the preferred embodiment are provided herein. It is to be understood, however, that the present invention may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but rather as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed system, structure or manner.
 Referring now to FIG. 1 we see a top view of the yoga sandal of the present invention 100. The sandal fits snuggly around the central portion of the user's foot 2. The top of the sandal is comprised of a left panel 4 and a right panel 8 sewn at one edge to each other via a seam binding 6 at the top central longitudinal plane of the user's foot, and at each opposite edge to a sole portion 16 shown in FIG. 2. The seam created at the central junction between panel 4 and panel 8 is preferably a different color from the right and left panels 4, 8 so that the user can easily see the direction his or her foot is pointing. Alternately, panel 4 may be made of a different color than panel 8 so that the seam area 6 is even more pronounced. Panels 4 and 8 are preferably constructed of an elastic fabric such as spandex or the like. FIG. 2 shows a side view of the present invention 100. Notice that the elastic panels 4, 8 covers only central portion of the user's foot thereby allowing the user's toes and heal to be exposed to the floor which is a preferable location when doing hatha yoga exercises or certain creative dance exercises. FIG. 3 shows a bottom view of the present invention 100. The sole portion 16 is sewn to the foot retaining panels 4, 8 at stitched edges 20, 22. The sole portion 16 is constructed of a layer 34 of breathable material such as cotton or ultrasuade or the like and a bottom layer of non skid material such as resilient, foamed PVC, or a high stiction resilient poly urethane plastic or the like as shown in cross section view in FIG. 5. The non skid material 16 allows the user to maintain various stances and yoga positions without slipping. This feature creates a condition where the user no longer is bound to the confines of a standard yoga mat, yet the user maintains the freedom and intimate contact with the floor in the toe 2 and heal 3 area to practice the subtitle moves involved in yoga exercise. FIG. 5 also shows that the user can removably insert standard orthotic devices such as an arch support 30 and, or, a metatarsal support 32. The support devices 30, 32 have an adhesive layer on the side facing inner sole layer 34 to allow them to be removably retained in the sandal 100. These support devices 30, 32 make it easier for people with poor foot structure to practice yoga or other exercises. Additionally, because the overall configuration of the invention 100 is so thin and flexible, the user can elect to wear the entire invention 100 including orthotic support devices 30, 32 inside his or her shoe. Because the orthotic devices 30, 32 are adhered to inner sole layer 34, the user can remove and re-insert the entire yoga sandal 100 of the present invention into any pair of shoes that the user owns thereby allowing the user to use only one set of orthotic devices for a plurality of shoe styles rather than to maintain a separate set of orthotic devices for each shoe pair owned by the user.
 The above description and illustrations show that the yoga sandal of the present invention is a novel means to provide a non-slip, orthotically supported sandal while maintaining the foot's flexibility and intimate toe and heal contact with the floor.
 While the invention has been described in connection with a preferred embodiment, it is not intended to limit the scope of the invention to the particular form set forth, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.