US 20080073229 A1
An insole for a shoe providing information fields for identifying the wearer of the shoe. The insole may have pre-printed information fields providing spaces for a person to provide information identifying the wearer of the shoe, as well as pertinent medical and contact information. The insole is provided in a preselected shape and size so that it removably and snugly fits within a shoe of a given standard shoe size. In one embodiment, design features may be added to the insole. A package containing one or more insoles with such information fields may also be provided, and may have a label indicating the standard shoe size corresponding to the size and shape of the insole.
1. An insert for a shoe comprising:
an insole having a top surface, wherein said insole is of a selected shape and size and wherein the top surface of said insole comprises information fields for providing information identifying a person.
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6. A package comprising:
at least one insole having a top surface and a bottom surface, wherein said insole is of a selected shape and size and wherein a surface of said insole comprises information fields for providing information identifying a person;
a permanent marker; and
a label indicating a standard shoe size to which said insole corresponds.
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14. A method of identifying a person, comprising:
providing an insole having a top surface comprising information fields thereon, wherein the information fields include spaces for identifying information for a person;
adding identifying information for a person in the information fields of said insole; and
placing said insole within a shoe worn by the person.
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This invention relates to shoe inserts which can identify the wearer and/or provide useful information about the wearer or owner of the shoe, such as medical information, and to articles and apparatus which are useful in connection with such inserts.
The problem of identifying someone who is unable to speak or provide their name or other important information has been around for many years. In particular, a number of attempts have been made to provide means for identifying persons such as children. In addition, the problem of providing convenient means to identify adults who may be injured or become unconscious while running or jogging and not carrying any identification has been around for a number of years. Such problems can occur in any number of situations, such as when a young child is lost. In addition, such problems can arise when a natural disaster overwhelms a region, such as the case with when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and other areas in 2005.
In the past, various attempts have been made to provide means for identifying a person wearing a shoe. For example, in U.S. Pat. No. 4,254,566, issued to Haskell on Mar. 10, 1981, a foldable sheet is provided which can be secured via the shoelaces on an athletic shoe. Identifying information, such as the wearer's name, as well as pertinent medical information, can be placed onto the sheet. Similarly, U.S. Pat. No. 6,684,543, issued to Fernau on Feb. 3, 2004, discloses a shoe-mounted identification assembly which loops around shoelaces or the shoe tongue. For athletic and other shoes which do not have either shoelaces or a tongue, such conventional identification assemblies are not easily adapted for use. Still another conventional approach is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 6,701,589, issued to Kliewer on Mar. 9, 2004. In Kliewer, a shoe fastener is disclosed as an alternative to shoelaces, in which the fastener can be used with shoes in place of the laces. Kliewer also discloses that identification tags can be used with such fasteners. Nonetheless, the fasteners shown in Kliewer are not easily adapted for use with shoes which do not have openings or eyes for shoelaces (or other fasteners). Yet another approach is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,897,947, issued on Feb. 6, 1990, to Kass-Pious, in which a hinged carrier member is provided that can contain identifying information about the wearer, and which can be fastened to the shoe by placing the shoelaces or VELCO fastening strips through a base of the carrier.
Besides attempts to provide wearer identification assemblies attached via shoelaces or other fasteners, conventional approaches include providing identifying sheets in other locations of shoes. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,610,102, issued Sep. 9, 1986 to Hill, discloses a label that is located under a flap of VELCRO on the outside of a shoe heel. In U.S. Pat. No. 4,863,195, issued to Capozzola on Sep. 5, 1989, and U.S. Pat. No. 5,312,136, issued to Capozzola on May 17, 1994, an identification tag is disclosed which can be located inside a shoe, such as in the shoe heel area or the inside sole of the shoe.
Still another approach is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,494,431, issued on Feb. 27, 1996 to Telfer. In Telfer, a device is disclosed for emblazoning identifying indicia onto the soles of a shoe. As noted in Hill, U.S. Pat. No. 4,610,102 (described above), however, labeling on any part of the shoe which comes into contact with the ground is subject to removal or abrasion due to the contact of the shoe with the ground. In addition, labeling on parts of the shoe which come into contact with water, mud, sweat, or the like may wear off.
Shoe inserts and cushions are conventional. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,253,601, issued on May 31, 1966 to Scholl, discloses a foot cushion which can be placed inside a shoe and which conforms to the shape of the user's foot. Similarly, U.S. Pat. No. 4,642,912, issued Feb. 17, 1987 to Wildman et al., discloses a shoe insole which can be placed inside a shoe and which has multiple layers having specific compressive strength properties. Still other approaches to shoe insoles are shown in U.S. Pat. No. Des. 302,624, issued on Aug. 8, 1989, to Thompson et al., and Des. 288,621, issued on Mar. 10, 1987 to Surpuriya, which disclose different designs for shoe insoles. The use of foam or sponge rubber to form insoles is conventional. More recently, the use of gel insoles which contain a movable fluid or are made of a viscoelastic gel have been used. Such gel insoles may have a cloth layer attached thereto, such as by an adhesive. As described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,598,321, issued to Crane et al. on Jul. 29, 2003, a gel insole may be made of various materials, including styrene-olefin-rubber block copolymers, thermoplastic polyurethanes, thermoplastic polyolefins, polyamides, polyureas, polyesters, and the like. In addition, spring walls can be provided in one or more recesses in the toe and heel portions of such an insole.
Each of the U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,254,566, 6,684,543, 6,701,589, 4,897,947, 4,610,102, 4,863,195, 5,312,136, 5,494,431, 4,610,102, 3,253,601, 4,642,912, Des. 302,624, Des. 288,621, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,598,321 are hereby incorporated by reference herein as if fully set forth.
None of the prior art provides an assembly for providing identifying and medical information for the wearer of shoe that is durable, comfortable, and relatively easily and quickly used. Moreover, conventional approaches do not provide an assembly that is cheap and can be used by anyone. In addition, conventional approaches typically involve assemblies that are either uncomfortable or deemed unsightly, and do not provide for customization of ornamentation features. The invention in its various embodiments solves these and other problems of the prior art.
The problems associated with conventional approaches can be solved with the present invention. In one embodiment, an insert for a shoe is provided that has preprinted spaces for identifying and medical information so that appropriate information can be placed on the top face of the insert and the insert then placed inside the wearer's shoe. In one embodiment, the insert can be made and provided in standard shoe sizes for children or for adults, and can have additional design elements provided in addition to spaces for identifying the wearer and/or providing medical information about the wearer. In another embodiment, a package containing two inserts that each have a top surface which provide spaces for identifying information is provided, with the package also containing, for example, a permanent magic marker or the like for adding the desired information in the spaces provided on the top surface of each insert, with each of the inserts made to fit into a shoe of a standard shoe size, and with one insert for the left shoe and the other insert for the right shoe.
It is an object of the present invention to provide an insert for a shoe that can provide useful identifying and/or medical information.
It is another object of the invention to provide a package providing a pair of left and right inserts that are made to fit into corresponding left and right shoes of a standard size.
It is yet another object of the invention to provide a package allowing easy and quick use to provide identifying information to a shoe insert.
These and other objects of the invention are met via the embodiments of the invention as shown in the accompanying figures and the following description.
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The particular embodiments disclosed above are illustrative only, and those skilled in the art will appreciate and understand that the invention may be modified and practiced in different but equivalent manners. Any and all such modifications from the particular embodiment disclosed are considered within the scope and spirit of the invention. The invention is to be defined only by the claims as set forth below. For example, those skilled in the art will appreciate that additional information fields beyond those shown and described may be used as desired, such as additional identifying information and/or medical information. In addition, those of skill in the art will appreciate that the invention can be practice with various materials, including one or more of those noted above. For example, the insole could be made of a gel portion with a cloth surface layer attached thereto, such as by an adhesive.