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Publication numberUS2820454 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 21, 1958
Filing dateApr 4, 1955
Priority dateApr 4, 1955
Publication numberUS 2820454 A, US 2820454A, US-A-2820454, US2820454 A, US2820454A
InventorsLeonard W Wright
Original AssigneeLeonard W Wright
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Foot kneading rugs
US 2820454 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

. Jan. 21, 1958 w. WRIGHT Foo'r KNEADING Russ Filed April 4, 1955- United States Patent i FOOT KNEADING RUGS Leonard W. Wright, Everett, Wash.

Application April 4, 1955, Serial No. 498,821

2 Claims. (Cl. 128-25) of the foot bottom so as to restore the range of motion in the feet and legs, while at the same time the foot support is yielding and smooth so that the pressure will not be localized to a point in any instance, and the pressure ou the foot as a whole will not be harsh.

Another object is to provide a foot kneading rug having ya construction incorporating components the design and arrangement of which can be altered readily so as to provide a foot kneading tread having characteristics considered most desirable for a particular purpose or preferred by a given user.

yA further object is to employ a foot kneading rug construction of simple character which can be fabricated economically, and which will be very sanitary and durable. Moreover, such a rug can be produced in any desired size.

A preferred type of foot kneading rug, as shown in the drawings and capable ofl accomplishing the foregoing objects, includes a base pad of sponge rubber on which hard buttons are mounted in distributed arrangement. Such butto-ns are of spherical segmental shape of a thickness approximately equal to the thickness of the sponge rubber pad and located in regular arrangement. The composite surface formed by the rounded upper portions of such hard buttons and the intervening soft depressions formed by the exposed upper surface of the pad is covered intimately by a cover membrane forming the rug tread.

Figure 1 is a fragmentary plan view of a portion of the foot kneading rug.

Fig. 2 is an enlarged top perspective view of a corner fragment of the foot kneading rug.

Figure 3 is a fragmentary vertical sectional View through a portion of the rug on line 3--3 of Figure 2.

Figure 4 is a vertical sectional view through a portion of the foot kneading rug shown in use.

In the past foot kneading rugs have been proposed of uneven contour, but of unvarying density and with little or no resilience. If the protuberances of such a rug are made sufiiciently high to produce desirable therapeutic kneading action on the bottom of a foot, their action on the foot is so harsh that the foot is made sore and the user will soon discontinue its use in many cases. On the other hand, if the bumps of the surface are sufficiently low so that the effect on the foot is not excessively harsh `as the foot treads on the rug, the arch of the foot which most needs the kneading action will not be worked effectively, and the desired therapeutic value is not obtained.

In some rugs for kneading the feet proposed heretofore, granular filling material has been employed which is shiftable, and consequently produces an uneven surface of haphazard character so that the kneading effect on the 2,820,454 Patented Jan. 21, s


foot is unpredictable, and again the most benecial therapeutic action cannot be obtained from the use of such a rug. In other instances foot massaging rugs or appliances have incorporated knobs which serve almost soley to support the foot, so that such knobs themselves must be made resilient in order to avoid an action which is too harsh on the foot. For that reason such protuberances do not afford the desired localized and rather concentrated pressure produced by the present invention which accomplishes the kneading action in various portions of the sole of the foot.

A foot sole is very sensitive, and if a person steps on a hard knob or lump which is supported by a hard base, the concentrated pressure thus produced on the foot is very uncomfortable even though it may be healthful. An example of such an instance is stepping on a stone on the ground. If a foot kneading rug attempts to duplicate uneven ground, therefore, the portions of the foot arch will not receive the kneading action which they should, or the action as a whole will be excessively unpleasant.

While as mentioned it is most important that the arch portion of the foot receive adequate kneading, the proper kneading action cannot be accomplished by supporting the foot on a single resilient protuberance engaging only the foot arch. Such pressure is not sufiiciently concentrated or localized to produce the -proper kneading action, and such pressure is exerted principally on only one region of the foot arch instead of being applied first to one portion and then to another portion of the arch. To obtain the proper kneading action it is important that the pressure be applied in quite a small spot, but if the foot is supported by such pressure in one spot alone, the pressure will be too uncomfortable.

To avoid the discomfort of unyielding pressure concentrated in a small spot on the foot heretofore, foot kneading devices have increased the area of contact of the foot with a protuberance and have made the protuberance resilient. As a result the most beneficial localized kneading action is not obtained. The foot kneading rug of the present invention, on the contrary, produces the desired result by avoiding all possibility that the foot will be supported by only one or two protuberances at any time, but, on the contrary, the protuberances are located sufficiently close together that the foot will always bear on several protuberances. Also, while high enough to massage or knead the highest portion of the foot arch, the protuberances are low enough so that usually a portion of the foot is supported by depressions between protuberances.

In order to apply localized firm pressure to the sole of the foot without excessive discomfort an important feature of the foot kneading rug is to make the protuberances hard, but to mount them resiliently and to make the intervening depressed portions of the rug tread between the protuberances resilient, so that at the locations where pressure is to be applied to the foot particuv larly it will be firm concentrated pressure, but support of the foot will be assisted by yielding substantially uniformly distributed pressure on other parts of the foot. These general characteristics of the foot kneading rug and their importance should be kept in mind in considering the following detailed description of the preferred rug -construction shown in the drawings.

A foot kneading rug having the characteristics discussed above may be composed of a base pad 1 of any area. Such base pad is made of resilient material such as sponge rubber and is sufficiently thick to afford a substantial amount of resilience as a support for hard protuberances and which will yield suiiiciently by application of foot pressure in the depressions between the protuberances to dis-tribute the supporting pressure substantially uniformly over the foot portions bearing on the- ,Should -blflom v.orlegqtlarter 4to one-half of an inch in thickness.

On the resilient base padl are mounted buttons 2 of hard material, that is,f.rnaterial .Wh-robotics ,net yield `easily totpressureabuttis trmaandlsolid, although Anot ientirelytnnyieldingrgor rigid. :,Sue-h zbuttons, f therefore, rmayfbefmade cof-plastici material fsuch as.. hard l. rubber l or nylon molded tto shape The knobs ion -.the :rug .tread rproduced :byasilch buttons should y.hewounded, andwconsequent-1y such .buttons :may `'tbe trnade lof :spherical aseg- -mentalrshape nalsoltisipneterred thatltheriseoffsuch :knobs tbe :approximately egua1;to z the ithickness tot the -ihasezpatl tand such :buttons :may therefor-.e the imadegonequarter to one-half inch thick. The-widthaofitherknobs :,at; .thezbasei shfzuld; be .setserial-Mmes. as; greatastthei-rtthicknesstzandtonvenientlyemay `rbc oneendfone-halftinches .to .ftwo inches; in-idia-meter.

The footlltneadingirngzisinsed by ,treading .uponit :with bare feet :as :in rwalking, :and the :best therapeutic effect .on :the feet .is obtained :b5/,shifting lthe feet :about `astheysteprcmthe rugnsoithat alhparts nf.the.-soles'.of athe `feet nwill vbe Ikneaded. aConsequently, .fthe protuberances should :be distributedzsubstantially:evenly over ,the tru-g surface and .conveniently-maybe aarrangedin 'rows .as shownint-Figurel. dtiis :preferred,;however, thatthe buttons ;in zadjacent `rows Ikbe :arranged ein staggered :relafstionship A as ;shown. The spacing between ladjacent ibut- `vtons yis .approximatelyfequal ttoflthe `width :of the ybuttons or may :be somewhatiless, such as from one `inch vto-one and three-.quarter finches is at :least a :plurality `of gtirneszas great aszthe :thicknesslof abutton.

The'maximumwidthtdffan :adults Yfoot-lis in the .range .of two and fone-:half tto `three and ame-half inches, and .consequently ithe iwidth of the foot will .always y.engage two'buttons :arranged itransversely of the `ffoot at .some location because of the staggered arrangement .of ithe -rowsqofknoba lldoreover, anadults :foot is ifrom -.eight :to rtwelve linches in `;length, so :that Athe :fo-ot :will .always fengage at :least three knobs .over fits .'length, as shown in Figure .4, land lfreqnently twill tenga-ge ifour buttons. Con- `sequently, `the .vfoot :almost invariably will step .on -at least five knobs :and ;a large foot may .Contact at least parts of as many as fnine for .ten knobs in ysome instances.

Moreover, almost vinvariably .portions .of Vthe f oot will ,l

.engage ,and receive some support v.from the depressions between :the `buttons Aor knobs.

To produce a sani-atry `smooth uniform :tread surface 'which may be .attractively colored, .a membrane 3 is .placed .as a Acos/erover the upper rounded surfaces or the Abuttons V2 and 'the intervening depressions 4formed by the surfatze `of the base :pad l :exposed Vbetween the bu'ttons. Because of `the Atype of material used for this vcover pref" ,erably being a thin sheet .of rubber, it will drape to Vfollow the contour of the pad and vbuttons faithfully 'into 4 ten, firm kneading pressure of localized character pro duced by the knobs vformed by the buttons 2 beneath the cover membrane 3. While the contact of the membrane with the foot is soft and gentle, the pressure is rm bccause of the hard character of the button 2, which is not appreciably deformed by the weight of the foot, so that the pressure in each instancewill remain localized rather than spread and dilused, although the button itself will be moved by :the ,.pressurefof the `-footfondt because it is mounted on a,yielding, sponge,rubber pad. At no location, however, will'thepressure 'be harsh, first because the footis fnot.-suppertedlbypressure:at only .oneor two locations, but the bearing is distributed over several locations as discussed. "Second, the yyielding support of the buttons alforded by the resilient base pad will enable such buttons vto yield in height and to tilt to some extent so that the pressure exerted by the several buttons is reason- 4ably equalized. vl-Third, :additional :portions .of :the [foot vnot ;at the time tbeing subjected .to kneading actionnnay receive some support lwithxa distributed bearing from `depressions `.formed .by the :base pad .between vthe knobs.

.The .result tof'treading .at random on the foot kneadling rug :described islthatthefentire sole .of the foot will ;be,kneadedbyathe shifting .application offirm pressure :atfseveral locations'on.the'tsole of the foot without appreciable discomfort. The .invigorating Vexercise `thus re- .eeived by .thefootfmafy be repeated .frequently without Vappreciable discomfort.

I claim as rny'invention:

.1. .-A -foot kneading rug comprising 4a Asponge rubber ba-se pad, l and individual buttons of material substantial- .ly `harder ,than said base pad, :mounted onand distributed over said .base ,.pad and rhaving rounded Aupper portions, -the vwidthof -each :button at :its =base :being several times as great as its maximum thickness, the .thickness of said .,base least substantially as great 'as themaxiimumthickness of a buttonztoisupport said buttons yieldingly vand/.tiltablfyfand saidfbuttons being spaced apart a .distance at least aipluralityof times as great as the maximum thickness of a button.

2. Afootfkneading rug-comprising a sponge rubber .base pad, individual .buttons :of material substantially harder Athan Vsaid base pad, mounted on and distributed over said basepad and havin'grounded upper portions, `the width of each button at its base being several times Jas greatas `its maximum thickness, the thickness of said .base pad being atleast `.substantially as great as the maxi- ,mum thickness `ofrabuttonato'support said buttons'yield- `in gly ,and tiltably, land :said fbuttons being spaced apart Ea sdistaneeat .lejasta :plurality `ofLtimes as great as the maximum rthicknessaofa button, and a 'membrane covering the upper surfaces/of said :buttons and the surface portions of said base pad 'between said Abuttons and -,draped.;into intimatezcontact b oth 4with the roundedupper surfaces of said buttons and'with Vthe portions of .said Vbase ,pad .forming the fdepressions intervening between said buttons. l

References .Citedfinxthe le of this patent lllglbl'llD ISTATES 'PATENTS A1,481,038 EStephenson Jan. v15, .1924 y l1,981,39 Thomson Nov. 20, 1934 2,465,725 Herzmak "Mar. 29, y1949 2,476,921 Shock YJuly .19, .1949

Patent Citations
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US1981329 *Nov 3, 1932Nov 20, 1934Louis RivierLamp
US2465725 *Apr 8, 1947Mar 29, 1949Maurice H HerzmarkFoot exerciser pad
US2476921 *Jun 30, 1947Jul 19, 1949Shock Amzy OrvilFoot exerciser
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3358679 *Jan 5, 1965Dec 19, 1967Verta Aide CorpMassaging device with vibrating surface formed of spaced resilient members
US3434715 *Oct 6, 1966Mar 25, 1969Charles R BrantinghamStress reducing floor surface
US4173216 *Jan 21, 1977Nov 6, 1979Roland NoletMassage device
US4253661 *Dec 13, 1978Mar 3, 1981Brian RussellLeg exercising device
US4329981 *Jan 28, 1980May 18, 1982Semperit AgFoot massage mat
US4421110 *Jun 2, 1981Dec 20, 1983Richard W. DeLisleMassage and exercise mat
US4494532 *May 25, 1983Jan 22, 1985France Bed Co., Ltd.Tilting health table apparatus
US4509510 *Nov 5, 1982Apr 9, 1985Hook Clarence LMassage tread for human skin
US4603851 *Jul 22, 1985Aug 5, 1986Brian RussellPortable exercising device
US4674203 *Feb 18, 1986Jun 23, 1987Goeller GerdInner part of shoe with a surface massaging the soles of the feet and process for its fabrication
US4892305 *Dec 21, 1987Jan 9, 1990Lynch Peter GExercising device
US4998720 *Mar 2, 1990Mar 12, 1991Insop KimExercise device
US5096188 *Jan 22, 1991Mar 17, 1992Shen Chin BiaoGait training board with magnets
US5799413 *May 8, 1997Sep 1, 1998Argyris; ArtInnersole for a shoe and method of making the same
US6447429 *Oct 17, 2001Sep 10, 2002Shu-Yi ChenBody weight driven treadmill
US6554782Jan 22, 2001Apr 29, 2003Edward S. Robbins, IIIChairmat with foot massage area
US6579250May 14, 2001Jun 17, 2003Edward S. Robbins, IIIChairmat with foot massage area
US6681416 *Oct 14, 2002Jan 27, 2004Golden Pond Plastic Manufacturing Company Ltd.Soft bathroom mat and a method for producing the soft bathroom mat
US6935382 *Jul 24, 2003Aug 30, 2005Christine BuckleyExercise rug with contours
US7713182Nov 6, 2007May 11, 2010Edison Nation, LlcExercise devices
US8714346Dec 20, 2010May 6, 2014Teo Industriedesign GmbhConveyor belt for a treadmill
US20040082890 *Oct 28, 2002Apr 29, 2004Kuo Chun FuFoot kneading rug having bulges of different hardnesses
US20040266295 *Jul 24, 2003Dec 30, 2004Christine BuckleyExercise rug with contours
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US20110152038 *Jun 23, 2011Freitag JensConveyor belt for a treadmill
US20120190485 *Jul 26, 2012Aurbach Phillip SImpact-Indicating Athletic Court Target Device
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U.S. Classification601/28, 482/79
International ClassificationA61H7/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61H7/001, A61H2201/1284
European ClassificationA61H7/00B