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Publication numberUS3063457 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 13, 1962
Filing dateOct 14, 1959
Priority dateNov 26, 1958
Also published asDE1781491U
Publication numberUS 3063457 A, US 3063457A, US-A-3063457, US3063457 A, US3063457A
InventorsBittner Ernst, Gnass Werner
Original AssigneeScholl Mfg Co Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Foot exerciser sandals
US 3063457 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 13, 1962 E. BH1-NER ETAL FOOT EXERCISER SANDALS 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed OCC. 14, 1959 4 l: [lll/M Nov. 13, 1962 E. BITTNER ETAL 3,063,457

FooT ExERcIsER SANDALS Filed oct. 14, 1959 3 sheets-sheet 2` Il l #4er/7er 6045s Nov. 13, 1962 E. BITTNER ETAL.

FooT ExERcIsER SANDALS 5 Sheets-Shes?I 3 Filed Oct. 14, 1959 frnsz Bzner Werner @nass W Il@ E!! 5 nite This invention relates to improvements in foot exerciser sandals, and more particularly to sandals designed to stimulate and exercise the foot while the user is Walking naturally although the invention may have other uses and purposes as will 'oe apparent to one skilled in the art.

More specifically the invention relates to a type of sandal designed to automatically exercise the foot when the sandal is worn, and particularly when the user is walking in a natural manner. The use of the sandal results in restoring or improving the toe gripping action of the foot, a function frequently lost wholly or partially as a result of wearing shoes that constrict natural foot motion and toe freedom. As a result of wearing the sandal, the entire structure of the foot is strengthened, and arch sag and stiffened joints are relieved and corrected by reactivation and revitalization of weakened muscles in the feet and strained ligaments, circulation of the blood is stimulated and'increased through the foot eliminating a condition of constant cold feet due to decreased circulation of the blood in the lower extremities, calluses on the Iball of the foot gradually disappear as a weakened metatarsal arch becomes stronger and the normal strength, suppleness, and elasticity of the foot is restored.

Exercising sandals of the type of the instant invention are provided with a generally transverse bulge or elevation in the forward portion thereof which is successively gripped and released by the toes during walking. In prior constructions, this transverse elevation extended across the entire width of the sole block of the sandal, and such construction automatically gave the great toe of the foot a wrong position anatomically which frequently aided the formation of crooked toes or aggravated a condition of halluX valgus rather than alleviating or preventing such disorder. Prior known forms of exerciser sandals were also objectionable in that they were not desirably comfortable, not as durable as wanted, were frequently objectionably heavy, and did not provide proper toe spreading when needed.

In View of the foregoing, it is an important object of the instant invention to provide an exerciser sandal so contoured as to automatically cause an anatomically correct positioning of the toes when the sandal is put on.

Another object of the invention is the provision of an eXerciser sandal having a sole block contoured in keeping with the plantar surface of a foot and provided with a generally transverse elevation in the forward portion to be gripped by the toes of a user, which elevation does not extend beneath the great toe.

Another feature of the instant invention is the provision of a foot eXerciser sandal having a contoured sole block with a transverse elevation in the forward portion thereof to be gripped by the toes of a user, the elevation terminating short of the great toe, and the block having a depression therein to receive the metatarsal head of the great toe, thus causing an automatic separation of the taes Fret toes, preventing the formation of crooked toes, and alleviating or counteracting conditions such as halluX valfgus.

A further object of this invention is the provision of a foot exerciser sandal especially constructed for lightness in weight while giving rigid support to the foot.

Still another object of this invention is the provision of a durable and economical foot exercising sandal equipped with toe spreading means.

While some of the more salient features, characteristics and advantages of the instant invention have been above pointed out, others will become apparent from the following disclosures, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which- FIGURE l is a fragmentary perspective View of a foot Vexerciser sandal embodying principles of the instant invention, showing the same in operative position upon the foot of a user;

FIGURE 2 is a plan sectional View of the sandal taken just above the sole block, illustrating the sole block in pian;

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary vertical sectional View taken substantially as indicated by the line III-III of FIGURE 2, looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIGURE 4 is also a fragmentary vertical sectional View taken substantially as indicated by the line IV--IV of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken substantially as indicated by the staggered section line V-V of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 6 is an enlarged transverse vertical sectional View taken substantially as indicated by the line VI-VI of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 7 is a bottom plan view of a foot eXerciser sandal embodying principles of the instant invention, but of a somewhat different construction, showing the attachment means in section and with the outersole eliminated;

FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken substantially as indicated by the line VIII-VIII of FIGURE 7, with the device in upright position;

FIGURE 9 is a fragmentary plan sectional View illustrating the device equipped with a toe spreader on the sole block;

FIGURE l0 is a fragmentary side elevational View of the structure of FIGURE 9;

FIGURE 11 is a fragmentary plan view of our improved sandal, showing the attachment means equipped with a toe spreader; and

FIGURE l2 is a fragmentary side elevation of the structure of FIGURE ll.

As shown on the drawings:

In the first illustrated embodiment of the instant invention, seen in FIGURES 1 to 6 inclusive of the drawings, there is shown a foot eXerciser sandal comprising a sole block 1 on the underside of which is attached an outersole 2 of any desirable material, and which can satisfactorily be of non-slip porous crepe. The sole block l is relatively thick in comparison with the outsole 2 and may be made of any suitable material, molded from a thermoplastic or thermosetting plastic, or made of other materials, it being highly `satisfactory to utilize a single piece of hardwood with a contoured upper surface for this purpose. The bounding shape of the sole block and outersole is generally that of a human foot, structure for a right foot being illustrated in the drawings. It will be understood, of course, that an allochiral structure would be used for the left foot.

As indicated at 3 in FIGURE l, the naked foot of the user rests directly upon the upper lsurface of the sole block 1. The upper surface of the block 1 is contoured in keeping with the plantar surface of a foot and includes a depression at 4 to provide a cupped heel seat, an intermediate elevation indicated at 5 to underlie the longitudinal arch of the foot, a depression at 6 for the metatarsal headofthe great toe, anda generally transverse elevation 7 in the forepart of the block which is gripped by the toes of the user during walking.

The metatarsal crest or elevation 7 extends inwardly from the outer edge of the sole block 1 and terminates shortl of the great toe of the foot. This elevation is located just anteriorly of the .metatarsal arch of the foot, so the toes extend over the elevation while the metatarsal heads contact the sole block Yat the rear side of the elevation. As in FIGURE 3, the elevation 7 is of relatively low height underneath the small toe of the foot, then increases in thickness as seen in FIGURE 4 until it reaches a relatively great height under the second and third toes of the foot, and then drops olf abruptly toward the great toe depression 6, leaving the great toe resting in the depression and entirely otf the elevation 7. Consequently, when the weight of the body rests upon the surface of the sole block 1, the great toe is urged away from the other toes into anatomically correct position. Thus, the formation of crooked toes is prevented or discouraged by the sandaLand a condition of hallux valgus existing theretofore is alleviated or possibly corrected.

Attachment means for holding the sandal on the foot of a user are provided in the form of strap members 8 and 9 which may be adjustably connected over the top of the foot 'by a buckle 10. `As seen best in FIGURE 6, each of the strap members 8 and 9 preferably comprise outer and inner cover members 11 and 12, which may desirably Vbe of soft leather or the equivalent, and an inner layer 13 of cushioning material which may be of any suitable soft material such as padding, polyurethane or polyvinyl foam, foam latex, etc. As Valso seen in FIGURE 6, the strap members yare secured to opposed side edges of the block 1, and for this purpose it is quite satisfactory to utilize a plurality of screws 14 driven into the block through the strap, and it is preferable to utilize a Washer 15 inside the head of each screw to avoid the possibility of the screw tearing the strap. It is a simple expedient to buckle the strap members over the metatarsal arch region of the foot to provide a snug embracing relationship withrthe foot. Preferably, no other means are utilized to attach the sandal to the foot, the heel of the foot being free to raise and lower relatively to the sole block 1.

In the use ofthe sandal above described, no special talents of the wearer are necessary. The sandal is put on the foot and the strap members adjusted to snuglyV embrace the foot. .The sandals are worn preferably with the feet naked, since hosiery interferes with theV proper exing and spreading of the toes. When the foot is at rest it is positioned squarely Yupon the upper contoured surface of the sole block 1, as seen in FIGURE l. As a step is taken, the toes of the foot contractY and grip the elevation 7, while the heel raises a short distance off the sole block. vAs the foot is elevated oi the floor, the gripping ofthe elevation 7 by the toes tends to raise the rear portion of the sandal into contact with the foot, and while the foot is swinging forward just in advance of again Y contacting the oor at thercompletion of a step,rthe toes are preferably elevated or stretched upwardly, and as the foot again comes to rest on the oor, the toes assume ltheir original position over the elevation 7.

The constant exing of the toes in alternately gripping and releasing therelevation 7 stimulates and strengthens the entire foot and some of the leg muscles, denitely increases -circulation to the` foot and leg, relieves and corrects arch sag and stifened joints, strengthens and raises the metatarsal arch and thus eliminates calluses on the ball of the foot, and results in increasing the overall well being of the user. It is not intended that the user should scuff across the floor, but should wear the sandals and walk in his natural way. It is also not intended that the sandals be worn all day long, but at the start, particularly if the foot is ailing in some respect, the sandals should be worn for a short time each day, and the time gradually increased until they can be worn comfortably for hours at a time. The simple wearing ofthe sandals andwalking results automatically in correctly positioning l the foot and exercising it, and no time is wasted since the sandals may be worn while performing other household tasks.

In that form of the invention seen in FIGURES 7 and 8, a sandal is 'shown comprising a sole block 16 which, on its upper face, is contoured the same as the sole block 1 above described. In this instance, however, the underside of the block is provided with a plurality of longitudinal grooves 17, the provision of which reduces the weight of the block, rendering the sandal considerably lighter. Also, in this instance we have illustrated slightly different means for holding the strap ends anchored to the sole block. In addition to the screws 14, each strap end is also held by an elongated staple 1S overlying the outer face of the strap end and has its end spikes 19-19 driven into the block on either side of the strap. The screws 14 then pass through both the staple 18 and the strap end. This method of securing the strap end may obviously be utilized on the sandal described above in connection with FIGURES 1 to 6 inclusive, if so desired.

In FIGURES 9 and 10 We have illustrated the use of a toe spreader 20 mounted on the sole yblock 1. This toe spreader is preferably flanged at the upper end as indicated at 21 and at the lower end as indicated at 22. It may be secured to the sole block inV any suitable manner, cementitiously or otherwise. Also, the toe spreader may be made of plastic, rubber or rubber-like material, wood, or any other suitable substance. As shown, the spreader is positioned to separate the great toe from the second toe of the foot, but obviously it can be positioned between whatever toes of the foot need the aid of a separator.

In the construction of FIGURES 10 and 11, the same sandal structure as above described is provided, except that a strap member 8a, whichris the same as the strap member S, except for the provision of an extension 23 projecting forwardly from the strap member, carries a toe spreader 24. The toe spreader 24 is secured to the underside of the strap extension 23 and the lower end of the spreader rests loosely on the upper surface of the sole block 1.

Both the toe spreader arrangements above described, either the spreader 20 orY the spreader 24, affords additional gripping action Vfor the toes between which it is located which also aids in maintaining the sandal on the foot of the user, in addition to the toe spreaders performing their normal and intended function. Y

From the foregoing, it is apparent that we have provided a durable,Y lightweight foot exerciser sandal so constructed that Vwhen worn comfortably during walking in a natural manner, the sandals automatically correctly position the foot andl exercises the same. The device is economical to manufacture and economical to use by virtue of its long life. a Y Y It will be understood that modifications and variations may be eifectedV without departing from the scope of the novel concepts of the present invention.

We claim as our invention:l

A foot exerciser sandal comprising a sole block of rigid material contoured in keeping with the plantar surface of a human foot and having a depression formed therein for receiving the great toe, a transverse elevation on said block positioned to underlie the outer four toes of a foot, said elevation terminating inwardly and abruptly adjacent the location of the great toe, strap means secured to said block in position to embrace the foot of a user in the region of the metatarsal arch, said strap means being the only means for retaining the sandal on the foot of a user, whereby gripping of said elevation by the outer four toes maintains the heel portion of the block adjacent the heel of the foot during walking.

References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Webb Oct. 8, 1957

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1080305 *Jan 22, 1912Dec 2, 1913William M SchollToe-straightening appliance.
US1730466 *Dec 31, 1926Oct 8, 1929Joseph A MallottInsole
US1867679 *Sep 22, 1931Jul 19, 1932Pfaller John BFoot corrective sandal
US2096500 *Jun 8, 1935Oct 19, 1937Foot Norm IncSandal
US2167035 *Oct 22, 1938Jul 25, 1939Westheimer Max AlbertRubber sole for sandals
US2217990 *Nov 9, 1939Oct 15, 1940Leo GottliebSole for footwear
US2518649 *Feb 27, 1947Aug 15, 1950Jules ShangoldFootwear with slanting sole
US2539557 *Oct 14, 1949Jan 30, 1951William B StroupShoe construction
US2808662 *Mar 8, 1955Oct 8, 1957Webb Helen EToe spacing scuffs or sandals
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4446633 *Jun 4, 1982May 8, 1984Scheinhaus Myron G JBiomechanical footwear
US4453322 *Feb 4, 1982Jun 12, 1984Scholl, Inc.Sandal having side wall for preventing pronation
DE1485595B *Nov 25, 1965Mar 25, 1971Heinrich Ad Berkemann FaFussgymnastik-Sandale
EP2742819A1 *Dec 13, 2013Jun 18, 2014Martínez Rosario SáncheAdaptable shoe
WO2010026525A1 *Aug 31, 2009Mar 11, 2010Marco Thomas Giulio DeShoe with incorporated big toe separator
U.S. Classification36/174, D02/916
International ClassificationA43B3/10, A43B7/26, A43B3/12
Cooperative ClassificationA43B7/26, A43B3/12, A43B3/105, A43B7/145
European ClassificationA43B7/14A20P, A43B3/10B1L, A43B7/26, A43B3/12