US 3121430 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 18, 1964 E. L. OREILLY 3,
INFLATABLE INSOLE WITH SELF-FITTING ARCH SUPPORT Filed May 10, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 IN VENTOR.
BY (puny EM Feb. 18, 1964 E. L. O'REILLY INFLATABLE INSOLE WITH SELF-FITTING ARCH SUPPORT 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 10, 1960 5am L. owe/71 I N VEN TOR. BY WM cemented to insole United States Patent 0 saunas lillEFLA'l-CAELE INSOLE WHH SELF-FITTING Alltlf l SUPPQRT Edwin L. GReiliy, 1791 Monterey St, San Luis Gbispo, Calif. Filed May it), was, Ser. No. 28,648 8 Galina (ill. 128595) This invention comprises a novel and useful inflatable insole with self-fitting arch support and more particularly relates to a cushioning pad adapted to be placed inside a shoe and which may be inflated and adjusted to conform to the contour of the foot to provide support therefor.
The primary object of this invention is to provide an inflatable insole construction for shoes which may be readily and precisely inflated to an adjustable size and configuration in conformity with and to thereby support the foot within a shoe.
A further important object of the invention is to provide an inflatable insole of a simple and inexpensive construction and which may be readily installed and inflated to the desired configuration by unskilled individuals in accordance with their particular needs.
Still another object of the invention is to provide an inflatable insole construction in which a settable plastic material is introduced into the insole for inflating and expanding the same to the desired configuration in conformity with the shape of the foot, and after the desired contouring configuration has been attained, is allowed to set thereby imparting rigidity and a permanent shape to the insole.
till another object of the invention is to provide an inflatable insole construction in accordance with the preceding objects which shall be so constructed as to enable a cushioning and a supporting action to be given to the sole of the foot and to the arch and interior side thereof as desired in order to properly fill the space between these portions of the foot and the shoe.
A still further and more specific object of the invention is to provide an inflatable insole in which a settable plastic material, while in the plastic or fluid state, may be repeatedly introduced into or Withdrawn from the interior of the insole until the desired shape and configuration has been imparted to the latter, after which the plastic material may be permitted to harden and thereby impart a rigid final shape to the insole construction.
Still another object of the invention is to provide an insole construction which shall include a conduit forming a filling means therefor extending from the interior of y the insole to the exterior of the shoe whereby a plastic settable material may be introduced into or removed from the insole as required to effect the shaping of the insole to the foot; and whereby after the plastic material has hardened, the conduit may be cut and removed from the insole.
A still further object of the invention is to provide an inflatable insole in accordance with the preceding objects which shall include the provision of means enabling the plastic scttable material applied to the interior of the insole to find its way to selected portions of the exterior to thereby cement and fixedly secure the insole in place in a shoe.
And a final important object of the invention to be specifically enumerate herein resides in the provision of an inflatable insole which may be readily and accurately inflated or expanded and shaped to conform to the contour of the sole and a side portion of the foot and support the latter while the foot is in load bearing position in the shoe.
These together with other objects and advantages which 3,l2l,i3 Patented Feb. 18, 1964:
will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter d scribed and claimed, reference being bad to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a view partly in elevation and partly in vertical section through a shoe having the inflatable insole in accordance with this invention inserted therein and showing the position of the foot in the shoe with respect to the insole construction;
FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view of the arrangement of FIGURE 1, and illustrates the manner in which tie settable plastic cement is forced into the insole for inflating the latter, the position of the foot insole being shown in dotted lines therein;
FIGURE 3 is a plan view of the inflatable insole in its collapsed position preparatory to its insertion into a shoe, a portion of the conduit inlet means by which the plastic material introduced into the insole being broken away and shown in section;
FIGURE 4 is a detail view in vertical transverse section taken substantially upon the plane indicated by the section line '4-i of FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 5 is a view in vertical transverse section taken substantially upon the plane indicated by section line :"55 of FIGURE 2 and showing the manner in which the settable plastic material is forced into the inflatable insole in accordance with this invention;
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary side elevational View, part being broken away and showing the position of the inflatable insole therein and a side projection thereof which is to be disposed between the interior sides of the foot and of the shoe;
FIGURE 7 is a view upon a reduced scale similar to FIGURE 3 but showing a slightly modified construction in which apertures are formed through the bottom of the insole to permit the plastic material to pass therethrough and thus seal the insole in position in a shoe; and
FIGURE 8 is a view in vertical transverse section through a portion of a shoe showing the manner in which the insole of FIGURE 7 is disposed therein.
In the accompanying drawings there is indicated generally by the numeral it; a shoe or other piece of footwear of any suitable type and which has a sole construction indicated at 12, there being further disclosed a foot 14 positioned within the shoe in a normal manner. It will be readily apparent that the type of shoe and type of sole construction indicated at ill and 12 are subject to wide variations and do not in themselves form any critical or limiting factor as regards the principles of this invention.
Indicated generally by the numerfl 16 is the inflatable insole construction forming the subject matter of this invention and which is a prefabricated unit adapted to be placed as an insert adapter or insert insole into the shoe and upon the sole structure 12 thereof in order to support the sole of the foot 1 in the shoe.
The actual construction of the inflatable insole is not critical to the present invention since the same may be fabricated in various ways. One especially advantageous construction, however, consists of coextensive top and bottom panels of material 2% and 22 which are marginally secured together as by a seam 2.4, by cementing, by vulcanizing or any other desired manner. The material of the upper and lower panels 20 and 22 may be of any desired character which will satisfy the conditions under which this insole is to be utilized, and conveniently may be of a liquid impervious, resilient and stretchable or elastic material such as rubber or rubber substitutes and the like. It is merely essential for the purpose of this invention that the space defined between the top and bottom panels 20 and 22 of the insole shall. constitute a chamber into which may be received variable masses of an inflating material for the insole construction.
Preferably the panels 2 1 and 22 of the insole include projecting portions extending laterally from intermediate their ends along one side thereof and thus define a projection indicated by the numeral 26. This projection as shown in FIGURES 5 and 6 is of such shape, size and configuration that it may extend upwardly between the interior sides of the foot and shoe at the arch portion thereof to thus assist in supporting the arch of the foot and to cushion it from the adjacent side of the shoe.
Further, use is made of this projection 26 to function as an inlet means or communicating means by which a settable plasitc material may be introduced into the chamber within the insole. Thus, a flexible conduit 28 which may be integral with the material of the panels of the insole, or may be separately formed and sealingly connected thereto, extends from the laterally outermost portion of the projection so that, as shown in FIGURES 2 and 5, it may have its adit Sit positioned at the exterior of the shoe for convenient access.
Various means may be provided for controlling the adit 30 of the conduit 28. Thus, one convenient manner as shown in FIGURES 3 and 5 consists in internally threading the adit 3d as at 32 in order that it may receive the screw-threaded extremity of the spout 34. of a container 36 of the settable plastic material to be introduced into the chamber within the insole. Conveniently such a container may consist of a collapsible tube which upon squeezing of the same will force its contents through the conduit 28, through the hollow projection 26 and into the interior of the insole -16.
If desired various types of valve means or closures can be provided for this adit in order to control the entrance of or the discharge of the plastic material from the interior of the insole as desired and as set forth hereinafter.
In some instances, as suggested in FIGURES 7 and 8, it may be desired to provide means for permanently or curl-permanently anchoring and securing the insole construction into the sole portion of the shoe in a fixed position therein. One such convenient means consists in providing the insole 16 upon its bottom surface with a plurality of apertures d-tldisposed over convenient and desired areas thereof. By this arrangement, the settable plastic material indicated at 5t} may pass through the apertures as shown in FIGURE -8 and engage the adjacent surface of the sole construction 12. to thereby cement or fixedly secure the insole in place in the shoe.
Various types of settable plastic material may be employed. For example, various types of quick setting cement, or a binder which is quick setting combined with granular material such as ground leather or the like can be utilized.
The process of fitting and contouring an insole in accordance with this invention to the structure of the foot in a shoe is as follows:
A prefabricated insole 16 of an appropriate size and shape is introduced into a shoe It} with the projection 26, if the same is provided being positioned against the side of the shoe with the conduit 2% whether attached to a projection 26 or whether directly attached to the side of the insole proper is disposed against the inside surface of the shoe and projects above the top end thereof as shown in FIGURE 2. Inasmuch as this insole construction is inflatable and expandable, it is obvious that there may be provided a considerable clearance between the marginal edges of the insole and the adjacent surfaces of the shoe if desired. In other words, a relatively smaller number of different sizes and contours and shapes of insole constructions will be adequate to service a considerably larger number of sizes of shoes and styles thereof.
With the insole either deflated, or if desired partially inflated by applying the settable plastic material to the interior thereof, the insole is disposed in position in a shoe. Thereafter the foot of the wearer is placed in a shoe as indicated at 14 in FIGURES l and 2 and preferably the foot is in load bearing position, as for example with the weight of the body placed thereon in normal walking or standing position. In this position, sufficient amount of the settable plastic material is now introduced into the insole in order to fill the chamber within the interior thereof and cause the insole to expand and become inflated until the condition shown in FIGURE 1 is achieved. It will be observed at this time the central portion of the insole as indicated by the numeral 52 is relatively thicker since it has been inflated up into contact with and in supporting engagement with the arch portion of the foot. Similarly, the beet portion 54 has likewise been inflated somewhat thicker than the toe portion indicated at 56. In other words, different gauge areas or regions of the insole will be inflated to a different extent depending upon the position taken by the foot in the shoe. By applying the plastic material to the interior of the insole under pressure, the insole will be inflated until a uniform supporting pressure has been applied over the entire bottom surface of the foot thus accurately contouring the supporting surface of the insole to the bottom of the foot structure and producing the maximum comfort in the support of the foot. It will be understood that the relative thicknesses of the insole indicated in FIGURE 1 are thus illustrative only and are not to be considered as in any way standards for all conditiOns of use of the device.
During the course of inflating the insole, it may be necessary while the settable plastic material is still in a fluid condition to permit the escape of some of the material from the conduit 28 and possibly to again add further material as required until the desired comfortable support and faithful and accurate conforming of the insole to the bottom surface of the foot has been obtained. This can be readily done by removing the container from the adit 30 as necessary to permit the escape of materal from the same.
After the desired shape has been attained, a suilicient period of time is permitted to elapse to enable the material to set. This will then produce a rigid permanent or semi-permanent shape in configuration for the insole.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of th principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. A shoe insert comprising a hollow insole forming a chamber therein, a flexible conduit provided on said insole at an intermediate portion of one side thereof and in communication with said chamber, and a filler of settable plastic material in said chamber and adapted to e admitted into said chamber through said conduit while in its plastic state, said plastic material filling said chamber and permitting said insole to shape itself to the contour of a foot but thereafter becoming set to retain the shaped contour of the insole.
2. The device as defined in claim 1 wherein said flexible conduit is of a material severable from said insole upon setting of said plastic filler.
3. The device as defined in claim 1 together with a hollow lateral extension provided at one side of an intermediate portion of said insole in communication with said chamber, said flexible conduit being carried by and communicating with the interior of said extension.
4. The device as defined in claim 1 wherein said insole has a bottom provided with perforations communicating with said chamber, said plastic material filler possessing adhesive qualities and being extrudable through said apertures whereby to secure the insole inside of a shoe.
5. The device as defined in claim 1 wherein said flexible conduit has a screw-threaded end for connection to the outlet of a filler containing collapsible tube.
6. A shoe insert comprising a hollow insole consisting of two superposed layers of flexible material secured together along their marginal edges and forming a chamber therebetween, a flexible conduit of a readily severable material provided on said insole at one marginal edge thereof in communication with said chamber, and a filler of settable plastic material in said chamber and adapted to be admitted into said chamber through said flexible conduit While in a plastic, readily moldable state, said plastic material substantially filling said chamber and permitting said insole to shape itself to the contour of a foot but thereafter becoming set to retain the shaped contour of the insole.
7. The device as defined in claim 6 wherein said flexible conduit has a screw-threaded end for connection to the outlet of a filler containing collapsible tube.
8. The device as defined in claim 6 wherein the underlying one of said two superposed layers of material is provided with perforations communicating with said chamber, said plastic material filler possessing adhesive qualities and being extrudable through said apertures whereby to secure said insole inside of a shoe.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 747,994 Mayer et a1 Dec. 29, 1903 1,193,608 Poulson Aug. 8, 1916 1,676,162 Schiller July 3, 1928 1,757,904 Free May 6, 1930 2,123,730 Huttleston July 12, 1938 2,167,933 Seligmann Aug. 1, 1939 2,177,116 Persichino Oct. 24, 1939 2,286,495 Matteson June 16, 1942 2,365,807 Dialynas Dec. 26, 1944 2,477,588 Dumm Aug. 2, 1949 2,488,382 Davis Nov. 15, 1949 2,604,707 Hicks July 29, 1952 2,677,906 Reed May 11, 1954 2,684,541 Hirschle July 27, 1954 2,688,760 Forte Sept. 14, 1954 2,742,657 Sloane Apr. 24, 1956 2,791,844 Horlacher May 14, 1957