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United States Patent  [li] Patent Number: 4,852,274
Wilson  Date of Patent: Aug. 1,1989
U.S. Patent Aug. 1,1989 Sheet 1 of 2 4,852,274
U.S. Patent Aug. 1,1989 Sheet 2 of 2 4,852,274
 THERAPEUTIC SHOE
 Inventor: James T. Wilson, 132 Barrington Dr., Brandon, Fla. 33511
 Appl. No.: 121,687
 Filed: Nov. 16,1987
 Int. CL* A43B 13/20; A43B 13/18
 U.S. a 36/29; 36/28
 Field of Search 36/28, 29, 88, 43, 25 R,
36/71, 7.8, 11.5, 35 R, 35 B
 References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
1,516,395 11/1924 Miceli 36/7.8
2,968,105 1/1961 Rizzo 36/29
4,227,320 10/1980 Borgeas 36/29
4,358,902 11/1982 Cole et al 36/35 B
4,446,634 5/1984 Johnson et al 36/29
4,458,430 7/1984 Peterson 36/35 B
4,577,417 3/1986 Cole 36/29
4,768,295 9/1988 Ito 36/29
Primary Examiner—Steven N. Meyers
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Dominik, Stein, Saccocio,
Reese, Colitz & Van Der Wall
A shoe including an upper component and a sole component for receiving the foot of a wearer therebetween. The shoe also includes a plurality of force absorbing units positioned between the upper and sole components. Each unit has a first portion to receive the wearer's foot thereon and a remote second portion whereby, in response to forces exerted on the units by the wearer's foot, the first portions of the units will contract and the second portions of the units will expand to thereby absorb and distribute such exerted forces.
16 Claims, 2 Drawing Sheets
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to a therapeutic shoe and, more particularly, to therapeutic jogging shoes with a plurality of individual toroid shaped members positionable beneath the foot of a wearer for absorbing and distributing the forces generated by the wearer during use.
2. Description of the Background Art
During running, particularly during jogging and long
distance running, the runner's heels strike the ground
generating an impact or shock force which is then fol-
lowed by a sequential shifting of the force from the heel,
through the arch area, and then to the toe portion of the
foot. The repeated striking of the heel and other por-
tions of the runner's foot on the ground will generate
physically detrimental forces on the foot which are
transmitted throughout the runner's body in a determin-
able manner and of a predictable magnitude.
To minimize this problem, shoe manufacturers are continually improving the design and construction of shoes, particularly running shoes, in a effort to absorb as 25 much as possible of the detrimental forces. These efforts for improvement frequently involve the engineering of the resiliency of the material of which the shoe is made. In the alternative, inserts of one design or another may be placed inside the shoes beneath the wearer's feet.
While progress has been made in improving the performance of running shoes, most users still experience difficulty, including the development of soreness and injury, particularly to the feet but even occasionally throughout the entire body from the effects of running with shoes of known types.
Various approaches are disclosed in the literature to minimize the forces between ground and runner as through the use of force absorbing shoes or shoe components. In U.S. Pat. No. 4,445,284 to Sakutori, for 40 example, individual parallel pneumatic tubes are located across the majority of the extent of the shoe sole. Parallel tubes of varying diameters, coupled one to another, are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,593,482. Interconnected chambers in the soles of shoes are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,217,705 to Donzis and in 4,229,889 to Petrosky as well as in 4,446,634 to Johnson. Resilient, nonpneumatic chambers in soles of shoes are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,170,078 to Moss and 4,611,412 to Cohen. A coiled air tube, limited to the heel region of a shoe, is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 545,705 to MacDonald. Other types of force reducing soles include rheopexic sections, inverted collapsible pyramids and varying types of compressive sections. Note U.S. Pat Nos. 4,471,538 to Pomeranz, 4,521,979 to Blaser and 4,297,797 to Meyers.
Although many such advances are noteworthy to one extent or another, none achieves the objective of a lightweight, effective, inexpensive therapeutic running shoes designed to accommodate the specific needs of the specific runner, taking into account the particular force distribution generated by and on the different parts of the runner's foot during running.
An optimum assembly would be something new which combines the benefits of the prior approaches without their shortcomings, i.e., a shoe which provides for maximum force absorption, redistributes the detrimental forces evenly over the wearer's foot and body,
accommodates the wearer's particular weight and running style, and which is economical to manufacture.
As illustrated by the great number of prior patents as well as commercial devices, efforts are continuously being made in an attempt to improve therapeutic running shoes to render them more efficient, effective, comfortable and economical. None of these previous efforts, however, provides the benefits attendant with the present invention. Additionally, prior shoes do not suggest the present, inventive combination of component elements arranged and configured on disclosed and claimed herein. The present invention achieves its intended purposes, objects and advantages over the prior art devices through a new, useful and unobvious combination of component elements, with the use of a minimum number of functioning parts, at a reasonable cost to manufacture, and by employing only readily available, materials.
Therefore, it is an object of this invention to provide an improved therapeutic shoe which includes an upper component and a sole component for receiving the foot of a wearer therebetween and a plurality of force absorbing units positioned between the upper and sole components with each unit having a first portion to receive the wearer's foot thereon and a remote second portion whereby, in response to forces exerted on the units by the wearer's foot, the first portions of the units will contract and the second portions of the units will expand to thereby absorb and distribute such exerted forces.
It is another object of this invention to absorb and redistribute the forces generated by a runner.
It is a further object of the invention to tailor therapeutic shoes which abate detrimental forces on the wearer as a function of the weight and running style of the wearer.
Lastly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved jogging shoe with resilient, toroid shaped shells filled with high viscosity fluid which shifts to contract the shell at the area adjacent to the wearer's foot in response to the forces generated by the wearer.
The foregoing has outlined some of the more pertinent objects of the invention. These objects should be construed to be merely illustrative of some of the more prominent features and applications of the intended invention. Many other beneficial results can be attained by applying the disclosed invention in a different manner or by modifying the invention within the scope of the disclosure. Accordingly, other objects and a fuller understanding of the invention may be had by referring to the summary of the invention and the detailed description of the preferred embodiment in addition to the scope of the invention defined by the claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The invention is defined by the appended claims with the specific embodiment shown in the attached drawings. For the purpose of summarizing the invention, the invention may be incorporated into an improved shoe which includes an upper component and a sole component for receiving the foot of a wearer therebetween. The shoe also includes a plurality of force absorbing units positioned between the upper and sole components. Each unit has a first portion to receive the wearer's foot thereon and a remote second portion whereby, in response to forces exerted on the units by the wear