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Title:
INNER SOLE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2008/102391
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Insole or undersole comprising on the surface which during use faces the foot at least one or more projecting massaging elements, characterized in that it comprises non-permanent fixing means for removably fixing the one or more projecting elements to said surface of the undersole.

Inventors:
ALEMANNO, Fernando (Via Druso, 225/c, Bolzano, I-39100, IT)
ANDREATTA, Luciano (Via Daniele Manin, 10/8, Spresiano, I-31027, IT)
Application Number:
IT2007/000132
Publication Date:
August 28, 2008
Filing Date:
February 23, 2007
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SCM CONSULTING S.A.S. (Di Luciano Andreatta & C, Via D. Manin 10/8, Spresiano, I-31027, IT)
ALEMANNO, Fernando (Via Druso, 225/c, Bolzano, I-39100, IT)
ANDREATTA, Luciano (Via Daniele Manin, 10/8, Spresiano, I-31027, IT)
International Classes:
A43B13/38; A43B17/00; A61H7/00; A61H39/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO1986003384A1
WO2000070984A1
Foreign References:
FR2600506A1
EP1031293A1
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
AGOSTINI, Agostino et al. (Via Paris Bordone 9, Treviso, I-31100, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:

CLAIMS

1. Insole or undersole (11) comprising on the surface which during use faces the foot at least one or more projecting massaging elements (12, 14, 16), characterized in that it comprises non-permanent fixing means (23) for removably fixing the one or more projecting elements (12, 14, 16) to said surface of the undersole (11).

2. Insole (11) according to Claim 1, comprising a base sole (19) which has, formed therein, concave seats (22, 24, 26) inside which the one or more projecting elements (12, 14, 16) may be removably arranged.

3. Insole (11) according to Claim 2, in which at least one seat (22, 24, 26) has a form corresponding to the plan of the respective projecting element (12, 14, 16) so that the latter fits in a matching manner inside the former.

4. Insole (11) according to one of the preceding claims, in which a projecting element (12, 14, 16) comprises a flat base (13, 15, 17) with a thickness substantially equal to the depth of its seat (22, 24, 26) in the bottom sole (19). 5. Insole (11) according to Claim 4, in which a projecting element (12, 14, 16) comprises raised elements (32, 52, 34, 54, 36, 56, 59) which extend from its flat base (13, 15,

17).

6. Insole (11) according to Claim 5, in which said raised elements comprise blade-like elements (32, 34, 36). 7. Insole (11) according to 'Claim 6, in which the blade-like elements (32, 34, 36) are directed perpendicularly with respect to the longitudinal axis (W) of the foot sole.

8. Insole (11) according to Claim 6 or 7, in which the blade-like elements (32, 34, 36) are oriented obliquely with respect to the longitudinal axis (W) of the foot sole.

9. Insole (11) according to one of Claims 5 to 8, in which said raised elements comprise cylindrical studs (52, 54, 56).

10. Insole (11) according to Claim 9, in which the studs are formed within an empty band (42, 44) of the projecting element (14, 16).

11. Insole (11) according to one of Claims 5 to 10, in which the raised elements (32, 52, 34, 54, 36, 56, 59) are made of plastic/rubbery material with a hardness equal to 32, 38 or 44 Shore, with tolerances of ±3 Shore.

12. Insole (11) according to .one of Claims 5 to 11, in which the raised elements have, with respect to the flat base (13, 15, 17), a height with is contained within a curved envelope which flattens in the centre of the projecting element.

13. Insole (11) according to one of Claims 5 to 12, in which a projecting element (12) has a plan with a curvilinear perimeter which describes substantially the profile of a "b"

formed by the juxtaposition of a curvilinear triangular portion (12a) and an elongated portion (12b) arranged offset with respect thereto.

14. Insole (11) according to one of Claims 5 to 12, in which a projecting element (14) has a plan with a curvilinear perimeter having an approximately elongated oval shape with a slight lateral concavity (50), the oval being arranged obliquely with respect to the longitudinal axis (W) of the base sole (19) of the insole.

15. Insole (11) according to one of Claims 5 to 12, in which a projecting element (16) has a substantially triangular plan, with perimetral blade-like elements (36) which are raised on the flat base (17) and are arranged alongside each other and adjacent to the sides of the projecting element (16), the innermost blade-like elements (36) enclosing a triangular zone occupied in the centre by a cylindrical element (56) which is concentric with an outerlying annular relief (58) which surrounds it and b'y triangular-shaped reliefs (59) which are arranged in rotational symmetry.

16. Insole (11) according to one of the preceding claims, in which said non- permanent fixing means (23) comprise strips or portions of Velcro and/or buttons and/or rivets and/or magnetic strips.

17. Massaging pad (12, 14, 16) to be combined with an insole or an undersole (11), characterized in that it comprises a flat base (13, 15, 17) from where raised elements (32, 52, 34, 36, 56, 59) extend and which comprises non-permanent fixing means for non- permanent fixing to the insole (11),

18. Pad (12, 14, 16) according to Claim 17, in which said raised elements comprise blade-like elements (32, 34, 36).

19. Pad (12, 14) according to* Claim 17 or 18, in which said raised elements comprise cylindrical studs (52, 54). 20. Pad (12, 14) according to Claim 19, in which the studs (52, 54) are formed within an empty band (42, 44) of the pad.

21. Pad (12, 14, 16) according to one of Claims 17 to 20, in which the raised elements (32, 52, 34, 54, 36, 56, 59) are made of plastic/rubbery material with a hardness equal to 32, 38 or 44 Shore, with tolerances of ±3 Shore. 22. Pad (12, 14, 16) according to one of Claims 17 to 21, in which the raised elements (32, 52, 34, 54, 36, 56, 59) have, with respect to the flat base (13, 15, 17), a height which is contained within a curved envelope which flattens in the centre of the pad.

23. Pad (12, 14, 16) according to one of Claims 17 to 21, in which the flat base has a plan with a curvilinear perimeter which describes substantially the profile of a "b" formed by the juxtaposition of a curvilinear triangular portion (12a) and an elongated portion

(12b) arranged offset with respect thereto.

24. Pad (14) according to one of Claims 17 to 21, in which the flat base has a plan with a curvilinear perimeter having an approximately elongated oval shape which has a slight lateral concavity (50). 25. Pad (16) according to one of Claims 17 to 21, in which the flat base has a substantially triangular plan, with raised perimetral blade-like elements arranged alongside each other and adjacent to the sides of the projecting element (16), the innermost blade-like elements (36) enclosing a triangular zone occupied in the centre by a cylindrical element (56) concentric with an outerlying annular relief (58) which surrounds it and by triangular-shaped reliefs (59) arranged in rotational symmetry.

26. Pad (12, 14, 16) according to one of Claims 17 to 25, in which said non- permanent fixing means comprise strips or portions of Velcro and/or buttons and/or rivets and/or magnetic strips.

Description:

INNER SOLE

The present invention relates to an undersole or insole for shoes which massages the feet whilst walking.

Pressure therapy of the foot sole has the aim of eliminating tiredness and stimulating the organism so that it releases the toxic products of the metabolism when affected by physical stress and certain events. This is achieved with the activation of given reflexes by means of rhythmic pressure applied to specific zones of the foot sole where the nerve endings of various parts of the body lie. This results in improvement of the specific organs or the muscle and skeletal structures which the reflexology therapy aims to treat. In order for it to be performed, plantar reflexology therapy requires the participation of two parties, i.e. the patient and the reflexology masseur. Generally, it is not possible, owing to the limited amount of time available for the two persons and the fact that this available time must coincide, to perform the massage treatment for the length of time and with the frequency which is desirable. An attempt has been made to rectify this by means of special insoles or soles.

Insoles for shoes, designed to stimulate specific zones of the foot sole are commercially known and comprise protuberances which are arranged on the surface facing the sole of the foot, which is thus stimulated during walking. The patents US-A-5,864,969 and GB-A-2,426,427 describe insoles with projecting parts or protuberances which, during walking, exert a pressure on specific zones of the foot sole. These insoles have fixed pressure zones, namely the projecting parts have a fixed position on the insole and are formed integrally therein. Consequently, it is required to acquire various insoles in order to vary the pressure zones. Moreover, the protuberances are rigid and may be troublesome or cause slight pain during walking, leaving the person using them no other option but to remove them.

Other insoles have (rigid and fixed) protuberances with holes inside which small rigid studs (i.e. sort of nail) with a rounded head may be removably inserted, said studs exerting a pressing force on the zones in contact with the foot. In this case, also, the repeated pressure of the rigid head of the studs may cause discomfort when walking for long periods of time. Other insoles also have their surface which is completely covered by mushroom- shaped forms, the heads of which act so as to massage without distinction the whole sole of the foot. However, in this way, the reflexological effect is in fact eliminated since a varied and locally defined stimulation of specific reflexological points of the foot is not obtained.

The main object of the present invention is to provide a messaging insole which produces an effect of well-being and a marked general sensation of comfort when walking.

Another object is to provide an insole which acts selectively on specific areas of the foot.

Another object is to obtain an insole which is comfortable, effective, simple to use and can be adapted to the user's requirements. These and other objects are achieved by an insole or undersole comprising on the surface which during use faces the foot at least one or more projecting massaging elements characterized in that it comprises non-permanent fixing means for removably fixing the one or more projecting elements to said surface of the undersole.

"With the invention, the projecting massaging elements (or pads) may be positioned if necessary in various zones of the undersole, acting on the points of the sole of the foot which are to be stimulated. This therefore allows personalization of the insole to the user's requirements.

As fixing means it is possible to use, in addition to those alreaoly described, similar and/or equivalent means (also in combination), making using only of the possibility of being able to combine, as required, the massaging elements with the insole. In the case where the mutual combination involves co-operation of two separable and interacting parts, said means may be associated with the insole and a corresponding massaging element (for example two strips of Velcro), one on the insole and one underneath the messaging element), or only one of the two (for example a strip of adhesive underneath the massaging element). The projecting massaging elements may, advantageously, have different structural characteristics, for example: hardness of the materials and/or form, height and hardness of the reliefs present therein. Thus the various zones of the foot are massaged in a different and subjective manner. In particular, when using relatively soft materials, a truly massaging action is obtained, different from the action of a rigid projection. Advantageously, therefore, the projecting massaging elements according to the invention may take the form of massaging pads.

Therefore, the invention results in the great advantage that, once the area to be treated has been defined, the reflexology therapy may be continued in an indefinite and subjective manner, both between sessions, and after completion of the series of manual massages, so as to consolidate the results achieved. It is sufficient for the person to walk using the insole according to the invention.

The characteristic features of the insole according to the invention are based on recent medical studies which are briefly described.

In human pathology, broadly speaking, in response to the action of a noxious agent, a tissue may react in two possible ways: either it becomes inflamed or it degenerates.

_ r> _

If it becomes inflamed, physiopathological changes in its microcirculation occur in the affected zone: the continued presence of the noxious agent induces a spasm of the precapillary sphincters and therefore a consequent stagnation in the region of the venous capillaries. This gives rise to an asphyctic metabolism which adversely affects the most important energy production source and which is known by the technical term of "Krebs cycle" with a consequent marked reduction in the functional activity of the cell. The immediate consequence consists in an -increase in the production of lactic acid which, moreover, in view of the stagnating condition, enters too slowly into the general circulation where it would be recycled by the liver and the heart. If, from the normal value of 14 mg% ml of lactic acid in the blood, a value of 70 mg ml is reached, there is a marked slowing down in the final reaction of one of the most important metabolic mechanisms which produce energy- destined principally no longer for functioning, but for the very survival of the cell. There is also a simultaneous reduction in the pH albeit locally, with a further worsening of the microcirculation, increase in exemia and therefore edema, which are not always visible, but always more or less present in an inflamed zone. The decisive action of reflexotherapy (acupuncture, Shiatsu, reflexology) consists essentially - apart from activating the well-known antalgic mechanisms (increase in the endorphins in the central nervous system in the specific areas corresponding to the treated zones} - in resolving the spasm of the precapillary sphincters and in reactivating, as regards the capillary microcirculation, that "vis a tergo" which allows the regular flow of the stagnating blood towards the main circulation. Those physiological conditions which allow better oxygenation of the tissue, which is an indispensable condition for the healing process, are thus re-established.

The aspects and advantages of the present invention will emerge more clearly from the following description, provided purely by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

- Fig. 1 is an exploded axonometric view of an undersole according to the invention;

- Fig. 2 is an axonometric view of the undersole of Fig. 1 with the components assembled;

- Fig. 3 is an enlarged side view of the undersole of Fig. 2; - Fig. 4 is a view, from above, of the undersole according to Fig. 2;

- Fig. 5 is an enlarged view, from the rear, of the undersole of Fig. 2;

- Figs. 6, 7, 8 are enlarged axonometric views of three massaging pads of the undersole of Fig. 1.

With reference to the Figures, 11 denotes an undersole to be positioned in contact with the foot sole, inside a shoe.

The undersole 11, which has a form substantially similar to a shoe insole, has a longitudinal axis W (coinciding approximately with that of the foot) and comprises a base sole 19 which is made of leather, rubber or other material and which has, on the surface which during use faces the foot, three concave seats 22, 24, 26, each with a different shape, inside which projecting massaging pads or inserts 12, 14, 16 may be respectively arranged in a removable manner. Preferably, each seat 22, 24, 26 has a shape the same as (i.e. corresponding to) the sole of the respective pad 12, 14, 16 so that the latter are adapted in a matching manner inside the former.

Preferably the thickness of the sole 19 is equal to a few millimetres. The pads 12, 14, 16 may be combined with the undersole using fixing means such as, for example, on their own or in combination, strips or portions of Velcro 23 (one underneath the base of the pad and one inside the seat), buttons, rivets or magnetic plates (the latter being situated inside the pad so that they may be attracted by a metal strip inside the sole 19 or vice versa) arranged or engaged on a flat base (indicated by 13, 15, 17, respectively) with a thickness substantially equal to the depth of the seats 22, 24, 26.

Raised elements, which will be described below with reference to Figs. 6-8, extend from the bases 13, 15, 17.

The pad 12 can be inserted inside the seat 24, formed in the rear of the undersole 11, underneath the heel. The pad 12 has a plan (plan-view form) with a curvilinear perimeter which describes substantially the profile of a "b" (see Figure 6), namely the juxtaposition of a curvilinear triangular portion 12a which is symmetrical with respect to an axis Y2 and an elongated portion 12b, with a longitudinal axis X2, situated alongside the axis Y2. The axes X2 and Y2 are substantially parallel to the axis W. Blade-like elements 32 (only one is indicated in the Figures) project approximately perpendicularly from the base 15 of the insert 12 and extend approximately perpendicularly with respect to the axes X2 and Y2. The blade elements 32 have a slightly curved progression, forming a slight concavity directed towards the toe of the foot and are absent in an empty central band 42 of the portion 12a which is perpendicular to the axis Y2. Seven identical cylindrical elements or studs 52 with a rounded head are arranged in a row within the band 42. Both the blade elements 32 and the studs 52 have, with respect to the base 13, a height (extension) which is contained within a curved envelope which flattens in the centre of the pad 12 (see also Fig. 5).

The pad 14 can be inserted inside the seat 24 which is arranged approximately in the centre of the undersole 11. The pad 14 has a plan with a curvilinear perimeter having an approximately elongated oval shape, with a major axis Xl, which has a slight lateral concavity 50. Blade elements 34 project perpendicularly from the base 15 of the insert 14 (only one of

them is indicated in the figures) and extend perpendicularly with respect to the axis Xl, which is inclined relative to the axis W.

The blade elements 34 cover the whole of the base 13 of the insert 14, except for an empty central band 44 which crosses the pad 14 approximately perpendicularly with respect to the axis Xl. Five cylindrical elements or studs 54 with a rounded head are situated in the band 44 and arranged in a row (in the figures only one is indicated), extending perpendicularly from the base 13. The blade elements 34 and the studs 54 have a height with respect to the base 15 similar to that of the blade elements 32 and the studs 52 in the pad 12.

The pad 16, which can be inserted inside the seat 26 arranged in the front part of the undersole 11, has a plan which is substantially triangular, with three concave major sides and rounded vertices. Within the pad 16 six identical perimetral blade elements 36 project from the base 17, being arranged in pairs alongside each other and adjacent to one side of the pad

16. The three innermost blade elements 36 enclose a triangular zone. The triangular zone is occupied in the centre by a cylindrical element or stud 56 which is concentric with an outerlying annular relief 58 which surrounds it and by three triangular-shaped reliefs 59 arranged in rotational symmetry.

The blade elements 32, 34, 56 and the cylindrical elements 52 54, 56 apply, when a person is walking, a pressure on the sole of the foot, performing a massaging action. Said elements are made of a plastic/rubbery material with a predetermined hardness which varies depending on the zones of the foot on which the reliefs act. In particular, the hardness may be equal to 32, 38 or 44 Shore, with tolerances of about ±3 Shore.

Since the nerve centres of the foot which correspond to the various anatomical parts of the body (reflexological points) are situated at various depths with respect to the skin of the sole, the various massaging pads may massage with varied intensity the area covered by the said pad by means of the series of studs and blade elements.

The fundamental feature of the blade elements is that they are directed more or less perpendicularly with respect to the axis of the foot. When the blade elements are oriented perpendicularly with respect to the longitudinal axis of the foot sole, they produce a superficial massaging action, flexing forwards or backwards. In the zones instead where the axis of the blade elements coincide with that of the foot (oblique blade elements) or more specifically, with the progression vector, the movement of the foot during walking not being linear, but complex, the blade element will be less prone to flex and therefore will produce a less superficial massaging action. More intense and deeper massaging is instead obtained in the areas of the massaging pads formed by studs. Owing to the different values of hardness, height and inclination of the massaging

reliefs and the arrangement of the inserts, it is possible to act simultaneously, but in a different manner, on various portions of the foot sole, thus diversifying the massaging action depending on the reflexology therapy.

Moreover, owing to the possibility of removing the inserts from the respective seats, it is possible to use the undersole with a variable number of inserts (from zero to three or even more), modifying only the zones which are of interest for the user. In fact, in the case where the user decides to use the undersole without one or more inserts, matching cut-outs made of leather or other material (not shown in the figures) may also be inserted inside the seats which are not occupied. The undersole according to the invention may have seats which, in terms of number and shape, are different from those described; similarly the pads may comprise massaging reliefs having a shape and made of material different from those indicated by 12, 14, 16.

Obviously, with respect to the undersole described above for the left-hand foot, an undersole for the right-hand foot will have a form and an arrangement of the seats and inserts which are symmetrical.

It is understood that the invention also includes the pad to be inserted in the undersole considered in isolation, namely a pad to be combined with an insole or undersole, characterized in that it comprises a flat base from which raised elements extend and which comprises means for non-permanent fixing to the undersole 11.