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Title:
SHOE SOLE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/151787
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A high heel shoe sole that has a heel portion, a forefoot portion, and an arch. The heel portion has a slope that generally defines an angle to the horizontal of at least (30) degrees. The forefoot portion has a slope that generally defines an angle to the horizontal of at least (60) degrees. The arch between the heel portion and the forefoot portion has a front part proximal to the forefoot portion and a rear part proximal to the heel portion. The curvature of the arch generally defines an angle of at least (140) degrees between the front part and the rear part of the arch such that the curvature of the arch distributes a body weight of a wearer across the arch of the wearer's foot.

Inventors:
HENDLER, Julia (32 East 57th Street, New York, NY, NY, US)
Application Number:
US2017/020226
Publication Date:
September 08, 2017
Filing Date:
March 01, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
HENDLER, Julia (32 East 57th Street, New York, NY, NY, US)
HENDLER, Julia (32 East 57th Street, New York, NY, 10022, US)
International Classes:
A43B7/14; A43B7/00; A43B13/40
Foreign References:
US20160051007A12016-02-25
US20150157085A12015-06-11
US20160044990A12016-02-18
US20150208757A12015-07-30
US20090007455A12009-01-08
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HEBLE, Nikhil A. et al. (Blank Rome LLP, One Logan Square130 N. 18th Stree, Philadelphia PA, 19103, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is Claimed is:

1. A high heel shoe sole, comprising:

a heel portion having a slope that generally defines an angle to the horizontal of at least 30 degrees;

a forefoot portion having a slope that generally defines an angle to the horizontal of at least 60 degrees; and

an arch between the heel portion and the forefoot portion, the arch having a front part proximal to the forefoot portion and a rear part proximal to the heel portion, and having an elongated curvature that generally defines an angle of at least 140 degrees between the front part and the rear part of the arch,

wherein the curvature of the arch distributes a body weight of a wearer across the arch of the wearer's foot.

2. The high heel shoe sole of claim 1, further comprising at least one layer of padding.

3. The high heel shoe sole of claim 2, wherein the at least one layer of padding is a first layer of padding that extends from the forefoot portion to the heel portion.

4. The high heel shoe sole of claim 3, wherein a second layer of padding is disposed on the first layer of padding at the forefoot portion.

5. The high heel shoe sole of claim 4, wherein a third layer of padding is disposed on the first layer of padding at the heel portion, the third layer of padding being spaced from the second layer of padding.

6. The high heel shoe sole of claim 5, wherein a thickness of the second and third layers of padding is twice a thickness of the first layer of padding.

7. The high heel shoe sole of claim 5, wherein the first layer of padding is formed of polyurethane foam and the second and third layers of padding are formed of latex foam.

8. The high heel shoe sole of claim 1, further comprising a depression extending into the heel portion, the forefoot portion, and the arch, the depression being sized to receive a layer of padding.

9. The high heel shoe sole of claim 8, wherein a layer of padding is received in the depression such that the layer of padding is substantially flush with a top surface the heel portion, the forefoot portion, and the arch.

10. The high heel shoe sole of claim 9, further comprising a ridge, the ridge extending around a perimeter of the layer of padding.

11. A high heel shoe sole, comprising:

a heel portion having a slope that generally defines an angle to the horizontal of about 30 to 40 degrees;

a forefoot portion having a slope that generally defines an angle to the horizontal of about 60 to 70 degrees;

an arch between the heel portion and the forefoot portion, the arch having a front part proximal to the forefoot portion and a rear part proximal to the heel portion, and having an elongated curvature that generally defines an angle of 140 to 160 degrees between the front part to the rear part of the arch; and

at least one layer of padding that extends from the heel portion and the forefoot portion, wherein the curvature of the arch distributes a body weight of a wearer across the arch of the wearer's foot.

12. The high heel shoe sole of claim 11, wherein

the angle defined by the slope of the heel portion is about 35 degrees;

the angle defined by the slope of the forefoot portion is about 64 to 67 degrees; and the angle of the curvature of the arch is about 145 to 155 degrees.

13. The high heel shoe sole of claim 11, wherein the at least one layer of padding is a first layer, and further comprising a second layer of padding disposed on the first layer of padding at the forefoot portion.

14. The high heel shoe sole of claim 13, further comprising a third layer of padding disposed on the first layer of padding at the heel portion, the third layer of padding being spaced from the second layer of padding.

15. The high heel shoe sole of claim 14, wherein a thickness of the second and third layers of padding is twice a thickness of the first layer of padding.

16. The high heel shoe sole of claim 14, wherein the first layer of padding is formed of polyurethane foam and the second and third layers of padding are formed of latex foam.

17. The high heel shoe sole of claim 11, further comprising a depression extending into the heel portion, the forefoot portion, and the arch, the depression being sized to receive a layer of padding.

18. The high heel shoe sole of claim 17, wherein a layer of padding is received in the depression such that the layer of padding is substantially flush with a top surface the heel portion, the forefoot portion, and the arch.

19. The high heel shoe sole of claim 17, wherein the depression is at least 0.5mm deep.

20. The high heel shoe sole of claim 11, further comprising a ridge, the ridge extending around a perimeter of the layer of padding.

Description:
SHOE SOLE

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] The present application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/302,047, entitled Shoe Sole, filed on March 1, 2016, the subject matter of which is herein incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0002] The present invention relates to footwear, and particularly to an improved sole for high heeled shoes.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Women's shoes from high end brands which have a heel height greater than 3.5", and especially those which have a 5" or 6" heel, generally employ a similarly shaped sole in order to accommodate the large difference in height between the wearer's heel and the ball of the foot. Typically, such shoes have a very steep arch which is steeply rounded into the heel section. This results in the wearer's body weight being supported largely on the ball of the foot and toes, as the wearer is forced onto the balls of their feet, with a smaller amount of the person's weight being supported by their heel. Additionally, in many shoe styles, such as pumps, a very thin shoe sole is employed, and the design of the shoes does not leave much room for padding in the sole or for the insertion of a separate padded or gel insert. These features together make wearing such shoes quite uncomfortable, especially for older women as the fat padding in the ball of the foot can atrophy with age.

SUMMARY

[0004] Accordingly, the present invention may provide a high heel shoe sole that comprises a heel portion, a forefoot portion, and an arch. The heel portion has a slope that generally defines an angle to the horizontal of at least 30 degrees. The forefoot portion has a slope that generally defines an angle to the horizontal of at least 60 degrees. The arch between the heel portion and the forefoot portion has a front part proximal to the forefoot portion and a rear part proximal to the heel portion. The elongated curvature of the arch generally defines an angle of at least 140 degrees between the front part and the rear part of the arch such that the curvature of the arch distributes a body weight of a wearer across the arch of the wearer's foot.

[0005] In one embodiment, the shoe sole may comprise at least one layer of padding. That layer of padding may be a first layer of padding that extends from the forefoot portion to the heel portion. In another embodiment, a second layer of padding may be disposed on the first layer of padding at the forefoot portion and a third layer of padding may be disposed on the first layer of padding at the heel portion. The third layer of padding may be spaced from the second layer of padding. In an embodiment, the thickness of the second and third layers of padding is twice the thickness of the first layer of padding. In another embodiment, the first layer of padding is formed of polyurethane foam and the second and third layers of padding are formed of latex foam.

[0006] In yet another embodiment, the sole may include a depression extending into the heel portion, the forefoot portion, and the arch, where the depression is sized to receive a layer of padding. A layer of padding may be received in the depression such that the layer of padding is substantially flush with a top surface the heel portion, the forefoot portion, and the arch. The sole may include a ridge that extends around a perimeter of a layer of padding received in the depression.

[0007] The present invention may also provide a high heel shoe sole comprising a heel portion that has a slope that generally defines an angle to the horizontal of about 30 to 40 degrees; a forefoot portion that has a slope that generally defines an angle to the horizontal of about 60 to 70 degrees; an arch between the heel portion and the forefoot portion where the arch has a front part proximal to the forefoot portion and a rear part proximal to the heel portion, and a curvature that generally defines an angle of 140 to 160 degrees between the front part and the rear part of the arch; and at least one layer of padding that extends between the heel portion and the forefoot portion. The elongated curvature of the arch distributes a body weight of a wearer across the arch of the wearer' s foot.

[0008] In one embodiment, the angle defined by the slope of the heel portion is about 35 degrees, the angle defined by the slope of the forefoot portion is about 64 to 67 degrees, and the angle of the curvature of the arch is about 145 to 155 degrees. [0009] In another embodiment, the one layer of padding is a first layer and a second layer of padding is disposed on the first layer of padding at the forefoot portion. A third layer of padding may also be disposed on the first layer of padding at the heel portion. The thickness of the second and third layers of padding may be twice the thickness of the first layer of padding. Also, the first layer of padding may be formed of polyurethane foam and the second and third layers of padding may be formed of latex foam.

[0010] In still another embodiment, the sole includes a depression that extends into the heel portion, the forefoot portion, and the arch and the depression may be sized to receive a layer of padding. A layer of padding may be received in the depression such that the layer of padding is substantially flush with a top surface of the heel portion, the forefoot portion, and the arch. In one embodiment, the depression is at least 0.5mm deep. The sole may include a ridge that extends around a perimeter of the layer of padding received in the depression.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] A more complete appreciation of the invention and many of the attendant advantages thereof will be readily obtained as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawing figures:

[0012] FIG. 1A is a side elevational view of a high heel shoe with a shoe sole according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0013] FIG. IB is side elevational view of a high heel shoe with the prior art shoe sole;

[0014] FIGS. 1C and ID are elevational side views of the shoe sole, illustrated in FIG. 1A, as compared to the prior art shoe sole, illustrated in FIG. IB, showing the curvature of the arch of the shoe sole of the present being flatter that the arch of the prior art shoe sole;

[0015] FIG. 2 is a sketch from below of the shoe sole illustrated in FIG. 1A, showing a location for a heel;

[0016] FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of the shoe sole illustrated in FIG. 1 A; and

[0017] FIGS. 4A-4C are graphs showing the arch curvature of a 115mm high heel shoe incorporating the shoe sole according to the present invention;

[0018] FIGS. 5A and 5B are graphs showing the arch curvature of a 120mm high heel shoe incorporating the shoe sole according to the present invention; and FIG. 5C is a graph showing an overlay of the arch curvature of the 115mm high heel shoe and the 120mm high heel shoe; and

[0019] FIGS. 6A and 6B are side elevational views of the shoe sole according to the present invention, showing the shoe sole with padding.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0020] Referring to FIGS. 1 A-6B, the present invention relates to a shoe sole 12 of a high heeled shoe 10. The shoe sole 12 is connected to an upper 14 and a heel 16 of the shoe 10. The shoe 10 is generally a high heeled women's shoe having a heel height H of about 3.5" (about 85mm) or higher, although it will appreciated that many different styles of shoe may incorporate a high heel, such as pumps, sandals, boots, wedges, platform shoes, sneakers, and the like. Different styles of shoe may, however, allow for differing amounts of padding to be employed within the sole. The invention is not intended to be limited in this regard.

[0021] The shoe sole 12 according to the invention incorporates a curved arch 18 which extends between a heel portion 20 (the area of the heel of the foot) and a forefoot portion 22 (the area of the ball of the foot and toes). The curvature of the arch 18 is designed to distribute the body weight of the wearer evenly across the foot, so that pressure points are also more evenly distributed, thus reducing pain when compared to prior art high heeled shoes 1 (FIG. IB).

[0022] The length of the shoe sole 12 between the toe area and the arch 18 is preferably longer, most preferably at least 3mm longer, than that same length of the prior art shoes 1, shown in FIG. IB, even with the same height of heel. This longer length of shoe sole 12 slightly flattens the arch 18, thereby reducing pressure on the ball of the foot. The prior art shoe 1 has a flatter sole 2 underneath the heel of the wearer and a steeper sole 3 underneath the arch of the foot, as seen from FIGS. IB and 1C, which increases pressure on the ball of the foot causing discomfort. In FIGS. 1C and ID, the shoes of the present invention and the prior art are shown one in front of the other (FIG. 1C) and heel-to-heel (ID) to illustrate this difference in the curvature of the shoe sole 12 of the present invention compared to the prior art. The shape and curvature of the arch 18 of the shoe sole 12 of the present invention significantly improves the weight distribution of the foot within the shoe 10 compared to the prior art shoe 1 by allowing the pressure to be evenly distributed along the entire foot to alleviate the pain that was previously associated with wearing very high heeled shoes. [0023] FIGS. 4A-5C are grafts which provide details of the curvature of the arch for both a 115 mm high heel (FIGS. 4A-4C) and a 120 mm high heel (FIGS. 5A-5C). The measurements are designed for a standard size 37 shoe (equivalent to a US size 6.5), and are typically adjusted up or down to all standard sizes between 34 (US size 4.5) and 41 (US size 10.5). A person of ordinary skill in the art will know how to adjust the last to these standard sizes.

[0024] It can be seen from FIGS. 4A-5C that the angle under the arch 18 has a varying curvature. The angle of the curvature is gently sloping at the heel portion 20, with a bend point 24 where the arch 18 transitions into a higher slope angle underneath the midfoot. The arch curvature levels off again proximal to the forefoot portion 22. The bend point 24 where the curvature of the slope of the arch 18 changes may be located approximately underneath the joint between the calcaneous bone (heel bone) and the cuboid bones (which articulate with the calcaneous bone) of the foot where the arch of the foot is naturally higher. The arch 18 of the shoe sole 12 thus generally mimics the shape of the arch of the foot, whereas the prior art shoe 1 has the highest degree of curvature of the sole underneath the calcaneous bone.

[0025] Although in practice the slope of the arch 18 is curved such that no sharp angle exists that may feel uncomfortable to the wearer, various points on arch 18 may generally define or approximate an angle. A front part 26 of the arch 18, which is proximal to the forefoot portion 22, may have a slope to the horizontal (i.e. with respect to a horizontal axis) of about 60-70 degrees (ai), such that the sole 12 is curved through about 110-120 degrees at the top side of the sole 12 that faces the ball of the foot. A rear part 28 of the arch 18, which is proximal to the heel portion 20, and lies underneath the heel in use, may have a slope to the horizontal of about 30 to 40 degrees, and preferably about 35 degrees (a 2 ). And the bend point 24 of arch 18 may approximate an angle (a 3 ) between the front and rear parts 26 and 28 of the arch 18 of about 140 to 160 degrees, and preferably between 145 and 155 degrees facing away from the bottom side of the sole. It will be appreciated that these angles can vary according to the height H of the heel of the shoe. For example, the front part 26 of the arch 18 may have a steeper angle with a higher heel. For example, a heel higher than 120 mm may have a front part 26 of the arch having a slope of greater than 70 degrees.

[0026] The actual shape of sole 12 may vary depending on the size of the shoe 10 and the heel height H that is desired. As the shape of the sole 12 is varied, it is generally the angle (ai) of the front part 26 of the arch 18 that is altered, while the angle (a 2 ) of the sole underneath the heel remains the same. Examples of differing heights of the arch when measured for both a 115mm heel and a 120mm heel for a shoe size of 37 are presented in Tables 1 and 2 below. The 115mm and 120mm heels are also illustrated in Figs. 4A-5C. In the illustrated examples, the 115mm high heel has the front part 26 of the arch 18 at an angle (ai) to the horizontal of approximately 64 degrees while the 120mm high heel has an angle (ai) to the horizontal of approximately 67 degrees.

[0027] The forefoot portion 22 of the sole 12 may initially be horizontal to the ground where it meets the arch 18 of the sole 12, but it may continue forwards towards the toes at a slight angle to the horizontal such that the toes can curve slightly upwardly in order to accommodate the heel position to allow for walking. The toe angle may be between about 5-10 degrees, for example, approximately 6-8 degrees to the horizontal.

TABLE 1

14.4 135.1 12.521% 10.0 58.29%

10.5 140.1 9.130% 5.0 72.91%

6.8 145.1 5.913% 5.0 64.76%

3.5 150.1 3.043% 5.0 51.47%

TABLE 2

Height (mm) Length of sole Percentage of Distance from Percentage of measured from heel height previous previous heel (mm) measurement measurement

(mm)

120.1 0 100% - -

102.8 30.0 85.595% 30.0 85.595

85.0 60.0 70.774% 30.0 82.68%

70.4 79.9 58.617% 19.9 82.82%

53.8 99.9 44.796 % 20.0 76.42%

36.0 120.0 29.975% 20.1 66.91%

15.1 141.1 12.572% 20.1 41.94%

7.2 151.2 5.995% 10.1 47.68%

3.6 156.2 2.997% 5.0 50.0%

1.7 161.2 1.415% 5.0 47.22%

[0028] The elongated and gentle curvature of the arch 18 is designed to provide an optimal distribution of pressure points on the foot. The shape of the arch 18 causes much less body weight to be distributed forwards solely onto the ball of the foot, as happens with the prior art shoe 1 shown in Fig. IB.

[0029] In a preferred embodiment, the shoe sole 12 may be padded to enhance comfort. Several layers of padding are preferably provided, and in one preferred arrangement shown in FIGS. 6 A and 6B, three layers of padding 100, 110, and 120 are provided. The padding layers may be foam, gel, or any suitable material for padding. In some arrangements, different layers of padding can be provided in different materials and/or densities. [0030] In an alternative embodiment, the material of the sole 12, which is typically wood, leather or a hard plastics or other composite material, can be hollowed out slightly to form a depression 130 in order to accommodate at least one layer of padding, such as layer 100, as seen in FIG. 6B. In one arrangement, to form depression 130, a shape is cut into the top surface of the sole 12 corresponding to the shape of the first layer 100 of padding to be applied thereto. For example, a portion of approximately 0.5mm thick can be cut from the sole 12 to partially accommodate a lmm thick layer of padding. A small ridge 132 of sole 12 is thus left around the outside of the padding layer 100 so that the sole 12 appears to be the same thickness as that employed with prior art shoes.

[0031] The first layer of padding 100 is adjacent to the shoe sole 12 and has a length sufficient to rest underneath the toes and arch of the foot. Layer 100 may extend slightly into the curvature of the arch of the sole. The second layer 110 of padding is applied on top of the first layer 100 and extends under the arch of the foot to the end of the heel. It is preferable that the second layer 110 of padding not extend under the toes to provide extra room in the shoe for the toes. The third layer 120 of padding is provided under the heel of the foot and over the arch 18 of the shoe sole 12 and does not have to extend all the way forward to the ball of the foot.

[0032] It will be appreciated that any suitable arrangement of padding may be employed, but in the preferred arrangement that is described and shown, the ball of the foot, which is the most sensitive part of the foot and subject to the most weight bearing, sits on at least two layers of padding.

[0033] One exemplary suitable material for the foam padding is a latex material, which may be provided in a lattice form, for example. It is generally preferred to have a padding thickness of about l-3mm per layer of padding. In one preferred arrangement, the foam padding is about 2mm thick and has a weight of 410 g/m 2 ±5% giving a density of 150 g per m. In a particularly preferred arrangement, the first layer 100 adjacent to the sole 12 may be thinner than the second and third layers 110 and 120. For example, the first layer 100 may be about lmm thick while the second and third layers 110 and 120 may be about 2mm thick.

[0034] Other suitable latex foams have the following specifications listed in Table 3 : TABLE 3

[0035] Another exemplary suitable material for the padding layers is a PVC polyurethane foam, such as moltoprene. A suitable formulation is available from Benvegnu S.r.l., Vigonovo, Italy, under the name Linea Green. It has a density of 360 g/m 2 + 5%, and a thickness of 2mm. This type of foam padding may advantageously be used in the first layer 100, while the latex foam may be used in the second and third layers 110 and 120.

[0036] The grammatical articles "one", "a", "an", and "the", as used in this specification, are intended to include "at least one" or "one or more", unless otherwise indicated. Thus, the articles are used in this specification to refer to one or more than one (i.e., to "at least one") of the grammatical objects of the article. By way of example, "a component" means one or more components, and thus, possibly, more than one component is contemplated and may be employed or used in an application of the described embodiments. Further, the use of a singular noun includes the plural, and the use of a plural noun includes the singular, unless the context of the usage requires otherwise. Additionally, the grammatical conjunctions "and" and "or" are used herein according to accepted usage. By way of example, "x and y" refers to "x" and "y". On the other hand, "x or y" refers to "x", "y", or both "x" and "y", whereas "either x or y" refers to exclusivity.

[0037] This disclosure describes various elements, features, aspects, and advantages of various embodiments, configurations, and arrangements of the oven systems, apparatuses, and methods thereof. It is to be understood that certain descriptions of the various embodiments and such configurations and arrangements thereof have been simplified to illustrate only those elements, features and aspects that are relevant to a more clear understanding of the disclosed embodiments, while eliminating, for purposes of brevity or clarity, other elements, features and aspects. Any references to "various," "certain," "some," "one," or "an" when followed by "embodiment," "configuration," or "arrangement" generally means that a particular element, feature or aspect described in the example is included in at least one embodiment. The phrases "in various," "in certain," "in some," "in one," or "in an" when followed by "embodiment", "configuration", or "arrangement" may not necessarily refer to the same embodiment. Furthermore, the phrases "in one such" or "in this" when followed by "embodiment," "configuration," or "arrangement," while generally referring to and elaborating upon a preceding embodiment, is not intended to suggest that the elements, features, and aspects of the embodiment introduced by the phrase are limited to the preceding embodiment; rather, the phrase is provided to assist the reader in understanding the various elements, features, and aspects disclosed herein and it is to be understood that those having ordinary skill in the art will recognize that such elements, features, and aspects presented in the introduced embodiment may be applied in combination with other various combinations and sub-combinations of the elements, features, and aspects presented in the disclosed embodiments. It is to be appreciated that persons having ordinary skill in the art, upon considering the descriptions herein, will recognize that various combinations or sub-combinations of the various embodiments and other elements, features, and aspects may be desirable in particular implementations or applications. However, because such other elements, features, and aspects may be readily ascertained by persons having ordinary skill in the art upon considering the description herein, and are not necessary for a complete understanding of the disclosed embodiments, a description of such elements, features, and aspects may not be provided. For example, ovens and oven systems described herein may also include connections such as fittings for one or more of electrical connections, gas connections, or flue connections. As such, it is to be understood that the description set forth herein is merely exemplary and illustrative of the disclosed embodiments and is not intended to limit the scope of the invention as defined solely by the claims. SHOE SOLE

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] The present application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/302,047, entitled Shoe Sole, filed on March 1, 2016, the subject matter of which is herein incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0002] The present invention relates to footwear, and particularly to an improved sole for high heeled shoes.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Women's shoes from high end brands which have a heel height greater than 3.5", and especially those which have a 5" or 6" heel, generally employ a similarly shaped sole in order to accommodate the large difference in height between the wearer's heel and the ball of the foot. Typically, such shoes have a very steep arch which is steeply rounded into the heel section. This results in the wearer's body weight being supported largely on the ball of the foot and toes, as the wearer is forced onto the balls of their feet, with a smaller amount of the person's weight being supported by their heel. Additionally, in many shoe styles, such as pumps, a very thin shoe sole is employed, and the design of the shoes does not leave much room for padding in the sole or for the insertion of a separate padded or gel insert. These features together make wearing such shoes quite uncomfortable, especially for older women as the fat padding in the ball of the foot can atrophy with age.

SUMMARY

[0004] Accordingly, the present invention may provide a high heel shoe sole that comprises a heel portion, a forefoot portion, and an arch. The heel portion has a slope that generally defines an angle to the horizontal of at least 30 degrees. The forefoot portion has a slope that generally defines an angle to the horizontal of at least 60 degrees. The arch between the heel portion and the forefoot portion has a front part proximal to the forefoot portion and a rear part proximal to the heel portion. The elongated curvature of h generally defines an angle of at least 140 degrees between the front part and the rear part of the arch such that the curvature of the arch distributes a body weight of a wearer across the arch of the wearer's foot.

[0005] In one embodiment, the shoe sole may comprise at least one layer of padding. That layer of padding may be a first layer of padding that extends from the forefoot portion to the heel portion. In another embodiment, a second layer of padding may be disposed on the first layer of padding at the forefoot portion and a third layer of padding may be disposed on the first layer of padding at the heel portion. The third layer of padding may be spaced from the second layer of padding. In an embodiment, the thickness of the second and third layers of padding is twice the thickness of the first layer of padding. In another embodiment, the first layer of padding is formed of polyurethane foam and the second and third layers of padding are formed of latex foam.

[0006] In yet another embodiment, the sole may include a depression extending into the heel portion, the forefoot portion, and the arch, where the depression is sized to receive a layer of padding. A layer of padding may be received in the depression such that the layer of padding is substantially flush with a top surface the heel portion, the forefoot portion, and the arch. The sole may include a ridge that extends around a perimeter of a layer of padding received in the depression.

[0007] The present invention may also provide a high heel shoe sole comprising a heel portion that has a slope that generally defines an angle to the horizontal of about 30 to 40 degrees; a forefoot portion that has a slope that generally defines an angle to the horizontal of about 60 to 70 degrees; an arch between the heel portion and the forefoot portion where the arch has a front part proximal to the forefoot portion and a rear part proximal to the heel portion, and a curvature that generally defines an angle of 140 to 160 degrees between the front part and the rear part of the arch; and at least one layer of padding that extends between the heel portion and the forefoot portion. The elongated curvature of the arch distributes a body weight of a wearer across the arch of the wearer' s foot.

[0008] In one embodiment, the angle defined by the slope of the heel portion is about 35 degrees, the angle defined by the slope of the forefoot portion is about 64 to 67 degrees, and the angle of the curvature of the arch is about 145 to 155 degrees. [0009] In another embodiment, the one layer of padding is a first layer and a second layer of padding is disposed on the first layer of padding at the forefoot portion. A third layer of padding may also be disposed on the first layer of padding at the heel portion. The thickness of the second and third layers of padding may be twice the thickness of the first layer of padding. Also, the first layer of padding may be formed of polyurethane foam and the second and third layers of padding may be formed of latex foam.

[0010] In still another embodiment, the sole includes a depression that extends into the heel portion, the forefoot portion, and the arch and the depression may be sized to receive a layer of padding. A layer of padding may be received in the depression such that the layer of padding is substantially flush with a top surface of the heel portion, the forefoot portion, and the arch. In one embodiment, the depression is at least 0.5mm deep. The sole may include a ridge that extends around a perimeter of the layer of padding received in the depression.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] A more complete appreciation of the invention and many of the attendant advantages thereof will be readily obtained as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawing figures:

[0012] FIG. 1A is a side elevational view of a high heel shoe with a shoe sole according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0013] FIG. IB is side elevational view of a high heel shoe with the prior art shoe sole;

[0014] FIGS. 1C and ID are elevational side views of the shoe sole, illustrated in FIG. 1A, as compared to the prior art shoe sole, illustrated in FIG. IB, showing the curvature of the arch of the shoe sole of the present being flatter that the arch of the prior art shoe sole;

[0015] FIG. 2 is a sketch from below of the shoe sole illustrated in FIG. 1A, showing a location for a heel;

[0016] FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of the shoe sole illustrated in FIG. 1 A; and

[0017] FIGS. 4A-4C are graphs showing the arch curvature of a 115mm high heel shoe incorporating the shoe sole according to the present invention;

[0018] FIGS. 5A and 5B are graphs showing the arch curvature of a 120mm high heel shoe incorporating the shoe sole according to the present invention; and FIG. 5C is a graph showing an overlay of the arch curvature of the 115mm high heel shoe and the 120mm high heel shoe; and

[0019] FIGS. 6A and 6B are side elevational views of the shoe sole according to the present invention, showing the shoe sole with padding.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0020] Referring to FIGS. 1 A-6B, the present invention relates to a shoe sole 12 of a high heeled shoe 10. The shoe sole 12 is connected to an upper 14 and a heel 16 of the shoe 10. The shoe 10 is generally a high heeled women's shoe having a heel height H of about 3.5" (about 85mm) or higher, although it will appreciated that many different styles of shoe may incorporate a high heel, such as pumps, sandals, boots, wedges, platform shoes, sneakers, and the like. Different styles of shoe may, however, allow for differing amounts of padding to be employed within the sole. The invention is not intended to be limited in this regard.

[0021] The shoe sole 12 according to the invention incorporates a curved arch 18 which extends between a heel portion 20 (the area of the heel of the foot) and a forefoot portion 22 (the area of the ball of the foot and toes). The curvature of the arch 18 is designed to distribute the body weight of the wearer evenly across the foot, so that pressure points are also more evenly distributed, thus reducing pain when compared to prior art high heeled shoes 1 (FIG. IB).

[0022] The length of the shoe sole 12 between the toe area and the arch 18 is preferably longer, most preferably at least 3mm longer, than that same length of the prior art shoes 1, shown in FIG. IB, even with the same height of heel. This longer length of shoe sole 12 slightly flattens the arch 18, thereby reducing pressure on the ball of the foot. The prior art shoe 1 has a flatter sole 2 underneath the heel of the wearer and a steeper sole 3 underneath the arch of the foot, as seen from FIGS. IB and 1C, which increases pressure on the ball of the foot causing discomfort. In FIGS. 1C and ID, the shoes of the present invention and the prior art are shown one in front of the other (FIG. 1C) and heel-to-heel (ID) to illustrate this difference in the curvature of the shoe sole 12 of the present invention compared to the prior art. The shape and curvature of the arch 18 of the shoe sole 12 of the present invention significantly improves the weight distribution of the foot within the shoe 10 compared to the prior art shoe 1 by allowing the pressure to be evenly distributed along the entire foot to alleviate the pain that was previously associated with wearing very high heeled shoes. [0023] FIGS. 4A-5C are grafts which provide details of the curvature of the arch for both a 115 mm high heel (FIGS. 4A-4C) and a 120 mm high heel (FIGS. 5A-5C). The measurements are designed for a standard size 37 shoe (equivalent to a US size 6.5), and are typically adjusted up or down to all standard sizes between 34 (US size 4.5) and 41 (US size 10.5). A person of ordinary skill in the art will know how to adjust the last to these standard sizes.

[0024] It can be seen from FIGS. 4A-5C that the angle under the arch 18 has a varying curvature. The angle of the curvature is gently sloping at the heel portion 20, with a bend point 24 where the arch 18 transitions into a higher slope angle underneath the midfoot. The arch curvature levels off again proximal to the forefoot portion 22. The bend point 24 where the curvature of the slope of the arch 18 changes may be located approximately underneath the joint between the calcaneous bone (heel bone) and the cuboid bones (which articulate with the calcaneous bone) of the foot where the arch of the foot is naturally higher. The arch 18 of the shoe sole 12 thus generally mimics the shape of the arch of the foot, whereas the prior art shoe 1 has the highest degree of curvature of the sole underneath the calcaneous bone.

[0025] Although in practice the slope of the arch 18 is curved such that no sharp angle exists that may feel uncomfortable to the wearer, various points on arch 18 may generally define or approximate an angle. A front part 26 of the arch 18, which is proximal to the forefoot portion 22, may have a slope to the horizontal (i.e. with respect to a horizontal axis) of about 60-70 degrees (ai), such that the sole 12 is curved through about 110-120 degrees at the top side of the sole 12 that faces the ball of the foot. A rear part 28 of the arch 18, which is proximal to the heel portion 20, and lies underneath the heel in use, may have a slope to the horizontal of about 30 to 40 degrees, and preferably about 35 degrees (a 2 ). And the bend point 24 of arch 18 may approximate an angle (a 3 ) between the front and rear parts 26 and 28 of the arch 18 of about 140 to 160 degrees, and preferably between 145 and 155 degrees facing away from the bottom side of the sole. It will be appreciated that these angles can vary according to the height H of the heel of the shoe. For example, the front part 26 of the arch 18 may have a steeper angle with a higher heel. For example, a heel higher than 120 mm may have a front part 26 of the arch having a slope of greater than 70 degrees.

[0026] The actual shape of sole 12 may vary depending on the size of the shoe 10 and the heel height H that is desired. As the shape of the sole 12 is varied, it is generally the angle (ai) of the front part 26 of the arch 18 that is altered, while the angle (a 2 ) of the sole underneath the heel remains the same. Examples of differing heights of the arch when measured for both a 115mm heel and a 120mm heel for a shoe size of 37 are presented in Tables 1 and 2 below. The 115mm and 120mm heels are also illustrated in Figs. 4A-5C. In the illustrated examples, the 115mm high heel has the front part 26 of the arch 18 at an angle (ai) to the horizontal of approximately 64 degrees while the 120mm high heel has an angle (ai) to the horizontal of approximately 67 degrees.

[0027] The forefoot portion 22 of the sole 12 may initially be horizontal to the ground where it meets the arch 18 of the sole 12, but it may continue forwards towards the toes at a slight angle to the horizontal such that the toes can curve slightly upwardly in order to accommodate the heel position to allow for walking. The toe angle may be between about 5-10 degrees, for example, approximately 6-8 degrees to the horizontal.

TABLE 1

14.4 135.1 12.521% 10.0 58.29%

10.5 140.1 9.130% 5.0 72.91%

6.8 145.1 5.913% 5.0 64.76%

3.5 150.1 3.043% 5.0 51.47%

TABLE 2

Height (mm) Length of sole Percentage of Distance from Percentage of measured from heel height previous previous heel (mm) measurement measurement

(mm)

120.1 0 100% - -

102.8 30.0 85.595% 30.0 85.595

85.0 60.0 70.774% 30.0 82.68%

70.4 79.9 58.617% 19.9 82.82%

53.8 99.9 44.796 % 20.0 76.42%

36.0 120.0 29.975% 20.1 66.91%

15.1 141.1 12.572% 20.1 41.94%

7.2 151.2 5.995% 10.1 47.68%

3.6 156.2 2.997% 5.0 50.0%

1.7 161.2 1.415% 5.0 47.22%

[0028] The elongated and gentle curvature of the arch 18 is designed to provide an optimal distribution of pressure points on the foot. The shape of the arch 18 causes much less body weight to be distributed forwards solely onto the ball of the foot, as happens with the prior art shoe 1 shown in Fig. IB.

[0029] In a preferred embodiment, the shoe sole 12 may be padded to enhance comfort. Several layers of padding are preferably provided, and in one preferred arrangement shown in FIGS. 6 A and 6B, three layers of padding 100, 110, and 120 are provided. The padding layers may be foam, gel, or any suitable material for padding. In some arrangements, different layers of padding can be provided in different materials and/or densities. [0030] In an alternative embodiment, the material of the sole 12, which is typically wood, leather or a hard plastics or other composite material, can be hollowed out slightly to form a depression 130 in order to accommodate at least one layer of padding, such as layer 100, as seen in FIG. 6B. In one arrangement, to form depression 130, a shape is cut into the top surface of the sole 12 corresponding to the shape of the first layer 100 of padding to be applied thereto. For example, a portion of approximately 0.5mm thick can be cut from the sole 12 to partially accommodate a lmm thick layer of padding. A small ridge 132 of sole 12 is thus left around the outside of the padding layer 100 so that the sole 12 appears to be the same thickness as that employed with prior art shoes.

[0031] The first layer of padding 100 is adjacent to the shoe sole 12 and has a length sufficient to rest underneath the toes and arch of the foot. Layer 100 may extend slightly into the curvature of the arch of the sole. The second layer 110 of padding is applied on top of the first layer 100 and extends under the arch of the foot to the end of the heel. It is preferable that the second layer 110 of padding not extend under the toes to provide extra room in the shoe for the toes. The third layer 120 of padding is provided under the heel of the foot and over the arch 18 of the shoe sole 12 and does not have to extend all the way forward to the ball of the foot.

[0032] It will be appreciated that any suitable arrangement of padding may be employed, but in the preferred arrangement that is described and shown, the ball of the foot, which is the most sensitive part of the foot and subject to the most weight bearing, sits on at least two layers of padding.

[0033] One exemplary suitable material for the foam padding is a latex material, which may be provided in a lattice form, for example. It is generally preferred to have a padding thickness of about l-3mm per layer of padding. In one preferred arrangement, the foam padding is about 2mm thick and has a weight of 410 g/m 2 ±5% giving a density of 150 g per m. In a particularly preferred arrangement, the first layer 100 adjacent to the sole 12 may be thinner than the second and third layers 110 and 120. For example, the first layer 100 may be about lmm thick while the second and third layers 110 and 120 may be about 2mm thick.

[0034] Other suitable latex foams have the following specifications listed in Table 3 : TABLE 3

[0035] Another exemplary suitable material for the padding layers is a PVC polyurethane foam, such as moltoprene. A suitable formulation is available from Benvegnu S.r.l., Vigonovo, Italy, under the name Linea Green. It has a density of 360 g/m 2 + 5%, and a thickness of 2mm. This type of foam padding may advantageously be used in the first layer 100, while the latex foam may be used in the second and third layers 110 and 120.

[0036] The grammatical articles "one", "a", "an", and "the", as used in this specification, are intended to include "at least one" or "one or more", unless otherwise indicated. Thus, the articles are used in this specification to refer to one or more than one (i.e., to "at least one") of the grammatical objects of the article. By way of example, "a component" means one or more components, and thus, possibly, more than one component is contemplated and may be employed or used in an application of the described embodiments. Further, the use of a singular noun includes the plural, and the use of a plural noun includes the singular, unless the context of the usage requires otherwise. Additionally, the grammatical conjunctions "and" and "or" are used herein according to accepted usage. By way of example, "x and y" refers to "x" and "y". On the other hand, "x or y" refers to "x", "y", or both "x" and "y", whereas "either x or y" refers to exclusivity.

[0037] This disclosure describes various elements, features, aspects, and advantages of various embodiments, configurations, and arrangements of the oven systems, apparatuses, and methods thereof. It is to be understood that certain descriptions of the various embodiments and such configurations and arrangements thereof have been simplified to illustrate only those elements, features and aspects that are relevant to a more clear understanding of the disclosed embodiments, while eliminating, for purposes of brevity or clarity, other elements, features and aspects. Any references to "various," "certain," "some," "one," or "an" when followed by "embodiment," "configuration," or "arrangement" generally means that a particular element, feature or aspect described in the example is included in at least one embodiment. The phrases "in various," "in certain," "in some," "in one," or "in an" when followed by "embodiment", "configuration", or "arrangement" may not necessarily refer to the same embodiment. Furthermore, the phrases "in one such" or "in this" when followed by "embodiment," "configuration," or "arrangement," while generally referring to and elaborating upon a preceding embodiment, is not intended to suggest that the elements, features, and aspects of the embodiment introduced by the phrase are limited to the preceding embodiment; rather, the phrase is provided to assist the reader in understanding the various elements, features, and aspects disclosed herein and it is to be understood that those having ordinary skill in the art will recognize that such elements, features, and aspects presented in the introduced embodiment may be applied in combination with other various combinations and sub-combinations of the elements, features, and aspects presented in the disclosed embodiments. It is to be appreciated that persons having ordinary skill in the art, upon considering the descriptions herein, will recognize that various combinations or sub-combinations of the various embodiments and other elements, features, and aspects may be desirable in particular implementations or applications. However, because such other elements, features, and aspects may be readily ascertained by persons having ordinary skill in the art upon considering the description herein, and are not necessary for a complete understanding of the disclosed embodiments, a description of such elements, features, and aspects may not be provided. For example, ovens and oven systems described herein may also include connections such as fittings for one or more of electrical connections, gas connections, or flue connections. As such, it is to be understood that the description set forth herein is merely exemplary and illustrative of the disclosed embodiments and is not intended to limit the scope of the invention as defined solely by the claims.