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Title:
A FOOTWEAR INSERT ASSEMBLY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/072510
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A footwear insert assembly including a first removable footbed for a left foot having a forefoot portion having a first forefoot height, a heel portion having a first heel height, and an arch portion connecting the forefoot portion and the heel portion. The arch portion having a first degree of arch support. The assembly also includes a second removable footbed for a right foot having a forefoot portion having a second forefoot height, a heel portion having a second heel height, and an arch portion connecting the forefoot portion and the heel portion. The arch portion having a second degree of arch support. The first degree of arch support in the first removable footbed and the second degree of arch support in the second removable footbed are not equal and the first heel height of the heel portion of the first removable footbed and the second heel height of the heel portion of the second removable footbed are equal.

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Inventors:
HAIRE, Caroline Rose
Application Number:
AU2020/051126
Publication Date:
April 22, 2021
Filing Date:
October 19, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
FRANKIE4 IP 1 PTY LTD (PO Box 78Red Hill, Queensland 4059, AU)
International Classes:
A43B7/14; A43B17/00; A61F5/14; A43B7/38
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MICHAEL BUCK IP (Red Hill, 4059, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . A footwear insert assembly comprising: a first removable footbed for a left foot comprising: a forefoot portion having a first forefoot height; a heel portion having a first heel height; and an arch portion connecting the forefoot portion and the heel portion; the arch portion having a first degree of arch support; and a second removable footbed for a right foot comprising: a forefoot portion having a second forefoot height; a heel portion having a second heel height; and an arch portion connecting the forefoot portion and the heel portion; the arch portion having a second degree of arch support; wherein the first degree of arch support in the first removable footbed and the second degree of arch support in the second removable footbed are not equal and the first heel height of the heel portion of the first removable footbed and the second heel height of the heel portion of the second removable footbed are equal.

2. The footwear insert assembly of claim 1 , wherein the first forefoot height of the forefoot portion of the first removable footbed and the second forefoot height of the forefoot portion of the second removable footbed are equal.

3. The footwear insert assembly of claim 1 or claim 2 further comprising: a container having the first removable footbed and the second removable footbed located therein; and a pair of shoes located in the container.

4. The footwear insert assembly of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the footwear insert assembly further comprising a pair of heel inserts, each heel insert adapted for insertion beneath one footbed of the pair of footbeds such that the footbed and the heel insert cooperate within the footwear to raise a heel portion of the footbed.

5. The footwear insert assembly of any one of the preceding claims, wherein each removable footbed of the pair of removable footbeds comprises a contoured footbed.

6. The footwear insert assembly of any one of claims 1 -4, wherein one of the removable footbeds of the pair of removable footbeds comprises a contoured footbed and one of the removable footbeds of the pair of removable footbeds comprises a flat or substantially non-supporting footbed.

7. The footwear insert assembly of claim 3, wherein the container comprises a shoebox.

8. The footwear insert assembly of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the arch portion of the first removable footbed has a first thickness providing the first degree of arch support; and the arch portion of the second removable footbed has a second thickness that is less than the first thickness of the arch portion of the first removable footbed, the arch portion of the second removable footbed providing the second degree of arch support, wherein each of the first removable footbed and the second removable footbed is adapted for insertion within an item of footwear to thereby produce a supportive feel when worn.

9. A method for providing a range of fittings and/or supports to a shoe, the method comprising the steps of: providing two items of footwear, a first item of footwear of the two items of footwear adapted for a left foot and a second item of footwear of the two items of footwear adapted for a right foot; providing a first removable full length footbed for a first foot, the first removable full length footbed having a first degree of arch support, a heel height, and a forefoot height; providing a second removable full length footbed for a second foot opposite the first foot, the second removable full length footbed having a second degree of arch support, a heel height, and a forefoot height, wherein the heel height of the first removable full length footbed and the heel height of the second removable full length footbed are equal and wherein the first degree of arch support and the second degree of arch support are not equal; inserting the first removable full length footbed into the first item of footwear; and inserting the second removable full length footbed into the second item of footwear.

10. A footwear insert assembly comprising: a first removable pair of footbeds for a left foot and a right foot, each footbed of the first removable pair of footbeds comprising: a forefoot portion having a forefoot height; a heel portion having a heel height; and an arch portion connecting the forefoot portion and the heel portion; the arch portion having a degree of arch support; and a second pair of removable footbeds for a left foot and a right foot, each footbed of the first removable pair of footbeds comprising: a forefoot portion having a forefoot height; a heel portion having a heel height; and an arch portion connecting the forefoot portion and the heel portion; the arch portion having a degree of arch support; wherein the degree of arch support in the first removable pair of footbeds and the degree of arch support in the second pair of removable footbeds are not equal and the heel height of the heel portion of each footbed of the first pair of removable footbeds and the heel height of the heel portion of each footbed of the second removable footbed are equal.

11.A footwear insert assembly comprising: a first removable footbed for a left foot comprising: a heel portion having a first heel height; and an arch portion connected to the heel portion; the arch portion having a first degree of arch support; and a second removable footbed for a right foot comprising: a heel portion having a second heel height; and an arch portion connected to the heel portion; the arch portion having a second degree of arch support; wherein the first degree of arch support in the first removable footbed and the second degree of arch support in the second removable footbed are not equal and the first heel height of the heel portion of the first removable footbed and the second heel height of the heel portion of the second removable footbed are equal.

Description:
A FOOTWEAR INSERT ASSEMBLY

FIELD

[0001] The present disclosure relates to a footwear insert assembly for providing footwear with removable and interchangeable footbeds to alleviate or prevent foot and lower limb pain whilst maintaining an even height under the foot to reduce contribution to leg length differences.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Reference to background art herein is not to be construed as an admission that such art constitutes common general knowledge.

[0003] The human body works best when it is well aligned. That is, when the left side of the body and the right side of the body are as symmetrical as possible. Generally speaking, with symmetrical function the body has decreased stress and fatigue, and thus less pain and injury.

[0004] A diversity of symptoms may occur as a result of asymmetrical alignment of the left and right sides of the body, especially over extended periods of time due to various factors.

[0005] Limb length discrepancy (LLD) is a very common occurrence in the adult population. In fact, the majority of individuals have some degree of limb inequality either in structure or function. The average discrepancy is less than 1.1 cm and usually people easily compensate for this without severe adverse effects.

[0006] However, even seemingly insignificant discrepancies may become symptomatic.

[0007] There are three types of LLD: 1) structural; 2) functional; and 3) environmental.

[0008] The structural or anatomic type is due to a difference in the actual length of the tibia or femur (the leg bones are different lengths from one side to the other). One leg is shorter than the other because the bones are different lengths one side compared to the other side. For example; some people are born like this, others get this after surgery where the bones post surgery are no longer the same length as the other side.

[0009] The functional type is due to asymmetrical foot or limb function. For example asymmetrical pronation or supination of the foot. Pronation causes a decrease in leg length, so if one foot were flatter than the other foot then that foot would cause that leg to functionally be shorter. Excessive pronation on one side causes a shorter leg on that side.

[0010] The third type of LLD is referred to as environmental and is caused by the unevenness created by walking or running on uneven surfaces. Footwear is also a foundation to your feet and if they are providing an asymmetrical foundation the shoe (and insole within the shoe under the foot) may also create an unintentional contribution to LLD.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0011 ] In one form, although it need not be the only or indeed the broadest form, there is provided a footwear insert assembly comprising: a first removable footbed for a left foot comprising: a forefoot portion having a forefoot height; a heel portion having a heel height; and an arch portion connecting the forefoot portion and the heel portion; the arch portion having a degree of arch support; and a second removable footbed for a right foot comprising: a forefoot portion having a forefoot height; a heel portion having a heel height; and an arch portion connecting the forefoot portion and the heel portion; the arch portion having a degree of arch support; wherein the degree of arch support in the first removable footbed and the degree of arch support in the second removable footbed are different but the heel height of the heel portion of the first removable footbed and the heel height of the heel portion of the second removable footbed are equal. [0012] In one form, although it need not be the only or indeed the broadest form, there is provided a footwear insert assembly comprising: a first removable footbed for a left foot comprising: a forefoot portion having a forefoot height; a heel portion having a heel height; and an arch portion connecting the forefoot portion and the heel portion; the arch portion having a degree of arch support; and a second removable footbed for a right foot comprising: a forefoot portion having a forefoot height; a heel portion having a heel height; and an arch portion connecting the forefoot portion and the heel portion; the arch portion having a degree of arch support; wherein the degree of arch support in the first removable footbed and the degree of arch support in the second removable footbed are not equal but the heel height of the heel portion of the first removable footbed and the heel height of the heel portion of the second removable footbed are equal.

[0013] Preferably, the forefoot height of the forefoot portion of the first removable footbed and the forefoot height of the forefoot portion of the second removable footbed are equal.

[0014] In a second form, although it need not be the only or indeed the broadest form, there is provided a footwear insert assembly comprising: a first removable footbed for a left foot comprising: a forefoot portion having a first forefoot height; a heel portion having a first heel height; and an arch portion connecting the forefoot portion and the heel portion; the arch portion having a first degree of arch support; and a second removable footbed for a right foot comprising: a forefoot portion having a second forefoot height; a heel portion having a second heel height; and an arch portion connecting the forefoot portion and the heel portion; the arch portion having a second degree of arch support; wherein the first degree of arch support in the first removable footbed and the second degree of arch support in the second removable footbed are not equal and the first heel height of the heel portion of the first removable footbed and the second heel height of the heel portion of the second removable footbed are equal.

[0015] Preferably, the first forefoot height of the forefoot portion of the first removable footbed and the second forefoot height of the forefoot portion of the second removable footbed are equal.

[0016] In another form, there is provided a footwear insert assembly comprising: a container; a pair of shoes located in the container; and a pair of removable footbeds, each footbed adapted for insertion within one shoe of the pair of shoes, each footbed of the pair of removable footbeds comprising a heel portion having a heel height; a forefoot portion having a forefoot height; an arch portion connecting the heel portion and the forefoot portion, the arch portion having a degree of arch support; wherein the first degree of arch support in the first removable footbed and the second degree of arch support in the second removable footbed are not equal and the first heel height of the heel portion of the first removable footbed and the second heel height of the heel portion of the second removable footbed are equal.

[0017] Preferably, the assembly further comprises a pair of heel inserts, each heel insert adapted for insertion beneath one footbed of the pair of footbeds such that the footbed and the heel insert cooperate within the footwear to raise a heel portion of the footbed.

[0018] Preferably, each removable footbed of the pair of removable footbeds comprises a contoured footbed. Alternatively, one of the removable footbeds of the pair of removable footbeds comprises a contoured footbed and one of the removable footbeds of the pair of removable footbeds comprises a flat or substantially non-supporting footbed.

[0019] Preferably, each removable footbed comprises a contoured full length footbed or a contoured half length footbed.

[0020] Preferably, the container comprises a shoebox.

[0021] In another form, there is provided a method for providing a range of fittings and/or supports to a shoe, the method comprising the steps of: providing two items of footwear, a first item of footwear of the two items of footwear adapted for a left foot and a second item of footwear of the two items of footwear adapted for a right foot; providing a first contoured full length footbed for a first foot, the first contoured full length footbed having a first degree of arch support, a heel height, and a forefoot height; providing a second contoured full length footbed for a second foot opposite the first foot, the second contoured full length footbed having a second degree of arch support, a heel height, and a forefoot height; inserting the first contoured full length footbed into the first item of footwear; and inserting the second contoured full length footbed into the second item of footwear.

[0022] In another form, there is provided a footwear insert assembly comprising: a first contoured footbed having a contoured arch portion, the contoured arch portion of the first contoured footbed having a thickness providing a first degree of arch support; and a second contoured footbed having a contoured arch portion, the contoured arch portion of the second contoured footbed having a thickness that is less than the thickness of the contoured arch portion of the first contoured footbed, the contoured arch portion of the second contoured footbed providing a second degree of arch support, wherein each of the first contoured footbed and the second contoured footbed is adapted for insertion within an item of footwear to thereby produce a supportive feel when worn.

[0023] In another form, there is provided a method for providing a range of fittings and/or supports to a shoe, the method comprising the steps of: providing two items of footwear, a first item of footwear of the two items of footwear adapted for a left foot and a second item of footwear of the two items of footwear adapted for a right foot; providing a first contoured footbed for a first foot, the first contoured footbed having a first degree of arch support, a heel height, and a forefoot height; providing a second contoured footbed for a second foot opposite the first foot, the second contoured footbed having a second degree of arch support, a heel height, and a forefoot height; inserting the first contoured footbed into the first item of footwear; and inserting the second contoured footbed into the second item of footwear.

[0024] In another form, although it need not be the only or indeed the broadest form, there is provided a footwear insert assembly comprising: a first removable pair of footbeds for a left foot and a right foot, each footbed comprising: a forefoot portion having a forefoot height; a heel portion having a heel height; and an arch portion connecting the forefoot portion and the heel portion; the arch portion having a degree of arch support; and a second pair of removable footbeds for a left foot and a right foot, each footbed comprising: a forefoot portion having a forefoot height; a heel portion having a heel height; and an arch portion connecting the forefoot portion and the heel portion; the arch portion having a degree of arch support; wherein the degree of arch support in the first removable pair of footbeds and the degree of arch support in the second pair of removable footbeds may differ (and are not equal) but the heel height of the heel portion of each footbed of the first pair of removable footbeds and the heel height of the heel portion of each footbed of the second removable footbed are equal.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0025] By way of example only, preferred embodiments of the invention will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying figures, wherein:

[0026] Figure 1 illustrates a footwear insert assembly having a pair of removable contoured full length footbeds for insertion into a pair of shoes;

[0027] Figure 2 illustrates a side view of footbed 100 of the pair of footbeds;

[0028] Figure 3 illustrates a side view of footbed 200 of the pair of footbeds;

[0029] Figure 4 illustrates a longitudinal cross-section of footbed 100 taken along line A-A;

[0030] Figure 5 illustrates a longitudinal cross-section of footbed 200 taken along line B-B;

[0031] Figure 6 illustrates a cross-section of footbeds 100, 200 taken along a heel portion of each footbed;

[0032] Figure 7 illustrates a cross-section of footbeds 100,200 taken along a forefoot portion of each footbed;

[0033] Figure 8 illustrates a cross-section of a shoe having the contoured full length footbed 100 inserted therein;

[0034] Figure 9 illustrates a container having a pair of shoes and a pair of contoured full length footbeds having equal heel heights;

[0035] Figures 10-11 illustrate an exemplary heel raising insert in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

[0036] Figures 12-13 illustrate the heel raising insert shown in Figures 10-11 in use with the contoured full length footbed; and

[0037] Figure 14 illustrates a perspective view of the contoured half length footbed; [0038] Figure 15 illustrates a side view of the contoured half length footbed; and [0039] Figure 16 illustrates a lateral cross-section of the contoured half length footbed.

[0040] Preferred features, embodiments and variations of the invention can be discerned from the following Detailed Description which provides sufficient information for those skilled in the art to perform embodiments of the invention. The Detailed Description and associated figures are not to be regarded as limiting the scope of the preceding Summary of the Invention in any way.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0041 ] The present invention relates to a footwear insert assembly having a pair of footbeds for insertion within a pair of shoes.

[0042] More particularly, the invention relates to a footwear insert assembly comprising a pair of contoured or arch supporting footbeds wherein the arch support in each footbed may be different but the heel heights of each heel portion of each footbed is equal.

[0043] Figure 1 illustrates a footwear insert assembly 10 having two components: a pair of footbeds in the form of a first contoured full length footbed 100 (for a left foot) and a second contoured full length footbed 200 (for a right foot).

[0044] The first contoured full length footbed 100 is a “control” or “supportive” footbed and includes a contoured medial side 101 (opposite a lateral side 102) and is designed for a user who has a pronating foot tending toward overpronation or “flat footedness”. In use, a contoured arch portion 103 having thickness T1 providing a first degree of arch support (see Figure 2) is located on the medial side 101 of the footbed 100 and supports the arch and reduces or prevents the foot from excessively pronating to mitigate stress and/or injuries. The contoured full length footbed 100 also includes a heel portion 104 opposite a toe portion 105. The heel portion 104 includes a heel engaging portion 106 having a thickness T3. The footbed 100 also includes a forefoot engaging portion 107 having a thickness T5.

[0045] The second contoured full length footbed 200 is a “control” or “supportive” footbed and includes a contoured medial side 201 (opposite a lateral side 202) and is designed for a user who has a pronating foot tending toward mild overpronation or mild “flat footedness”. In use, a contoured arch portion 203 having thickness T2 providing a first degree of arch support (see Figure 3) is located on the medial side 201 of the footbed 200 and supports the arch and reduces or prevents the foot from excessively pronating to mitigate stress and/or injuries. The contoured full length footbed 200 also includes a heel portion 204 opposite a toe portion 205. The heel portion 204 includes a heel engaging portion 206 having a thickness T4. The footbed 200 also includes a forefoot engaging portion 207 having a thickness T6.

[0046] From a side view (see Figures 2 and 3), it can be seen that the first contoured full length footbed 100 has a thickness T1 (of approximately 16mm) on the contoured arch portion 103 that is greater than a thickness T2 (of approximately 12.5mm) on the contoured arch portion 203.

[0047] Flowever, referring to Figures 4-6, it can be seen that the height (thickness T3) of the heel engaging portion 106 of heel portion 104 of the first contoured full length footbed 100 and the height (thickness T4) of the heel engaging portion 206 of heel portion 204 of the second contoured full length footbed 200 are equal (at approximately 10mm). This is essential for preventing contribution toward leg length discrepancies caused by asymmetrical footbeds while also allowing different arch support to be provided on different feet that may have different levels of pronation.

[0048] In addition, referring to Figures 4, 5 and 7, the thickness T5 of the forefoot engaging portion 107 of the first contoured full length footbed 100 and the thickness T6 of the forefoot engaging portion 207 of the second contoured full length footbed 200 are equal (at approximately 0.7mm). While not essential, having equal heights or thickness in the forefoot portion of the footbeds mitigates asymmetry in leverage of muscles and tendons that attach to bones located in the forefoot of a user. As the lengths of the muscles and tendons can be affected over time by their position and may ultimately lead to asymmetry in the muscles and tendons, ensuring forefoot height is equal between the left and right feet prevents asymmetry developing between left and right lower limbs.

[0049] The footwear insert assembly 10 is designed or intended to be used with two items of footwear, such as a pair of shoes. [0050] The first contoured full length footbed 100 is inserted into one shoe (a left shoe) for one foot, either alone or in combination with a heel raising insert or forefoot raising insert (if necessary) and the second cushioned full length footbed 200 is inserted into the other shoe (a right shoe) for the opposite foot. A useful feature of the footwear insert assembly 10 is that the contoured full length footbed 100 and cushioned full length footbed 200 can be removed and interchanged with other types of footbeds.

[0051] In some embodiments, one or more heel raises may be provided to address diagnosed anatomical leg length difference. The heel raise can then be placed under the appropriate footbed to compensate for the shorter length of the affected leg.

[0052] In the embodiment illustrated in Figures 8, as a shoe 130, into which the contoured full length footbed 100 has been inserted, worn by a person strikes the ground or a surface, the arch of the foot of the person wearing the shoe 130 exerts downward force (as indicated by the downward arrow in Figure 7) on the contoured arch portion 103 on the medial side 101. As the contoured arch portion 103 is made of a sufficiently resilient material, such as foam or rubber, the contoured arch portion 103 does not fully or completely flatten out, thereby supporting the arch and preventing overpronation.

[0053] Turning to Figure 9, there is shown a container 400 (the container 400 could be a shoebox or any other suitable container) having a pair of shoes (left shoe 130a and right shoe 130b) and a pair of contoured full length footbeds 100, 200 (left and right, respectively, and as described above). Left shoe 130a and right shoe 130b are identical to shoe 130 described herein, differing only in the right or left side configuration.

[0054] The invention allows a shoe to have a range of fitting choices and orthotic support for the customer without requiring the purchase of a different shoe or footbed for each desired fit or foot function.

[0055] Furthermore, each shoe can be individually fitted. For example, a customer may pronate significantly with their left foot but less so with their right foot. In this situation, the customer can insert a first contoured full length footbed having a higher/thicker contoured arch portion in the left shoe. The user can then insert a second contoured full length footbed having a relatively thinner contoured arch portion (compared to the first contoured full length footbed) in the right shoe for the right foot which does not require as much support or correction (compared to the left foot). Thus, the left foot is more supported than the right. Of course, any combination of the inserts/footbeds described throughout the specification can be provided with an individual shoe or pair of shoes. Due to the equal heel height of the heel engaging portions of the footbeds, the wearer can customise the arch support level required for their left and their right arches whilst leg length discrepancies are mitigated.

[0056] Furthermore, in embodiments having equal forefoot height, disparity between position of the left and right forefoot is also mitigated and eliminates the chances of asymmetry caused by the footbeds.

[0057] In addition, stockists or retailers will not need to stock pairs of the same shoes with different foot support levels; one pair having only a contoured footbed with higher arch support contoured footbed, and another pair having a lesser arch support contoured footbed, and another pair with contoured footbed paired with a heel insert. Embodiments of the present invention will allow retailers to simply have one shoe design that can be customised to the customer’s desires. Advantageously, this minimises the amount of stock stores have to purchase and stock/display. It also enables the customer to modify the footwear as their biomechanical needs and support needs, change over time all whilst using footbeds that can be interchangeable without contributing to leg length difference.

[0058] In a preferable embodiment shown in Figures 10-13, a length of a heel insert in the form of heel wedge 600 is approximately half of a length of the first contoured full length footbed 100. Thus, in use, the heel wedge 600 extends approximately halfway along the length of the first contoured full length footbed 100. A second heel wedge, the same as heel wedge 600, could also be provided and used with second contoured full length footbed 200. Alternatively, heel wedge 600 could be used under second contoured full length footbed 200.

[0059] As can be seen in Figure 11 , heel wedge 600 includes a first end 601 (to be located under the heel of the footbed 100) having a first height H 1 and a second end 602 (to be located under approximately the middle of the first contoured full length footbed 100) having a second height H2, which is substantially less than H1. In a particularly preferable embodiment, H1 is 5mm and H2 is 1mm. The illustrated heel wedge 600 also has a length of approximately 125mm which equates to a gradient of 4/125 (i.e. 0.032), which is quite small and thus indicates that the slope of the heel wedge 600 is very shallow. Ideally, the gradient of the heel wedge is less than 0.08 and is even more preferably less than 0.05.

[0060] In some further embodiments, a heel wedge having a length of approximately 140mm, a first height of 8mm and a second height of 1mm has a gradient of approximately 0.05. In some further embodiments, a heel wedge having a length of approximately 100mm, a first height of 3mm and a second height of 1mm has a gradient of approximately 0.03. Thus, it is preferable that the gradient of the heel wedge be between approximately 0.03 and 0.05.

[0061] Referring now to Figures 14-16, there is shown a contoured half length footbed 300. Similar to the contoured full length footbeds 100, 200, the contoured half length footbed 300 includes a contoured medial side 301 (opposite a lateral side 302) and is designed for a user who has a pronating foot tending toward overpronation or “flat footedness”. As with the contoured full length footbed 100, a contoured arch portion 303 having thickness T8 providing a third degree of arch support (see Figure 16) is located on the medial side 301 of the contoured half length footbed 300. The contoured arch portion 303 supports the arch of the foot and reduces or prevents the foot from excessively pronating to mitigate injuries by supporting the arch of the foot and preventing it from flattening out which is typical during the overpronation motion.

[0062] Contoured half length footbed 300 also includes a heel portion 304 and a toe-oriented portion 305. Notably the toe-oriented portion 305 does not extend to an end or front portion of a shoe when inserted therein.

[0063] The heel portion 304 includes a heel engaging portion 306 having a thickness T9 (shown in Figure 17).

[0064] Thickness T8 of the contoured arch portion 303 of the medial side 301 may be the same as thickness T1 of contoured arch portion 103 or thickness T2 of contoured arch portion 203, or may be a different thickness to both and thereby provide a different degree of arch support in comparison.

[0065] Contoured half length footbed 300 is shown in a left foot configuration but could be easily and readily provided in a right foot configuration.

[0066] The term “footbed” used through the specification may comprise insoles, inserts, orthotics and the like. [0067] As used herein, the term “contoured footbed” and the variations thereof (e.g. full length or half length) refer to a footbed that provides arch support to reduce or eliminate excessive pronation. The contoured footbed provides a supportive feel for a foot, for example by means of a thickening or built up portion of the footbed in a region corresponding to a wearer’s arch. The contoured footbed also provides a supportive feeling for a user during wearing and use. A skilled addressee will appreciate that the contoured footbed may also be known as a “posted footbed” or “supportive footbed”.

[0068] In this specification, adjectives such as first and second, left and right, top and bottom, and the like may be used solely to distinguish one element or action from another element or action without necessarily requiring or implying any actual such relationship or order. Where the context permits, reference to an integer or a component or step (or the like) is not to be interpreted as being limited to only one of that integer, component, or step, but rather could be one or more of that integer, component, or step, etc.

[0069] The above detailed description of various embodiments of the present invention is provided for purposes of description to one of ordinary skill in the related art. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to a single disclosed embodiment. As mentioned above, numerous alternatives and variations to the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art of the above teaching. Accordingly, while some alternative embodiments have been discussed specifically, other embodiments will be apparent or relatively easily developed by those of ordinary skill in the art. The invention is intended to embrace all alternatives, modifications, and variations of the present invention that have been discussed herein, and other embodiments that fall within the spirit and scope of the above described invention.

[0070] In this specification, the terms ‘comprises’, ‘comprising’, ‘includes’, ‘including’, or similar terms are intended to mean a non-exclusive inclusion, such that a method, system or apparatus that comprises a list of elements does not include those elements solely, but may well include other elements not listed.

[0071] Throughout the specification and claims (if present), unless the context requires otherwise, the term “substantially” or “about” will be understood to not be limited to the specific value or range qualified by the terms.