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Title:
INSOLE FOR FOOTWEAR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2010/030186
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Abstract An insole for footwear includes at least one flexible base member for forming a foot supporting surface. The at least one flexible base member has a circumferential outline that corresponds to a predefined footprint. The insole further includes a stabilizing member that coextends along the at least one flexible base member for substantially a full length of the predefined footprint. According to a further aspect of the invention the at least one flexible base member defines a forefoot region and a heel region and preferably the stabilizing member extends between the forefoot region and the heel region. Thereby the stabilizer member preferably extends from an area for the big toe of the forefoot region. Stabilizer members with such features enhance pressure distribution and stability during walking for the users of footwear. In particular support along the longitudinal axis of a foot is important for running and walking.

Inventors:
DE ROODE BARTHOLOMEUS MATTHEUS (NL)
BRONGERS BAS (NL)
Application Number:
PCT/NL2009/050552
Publication Date:
March 18, 2010
Filing Date:
September 15, 2009
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SARA LEE DE NV (NL)
DE ROODE BARTHOLOMEUS MATTHEUS (NL)
BRONGERS BAS (NL)
International Classes:
A43B17/02
Foreign References:
FR2794005A12000-12-01
DE19610981C11997-07-03
US20040194344A12004-10-07
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HATZMANN, M.J. (Johan de Wittlaan 7, JR Den Haag, NL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. Insole for footwear, including: at least one flexible base member for forming a foot supporting surface and having a circumferential outline corresponding to a predefined footprint; and a stabilizing member coextending along the at least one flexible base member for substantially a full length of the predefined footprint.

2. Insole according to claim 1, wherein the at least one flexible base member defines a forefoot region and a heel region.

3. Insole according to claim 2, wherein the stabilizing member extends between the forefoot region and the heel region.

4. Insole according to claim 2 or 3, wherein the stabilizer member extends from an area for the big toe of the forefoot region.

5. Insole according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein a waist region is defined between the forefoot region and the heel region and wherein a portion of the stabilizing member coextensive with the waist region has minimal torsional stiffness.

6. Insole according to any preceding claim, wherein the at least one flexible base member is a first substrate.

7. Insole according to any preceding claim, wherein the stabilizing member is substantially elongate.

8. Insole according to claim 7, wherein the stabilizing member includes a plurality of longitudinally extending individual elements.

9. Insole according to claim 8, wherein the longitudinally extending individual elements are joined together.

10. Insole according to claim 9, wherein the plurality of joined individual elements are interlocked.

11. Insole according to claim 9, wherein the plurality of joined individual elements are interconnected.

12. Insole according to claim 9, wherein the jointed individual elements are disconnectable.

13. Insole according to any preceding claim, wherein the stabilizing member includes transversely extending elements.

14. Insole according to claim 13, wherein at least some of the individual elements comprise the transversely extending elements.

15. Insole according to claim 13 or 14, wherein at least some of the individual elements have any one of a T-shape, a +-shape, an X, a Y-shape and an O-shape, in a plane coextensive with the foot supporting surface.

16. Insole according to claim 13, 14 or 15, wherein at least some of the longitudinally and transversely extending elements are interconnected, so as to perimetrally support a surface area of the at least one flexible base member.

17. Insole according to claim 16, wherein the longitudinally and transversely extending elements intersect to define a plurality of nodal points.

18. Insole according to claim 17, wherein the nodal points are distributed along a longitudinal extent and a transverse extent of the stabilizing member.

19. Insole according to claim 17 or 18, wherein rings are formed between the plurality of nodal points.

20. Insole according to claim 19, wherein the rings have a honeycomb shape.

21. Insole according to any preceding claim, wherein the first substrate is relatively flexible.

22. Insole according to any preceding claim, wherein the stabilizing member is relatively inflexible.

23. Insole according to any preceding claim, wherein the stabilizing member is relatively rigid.

24. Insole according to any preceding claim, wherein the stabilizing member is flexible in at least one direction transverse to its length.

25. Insole according to any preceding claim, wherein the stabilizing member is elastically resilient.

26. Insole according to claim 6, wherein the insole further includes a second substrate that is substantially coextensive with the first substrate.

27. Insole according to claim 26, wherein the stabilizing member is accommodated between the first substrate and the second substrate.

28. Insole according to claim 26 or 27, wherein one of the first and second substrates is formed with a cavity adapted to receive the stabilizing member.

29. Insole according to claim 26, 27 or 28, wherein both the first and second substrate are formed with a cavity for accommodating a portion of the stabilizer member.

30. Insole according to claim 28 or 29, wherein the cavity is adapted to anchor the stabilizing member.

31. Insole according to claim 26 or 27, wherein the stabilizing member is embedded in one of the first and second substrates.

32. Insole according to claim 26, wherein the stabilizing member is integrally formed with one of the first and second substrates.

33. Insole according to any preceding claim, wherein the at least one flexible base member forming the foot supporting surface includes an open mesh material.

34. Insole according to any preceding claim, wherein the stabilizing member is of relatively hard plate material.

35. Insole according to claim 26, wherein the stabilizing member is formed as an inlay around which one of the first and second substrates is at least partially molded.

36. Insole according to any preceding claim, wherein the stabilizing member stiffens the heel region more than the forefoot region.

37. Insole according to any of claims 2 to 4, wherein the stabilizing member has a cross section that gradually decreases from the heel region towards the forefoot region.

38. Insole according to any of claim 2 to 4, wherein the stabilizing member has a thickness that gradually decreases from the heel region towards the forefoot region.

39. Insole according to claim 26, wherein the stabilizing member is exposed on an exterior surface of one of the first and second substrates.

40. Insole according to claim 26, wherein the second substrate has a varying thickness throughout its longitudinal and transverse extent.

41. Insole according to any preceding claim, wherein the stabilizing member includes a conduit for transporting and/or distributing an active agent.

42. Insole according to claim 41, wherein the active agent is selected from a group including odor neutralizers, fragrances, deodorants and medical compounds.

43. Insole according to one of claims 1-42, wherein a longitudinal flexibility and dimensions of the at least one flexible base member, and/or a longitudinal stiffness and dimensions of the stabilizing member, are arranged for allowing resiliently rolling the insole.

44. Insole according to one of claims 1-43, provided with a folding region that extends in a direction transverse to a longitudinal direction of the stabilizing member.

45. Insole according to claims 8 and 44, wherein the folding region extends in between, or near a transition between, two neighbouring longitudinally extending individual elements.

46. Assembly of an insole according to one of claims 1-45 and a package that includes the insole in a, preferably elastically, deformed, for example rolled or folded, state.

Description:
Title: Insole for footwear

The invention relates to an insole for shoes, boots or like footwear. Insoles for footwear are generally known and are usually aimed at improving the comfort and compatibility of the feet of a user of footwear, in particular during walking. It is a known fact that a human footprint is an extremely individual and variable property. Footwear, to be an economically attractive proposition is usually mass produced in a limited number of average sizes and shapes, in particular as regards their foot supporting surfaces. Accordingly there is an ongoing for insoles that reduces the extremes of miss matches between human footprints and foot supporting surfaces of footwear. While several types of insoles have been proposed in the past to alleviate this problem, it has often been difficult to achieve a proper balance between stiffness and flexibility.

Accordingly it is an object of the present invention to overcome or ameliorate at least one of the disadvantages of the prior art. It is also an object of the present invention to provide alternative structures which are less cumbersome in assembly and operation and which moreover can be made relatively inexpensively. Alternatively it is an object of the invention to at least provide the public with a useful choice.

To this end the invention provides an insole for footwear, which includes at least one flexible base member for forming a foot supporting surface and having a circumferential outline corresponding to a predefined footprint and a stabilizing member coextending along the at least one flexible base member for substantially a full length of the predefined footprint. The stabilizing member thus can provide additional stiffness to the insole, which can improve or prolonge foot comfort. An additional benefit is obtained in that even more flexible base members may be used that would otherwise impede insertion into a shoe. The stabilizing member thus also can provide additional stiffness to enhance insertion into a shoe. According to a further aspect of the invention the at least one flexible base member defines a forefoot region and a heel region and preferably the stabilizing member extends between the forefoot region and the heel region. Thereby it is even more preferred when the stabilizer member extends from an area for the big toe of the forefoot region. It has been established that stabilizer members with such features enhance pressure distribution and stability during walking for the users of footwear. In particular support along the longitudinal axis of a foot is considered important for running and walking. According to a further aspect of the invention a waist region is defined between the forefoot region and the heel region and wherein a portion of the stabilizing member coextensive with the waist region has minimal torsional stiffness. The lateral and pivotal movements of feet during the process of walking, is known to be complex and fatigue will easily result from compromising such movements. It is thus of great importance to impair such movements as little as possible, while still achieving the longitudinal support of the foot.

It is further advantageous when the stabilizing member includes a plurality of longitudinally extending individual elements. By variation of the individual elements it becomes possible to accurately meet the requirements of stability, support and flexibility. In this regard advantageous use may be made of the options provided by the longitudinally extending individual elements being either joined together, being interlocked, or being interconnected. In particular when the jointed individual elements are disconnectable, it becomes possible to assemble different stabilizing members from standardized individual elements.

With the stabilizing member including transversely extending elements, it becomes possible to additionally increase transverse stiffness of the insole. When at least some of the individual elements comprise the transversely extending elements it is possible to limit transverse stiffness to preselected areas only. According to another advantageous aspect at least some of the individual elements may have any one of a T- shape, a +- shape, an X, a Y- shape and an O -shape, in a plane coextensive with the foot supporting surface to enhance further the options for localized stiffening. It is further possible for at least some of the longitudinally and transversely extending elements to be interconnected, so as to perimetrally support a surface area of the at least one flexible base member. Thereby the longitudinally and transversely extending elements may optionally intersect to define a plurality of nodal points and/or such nodal points may advantageously be distributed along a longitudinal extent and a transverse extent of the stabilizing member. In such a further improved arrangement rings may be formed between the plurality of nodal points and optionally such rings may also be given a honeycomb shape.

In this regard advantages are obtained in that the first substrate can be relatively flexible, while the stabilizing member can be relatively inflexible or relatively rigid. Also the stabilizing member may be flexible in at least one direction transverse to its length. Preferably the stabilizing member is also elastically resilient, which will moreover ensure that the stability, support and flexibility provided by the insole is durable. According to another aspect of the invention the insole may further include a second substrate that is substantially coextensive with the first substrate. Thereby it can be advantageous when the stabilizing member is accommodated between the first substrate and the second substrate and/or when one of the first and second substrates is formed with a cavity adapted to receive the stabilizing member. Optionally both the first and second substrate can be formed with a cavity for accommodating a portion of the stabilizer member. The cavity can thereby also be adapted to anchor the stabilizing member. Anchoring can optionally also be achieved in that the stabilizing member is embedded in one of the first and second substrates. In the latter case it is also conceivable that the stabilizing member is formed integrally with one of the first and second substrates.

The usefulness as an insole may further benefit from the at least one flexible base member forming the foot supporting surface including an open mesh material. This enables the ventilation of humidity and air, which increases comfort for the user.

It is generally advantageous for the stabilizing member to be of relatively hard plate material. Thereby it also becomes possible for the stabilizing member to be formed as an inlay around which one of the first and second substrates is at least partially molded.

According to a further aspect of the invention the stabilizing member may stiffen the heel region more than the forefoot region. This can be achieved by the stabilizing member being given a cross section that gradually decreases from the heel region towards the forefoot region or by a thickness that gradually decreases from the heel region towards the forefoot region.

A further preferred aspect of the invention has the stabilizing member exposed on an exterior surface of one of the first and second substrates. It is also advantageous for the second substrate to have a varying thickness throughout its longitudinal and transverse extent. Thereby the insole may serve as an interface between the shape of a human foot and the predefined shape of the foot supporting surface of an article of footwear. According to still another aspect of the invention the stabilizing member may include a conduit for transporting and/or distributing an active agent. Such an active agent may be selected from a group including odor neutralizers, fragrances, deodorants and medical compounds. This option may further enhance the comfort of a user of the insole according to the invention. The invention will now be described in further detail and in reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is an exploded view of a first embodiment of insole according to the invention; Figure 2 is a bottom view of the first embodiment in its assembled state;

Figure 3 is an exploded view of a second embodiment of insole according to the invention;

Figure 4 is a bottom view of the second embodiment in its assembled state;

Figure 5 is an exploded view of a third embodiment of insole according to the invention;

Figure 6 is a ghost view of the assembled third embodiment seen from above; Figure 7 is an exploded view of a fourth embodiment;

Figure 8 is a ghost view of the assembled fourth embodiment, seen from above;

Figure 9 is an exploded view of a fifth embodiment;

Figure 10 is a ghost view of the assembled fifth embodiment seen from above;

Figure 11 is an exploded view of a sixth embodiment;

Figure 12 is a ghost view of the assembled sixth embodiment seen from above;

Figure 13 is an exploded view of a seventh embodiment; Figure 14 is a ghost view of the assembled seventh embodiment seen from above;

Figure 15 is a longitudinal cross section of a modified second embodiment; and

Figure 16 is a bottom view of the modified second embodiment; Figure 17 (A-D) is a selection of partial cross sections illustrating the variation in supporting studs in various areas of the modified second embodiment.

Referring to Figure 1 there is shown in an exploded arrangement the individual components which together form a first embodiment of insole according to the invention. A first flexible base member 1 defines a foot supporting surface and has a circumferential outline that substantially corresponds to a human footprint. This foot supporting base member 1 is preferably formed from a resilient spacer material which has an open structure. Several such spacer materials are commercially available and usually have a somewhat sponge-like structure. Without wanting to be limiting, one suitable substrate for use as the first flexible base member can be Freudenberg's ST 1305/70 material. Further shown in Figure 1 is a second flexible base member 3, which in this embodiment, preferably conforms to a foot profile. Accordingly, the second flexible base member 3 can be comprised of a polyurethane gel, such as Koester KSL 10103, that for added flexibility is formed with a heel portion 5 having a plurality of spaced pin-shaped elements 7. Also for added flexibility and comfort the remainder of the bottom surface of the second flexible base member 3 is covered substantially by a plurality of stud-like projections 9. Also provided as a component of the first embodiment is a stabilizing member 11, that functions as a spine. In this first embodiment the stabilizing member 11 can be from a relatively hard plate like material, such as nylon or the like, which is laminated onto the exterior bottom surface of the second flexible base member 3, as shown in Figure 2. Figure 2 shows the assembled components of Figure 1 forming insole 13 as seen from below, with the first flexible base member hidden from view. It is also seen in Figures 1 and 2 that the stabilizing member 11 is shaped as a shank with a longitudinally extending spine element 15 and a side support extension 17. Further it is seen that there is provided a heel aperture 19 which corresponds with the heel portion 5 of the second flexible base member 3. Although the stabilizer member 11 in the embodiment of Figures 1 and 2 is shown as laminated or embedded onto or in the exposed bottom surface of the second base member 3, it is optionally also possible to laminate that stabilizing member in- between the first and second base members, whereby it would be hidden from view, if so desired. In Figures 3 and 4 there is shown a second embodiment of insole 33, that is a variation of the insole described in reference to Figures 1 and 2. Similar elements are indicated by reference numerals, which are a full "20" higher than those used in Figures 1 and 2. As shown in Figure 3, the second embodiment is also composed of a first flexible base member 21, from a preferably open flexible and/or absorptive substrate material, which can be a non-woven material with a spongy structure. The second embodiment also has a second flexible base member 23 that is in all aspects identical to that of Figures 1 and 2. Accordingly, the second flexible base member has a heel portion 25 formed by a plurality of free standing pin-shaped elements 27 and a main surface substantially covered by stud-like projections 29. A stabilizing member 31, formed from a relatively hard sheet-like material, has a longitudinally extending spine element 35 and a heel aperture 39. Like the spine element of the first embodiment, the spine element 35 of the second embodiment extends from a heel region of the insole 33 to a forefoot region thereof. More in particular the spine element 35 extends to the forefoot area of the big toe. The stabilizing member 31 of the second embodiment also provides stiffness in a transverse direction of the insole. This has been achieved by a transversely extending element, such as the front ring 41 and middle ring 43. The front and middle rings 41, 43 are joined along the length of the spine element 35 by first, second, third and fourth nodal points: 45, 47, 49, 51, respectively. While the apertured heel portion 39 also forms a ring, this can be relatively stiff, which is inherent to the amount of stabilizing material in this area and the size of the ring. In the middle or waist region between the forefoot and heel regions, the stabilizer member should be less stiff, which is achieved by the larger size of the middle ring 43 and a reduced amount of stabilizer material extending radially of the ring circumference. In the forefoot region the transverse stiffness is preferably minimal and hence the ring size and radial material extend of the front ring 41 is adapted accordingly. It is further preferred that torsional stiffness in the waist region of the insole is also minimal. This has been achieved in the second embodiment by arranging the third and fourth nodal points 49 and 51 just within the waist region and having only longitudinal portions of the spine element 35 extend between adjacent nodal points of adjoining ring structures. In Figures 5 and 6 there is illustrated a third embodiment of insole according to the invention. This third embodiment has again a first foot supporting base member 61, a second base member 63 and a stabilizing member 65. The stabilizer member 65 is composed of an array of first to seven somewhat elliptical rings 67-79 together forming a spine element. The first to seven rings 67-79 are interconnected by integral perimeter portions forming first to sixth nodal points 81-91. In-between the nodal points the rings extend transversely for transverse stiffness. Conveniently the nodal points 81 to 91 are arranged along a line 93, which extends from the heel region to the big toe area along a curveous path that corresponds with the local stabilizing requirement of a human foot. A particular feature of the third embodiment of Figures 5 and 6 is that seventh ring 79 forms a chamber for holding a container 95 holding a reactive chemical compound that is chargeable of exothermic heat development. The container 95 is contacted by a heat conducting element 97, which extends from the heel region forward to the forefoot region. The upper surface of the heat conducting element 97 is exposed through an aperture 99 in the first base member 61. The heat conducting element 97 can be used either with the chemical compound container 95 or without. It is a common human phenomenon that the heel part of a foot is warmer than the forefoot and in particular the toe part. One object that the heat conducting element 97 achieves is that it conducts heat from the heel part towards the forefoot region and exchanges this heat with the toe area through the aperture 99 in the first base member 61. A second object of the heat conducting element 97 is that it conducts heat from the chemical compound container 95 over the whole underfoot surface and in particular to the toe region through the aperture 99. The chemical container 95 can be a reusable heat pack containing a super cooled salt solution, in which crystallization can be initiated. To this end, the container 95 may be provided with a mechanical priming means to activate a chemical reaction of the chemical compound contained therein. It is also possible to use phase change materials (commonly referred to as PCM's) to provide thermal control by the insole. While PCM's could be contained in the container 95, these may also be incorporated in the material of the first base member 61. In this third embodiment the second base member 63 is preferably a closed cell EVA. Clearly the materials for the first base member 61 should be selected to give the least interference to heat conduction, while the heat conducting element 97, should have good heat conducting properties. The heat conducting element 97 may therefore be a metal substrate, such as copper foil or the like.

The stabilizing element 65 may be removably anchored in a cavity of the second base member 63, or it may be glued or embedded therein. Illustrated in Figures 7 and 8 is a fourth embodiment of insole 101. The insole 101 includes a first foot supporting base member 103. The first base member 103 is an open mesh structure, that provides both resiliency and open pores. Further the fourth embodiment 101 is provided with a second base member 105 that is an open cell foam structure. A stabilizing member 107 takes the form of a fish bone with an array of individually shaped T- shaped elements 109. The individual elements 109 can vary in shape and number according to requirement. Also the individual elements 109 can be integrally joined, jointed together, interlocked or disconnectably interconnected, depending on requirement. Conveniently the stabilizing member 107 can be obtained as a one-piece injection molding of plastic, with the individual elements 109 integrally connected by living hinges. Each of the individual elements 109, or a selected number thereof, is provided with transversely extending first and second lateral elements 111, 113 for providing transverse stiffness to the insole 101. One additional feature of the fourth embodiment of the insole 101 is a wick element 115 for distributing a fragrance or odor neutralizing agent or deodorant. This wick element 115 has been shaped for anchorage from below onto the stabilizing member 107 (arrows 116) and has a cavity 117 shaped into conformity with a predefined number of individual elements 109. The fragrance, odor neutralizing agent or deodorant distributed by the wick element 115 can escape in a controlled manner through the open cell structure of the second base member 105 and the open mesh structure of the foot supporting first base member 103. Figure 8 shows the assembled fourth embodiment and insole 101 in a view-through from above. Preferably the components shown in the exploded arrangement of Figure 7 are all laminated together and embedded into a shaped flexible mass 119, such as a polyurethane gel, silicon rubber or like material. It is also possible in the fourth embodiment 101 to provide an accessible cavity on the bottom side to enable exchange of the wick element 115 by a new replacement cartridge.

In Figures 9 and 10 there is illustrated a fifth embodiment of the invention, in the form of an insole 121. A foot supporting surface is again provided by a first flexible base member 123 that is preferably formed form an open pore spacer material. A second flexible base member is here provided in the form of a gel-filled pillow for distributing the foot supporting forces. A suitable gel filling may have a dynamically variable visco- elasticity. The bottom surface of the second base member 125 can be shaped with a plurality of gel-filled supporting studs 127 as shown in an enlarged detail in Figure 9. A stabilizer member 129 is composed as a plurality of T-shaped elements 131, which are joined together in a flexible manner. The assembly as shown in Figure 10 in a ghost arrangement from above may be obtained by adhesively connecting the first base member 123, the second base member 125 and the stabilizing member 129. It is also possible to embed these three base elements into a flexible embedding mass, such as polyurethane gel, that can be formed as an interface between a human foot and a foot supporting surface of an item of footwear, such as a shoe. A sixth embodiment of insole 132 as illustrated in Figures 11 and 12 comprises a first base member 133 for foot support. In this case the first base member 133 is in the form of a laminated foam substrate that has been shaped as a mesh. A second base member 135 is formed from a flexible molded material, such as a polyurethane gel or silicon rubber. The second base member 135 is provided with an elongated central cavity 137, which corresponds in shape to a stabilizing member 139. The stabilizing member 139 included a plurality of generally "+"-shaped individual elements 141, which can each have a different shape. These elements 141 can disconnectably engage one another in the longitudinal direction of the stabilizing member 139 and be retained in engagement when accommodated in the central cavity 137 of the second base member 135. Likewise it is possible for the individual elements 141 to be integrally formed as the stabilizing member 139. Upon assembly of the first base member 133, the second base member 135 and the stabilizing member 139, these components may additionally be adheringly connected using adhesive or heat sealing as a connecting means. The assembled insole 132 is illustrated in Figure 12. A seventh embodiment of insole 142 according to the invention is shown in Figures 13 and 14. The seventh embodiment of insole 142 comprises a first base member 143 that is formed by a substrate having a mesh structure. A second base member 145 has three-dimensional shape obtained by molding a polyurethane gel or like material. This second base member 145 may also be formed with a plurality of resilient supporting studs 147, covering the underside of a heel portion of the second base member 145. A stabilizing element 149 is arranged to be accommodated or embedded in the second base member 145 as indicated by reference numeral 151. More in particular the stabilizing member 149 included an arrangement of generally longitudinally extending elements 153 and transversely extending elements 155. The longitudinally and transversely extending elements 153, 155 are arranged in intersect one another in generally Y-shaped junctions forming nodal points 157 (of which some are referenced in Figure 13). It is also visible in Figure 13 that the arrangement of nodal points 157 is such as to form perimetrally enclosed surface support areas 159 in selected regions of a longitudinal extent of the stabilizing member 149. Although the shapes of the enclosed surface areas 159 are shown as hexagonal honeycombs, it should be clear that other shapes like circles, ellipses or like are also possible. The heel part can have an enclosed surface support area 161 that is larger than the other enclosed surface support areas 159. By varying the distribution of nodal points 157 and the number and location of the enclosed surface areas 159 it is possible to vary the relative stiffness and relative flexibility that the stabilizing member 149 contributes to the first and second base member 143, 145. An additional feature of the seventh embodiment of insole 142 is an intermediate layer 163 including a phase change material (PCM) for temperature regulation of the foot. Phase change materials have fairly recently become of interest in outdoor garments and the present invention recognizes their usefulness in insoles for footwear. While the use of such PCM's has been illustrated in combination with the seventh embodiment, it will need no further explanation that this feature may also be combined with any of the other embodiments herein described.

Referring now to Figures 15 and 16 a modification of the second embodiment of Figures 3 and 4 is shown in cross section (Figure 15) and as a bottom view (Figure 16). Please note in this regard, that the insole shown in Figure 16 is intended for an opposite wearer's foot than the insole shown in Figure 4, but is otherwise generally similar. As already explained in reference to the first, second, fifth and seventh embodiments, a bottom surface of the insole, which may be the second base member, can be shaped with a plurality of pin-shaped or stud-like projections. These projections may be resilient and or gel-filled supporting studs. This arrangement provides additional cushioning to the wearer, because the supporting projections act as micro springs and at the same time keep the mass of the insole low. The addition of a spine also enables the rest of the insole to be reduced in mass. Now the modified second embodiment varies the shape, distribution and proportions of the projections in areas of the insole that require high cushioning of energy, medium cushioning of energy, or none or very little cushioning of energy. It is further possible to also use a pattern of holes distributed over the lands between the supporting studs, to provide for a further reduction in mass and/or to improve ventilation. This further optional modification is not shown in Figures 15 or 16, but should need no further explanation to the skilled person. As shown in Figures 15 and 16, the insole 152 has a bottom surface 153 and a top surface 155. The bottom surface 153 is provided with a spine 161, which is of the form described in reference to Figure 3. The bottom surface 153 of the insole, not covered by the spine 161 defines a high energy cushioning heel area covered with conical projections 157, another relatively high energy cushioning forefoot area covered with conical projections 159. The remaining areas of the insole 152 are medium to low cushioning and can be provided with projections 169 and 179. Preferably the supporting projections 157, 159, 169, and 179 are formed from a gel-like material and may be integral with the main body of the insole 152. As shown in more detail in Figures 17A to 17D, the individual projections 157 and 159 generally have more volume and mass than the projections 169 and 179, which need to cushion only a minimum of energy. The cushioning effect can be further varied by the density with which these cover the relative areas. Hence the density of the projections 157 in the heel area may be larger than the density of the projections 159 in the forefoot area 159. It has been found that with gel materials a suitable height for the projections is about 2 mm. The thinner projections 169 and 179 (Figs. 17A and 17C) can have a round, conical shape with a proximal diameter of 1 mm and a distal diameter of 0.7 mm. For the fatter projections 157 and 159 (Figs. 17D and 17B) an appropriate proximal diameter would be about 2.5 mm and an appropriate distal diameter would be 1.8 mm. With such dimensions and proportions for the supporting projections 157, 159, 169, 179 there is a workable range within which to vary the density and distribution, while retaining sufficient land between adjacent projections to enable these to be effective in the cushioning of energy.

More in general, and optionally as an aspect separate from the invention, the insole in one of the embodiments may be provided in a packaged form. Accordingly there is provided an assembly of the insole and a package that includes the insole in a, preferably elastically, deformed, for example rolled or folded, state. An insole arranged to be deformed for inclusion in the package is provided as well. Preferably, the deformed state can be obtained by hand. For example, the insole can be rolled or folded by hand. In the deformed state a size of the insole in at least one direction, for example along the longitudinal direction of the stabilizing member with the insole in the undeformed state, may be decreased. In this way the package may be smaller and hence less costly. Also, the package having the decreased size may be better compatible with shelf dimensions commonly used in certain shops. Alternatively, the insole in the packaged form may include a package for the insole and the insole in a substantially undeformed state, as for example shown in figures 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16. Then the package does not impose requirements to deformability of the insole, e.g. to a longitudinal flexibility and dimensions of the first and second flexible base member, and to a longitudinal stiffness and dimensions of the stabilizing member. Then, optionally, the insole may even be unsuitable for packaging in a deformed, e.g. rolled or folded, state.

The insole in the deformed state may for example be rolled. Thereto the longitudinal flexibility and the dimensions of the first and second flexible base member, and/or the longitudinal stiffness and the dimensions of the stabilizing member, may be arranged for allowing resiliently rolling the insole. In a rolled state, for example, the forefoot region may be in contact with the heel region of the insole.

Alternatively, the insole in the deformed state may for example be folded. Thereto the insole may be provided with a folding region, such as a folding line, that extends in a direction transverse to the longitudinal direction of the stabilizing member with the insole in the undeformed state. Such a folding region may be formed by a locally increased flexibility of the insole. The folding region may for example extend in between or near a transition between two neighbouring T-shaped elements 131. Alternatively, the folding region may for example extend in between or near a transition between two neighbouring "+"-shaped individual elements 141. It may be clear though that the T-shaped elements 131 or the "+"-shaped individual elements 141 may alternatively be provided in the insole without allowing for the folding region.

The insole in the deformed state may be rolled or folded in the same direction (i.e. with the bottom surface of the second flexible base member arranged outwards) as when deformed during walking. However, alternatively, the insole in the deformed state may be rolled or folded in the opposite direction (i.e. with the bottom surface of the second flexible base member arranged inwards) as when deformed during walking. This may enable selecting an improved optimum between on the one hand requirements for the longitudinal flexibility and the dimensions of the first and second flexible base member, and the longitudinal stiffness and dimensions of the stabilizing member, imposed by use of the insole, and on the other hand requirements for the longitudinal flexibility and the dimensions of the first and second flexible base member, and the longitudinal stiffness and dimensions of the stabilizing member, imposed by the package. Thereto the stabilizing member may be provided with a folding hinge, being an example of the folding region. Preferably, the folding hinge is arranged for allowing deformation from an undeformed state in only one direction. Such a hinge may be created for example in a simple way by an incision that extends partly into the stabilizing member from the top surface of the insole. The incision preferably also extends in a direction transverse to the longitudinal direction of the stabilizing member.

Embodiments for the package as such, such as a transparent plastic bag or a can that may be cylinder-shaped or oval-shaped, are known as such to the skilled person so that a further description is deemed superfluous. It is thus believed that the operation and construction of the present invention will be apparent from the foregoing description. The term insole as used in the present specification is referring inclusively to any inlays or soles associated with any type of footwear, inclusive of shoes, boots and the like for utility, therapeutical or sports uses. The invention is not limited to any embodiment herein described and, within the purview of the skilled person; modifications are possible which should be considered within the scope of the appended claims. Equally all kinematic inversions are considered inherently disclosed and to be within the scope of the present invention. The term comprising when used in this description or the appended claims should not be construed in an exclusive or exhaustive sense but rather in an inclusive sense. Expressions such as: "means for ..." should be read as: "component configured for ..." or "member constructed to ..." and should be construed to include equivalents for the structures disclosed. The use of expressions like: "critical", "preferred", "especially preferred" etc. is not intended to limit the invention. Features which are not specifically or explicitly described or claimed may be additionally included in the structure according to the present invention without deviating from its scope.