(19)
(11)EP 2 381 903 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
14.01.2015 Bulletin 2015/03

(21)Application number: 09795871.4

(22)Date of filing:  18.12.2009
(51)Int. Cl.: 
A61F 5/14  (2006.01)
A43B 7/28  (2006.01)
A61F 5/01  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2009/068645
(87)International publication number:
WO 2010/075196 (01.07.2010 Gazette  2010/26)

(54)

FOOTWEAR INSOLE FOR ALLEVIATING ARTHRITIS PAIN

SCHUHEINLEGESOHLE ZUR LINDERUNG VON ARTHRITISCHEN SCHMERZEN

SEMELLE DE CHAUSSURE DESTINÉE À SOULAGER UNE DOULEUR D'ARTHRITE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 22.12.2008 US 341474

(43)Date of publication of application:
02.11.2011 Bulletin 2011/44

(73)Proprietor: MSD Consumer Care, Inc.
Memphis TN 38139 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • AVENT, Richard, T.
    Memphis Tennessee 38111 (US)
  • CAPPAERT, Jane, M.
    Bartlett Tennessee 38135 (US)
  • LUNDY, JR., Charles, E.
    Germantown Tennessee 38139 (US)

(74)Representative: Buchan, Gavin MacNicol 
Merck & Co., Inc. European Patent Department Hertford Road
Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire EN11 9BU
Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire EN11 9BU (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A-95/00047
DE-U1-202007 008 016
US-A1- 2005 268 490
WO-A-2008/129389
DE-U1-202007 013 671
US-B1- 6 510 626
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Field of the Invention



    [0001] The present invention relates to footwear insoles to relieve arthritis pain.

    Background



    [0002] Footwear insoles are generally inserted into shoes, in order to provide added cushioning or support for the wearer of the shoes. The insoles may be removable and reusable, and they may be one-size-fits-all, specified shoe sizes, or custom-sized to the wearer.

    [0003] Some insoles offer additional cushioning by providing one or more cushioning layers to the soles of the wearer's shoes. These insoles are generally used to decrease the impact felt by the wearer during walking, jogging, running, or other activities.

    [0004] For example, U.S. Patent Nos. 5,068,983 and 5,146,698 describe a combination of foam materials for a resilient base piece, a heel piece, and a top cushioning layer to absorb shock and impact.

    [0005] Other insoles offer additional foot support by providing a rigid, formed layer placed on top of the soles of the wearer's shoes. These insoles are generally provided to correct abnormal conditions of a wearer's feet or gait.

    [0006] For example, U.S. Patent Nos. 6,125,557; 6,269,555; 6,601,320; and 7,124,518 describe a two-piece orthotic assembly having a post member and a plate member for positioning and controlling motions of a wearer's foot in a shoe. U.S. Patent No. 4,317,293 describes an insole of resiliently elastic material and a stiffening insert at the outside of the foot to ensure a natural position when standing and a natural rolling motion when walking. U.S. Patent No. 6,502,330 describes a sole strengthener for stabilizing lateral movement of the foot and guiding longitudinal movement of the foot. U.S. Patent No. 6,732,456 describes an orthotic having a built-in step indicating device (ball) to correct excessive pronation and supination of the foot. U.S. Patent No. 6,745,501 describes an orthotic having a rigid cap member to correct an abnormal toe-off phase of a gait cycle and prevent shuffling of the toe-off phase by tilting the foot forward via a transverse ridge portion on the underside of the rigid cap member.

    [0007] Still other insoles provide additional support to specific areas of the foot. For example, U.S. Patent Application No. 2008/0072461 describes an orthotic having a cushioning layer and an outer shell layer, which may optionally include an inner shell insert layer for arch support. In addition, U.S. Patent Application No. 2007/0289170 describes an orthotic having a cushioning layer and a shell layer with a removable insert for arch support. U.S. Patent Nos. 6,233,847 and 6,618,960 describe a thin, rigid, resiliently flexible cap under a soft, cushioning foam blank to provide proper support to heel and rearfoot areas. U.S. Patent Application Nos. 2002/0050080; 2003/0009915; 2007/0277400; and 2008/0010861 generally describe orthotics for providing support to various areas of the foot.

    [0008] Some insoles have been proposed to relieve pain in the wearer's knees from medial knee osteoarthritis, with varying results. In this regard, several studies have been conducted to try to confirm the alleviation of knee osteoarthritis by the use of laterally-wedged foot orthotics. For example, in a study by D. Casey Kerrigan et al. described in Effectiveness of a Lateral-Wedge Insole on Knee Varus Torque in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis, ARCH PHYS MED REHABIL, Vol. 83, pp. 889-893 (July 2002), knee varus torque in medial knee osteoarthritis was reduced by using rubberlike foam, lateral-wedge insoles. However, in another study by Kristin Baker et al. described in A Randomized Crossover Trial of a Wedged Insole for Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis, ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATISM, Vol. 56, No. 4, pp. 1198-1203 (April 2007), no statistically significant or clinically important pain relief in medial knee osteoarthritis was found by using incompressible, laterally-wedged foot orthotics.

    [0009] Further, specifically for alleviating foot arthritis pain, U.S. Patent Nos. 7,284,342; 6,481,120; and 5,611,153 describe insoles for alleviating foot arthritic problems by using insoles with cushioning layers and pressure redistribution layers. In addition, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons suggests a soft arch support with a rigid heel for alleviating foot arthritis pain (http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00163).

    Summary



    [0010] The invention is defined in independent claim 1. Preferred embodiments are defined in the dependent claims 2-18.

    [0011] There has been a long-felt need for alleviating arthritis pain of the foot, knee, and/or hip. Accordingly, a footwear insole for alleviating arthritis pain of the foot, knee, and/or hip has been created which provides arch support and cushioning for remaining portions of the foot, particularly the heel. Not to be held to any particular theory, it is believed that the combination of arch support and cushioning of the heel alleviates arthritis pain of the foot, knee, and/or hip.

    [0012] In the present invention, an insole for alleviating arthritis pain of at least one of a foot, knee, and hip is provided, comprising a heel portion, an arch portion, and a forefoot portion; the heel portion comprising an interior heel portion and a perimeter heel portion; the arch portion comprising an interior arch portion and a perimeter arch portion; and an upper cushioning layer, a lower cushioning layer, and a rigid shell layer therebetween, the rigid shell layer spanning the heel region and arch region, wherein the rigid shell layer includes an upper surface of the rigid shell layer, a lower surface of the rigid shell layer, and a shell aperture, wherein the shell aperture extends forward from a calcaneus to metatarsals in a medial arch region such that the shell layer provides support along the perimeter heel region and perimeter arch region and the aperture allows for cushioning of the interior heel region and interior arch region; the upper cushioning layer is adhered in part to the upper surface of the rigid shell layer; the lower cushioning layer Is adhered in part to the lower surface of the rigid shell layer; the lower cushioning layer includes an arch support region, a heel support region, a forefoot support region, and a lower layer aperture under the calcaneus of the foot; and a portion of the upper cushioning layer extends through a portion of the shell aperture and extends through a portion of the lower layer aperture.

    [0013] In an alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the rigid shell layer is configured to support the metatarsals in the medial arch region of the foot.

    [0014] In an alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the insole has a topcloth adhered to an upper surface of the upper cushioning layer.

    [0015] In an alternative, the topcloth is polyester.

    [0016] In an alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the upper cushioning layer and the lower cushioning layer are polyurethane foam.

    [0017] In an alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the rigid shell layer is polypropylene.

    [0018] In an alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the topcloth and the upper cushioning layer are coterminous in lateral and longitudinal dimensions.

    [0019] In an alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the longitudinal dimensions of the topcloth and the upper cushioning layer extend approximately from the calcaneus to the metatarsals of the foot.

    [0020] In an alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the lower cushioning layer has a longitudinal dimension less than a shorter of a longitudinal dimension of the topcloth and a longitudinal dimension of the upper cushioning layer.

    [0021] In an alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the rigid shell layer has a longitudinal dimension less than a shorter of a longitudinal dimension of the topcloth, the upper cushioning layer, and the lower cushioning layer.

    [0022] In an alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the upper cushioning layer completely covers the upper surface of the rigid shell layer, and the lower cushioning layer completely covers the lower surface of the rigid shell layer.

    [0023] In an alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the lower cushioning layer has a varying thickness.

    [0024] In an alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the arch support region has greater thickness than at least one of the heel support region and the toe support region.

    [0025] In an alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, at least one of the rigid shell layer, the lower cushioning layer, and the upper cushioning layer is contoured to provide heel support.

    [0026] In an alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the heel support is a heel cup.

    [0027] In an alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, a lower surface of the upper cushioning layer is contoured to receive the upper surface of the rigid shell layer.

    [0028] In an alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the upper cushioning layer, the rigid shell layer, and the lower cushioning layer are adhered together, and wherein the portion of the upper cushioning layer extending through the shell aperture and the lower layer aperture is mated with the lower cushioning layer.

    [0029] In an alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the rigid shell layer provides support for at least one of a first metatarsal and a second metatarsal of the foot.

    [0030] In an alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the lower cushioning layer is configured to contact an inner sole of a shoe.

    [0031] In an alternative, the insole is a removable device for insertion in footwear.

    [0032] In an alternative, the insole is integrated in a footwear device.

    [0033] Other features and aspects of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following brief description of the drawings, the appended claims and the accompanying drawings.

    Brief Description of the Drawings



    [0034] 

    FIG. 1A is a medial side view of an embodiment of an exemplary footwear insole.

    FIG. 1B is a top view of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole.

    FIG. 1C is a lateral side view of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole.

    FIG. 1D is a bottom view of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole.

    FIG. 1E is a rear view of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole.

    FIG. 2A is a longitudinal cross-sectional view, along line A-A' shown in FIG. 1B, of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole.

    FIG. 2B is a lateral cross-sectional view, along line B-B' shown in FIG. 2A, of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole.

    FIG. 2C is a lateral cross-sectional view, along line C-C' shown in FIG. 2A, of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole.

    FIG. 2D is a lateral cross-sectional view, along line D-D' shown in FIG. 2A, of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole.

    FIG. 2E is a lateral cross-sectional view, along line E-E' shown in FIG. 2A, of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole.

    FIG. 3A is a top plan view of a rigid shell layer of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole.

    FIG. 3B is a medial side view of the rigid shell layer of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole.

    FIG. 3C is a longitudinal cross-sectional view, along line F-F' shown in FIG. 3A, of the rigid shell layer of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole.

    FIG. 3D is a substantially longitudinal cross-sectional view, along line G-G' shown in FIG. 3A, of the rigid shell layer of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole.

    FIG. 3E is a longitudinal cross-sectional view, along line H-H' shown in FIG. 3A, of the rigid shell layer of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole.

    FIG. 3F is a schematic bottom view of a foot, in which the bones of the foot are representatively shown.

    FIG. 3G is a bottom plan view of the rigid shell layer of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole. wherein the rigid shell layer is shown superimposed upon the schematic bottom view of the foot of FIG. 3F.

    FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective, bottom view of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole, illustrating a topcloth 2, an upper cushioning layer 3, a rigid shell layer 4, and a lower cushioning layer 5.

    FIG. 5 is a table of arthritis pain test subjects, broken down by arthritis site and testing site.

    FIG. 6A is a table of the test results for subjects having arthritis pain in the knee.

    FIG. 6B is a table of the test results for subjects having arthritis pain in the knee, broken down by testing site.

    FIG. 6C is a line graph of the test results for subjects having arthritis pain in the knee.

    FIG. 7A is a table of the test results for subjects having arthritis pain in the foot.

    FIG. 7B is a table of the test results for subjects having arthritis pain in the foot, broken down by testing site.

    FIG. 7C is a line graph of the test results for subjects having arthritis pain in the foot.

    FIG. 8A is a table of the test results for subjects having arthritis pain in the hip.

    FIG. 8B is a table of the test results for subjects having arthritis pain in the hip, broken down by testing site.

    FIG. 8C is a line graph of the test results for subjects having arthritis pain in the hip.


    Detailed Description of the Embodiments



    [0035] The Figures depict an embodiment of an exemplary footwear insole 1. Although the Figures show a left-footed embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole, it is to be understood that a right-footed embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole would be a mirror image of the Figures shown.

    [0036] Figures 1A to 1E show different views of an embodiment of an exemplary footwear insole 1. FIG. 1A is a medial side view, FIG. 1B is a top view, FIG. 1C is a lateral side view, FIG. 1D is a bottom view, and FIG. 1E is a rear view of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole 1. Figures 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1E show a topcloth 2 forming a top layer of the insole 1. As shown, the topcloth 2 may cover the entire insole longitudinally from the toe region 6 to the heel region 9, and laterally from the lateral arch region 8 to the medial arch region 7, such that in a top view (FIG. 1 B), only the topcloth 2 is visible. However, the topcloth 2 may alternatively cover only a portion of the top of the footwear insole 1, such that an upper cushioning layer 3 below the topcloth 2 may be visible in a top view. In addition, the topcloth 2 may or may not extend to an area under the toes. The topcloth 2 may be made of a fabric, a polymer, a natural fiber, a film, or any other material to provide a comfortable mating surface for a user's foot. For example, the topcloth 2 may be made of polyester, acetate, polyethene, acrylic, nylon, rayon, spandex, wool, cotton, silk, bamboo, linen, hemp, urethane, polyethylene, polyurethane, or any other material that may provide a comfortable mating surface.

    [0037] Figures 1A, 1C, 1D, and 1E also show an upper cushioning layer 3 positioned below the topcloth 2. As shown, the upper cushioning layer 3 is coterminous in lateral and longitudinal dimensions with the topcloth 2. As discussed above, although the topcloth 2 may alternatively cover only a portion of a top surface of the upper cushioning layer 3, leaving a portion of the top surface of the upper cushioning layer 3 exposed to a user's foot, the topcloth 2 generally will not have a larger lateral or longitudinal dimension than the upper cushioning layer 3. In addition, as shown in FIG. 1D, the upper cushioning layer 3 may include a heel cushioning pad 10 in the heel region 9, positioned under a calcaneus 16 of a user's foot 15. Further, the upper cushioning layer 3 may be provided with a curvature on its upper surface in order to comfortably fit the contours of a user's foot. The upper cushioning layer 3 may be made of a foam, a gel, or any other cushioning material. For example, the upper cushioning layer 3 may be made of polyurethane, ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer, styrene-efhylene-butadiene-styrene, silicone, hydrogel, or any other cushioning material.

    [0038] Figures 1A, 1C, 1D, and 1E also show a rigid shell layer 4 positioned below the upper cushioning layer 3. The rigid shell layer 4 may generally have a longitudinal dimension shorter than the longitudinal dimension of the upper cushioning layer 3, and the rigid shell layer 4 may have a lateral dimension equal to or shorter than the lateral dimension of the upper cushioning layer 3, such that the rigid shell layer 4 does not directly contact a user's foot. Further, as shown in Figures 1A and 1C, the rigid shell layer 4 may be shaped to have a longer longitudinal dimension in the medial arch region 7 than in the lateral arch region 8. In this manner, the rigid shell layer 4 may provide greater support for the medial arch region 7, than for the lateral arch region 8, of the user's foot. In addition, the rigid shell layer 4 may be provided with a curvature in order to comfortably fit the contours of a user's foot. The rigid shell layer 4 may be made of any rigid, semi-flexible material which can provide support to a user's foot while also providing a comfortable fit. Such materials include, but are not limited to, polymer materials such as polyolefins, polyamides, polyesters, polyurethanes, styrenic elastomers, and polycarbonates. All of the aforementioned materials can be filled with glass, mineral or carbon fibers.

    [0039] Figures 1A, 1C, 1D, and 1E also show a lower cushioning layer 5 positioned below the rigid shell layer 4. The lower cushioning layer 5 may generally have a longitudinal dimension shorter than the longitudinal dimension of the upper cushioning layer 3, and a lateral dimension approximately equal to the lateral dimension of the upper cushioning layer 3. Further, the lower cushioning layer 5 may generally have a longitudinal dimension longer than the longitudinal dimension of the rigid shell layer 4, and a lateral dimension equal to or greater than the lateral dimension of the rigid shell layer 4, such that the rigid shell layer 4 does not directly contact a sole of a user's shoe. Similar to the rigid shell layer 4, an upper surface of the lower cushioning layer 5 may be provided with a curvature in order to comfortably fit the contours of a user's foot. In addition, as shown in Figures 1D and 1E, a lower surface and sidewalls of the lower cushioning layer 5 may be contoured or tapered, particularly in the medial arch region 7, heel region 9, and lateral arch region 8, in order to better fit within a user's shoe. Further, as shown in FIG. 1D, the lower cushioning layer 5 may include a lower layer aperture 14 in the heel region 9, positioned under a calcaneus 16 of a user's foot 15, and through which the heel cushioning pad 10 of the upper cushioning layer 3 extends. Similar to the upper cushioning layer 3, the lower cushioning layer 5 may be made of a foam, a gel, or any other cushioning material. For example, the lower cushioning layer 5 may be made of polyurethane, ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer, styrene-ethylene-butadiene-styrene, silicone, hydrogel, or any other cushioning material. The upper cushioning layer and the lower cushioning layer may be constructed of the same or different materials.

    [0040] FIG. 2A shows a longitudinal cross-sectional view, along line A-A' shown in FIG. 1B, of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole 1. As described above, the topcloth 2 may cover an entire top surface of the insole. Positioned below the topcloth 2, the upper cushioning layer 3 spans the entire longitudinal dimension of the insole. Positioned below the upper cushioning layer 3, the rigid shell layer 4 is received in a lower surface of the upper cushioning layer 3. Positioned below the rigid shell layer 4 is the lower cushioning layer 5. In particular, the heel cushioning pad 10 of the upper cushioning layer 3 under the calcaneus 16 of the user's foot 15 extends from a lower surface of the topcloth 2 through both a shell aperture 13 in the rigid shell layer 4 and a lower layer aperture 14 in the lower cushioning layer 5 to a lower surface that is substantially flush with a lower surface of the lower cushioning layer 5. As shown, the upper cushioning layer 3, the rigid shell layer 4, and the lower cushioning layer 5 may be provided with a longitudinal curvature in order to comfortably fit the contours of a user's foot. In particular, as shown in FIG. 2A, the longitudinal curvature of the upper cushioning layer 3, the rigid shell layer 4, and the lower cushioning layer 5 may provide a thinner cross-section in the toe region 6, a thicker cross-section in the medial and lateral arch regions 7,8, and/or a heel cup in the heel region 9.

    [0041] FIG. 2B shows a lateral cross-sectional view, along line B-B' shown in FIG. 2A, of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole 1. This cross-section of the insole may include the topcloth 2 and the upper cushioning layer 3. In addition, this cross-section of the insole may include only the upper cushioning layer 3. The lateral width of the insole in this cross-section may be sized to be approximately equal to the width of a user's foot, in order to comfortably fit within a user's shoe.

    [0042] FIG. 2C shows a lateral cross-sectional view, along line C-C' shown in FIG. 2A, of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole 1. This cross-section of the insole may include the topcloth 2, the upper cushioning layer 3, and the lower cushioning layer 5. The lower cushioning layer 5 may be provided with a curvature on its top surface in order to comfortably fit the contours of a user's foot. In particular, as shown in FIG. 2C, the lower cushioning layer 5 may provide a thicker cross-section in the medial arch region 7 and a relatively thinner cross-section in the lateral arch region 8. The lateral width of the insole in this cross-section may be sized to be approximately equal to the width of a user's foot, and the sidewalls of the lower cushioning layer 5 may be contoured or tapered, particularly in the medial arch region 7 and lateral arch region 8, in order to better fit within a user's shoe.

    [0043] FIG. 2D shows a lateral cross-sectional view, along line D-D' shown in FIG. 2A, of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole 1. This cross-section of the insole may include the topcloth 2, the upper cushioning layer 3, the rigid shell layer 4, and the lower cushioning layer 5. As shown, the rigid shell layer 4 may be received in a lower surface of the upper cushioning layer 3. Further, the rigid shell layer 4 may be shaped in order to provide greater support for the medial arch region 7, than for the lateral arch region 8, of the user's foot. In addition, the lower cushioning layer 5 may be provided with a curvature on its top surface in order to comfortably fit the contours of a user's foot. In particular, as shown in FIG. 2D, the rigid shell layer 4 and the lower cushioning layer 5 may provide stiffer support in the medial arch region 7 than in the lateral arch region 8. The lateral width of the insole in this cross-section may be sized to be approximately equal to the width of a user's foot, and a lower surface and sidewalls of the lower cushioning layer 5 may be contoured or tapered, particularly in the medial arch region 7 and lateral arch region 8, in order to better fit within a user's shoe.

    [0044] FIG. 2E shows a lateral cross-sectional view, along line E-E' shown in FIG. 2A, of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole 1. This cross-section of the insole may include the topcloth 2, the upper cushioning layer 3, the rigid shell layer 4, and the lower cushioning layer 5. As shown, the rigid shell layer 4 may be received in a lower surface of the upper cushioning layer 3. Further, the rigid shell layer 4 may include a shell aperture 13 in the heel region 9, positioned under a calcaneus 16 of a user's foot 15. In addition, the lower cushioning layer 5 may include a lower layer aperture 14 in the heel region 9, positioned under the calcaneus 16 of the user's foot 15. Moreover, the upper cushioning layer 3 may include a heel cushioning pad 10 in the heel region 9, positioned under the calcaneus 16 of the user's foot 15. The heel cushioning pad 10 may extend through both the shell aperture 13 and the lower layer aperture 14 to a lower surface that is substantially flush with a lower surface of the lower cushioning layer 5. Optionally, the heel cushioning pad 10 and the lower surface 11 (shown in Fig. 4) of the upper cushioning layer 3 may be separate layers of cushioning material. Further optionally, the lower cushioning layer 5, instead of the upper cushioning layer 3, may include the heel cushioning pad 10 in the heel region 9 (not shown); then, the heel cushioning pad 10 of the lower cushioning layer 5 may extend through the shell aperture 13 and abut the lower surface 11 of the upper cushioning layer 3, or the heel cushioning pad 10 may extend through the shell aperture 13 to mate with an upper layer aperture (not shown) of the upper cushioning layer 3. In addition, the upper cushioning layer 3, the rigid shell layer 4, and the lower cushioning layer 5 may be provided with a curvature in order to comfortably fit the contours of a user's foot. In particular, as shown in FIG. 2E, the curvature of the upper cushioning layer 3, the rigid shell layer 4, and the lower cushioning layer 5 may provide a heel cup in the heel region 9 with support around the periphery of the heel region 9. The lateral width of the insole in this cross-section may be sized to be approximately equal to the width of a user's foot, and a lower surface and sidewalls of the lower cushioning layer 5 may be contoured or tapered, particularly in the heel region 9, in order to better fit within a user's shoe.

    [0045] FIG. 3A shows a top plan view of a rigid shell layer 4 of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole 1. As shown, the rigid shell layer 4 may be shaped to have a longer longitudinal dimension in the medial arch region 7 than in the lateral arch region 8. Further, the shell aperture 13 may also be shaped to have a longer longitudinal dimension in the medial arch region 7 than in the lateral arch region 8. In this manner, the support provided by the rigid shell layer 4 may be further localized to the medial arch region 7, while still providing a level of support to the lateral arch region 8 and around a periphery of the heel region 9. The particular shape of the rigid shell layer 4 and the shell aperture 13 is further described below.

    [0046] FIG. 3B shows a medial side view, FIG. 3C shows a longitudinal cross-sectional view, along line F-F', shown in FIG. 3A, FIG. 3D shows a substantially longitudinal cross-sectional view, along line G-G', shown in FIG. 3A, and FIG. 3E shows a longitudinal cross-sectional view, along line H-H', shown in FIG. 3A, of the rigid shell layer 4 of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole 1. As shown, the rigid shell layer 4 may be provided with a longitudinal curvature in order to comfortably fit the contours of a user's foot. In particular, the rigid shell layer 4 may be contoured to provide a heel cup in the heel region 9, stiffer support in the medial and lateral arch regions 7, 8, and/or relatively less support in the toe region 6 and around the periphery of the heel region 9. The rigid shell layer 4 may be made of any rigid, semi-flexible material which can provide support to a user's foot while also providing a comfortable fit.

    [0047] FIG. 3F shows a schematic bottom view of a foot 15, in which the bones of the foot 15 are representatively shown. The calcaneus 16 is shown in the heel region 9 of the foot 15. Spanning the foot from the medial arch region 7 to the lateral arch region 8 are the first metatarsal bone 17, second metatarsal bone 18, third metatarsal bone 19, fourth metatarsal bone 20, and fifth metatarsal bone 21. Connected to the metatarsal bones 17 to 21 toward the calcaneus 16 are the medial cuneiform bone 23, intermediate cuneiform bone 24, lateral cuneiform bone 25, and cuboid 26.

    [0048] FIG. 3G shows a bottom plan view of the rigid shell layer 4, wherein the rigid shell layer is shown superimposed upon the schematic bottom view of the foot 15 of FIG. 3F. The rigid shell layer 4 may be shaped to have a longer longitudinal dimension in the medial arch region 7 than in the lateral arch region 8. Specifically, the outer peripheral edge of the rigid shell layer 4 in the heel region 9 may substantially follow the outer edge of the foot 15 in the heel region 9. Forward of the heel region 9 and in the medial arch region 7, the outer peripheral edge of the rigid shell layer 4 may continue to follow the outer edge of the foot 15 until reaching approximately the metatarsal-phalangeal joint 22 of the first metatarsal 17. Then, the outer peripheral edge of the rigid shell layer 4 may follow a curve approximately under the metatarsal-phalangeal joint 22 of the first metatarsal 17. The outer peripheral edge of the rigid shell layer 4 may then follow a curve approximately under the second metatarsal 18 away from the metatarsal-phalangeal joints 22 and toward the tarsal-metatarsal joints 27 of the foot 15. Then, still forward of the heel region 9 and in the lateral arch region 8, the outer peripheral edge of the rigid shell layer 4 may follow a curve approximately under the tarsal-metatarsal joints 27 of the third, fourth, and fifth metatarsals 19, 20, 21. Thereafter, the outer peripheral edge of the rigid shell layer 4 may follow the outer edge of the foot 15 as it continues rearward to and around the heel region 9. In this manner, by extending forward in the medial arch region 7 but not in the lateral arch region 8, the rigid shell layer 4 may provide greater support for the medial arch region 7, than for the lateral arch region 8, of the user's foot 15.

    [0049] Further, as shown in FIG. 3G, the shell aperture 13 may also be shaped to have a longer longitudinal dimension in the medial arch region 7 than in the lateral arch region 8, creating a shell aperture 13 roughly similar in shape to the outer peripheral edge of the rigid shell layer 4. Specifically, the edge of the shell aperture 13 in the heel region 9 may substantially follow the outer peripheral edge of the rigid shell layer 4 in the heel region 9, separated from the outer peripheral edge of the rigid shell layer 4 by a short distance toward the center of the heel region 9. Forward of the heel region 9 and in the medial arch region 7, the edge of the shell aperture 13 may continue to follow the outer peripheral edge of the rigid shell layer 4 separated by a short distance toward the center of the foot 15 until reaching approximately the tarsal-metatarsal joint 27 of the first metatarsal 17. Then, the edge of the shell aperture 13 may follow a curve approximately under the tarsal-metatarsal joints 27 of the first and second metatarsals 17, 18. Then, the edge of the shell aperture 13 may follow a curve approximately under the intermediate and lateral cuneiform bones 24, 25 away from the tarsal-metatarsal joints 27 and toward the heel region 9 of the foot 15. Then, still forward of the heel region 9 and in the lateral arch region 8, the edge of the shell aperture 13 may follow a curve approximately under the cuboid bone 26. Thereafter, the edge of the shell aperture 13 may follow the outer peripheral edge of the rigid shell layer 4 as it continues rearward to and around the heel region 9, separated from the outer peripheral edge of the rigid shell layer 4 by a short distance toward the center of the heel region 9. In this manner, the support provided by the rigid shell layer 4 may be further localized to the medial arch region 7, while still providing a level of support to the lateral arch region 8 and around a periphery of the heel region 9.

    [0050] FIG. 4 shows an exploded perspective, bottom view of the embodiment of the exemplary footwear insole 1, illustrating a topcloth 2, an upper cushioning layer 3, a rigid shell layer 4, and a lower cushioning layer 5. The topcloth 2 may cover the entire insole longitudinally from the toe region 6 to the heel region 9, and laterally from the lateral arch region 8 to the medial arch region 7. In addition, the topcloth 2 may have a substantially uniform thickness. Further, the topcloth 2 may be made of a fabric, a polymer, a natural fiber, a film, or any other material to provide a comfortable mating surface for a user's foot.

    [0051] As shown in FIG. 4, the upper cushioning layer 3 may cover the entire insole longitudinally from the toe region 6 to the heel region 9, and laterally from the lateral arch region 8 to the medial arch region 7. In addition, upper cushioning layer 3 may include a receiving surface 12 on its lower surface, which receiving surface 12 receives the rigid shell layer 4. The upper cushioning layer 3 also may include a heel cushioning pad 10 in the heel region 9, positioned under a calcaneus 16 of a user's foot 15. Moreover, the upper cushioning layer 3 may be provided with a curvature in order to comfortably fit the contours of a user's foot. Further, the upper cushioning layer 3 may be made of a foam, a gel, or any other cushioning material.

    [0052] As shown in FIG. 4, the rigid shell layer 4 may be received in a receiving surface 12 of the upper cushioning layer 3. Further, the rigid shell layer 4 may include a shell aperture 13 shaped to provide support in the medial arch region 7 of a user's foot, and positioned under a calcaneus 16 of a user's foot 15. Once received in the receiving surface 12 of the upper cushioning layer 3, a lower surface of the rigid shell layer 4 may be substantially flush with both a lower surface of the upper cushioning layer 3 in the toe region 6 and also a lower surface 11 of the upper cushioning layer 3 in the heel region 9. In addition, the heel cushioning pad 10 of the upper cushioning layer 3 may extend through the shell aperture 13 of the rigid shell layer 4. Moreover, the rigid shell layer 4 may be provided with a curvature in order to comfortably fit the contours of a user's foot. The rigid shell layer 4 may be made of any rigid, semi-flexible material which can provide support to a user's foot while also providing a comfortable fit.

    [0053] As shown in FIG. 4, the lower cushioning layer 5 may have a longitudinal dimension shorter than the longitudinal dimension of the upper cushioning layer 3 but longer than the longitudinal dimension of the rigid shell layer 4, and a lateral dimension approximately equal to the lateral dimensions of the upper cushioning layer 3 and the rigid shell layer 4, such that the rigid shell layer 4 does not directly contact a sole of a user's shoe. The lower cushioning layer 5 may include a lower layer aperture 14, positioned under a calcaneus 16 of a user's foot 15. The heel cushioning pad 10 of the upper cushioning layer 3 may extend through the lower layer aperture 14 of the lower cushioning layer 5, such that a lower surface of the heel cushioning pad 10 may be substantially flush with a lower surface of the lower cushioning layer 5. Further, similar to the rigid shell layer 4, an upper surface of the lower cushioning layer 5 may be provided with a curvature in order to comfortably fit the contours of a user's foot. In addition, the lower surface and sidewalls of the lower cushioning layer 5 may be contoured or tapered, particularly in the medial arch region 7, heel region 9, and lateral arch region 8, in order to better fit within a user's shoe. Similar to the upper cushioning layer 3, the lower cushioning layer 5 may be made of a foam, a gel, or any other cushioning material.

    [0054] The topcloth 2, the upper cushioning layer 3, the rigid shell layer 4, and the lower cushioning layer 5 may be adhered together by an adhesive or tape. Any appropriate adhesive or tape, which adheres the materials of the different layers together and maintains adhesion under conditions of use of the insole, such as walking, running, jumping, or any other activity, may be used. In alternative acceptable embodiments, adhesion of the layers can be accomplished by pressure sensitive adhesives, solvent based adhesives, hot melt adhesives, radio frequency welding, ultrasonically welding or combinations thereof.

    [0055] The rigid shell layer 4 may provide rigid support for a user's foot, which may be further localized to the medial arch region 7 by the shape of the rigid shell layer 4 and the shell aperture 13. This rigid support in the medial arch region 7 may provide support to and prevent collapse of the bones in the medial arch of a user's foot 15, thereby alleviating arthritis pain in the medial arch of a user's foot. In addition, the rigid shell layer 4 may also provide a level of rigid support to the lateral arch region 8 and around a periphery of the heel region 9. Further, the rigid shell layer 4 may also include a shell aperture 13, positioned under a calcaneus 16 of a user's foot 15, through which a heel cushioning pad 10 of the upper cushioning layer 3 extends from a lower surface of the topcloth 2 to a lower surface of the insole 1. Moreover, the rigid shell layer 4 is positioned between an upper cushioning layer 3 and a lower cushioning layer 5, thereby providing overall cushioning to all regions of a user's foot. Thus, the topcloth 2, the upper cushioning layer 3, the rigid shell layer 4, and the lower cushioning layer 5 may simultaneously provide both rigid support to the medial arch region 7, with a lower level of support for the lateral arch region 8 and around a periphery of the heel region 9, and also cushioning support for all regions of a user's foot, particularly the heel region 9.

    [0056] The insole 1 may be a 3/4 length insole which extends longitudinally forward from the heel region 9 to a position in the toe region 6 approximately underneath the metatarsal bones 17 to 21 of a user's foot 15. The topcloth 2 may preferably be made of 100% polyester, the upper cushioning layer 3 may preferably be made of polyurethane foam, the rigid shell layer 4 may preferably be made of polypropylene, and the lower cushioning layer 5 may preferably be made of polyurethane foam. The topcloth 2, the upper cushioning layer 3, the rigid shell layer 4, and the lower cushioning layer 5 may preferably be adhered using hot melt adhesive. Further, the insole may preferably simultaneously provide localized, rigid arch support in the medial arch region 7 and cushioning support in the heel region 9 under a calcaneus 16 of a user's foot 15.

    [0057] Although the foregoing description provides a lower cushioning layer 5 with a lower layer aperture 14, a rigid shell layer 4 with a shell aperture 13, and an upper cushioning layer 3 with a heel cushioning pad 10 that extends through the shell aperture 13 and the lower layer aperture 14, it may be possible to modify the construction of the individual elements such that the upper cushioning layer 3 includes an upper layer aperture (not shown), the rigid shell layer 4 includes a shell aperture 13, and the lower cushioning layer 5 includes a heel cushioning pad (not shown) that extends through the upper layer aperture of the upper cushioning layer 3 and through the shell aperture 13 of the rigid shell layer 4.

    [0058] Embodiments of the exemplary footwear insole were tested for alleviating arthritis pain of the foot, hip, and knee on arthritis pain test subjects. Two hundred and twenty eight test subjects were evaluated, broken down by arthritis site and testing site as shown in Figure 5. The test subjects were screened based on a number of criteria including, for example, age, general health, body mass index, arthritis site, shoe size, normal daily activities, and others. In addition, for each of the testing sites, the daily environmental conditions including, for example, humidity, barometric pressure, temperature, and weather conditions were tracked and documented.

    [0059] Reduction in pain was evaluated based on each test subject's self evaluation of intensity of pain on a scale of 1-10, referred to herein as visual analog scale (VAS). For each group of subjects, males and females, and for each arthritis pain site, an initial baseline VAS score was determined. Next the VAS score, the percent reduction in the VAS score compared to the baseline VAS score, and the statistical p-value were evaluated after one minute, eight hours, one week, two weeks, and three weeks of using embodiments of the exemplary footwear insole. Statistical significance for the results was determined at p ≤ 0.05.

    [0060] Figure 6A shows the test results for subjects having arthritis pain in the knee. Figure 6A includes data points for the baseline VAS scores and VAS scores after one minute, eight hours, one week, two weeks, and three weeks of using embodiments of the exemplary footwear insole. All the data are considered statistically significant based on the above criteria.

    [0061] Figure 6B shows the test results for subjects having arthritis pain in the knee, broken down by testing site. Similar to Figure 6A, for each group of subjects, an initial baseline VAS score was determined. Figure 6B include data points for the VAS scores after one minute, eight hours, one week, two weeks, and three weeks of using embodiments of the exemplary footwear insole. As shown, the data for both males and females at test site 1 showed immediate, all day, and sustained pain relief of the arthritis pain in the knee, and this data is considered statistically significant based on the above criteria. In addition, the data for both males and females at test site 2 showed statistically significant reduced VAS scores after eight hours, one week, two weeks, and three weeks as compared to the baseline VAS scores.

    [0062] Figure 6C shows a line graph of the test results for males and females at each test site having arthritis pain in the knee. The x-axis shows the amount of time that subjects used embodiments of the exemplary footwear insole, and the y-axis shows the evaluated VAS scores. As shown, the VAS scores for both males and females continue to decrease with continued use of embodiments of the exemplary footwear insole, as compared to the baseline VAS scores, providing immediate, all day, and sustained pain relief from the arthritis pain in the knee after one minute, eight hours, one week, two weeks, and three weeks.

    [0063] Based on the combined data for both testing sites shown in Figures 6A to 6C, subjects having arthritis pain in the knee experienced statistically significant reductions in knee arthritis pain after using embodiments of the exemplary footwear insole for one minute, eight hours, one week, two weeks, and three weeks, providing immediate, all day, and sustained pain relief from the arthritis pain in the knee.

    [0064] Figure 7A shows the test results for subjects having arthritis pain in the foot. Figure 7A includes data points for the baseline VAS scores and VAS scores after one minute, eight hours, one week, two weeks, and three weeks of using embodiments of the exemplary footwear insole. All the data are considered statistically significant based on the above criteria.

    [0065] Figure 7B shows the test results for subjects having arthritis pain in the foot, broken down by testing site. Similar to Figure 7A, for each group of subjects, an initial baseline VAS score was determined. Figure 7B includes data points for the VAS scores after one minute, eight hours, one week, two weeks, and three weeks of using embodiments of the exemplary footwear insole. As shown, the data for both males and females at both test site 1 and test site 2 showed immediate, all day, and sustained pain relief of the arthritis pain in the knee, and this data is considered statistically significant based on the above criteria.

    [0066] Figure 7C shows a line graph of the test results for males and females at each test site having arthritis pain in the foot. The x-axis shows the amount of time that subjects used embodiments of the exemplary footwear insole, and the y-axis shows the evaluated VAS scores. As shown, the VAS scores for both males and females continue to decrease with continued use of embodiments of the exemplary footwear insole, as compared to the baseline VAS scores, providing immediate, all day, and sustained pain relief from the arthritis pain in the knee after one minute, eight hours, one week, two weeks, and three weeks.

    [0067] Based on the combined data for both testing sites shown in Figures 7A to 7C, subjects having arthritis pain in the foot experienced statistically significant reductions in foot arthritis pain after using embodiments of the exemplary footwear insole for one minute, eight hours, one week, two weeks, and three weeks, providing immediate, all day, and sustained pain relief from the arthritis pain in the foot.

    [0068] Figure 8A shows the test results for subjects having arthritis pain in the hip. Figure 8A includes data points for the baseline VAS scores and VAS scores after one minute, eight hours, one week, two weeks, and three weeks of using embodiments of the exemplary footwear insole. All the data are considered statistically significant based on the above criteria.

    [0069] Figure 8B shows the test results for subjects having arthritis pain in the hip, broken down by testing site. Similar to Figure 8A, for each group of subjects, an initial baseline VAS score was determined. Figure 8B includes data points for the VAS scores after one minute, eight hours, one week, two weeks, and three weeks of using embodiments of the exemplary footwear insole. As shown, the data for females at both test sites showed immediate, all day, and sustained pain relief of the arthritis pain in the knee, and this data is considered statistically significant based on the above criteria. In addition, the data for males at test site 1 also showed statistically significant immediate, all day, and sustained pain relief of the arthritis pain in the knee. Further, the data for males at test site 2 generally showed reduced VAS scores compared to the baseline VAS score, but this data included only a small number of samples, n = 9.

    [0070] Figure 8C shows a line graph of the test results for males and females at each test site having arthritis pain in the hip. The x-axis shows the amount of time that subjects used embodiments of the exemplary footwear insole, and the y-axis shows the evaluated VAS scores. As shown, the VAS scores for both males and females continue to decrease with continued use of embodiments of the exemplary footwear insole, as compared to the baseline VAS scores, providing immediate, all day, and sustained pain relief from the arthritis pain in the hip.

    [0071] Based on the combined data for both testing sites shown in Figures 8A to 8C, female subjects and some male subjects having arthritis pain in the hip experienced statistically significant reductions in hip arthritis pain after using embodiments of the exemplary footwear insole for one minute, eight hours, one week, two weeks, and three weeks, providing immediate, all day, and sustained pain relief from the arthritis pain in the hip.

    [0072] The foregoing description discloses only non-limiting embodiments. Modification of the above-disclosed footwear insole, which fall within the scope of the invention, will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art.

    [0073] It should be understood that other embodiments may fall within the scope of the invention, as defined by the following claims.


    Claims

    1. An insole for alleviating arthritis pain of at least one of a foot, knee, and hip, comprising:

    a heel portion, an arch portion, and a forefoot portion;

    the heel portion comprising an interior heel portion and a perimeter heel portion;

    the arch portion comprising an interior arch portion and a perimeter arch portion;

    characterised in that the insole comprises an upper cushioning layer (3), a lower cushioning layer (5), and a rigid shell layer (4) therebetween, the rigid shell layer (4) spanning the heel region and arch region,

    wherein:

    the rigid shell layer (4) includes an upper surface of the rigid shell layer, a lower surface of the rigid shell layer, and a shell aperture (13), wherein the shell aperture (13) extends forward from a calcaneus to metatarsals in a medial arch region (7) such that the shell layer (4) provides support along the perimeter heel region and perimeter arch region and the aperture allows for cushioning of the interior heel region and interior arch region;

    the upper cushioning layer (3) is adhered in part to the upper surface of the rigid shell layer

    the lower cushioning layer (5) is adhered in part to the lower surface of the rigid shell layer;

    the lower cushioning layer (5) includes an arch support region, a heel support region, a forefoot support region, and a lower layer aperture (14) under the calcaneus of the foot; and

    a portion of the upper cushioning layer (3) extends through a portion of the shell aperture (13) and extends through a portion of the lower layer aperture (14).


     
    2. The insole of claim 1, wherein the rigid shell layer is configured to support the metatarsals in the medial arch region of the foot.
     
    3. The insole of claim 1, wherein the insole has a topcloth (2) adhered to an upper surface of the upper cushioning layer.
     
    4. The insole of claim 1, wherein the upper cushioning layer and the lower cushioning layer are polyurethane foam.
     
    5. The insole of claim 1, wherein the rigid shell layer is polypropylene.
     
    6. The insole of claim 3, wherein the topcloth and the upper cushioning layer are coterminous in lateral and longitudinal dimensions.
     
    7. The insole of claim 6, wherein the longitudinal dimensions of the topcloth and the upper cushioning layer extend approximately from the calcaneus to the metatarsals of the foot.
     
    8. The insole of claim 3, wherein the lower cushioning layer has a longitudinal dimension less than a shorter of a longitudinal dimension of the topcloth and a longitudinal dimension of the upper cushioning layer.
     
    9. The insole of claim 3, wherein the rigid shell layer has a longitudinal dimension less than a shorter of a longitudinal dimension of the topcloth, the upper cushioning layer, and the lower cushioning layer.
     
    10. The insole of claim 9, wherein the upper cushioning layer completely covers the upper surface of the rigid shell layer, and the lower cushioning layer completely covers the lower surface of the rigid shell layer.
     
    11. The insole of claim 1, wherein the lower cushioning layer has a varying thickness.
     
    12. The insole of claim 11, wherein the arch support region has greater thickness than at least one of the heel support region and the toe support region.
     
    13. The insole of claim 1, wherein at least one of the rigid shell layer, the lower cushioning layer, and the upper cushioning layer is contoured to provide arch support or heel support.
     
    14. The insole of claim 13, wherein the heel support is a heel cup.
     
    15. The insole of claim 1, wherein a lower surface of the upper cushioning layer is contoured to receive the upper surface of the rigid shell layer.
     
    16. The insole of claim 1, wherein the upper cushioning layer, the rigid shell layer, and the lower cushioning layer are adhered together, and wherein the portion of the upper cushioning layer extending through the shell aperture and the lower layer aperture is mated with the lower cushioning layer.
     
    17. The insole of claim 1, wherein the rigid shell layer provides support for at least one of a first metatarsal and a second metatarsal of the foot.
     
    18. The insole of claim 1, wherein the lower cushioning layer is configured to contact an inner sole of a shoe.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Eine Einlage zur Linderung von Arthritisschmerzen von wenigstens einem aus Fuß, Knie und Hüfte, umfassend:

    einen Fersenteil, einen Fußgewölbeteil und einen Vorderfußteil,

    wobei der Fersenteil einen Ferseninnenteil und einen Fersenrandteil umfasst

    und der Fußgewölbeteil einen Fußgewölbeinnenteil und einen Fußgewölberandteil umfasst,

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Einlage eine obere Dämpfungsschicht (3), eine untere Dämpfungsschicht (5) und eine Hartschalenschicht (4) dazwischen umfasst, wobei die Hartschalenschicht (4) den Fersenteil und den Fußgewölbeteil umspannt,

    wobei:

    die Hartschalenschicht (4) eine obere Oberfläche der Hartschalenschicht, eine untere Oberfläche der Hartschalenschicht und eine Schalenöffnung (13) umfasst, wobei die Schalenöffnung (13) sich von einem Fersenbein nach vorne zu den Mittelfußknochen in einem medialen Fußgewölbebereich (7) erstreckt, so dass die Schalenschicht (4) für Stützung entlang des Fersenrandbereichs und des Fußgewölberandbereichs sorgt und die Öffnung die Dämpfung des Ferseninnenbereichs und des Fußgewölbeinnenbereichs ermöglicht,

    die obere Dämpfungsschicht (3) teilweise an die obere Oberfläche der Hartschalenschicht gebunden ist,

    die untere Dämpfungsschicht (5) teilweise an die untere Oberfläche der Hartschalenschicht gebunden ist,

    die untere Dämpfungsschicht (5) einen Fußgewölbestützbereich, einen Fersenstützbereich, einen Vorderfußstützbereich und eine Öffnung (14) der unteren Schicht unter dem Fersenbein des Fußes umfasst, und

    ein Teil der oberen Dämpfungsschicht (3) sich durch einen Teil der Schalenöffnung (13) hindurch erstreckt und sich durch einen Teil der Öffnung (14) der unteren Schicht hindurch erstreckt.


     
    2. Die Einlage nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Hartschalenschicht so konfiguriert ist, dass sie die Mittelfußknochen im medialen Fußgewölbebereich des Fußes stützt.
     
    3. Die Einlage nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Einlage einen Oberstoff (2) besitzt, der an die obere Oberfläche der oberen Dämpfungsschicht gebunden ist.
     
    4. Die Einlage nach Anspruch 1, wobei die obere Dämpfungsschicht und die untere Dämpfungsschicht aus Polyurethanschaum sind.
     
    5. Die Einlage nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Hartschalenschicht aus Polypropylen ist.
     
    6. Die Einlage nach Anspruch 3, wobei der Oberstoff und die obere Dämpfungsschicht in den Quer- und Längsabmessungen angrenzend sind.
     
    7. Die Einlage nach Anspruch 6, wobei die Längsabmessungen des Oberstoffs und der oberen Dämpfungsschicht sich etwa vom Fersenbein zu den Mittelfußknochen des Fußes erstrecken.
     
    8. Die Einlage nach Anspruch 3, wobei die untere Dämpfungsschicht eine Längsabmessung besitzt, die kleiner ist als eine kürzere aus einer Längsabmessung des Oberstoffs und einer Längsabmessung der oberen Dämpfungsschicht.
     
    9. Die Einlage nach Anspruch 3, wobei die Hartschalenschicht eine Längsabmessung besitzt, die kleiner ist als eine kürzere aus einer Längsabmessung des Oberstoffs, der oberen Dämpfungsschicht und der unteren Dämpfungsschicht.
     
    10. Die Einlage nach Anspruch 9, wobei die obere Dämpfungsschicht die obere Oberfläche der Hartschalenschicht vollständig bedeckt und die untere Dämpfungsschicht die untere Oberfläche der Hartschalenschicht vollständig bedeckt.
     
    11. Die Einlage nach Anspruch 1, wobei die untere Dämpfungsschicht eine variierende Dicke besitzt.
     
    12. Die Einlage nach Anspruch 11, wobei der Fußgewölbebereich eine größere Dicke als wenigstens einer aus dem Fersenstützbereich und dem Zehenstützbereich besitzt.
     
    13. Die Einlage nach Anspruch 1, wobei wenigstens eine aus der Hartschalenschicht, der unteren Dämpfungsschicht und der oberen Dämpfungsschicht so konturiert ist, dass sie eine Stütze für das Fußgewölbe oder die Ferse bietet.
     
    14. Die Einlage nach Anspruch 13, wobei die Fersenstütze eine Fersenschale ist.
     
    15. Die Einlage nach Anspruch 1, wobei eine untere Oberfläche der oberen Dämpfungsschicht konturiert ist, um die obere Oberfläche der Hartschalenschicht aufzunehmen.
     
    16. Die Einlage nach Anspruch 1, wobei die obere Dämpfungsschicht, die Hartschalenschicht und die untere Dämpfungsschicht miteinander verbunden sind, und wobei der Teil der oberen Dämpfungsschicht, der sich durch die Schalenöffnung und die Öffnung der unteren Schicht hindurch erstreckt, mit der unteren Dämpfungsschicht verbunden ist.
     
    17. Die Einlage nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Hartschalenschicht eine Stütze für wenigstens einen aus einem ersten Mittelfußknochen und einem zweiten Mittelfußknochen des Fußes bietet.
     
    18. Die Einlage nach Anspruch 1, wobei die untere Dämpfungsschicht so konfiguriert ist, dass sie eine Innensole eines Schuhs kontaktiert.
     


    Revendications

    1. Semelle permettant de soulager une douleur arthritique d'au moins un parmi un pied, un genou, et une hanche, comprenant :

    une partie talon, une partie voûte plantaire, et une partie avant du pied ;

    la partie talon comprenant une partie talon intérieure et une partie talon périphérique ;

    la partie voûte plantaire comprenant une partie voûte plantaire intérieure et une partie voûte plantaire périphérique ;

    caractérisé en ce que la semelle comprend une couche de matelassage supérieure (3), une couche de matelassage inférieure (5), et une couche formant coque rigide (4) entre celles-ci, la couche formant coque rigide (4) reliant la région de talon et la région de voûte plantaire,

    dans laquelle :

    la couche formant coque rigide (4) comprend une surface supérieure de la couche formant coque rigide, une surface inférieure de la couche formant coque rigide, et une ouverture de coque (13), l'ouverture de coque (13) s'étendant vers l'avant depuis un calcanéum vers des métatarses dans une région de voûte plantaire médiane (7) de sorte que la couche formant coque (4) fournit un soutien le long de la région de talon périphérique et de la région de voûte plantaire périphérique et l'ouverture permet un matelassage de la région de talon intérieure et de la région de voûte plantaire intérieure ;

    la couche de matelassage supérieure (3) est collée en partie à la surface supérieure de la couche formant coque rigide

    la couche de matelassage inférieure (5) est collée en partie à la surface inférieure de la couche formant coque rigide ;

    la couche de matelassage inférieure (5) comprend une région de soutien de voûte plantaire, une région de soutien de talon, une région de soutien d'avant du pied, et une ouverture de couche inférieure (14) sous le calcanéum du pied ; et

    une partie de la couche de matelassage supérieure (3) s'étend à travers une partie de l'ouverture de coque (13) et s'étend à travers une partie de l'ouverture de couche inférieure (14).


     
    2. Semelle selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle la couche formant coque rigide est configurée pour soutenir les métatarses dans la région de voûte plantaire médiane du pied.
     
    3. Semelle selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle la semelle présente un tissu de finition (2) collé à une surface supérieure de la couche de matelassage supérieure.
     
    4. Semelle selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle la couche de matelassage supérieure et la couche de matelassage inférieure sont en mousse polyuréthane.
     
    5. Semelle selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle la couche formant coque rigide est en polypropylène.
     
    6. Semelle selon la revendication 3, dans laquelle le tissu de finition et la couche de matelassage supérieure sont attenants dans des dimensions latérales et longitudinales.
     
    7. Semelle selon la revendication 6, dans laquelle les dimensions longitudinales du tissu de finition et de la couche de matelassage supérieure s'étendent approximativement du calcanéum vers les métatarses du pied.
     
    8. Semelle selon la revendication 3, dans laquelle la couche de matelassage inférieure présente une dimension longitudinale inférieure à une dimension la plus courte parmi une dimension longitudinale du tissu de finition et une dimension longitudinale de la couche de matelassage supérieure.
     
    9. Semelle selon la revendication 3, dans laquelle la couche formant coque rigide présente une dimension longitudinale inférieure à une dimension la plus courte parmi une dimension longitudinale du tissu de finition, de la couche de matelassage supérieure, et de la couche de matelassage inférieure.
     
    10. Semelle selon la revendication 9, dans laquelle la couche de matelassage supérieure recouvre complètement la surface supérieure de la couche formant coque rigide, et la couche de matelassage inférieure recouvre complètement la surface inférieure de la couche formant coque rigide.
     
    11. Semelle selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle la couche de matelassage inférieure présente une épaisseur variable.
     
    12. Semelle selon la revendication 11, dans laquelle la région de soutien de voûte plantaire présente une épaisseur supérieure à celle d'au moins une région parmi la région de soutien de talon et la région de soutien d'orteil.
     
    13. Semelle selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle au moins une couche parmi la couche formant coque rigide, la couche de matelassage inférieure, et la couche de matelassage supérieure est profilée afin de fournir un soutien de voûte plantaire ou un soutien de talon.
     
    14. Semelle selon la revendication 13, dans laquelle le soutien de talon est une coque talonnière.
     
    15. Semelle selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle une surface inférieure de la couche de matelassage supérieure est profilée afin de recevoir la surface supérieure de la couche formant coque rigide.
     
    16. Semelle selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle la couche de matelassage supérieure, la couche formant coque rigide, et la couche de matelassage inférieure sont collées ensemble, et dans laquelle la partie de la couche de matelassage supérieure s'étendant à travers l'ouverture de coque et l'ouverture de couche inférieure correspond à la couche de matelassage inférieure.
     
    17. Semelle selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle la couche formant coque rigide fournit un soutien pour au moins un parmi un premier métatarse et un second métatarse du pied.
     
    18. Semelle selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle la couche de matelassage inférieure est configurée pour venir en contact avec une semelle intérieure d'une chaussure.
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description




    Non-patent literature cited in the description