Semi-Rigid Supporting Insole (SRSI)
Background: Bone spurs are formed as a result of continued stress on a particular area of the bone. They are most commonly found in areas which sustain large pressures – hips, feet and shoulders. Although they are usually small and smooth, they can cause damage to surrounding soft tissue as well as nerves, which results in severe pain, as well as considerable reduction in physical capability.
Objectives: Due to the fact that bone spurs in the feet can lead to significant loss of mobility, the Semi-Rigid Supporting Insole (SRSI) has been designed to cushion the feet during activity, as well as keep the shape of the feet intact when at rest or asleep. Currently available insoles are designed to fit into shoes and only provide support during activity, but not during sleep. This is very important because the shape of the feet during sleep exerts additional pressure on nerves and surrounding soft tissue, which results in excruciating pain upon awakening.
Design: Cushioning and support are performed by 4 layers of material. The bottom two layers are made of Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) designed to provide rigidity, as well as absorb shocks. The second layer is made of High Density Memory Foam in order to take the shape of the foot to provide customized support for every wearer. The first layer is Silicone Gel which provides additional long-term shock absorption. These 4 layers are covered by a moisture-absorbing Cloth Layer. All 4 layers in unison provide more than adequate support. Rigidity is provided by the bottom EVA layer and the attached sock tube. This keeps the shape of the foot during sleep, and keeps the cushioning layers in firm contact with the foot.
Relevance: The SRSI not only provides support during activity, but also at rest. Extended use will restore previous loss of mobility, improve the wearer’s quality of life, eliminate pain upon waking, and reduce further injury to nerves and soft tissue.
Innovation: The SRSI is innovative in that, unlike currently available insoles, it provides support and pain relief both while active and at rest. It has a corporate look and feel so it can be worn with formal attire, and it also preserves the wearer’s privacy.
Manufacturability: The SRSI is easy to manufacture because it combines five already commonly available materials, which only need to be ordered according to design specifications and assembled.
Marketability: This product can be marketed to all users of insoles, as well as sufferers of bone spurs and plantar fasciitis worldwide.
Cost-effectiveness: The materials required for this product are already in production, and only need to be ordered to specifications. The bottom layer, fabric layer and silicone gel layers are already present in most insoles. The addition of the memory foam and the sock material is expected to add only a few extra dollars to the cost of a conventional insole, which is a small price to pay for the extra support and comfort provided by the SRSI.