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Publication numberUS20070113424 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/286,498
Publication dateMay 24, 2007
Filing dateNov 23, 2005
Priority dateNov 23, 2005
Also published asCA2566810A1
Publication number11286498, 286498, US 2007/0113424 A1, US 2007/113424 A1, US 20070113424 A1, US 20070113424A1, US 2007113424 A1, US 2007113424A1, US-A1-20070113424, US-A1-2007113424, US2007/0113424A1, US2007/113424A1, US20070113424 A1, US20070113424A1, US2007113424 A1, US2007113424A1
InventorsMichael Bell
Original AssigneeMichael Bell
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Overshoes with raised inner surface portions and slip resistant sole portions for use on primary footwear
US 20070113424 A1
Abstract
An overshoe for disposition over a primary footwear. The overshoe includes an upper and a sole. The sole has a ground engaging bottom surface and plural projections extending upward into or adjacent the hollow interior of the upper. The ridges support a portion of the sole of the primary footwear to provide cushioning and shock absorption. The sole may be a bi-component member having two layers and plural spikes with portions interposed therebetween. Each spike includes a free end which is arranged to be exposed at the ground-engaging bottom surface.
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Claims(29)
1. An overshoe for disposition over a primary footwear, the primary footwear having an upper, a sole and a heel, the upper having a toe portion and a heel portion, said overshoe comprising an upper portion and a sole portion, said upper portion having a hollow interior adapted for receipt of at least a portion of the primary footwear, said sole portion of said overshoe comprising a ground engaging bottom surface and support means in the form of at least one projection extending upward adjacent said hollow interior of said upper portion and adapted to support a portion of the sole of the primary footwear, said sole portion of said overshoe being in the form of a solid mass of resilient material located between said ground engaging bottom surface and said at least one projection to provide shock absorption for the primary footwear.
2. The overshoe of claim 1 wherein said support means comprises plural projections extending upward adjacent said hollow interior of said upper portion of said overshoe.
3. The overshoe of claim 1 wherein said upper portion of said overshoe is formed of a resilient material.
4. The overshoe of claim 1 wherein said upper portion of said overshoe is formed of a fabric material.
5. The overshoe of claim 1 wherein said upper portion of said overshoe includes a first portion having a hollow interior adapted to receive the toe portion of the primary footwear.
6. The overshoe of claim 5 wherein said upper portion of said overshoe includes a second portion adapted to receive a portion of the upper of the primary footwear located at the heel of the primary footwear.
7. The overshoe of claim 6 wherein said upper portion of said overshoe is formed of a resilient material.
8. The overshoe of claim 6 wherein said support means comprises plural projections located between said first and second portions of said upper portion of said overshoe and extending upward adjacent said hollow interior of said first portion of said upper portion of said overshoe.
9. The overshoe of claim 1 wherein said sole portion has a toe portion, a forefoot portion, an arch portion, a heel portion and a longitudinal axis extending from said toe portion to said heel portion.
10. The overshoe of claim 9 wherein said support means comprise plural projections located along at least a portion of said longitudinal axis.
11. The overshoe of claim 10 wherein said plural projections are generally linear shaped ridges.
12. The overshoe of claim 11 wherein said linear shaped ridges are located within said forefoot portion.
13. The overshoe of claim 12 wherein said linear shaped ridges extend at an acute angle to said longitudinal axis.
14. An overshoe for disposition over a primary footwear, the primary footwear having an upper, a sole and a heel, said overshoe comprising an upper portion and a sole portion, said upper portion having a hollow interior for receipt of at least a portion the primary footwear, said sole portion comprising a bi-component member and at least one spike, said bi-component member comprising a preformed upper layer formed of a resilient material and a preformed lower layer formed of a resilient material of substantially the same durometer as said upper layer, said at least one spike having a free end, said lower layer of said sole portion having an upper surface, a ground-engaging bottom surface and at least one cavity, said at least one cavity being open to said upper surface and said ground-engaging bottom surface and arranged to receive therein said at least one spike, whereupon said free end of said at least one spike is exposed at said ground-engaging bottom surface, said upper layer being fixedly secured to said lower layer, whereupon said at least one spike is held securely in place within said at least one cavity.
15. The overshoe of claim 14 wherein said free end of said at least one spike extends beyond said ground engaging bottom surface.
16. The overshoe of claim 14 wherein said free end of said at least one spike is substantially flush with said ground engaging bottom surface.
17. The overshoe of claim 14 wherein said free end of said at least one spike is slightly recessed from said ground engaging bottom surface.
18. The overshoe of claim 14 wherein said upper layer and said lower layer are fixedly secured together by an adhesive.
19. The overshoe of claim 14 wherein said upper layer and said lower layer are fixedly secured together by a thermally fused joint.
20. The overshoe of claim 14 wherein said upper layer and said lower layer are fixedly secured together by stitching.
21. The overshoe of claim 14 wherein said upper layer and said lower layer are fixedly secured together by one or more of an adhesive, a thermally fused joint, and stitching.
22. The overshoe of claim 14 wherein said overshoe comprises plural spikes, each of said spikes being located in a respective cavity open to said upper surface and said ground-engaging bottom surface, with said free end of each of said spikes being substantially flush with said ground-engaging bottom surface.
23. The overshoe of claim 14 wherein said at least one spike comprises a common base member and a plurality of projections extending outward from said base member, each of said projections having a free end, and wherein said at least one cavity comprises a first portion open to said upper surface for receipt of said base member therein and a plurality of apertures contiguous with said first portion, each of said apertures being open to said ground engaging bottom surface, whereupon when said base portion of said at least one spike is located within said first portion of said cavity, respective ones of said plural projections extend through respective ones of said plurality of apertures.
24. The overshoe of claim 23 wherein said free end of each of said projections is substantially flush with said ground-engaging bottom surface.
25. The overshoe of claim 23 wherein said free end of said at least one spike extends beyond said ground engaging bottom surface.
26. The overshoe of claim 23 wherein said free end of said at least one spike is substantially flush with said ground engaging bottom surface.
27. The overshoe of claim 23 wherein said free end of said at least one spike is slightly recessed from said ground engaging bottom surface.
28. The overshoe of claim 14 additionally comprising support means in the form of at least one projection extending upward adjacent said hollow interior of said upper portion and adapted to be engaged by a portion of the sole of the primary footwear, said sole portion of said overshoe being in the form of a solid mass of resilient material located between said ground engaging bottom surface and said at least one projection to provide shock absorption for the primary footwear.
29. The overshoe of claim 28 wherein said support means comprises plural projections extending into said hollow interior of said upper portion, said sole portion being in the form of a solid mass of resilient material located between said ground engaging bottom surface and said plural projections to provide shock absorption for the primary footwear.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to footwear and more particularly to overshoes (as defined below) for use on primary footwear to provide good traction and wearing comfort.

2. Description of Related Art

Various overshoes, sandals, slings and other style attachment devices have been disclosed in the patent literature for mounting over the sole of a primary footwear, e.g., a boot or shoe, to provide enhanced traction or resistance to slippage. Such attachments may be in the form of galosh pull-over devices, like those disclosed in our U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,160,331 and 5,396,717, or sandal type devices, like those disclosed in our U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,359,789, 5,463,823, 5,533,277, 5,659,978 and 5,813,143, or other kinds of attachment devices like those disclosed in our U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,689,901, 5,794,360, 5,921,005, 5,966,840 and 6,154,982. The disclosures of all of those foregoing prior patents are specifically incorporated by reference herein.

Other non-slip attachments for footwear have been disclosed in the patent literature, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 1,032,600 (Grout); U.S. Pat. No. 2,361,972 (Smith); U.S. Pat. No. 3,214,850 (McNair); U.S. Pat. No. 3,516,181 (Jordan); U.S. Pat. No. 4,344,238 (Peyser); U.S. Pat. No. 4,353,172 (Bryant); U.S. Pat. No. 4,525,939 (McNeil et al.); and U.S. Pat. No. 4,910,883 (Zock, Jr.). The 32 North Corporation of Kennebunk Me. sells an ice gripping sandal for use on primary footwear under the trademark STABILICERS. That sandal includes a sole which is arranged to be secured to the bottom surface of the sole of a primary boot or shoe by means of two strapping assemblies, namely, a front or toe strapping assembly and a rear or heel strapping assembly.

Still other prior art attachment devices for footwear are shown in U.S. Pat. No. 1,716,790 (Mitchell), U.S. Pat. No. 1,747,603 (Ruth), U.S. Pat. No. 2,076,316 (Beals, Jr.), U.S. Pat. No. 1,877,080 (Teshima), U.S. Pat. No. 2,076,316 (Beals, Jr.), U.S. Pat. No. 2,617,209 (Jackson), U.S. Pat. No. 2,628,437 (Forsythe), U.S. Pat. No. 2,801,478 (Gilbert), U.S. Pat. No. 3,012,343 (Dinkel), U.S. Pat. No. 3,040,451 (Helkemeyer), U.S. Pat. No. 3,609,888 (Rickman), U.S. Pat. No. 4,302,890 (Covell et al.), U.S. Pat. No. 4,817,302 (Saltsman), U.S. Pat. No. 4,727,662 (Ilon), U.S. Pat. No. 4,807,372 (McCall), U.S. Pat. No. 4,869,000 (York), U.S. Pat. No. 4,920,664 (McGregor et al.), U.S. Pat. No. 4,924,608 (Mongonye), U.S. Pat. No. 5,485,687 (Rohde), U.S. Pat. No. 5,341,582 (Liautand), U.S. Pat. No. 5,950,334 (Gehardt), and U.S. Des. Pat. No. 131,318 (Levin).

Various sling-type, anti-slip footwear attachment devices have been and are commercially available for mounting on a boot or shoe, to provide resistance to slippage on ice or snow or other slick surfaces. One such sling type attachment device for footwear is sold under the trademark SPIKY and is in the form of a resilient rubber sling having plural metal spikes or cleats on the bottom thereof and which are arranged to dig into ice when the attachment is worn over an article of primary footwear, e.g., a boot or shoe. Prior art sling-type devices can be classified in two basic varieties or types, namely, the “full sole” and the “half sole” types. The full sole sling-type device is typically molded as a one-piece unit of a stretchable material, e.g., rubber, and includes a sole portion extending under both the forefoot and heel regions of the primary footwear and with toe straps or loops and heel counter straps or loops for disposition on respective portions of the upper of the primary footwear to hold the device in place. The sole may or may not include an arch portion. Spikes or cleats of metal or some other hard material are typically provided projecting downward from portions of the device's sole in the toe/forefoot region and in the heel region. The full sole attachment device offers significant protection from slippage, due to the use of the ice/snow engaging spikes in both the toe/forefoot and heel regions of the device. The half sole footwear attachment device is similar to the full sole type, except that it doesn't include any sole portion at the location of the heel of the primary footwear. Instead the portion of the half sole device which is located in the heel region of the primary footwear includes an opening or hole through which the heel of the primary footwear extends when the device is in place thereon.

Attachment devices in the form of overshoes formed of a fabric material, e.g., nylon, upper and having a sole formed of rubber or some other somewhat flexible or resilient material are also commercially available.

Footwear attachment devices, some of which are constructed under one or more of our above identified patents, are commercially available from Jordan David Safety of Horsham, Pa. under one or more of the following trademarks: 21ST CENTURY, GRIPS®, GRIP X, ICE GRIPS, GRIPS LITE, GRIPPERS FOR STRIPPERS, ALTRAGRIPS, SPIDERZ, and SPIDERZ OVER THE SHOE.

All of the foregoing prior art overshoes, sandals, sling-type devices and other types of devices for attachment to primary footwear and which include at least one portion that is arranged to engage a portion of the upper of the primary footwear to hold the device in place over the sole of the primary footwear will be hereinafter collectively referred to as being “overshoes”. The subject invention is directed to all such types of overshoes and the term overshoe as used in the claims is to be given such an expansive interpretation.

While prior overshoes may be suitable for their intended purposes a need nevertheless exists for overshoes that provide enhanced shock absorption, wearing comfort, good traction and resistance to slippage, and which can be manufactured easily and economically. The overshoes of the subject invention address those needs.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with one aspect of this invention there is provided an overshoe for disposition over a primary footwear. The primary footwear has an upper, a sole and a heel. The upper has a toe portion and a heel portion. The overshoe comprises an upper portion and a sole portion. The upper portion has a hollow interior adapted for receipt of at least a portion of the primary footwear. The sole portion of the overshoe comprises a ground engaging bottom surface and support means in the form of at least one projection extending upward adjacent the hollow interior of the upper portion and which is adapted to support a portion of the sole of the primary footwear. The sole portion of the overshoe is in the form of a solid mass of resilient material located between said ground engaging bottom surface and the at least one projection to provide shock absorption for the primary footwear.

In accordance with another aspect of this invention the overshoe comprises an upper portion and a sole portion. The upper portion has a hollow interior for receipt of at least a portion the primary footwear. The sole portion comprises a bi-component member and at least one spike. The bi-component member comprises a preformed upper layer formed of a resilient material and a preformed lower layer formed of a resilient material of substantially the same durometer as the upper layer. The at least one spike has a free end. The lower layer of the sole portion has an upper surface, a ground-engaging bottom surface and at least one cavity. The at least one cavity is open to the upper surface and the ground-engaging bottom surface and is arranged to receive therein the at least one spike, whereupon the free end of the at least one spike is exposed at the ground-engaging bottom surface. The upper layer is fixedly secured to the lower layer, whereupon the at least one spike is held securely in place within the at least one cavity.

Additional advantages will be set forth in part in the description which follows, and in part will be obvious from the description, or may be learned by practice of the aspects described below. The advantages described below will be realized and attained by means of the elements and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims. It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not restrictive.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is an isometric view, partially broken away showing one exemplary embodiment of an overshoe constructed in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the inside surface of the overshoe of FIG. 1, with portions of the upper portion of that overshoe being shown by phantom lines;

FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view taken along the central longitudinal axis and showing a portion of the upper portion and the sole portion of the overshoe of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a vertical sectional view, similar to FIG. 3, but showing an alternative sole portion of the overshoe;

FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view, similar to FIG. 3, but showing another alternative sole portion of the overshoe;

FIG. 6 is a vertical sectional view, similar to FIG. 3, but showing still another alternative sole portion of the overshoe;

FIG. 7 is a vertical sectional view, similar to FIG. 3, but showing still an alternative sole portion of the overshoe;

FIG. 7A is an enlarged sectional view of the portion of the overshoe shown within the circular area 7A in FIG. 7;

FIG. 8 is a vertical sectional view, similar to FIG. 3, but showing yet another alternative sole portion of the overshoe;

FIG. 8A is an enlarged sectional view of the portion of the overshoe shown within the circular area 8A in FIG. 8;

FIG. 9 is an isometric view showing another exemplary embodiment of an overshoe constructed in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 10 is a vertical sectional view taken along the central longitudinal axis of still another exemplary embodiment of an overshoe constructed in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 11 is a vertical sectional view taken along the central longitudinal axis in the toe region of still another exemplary embodiment of an overshoe constructed in accordance with this invention; and

FIG. 12 is a vertical sectional view taken along the central longitudinal axis in the toe region of yet another exemplary embodiment of an overshoe constructed in accordance with this invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to the various figures of the drawing wherein like reference characters refer to like parts, there is shown at 20 in FIG. 1 one exemplary type of overshoe constructed in accordance with one exemplary aspect of this invention for mounting onto any type of conventional footwear, e.g., a boot, shoe, etc. The overshoe 20 is of the “galosh” type and basically comprises an upper portion 22 and a sole portion 24, which together define a hollow interior 26 for receipt of the primary footwear 10 (shown by phantom lines in FIG. 3). The overshoe 20 is preferably formed, e.g., molded, as a one-piece or unitary member of a flexible and resilient material, e.g., rubber, PVC, TPR etc., in the interests of manufacturing simplicity and economy. The upper portion 22 includes an opening 28 at its top in communication with the hollow interior 26 through which the primary footwear 10 can be extended to mount the overshoe on the primary footwear. The bottom of the hollow interior 26 terminates at the upper surface 30 of the sole portion 24.

Before describing further details of the overshoe, including features of its upper surface 30, a brief description of the construction of the primary footwear is in order. Thus, as can be seen in FIG. 3 the primary footwear 10 basically comprises an upper 11, a sole 12 and a heel 13. The upper includes a toe and contiguous forefoot region 11A, an arch region 11B and a heel region 11C terminating at a heel counter 11D. The sole and heel may be formed of separate components which are secured together, e.g., glued, sewn, etc. or may be in the form of an integral unit, e.g., a one-piece molded member extending from the toe to the heel counter. It should be noted that the primary footwear need not include a raised heel, like shown in FIG. 3. In this regard, the sole of the primary footwear 10 may extend the full length of the primary footwear, with its outside surface being generally planar, like a running shoe, bowling shoe or other athletic shoe. In any case the primary footwear 10 includes a bottom surface 14 which is arranged to engage the ground or any other surface on which the person wearing the primary footwear walks or stands. This bottom surface 14 of the primary footwear is the surface that engages the inner surface of the overshoe 20, when the overshoe is in place on the primary footwear 10.

As best seen in FIG. 3, the sole portion 24 of the overshoe 20 comprises a toe and contiguous forefoot section 24A, an arch portion 24B and a heel portion 24C terminating at the heel counter 22D of the upper portion 22. The outer surface 32A of the sole portion 24 in the toe and contiguous forefoot region and the outer surface 32C in the heel region serves as the ground engaging or bottom surfaces of the overshoe. To that end the outer surfaces 32A and 32C are generally coplanar. The outer surface 32B of the sole portion in the arch region is somewhat recessed from the coplanar surfaces 32A and 32C, but could if desired be coplanar therewith.

As mentioned above the inner surface 30 of the sole portion 24 forms the bottom of the hollow interior 26 of the overshoe. In accordance with one aspect of this invention the inner surface 30 of the sole portion includes support means 34 to provide cushioning and shock absorption for the wearer. The support means 34 will be described in detail hereinafter. Suffice it for now to state that the support means 34 is in the form of at least one projection extending upward contiguous the hollow interior 26 of the upper portion 22. In the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3 the support 34 means forms the inner surface 30 of the sole portion and hence the bottom of the hollow interior 26 of the overshoe.

The at least one projection of the support means 34 is adapted to support at least a portion of the ground-engaging surface of the primary footwear thereon to provide cushioning and shock absorption for the primary footwear. To that end the sole portion of the overshoe at the location of the at least one projection is in the form of a solid mass or body of resilient material located between the ground engaging bottom surface of the overshoe and the top surface of the at least one projection. This mass of resilient material provides the cushioning and shock absorption functions for the overshoe.

In the exemplary embodiment of FIGS. 1-3, the support means 34 extends into the hollow interior 26 of the upper to support the toe/forefoot section and the heel section of the primary footwear 10 when overshoe is in place on the primary footwear and the wearer either stands or walks on the ground or some other surface. The support means 34 basically comprises a first set of plural ridges 34A located within the toe and contiguous forefoot region 24A, a second set of plural ridges 34B located within the heel region 24C adjacent the arch region, and a single ridge 34C located in the heel region adjacent the heel counter 22D. The ridges 34A of the first set are each elongated generally linear members and extend at an acute angle to the longitudinal axis 36 of the overshoe. The ridges of the second set are also each elongated generally linear members, but extend perpendicularly to the longitudinal axis 36 of the overshoe. The upper surface of each of the ridges is arcuate. In the exemplary embodiment shown the ridges 36A extend at the acute angle to the longitudinal axis in the interest of flexibility of the overshoe in the toe-forefoot region since that angle is consistent with the angle of the metatarsal bones. The ridge 34C is generally U-shaped since it is located immediately adjacent the heel counter and thus will provide good support and cushioning for the heel of the primary footwear during the normal heel strike action as a person walks with the overshoe on his/her primary footwear.

It must be pointed out at this juncture that the number, size, shape, orientation and location of the projection(s) forming the support means of this invention, need not be like that shown and described above. Thus, one or more differently shaped, sized, and oriented projections can be located at any desired position in any sole region of the overshoe where cushioning and shock absorption is desired.

In FIG. 4, there is shown an alternative embodiment of an overshoe 100 constructed in accordance with this invention. The overshoe 100 is similar in construction to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3, except for the construction of the ground engaging surface. Thus, in the interest of brevity the common components and features of the overshoe 100 will be given the same reference numbers as those components/features of overshoe 20. Moreover, the structure and operation of the common components/features will not be reiterated. The overshoe 100 includes an outsole 102 made up of two sections 102A and 102B. The sections 102A and 102B are adhesively secured via layers 104A and 104B, respectively, to the planar surfaces 32A and 32C of the sole portions 24A and 24C, respectively. Each outsole section 102A and 102B may be in the form of a foam pad, like shown in FIG. 4. Alternatively, the outsole sections 102A and 102B may be in the form of a loosely entangled, non-abrasive fibrous mat, such as the type making up the outsole of the GRIPPERS FOR STRIPPERS product identified above.

In FIG. 5, there is shown another alternative embodiment of an overshoe 200 constructed in accordance with this invention. The overshoe 200 is similar in construction to the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1-4, except for the construction of the ground engaging surface. As before, in the interest of brevity the common components and features of the overshoe 200 will be given the same reference numbers as those components/features of overshoe 20 and 100. Moreover, the structure and operation of the common components/features will not be reiterated. The overshoe 200 includes an outsole 202 made up of two sections 202A and 202B. The sections 202A and 202B are fixedly secured via means not shown, e.g., an adhesive, to the planar surfaces 32A and 32C of the sole portions 24A and 24C, respectively. Each outsole section 202A and 202B basically comprises an intersecting grid of small width, linear grooves 204 in its ground engaging surface. The grid is made up of one group of grooves extending parallel to the longitudinal axis 36 of the overshoe and another group extending perpendicular to the longitudinal axis. An outsole of that type is included in the SPIDERZ product identified above.

In FIG. 6, there is shown still another alternative embodiment of an overshoe 300 constructed in accordance with this invention. The overshoe 300 is similar in construction to the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1-5, except for the construction of the ground engaging surface. As before, in the interest of brevity the common components and features of the overshoe 300 will be given the same reference numbers as those components/features of overshoe 20, 100 and 200. Moreover, the structure and operation of the common components/features will not be reiterated. The overshoe includes outsole sections 202A and 202B like that of overshoe 200 and two respective midsole sections 304A and 304B. The midsole section 304A is in the form of a foam or other shock absorbing material and is interposed and secured, via means (not shown), between the planar surface 32A of the sole portion 24A and the inner surface of outsole section 202A. Similarly, the midsole section 304B is in the form of a foam or other shock absorbing material and is interposed and secured, via means (not shown), between the planar surface 32C of the sole portion 24C and the inner surface of outsole section 202B.

In FIG. 7, there is shown still another alternative embodiment of an overshoe 400 constructed in accordance with this invention. The overshoe 400 is similar in construction to the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1-6, except for the construction of the ground engaging outsole. In particular, the overshoe 400 includes outsole sections having plural spikes (to be described later) to increase traction when worn on ice, snow or other slippery surfaces. Moreover, the construction of the overshoe 400, enables it to be fabricated with the spikes therein in a very expeditious manner that offers advantages over prior art techniques, e.g., molding footwear soles with spikes in situ.

As before, in the interest of brevity the common components and features of the overshoe 400 will be given the same reference numbers as those components/features of overshoe 20, 100, 200 and 300. Moreover, the structure and operation of the common components/features will not be reiterated. The overshoe 400 includes outsole sections 402A and 402B, each of which includes plural spikes 404 therein. The spikes are constructed of any suitable material or combinations of materials, e.g., tungsten carbide, titanium, stainless steel, hard plastics, etc., depending upon the application for the overshoe.

The outsole sections 402A and 402B are secured, e.g., glued, to the bottom surfaces 32A and 32C, respectively, of the sole portions 24A and 24C, respectively, to form a bi-component sole with portions of the spikes interposed between the confronting layers. In particular, the outsole sections 402A and 402B each include a plurality of openings 406 (FIG. 7A) to receive and retain respective spikes 404 therein. The openings 406 are spaced longitudinally and transversely with respect to one another across the length and width of the associated outsole section. Each spike 404 basically comprises an elongated linear body 404A having a lower free end 404B and an upper cap or head 404C. The cap or head is substantially larger in area than the cross-sectional area of the body 404A. Since each opening 406 is arranged to receive and retain a respective spike 404 therein, the shape of each opening 406 corresponds to the shape of the spike. Thus, each opening includes a central bore section 406A extending perpendicularly to the bottom or ground-engaging surface of the outsole and terminating at that surface. The inner diameter of the bore section 406A is approximately the same as the body 404A of the spike. The upper end of each opening 406 is in the form of a substantially larger area mouth 406B that in communication with the bore 406A. The inner diameter of the mouth 406A is approximately the same as the head 404C of the spike 404.

To assemble the overshoe 400, a the spikes 404 are located in respective openings 406 of the outsole sections 402A and 402B so that spike heads 404C are within respective opening mouths 406B, and with respective spike bodies 404A extending through respective bores 406A. The top surface of each of the heads of the spikes are coplanar with the top surface of their associate outsole sections 402A or 402B and with surfaces 32A and 32C.

Once the spikes and their respective outsoles are assembled, the outsole section 402A is then fixedly secured, e.g., glued, welded, sewn, etc., to the undersurface 32A of the sole portion 24A of the overshoe 400. In a similar manner the outsole section 402B fixedly secured, e.g., glued, welded, sewn, etc. to the undersurface 32B of the sole portion 24C of the overshoe.

It should be pointed out at this juncture that openings 406 in the outsole sections 402A and 402B need not be shaped to include mouth portions 406B for receipt of the spike heads 404C. Instead, each of the openings 406 can be in the form of a constant internal diameter bore 406A extending the full thickness of the outsole section in which it is located. Moreover, the top surface of that outsole section will be planar. In such an arrangement the head or cap 404C of the spike will overlie the contiguous top surface of the outsole section surrounding the bore 406A. The natural resiliency of the material making up the outsole section 404A and the material making up the sole portion 24A will compress slightly to accommodate the spike heads at the interface of the sections 404A and 24A when those sections are adhesively or otherwise fixedly secured together. In a similar manner the natural resiliency of the material making up the outsole section 404B and the material making up the sole portion 24B will compress slightly to accommodate the spike heads at the interface of the sections 404B and 24B when those sections are adhesively or otherwise fixedly secured together. This alternative construction is less expensive to produce, since it does not require the formation of specially shaped openings, i.e., openings with recesses to accommodate the heads of the spikes.

As will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, when the outsole sections with their associated spikes are secured in place to their respective portions 24A and 24C of the overshoe, each forms what can be referred to as a bi-component sole, i.e., a sole made up of two layers, namely, the layer 24A and 24C and the outsole portion 402A and 402C, respectively, secured thereto. The interposition of the enlarged heads 404C of each of the spikes at the interface of the layers making up the bi-component sole effectively traps the associate spikes in place, thereby preventing them from accidentally coming out of the overshoe.

It should be pointed out at this juncture that the lower free end 408B of each or selected ones of the spikes 408 of the overshoe may extend beyond the ground engaging surface of the outsole, such as shown in FIGS. 7 and 7A, or may be flush with that surface or may be slightly retracted from that surface, i.e., recessed slightly in the associated bore 406A, depending upon the application/usage for the overshoe. In any case since the outsole is formed of a resilient material, the free end 404B of each spike 404, whether retracted, flush or extended, is arranged to be exposed at the ground-engaging bottom surface of the overshoe when the person stands or walks with the overshoe on his/her primary footwear. The amount of exposure of the free end 404B depends upon the durometer of the material making up the outsole and the amount that the free end is positioned with respect to the ground engaging surface.

It should also be pointed out that the spikes 404 can be located in different positions on the overshoe 400 and at different spacings. Thus, as can be seen in FIG. 7 some spikes of the outsole section 402A are located close to each other in pairs, while other individual spikes are located somewhat remote from the pairs of spikes. The spikes in the outsole section 402 are not paired and are spaced approximately equidistantly from each other. This is merely exemplary of a myriad of arrangements for the spikes. Moreover, the outer or ground engaging surface of either of the outsole sections needn't be flat, like the outsole section 402B, but may include other surface features, e.g., grooves, etc., like the outsole section 402A. In this regard, as can be seen plural grooves 410 are located in the ground engaging surface of the outsole section 402A.

In FIG. 8 there is shown still another alternative embodiment of an overshoe 500 constructed in accordance with this invention. The overshoe 500 is similar in construction to the embodiment 400 shown in FIG. 7, except for the construction of the spikes and the outsole accommodating the spikes. As before, in the interest of brevity the common components and features of the overshoe 500 will be given the same reference numbers as those components/features of overshoe 400. Moreover, the structure and operation of the common components/features will not be reiterated. The overshoe 500 includes outsole sections 502A and 502B, each of which has located therein an assembly of plural spikes therein. In particular, the outsole section 502A includes an assembly 504A of plural spikes located within a cavity and associated apertures (to be discussed hereinafter), while the outsole section 502B includes an assembly 504B of plural spikes located within a cavity and associated apertures (also to be discussed hereinafter). To that end, the assembly 504A basically comprises a generally planar common base member 506 (FIG. 8A) and a plurality of projections 508 extending outward from the base member. The assembly 504A is preferably an integral unit constructed of any suitable material or combinations of materials, e.g., tungsten carbide, titanium, stainless steel, hard plastics, etc., depending upon the application for the overshoe. As best seen in FIG. 8A each of the projections has an elongated body terminating at a free end 510. Each body forms a respective spike. The upper end of each elongated body 508 is joined to the undersurface of the common base member 506 so that they project downward therefrom. Thus, the assembly 504A can be thought of as a common base member from which plural spikes project downward. The inner surface of the outsole section 502A includes a cavity 512 which is shaped and sized to accommodate the common base member 506 of the assembly 504A and so that the upper surface of the common base member 506 is flush with the surface 32A. The outsole section 502A also includes plural apertures 514 open to the ground engaging bottom surface of the outsole and also in communication with the cavity 512. The apertures 514 are spaced longitudinally and transversely with respect to one another across the length and width of the associated outsole section, with the size and spacing between the apertures 514 being the same as the size and spacing between the spikes 508. In the embodiment of FIG. 8 the size and spacing of the spikes 508 of the outsole section 502A is the same as the embodiment 400 of FIG. 7, e.g., some of the spikes are paired and some not.

The assembly 504B is similar in construction to assembly 504A and basically comprises a generally planar common base member 506 and a plurality of projections 508 extending outward from the base member. The inner surface of the outsole section 502B also includes a cavity which is shaped and sized to accommodate the common base member of the assembly 504B. Moreover, the outsole section 502B also includes plural apertures open to the ground engaging bottom surface of the outsole and also in communication with the cavity therein. The apertures in the outsole 502B are spaced longitudinally and transversely with respect to one another across the length and width of the associated outsole section similarly to the spacing of the spikes in the embodiment 400 of FIG. 7, e.g., some of the spikes are not paired and are equidistantly spaced from one another.

To assemble the overshoe 500, the assembly 504A is placed into the outsole section 502A so that the common base member 506 is within the cavity 512 and the individual spikes 508 extend through respective apertures 514. Thus, all the spikes for the outsole section 502A can be placed in position within the outsole in a single operation at one time, thereby expediting the assembly process for the overshoe. In a similar manner, the assembly 504B is placed into the outsole section 502B so that the common base member of that is within its cavity and the individual spikes 508 extend through the respective apertures in that outsole section.

Once the spike assemblies and their respective outsoles are assembled, the outsole sections 502A and 502B can then be fixedly secured, e.g., glued, welded, sewn, etc., to the undersurfaces 32A and 32B, respectively, of the sole portion of overshoe 500 in the same manner as described above with reference to overshoe 400.

It should be pointed out at this juncture that the outsole sections 502A and 502B need not be shaped to include respective cavities 512 for receipt of the common base member 506 of the spikes. Instead, each of the openings through which the respective spikes extend can be in the form of a constant internal diameter aperture 514 extending the full thickness of the outsole section in which it is located. Moreover, the top surface of that outsole section will be planar. In such an arrangement the common base member 506 will overlie the contiguous top surface of the outsole section surrounding the apertures 514. The natural resiliency of the material making up the outsole section 504A and the material making up the sole portion 24A will compress slightly to accommodate the common base member 506 at the interface of the sections 504A and 24A when those sections are adhesively or otherwise fixedly secured together. In a similar manner the natural resiliency of the material making up the outsole section 504B and the material making up the sole portion 24B will compress slightly to accommodate the common base member 506 at the interface of the sections 504B and 24B when those sections are adhesively or otherwise fixedly secured together. This alternative construction is less expensive to produce, since it does not require the formation of the common specially shaped cavity from which the apertures extend.

As will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, when the outsole sections with their associated spikes are secured in place to the remainder of the overshoe, the interposition of the common base member at the interface between the outsole and the remainder of the overshoe effectively traps the associate spikes in place, thereby preventing them from accidentally coming out of the overshoe.

In FIG. 9 there is shown another alternative embodiment of an overshoe 600 constructed in accordance with this invention. The overshoe 600 is of the “full sole, sling-type” construction. In particular, it is preferably molded as a one-piece unit of a stretchable material, e.g., rubber or any of the materials that can be used to fabricate the overshoes 10, 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500. The overshoe 500 includes a sole portion 602 extending under the toe, forefoot, arch and heel regions of the primary footwear. These regions are denoted by the reference numbers 602A, 602B, 602C and 602D. A pair of toe straps 604 extend upward from respective sides of the sole portion at the toe region 602A and merge together with a cross strap 606. The cross strap 606 extends transversely across the overshoe and is connected to the respective point on each side of the sole where the forefoot region 602B merges with the arch region 602C. The straps 604 and 606 thus effectively form a toe box for the overshoe 600. The toe box constructed of the intersecting straps enables it to be stretched rather easily to accommodate the toe of the primary footwear 10. If desired, the toe box needn't be constructed of the intersecting straps, but could rather be a solid wall extending upward from the front tip of the overshoe to the point at which the forefoot region merges with the arch region.

The rear or heel portion of the overshoe 600 includes an upstanding wall 608. The wall has a pair of openings 610 on either side of the central longitudinal axis of the overshoe. The wall 608 forms the heel counter of the overshoe. The openings 610 are provided in the interest of weight reduction and to facilitate stretchability of the heel counter to facilitate the mounting of the overshoe on the primary footwear. To expedite that action, the heel counter may also include a pair of pull straps 612 located above the locations of the openings 610. In the embodiment shown the central portion of the arch region is open at 614. This opening facilitates the stretching of the overshoe longitudinally to enable it to be readily mounted on the primary footwear. While not shown in FIG. 9, the sole may or may not include spikes. If spikes are included the sole portion of the footwear may be constructed like the bi-component soles of the embodiments 400 and 500 of FIGS. 7 and 8, respectively. The underside or ground engaging portion of the overshoe 600 may include other features, e.g., ridges, bumps, grooves, etc., as desired.

In the interests of wearing comfort and shock absorption the overshoe 600 also includes support means 34, like that described above. As before, in the interest of brevity the common components and features of the overshoe 600 will be given the same reference numbers as those components/features of overshoe 20, 100, 200 and 300. Moreover, the structure and operation of the common components/features will not be reiterated.

It should be pointed out at this juncture that the sole with support means constructed in accordance with the teachings of this invention need not be confined to usage with overshoes that are formed of a resilient (e.g., molded) material uppers. Moreover, the bi-component, spike-bearing soles constructed in accordance with the teachings of this invention need not be confined to usage with overshoes that include such uppers. Further still, soles having both the support means feature of this invention and the bi-component, spike-bearing feature of this invention need not be confined to usage with overshoes that include a resilient or molded material upper.

For example, in FIG. 10 there is shown another alternative embodiment of an overshoe 700 constructed in accordance with this invention. That overshoe is similar in construction to the overshoe 200 of FIG. 5, except that its upper is formed of a fabric, e.g., nylon, polyester, etc. and the sole is a one-piece unitary molded member. As before, in the interest of brevity the common components and features of the overshoe 700 will be given the same reference numbers as those components/features of overshoe 200. Moreover, the structure and operation of the common components/features will not be reiterated. The upper of overshoe 700 is designated by the reference number 702 and basically consists of a sidewall 704 extending around and upstanding from the periphery of the sole portion 24 (which as mentioned above is a one-piece unitary molded member). The sidewall includes a lower edge that is bent inward to form a flange 706. The flange extends slightly over the top surface 30 of the one-piece sole portion 24 contiguous with the periphery of the sole portion and is fixedly secured thereat by any suitable means, e.g., an adhesive, stitching or a combination thereof. The upper edge 706 of the sidewall 702 forms the opening 708 through which the primary footwear 10 is inserted. If desired the opening 708 may be elasticized by any suitable means (not shown), e.g., threads or bands of Lycra® or some other stretchable material may be secured to the top edge 706.

In FIG. 11 there is shown still another alternative embodiment of an overshoe 800 constructed in accordance with this invention. That overshoe is similar in construction to the overshoes 10 and 700 of FIGS. 1 and 10, except that its upper is formed as a booty or sock-like member of any suitable fabric, e.g., nylon, polyester, etc. and its ground engaging surface is flat, e.g., without intersecting grooves 204. As before, in the interest of brevity the common components and features of the overshoe 800 will be given the same reference numbers as those components/features of overshoes 10 and 700. Moreover, the structure and operation of the common components/features will not be reiterated. The upper of overshoe 800 is designated by the reference number 802 and basically consists of a booty or sock-like body formed of any suitable fabric, e.g., nylon, polyester, etc. The body 802 includes a bottom wall 804 and a sidewall 806 extending around and upstanding from the periphery of the bottom wall. The bottom wall 804 is disposed over the upper surface 30 of the sole portion of the overshoe 800 and is fixedly secured thereat by any suitable means, e.g., an adhesive, stitching or a combination thereof, so that it conforms to the contour of the top surface of the sole portion 24 and the support means 34, e.g., the ridges 34A, 34B and 34C. Thus, in this embodiment the support means 34, e.g., the ridges, do not physically extend into the hollow interior of the upper, since the conforming bottom wall 804 of the upper is interposed therebetween. Nevertheless the inner surface of the upper 802 will have the contour corresponding to the contour of the top surface of the sole portion 24 and thereby provide the same cushioning and shock absorption features as the overshoe 10.

Like the overshoe 700 shown in FIG. 10, the upper edge of the sidewall 806 forms the opening 808 through which the primary footwear is inserted. If desired the opening 808 may be elasticized, as discussed above.

In FIG. 12 there is shown yet another alternative embodiment of an overshoe 900 constructed in accordance with this invention. That overshoe is similar in construction to the overshoe 800 of FIG. 12, except that the bottom wall of its upper includes plural openings therein through which the ridges forming the support means 34 extend. As before, in the interest of brevity the common components and features of the overshoe 900 will be given the same reference numbers as those components/features of overshoe 800. Moreover, the structure and operation of the common components/features will not be reiterated. The upper of overshoe 900 is designated by the reference number 902 and basically consists of a booty or sock-like body formed of any suitable fabric, e.g., nylon, polyester, etc. The body 902 includes a bottom wall 904 and a sidewall 906 extending around and upstanding from the periphery of the bottom wall 904. The bottom wall 804 includes plural openings 908 which are shaped and located so that the upper portions of the ridges 34A, 34B and 34C extend slightly therethrough. The bottom wall 904 is disposed over the upper surface of the sole portion 24 of the overshoe 800 and is fixedly secured thereat by any suitable means, e.g., an adhesive, stitching or a combination thereof, so that it conforms to the contour of the top surface of the sole portion with portions of the support means 34, e.g., the ridges 34A, 34B and 34C, extending through the holes 908. Thus, in this embodiment portions the support means 34, e.g., the ridges, do physically extend into the hollow interior 26 of the upper. It should be pointed out at this juncture that the openings 908 may be sized and shaped to enable the entire area of the ridges 34A, 34B and 34C to extend therethrough. Thus, the sole portion of the overshoe 800 will provide the same cushioning and shock absorption features as the overshoes 10 and 800.

Like the overshoe 800 shown in FIG. 11, the upper edge of the sidewall 906 forms the opening 908 through which the primary footwear is inserted. If desired the opening 908 may be elasticized as discussed above.

While the invention has been described in detail and with reference to specific examples thereof, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that various changes and modifications can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope thereof.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7779560 *Jun 27, 2006Aug 24, 2010Cleatskins, Inc.Cleat protector shoe cover
US8225529Sep 29, 2008Jul 24, 2012Suzanne SimmsOvershoe for athletic shoes
US8256140Jan 6, 2010Sep 4, 2012Kako International Inc.Personal traction device
US8567098 *Mar 19, 2013Oct 29, 2013Henry HsuArticle of footwear with detachable upper and lower designs
US8887409 *Sep 23, 2011Nov 18, 2014Andrew AdamsDetachable shoe protector
US8935861Aug 14, 2009Jan 20, 2015Nike, Inc.Article of footwear accommodating different foot sizes
US20120124865 *Nov 14, 2011May 24, 2012Steve OpieCourt shoe cover
US20130074363 *Sep 23, 2011Mar 28, 2013Andrew AdamsDetachable shoe protector
EP2476329A2 *Jul 14, 2010Jul 18, 2012Nike International Ltd.Article of footwear accommodating different foot sizes
WO2010027465A1 *Sep 3, 2009Mar 11, 2010Implus Footcare, LlcTraction device for footwear
WO2010036663A1 *Sep 22, 2009Apr 1, 2010Suzanne SimmsOvershoe for athletic shoes
Classifications
U.S. Classification36/7.3, 36/7.6
International ClassificationA43B1/10, A43B15/00
Cooperative ClassificationA43B13/122, A43B7/144, A43B3/16, A43B13/26, A43C15/00
European ClassificationA43B7/14A20H, A43B13/12E, A43C15/00, A43B13/26, A43B3/16