US 20080155863 A1
A protective gaiter having a closed state and an open state. In the closed state the gaiter includes an essentially frustoconical shaped body. The gaiter includes an at least partially elastic upper edge forming a small diameter upper opening in the closed state, and a lower edge forming a large diameter lower opening in the closed state. The gaiter further includes a zipper fastener extending between the upper edge and the lower edge for selectively joining and separating opposing side edges of the body, thereby allowing the gaiter to alternate between the closed and open states.
1. A protective gaiter having a closed state and an open state, wherein in said closed state said gaiter comprises an essentially frustoconical shaped body, and wherein said gaiter is comprised of an at least partially elastic upper edge forming a small diameter upper opening in said closed state, and a lower edge forming a large diameter lower opening in said closed state, said gaiter further comprising a zipper fastener extending between said upper edge and said lower edge for selectively joining and separating opposing side edges of said body, thereby allowing said gaiter to alternate between said closed state and said open state.
2. A gaiter according to
3. A gaiter according to
4. A gaiter according to
5. A gaiter according to
6. A gaiter according to
a. water repellent;
b. water resistant; and,
7. A gaiter according to
8. A method of manufacturing a protective gaiter, said method comprising:
a. providing a trapezoid shaped material having linear upper and lower edges and side edges having zipper components; and,
b. joining at least one elastic strip to said upper edge such that the upper edge is at least partially crimped, thereby forming pleats at the upper edge.
The present invention relates in general to the field of wearable protective coverings. More specifically, the present invention relates to a protective covering for the lower leg and shoe uppers.
When performing outdoor work such as gardening, construction, etc., or any outdoor activity such as camping or hiking a person may be exposed to dirt, gravel, dust or other debris, as well as to objects such as cut grass, fallen leaves or twigs. During the performance of such work, a person may remain outside during harsh weather conditions such as rain, snow or sleet, for extended periods of time. As a result, one's shoes, socks and/or lower pants often become worn faster than had they not been subject to such conditions or foreign objects.
In particular, debris may enter the shoe and tear apart the sock; twigs may puncture a hole in socks, work shoes or pants; and rain may soak the shoes, thereby requiring a spare pair of shoes to work in while the water-logged ones dry.
There have been various attempts to provide means for protecting these areas, however, all of these attempts have one or more drawbacks associated with them.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,887,359 discloses a gaiter for protecting a boot. The gaiter has a tubular shape and comprises a flap extending from the lower end of the gaiter, which is pressed against the upper. A zipper is arranged at the side ends of the gaiter for allowing the gaiter to be opened so that it can be placed on or removed from the boot. The gaiter also comprises a strap for wrapping around the outsole to secure the flap to the upper and is connected to the upper by shoe clips. The combination of the tubular shape, the tightly fit flap and the strap result in reducing the range of motion of the user's ankle, which may hinder performance of his work at maximum efficiency.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,170,503 discloses a legging for shielding the wearer from snake bites. The garment is a legging made of woven fabric, having opposing edges that are joinable by a hook and loop fastener situated at the central portion of the edges. The upper portion comprises a belt and buckle for joining the upper edge and the lower portion is joinable by a snap. However, since hook and loop fasteners wear with time, the means for joining the opposing edges will loosen, and a snake will be able to insert its head easily between the opposing edges.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,642,573 discloses a shoe comprising an integral storage pouch for storing a gaiter therein. Opposing gaiter sides are fastenable at the top and bottom by snaps. The upper edge is comprised of an elastic band to maintain its place along the wearer's leg or pants. However, the opposing sides themselves are not joined together, thereby allowing the undesirable debris or elements to enter therein.
GB 2,389,769 comprises a shoe with concealed gaiter fasteners. A first zipper strap is attached to an inner surface of the gaiter between the lateral sides and between the top and bottom ends of the gaiter. A second zipper strap, complementing the first zipper strap is attached to the upper of the shoe. A collar member extends along and inwardly of the top end of the upper, and the second zipper strap is attached to an inner side of the upper and top end of the upper. The zipper is therefore concealed within the gaiter and is prevented from contacting external debris.
Over-Boots Pty Ltd. (http://www.overboots.com.au) manufactures a range of ankle-to-knee protection products for distribution throughout Australia. The products all have a tubular shape and comprise an elastic upper edge. The tubular shape causes bunching up of the material of the product where it contacts the shoe. Additionally, in some of their products, a Velcro™ fastener allows opposing sides to separate. It is well known that repetitive use of a Velcro™ fastener substantially wears the hook and loops.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a protective gaiter that overcomes the drawbacks associated with the prior art.
It is an additional object of the present invention to provide a protective gaiter that protects the shoe upper without bunching up.
It is an additional object of the present invention to provide a protective gaiter that is water repellent and/or water resistant.
It is an additional object of the present invention to provide a protective gaiter that is inexpensive to produce.
Additional objects and advantages of the present invention shall become apparent as the disclosure proceeds.
The present invention relates to a protective gaiter having a closed state and an open state, wherein in the closed state the gaiter comprises an essentially frustoconical shaped body. The gaiter comprises an at least partially elastic upper edge forming a small diameter upper opening in the closed state and a lower edge forming a large diameter lower opening in the open state, and further comprises a zipper fastener extending between the upper edge and the lower edge for selectively joining and separating opposing side edges of the body, thereby allowing the gaiter to alternate between the closed state and the open state.
Optionally, a slit extends from the lower edge towards the upper edge. Wherein the slit is between 1 cm-10 cm in length.
According to one embodiment, the upper edge is entirely elastic. An adjustable strap is optionally situated near the upper edge for adjusting the diameter of the upper opening.
Preferably, the gaiter is made of a material chosen from the group consisting of: water repellent; water resistant; and, cotton.
Optionally, a lace for tying around the outesole of a shoe is situated near the lower edge.
The present invention further relates to a method of manufacturing a protective gaiter comprising:
In the drawings:
Certain types of work require one to be in an environment with harsh weather conditions and/or surrounded by debris. These elements cause excessive wear on one's lower pants, socks and/or shoes. The present invention provides a protective gaiter for enabling maximum protection of these articles, while simultaneously allowing the user maximum comfort and maneuverability. Due to the tubular/cylindrical shape of prior art gaiters, the front portion of the gaiter typically bunches up at the lower edge, as described herein above. This prevents the back portion of the gaiter from descending along the back of the shoe, thereby leaving the back of the shoe, and in some cases, even the sock, exposed to the elements. The present invention solves this problem by providing a gaiter having a unique shape that allows the sock and back portion of the shoe to remain protected during use.
The term, “front portion” as used herein refers to the portion of the gaiter that is positioned at the front of the shoe, on top of the shoe upper. According to the preferred mode of use, the front portion is the portion of the gaiter opposite the zipper when in the wearable state.
The term, “back portion” as used herein refers to the portion of the gaiter that is positioned at the heel or back portion of the shoe. According to the preferred mode of use, the back portion is the portion of the gaiter comprising the zipper when in the wearable state.
The shape from which a first embodiment of the gaiter of the present invention is manufactured is shown in a projection view in
Thus, when laying gaiter (100) flat in a projection view, upper edge (102) and lower edge (106) naturally bend arcuately, as shown in
Although elastic strip (101) is a separate entity from upper edge (102), it is understood that when elastic strip (101) is sewn to upper edge (102), the two entities unite such that upper edge (102) may be considered to be, and described as elastic.
Geometrically, the shape shown in
Gaiter (100) is shown in
The frustoconical shape as shown is formed as a result of two aspects of the present invention. First, as shown in
The advantage of the shape of gaiter (100) of the present invention in the wearable state is shown in
As described herein above, prior art gaiters are typically essentially tubular or cylindrically shaped. Thus, when positioned around the shoe, the gaiter will become creased and bunched up in the front and back of the shoe, which may allow undesirable elements to enter the shoe. According to a first embodiment of the present invention the portion (132) of body (104) that comprises zipper (130) is oriented at the back or heel portion of shoe (12), and portion (134) of body (104) opposing zipper (130) is oriented at the front portion of shoe (12), above the shoe upper. As seen in the figure, although portion (134) is creased (108), or bunched up, portion (132) is still allowed to extend along the back portion of shoe (12).
Although gaiter (100) is shown in the figure being worn around the actual leg (10) of the user, this is for clarity only, and it is understood that gaiter (100) may alternatively be worn around the lower pant leg of the user. Additionally, the user may be wearing a sock, of which protection is provided by gaiter (100), and gaiter (100) may be directly worn around the sock. Thus, it is understood that gaiter (100) may be worn by a user wearing either short or long pants.
Body (104) of gaiter (100) is preferably made of a material that can withstand wear from harsh weather conditions as well as dirt and gravel and other debris. For instance, body (104) may be made of a rugged cotton fabric, water repellent material or water resistant material, or any other material that is treated to repel or resist water penetration. Most gaiters of the prior art are made of material for use during the winter or cold season. However, gaiter (100) of the present invention is made of material that is suitable for all seasons, including spring, summer and fall (autumn).
Gaiter (100) of the present invention is useful for both high-top and low-top shoes.
Although gaiter (100) is shown in the figures and described herein as being situated at the lower portion of leg (10) of a user, it is understood that in some cases it may be preferable to situate gaiter (100) as high on the leg as slightly below the knee. The length of body (104), i.e. the distance between upper edge (102) and lower edge (106), is predetermined based on the intended positioning of gaiter (100) along leg (10), as well as on how far the shoe (12) extends up leg (10).
A second embodiment of the gaiter (100 a) of the present invention is shown schematically in the open position in a side view in
As seen in
A third embodiment of the gaiter (100 b) of the present invention is shown in the projection view in
According to one embodiment, outer face (158) comprises a mesh of loops, and the outer face (159) of free end (156) comprises an array of hooks. In the wearable state, when zipper components (130 a), (130 b) are joined, the user may adjust the diameter of the upper opening by pulling or loosening strap (152) through buckle (160) and joining free end (156) to outer face (158). Thus, users may adjust upper edge (102) of gaiter (100 b) around his leg accordingly.
Although slit (140) is shown in
In an alternative aspect, adjustable strap (152) may be partially comprised of a hook and loop fastener, and partially comprised of a sticky substance. In general, strap (152) comprises any adhesive means for selectively adhering and separating outer face (158) and free end (156).
According to all embodiments as described herein above, an elongated band or lace may secure the lower edge of the gaiter around the outsole of the shoe.
According to one aspect, lace (170) is comprised of a single strip made of for sliding around shoe (12). According to another aspect, lace (170) is comprised of two strips, each of which is secured at one end at aperture (172), and the other end of each strip is tied to each other. Almost all prior art gaiters include a lace, however, in the present invention lace (170) is only optional.
Overall, the present invention provides protection and saves time for the user that would be spent cleaning the shoe, socks and lower leg/pants. Moreover, rapid wear on these articles is prevented, which saves money that would be spent on purchasing new and/or additional pairs of these articles. Preventing foreign objects from entering the shoe additionally allow the user to work comfortably.
While some embodiments of the invention have been described herein by way of illustration, it will be apparent that the invention can be carried into practice with many modifications, variations and adaptations, and with the use of numerous equivalents or alternative solutions that are within the scope of persons skilled in the art, without departing from the spirit of the invention or exceeding the scope of the claims.