US 3274709 A
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J. E. LlPlNSKl Sept. 27, 1966 FOOT COVER Fild Aug. 30, 1965 JOHN Eu LIPINSK/ INVENTOE %%m TTOIZN V United States Patent 3,274,709 F001 COVER John E. Lipinski, 116 Laurel Lane, Forest Brook Glen, Wilmington, Del. Filed Aug. 30, 1965, Ser. No. 483,540 3 Claims. (Cl. 36-10) My invention is a continuation-in-part of my pending application Serial No. 294,921, filed July 15, 1963, now abandoned relating to so-called Foot Covers which are worn on the feet below the ankle to protect the wearers feet or stockings. In general, my invention has to do with improvements in such foot covers as are shown in prior Patents 1,912,539, 1,991,624, 2,649,588, 2,657,478 and British Patent 554,791/43.
So-called foot covers are conventionaly made of a flimsy material, preferably of the knitted somewhat elastic type, which, because of its lack of sufficient body, tends to sag and work down on the wearers foot, and fail to conform to the heel area of the foot, resulting in gathered portions which present irregularities, wrinkles or lumps which not only detract from the appearance but also cause discomfort. This difiiculty is experienced more partic ularly about the heel portion of the cover. Changes in ladies shoe styles also complicate the problem.
For many years, those working in this art have constantly sought to overcome this problem by reinforcing the heel portion of the flimsy foot covering by means of a relatively stiff counter or liner; but while the various counters which have been proposed have served the function of somewhat reinforcing the foot cover, they have failed to retain the heel portion thereof in snug conforming relationship to the anatomical shape of the corresponding portion of the human foot, which is not only necessary from the standpoint of neat appearance, but also from the standpoint of comfort.
The general configuration of the heel portion of the human foot is somewhat complicated by the manner in which the rib-like Achilles tendon intersects the bulbous heel, thus rendering it difiicult to retain the foot cover in snug conforming relationship to the relatively concaved adjacent portions of the foot. Also, it is important that the relatively stiff counter be capable of being neatly extended about the Achilles tendon without becoming wrinkled, creased or puckered, and without the counter having engagement with the bulbous portion of the heel.
It is therefore a principal object of my invention to provide a foot cover incorporating a novel reinforcing counter which overcomes those problems; that is, one which is of such critical contour and dimensions as to retain the flimsy material of which the foot cover is made in snug conforming relationship to the contour of the heel portion of the foot and without presenting any notches or pockets in which the material of the foot covering may gather.
I shall hereinafter explain a preferred embodiment of my invention with more particularity by reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing my foot cover being worn on a human foot;
FIG. 2 is the heel end view;
FIG. 3 is aside elevation; and
FIG. 4 is an enlarged plan view of the reinforcing element.
My foot cover comprises a body portion 5 composed of a flimsy, preferably somewhat elastic, material which typically may be of the knitted type. Said body is of a depth substantially equal to the depth of the inside surface of the heel portion of a low vamp shoe (about 1 /2) and generally is designed to be stretched about the wearers foot. The body has side walls 7, a front end portion 8, a heel portion 9, a bottom wall 10, and the Patented Sept. 27, 1966 top edges 11 of said side walls define an opening for passing the wearers foot. My device also includes a liner or counter 12 for reinforcing the heel portion at and adjacent the top edge thereof in a manner to cause the flimsy body to conform to the complicated contour of the heel area. Preferably the top edge of said body is rendered relatively more elastic as by stitching thereto a continuous rubber band 14.
The body may be knitted into its desired shape, or it may be formed by stitching together separate strips, as may be preferred. My present invention does not relate to the particular construction of the body, which is more or less conventional. Rather, my invention has to do with my improved means for reinforcing the heel portion of the body at and adjacent its topedge, as will now be described.
While my invention does not have to do with the particular material of which the counter is made, it should be flexible and relatively stiffer than the material of the body, and may be made, for instance, of paper, canvas, felt, plastic or other suitable composition.
The counter has a top edge 15 conforming to the contour of the corresponding top edge portion of the body. The counter is stitched along its top edge to the top edge of the body and depends into the body without being otherwise secured thereto.
The bottom edge 21 of the counter is symmetrically curved to form convexed end lobe portions 20, each of which is of a width or depth which will cause the maximum width or depth portion of each lobe to terminate above the bulbous heel of the foot. Typically the maximum width of each lobe should not be greater than A". Thus, when the body is fitted on a normal foot, the maximum depth or width of the lobe portions typically will be not more than half the distance between the top edge and bottom wall of the heel portion of the body. This is important to prevent the upper portion of the bulbous heel of the foot from wrinkling or otherwise deforming the counter when the wearer is walking.
The bottom edge 21 of the counter intermediate the lobe portions 20 is concavedly curved about a radius relatively longer than that of the lobes-that is, a radius approximately twice the radius of curvature of the respective adjacent lobe portions. Thus the medial portion of the counter is relatively narrow, permitting the counter to be contoured about the Achilles tendon. For instance, I have found that if the bottom edge of the counter between the lobes is curved about too small a radius or is angular, the portions of said curve which intersect each other medially between the ends tend to form a notch or weakened portion of the counter which initiates the formation of a transverse abrupt bend of the counter as it is fitted against the Achilles tendon.
Thus, as shown in FIG. 2, when my foot cover is mounted on the wearers foot, it will be seen that the intermediate curve of the counter between the lobes is of such long radius that it is narrowed so that it does not present a pocket in which the flimsy cover material may gather, nor does it initiate an abrupt bend; and the lobe portions of the counter conform to the concaved portions of the foot forwardly adjacent the intersection of the Achilles tendon and the bulbous heel portion of the foot. Also, the counter effectively reinforces the body of the cover throughout the length and width of the counter, thereby preventing the flimsy material from working down, gathering or wrinkling, and retaining it in conforming relationship to the contour of the corresponding area of the foot.
1. In a foot cover comprising a body of flimsy material formed to be stretched about a wearers foot and including a heel portion, said body having a bottom wall and side walls having top edges defining a foot passing opening, means for reinforcing the heel portion of said body at and adjacent said top edge comprising a counter composed of relatively stiff, flexible material having its top edge conforming to and secured to the top edge of said body and having its lower portion symmetrically curved to define convexly curved end lobe portions and an inter vening concavedly curved portion of a radius of curvature approximately twice the radius of curvature of each of said lobe portions; the maximum width of said lobe portions being not more than half the distance between the top edge and bottom portions of said body.
2. The foot cover of claim 1 in which the heel portion of said body is not substantially greater in depth than 1 /2 inches, in which the respective lobes have a maximum width not substantially greater than /1 inch, and in which the minimum width portion of said counter between said lobes is not substantially greater than /2 inch.
3. The foot cover of claim 1 in which a continuous elastic band is stitched to the top edges of said side walls.
' References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,649,588 8/1953 Kantor 3610 2,657,478 11/1953 Paul 36-10 2,896,339 7/1959 Robinowitz 3610 FOREIGN PATENTS 114,599 1/ 1942 Australia. 554,791 7/ 1943 Great Britain.
' JORDAN FRANKLIN, Primary Examiner.
PATRICK D. LAWSON, Examiner.