US 3596374 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventor William M. Covington 559 Olivene Court, Placerville, Calif. 95667 [2! Appl. No 875,899  Filed Nov. 12, 1969  Patented Aug. 3. 197]  SNOWSHOE FASTENING 9 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
 U.S. Cl 36/4.5
[5 l] lnt.Cl. A63c'13/00  Field oiSearch 36/45, 2.5, 2.5 AB
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2.323935 7/1943 Rintamaki et al 36/45 2,5ll,087 6/1950 Villemur 2,699,613 [/1955 Peterson Primary Examiner- Patrick D. Lawson Atlarney- Lothrop & West ABSTRACT: An elongated sheet of elastomeric material includes a heel portion, a sole portion and a laterally enlarged toe portion adjustably secured in a median fore-andaft alignment on the webbing of a snowshoe. The forward end of the toe portion is arcuately recurved and merges into a rearwardly extending portion apertured to receive the wears boot therethrough and to afford resilient ankle-encompassing straps capable of biasing forwardly against the back of the wearers boot with sufficient force to urge the toe of the boot tightly against the arcuate recurved toe portion of the sheet.
SNOWSIIOE FASTENING The invention relates to improvements in fastenings for detachably securing snowshoes to the wearer's boots.
As disclosed in the US. Pat. to Rintamaki et al., No. 2,323,935, dated July 13, 1943, for Snowshoe Sandal, and Villemur, No. 2,511,087, dated June 13, I950, for Snowshoe Binding, the resilient properties of elastomeric material have previously been used in connection with attaching snowshoes to boots.
However, the foregoing snowshoe attaching devices utilize separate, arch-shaped toe receiving members together with attendant hardware, all adding to the cost, complexity and tendency to clog with snow.
It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a snowshoe fastening which is relatively simple and inexpensive, yet is efficient, quickly attached and detached, and notably free from clogging with snow and ice.
It is another object of the invention to provide a snowshoe fastening which is entirely devoid of metal parts, yet is tough, durable and long-lived.
It is still another object of the invention to provide a snowshoe fastening which is particularly useful for persons whose employment requires continual putting on and removal of snowshoes, such as telephone and power line patrollers in snow country.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a snowshoe fastening which can readily be attached to or removed from the wearers boots without the necessity of removing the wearers mittens or gloves.
It is another object of the invention to provide a generally improved snowshoe fastening.
Other objects, together with the foregoing, are attained in the embodiment described in the following description and shown in the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a typical snowshoe with a fastener installed thereon, preparatory for attachment to a wearer's boot;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary side elevational view of FIG. 1 to an enlarged scale, and showing a boot lodged in the fastener;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view, to an enlarged scale, showing the fastener in planar form prior to being installed on a snowshoe;
FIG. 4 is similar to FIG. 1 but with the rosettes in a different location; and,
FIG. 5 is similar to FIG. 2 but is a side elevational view of FIG. 4.
While the snowshoe fastener of the invention is susceptible of numerous physical embodiments, depending upon the environment and requirements of use, substantial numbers of the herein shown and described embodiments have been made, tested and used, and all have performed in an eminently satisfactory manner.
The snowshoe fastener of the invention, generally designated by the reference numeral 12, is installed on a conventional snowshoe 13 including the usual elongated, tapered framework 14 extending in a fore and aft direction and crisscrossed by webbing l6. Customarily, the interior network of weight-supporting webbing members includes a transverse toe rod 17 and a parallel, transverse toe cord 18 defining therebetween a partially open portion termed a toe space 19, the toe space being suitably located relative to the geometry and weight distribution of the particular snowshoe so that maximum walking and turning efficiency is attained.
The snowshoe fastener 12 is preferably constructed of a sheet of elastomeric material and, in the interests of economy, can be cut from an inner tube of a truck tire, for example.
As appears most clearly in FIG. 3, the device extends from an after end 21 forwardly through an elongated heel portion 22 and sole portion 23, the forward end of the sole portion 23 being laterally enlarged to form a pair of wing portions 24.
The central portion of the sheet, as appears in FIG. 3, is called a toe portion 26, and when the device is in use the toe portion 26 is arcuately recurved, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, so
that the tapered portion 27 of the sheet extends rearwardly and upwardly, as is most clearly illustrated in FIG. 2.
In order to mount the fastener 12 on the wearer's boot 31 a central, elongated opening 32 is provided, the opening 32 being bounded on its lateral sides by a spaced pair of straps 33, termed ankle straps, including a rear flap 34.
Since the device is fabricated of resilient material, the wearer 35 can force his boot 31 downwardly through the aperture 32 with the material yielding to accommodate entry of the boot and thereafter closing, snugly to confine the boot, as appears in FIG. 2.
Installation of the device on the snowshoe is effected by tying the two corners of the heel portion 22 to the underlying, supporting webbing thongs 16 by a nylon" cord 36 passing through openings in the sheet material. For increased strength, a pad 37 is located below the webbing thongs (see FIG. 2) and the cord 36 is passed through openings in the pad 37 before cinching up on the cord and tying the knot 38. For economy, the pads 37 can also be fabricated from inner tube material and can be circular in plan, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3.
In somewhat comparable fashion the laterally enlarged wings 24 are attached to the underlying webbing 16. That is to say, openings are made in each of the wings 24 through which a nylon cord 41 is passed. For increased strength, a pair of rosettes 42 is arranged in registry on each of the wings, with the bottom rosette located below the webbing 16 and the top rosette placed on top of the resilient sheet material. The rosettes 42 are preferably of the same material as the sheet and are provided with suitable openings 44 for registry with the openings in the interposed wing so that the cord 41 can be led through all of the members and tied, as at 46.
In installed position, as in FIG. 2, the forward and lateral portions of the upper rosettes are resiliently deformed and by being suitably spaced relative to the width of the toe of the boot afford lateral barriers tending to restrain the toe and the boot from deviating from a fore and aft alignment.
In other words, the back flap 34 and the ankle straps tend to urge the boot forwardly into tight gripping engagement with the stretched, recurved toe portion 26, and the toe portion, being laterally enlarged, is stretched so as to encompass the entire toe portion, having a margin on each lateral portion of the toe, as indicated by the numeral 48 in FIG. 2. The upper rosettes, by flexing as shown, cooperate with the laterally rounded and stretched toe portion, and thereby serve to fasten the boot very securely andto retain the boot in a fore-and-aft position. At the same time, however, the heel 49 of the boot 31 is free to move up and down relative to the heel portion 22 of the sheet.
It has been found that in putting on a snowshoe, the wearer should preferably stand with the toe of his boot facing aft, with the toe directed slightly downwardly and located adjacent the after end 51 (see FIG. 1) of the aperture 32. The toe of the boot is thereupon inserted in the aperture 32, additional force being applied to insert the entire bottom of the boot through the opening. At this juncture, the wearer turns his leg and foot toward the front of the snowshoe, thereby jamming the toe of the boot against the toe portion of the sheet material and stretching it so as to assume the position shown in FIG. 2. Removal is accomplished by reversing the foregoing steps.
A similar procedure is followed in using the variant form of fastening illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5, wherein the major distinction over the FIG. 1 and 2 installation is in the different placement of the heel pads 137, the wing portions 124 and the rosettes 142.
In installing the FIG. 4 and 5 form of device, the bottom pair of transversely spaced rosettes 142 is placed on top of the webbing. Then, with the elastomeric sheet oriented so that the bight portion 134 of the sheet extends toward the trailing end of the snowshoe, the sheet is lowered so that the transverse wing portions I24 overlie the lower pair of rosettes 142. The upper pair of rosettes 142 is thereupon placed on top of the wing portions 124 in registry with the corresponding underlying pair of rosettes. At this juncture, cords 141 are led through the webbing and registering openings inthe rosettes and the interposed wing portions, and are tightened and tied, thereby securing the wing portions to the webbing and substantially strengthening the wing portions and adjacent toe portion 126.
The temporarily forwardly extending heel portion 122 of the elastomeric sheet is thereupon recurved downwardly and rearwardly and is tucked underneath the toe portion 126 of the sheet, the rear end 121 of the heel portion 122 being urged rearwardly until it attains the approximate position shown in FIG. 4.
It is preferable to locate the lateral edges of the recurved forward end 1590f the heel portion 122 on top of the lower rosettes 142 so that the lateral segments 161 of the recurved forward end of the heel portion 122 are interposed between the upper surface of the lower rosettes 142 and the overlying lower surface of the wing portions 124, thereby clamping the heel portion segments 161 and helping further to secure the forward end of the heel portion.
As appears most clearly in FIG. 5, the recurved forward end 159 of the heel portion 122 and the recurved forward portions 162 of the wings 124 provide, in profile, a recurved loop 163.
As before, insertion of the boot 31 into the opening 132 of the fastener 12 and turning the boot through 180 is effective to jamb the toe of the boot very snugly against the forward, central toe portion 126 of the elastomeric sheet, causing the sheet to stretch, as shown, with the ankle straps 133 and rear bight portion 134 firmly securing the fastener to the boot. When the boot becomes lodged within the fastener, the lateral wing portions 124 are curved upwardly to conform to and to cover the instep of the boot, causing the adjacent inner portion 166 of the upper rosettes 142 to flex accordingly, as clearly appears in FIG. 5.
It has been found that once the rosettes 142 and wing portions 124 are installed on the webbing at a convenient, wellbalanced location, they are not thereafter disturbed. Should it later become necessary to adjust the fastening so as to fit another size of boot, the rosettes 142 and the wing portions 124 are not moved; instead, the rear cords 136 are untied and loosened and the after pads 137 and the heel portion 122 are all shifted fore or aft until the desired degree of tightness at the toe is attained, the cords 136 thereafter being cinched and retied with the after pads 137 and the rear margin 121 of the heel portion 122 being relocated in a fore andaft direction relative to the underlying webbing.
Removal of the boot is accomplished, as explained above, by moving the boot 180 so as to face toward the after end of the snowshoe. The boot can thereupon be withdrawn through the opening 132.
This procedure is readily learned by practice, and after a short period even children can readily put on and take off snowshoes provided with the fastener of the invention. There is no need to remove mittens or gloves in connection with the operation, and most wearers do not even find it necessary to reach down and touch or stretch the device in order to lodge a boot therein quickly and securely.
It can therefore be seen that l have provided a snowshoe fastening possessing convenience as well as economy, reliability, safety and durability.
What 1 claim is:
1. A snowshoe fastening comprising:
a. an elongated sheet of elastomeric material shaped to afford a substantially planar heel portion and sole portion supported in a median fore and aft alignment on a snowshoe, a recurved arcuate toe portion carried on the forward end of said sole portion and located adjacent the snowshoes toe space, and an ankle portion extending in an after direction, said ankle portion including an elongated median aperture defined by a pair of ankle straps capable of stretching to receive the wearers boot, said ankle straps including a rear bight portion resiliently bearing forwardly against the back of the boot to urge the toe of the boot tightly against said recurved arcuate toe portion;
b. first means for securing the after end of said heel portion to a snowshoe said first securing means including a pair of transversely spaced pads each located below the snowshoe webbing adjacent said after end,.of said heel portion and attached to said after end of said heel portion by a cord passed through openings in said pad and said heel portion and tied; and,
c. second means for securing the forward end of said sole portion to a snowshoe.
2. A snowshoe fastening as in claim 1 wherein said second securing means is a first pair of transversely spaced rosettes located below the snowshoe webbing adjacent said forward end of said sole portion, a second pair of transversely spaced rosettes located on top of said sole portion overlying said first pair of rosettes and in registry therewith, and a cord passed through openings in said webbing, said sole portion and said registering rosettes and tied.
3. A snowshoe fastening as in claim 2 wherein the forward margins of said rosettes are substantially in transverse alignment with said recurved arcuate toe portion.
4. A snowshoe fastening as in claim 3 wherein said sheet is transversely enlarged adjacent said forward end of said sole portion to provide a pair of laterally extending wing portions, and wherein said pairs of rosettes are located on said wing portions.
5. A snowshoe fastening as in claim 1 wherein said first securing means includes a pair of transversely spaced pads each mounted on said heel portion, and means for adjustably securing said pads and said heel portion in a predetermined fore and aft location on said webbing.
6. A snowshoe fastening as in claim 1 wherein said second securing means includes a first pair of transversely spaced rosettes located on said webbing below said sole portion; a second pair of transversely spaced rosettes overlying said recurved arcuate toe portion and being in registry with said first pair of rosettes; and means for securing together registering ones of said first and said second pairs of rosettes and the adjacent portions of said webbing, said sole portion and said toe portion.
7. A snowshoe fastening as in claim 6 wherein said securing means includes cords passed through openings in said rosettes, said webbing, said sole portion and said toe portion, and cinched and tied.
8. A snowshoe fastening as in claim 6 wherein said sheet is transversely enlarged adjacent said forward end of said sole portion to provide a pair of laterally extending wing portions, and wherein said registering pairs of rosettes are located on corresponding ones of said wing portions.
9. A snowshoe fastening comprising:
a. an elongated sheet of elastomeric material shaped to afford a substantially planar heel portion and sole portion supported in a fore and aft alignment on a snowshoe, a
recurved arcuate toe portion carried on the forward end of said sole portion, and an ankle portion extending in an after direction, said ankle portion including an elongated aperture defined by a pair of ankle straps capable of stretching to receive the wearers boot, said ankle straps including an after bight portion resiliently bearing forwardly against the back of the boot to urge the toe of the boot against said recurved arcuate toe portion with sufficient force to deform said recurved arcuate toe portion of said sheet of elastomeric material into tightly encompassing relation with respect to the toe of the boot; and
. means for securing said sheet of material to a snowshoe, said securing means including a first pair of transversely spaced pads on said heel portion, and tie cords passed through the snowshoe webbing, through said heel portion and said first pads, and a second pair of transversely spaced pads overlying the lateral portions of said recurved arcuate toe portion adjacent said forward end of said sole portion, and tie cords passed through the snowshoe webbing, through said sole portion and said second pads, said second pads being effective to deform said sheet of elastomeric material around the lateral instep portions of the toe of the boot.