US 3812606 A
This invention provides a protector for covering the upper portion of, for example, dress shoes against abrasion and indentation of the leather while riding a motorcycle. The invention comprises a sheet of leather or leather-like material, generally conformed to the outline of the forward portion of a shoe from the instep forward to the tip of the toe, and retaining straps designed and adapted to connect the sheet to the shoe by passing under the shoe and rearwardly around the ankle of the wearer.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States atet Merola 1 May'28, 1974  FOOTWEAR UPPER PROTECTOR FOR 2,436,111? 2/1948 BESiiflfld 361/72 R CYCLE RIDERS 2,552,700 5/195] Watts 36/72 R 3,250,025 5/1966 Crescent..... 36/72 R  Inventor: V n Anthony Merola, BOX H6 3,481,055 12/1969 Herman 36/72 R River Rd., West Cornwall, Conn. 06796 Primary ExaminerAlfred R. Guest 22 Filed; Sept 4 1973 Attorney, Agent, or FirmLilling & Siege] 21 A l. N 394170 1 pp 0 57 ABSTRACT This invention provides a protector for covering the (SI 36/72 upper portion of for example dress Shoes against 58 3F 2 abrasion and indentation of the leather while riding a i 1 0 can motorcycle. The invention comprises a sheet of leather or leather-like material, generally conformed  References cued to the outline of the forward portion of a shoe from UNITED STATES PATENTS the instep forward to the tip of the toe, and retaining 1397,524 11 1935 G6a 6r..... 36/72 R X straps designed and adapted to connect the sheet to 306,439 12/1905 the shoe by passing under the shoe and rearwardly 113N946 7/ 1919 around the ankle of the wearer. 1,382,748 6/1921 1,952,294 3/1934 Strauss 36/72 R 9 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures FOOTWEAR UPPER PROTECTOR FOR CYCLE RIDERS Within the last two decades there has been a great extension in the use of motorcycles, as well as a change in the persons who use such motorcycles in the United States. Motorcycles, which once were the province of jack-booted, leather-jacketed young men, have now changed their image within this last period and are being ridden more and more by young executives, while commuting, and by, for example, young college or high school men on dates. In both such cases, the clothing, especially the foot gear of the riders, have changed substantially. Although there has been a correlative change in the quality and, especially, the cleanliness of motorcycles, a problem which has continued, and which has substantially not changed in this period, is the problem of protection of shoes. When jack-boots were worn, or other such heavy-duty workshoes, the problem of protecting the surface of the uppers of such shoes was not significant. When the riders of motorcycles more and more wear ordinary clothes and often dress shoes, the problem of scuffing, and even worse, indenting of the shoe-leather upper, especially on the foot operating the gear shift lever, becomes very troublesome.
One solution, which has been used for years, has been the wearing of rubber or plastic overshoes, at least on the foot operating the gear shift pedal, even in dry weather, to protect the leather-upper from scuffing. Although this is effective against scuffing, it unfortunately does not protect the shoe against indenting from the pressure of the shift lever pressing against the shoe when shifting upwardly. Furthermore, the wearing of rubber overshoes, especially in warm, dry weather, was not especially comfortable, and was less than attractive when the rider left the motorcycle. Further, overshoes are especially bulky, and the storage of the overshoes, when not riding the motorcycle, was a problem.
In the past, other problems involving the protection of shoe-uppers and/or the foot of the wearer of the shoe, have been solved by the use of, for example, a layer of material placed over the top of the shoe-upper, either as a flap, or spat-like protective sheet (such as is shown in US. Pat. Nos. 1,311,046; 1,382,748; 1,440,337; and 2,814,887) or a hollow member including both an upper portion and a sole, or lower portion, fitted over the toe of the shoe (such as shown in US. Pat. No. 1,326,542)
In accordance with this invention, a compact easily stored and readily fitted and removable motorcyclerider, shoe upper shield is provided, which protects the upper portion of the shoe, especially the shoe utilized for shifting the gear shift lever on a motorcycle. The protector, or shield, provides protection against abrasion and indenting of the leather by the gear shift lever of the motorcycle when upwardly shifting the gears.
The shoe-upper protector of the present invention comprises a sheet of leather, or leather-like, material; the front and side of the sheet being substantially similar to the plan outline of the forward part ofa shoe, i.e., that portion of the sides extending from the instep forwardly to the front of the toe; first strap means connected to the sheet to secure the sheet to the upper portion of a shoe or boot, such strap means being designed and adapted to pass under the forward part of the shoe when the leather sheet is on the shoe-upper. The first strap means is connected to the leather sheet at a first location adjacent the forward most portion of the sheet and substantially on the longitudinal axis of the sheet which is parallel and preferably within the longitudinal axial plane of the shoe on which the protector is worn. The strap means are further connected to the top sheet at second locations, located on the two sides of the sheet, preferably, at least about midway between the forward portion of the sheet and the portion of the sheet above the instep portion of the shoe. Preferably, the first strap means is also connected to the sheet at third locations, on either side of the sheet, forwardly of the second location, and most preferably about midway between the first location and the forward most point of the sheet. Second strap means are provided, also attached to the sheet and projecting rearwardly from the side edges thereof, designed and adapted to extend around the ankle of the wearer.
The shoe-protector sheet can be preferably formed of leather, most preferably of a so-called full-thickness hide leather, most preferably sueded on the top surface so as to provide the best possible contact with the motorcycle gear shift lever. It has been found that leather has the unique property of being able to distribute the pressure exerted by the relatively narrow shift lever over a broader area of the shoe, so as to prevent compression or indentation in the particular area directly applied to the shift lever. Leather-like materials, which can be utilized in lieu of leather, are those materials which have the same general physical characteristic of being capable of distributing the forces. It is believed to be caused by the fibrous nature of leather, which has a tendency to transmit pressure forces laterally, along the surface of the leather. such leather-like materials would preferably also have a surface similar to a sueded surface which would provide the desired friction between the upper portion of the sheet and the shift lever, so as to prevent any slippage when operating the lever.
The footwear-protector product of this invention is exemplified by the following specific examples of preferred embodiments thereof. These embodiments merely reflect preferred species and are intended to exemplify the advantages and objects of the present invention. They are not intended to be exclusive of the full scope of this invention, which is defined by the claims appended below.
FIG. 1 is a plan view of the upper surface of the footwear protector of this invention.
FIG. 2 is a lower plan view of the footwear protector of this invention.
FIG. 3 is a side view showing the footwear protector being worn on the shoe of a motorcycle rider, partially cut away.
FIG. 4 is a cut away view along line 4-4 of a portion of the drawing shown in FIG. 3.
Referring to the drawings, the footwear protector of this invention, comprises a sheet of leather l0, preferably having a sueded top surface and a smooth leather bottom surface. First strap means, generally designated by the numeral 12, is connected to the sheet 10 to hold the sheet on the toe of the shoe, as shown in FIG. 3. The first strap means 12 comprises two cross straps l4 and 15 extending beneath the lower surface 10a of the sheet and connected to the sheet along the sides thereof. The connection between the straps l4 and 15 and the sheet, as shown, are by removable snaps l6 and 17 respectively. A third rearwardly extending strap 20 is connected to the front or toe portion of the sheet by removable snap 21. The front strap 20 extends from the snap 21 rearwardly and is fastened to the two crossstraps 14 and 15 by, for example, the grommets 22, illustrated.
In FIG. 3, the footwear protector of this invention is shown in place on the shoe of a motorcycle rider. The foot is shown resting upon foot rest 40 of a motorcycle and the toe of the shoe, covered by the protector l0, pressing upwardly against the end of the gear shift lever 39 of the motorcycle.
It has been found to be preferable that the first strap means 12 be removable from the upper sheet 10 so as to be replaceable. It is believed that the first strap means would be more-likely to wear out and that the entire protective device need not be thrown out when the first strap means wear out. This is especially significant now, with the relatively great increase in the price of leather. However, if desired, a permanent type of fastening means, such as a grommet, can be substituted for the snaps 16, 17 and 2], connecting the first strap means to the sheet 10.
To increase the life of the first strap means by decreasing the abrasion against the first strap means, when, for example, the wearer is walking or while riding the motorcycle and coming to a halt, placing the foot against the ground, round metalbuttons 25, shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, can be placed over the junctures of the cross-straps l4 and 15 and the front strap 20. Although other material than metal could be used, it is preferred that a material having a relatively low coefficient of friction be utilizedinorder to eliminate any drag on the foot while riding the motorcycle in case a foot is dropped to the ground while the motorcycle is in motion.
The ankle strap 30 extends rearwardly from the protector sheet 10 designed and adapted tobe placed around the ankle, or heel, of the wearer, as shown in the FIG. 3, to retain the sheet 10 in place over the front of the shoe. The strap 30 is fastened to the sheet 10 by removable snap fastener 31 and permanent fastener grommet 32; thus permitting quick release of the ankle strap when it is desired to remove the protector from the shoe after dismounting from the motorcycle and, alternatively, simplify placing the protector on the shoe. If desired, of course, both fasteners 31 and 32 can be made of the removable snap-fastener type or both can be of the permanent fastener type.
Most preferably, the strap means 12 and 30 are made of elastic material so as to firmly and securely hold the protector means onto the shoe. If desired, however, of course, either or both of the first and second strap means 12 and 30 can be formed of non-elastic material,
The toe portion of the sheet should have a round, or curvilinear outline, generally convex along the entire perimeter between the third locations of the connections, e.g., snaps 16, between the first strap means 12 and the top sheet 10. The exact function defining the curve is not critical but can be, for example, the arc of a circle, the portion of a parabola or hyperbola including the apex, or vertex, of the curve, an arc of an ellipse, or a cycloid. It has been found that the third locations of the connections between the first strap means 12 and the sheet 10 should be on the side of the sheet 10 and along a line, approximately from about threesixteenths to about seven-sixteenths of the distance bewhich can be tightened, for example, by.using a buckletype adjusting means.
Generally. motorcycles available on the market today, are not provided with complete fairings. Thus, the motorcycle rider and his clothing, including his shoes, are exposed to the full force of the wind drag when speeding along the highway. It has been found that in order to prevent the lifting up of the sheet 10 from the surface of the shoe by the force of the wind while riding at advanced speeds, the shape of the front, or toe portion of the sheet and the location of the fasteners for the first strap means is highly significant.
tween the apex of the toe and the instep of the wearer, or from about 78 inch to about 1% inches from the apex. The position of the second location is less critical, but is generally at least about three-eighths of the distance between the apex of the toe and the instep of the wearer, and usually not more than about three-fourths of that distance. The first connection of the strap means is preferably along the center line, i.e. the longitudinal axis of the shoeof the wearer, adjacent the apex, or forwardmost portion of the toe. The connections are all, preferably, as close to the perimeter of the sheet as possible. Generally, measurements'are made,
for example, from'the center of the snap fastener illustrated in the drawings.
For example, when utilizing a sheet approximately 5% inches long fromthe forward-most-portion of the toe to the rear-most portion of the sheet; the longitudinal distance from the toe to the second location, i.e. the rear-most fasteners 17, of the first strap means 12 is approximately 2% inches; and the longitudinal distance of the centers of the third location, i.e., the forward-most fasteners 16, is approximately 1% inches. It is also preferred, to avoid the picking ,up of the sheet 10 by wind drag, that the connections l6, l7 and 2lare fastened to the sheet 10 at a location close to the outer edge, for example, five-sixteenths inch from the edge to the center of fasteners 16 and 17, and, for example, threeeighths inch to the center of fastener 2l.
The ends of the cross straps l4 and 15 and of the rear strap 30 are preferably doubled under to give a more finished appearance and a stronger joint to snaps l6, l7 and 21 and 31.
In use, the first strap means 12 is maintained fastened to the sheet 10, except when, the first strap means requires replacement. The shoe is fitted between the first strap meansand the sheet 10, such that the sheet 10 lies along thev top portion of theshoe-up'p'er and the sheet 10 is pulled rearwardly as far as possible, such that the toe portion of the shoe presses firmly against strap 20. Rear strap 30 is thenlooped around the rear of the shoe of the wearer and snapped in place with snap 31. Metal I protectors 25 serve to'prevent abrasion of the first strap means 12 while walking, or, more significantly, when riding the motorcycle and touching the foot to the ground, for example, when coming tov a halt or riding very slowly. This is known in motorcycle circles as dabbing.
As shown in the drawings, the rear strap 30 is adjustable by having two snap fasteners 31, thus permitting use with shoes of various sizes. Similarly, if desired, the first strap means 12 can be made adjustable by similar means; this may become desirable if the present fashion of extremely thick soles continues, in order to enable the product to be utilized for the more conventional thin-soled shoes as well as the high-fashion thick soled shoes. Of course, if desired, different sized strap means can be supplied.
This footwear protector can be applied to both shoes and boots without limitation.
1. A protector for the forward portion of footwear uppers, the protector comprising a substantially flat sheet formed of a leatherlike material, the outline of the front and sides of the sheet being substantially similar to the plan outline of the forward part of a shoe from the instep forwardly to the toe; first strap means, dependent from the sheet and fastened to the sheet at a first location adjacent the forwardmost or toe portion of the sheet and substantially on the longitudinal axis of the sheet and at second locations on either side of the sheet on a line substantially at least about midway between the toe portion and the instep of the shoe; and at third locations, along both sides of the sheet, on a line intermediate the location of the second fastening means and the toe; and second strap means extending rearwardly from the side edges of the sheet, fastened at both sides of the sheet towards the rear thereof, whereby the first strap means is designed and adapted to fit around and under the toe portion of the foot wear and the second strap means is designed and adapted to fit around the rear of the foot, thus retaining the sheet means in place over the forward or top portion of the shoe.
2. The footwear protector of claim I, wherein the first strap means is removably fastened to the sheet at the three locations.
3. The footwear protector of claim 1, wherein the second strap means is removably fastened to the rear of the sheet at at least one end thereof.
4. The footwear protector of claim 1, wherein the third locations are from about three-sixteenths to about seven-sixteenths of the distance from the toe to the instep of the wearer.
5. The footwear protector of claim 1, comprising, in addition, means having a metal outer surface extending outwardly from the first strap means, designed and adapted to protect the first strap means from abrasion against the ground while being worn on a shoe.
6. The footwear protector of claim 1, wherein the first strap means comprises a first cross strap extending between the two second side locations; a second cross strap extending between the third side locations and a longitudinal strap extending from the forward first location rearwardly and fastened to the first and second cross straps, the straps being formed of an elastic material.
7. The footwear protector means of claim 1, wherein the second strap means is an elastic strap.
8. The footwear protector of claim 1, wherein the sheet is formed of leather having a sueded upper surface.
9. The footwear protector of claim 1, wherein the leather is full thickness hide.