Title:
Spike cover for a track running shoe
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A track and field shoe has spikes extending outwardly from a forward portion of an outsole of the shoe. A shoe cover provides a bottom plate resting in contact with the forward portion of the outsole of the shoe and has a similar peripheral shape. The shoe cover further includes an elastic clamping fabric engaged on three mutual edges peripherally with the bottom plate. A fourth mutual peripheral edge of the clamping fabric and the bottom plate forms an opening into the shoe cover for accepting a tip of the shoe inserted into it upon stretching the clamping fabric. A hem in the clamping fabric extends parallel and adjacent to the fourth peripheral edge and terminates with a hem seam. The hem seam has a maximum elastic yield below that of the clamping fabric. This is critical as it allows the clamping fabric to stretch to fit a wide range of shoes, while enabling the hem seam to fit more tightly around the tip of the shoe applying a clamping force.



Inventors:
Richard Jr., Foster E. (Huntington Beach, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/227236
Publication Date:
02/26/2004
Filing Date:
08/22/2002
Assignee:
FOSTER RICHARD E.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
36/7.2
International Classes:
A43B5/18; (IPC1-7): A43B5/00; A43B3/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BAYS, MARIE D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATENT LAW & VENTURE GROUP, PLLC (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An apparatus comprising in combination: a track and field shoe providing plural spikes extending outwardly from a forward portion of an outsole of the shoe; a shoe cover providing a bottom plate resting in contact with the forward portion of the outsole of the shoe, in contact with the spikes; the shoe cover further providing an elastic clamping fabric engaged on three mutual edges peripherally with the bottom plate, a fourth mutual peripheral edge of the bottom plate and the clamping fabric forming an opening into the shoe cover for accepting a tip of the shoe upon stretching the clamping fabric; a hem seam extending in parallel and adjacent to the fourth peripheral edge of the clamping fabric, the hem seam having a maximum elastic yield falling between about 30 and 60 percent of the maximum elastic yield of the clamping fabric.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the bottom plate of the shoe cover is made of a compliant material whereby the plural spikes are imbedded therein under body weight.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the compliant material is rubber.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the clamping fabric is Lycra™.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

[0001] Applicant(s) hereby incorporate herein by reference, any and all U.S. patents, U.S. patent applications, and other documents and printed matter cited or referred to in this application.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This invention relates generally to shoe covers and more particularly to a track shoe cover of simple and inexpensive construction and extreme ease of use.

DESCRIPTION OF RELATED ART

[0003] The following art defines the present state of this field:

[0004] Peterson et al., U.S. Des. No. 423,198 describes a foot protector design.

[0005] Merrill et al., U.S. Pat. No. 1,958,107 describes an appliance for an article of footwear having a protruding element at its bottom, said appliance comprising an apertured auxiliary sole positioned against the sole of the article of footwear with the protruding element of the latter lying in the aperture of the auxiliary sole so that injurious contact of the element with the surface walked upon is prevented, and means for detach ably securing the so positioned auxiliary sole to the article of footwear, said means comprising a longitudinally slitted toe cover of flexible material secured at its lower margin along the margin of the auxiliary sole to a position rearward and in ward with respect to the widest portion of the sole of the article of footwear, and fastening mean; at the slit of the cover.

[0006] Clark et al., U.S. Pat. No. 2,032,793 describes overshoes each comprising a body of waterproof material adapted to be disposed over and cover the forward portion of the shoe and to extend downwardly about the edge of the sole, means provided with said body to form a watertight seal with the sole about and adjacent its periphery while leaving the major area of the sole exposed and a bridge extending across to snugly engage the sole at the shank and integral with the adjacent-side portions of the body.

[0007] Whitley, U.S. Pat. No. 2,246,562 describes a bowling slipper attachment for a walking shoe, comprising a sole for engagement with the underside of a sole of a walking shoe, uppers for embracing the uppers of the walking shoe, and connections between the uppers and sole of the attachment, including a welt engagable with an edge of the sole of the walking shoe.

[0008] Dinkel, U.S. Pat. No. 3,012,343 describes a sole protector for bowling shoes comprising a single hexagonally shaped piece of synthetic resin material having three arcuate-shaped sides spaced from each other by three straight sides, said material being dimensioned to cover the sole of a bowling shoe from adjacent the breast of the heel of said shoe substantially to the toe thereof; means for interconnecting two of said straight sides across the toe of said bowling shoe; and an elastic heel strap connected at its ends to opposite ends of the third straight side of said material cooperating with said means for interconnecting two of said straight sides for retaining said sole protector in place over the sole of said bowling shoe.

[0009] Sims, U.S. Pat. No. 3,699,672 describes a device which may be used for cleaning floors, household appliances, and similar items and which includes an elongated flexible pad of abrasive material adapted to be positioned across the sole of a shoe or the inside surface of the fingers of the hand with the end portions of the pad lapping the opposite side edges of the shoe sole or finger. A strap having the ends thereof secured to the end portions of the pad is included and is adapted to extend across the upper part of the shoe or the back surface of the finger; so as to hold the pad against the shoe sole or inside surface of the fingers. A pad gripping part is carried at one end of the strap and is releasably interlocked with its engaged pad end portion at a selected location thereon.

[0010] Benaquista, U.S. Pat. No. 4,372,056 describes a safety device, being a pair of half soles designed with a nonskid tread to be worn over the shoes of men, women and children to prevent slipping and falling on icy streets. The nonskid sole is secured with an elastic instep band with two elastic support bands being secured to instep band and non skid sole on either side and in parallel relation. The flexibility of the elastic bands allows for easy convenient slip on over the shoe, adjusting to accommodate any shoe width and folding compactly for convenience in carrying when not in use.

[0011] Simmons, U.S. Pat. No. 5,996,258 describes a flexible shoe protector for shielding shoes from scratches and abrasions having an upper member that extends over a front top portion of a shoe, a lower member extending below a front sole portion of the shoe and extending rearwardly toward the heel of the shoe, and an intermediate flexible portion connected between the upper member and the lower member. The intermediate flexible portion is capable of stretching to accommodate a variety of sizes and shapes of different shoes. A flexible strap member is attached to a rearward portion of the intermediate flexible portion so that the strap member is used to stretch about a rearward portion of the shoe above the heel, for securement of the shoe cover to the shoe. The flexible strap and the intermediate portion are made from a material having elastic qualities, such as Spandex RTM™. A rubber portion is attached to the bottom of the lower member to provide traction when a wearer is wearing the shoe protector. Optional features include the addition of reflecting material or glow-in-the-dark material to the shoe protector, for increased visibility in darkness.

[0012] Smith, Jr., U.S. Pat. No. 6,286,234 describes a footwear protector for motorcycle riding for protecting the footwear of motorcycle riders with an article that is easily mounted on the footwear. The protective device includes a sheath member having a forward end and a rearward end, with the forward end being closed and the rearward end having an opening. The sheath member has a top wall and a bottom wall, with a pair of side walls and a front wall extending between the top and bottom walls. The device also includes a gear shift actuator cushion mounted on the top wall of the sheath member. The actuator cushion extends from the opening toward the forward end of the sheath member. A pocket is formed on the top wall of the sheath member. The actuator cushion comprises a resiliently compressible cushion in the pocket for cushioning the transmission of impacts from an upper surface of the actuator cushion to the top wall of the sheath member and footwear positioned in the sheath member. The side walls are preferably formed of a resiliently stretchable material, and the resiliently stretchable material may include spandex.

[0013] The prior art teaches shoe toe covers with zippers and spike apertures, full overshoes for golf, covers with laces, and with elastic portions, with straps, with rear bands, and for riding a motorcycle, but does not teach the simple design and construction of the present invention and its operation according to a principle undefined in the prior art. The present invention fulfills these needs and provides further related advantages as described in the following summary.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0014] The present invention teaches certain benefits in construction and use which give rise to the objectives described below.

[0015] A track and field shoe has spikes extending outwardly from a forward portion of an outsole of the shoe. A shoe cover provides a bottom plate resting in contact with the forward portion of the outsole of the shoe and has a similar peripheral shape. The shoe cover further includes an elastic clamping fabric engaged on three mutual edges peripherally with the bottom plate. A fourth mutual peripheral edge of the clamping fabric and the bottom plate forms an opening into the shoe cover for accepting a tip of the shoe inserted into it upon stretching the clamping fabric. A hem in the clamping fabric extends parallel and adjacent to the fourth peripheral edge and terminates with a hem seam. The hem seam has a maximum elastic yield falling between about 30 and 60 percent of the maximum elastic yield of the clamping fabric. This is critical as it allows the clamping fabric to stretch to fit a wide range of shoes, while enabling the hem seam to fit more tightly around the tip of the shoe.

[0016] A primary objective of the present invention is to provide an apparatus and method of use of such apparatus that provides advantages not taught by the prior art.

[0017] Another objective is to provide such an invention capable of enabling a track and field shoe to be used on surfaces sensitive to the damage spiked shoes can render.

[0018] A further objective is to provide such an invention capable of being placed over the tip of a track shoe and be secured there without a separate fastener.

[0019] A still further objective is to provide such an invention capable of fitting over a range of track shoes.

[0020] Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0021] The accompanying drawings illustrate the present invention. In such drawings:

[0022] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of a shoe cover of the invention;

[0023] FIG. 2 is a further perspective view thereof illustrating the manner of inserting a track shoe into the shoe cover; and

[0024] FIG. 3 is a still further perspective view thereof illustrating the shoe cover in place over the tip of the track shoe.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0025] The above described drawing figures illustrate the invention in at least one of its preferred embodiments, which is further defined in detail in the following description.

[0026] A track and field shoe 10 has spikes 20 extending outwardly from a forward portion 32 of an outsole 30 of the shoe 10. A shoe cover 40 provides a bottom plate 50 resting in contact with the forward portion 32 of the outsole 30 of the shoe 10 and has a similar peripheral shape as shown in FIG. 3. The shoe cover 40 further includes an elastic clamping fabric 60, preferably of Lycra™ material, engaged on three mutual edges 62, 64, 65 peripherally with the bottom plate 50, preferably by sewing. A fourth mutual peripheral edge 66 of the clamping fabric 60 and the bottom plate 50 form an opening 70 into the shoe cover 40 for accepting a tip 12 of the shoe 10 inserted into it upon stretching the clamping fabric 60. This is best seen in FIGS. 3 and 4. A hem 42 in the clamping fabric 60 extends along the fourth peripheral edge 66 of the fabric 60, and terminates with a hem seam 43, as best illustrated in FIG. 1. Preferably, the hem 42 uses a thread and stitch type that renders a maximum elastic yield falling between about 30 and 60 percent of the maximum elastic yield of the clamping fabric 60. To accomplish this, a thread and stitch type would be easily selected by one of skill in the art. This is critical as it allows the clamping fabric 60 to stretch to fit a range of shoes, while enabling the hem seam 43 to fit more tightly around the tip 12 of the shoe 10 to provide critical holding power on the shoe. Thus, the hem seam 43 accomplishes two functions at one time; first to complete the edge 66 of the fabric 60, and second to provide a less resilient holding action. Because of the elastic nature of the fabric 60 and the hem seam 43, the shoe cover is able to move with the natural changes in shape that occur to the shoe 10, during walking and running.

[0027] Preferably, the bottom plate 50 of the shoe cover 40 is made of a compliant material, such as rubber, whereby the plural spikes 20 are able to imbed themselves into the plate 50 under pressure of the body weight applied during use. This has the advantage of enabling the shoe cover 40 to adapt itself to a specific shoe and enables the shoe cover 40 to be further engaged with the shoe 10 and therefore, less likely to fall off the shoe 10 under normal use.

[0028] While the invention has been described with reference to at least one preferred embodiment, it is to be clearly understood by those skilled in the art that the invention is not limited thereto. Rather, the scope of the invention is to be interpreted only in conjunction with the appended claims.