Title:
Athletic sock
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sock for use with an athletic protector comprises a leg section formed from a first substantially elastic material and a pocket comprising a second substantially elastic material coupled to an inside front portion of the leg section.



Inventors:
Littzi, Aaron J. (Kingston, PA, US)
Application Number:
10/682670
Publication Date:
04/14/2005
Filing Date:
10/09/2003
Assignee:
LITTZI AARON J.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41B11/00; A41B11/02; A43B17/00; (IPC1-7): A41B11/00; A43B17/00
View Patent Images:
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20070186325BRIEFS WITH LUMBAR PROTECTIONAugust, 2007Torrent Lopez et al.
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20070033706WEARING APPAREL WITH POCKETFebruary, 2007Kuhlmann



Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RATNERPRESTIA (King of Prussia, PA, US)
Claims:
1. A sock for use with an athletic protector, the sock comprising: a leg section formed from a first substantially elastic material; and a pocket comprising a second substantially elastic material coupled to an inside front portion of the leg section.

2. The sock according to claim 1, wherein an inside upper portion of the pocket is free from attachment to the inside portion of the sock such that the athletic protector may be disposed within the pocket from the upper portion of the pocket.

3. The sock according to claim 1, wherein the pocket receives the athletic protector.

4. The sock according to claim 1, wherein the pocket further comprises means for maintaining the athletic protector within the pocket.

5. The sock according to claim 4, wherein the means for maintaining is a hook and loop material.

6. The sock according to claim 4, wherein the means for maintaining is an elastic portion formed at an upper portion of the pocket.

7. The sock according to claim 1, wherein the athletic protector is a shin guard.

8. The sock according to claim 1, further comprising a foot portion coupled to or unitary with the leg portion.

9. The sock according to claim 1, wherein the first substantially elastic material is primarily cotton based and the second substantially elastic material is substantially synthetic based.

10. The sock according to claim 1, wherein the pocket has a front portion and a rear portion, the front portion positioned adjacent the inside portion of the leg section and the rear portion positioned in contact with a user's leg so as to maintain the athletic protector in position against the user's leg.

11. The sock according to claim 1, further comprising a cuff portion coupled to or unitary with the leg portion, a top portion of the pocket disposed below the cuff portion.

12. The sock according to claim 1, wherein the pocket is comprised of a single sheet of material.

13. The sock according to claim 1, wherein the pocket is a tubular material positioned substantially flat against only a portion of the inner portion of the leg section.

14. The sock according to claim 1, wherein the pocket has a length substantially conforming to a length of the athletic protector.

15. A sock for use with a shin guard, the sock comprising: a leg section, an ankle section and a foot section; and a sheet of material coupled to a side portion and a front portion of the leg section to form a pocket to receive the shin guard, a top edge of the pocket positioned below the top edge of the leg section and a bottom edge of the pocket positioned above the ankle section.

16. The sock according to claim 15, wherein the pocket further comprises means for maintaining the shin guard within the pocket.

17. The sock according to claim 16, wherein the means for maintaining is a hook and loop material.

18. The sock according to claim 16, wherein the means for maintaining is an elastic portion formed at an upper portion of the pocket.

19. A sock for use with a shin guard, the sock comprising: a leg section, an ankle section and a foot section; and a tubular material folded against and coupled to an inside front portion of the leg section to form a pocket therein, a top edge of the pocket positioned below the top edge of the leg section and a bottom edge of the pocket positioned above the ankle section.

20. The sock according to claim 19, wherein the pocket further comprises means for maintaining the athletic protector within the pocket.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to socks for athletic wear and more particularly to an athletic sock to accommodate a protective device for the user to guard against injury or protect from aggravation of preexisting injuries.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

With the growing numbers of adults and children participating in athletic contests such as soccer, basketball, baseball and other sports, it has become increasingly significant that injuries be prevented and/or at least minimized as possible. Soccer players, for example, are frequently struck along the shin areas of their legs during play which can result in cuts, bruises or even broken bones. To prevent such injuries, shin guards have been in use many years formed from rigid materials such as plastic or metal which are attached by the use of straps and other means to hold the guards in place on the players' legs during the rigors of the game.

One conventional approach is to utilize two pairs of socks such that one pair of socks is placed directly on the user's leg under the pads and the other pair over the pads. This approach has proven, however, to be quite unsatisfactory. Specifically, this technique necessitates the wearing of soccer shoes which are oversized in order to accommodate the added thickness due to the wearing of a second athletic sock over the foot area. Also, flexibility of the ankle which is required for playing soccer is substantially reduced.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,669,126 is directed to a sock used for playing soccer which accommodates a shin guard. U.S. Pat. No. 5,157,791 is directed to a sock having a exterior compartments for containing articles and a cuff which folds over for locking purposes. U.S. Pat. No. 5,581,817 illustrates a sock having an extended leg portion which is folded over a shin guard. Each of these prior art approaches have deficiencies, however, that the present invention overcomes. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,699,126 utilizes two layers of material overlying the user's leg. This approach adds weight to the user's leg as well as increasing the level of constriction felt by the user. Similarly, U.S. Pat. No. 5,581,817 utilizes one layer of material which is doubled over causing the same negative results referred to above with respect to the '126 patent.

There is a need for an athletic sock that accommodates a protective device that does not constrict the user's leg nor impede movement at the ankle.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

To solve the aforementioned disadvantages of conventional bonding tools, the present invention relates to sock for use with an athletic protector, such as a shin guard. The athletic sock comprises a leg section formed from a first substantially elastic material and a pocket comprising a second substantially elastic material coupled to an inside front portion of the leg section.

According to another aspect of the present invention, an inside upper portion of the pocket is free from attachment to the inside portion of the sock such that the athletic protector may be disposed within the pocket from the upper portion of the pocket.

According to a further aspect of the present invention, the pocket further comprises means for maintaining the athletic protector within the pocket.

According to still another aspect of the present invention, the pocket is comprised of a single sheet of material.

According to a yet a further aspect of the present invention, the pocket is formed from a tubular material positioned substantially flat against only a portion of the inner portion of the leg section.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is best understood from the following detailed description when read in connection with the accompanying drawing. It is emphasized that, according to common practice, the various features of the drawing are not to scale. On the contrary, the dimensions of the various features are arbitrarily expanded or reduced for clarity. Included in the drawing are the following Figures:

FIG. 1 is a side view of a first exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 with the sock turned inside out;

FIG. 3 is a top perspective view of the embodiment of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 4 is a sectional side view of the embodiment of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to FIG. 1, a first exemplary embodiment of the present invention is illustrated. As shown in FIG. 1, athletic sock 100 has a leg section 102, ankle section 104 foot section 110 and cuff section 108. In one exemplary embodiment, athletic sock 100 may also include a heel portion (not shown) disposed between foot section 110 and ankle section 104. Athletic sock 100 may be formed from a variety of conventional materials, such as cotton for example, with or without elastic components. Material 106 is coupled to the inside of front portion 112 of leg section 102 to form a pocket 114 at the inside of front portion 112. Material 106 may be a cotton based material or a resilient material such as Lycra® for example. Material 106 may be a single sheet of material or may be a section of tubular material folded against the inside of front portion 112. In either case, the edges of material 106 are sewn or otherwise attached to front portion 112 based on the size of the guard to be inserted into pocket 114. As referred to herein, front portion 112 may comprise a portion of the side sections of leg portion 102.

Referring now to FIG. 2, sock 100 is shown turned inside-out to better illustrate the forming of pocket 114. As shown in FIG. 2, material 106 is attached to the inside front section of leg section 102 along all sides of material 106 except at the top portion. In this way a shin guard 120 (shown in FIG. 4) may be easily inserted into pocket 114 from the top of the sock. As also shown in FIG. 2, pocket 114 is preferably positioned above ankle portion 104 to minimize interference with the user's movement during play. Pocket 114 is also preferably positioned below cuff portion 108.

Pocket 114 may also include a closure 115 to maintain the shin guard in position during play. It is contemplated that closure 115 may be an elasticized portion of material 106 or may be a combination of hook and loop material, for example.

FIG. 3 is a top perspective view of athletic sock 100 further illustrating the formation of pocket 114 at the front inside portion of sock 100.

FIG. 4 illustrates a sectional side view of sock 100. As shown in FIG. 4, pocket 114 is formed either by section 112 and a single layer of material 106. As discussed above, if material 106 is a tubular material, it may be folded against the inside of front portion 112 and attached thereto to form pocket 114 between opposing walls of material 106. Shin guard 120 is easily inserted into sock 100 either prior to or after sock 100 is placed on the user's leg. During breaks in play the user may also easily remove shin guard 120 from the inside pocket 114, by simply reaching into the top to sock 100, and reinsert shin guard 120 when play resumes. It is also notable that shin guard does not directly contact the user's leg thus minimizing the prevalence of perspiration that typically occurs when a shin guard is place directly against the skin. This has the added benefit of reducing sweat on the shin guard thereby increasing the level of hygiene in that socks are readily laundered, while shin guards are not.

While preferred embodiments of the invention have been shown and described herein, it will be understood that such embodiments are provided by way of example only. Numerous variations, changes and substitutions will occur to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention. Accordingly, it is intended that the appended claims cover all such variations as fall within the spirit and scope of the invention.