Title:
Stowable overshoes traction soles
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Full overshoes or overshoe slippers with traction soles are lightweight, flexible, and stretchable for easy, compact stowing and convenient mounting over the wearer's shoes. The overshoes or slippers have traction material imbedded in the soles thereof such as disperse gravel, pieces of walnut shell, etc., and may, in addition, have chains similarly imbedded for additional traction. The full overshoes have a slit leading to a shoe entry opening which has a fastener for fastening the sides of the slit together to secure the overshoes on street shoes. The overshoes or slippers are easily folded or rolled into a compact shape for stowing in a small, water proof bag which may be carried in a coat pocket, purse, etc., or glove compartment of a vehicle. The overshoes are particularly useful for anyone who may have to walk on icy sidewalks, parking lots, to and from office, home, stores, etc., or the like when encountering winter weather.



Inventors:
Holcomb, Robert C. (Ariel, WA, US)
Application Number:
10/827299
Publication Date:
10/20/2005
Filing Date:
04/20/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
36/59C, 36/7.6
International Classes:
A43B3/10; A43B3/16; A43B3/24; A43B13/26; A43B15/00; (IPC1-7): A43B3/16; A43B3/10; A43B15/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BAYS, MARIE D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard C. Litman (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A traction sole overshoe comprising: an upper defining shoe entry opening; a sole attached to said upper and having a lower surface; disperse traction material imbedded in said sole and extending downward from said sole lower surface; said upper being made of flexible elastic material.

2. The traction sole overshoe of claim 1, said sole being of rubber material molded to said upper, said disperse material being selected from the group comprising sand, crushed rock, metal shavings, crushed porcelain, crushed sea shells, crushed nut shells, and a combination of any of said disperse materials.

3. The traction sole overshoe of claim 2, said disperse traction material being molded within said rubber material so as to be imbedded therein, said rubber material being Latex.

4. The traction sole overshoe of claim 3, said upper being made of an elastic material selected from the group comprising spandex, rubber, elastic Nylon, and other elastic cloth.

5. The traction sole overshoe of claim 4, further comprising lateral chain segments imbedded in said lower surface of said sole.

6. The traction sole overshoe of claim 4, said sole being formed in a toe and heel configuration.

7. The traction sole overshoe of claim 1, wherein said upper is a full upper defining a selectively opening and closing slit opening said upper having a fastener mounted thereto for selectively opening and securing said slit opening, said fastener being selected from the group comprising hook and loop material, snaps, buckles, laces, and zippers.

8. The traction sole overshoe of claim 7, wherein said slit opening is an overlap slit having mating hook and loop strips therealong which are separated for shoe entry and joined for securing said full upper overshoe on said shoe for use.

9. The traction overshoe of claim 7, wherein said slit opening is an overlap slit separating said upper into first and second sides, said first side having a lateral strap extending therefrom over said second side, said lateral strap having a strip of loop material thereon, said second side having a strip of hook material mating with said strip of loop material, said lateral strap being separable from said second side for shoe entry and securable to said second side during use upon mating of said strips of hook and loop material mating and closing said slit.

10. The traction overshoe of claim 7, in combination with a compact storage bag, wherein said overshoe is foldable or rollable into a compact shape for stowing a pair of said overshoes therein.

11. The traction overshoe of claim 1, wherein said upper is a slipper upper having a shoe entry opening extending around said overshoe so as to receive the lower portion of a shoe.

12. The traction overshoe of claim 11, said upper being sufficiently flexible and elastic so as to be securely mounted on a shoe by being stretched over the toe and heel of the shoe and being dismountable from the shoe by grasping and stretching said upper and pulling downward from the heel and then forward from the toe of the shoe.

13. The traction overshoe of claim 12, in combination with a compact storage bag, wherein said overshoe is foldable or rollable into a stowable compact shape for stowing a pair of said overshoes therein.

14. The traction sole overshoe of claim 6, wherein said upper is a full upper defining a selectively opening and closing slit said upper having a fastener mounted thereto for selectively opening and securing said slit, said fastener being selected from the group comprising hook and loop material, snaps, buckles, laces, and zippers.

15. The traction sole overshoe of claim 14, wherein said slit opening is an overlap slit having mating hook and loop strips therealong which are separated for shoe entry and joined for securing said full upper overshoe on said shoe for use.

16. The traction overshoe of claim 14, wherein said slit opening is an overlap slit separating said upper into first and second sides, said first side having a lateral strap extending therefrom over said second side, said lateral strap having a strip of loop material thereon, said second side having a strip of hook material mating with said strip of loop material, said lateral strap being separable from said second side for shoe entry and securable to said second side during use upon mating of said strips of hook and loop material mating and closing said slit.

17. The traction overshoe of claim 6, wherein said upper is a slipper upper having a shoe entry opening extending around said overshoe so as to receive the lower portion of a shoe.

18. The traction overshoe of claim 17, in combination with a compact storage bag, wherein said overshoe is foldable or rollable into a stowable compact shape for stowing a pair of said overshoes therein.

19. A method of making a traction overshoe comprising: spreading a disperse traction material over the surface of an overshoe sole mold; spreading a vulcanizable rubber material over said disperse traction material; placing an upper on said vulcanizable rubber material such as to bind therewith; and vulcanizing said rubber material to form said traction overshoe.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein said disperse traction material is selected from the group comprising sand, crushed rock, metal shavings, crushed porcelain, crushed sea shells, and crushed nut shells, and said vulcanizable rubber material is Latex.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to overshoes and overshoe slip-ons. More particularly, the present invention relates to overshoes and overshoe slip-ons having traction material imbedded in the soles.

2. Description of the Related Art

The hazards of walking on icy pavement in normal shoes or boots are well known. Various methods are employed to protect shoes in snowy or icy conditions are known, such as overshoes or overshoe slip-ons. Known overshoes and slip-ons or slippers typically have a traction pattern molded into their soles. Such traction patterns give limited traction to the wearer and are subject to wear. Effective traction patterns require deep cleats, resulting in a bulky item. It would be desirable to provide an overshoe that is made of flexible, stretchable materials which provide a high degree of traction to the user and yet may be folded or rolled so as to be stowable in a small bag which can be carried in a coat pocket or the glove pocket of a vehicle. Such an overshoe or slipper would be particularly useful for vehicle drivers who may pass through dry country during most of a trip, but may have to stop in icy conditions to mount chains on the tires of the vehicles or to refuel or visit a restaurant.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,160,331, issued Jul. 10, 1979, to Bell, describes an overshoe having a sole with a gripping surface for walking in ice and snow, the shoe having separated discrete bands in the sole that are composed of a mixture of a grit, such as silicon carbide, and an adhesive. The gripping surface maintains gripping capability during wear as the grit is dispersed through the adhesive.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,967,491, issued Nov. 6, 1990, to Plotkin, describes a disposable overshoe having fold lines therein for convenient and compact stowing in a small, compact container.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,150,536, issued Sep. 29, 1992, to Strong, describes winter footwear having adjustment straps secured by hook and loop material.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,315,767, issued May 31, 1994, to Bradbury, describes an all-elastic overshoe that is designed to fit snugly over the wearer's shoe such as a tennis shoe.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,396,717, issued Mar. 14, 1995, to Bell, describes an overshoe made of an elastic material such as rubber, having a sole and an upper. The sole of the overshoe includes an anti-slip grit on its outer surface.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,950,354, issued Sep. 14, 1999, to Gerhardt, describes a flexible, spiked overshoe having a fastening strap employing hook and loop material.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,568,101 B1, issued May 27, 2003, to Jansen describes a soft spike soled overshoe having the spikes integrally molded into the sole.

None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed. Thus a stowable overshoe or slipper with a traction sole solving the aforementioned problems is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The full overshoes or overshoe slippers with traction soles of the present invention are lightweight, flexible, and stretchable for easy, compact stowing and convenient mounting over the wearer's shoes. The inventive overshoes or slippers have traction material imbedded in the soles thereof such as disperse gravel, pieces of walnut shell, etc., and may, in addition, have chains similarly imbedded for additional traction. The full overshoes or slippers are easily folded or rolled into a compact shape for stowing in a small bag which may be carried in a coat pocket or glove compartment of a vehicle. The inventive full overshoes or slippers would be particularly useful for drivers who may have to mount chains on tires or the like when encountering winter weather in mountains on a cross-country trip.

It is an aspect of the invention which provides improved elements and arrangements thereof for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.

These and other aspects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view of a full overshoe with traction soles according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a bottom view showing the sole of the overshoe of FIG. 1 with imbedded disperse traction material.

FIG. 3 is a bottom view similar to that of FIG. 2 with spaced chains imbedded in the sole material.

FIG. 4 is a top view of the overshoe of FIG. 1 in the open configuration.

FIG. 5 is an environmental perspective view of an overshoe similar to that of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is an environmental perspective view of a traction slipper having traction soles.

FIG. 7 is an exploded view of a coiled slipper of FIG. 6 as stowed in a storage bag.

Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention is a pair of overshoes or slippers with traction soles which are lightweight, flexible, and stretchable for easy, compact stowing and convenient mounting over the wearer's shoes. The inventive overshoes or slippers have traction material imbedded in the soles thereof such as disperse gravel, pieces of walnut shell, etc., and may, in addition, have chains similarly imbedded for additional traction. The overshoes or slippers are easily folded or rolled into a compact shape for stowing in a small bag which may be carried in a coat pocket or glove compartment of a vehicle.

Referring to FIGS. 1-4, there is shown a full traction overshoe of the traction sole overshoe system of the present invention. Full traction overshoe 10 fits over and substantially covers a wearer's street shoe S. Full overshoe 10 includes an upper 12 of thin, stretchable, and foldable or rollable material such as spandex, rubber such as Latex, elastic Nylon, or other elastic cloth. The traction sole 14 may be Latex or the like molded onto the lower portion of the upper 12. Traction sole 14 may be otherwise attached such as by separate molding and sewing or employing adhesive to attach the traction sole 14 to upper 12. During the molding process, disperse traction material 16 may be imbedded in the traction sole 14 before or during curing of the rubber sole 14. Disperse traction material 16 may include sand, crushed rock, metal shavings, crushed porcelain, crushed sea shells, crushed nut shells, and the like and combinations thereof. The imbedded traction material 16 is spread or distribute on the form or molding surface so as to be mutually spaced, preferably covering the full lower surface area of the sole 14.

In one embodiment a lengthwise, closable, overlapping slit 18 extends from the lower front of the upper to the shoe entry opening 24, allowing the insertion and securing of the shoe S within the overshoe 10. Overlapping slit 18 is a selectively opening and closing slit having a fastener mounted to upper 12 on opposite sides of the slit 18 for selectively opening and securing slit 18. The fastener may be any of mating hook and loop material strips, straps, snaps, buckles, laces, or a zipper.

A preferred embodiment includes detachable, mutually attaching strips of hook and loop material (Velcro) set along the edge surfaces of overlapping slit 18 (see FIGS. 1 and 4). The overshoe is mounted on the wearer's street shoe by separating the loop material strip 20 from the hook material strip 22, inserting the foot wearing shoe S into the overshoe 10, and the reattaching strips 20 and 22, thus securing the overshoe 10 over the shoe S. The traction sole 24 has a toe 26 and a heel 28, the heel 28 being part of a flat sole or separately defined as shown in FIG. 1.

Referring to FIG. 3, chains 30 may also be imbedded in the traction sole 14 along with the disperse traction material 16. The chains 30 may be imbedded in any desired pattern, but are preferably laterally disposed segments spaced from toe 26 to heel 28 of traction sole 14. The chains provide extra grip against slipping forward or back. As shown in FIG. 1, the traction sole 14 may extend partially upward along the wall of the upper 12, providing additional traction on packed snow.

Referring to FIG. 5, there is shown a variation of the full traction overshoe 10 where the overlapping slit 10 is opened or secured in place by a lateral strap 32 by hook and loop material connection 34 which is similar to the lengthwise connection of FIG. 4 having loop material strip 20 and hook material strip 22. This variation is otherwise identical to the embodiment as shown in FIGS. 1-4 as previously described above.

Referring to FIG. 6, there is shown another embodiment of the traction overshoe of the present invention wherein the overshoe is of the slip-on or slipper type. Traction slipper 40 covers the sole and lower portion of a street shoe S, the slipper being made of flexible, elastic material so as to be stretched over the toe and heel of street shoe S, the elastic pull of the material in the partial upper 42 maintaining the traction slipper 40 on the shoe S. Traction slipper upper 40 may be made of any of the materials mentioned in the description of traction overshoe 10 as previously described above, such as Latex rubber or stretchable Nylon material. The traction slipper upper 42 extends upward to shoe entry opening 44 which is of a height and configuration as to fit securely over the toe and heel of the shoe S. The sole 46 is made of Latex rubber or the like and has disperse traction material 52 embedded in the lower surface therein, the materials and manner of embedding being identical to that of the traction full overshoe as in FIGS. 1-5, described above.

Chains 30 (see FIG. 3) may also be imbedded in sole 46. The traction sole 46 has a heel 48 and a toe 50 and, as shown in FIG. 6, the traction sole 46 may extend partially upward along the wall of the upper 42, providing additional traction on packed snow. The traction slipper 40 may be easily removed from the wearer's shoe by grasping the rear portion of the upper 42 at heel 48 and pulling outward, stretching the upper 42 and then downward over the heel of the shoe S. The upper 42 is then allowed to contract and is then slipped off the toe of the shoe S.

Referring to FIG. 7, traction slipper 40 may be folded or rolled into a compact coil which may be stowed in a compact storage bag 60. The bag 60 may be of sufficient length to contain both left and right traction slippers 40, the bag, as shown being of the drawstring type having drawstring 62 threaded through drawstring channel 64 formed in the open end of bag 66. Storage bag 60 may be of any appropriate design and is preferably of a size which is stowable in a coat pocket or glove compartment of a vehicle. As an alternative, both left and right traction slippers 40 may be rolled together for insertion into a slightly wider, shallower bag 60 as desired. The full traction overshoe embodiment 10 as previously described may also be folded or rolled into a compact configuration and stowed in a bag such as bag 60 of appropriate size for carrying or stowing in a vehicle.

A method of making a traction overshoe of the present invention includes the steps of spreading a disperse traction material over the surface of an overshoe sole mold, spreading a vulcanizable rubber material over the disperse traction material, placing an upper on the vulcanizable rubber material such as to bind therewith, and vulcanizing said rubber material to form the traction overshoe.

It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.