Title:
Padded athletic glove
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides an athletic glove. The athletic glove has an improved padding construction to allow for increased flexibility of the glove. The improved padding construction includes a crescent shaped pad aligned with the middle and index finger. The glove also provides improved palm constructions to improve moisture management and grip. The improved construction includes using moisture or temperature management fabric in strategic locations on the palm or an open palm construction to allow direct contact between a player's palm and the shaft of an athletic stick.



Inventors:
Hayden X, Mark (US)
Wittman, Chad M. (US)
Application Number:
10/845741
Publication Date:
11/17/2005
Filing Date:
05/14/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D19/00; A41D19/015; A63B71/14; (IPC1-7): A63B71/14; A41D19/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
QUINN, RICHALE LEE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HOLLAND & HART, LLP (SALT LAKE CITY, UT, US)
Claims:
1. A padded athletic glove, comprising: a finger section, the finger section having at least a middle finger and an index finger; a backhand section; the finger section coupled to the backhand section and extending therefrom; at least one pad coupled to the backhand section and substantially aligned with the middle finger and the index finger of the finger section; and the at least one pad having at least one curved seam defining a shape of the pad.

2. The glove according to claim 1, further comprising: a plurality of other pads coupled to the backhand section, the plurality of other pads arranged about the at least one pad.

3. The glove according to claim 2, wherein the plurality of other pads have at least one curved seam between the plurality of other pads and the at least one pad to allow the plurality of other pads to be placed substantially adjacent the at least one pad.

4. The glove according to claim 3, wherein the plurality of other pads have a plurality of seams separating the plurality of other pads, the plurality of seams selected from the group of seams consisting of a horizontal seam, a vertical seam, an angled seam, a curved seam, or an arched seam.

5. The glove according to claim 1, further comprising a plurality of finger section pads.

6. The glove according to claim 5, further comprising at least one wrist pad.

7. The glove according to claim 6, further comprising a palm section; at least one piece of wear resistant material covering a portion of the palm section; at least one piece of fabric coupled to the at least one piece of wear resistant material to provide ventilation to a palm of a player; and the at least one piece of fabric further comprising at least one moisture management property.

8. The glove according to claim 7, wherein the at least one moisture management property is selected from a group of properties consisting of wicking, absorbent, hydrophobic, and denier gradient.

9. The glove according to claim 6, further comprising a palm section; at least one piece of wear resistant material covering a portion of the palm section; at least one piece of fabric coupled to the at least one piece of wear resistant material to provide ventilation to a palm of a player; and the at least one piece of fabric further comprising at least one temperature regulation property.

10. The glove according to claim 9, wherein the at least one piece of fabric includes phase change material.

11. The glove according to claim 9, wherein the at least one piece of fabric further comprise at least one moisture management property.

12. The glove according to claim 1, wherein the at least one pad comprises a substantially straight seam at a transition between the finger section and the backhand section.

13. The glove according to claim 12, wherein the at least one pad comprises a plurality of pads and at least one of the plurality of pads is a crescent shape.

14. The glove according to claim 1, wherein the one curved seam is at a transition between the finger section and the backhand section.

15. The glove according to claim 1, wherein the at least one curved seam comprises a plurality of curved seams such that the at least one pad is a crescent shape.

16. An athletic glove, comprising: a finger section, the finger section having at least a middle finger and an index finger; a backhand section; the finger section coupled to the backhand section and extending therefrom; means for protecting the backhand section, the means for protecting comprising means for providing flexibility to the middle finger and index finger.

17. The glove according to claim 16, wherein the means for protecting and means for providing flexibility comprise at least one crescent shaped pad on the backhand section substantially aligned with the middle finger and the index finger.

18. The glove according to claim 16, further comprising: a palm section, the palm section substantially opposite the backhand section; at least one piece of wear resistant fabric coupled to the palm section; and means for providing moisture management to the palm section coupled to the at least one piece of wear resistant fabric.

19. The glove according to claim 18, wherein the means for providing moisture management to the palm section comprises at least one piece of fabric having at least one property selected from the group of properties consisting of wicking, absorbent, hydrophobic, temperature regulating, and denier gradient.

20. An athletic glove, comprising: a palm section; the palm section, comprising at least one piece of wear resistant material; and at least one piece of fabric, the at least one piece of fabric providing at least one of moisture management or temperature regulation.

21. The athletic glove of claim 20, wherein the at least one piece of fabric being a non-mesh textile.

22. The athletic glove of claim 20, wherein the at least one piece of fabric being at least one of polyester, nylon, or spandex.

23. The athletic glove of claim 20, wherein the at least one piece of fabric being a wickable material.

24. The athletic glove of claim 20, wherein the at least one piece of fabric being an absorbent material.

25. The athletic glove of claim 20, wherein the at least one piece of fabric being a hydrophobic material.

26. The athletic glove of claim 20, wherein the at least one piece of fabric includes phase change material.

27. The athletic glove of claim 21, wherein the at least one piece of fabric includes at least one of a wickable material, an absorbent material, a hydrophobic material, and phase change material.

28. The athletic glove of claim 20, further comprising: a backhand section substantially opposite the palm section; the backhand section comprising at least one pad substantially aligned with a middle finger and an index finger; and the at least one pad having at least one substantially crescent shaped seam.

29. An athletic glove, comprising: a palm section; the palm section comprising at least a piece of wear resistant material; and means for managing moisture content about a palm of a player coupled to the palm.

30. The glove of claim 29, wherein the means for managing moisture comprises a temperature regulating fabric.

31. The glove of claim 30, wherein the temperature regulating fabric includes phase change material.

32. The glove of claim 29, wherein the means for managing moisture comprises a wickable fabric.

33. The glove of claim 29, wherein the means for managing moisture comprises an absorbent fabric.

34. The glove of claim 29, wherein the means for managing moisture comprises a hydrophobic fabric.

35. The glove of claim 29, wherein the means for managing moisture comprises a denier gradient fabric.

36. An athletic glove, comprising: a palm section; the palm section, comprising at least one piece of wear resistant material; the at least one piece of wear resistant material defining an edge; and the edge defining an open palm section, such that a palm of a player can be in direct contact with a shaft.

37. The glove according to claim 36, further comprising at least one strip of wear resistant material extending into the open palm section.

38. The glove according to claim 36, further comprising a backhand section; a plurality of pads coupled to the backhand section; at least one pad coupled to the backhand section and substantially aligned with at least a middle finger and an index finger having at least one curved seam.

39. The glove according to claim 38, wherein the at least one curved seam is located at a transition between the middle finger and the index finger and the backhand section.

40. The glove according to claim 38, wherein the seam located at a transition between the middle finger and the index finger and the backhand section is a straight seam.

41. The glove according to claim 38, wherein the at least one curved seam is a plurality of curved seams.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to padded athletic gloves and, more particularly, lacrosse and hockey gloves having padding with improved flexibility and improved palms.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Lacrosse and hockey are examples of two sports where the ability to handle a stick is essential for playing the game, both offensively and defensively. Offensively stick handling is essential for ball or puck control, and defensively the stick is frequently used to “check” the offensive player in an attempt to dislodge the ball or puck. Because the stick is sometimes used to “stick check,” the offensive player's hands are vulnerable to injury.

In order to protect the hands from injury, lacrosse and hockey gloves are frequently made of wear resistant material and padded. The wear resistant material and pads allow for some protection, but greatly decrease the comfort and flexibility of the gloves. In particular, the wear resistant material causes the glove to become hot causing hands and palms to become slick with perspiration. Perspiration can cause difficulties with stick handling. The pads protect the hand from injury, but can cause the glove to be inflexible, which also makes stick handling more difficult.

To combat these problems, many padded gloves are provided with multiple seams separating the pads. Typically, these seams form a plurality of cubes along the backhand to allow for increased flexibility, see for example, United States design patent Des 346,046, issued Apr. 12, 1994, titled RIGHT HAND HOCKEY GLOVE; Des 376,676, issued Dec. 17, 1996, titled HOCKEY GLOVE; Des 387,505, issued Dec. 9, 1997, titled HOCKEY GLOVE, and United States Utility Patents 6,550,069, issued Apr. 22, 2003, titled PADDED SPORTS GLOVE HAVING IMPROVED FLEXIBILITY AND BREATHABILITY; 4,815,147, issued Mar. 28, 1989, titled HIGH FLEXIBILITY PROTECTIVE GLOVE, all incorporated herein by reference. Some gloves incorporate curved seams or the like to more conform the glove padding to the contours of the player's hand.

To reduce the heat, and perspiration caused therefrom, many sport gloves contain ventilation paths. These ventilation paths include holes or opening in the glove or open, mesh fabric. Mesh fabric, while providing relatively good airflow, is not very durable, and other than allowing airflow does not provide any moisture management.

While the above improvements make the athletic gloves better, most currently available athletic gloves leave much to be desired regarding moisture management, durability, and flexibility. Thus, it would be desirous to develop an improved padded athletic glove.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an improved padded athletic glove. The gloves comprise a finger section having at least a middle finger and an index finger. The fingers are coupled to a backhand section and extend therefrom. At least one pad coupled to the backhand section is substantially aligned with the middle finger and the index finger of the finger section. The pad has at least one curved seam defining a shape of the pad.

The present invention also provides an improved athletic glove having a palm section comprising at least one piece of wear resistant material and at least one piece of fabric. The at least one piece of fabric provides moisture management and/or temperature regulation.

The present invention also provides an improved athletic glove having a palm section comprising an edge that defines an open palm section. The open palm section allows contact between a player's palm and a shaft.

The foregoing and other features, utilities and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following more particular description of a preferred embodiment of the invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

The accompanying drawings illustrate various embodiments of the present invention and are a part of the specification. The illustrated embodiments are merely examples of the present invention and do not limit the scope of the invention.

FIG. 1 is a backhand plan view of a lacrosse glove consistent with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a palm plan view of a lacrosse glove consistent with an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 3 is a palm plan view of a lacrosse glove consistent with another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention will now be described with reference to FIGS. 1 and 3. It is to be understood that the drawings are diagrammatic and schematic representations of particular embodiments of the present invention, and are not limiting, nor are they drawn to scale.

Referring first to FIG. 1, an athletic glove 100 is shown in a top plan view (a.k.a. the backhand side of the glove). Athletic glove 100 is shown as a left-handed glove, but a right-handed glove would be substantially identical and will not be explained herein. Athletic glove 100 includes a finger section 102, a thumb section 104, a backhand section 106, and a wrist section 108. Thumb section 104 is typically constructed similar to finger section 102, but is identified separately due to the thumbs location apart from the rest of the fingers.

A first plurality of pads 110 are positioned on portions of glove 100, including pads on finger section 102, thumb section 104, and wrist section 108. A second plurality of pads 112 resides on backhand section 106 substantially aligned with an index finger 114 and a middle finger 116 on athletic glove 100. A third plurality of pads 118 reside on the remaining portion of backhand section 106.

Second plurality of pads 112 are defined by seams 120, 122, and 124. Seam 120 is the transition between first plurality of pads 110 on finger section 102, and as such is a substantially straight seam. Seam 122 and seam 124 are curved seams such that the pads associated with second plurality of pads 112 have semi-circular, arched, elliptical, or crescent shapes. Notice, while seam 122 and seam 124 are shown as smooth curves, the seams could be a series of straight seams arranged to provide an overall arched or crescent shape. Also, seam 120 is shown as a relatively straight-line seam, it could be arched or curved similar to seam 122 or seam 124. Moreover, shown in phantom, one or more seams 126 could run vertically through second plurality of pads 112 as desired. Vertical seam 126, if included, could be curved, straight, or some other configuration.

Third plurality of pads 118 have shapes defined, somewhat, by necessity to fit around second plurality of pads 112. Seam 124 between second plurality of pads 112 and third plurality of pads 118 are generally curved to match the shape of second plurality of pads 112 such that second plurality of pads 112 and third plurality reside substantially adjacent to each other without significant gaps between the pads. Other seams of third plurality of pads could be straight lines, such as horizontal seam 128, angled seam 130, or curved seams 124.

Stick handling during play requires finger and hand placement. Sometimes, the fingers of the hand operate in unison. Operating in unison would include wrapping all your fingers around a stick or shaft. Other times, however, the fingers do not operate in unison, but rather the fingers are arranged in divergent ways. For example, one common lacrosse grip involves wrapping the index, ring, and pinky fingers around a shaft but extending the index finger along the shaft. Pervious placements of the curved and/or crescent shaped pads did not take into account the divergent positioning of the fingers. Accordingly, incorrect placement of the curved and/or crescent pads limited flexibility. Arranging second plurality of pads 112 substantially aligned with the index finger and middle finger may provide flexibility of the glove more consistent with the both unison and divergent finger placement and retain other benefits associated with curved and/or crescent pads. Also, providing seam 120 as a curved or arched seam would increase flexibility (as would providing one or more of the other seams along the transition between finger section 102 and backhand section 106 as curves or arches).

Referring now to FIG. 2, a bottom plan view of athletic glove 200 is shown (a.k.a. the palm side of the glove). Athletic glove 200 is shown as a right-handed glove, but a left-handed glove would be substantially identical and will not be separately explained herein. Similar to glove 100, glove 200 can be separated into a finger section 202, a thumb section 204, a palm section 206, and a wrist section 208.

The surface of finger section 202, thumb section 204, and palm 206 includes a wear resistant fabric 210, such as, for example, leather or synthetic leather. Wear resistant fabric 210 optionally has a plurality of ventilation holes 212. Ventilation holes 212 provide good durability for the gloves, but is a relatively non-breathable type of fabric and limits the players ability to “feel” the shaft when they are gripping the shaft. Optional ventilation holes 212 improve the temperature of the glove, but do little or nothing to help with the feel.

To help with ventilation, many athletic gloves use a breathable mesh fabric for most all or portions of the area currently covered by wear resistant material 210. As used in the herein, breathable mesh fabric describes a fabric with a plurality of opening woven into the fabric where the openings are visible without close inspection or stretching of the fabric. Some gloves are made with the majority of wear resistant material 210 replaced by mesh fabric. While large portions of mesh fabric improve ventilation and feel, mesh fabric is not very durable causing the mesh area of the palm to become frayed, which is a violation of most organized rules for sports, such as lacrosse. For these gloves, many players cut the mesh fabric away completely and grip the shaft with the bear hand, which is also a less than desirable solution. Instead of replacing a majority of wear resistant material with mesh, other gloves replace only limited portions with mesh. While these smaller portions fray less quickly, but they do eventually fray long before the remained of the glove needs to be replaced, the ventilation and feel is greatly reduced.

Instead of mesh fabric, the present invention uses more durable breathable fabrics 214 in combination with wear resistant material 210 to improve ventilation, feel, and durability. Breathable fabrics 214, such as polyesters, nylons, spandex, or the like, and combinations thereof, such as a polyester spandex blend, are less durable than wear resistant material 210, but more durable than the mesh fabrics currently used in conventional athletic gloves. Moreover, breathable fabrics 214 could include other technology to assist with total moisture management or temperature regulation of the player's hand. Moisture management fabrics as generally known in the textile arts, but include, for example, denier gradient fabrics, wicking fabrics, hydrophobic fabrics, and absorbent fabrics. Temperature regulation fabrics also are generally known in the art and include fabrics having phase change materials (PCMs).

Using a temperature regulation fabric in palm section 206 provides the added benefit of reduced heat transfer between the player's hand and the gripped shaft. Reducing the heat transfer between the player's hand and the gripped shaft causes the shafts gripped with glove 200 to have less of a temperature feel than gripping shafts with conventional gloves.

As mentioned above, at least one conventional lacrosse glove has a palm section consisting of a majority of mesh fabric. Players typically cut the mesh fabric out of the glove. This is a less than desirable solution for a variety of reasons. Referring now to FIG. 3, a lacrosse glove 300 is shown consistent with the present invention. Glove 300 is similar to gloves 100 and 200 and those portions will not be explained herein. However, glove 300 has a palm section 302. Palm section 302 comprises an edge 304 of wear resistant material outlining an open palm section 306. Open palm section 306 allows the player to grip a shaft without other fabrics in the way. Further, edge 304 is less likely to fray as it is designed to be connected to an open section of the glove. Optionally, wear resistant material pieces 308 could cross over portions of open palm section 306 as desired.

While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to an embodiment thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various other changes in the form and details may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.