Title:
Rear zipper sock
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rear zipper sock includes a generally cylindrical sock body having a foot portion, a generally upright leg portion and a heel section intermediate the foot portion and the leg portion with a rear open seam formed in the leg portion extending from the top of the leg portion downwards at least partially through the heel section, the rear open seam extending generally upright and parallel with the center upright axis of the leg portion of the sock body. A zipper closure device is mounted on the sock body adjacent the rear open seam, the zipper closure device operative for alternately opening and closing the rear open seam such that a user can open the zipper closure device and insert the foot into the foot portion without requiring significant bending of the ankle or knee during the fitting.



Inventors:
Burry, Steve (Gretna, NE, US)
Application Number:
11/305804
Publication Date:
06/22/2006
Filing Date:
12/16/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/270
International Classes:
A41B11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAW OFFICES OF ADAM H. JACOBS (OMAHA, NE, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A rear zipper sock comprising: a generally cylindrical sock body having a foot portion, a generally upright leg portion and a heel section intermediate the foot portion and the leg portion, a rear open seam formed in said leg portion extending from the top of said leg portion downwards at least partially through said heel section, said rear open seam extending generally upright and parallel with the center upright axis of said leg portion of said sock body; and zipper closure means mounted on said sock body adjacent said rear open seam, said zipper closure means operative for alternately opening and closing the rear open seam such that a user can open said zipper closure means and insert the foot into said foot portion without requiring significant bending of the ankle or knee during the fitting.

2. The rear zipper sock of claim 1 wherein the lowermost end of said rear open seam is positioned between approximately 0″ and 1″ above the connection between said foot portion and said heel section.

3. The rear zipper sock of claim 1 wherein said zipper closure means comprises a plastic zipper which is sewn to the fabric material used for construction of said sock body.

4. The rear zipper sock of claim 1 further comprising fabric flaps mounted adjacent said zipper closure means on the exterior of said sock body, said fabric flaps operative to cover said zipper closure means when said zipper closure means is closed to improve comfort of wearing said rear zipper sock.

5. A rear zipper sock comprising: a generally cylindrical sock body having a foot portion, a generally upright leg portion and a heel section intermediate the foot portion and the leg portion, a rear open seam formed in said leg portion extending from the top of said leg portion downwards at least partially through said heel section, said rear open seam extending generally upright and parallel with the center upright axis of said leg portion of said sock body; a lowermost end of said rear open seam is positioned between approximately 0″ and 1″ above the connection between said foot portion and said heel section; and zipper closure means mounted on said sock body adjacent said rear open seam, said zipper closure means operative for alternately opening and closing the rear open seam such that a user can open said zipper closure means and insert the foot into said foot portion without requiring significant bending of the ankle or knee during the fitting.

6. The rear zipper sock of claim 5 wherein said zipper closure means comprises a plastic zipper which is sewn to the fabric material used for construction of said sock body.

7. The rear zipper sock of claim 5 further comprising fabric flaps mounted adjacent said zipper closure means on the exterior of said sock body, said fabric flaps operative to cover said zipper closure means when said zipper closure means is closed to improve comfort of wearing said rear zipper sock.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED PROVISIONAL PATENT

This application claims priority based on a provisional patent, specifically on the Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/637,533 filed Dec. 20, 2004.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

The present invention is directed to stockings and, more particularly, to a rear zipper sock including a generally cylindrical sock body having a foot portion, a generally upright leg portion and a heel section intermediate the foot portion and the leg portion, a rear open seam formed in the leg portion extending from the top of the leg portion downwards through the heel section and extending generally upright and parallel with the center upright axis of the leg portion and a zipper mounted on the rear open seam for alternately opening and closing the rear open seam such that a user can open the zipper and easily place the sock on the foot and leg without requiring significant bending of the ankle or knee during the fitting.

2. Description of the Prior Art

A common problem encountered by persons having arthritis and other degenerative joint diseases is that it becomes very difficult to put on or remove clothing, particularly clothing that ordinarily requires the wearer to significantly bend their joints, for example, socks or shirts. There have been significant advances in the design of shirts and pants for persons with arthritis, including the addition of hook-and-loop fasteners and/or zippers in the body, sleeves and legs of the shirts and pants to permit the shirts and pants to be opened, placed over the body part to be covered, and closed via the strategically located hook-and-loop fasteners and/or zippers. However, there is currently no similar modification available in connection with socks, and it is in connection with the use of socks that many arthritis sufferers find their most difficulty. There is therefore a need for an improved sock which will permit a user to place the sock on the foot without requiring significant bending of the ankle or knee.

Even more difficulties arise when the afflicted person also has degenerative or painful arthritic conditions in his or her knee joints, and the combination of pain and stiffness in both the knee and ankle joints renders it virtually impossible to put a pair of socks onto the feet of the afflicted individual. It is important to note that, for any sock or stocking to be placed on the foot and lower leg of the afflicted individual without requiring flexion of the ankle, it is mandatory that the foot be able to be slid into the foot receiving portion of the sock with the upper portion of the sock then extending around the lower leg and calf of the wearer of the sock. Various methods and devices have been proposed which attempt to address and solve this problem, but each of them include some variation of a side opening or the like which does not permit the individual to easily insert his or her foot into the foot receiving portion of the sock and then place the remainder of the sock on the lower leg. There is therefore a need for an improved sock which will permit the foot to enter into the foot receiving portion of the sock and then permit the upper portion of the sock to be extended around and secured on the lower leg of the wearer of the sock.

Therefore, an object of the present invention is to provide an improved rear zipper sock.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved rear zipper sock which includes a generally cylindrical sock body having a foot portion, a generally upright leg portion, and a heel section intermediate the foot portion and leg portion with a rear open seam formed in the leg portion extending from the top of the leg portion downwards through the heel section towards the base of the sock.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved rear zipper sock in which the seam is releasably closable by means of a zipper affixed thereto such that the zipper may be opened and closed to open and close the rear open seam to permit the sock to be easily placed on and removed from the foot, ankle, and lower leg of the individual wearing the sock.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a rear zipper sock which can be quickly and easily placed on and removed from the foot and leg of the wearer without requiring significant bending of the ankle or knee during the fitting.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved rear zipper sock in which the rear zipper does not significantly interfere with the comfort of the sock despite the location of the zipper adjacent the heel of the individual wearing the sock.

Finally, an object of the present invention is to provide an improved rear zipper sock which is relatively simple and durable in design and in construction, and which is safe, efficient and effective in use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a rear zipper sock including a generally cylindrical sock body having a foot portion, a generally upright leg portion and a heel section intermediate the foot portion and the leg portion with a rear open seam formed in the leg portion extending from the top of the leg portion downwards at least partially through the heel section, the rear open seam extending generally upright and parallel with the center upright axis of the leg portion of the sock body. A zipper closure device is mounted on the sock body adjacent the rear open seam, the zipper closure device operative for alternately opening and closing the rear open seam such that a user can open the zipper closure device and insert the foot into the foot portion without requiring significant bending of the ankle or knee during the fitting.

The present invention as thus described provides a significant advantage over those socks and stockings found in the prior art. For example, because the rear zipper can be unzipped all the way down to the heel, specifically adjacent the base of the heel, insertion of the foot into the foot receiving portion of the sock is rendered far easier, and likewise removal of the foot from the foot receiving portion is also facilitated. Furthermore, because there is no need to “pull” the sock on and over the ankle, due to the rear open seam, it is extremely unlikely that an individual using the present invention would accidentally bend or flex their ankle during the process of putting the sock on, and therefore accidental injury or exacerbation of the medical condition of the wearer is rendered highly unlikely. Also, it should be noted that, because the rear open seam is formed at the rear of the sock, insertion and removal of the foot from the foot portion of the sock is made far easier than that encountered in connection with those socks found in the prior art which include a side opening or the like. Finally, one of the significant benefits of including the zipper for closure of the rear open seam is that, with the addition of a pull string or ribbon or the like connected to and extending from the zipper pull, it is much easier to operate the zipper to enclose the lower leg within the sock than is encountered in the use of hook and loop closure devices or the like. It is therefore seen that the present invention provides a substantial improvement over those devices and methods found in the prior art.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the rear zipper sock of the present invention on a wearer's foot;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the present invention prior to being placed on the wearer's foot; and

FIG. 3 is a detail perspective view of the rear zipper sock being placed on a foot showing how the wearer need not significantly bend the ankle during fitting.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The rear zipper sock 10 of the present invention is shown best in FIGS. 1-3 as including a flexible fabric sock body 12 which is generally cylindrical in shape and would preferably be constructed of a stretchable and comfortable fabric material such as cotton, wool, or a man-made fabric material such as nylon, polyester or the like. The sock body 12 would include a foot portion 14 and a leg portion 16, and would further include a heel section 18 intermediate the foot portion 14 and leg portion 16. The rear zipper sock 10 will preferably be constructed as a standard sock up to this point, but the critical inventive features of the present invention will now be described and the modifications from a standard sock will soon be made readily apparent.

The rear zipper sock 10 further includes a rear open seam 20 formed in the leg portion 16 which extends from the top of the leg portion 16 downwards to and through the heel section 18 to the point on the sock body 12 generally adjacent the base of the heel section 18 above the bending of the heel section 18 into the foot portion 14 of the sock body 12, as shown best in FIGS. 1 and 2. Importantly, however, the rear open seam 20 must be positioned at the rear of the leg portion 14 so that the entire rear of the sock body 12 is openable to allow the foot to be inserted into the sock body 12, particularly into the foot portion 14, without requiring the ankle or knee to be significantly bent. To facilitate this functional feature, the rear open seam 20 preferably extends generally upright and parallel with the center upright axis of the leg portion.

The rear zipper sock 10 further includes a zipper 30 which is mounted on the opposite sides of the rear open seam 20 with the base of the zipper 30 positioned generally adjacent the heel section 18 and which is operative to alternatively open and close the rear open seam 20 as the zipper 30 is opened and closed. In the preferred embodiment, the zipper 30 will be generally flexible and is preferably constructed of a plastic, metal or hardened nylon-type material depending on the functional requirements of the sock and the comfort level desired by the wearer of the sock. When the zipper 30 is zipped up to the top of the leg portion 16, the zipper 30 will generally close the rear open seam 20 to permit the rear zipper sock 10 of the present invention to function as a standard sock.

The critical importance of the positioning and length of the zipper 30 and hence the rear open seam 20 is best seen when the rear zipper sock 10 is being placed on the wearer's foot, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. First, the wearer would open the zipper 30 to its fullest extent to the point adjacent the heel section 18 of the sock body 12. The sock body 12 would then be positioned such that the foot of the wearer is adjacent the opening at the back of the foot portion 14 formed where the rear open seam 20 is opened due to the zipper 30 being opened. The wearer would then insert his or her foot into the sock body 12, as shown in FIG. 3, specifically into the foot portion 14 of the sock body 12, and the ankle of the wearer would not have to be bent or flexed any significant amount to allow the foot to extend into the foot portion 14. Once the foot is fully extended into the foot portion 14, the leg portion 16 of the sock body 12 would be wrapped around the leg of the wearer and the zipper 30 would be zipped up to close the rear open seam 20 and comfortably fit the rear zipper sock 10 of the present invention on the wearer's foot. Removal of the rear zipper sock 10 from the foot would be performed by reversing the above-described steps, which is important because again the ankle or knee of the wearer need not be flexed substantially to remove the rear zipper sock 10 from the wearer's foot.

The significant advantage of the present invention is thus clearly seen in that aggravation of the wearer's ankle or knee is generally prevented therefore permitting arthritis sufferers to put socks on even when their symptoms are quite painful. No other stocking devices found in the prior art allow for their use even when bending of the ankle or knee is virtually impossible, and, as any arthritis sufferer will state, not being able to wear socks in cold weather makes the arthritis pain even worse. Because the zipper 30 is positioned at the rear of the sock body 12, direct foot access to the foot portion 14 is permitted without requiring the ankle or knee to bend to accommodate the angle between the foot portion 14 and the leg portion 16. The present invention thus provides a substantial improvement over the prior art.

It is to be understood that numerous additions, modifications, and substitutions may be made to the rear zipper sock 10 of the present invention which fall within the intended broad scope of the above description. For example, the size, shape, and construction materials used in connection with the present invention may be modified or changed so long as the functional characteristics of the invention are maintained. Furthermore, the length of the zipper 30 may be modified or changed, so long as the back of the sock body 12 may be opened to allow the foot to be inserted into the foot portion 14 without significantly bending the ankle or knee. Finally, the zipper 30 may be constructed as a hidden or protective zipper with fabric flaps which extend over the zipper teeth on the inside and/or outside of the sock body 12 to render the rear zipper sock 10 even more comfortable to wear. Such zippers 30 are known in the prior art and substitution of such a zipper should be understood to be a part of this disclosure. The rear open seam 20 may also be closed via hook and loop fasteners or the like, although it has been shown that the present invention functions best with the zipper 30.

There has therefore been shown and described a rear zipper sock 10 which accomplishes at least all of its intended objectives.





 
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