Title:
Clear material security footwear
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A substantially transparent article of footwear includes a substantially transparent resilient sole having a gripping surface and a substantially transparent shoe upper integrally extending from the resilient sole. The upper includes an element for aeration of a foot of a user and a substantially transparent insole disposed within the upper and a closure element for the upper. The transparent closure element operates to stabilizing an ankle and in-step area of a foot of the user within the footwear.



Inventors:
Dana III, Alfred (Fort Lauderdale, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/082512
Publication Date:
09/21/2006
Filing Date:
03/17/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
36/8.4
International Classes:
A43B23/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070113425Cushioning system for footwearMay, 2007Wakley et al.
20080271345BOOT ARTICULATION SUPPORT SYSTEMNovember, 2008Narajowski et al.
20030226280Textile-soled footwearDecember, 2003Paratore et al.
20040020077Rubber footwear with neoprene layerFebruary, 2004Thomas et al.
20080168686Progressive Compression Attachment for ShoesJuly, 2008Rosen
20090282705NATURALLY ABSORBENT FOOTPADNovember, 2009Trigillo
20060179685Lacing device for sports footwearAugust, 2006Borel et al.
20060053663Flashing shoesMarch, 2006Mao
20080155855FOOTWEAR WITH RETAINABLE STRAPJuly, 2008Klavano
20090313855SELF CLEANING OUTSOLES FOR SHOESDecember, 2009Skirrow
20080295360Footwear Structure with Improved ComfortablenessDecember, 2008Gazzola



Primary Examiner:
KAVANAUGH, JOHN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard M. Saccocio, P.A. (Ft. Lauderdale, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An article of footwear for a security purpose, comprising: (a) a substantially transparent resilient sole including a floor gripping surface; (b) a substantially transparent flexible shoe upper, integrally dependent from said resilient sole, said upper including means for aeration of a foot of a user; and (c) a closure means, said closure means for said shoe upper comprising means for stabilizing an ankle and in-step area of said foot of said user within said article of footwear.

2. The article of footwear as recited in claim 1, in which said shoe upper comprises: a heel portion formed of a clear material; and a forward portion of said upper integrally dependent from said heel portion.

3. The article of footwear as recited in claim 1, further comprising: (d) means for resilient engagement of said ankle and in-step area of said foot, said engagement means integrally dependent from said shoe upper along edges thereof opposing said ankle.

4. The article of footwear as recited in claim 1, in which said closure means comprises a transparent cross-over strap.

5. The article of footwear as recited in claim 1, in which said transparent cross-over strap is disposed around said ankle.

6. The article of footwear as recited in claim 1, in which said transparent cross-over strap is disposed around said in-step area.

7. The article of footwear as recited in claim 1, in which said means for aeration of said foot of said user comprises a mesh material.

8. The article of footwear as recited in claim 1, in which said means for stabilizing said ankle area of said foot comprises: hook and loop means secured on said transparent cross-over strap.

9. The article of footwear as recited in claim 1, in which said means for stabilizing said ankle area of said foot within said article of footwear is a snap disposed on said transparent cross-over strap.

10. The article of footwear as recited in claim 1, in which said transparent insole includes an arch system.

11. The article of footwear as recited in claim 1, in which said means for aeration includes perforations disposed on said shoe upper.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention pertains to a substantially transparent article of footwear.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The events of Sep. 11, 2001 have made security an extremely high priority in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world. There has been an increase in the level of security at many airports, federal buildings, law enforcement agencies and other locales which are frequently traveled. Although the Transportation Security Administration (“TSA”) does not require a traveler to remove his shoes before entering a walk-through metal detector, TSA screeners encourage travelers to remove them before entering the metal detector as many types of footwear will require additional screening even if the metal detector does not alarm. TSA screeners thus encourage travelers to remove footwear, that is more likely to require additional screening, including, boots, platform shoes (including platform flip-flops), footwear with a thick sole or heel (including athletic shoes), and footwear containing metal (including many dress and construction shoes).

Accordingly, it is desirable at times to have footwear that is easily removable, comfortable, and that will speed the process of screening at airports, federal buildings, law enforcement agencies and other locales which are frequently traveled.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,659,979 to Sileo relates to transparent footwear, the appearance of which can be altered to achieve different aesthetic affects. The tongue and insole of the footwear include non-transparent indicia which can be removed and either reversed or replaced. Also, other transparent footwear that have been considered in the prior art include U.S. Pat. No. 2,887,792 to Staff relating to women's dress shoes and U.S. Pat. No. D430,966 to Brady et al. relating to a clear sole shoe. However, these devices do not satisfactorily consider all issues of convenience, security, removability, and comfort that are addressed herein.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a substantially transparent article of footwear. This article of footwear comprises a substantially transparent resilient sole including a gripping surface and a substantially transparent shoe upper integrally dependent from the resilient sole. The upper includes means for aeration of a foot of a user and a substantially transparent insole disposed within the shoe upper, and a substantially transparent closure means. The transparent closure means includes means for stabilizing an ankle and in-step area of the foot of the user within the article of footwear. Said shoe upper includes a heel portion formed of a flexible clear material and a forward portion of said upper integrally dependent from said heel portion. Said forward portion of the upper preferably comprises a mesh fabric for aeration of the foot of the user. One edge of said stabilizing means further comprises means for elastic engagement of said ankle and in-step area of said foot.

It is an object of the invention to provide a substantially transparent article of footwear that will allow travelers to pass through security detectors at a quicker pace.

It is another object to provide a comfortable and easily removable transparent article of footwear that may also be used when traveling.

It is a further object to provide a transparent article of footwear to provide to travelers confidence in the knowledge that they are traveling more safely.

The above and yet other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the hereinafter set forth Brief Description of the Drawings, Detailed Description of the Invention, and Claims appended herewith.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective side view of the substantially transparent article of footwear of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective top view of the article of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a perspective, exploded view of the substantially transparent article of footwear of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is an illustrative view showing insertion of the foot of a user into the article of footwear of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The instant invention relates to an article of footwear 10, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The article of footwear 10 includes a substantially transparent resilient sole 20, a substantially transparent flexible shoe upper 30, a substantially transparent insole 40, and a substantially transparent closure means 50. Said transparent resilient sole 20 includes a gripping surface 22 to improve traction of the article of footwear 10 when worn by a user, as is shown in FIG. 4. The length and width of the transparent sole 20 may vary to accommodate the sizes of a human foot. Said transparent shoe upper 30 is integrally dependent from said substantially transparent sole 20. Such dependence may be accomplished by bonding or integral molding of the elements. As shown in FIG. 1, said shoe upper 30 includes a heel portion 60 formed of a clear but more rigid material than sole 20. Said substantially transparent upper 30 also includes a forward portion 62 which is integrally dependent from said heel portion 60.

Said shoe upper 30 and sole 20 are preferably made of a thermoplastic such as a polyvinyl. Said transparent shoe upper 30 and sole 20 may also be made of other substantially transparent moldable polymers such as polyethylene 20 and polypropylene. It is noted that the majority, the entire article of footwear 10 is formed of one or more substantially transparent materials, materials preferably an elastomeric polymer, but may be made of alternative materials if they are substantially transparent and resilient.

The article 10 must be substantially transparent to enable security officers in various locations, including airports to visually inspect the entire shoe and foot of a user to see that no part of the article of footwear 10 includes metal or moving parts. A security officer is able to accomplish this rapidly so that there will be little need for a traveler to have to remove one's shoes to have them especially scanned.

Said forward portion 62 of shoe upper 30 of said footwear 10 preferably defines a mesh material 64, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. Said mesh material 64 comprises means 32 for aeration and expansion of the foot of the user. Preferably, the mesh is made of a substantially transparent elastomeric polymer. The forward portion 62 of shoe upper 30 is not limited to a mesh material and may be a solid transparent material with small ventilation holes integrally placed on the shoe upper 30. The mesh material or an alternative ventilated transparent material 64 allows the foot to breathe within the article of footwear 10. The selection of mesh material 64 can also ensure adequate scanning of the foot of the user in the event a terrorist were to construct the shoe of a radio opaque material. Alternatively, the mesh material may be a solid breathable material as opposed to a material with any type of holes.

Said forward portion 62 of shoe upper 30 of said footwear 10 may also define a mesh material 64 and perforations for aeration. The perforations may also be located on other portions of the article of footwear 10 to allow the foot to breathe.

To assist the user placing the article of footwear on one's foot and preventing of slipping up or down the ankle of the user, one edge of said aeration means 32 may comprise means for elastic engagement 70 of the ankle and in-step area of the foot. Said engagement means may be integrally dependent from the shoe upper 30, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 or may comprise a cross-over strap 50 discussed below. The engagement means may also comprise two or more cross-over straps. Alternatively, said article of footwear may not include said elastic engagement and would be similar to a loafer. Said elastic engagement means 70 preferably comprises a substantially transparent material, which may include an elastomeric polymer.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the article of footwear 10 includes a substantially transparent insole 40. In one embodiment of the present invention, the insole may incorporate an arch system 42 to make the article of footwear 10 more comfortable for the user, which may be seen in FIG. 3.

The article of footwear includes said substantially transparent closure means 50. Said closure means may be a transparent cross-over strap 50 along with a means 52 for stabilizing the ankle of the foot in the article of footwear 10.

Preferably, said cross-over strap 50 is made of hook and loop means such as Velcro® disposed on said cross-over strap 50, which can be adjusted to fit the size of the user's foot and area 54 of said upper. Said stabilizing means may also include snap closures disposed on the cross-over strap 50, or may comprise any of a variety of closure methods, not limited to Velcro® or snap closures. The substantially transparent cross-over strap 50 may also be located across the in-step of the foot or higher up on the ankle of the user. There may be two or more cross-over straps. The location of the transparent cross-over strap can be adjusted in accordance to the users needs. For example, one user may prefer a low boot style of shoe as opposed to a slipper, hence the higher location of the cross-over strap 50. Other users may prefer or need more support across the in-step of the foot, which would require that the cross-over strap be placed across the in-step of the foot. Further, the user may prefer to have a simple slip-on disposable type shoe that may have no stabilizing means.

The article of footwear 10 may also include a breakable security seal embedded in the substantially transparent shoe upper or heel. The security seal would prevent tampering with the article of footwear and could be seen by security officers in the event the seal in the article of footwear had been tampered with.

When in use, the user places the article of footwear on one's foot at any time prior to passing through security at an airport or other location with secured entrances. Because of the gripping surface 22 on the sole 20 the article of footwear can be worn outdoors as well as indoors. The user may prefer to place the article of footwear 10 on one's feet just prior to entering an airport or building.

The article of footwear may be manufactured and/or sold with a companion, substantially transparent tote bag for the user to place their civilian shoes in while wearing the transparent article of footwear. The companion substantially transparent tote bag may be manufactured with a Ziploc® hook-and-loop type of closure. The companion substantially transparent tote bag may also include a strap closure so that a person cannot add or subtract anything from the tote bag upon reaching security. Similar to the breakable security seal that may be embedded in the article of footwear 10, the tote bag may also contain a similar seal which may be visually inspected by security officers to see if the tote bag has been tampered with.

While there has been shown and described the preferred embodiment of the instant invention it is to be appreciated that the invention may be embodied otherwise than is herein specifically shown and described and that, within said embodiment, certain changes may be made in the form without departing from the underlying ideas or principles of this invention as set forth in the Claims appended herewith.