Title:
Winter sport/snow boot
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A boot used in conjunction with winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding or used for daily purposes such as shoveling snow. The boot includes a first fastener coupled toward the toe, a second fastener coupled toward an upper portion of the boot, an attachment device, a breathable, waterproof outer material and a liner. The boot is formed of a flexible material and may be folded to couple the first fastener with the second fastener, thereby holding the boot in a folded, closed position. The attachment device may then be used to attach the boot to clothing and ski equipment for transporting the boots during snow activities. The liner is a flexible insulation enveloped by a breathable, waterproof, flexible material.



Inventors:
Chelani, Linda (Scottsdale, AZ, US)
Application Number:
11/115840
Publication Date:
11/02/2006
Filing Date:
04/26/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WATKINS III, WILLIAM P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ream Law Firm, L.L.C. (OTTAWA, KS, US)
Claims:
1. A winter sport boot comprising: a first fastener coupled to a toe of the boot; and a second fastener coupled to an upper portion of the boot, wherein the first fastener and the second fastener are configured to removably couple to each to hold the boot in a folded position.

2. The boot of claim 1, further comprising an attachment device for transporting the boot.

3. The boot of claim 2, wherein the attachment device is one of a clip, a D-ring, and O-ring, an elastic strap or any combination thereof.

4. The boot of claim 3, further comprising a breathable, waterproof outer material.

5. The boot of claim 4, wherein the outer material is formed with a flexible, stretchable, foldable, shape-retaining material.

6. The boot of claim 5, further comprising a liner, the liner comprising a flexible insulation enveloped by a breathable, waterproof, stretchable, flexible material.

7. A portable boot for use in snow, the boot comprising: an attachment device coupled to the boot, wherein the attachment device is configured to transport the boot.

8. The boot of claim 7, wherein the attachment device is one of a clip, a D-ring, and O-ring, an elastic strap or any combination thereof.

9. The boot of claim 7, further comprising a first fastener coupled to a toe of the boot and a second fastener coupled to an upper portion of the boot, wherein the first fastener is removably coupled to the second fastener.

10. The boot of claim 9, further comprising a waterproof, breathable outer material.

11. The boot of claim 10, wherein the outer material is formed of a flexible, stretchable, foldable, shape-retaining material.

12. The boot of claim 10, further comprising a liner, the liner comprising a flexible insulation enveloped by a breathable, waterproof, stretchable, flexible material.

13. A waterproof boot for use in winter sports or in snow, the boot comprising: an attachment device coupled to the boot; a first fastener coupled to a toe of the boot; and a second fastener coupled to an upper, back portion of the boot corresponding to the first fastener, wherein the first fastener is removably coupled to the second fastener to hold the boot in a folded position with at least two folds.

14. The boot of claim 13, wherein the attachment device is an elastic strap configured to transport the boot.

15. The boot of claim 14, wherein the attachment device is configured to attach to at least one of a jacket zipper, a pant zipper, a ski pole, a glove, a belt, a lanyard, a backpack, a combination thereof.

16. The boot of claim 13, further comprising a multilayer material that is flexible, breathable, waterproof and insulating, wherein the multilayer material is configured for a combined use as an outer material and a liner.

17. The boot of claim 16, wherein the multilayer material comprises: a nylon stretch material layer; a stretchable, waterproof, breathable material layer; a perforated polychloroprene layer; and a blend material layer, wherein the blend material comprises a micro-fiber layer enveloped by a stretchable, waterproof, breathable material layer.

18. A multilayer material that is flexible, breathable, waterproof and insulating, the material comprising: a nylon stretch material layer; a stretchable, waterproof, breathable material layer; a perforated polychloroprene layer; and a blend material layer, wherein the blend material comprises: a first stretchable, waterproof, breathable material layer, a micro-fiber layer comprising a blend of elastomeric fine olefin fibers and larger staple fibers, and a second stretchable, waterproof, breathable material layer.

19. The material of claim 18, further comprising at least three laminate layers, wherein each laminate layer is used to couple two layers together such that: the nylon stretch material layer is coupled to the stretchable, waterproof, breathable material layer; the stretchable, waterproof, breathable material layer is coupled to the perforated polychloroprene layer; and the perforated polychloroprene layer is coupled to the blend material layer, thereby forming a multilayer, flexible, breathable and waterproof material.

20. The material of claim 19, wherein the first and second stretchable, waterproof, breathable material layers of the blend material are a single layer that envelops the blend of elastomeric fine olefin fibers and larger staple fibers layer.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

This invention relates generally to boots used in conjunction with recreational activities and daily purposes and more particularly to boots used after snow skiing or snowboarding and for other non-recreational purposes.

2. State of the Art

Skiing and snowboarding are sports that require a rigid ski boot for providing the proper support for the various terrains that a user may encounter when descending a run. These boots often do not have a typical walking sole and are adapted to clip onto skis. In addition, ski boots are designed to support a user's ankle and lower leg to help provide stability and avoid injury. The very specific purpose of a ski boot makes them difficult and uncomfortable to walk in. This type of specialized foot equipment is not specific to skiing and snowboarding alone, but similar footwear may be used for other snow recreational activities.

Skiers often times wish to change into other types of footwear than that used for their winter sport. These alternate types of footwear are generally full size and are not easily transported. They require the use of a locker or other storage unit and often require some walking to reach the storage. While other types of footwear may be smaller with less bulk than the ski boot, they lack the warmth, water-resistance and traction that conventional snow boots provide while walking in snow.

In addition snow sport boots often retain snow and ice in the narrow boot crevasses. Inadvertently carrying the ice and snow can cause a variety of difficulties such as forming slippery areas at the resort or residence. The size and weight of the boots also limits agility and can create situations where tripping may occur.

In extreme situations those wearing boots may be tempted to leave their boots on while they drive to their lodge, residence or nearby ski area. Doing so reduces reaction time and can cause interference when moving from one pedal to another.

When renting equipment it is generally required that the renter turn in their footwear to receive their boots. Mistakes in this procedure are common. Also, the renter has to go without alternate footwear until the boots are returned, which is generally at the end of the outing or trip.

In addition to skiing or alternate snow sports and recreation, other winter activities take place, which require interaction with snow, ice, slush or water are common. Tasks around a home such as shoveling snow, feeding or walking animals, getting the mail or other activities such as traveling to work or school and various other types of everyday activities that take place during the winter season, all subject the participant to the elements. Conventional boots are big and bulky and often have other types of limitations and problems. For example, a child wearing a boot to school will often retain snow and ice in the narrow boot crevasses. Inadvertently carrying the ice and snow can cause a variety of difficulties such as forming slippery areas in the school hall and/or classroom. Additionally, storing the boots to put on other footwear while at school is difficult due to the size of the boot. Other problems may also exist due to the size of the boot and the common inefficient insulation and in flexibility of the boot.

Accordingly what is needed is a winter boot that is portable during skiing or other snow sports and recreational activities that may be worn after the sports or for other daily purposes and provides proper warmth, protection, traction, and water-resistance in snow.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a boot that is portable during skiing and other snow sports and may be conveniently accessed and used during breaks and down-time, or used for other daily purposes. While particular embodiments are most useful for after snow activities, other embodiments of the invention are useful after all forms of snow recreational activities and for daily purposes. In particular embodiments, the snow boot comprises a flexible, water-proof, breathable outer material, a liner, a first fastener coupled toward the toe of the boot, a second fastener coupled toward an upper portion of the boot and an attachment device which may be an elastic strap.

In particular embodiments, the winter sport boot folds into a closed position with the first fastener and the second fastener coupled together to retain the boot in a closed position for portability. The attachment device may be, but is not limited to a clip, a D-ring, an O-ring, a strap and any device wherein the attachment device may be used to secure the boots to a compatible attachment device during skiing.

The foregoing and other features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following more detailed description of the particular embodiments of the invention, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a winter snow boot in an opened position;

FIG. 2 is a side view of a winter snow boot in a closed position;

FIG. 3 is a side view of a winter sport boot in an opened position with a D-ring and hook-and-loop opening fastener;

FIG. 4 is a side view of a winter sport boot in a closed position with a D-ring;

FIG. 5 is a side view of a winter sport boot with an elastic strap;

FIG. 6 is a side of a winter sport boot that uses a double fold; and

FIG. 7 is a side view of a winter sport boot held in a rolled position by an elastic strap.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

As discussed above, embodiments of the present invention relate to an after snow skiing boot that is portable during skiing. Embodiments of the present invention comprise an outer material, a liner, a first fastener, a second fastener corresponding to the second fastener, and an attachment device or elastic strap.

As shown in FIG. 1, winter sport boot 10 comprises an outer material 12, a first fastener 14, a second fastener 16, an attachment device 18 and a liner 20. The outer material 12 may be formed with a material that is flexible, foldable, breathable and waterproof, with material properties that will retain the boot shape when in an open position. The first fastener 14 is coupled to the toe of the boot 10 and the second fastener 16 is coupled to an upper portion of the boot 10. The first and second fasteners 14 and 16 respectively are configured to removably couple together by folding the boot for better transportation of the boot 10. The attachment device 18 may be, but is not limited to, a clip, a ring, a D-ring, an O-ring, a carabiner, and any other attaching device. Liner 20 may be, but is not limited to a thermal liner for providing added warmth and a comfort liner for added support.

It will be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art that the outer material 12 may be any type of flexible foldable material that is also waterproof, breathable, durable, degradation resistant from sun and weather and shape retaining, such as, and without limitation, Neoprene™ or other polychloroprene material. The outer material may be formed of a combination typical neoprene in some areas, coupled to a perforated for other areas neoprene, thereby providing breathability while maintaining the waterproof, durability, resistance to degradation from sun and weather and shape retaining characteristics. Additionally, the liner 20 may be formed of any material that provides insulation and warmth, even when wet, while remaining flexible and breathable such as, and without limitation, Thinsulate™ Flex FX100 or other type of micro-fiber material or a material blend of elastomeric fine olefin fibers and larger staple fibers that is able to trap a greater amount of air than conventional insulation layers and better reflect back the body's radiant heat. Further, the liner 20 may also comprise a material that is waterproof, breathable and stretchable such as, but not limited to, Darlex™ or Freestyle™ made by Schoeller Textil AG, which may also be used to envelop a micro-fiber layer or layer formed of a blend of elastomeric fine olefin fibers and larger staple fibers, thereby providing a flexible, waterproof, and breathable insulation.

In another particular embodiment of the winter sport boot, the outer material 12 or shell and the liner 20 or insulation may be coupled together to create a unitary shell/insulation. The shell/insulation may comprise a nylon stretch material or nylon-lycra mix material as the outer-most layer, a waterproof, breathable and stretchable layer, a perforated neoprene layer, and a blend material layer, wherein the blend material may comprise a waterproof, breathable and stretchable layer, a blend of elastomeric fine olefin fibers and larger staple fibers layer or micro-fiber layer and another waterproof, breathable and stretchable layer. A first laminate layer that couples the nylon stretch layer to the waterproof, breathable and stretchable layer. A second laminate layer couples the waterproof, breathable and stretchable layer to the perforated neoprene layer. A third laminate layer couples the perforated Neoprene layer to the blended material layer. The shell/insulation formed retains the properties of being flexible, stretchable, durable, breathable, waterproof and insulated to provide a boot that fits easily onto virtually any size foot and effectively warms and performs in the snow or other wet and/or cold environments. The boot may also comprise a wicking layer that may comprise a sock or other prior art wicking material.

Another embodiment of the material that may be used may comprise neoprene coupled on its edge to a perforated neoprene on its edge, such that the neoprene and perforated neoprene are side by side allowing air to pass through only the perforated neoprene. It is also contemplated that a material may be used where neoprene and perforated neoprene are each used in selected areas. This allows the boot or any other purpose that may be benefited from such a material to be formed with the structural, insulative and waterproof properties provided by neoprene, while providing a form of ventilation or a breathable portion through the perforated neoprene.

Another particular embodiment of material may comprise a waterproof, breathable and stretchable material layer such as Darlex™ and Freestyle™ coupled to a perforated neoprene layer. This material would provide for the ventilation or breathing through the perforated neoprene while maintaining the structure of neoprene and the keeping the material waterproof that may be used for various different purposes in addition to a winter sport/snow boot. This particular material may be formed using a method that is accomplished by a single pass lamination of the Darlex™to the perforated neoprene. Possible uses may include, but is not limited to a top boot panel.

Further, another particular embodiment of material may comprise a stretchable micro-fiber layer or layer formed of a blend of elastomeric fine olefin fibers and larger staple fibers such as Thinsulate™ FX100 encased within a waterproof, breathable and stretchable material layer such as Darlex™ and Freestyle™ to create a stretchable package of insulated, waterproof, breathable material. The layers may be coupled together by sewing the micro-fiber layer within the waterproof, breathable and stretchable material layer.

Yet, another particular embodiment of material may comprise a micro-fiber layer or layer formed of a blend of elastomeric fine olefin fibers and larger staple fibers such as Thinsulate™ FX100, a waterproof, breathable and stretchable material layer such as Darlex™ or Freestyle™ and a neoprene layer coupled together.

Further still another embodiment may comprise a micro-fiber layer or layer formed of a blend of elastomeric fine olefin fibers and larger staple fibers such as Thinsulate™ FX100, a waterproof, breathable and stretchable material layer such as Darlex™ or Freestyle™ and a perforated neoprene layer coupled together.

Additionally, another embodiment of material may include a waterproof, breathable stretchable material with fleece inside the surface such as Aquashell™. For extra warmth, the Aquashell™ layer may be attached to Thinsulate™ for double insulation, or may be other various combinations such as, but not limited to, Aquashell™, Thinsulate™ and Darlex™; Aquashell™, Thinsulate™ and Aquashell™; and Aquashell™, Thinsulate™ and nylon.

Generally, while these particular embodiments of material are usable with a winter sport/snow boot, the use of the materials are not limited strict use with boots, but may also be used for any covering and garment. Areas where you do not want to hold the heat in use perforated neoprene with a waterproof, breathable stretchable material such as Darlex™ or Freestyle™ on the inner and/or outer surface of the perforated neoprene. Inner layers of garments may have an insulation material such as Thinsulate™ or Aquashell™. Since Thinsulate™ comes raw, it must be encased. However, an insulation material such as Aquashell™ does not have to be encased. Areas where breathability is not required would be made of regular neoprene as opposed to perforated neoprene.

It will be understood that a winter sport/snow boot of the present invention may be formed of all one type of material or any combination of material. For the exemplary purposes of this disclosure and without limitation, the boot may be formed of various panels comprising a back panel, two side panels, a top panel and a sole. The back panel and the side panels may comprise a neoprene coupled to a nylon stretch layer, wherein the nylon stretch layer is the outer layer. The top panel may comprise a nylon stretch material or nylon-lycra mix material as the outer-most layer, a waterproof, breathable and stretchable layer, a perforated neoprene layer, and a blend material layer, wherein the blend material may comprise a waterproof, breathable and stretchable layer, a blend of elastomeric fine olefin fibers and larger staple fibers layer or micro-fiber layer and another waterproof, breathable and stretchable layer. The sole may comprise a silk screen layer as the outer layer, a neoprene nylon layer and a blend material layer that comprises a blend of elastomeric fine olefin fibers and larger staple fibers or micro-fiber layer.

During transportation and according to FIG. 2, particular embodiments of the winter sport boot 10 may be folded in a closed position, coupling the first fastener 14 and the second fastener 16 together to form coupled fastener 22. For example, and without limitation, attachment device 18 may be used to attach the boot 10 to the users clothing, such as a jacket, pants, zipper and ring, to the ski pole, to a lanyard or any existing object located on ski equipment whereby attachment of the boot 10 would not interfere with the proper functionality of the equipment.

It will be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art that while particular embodiments of the present invention show a winter sport boot, the boot may be adapted for other snow uses, such as shoveling snow, getting the mail, traveling to work or school or other tasks or recreation that may require walking in deeper snow. In these particular embodiments, a snow boot may comprise an upper portion of the boot that is taller to inhibit the entry of snow into the top of the boot when walking in deeper snow. Additionally, the boot may also eliminate the use of the first and second fastening devices.

Referring to FIG. 3, a particular embodiment of the present invention is shown. The winter sport boot 30 comprises an outer material 32, a first fastener 34, a second fastener 36, a D-ring 38, a first boot fastener 40 and a second boot fastener 42. The outer material 32 may be formed with a material that is flexible, foldable, stretchable and waterproof, with material properties that will retain the boot shape when in an open position. The first fastener 34 is coupled to a mid-portion of the boot 30 and the second fastener 36 is coupled to an upper portion of the boot 30. The first and second fasteners 34 and 36 respectively are configured to removably couple together by folding the boot 30, thereby enabling easier transportation of the boot 30. The D-ring 38 may also be a clip, a ring, an O-ring, a carabiner, and any other attaching device. The first and second boot fasteners 40 and 42 may be hook-and-loop fasteners. Those of ordinary skill in the art will understand that while first and second boot fasteners 40 and 42 are shown as hook-and-loop fasteners, they may be other forms of fasteners such as, but not limited to, a zipper, snaps and buttons.

According to FIG. 4, particular embodiments of the winter sport boot 30 may be folded in a closed position, coupling the first fastener 34 and the second fastener 36 together to form coupled fastener 44. For example, and without limitation, D-ring 38 may be used to attach the boot 30 to the skiers clothing, such as a jacket, pants, zipper and ring, to the ski pole, to a lanyard or any existing object located on ski equipment whereby attachment of the boot 30 would not interfere with the proper functionality of the equipment.

As shown in FIGS. 5-7, particular embodiments of the winter sport boot 50 may comprise a shell/insulation material 52, a first fastener 54, a second fastener 56, an elastic strap 58, a first boot fastener 40, a second boot fastener 42 and a sole 60. The shell/insulation material may comprise a nylon stretch material as the outer-most layer, a waterproof, breathable and stretchable layer, a perforated neoprene layer, and a blend material layer. The first and second boot fasteners 40 and 42 may be hook-and-loop fasteners. The first fastener 54 is coupled toward the toe of the boot and the second fastener 56 is coupled toward an upper, back portion of the boot. The sole 60 may comprise a neoprene nylon layer, a blend material layer and a layer of a blend of elastomeric fine olefin fibers and larger staple fibers or micro-fiber layer. The blend material layer may comprise a waterproof, breathable and stretchable layer, a blend of elastomeric fine olefin fibers and larger staple fibers layer or micro-fiber layer and another waterproof, breathable and stretchable layer.

Referring to FIG. 6, the boot 50 may then be placed in the folded position by first folding down the upper portion such that the second fastener 56 faces in a direction away from the sole 60 of the shoe and is exposed. The toe portion of the boot 50 is then folded over so that the first fastener 54 is coupled to the second fastener 56 to form coupled fastener 62 for retaining the boot 50 in the folded position for easy transportation. The boot 50 may also comprise an elastic strap 58 that may be formed of, but is not limited to, polyester braided elastic. The elastic strap 58 may be coupled to the upper portion of the boot 50 with the elastic strap 58 on the inside of the boot. The elastic strap 58 may then be used as an attachment device that attaches to similar objects, as does the attachment device 38 in FIG. 4 when the boot 50 is in the folded position.

According to FIG. 7, the elastic strap 58 may hold the boot 50 in a folded position or to further fold the boot 50 after coupling the first and second fasteners 54 and 56 together, wherein the boot 50 is folded or additionally folded or rolled and the elastic strap 58 is placed around the folded or rolled boot 50. It will be understood that the elastic strap 58 may be used to hold the boot 50 in a rolled position without the use of the first and second fasteners 54 and 56.

The embodiments and examples set forth herein were presented in order to best explain the present invention and its practical application and to thereby enable those of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention. However, those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the foregoing description and examples have been presented for the purposes of illustration and example only. The description as set forth is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. Many modifications and variations are possible in light of the teachings above without departing from the spirit and scope of the forthcoming claims. For example, the attachment device may be a clip, a D-ring, an O-ring, a snap ring, a hook-and-loop fastener, a toggle, a snap, a buckle, a strap or any other type of attachment device that does not interfere with the proper functionality of ski equipment. Also, the first fastener and the second fastener, may be, but is not limited to, a snap, a hook-and-loop fastener, a toggle, a buckle, a button and hole, a magnet, or any other device that has sufficient coupling strength to hold a boot of the present invention in a closed, folded position for portability.





 
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