Title:
Footwear combination
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A footwear combination includes a releasably attached sock and shoe. The sock is adapted for covering a foot of a wearer, and has integrally-formed toe, top foot, heel, and sole portions. The shoe covers at least a portion of the sock, and has a shoe upper and attached sole. Hook and loop fasteners cooperate to releasably attach the shoe and sock together. The shoe and sock cooperate to form a stable, unitary outer covering for the foot.



Inventors:
Warren, Frederick L. (Charlotte, NC, US)
Application Number:
11/121911
Publication Date:
11/09/2006
Filing Date:
05/04/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B3/10; A43B1/02
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
KAVANAUGH, JOHN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Schwartz Law Firm, P.C. (Charlotte, NC, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A footwear combination, comprising: a sock adapted for covering a foot of a wearer, and comprising integrally-formed toe, top foot, heel, and sole portions; a shoe covering at least a portion of said sock, and comprising a shoe upper and attached sole; means for releasably attaching said shoe and sock together, whereby said shoe and sock cooperate to form a stable, unitary outer covering for the foot.

2. A footwear combination according to claim 1, wherein said means for attaching comprises mating hook and loop fasteners.

3. A footwear combination according to claim 2, wherein said hook and loop fasteners are located in the top foot portion of said sock and an inside of the shoe upper, respectively.

4. A footwear combination according to claim 2, wherein said hook and loop fasteners are located in the sole portion of said sock and the shoe sole, respectively.

5. A footwear combination according to claim 4, wherein said hoop and loop fasteners are arranged in respective spaced-apart patches extending from respective toe ends of said sock and shoe to respective heel ends of said sock and shoe.

6. A footwear combination according to claim 1, wherein said shoe comprises a low-cut slipper.

7. A footwear combination according to claim 1, wherein said shoe further comprises a raised heel.

8. A footwear combination according to claim 7, wherein said means for attaching comprises hook and loop fasteners located in the heel portion of said sock and the raised heel of said shoe, respectively.

9. A footwear combination according to claim 1, wherein said sock is designed for extending above an ankle of the wearer.

10. A sock adapted for covering a foot of a wearer in a footwear combination, said sock having integrally-formed toe, top foot, heel, and sole portions, and comprising means for releasably attaching said sock to a shoe, whereby the shoe and sock cooperate to form a stable, unitary outer covering for the foot.

11. A sock according to claim 10, wherein said means for attaching comprises hook or loop fasteners adapted for mating with complementary fasteners located inside the shoe.

12. A sock according to claim 11, wherein said hook or loop fasteners are located in the top foot portion of said sock, and are adapted for mating with complementary fasteners located inside the shoe.

13. A sock according to claim 11, wherein said hook or loop fasteners are located in the sole portion of said sock, and are adapted for mating with complementary fasteners located inside the shoe.

14. A sock according to claim 13, wherein said hoop or loop fasteners are arranged in respective spaced-apart patches extending from a toe end of said sock to a heel end of said sock.

15. A sock according to claim 11, wherein said hook or loop fasteners are located in the heel portion of said sock, and are adapted for mating with complementary fasteners located inside the shoe.

16. A shoe for use in a footwear combination, said shoe having a shoe upper and attached sole, and comprising means for releasably attaching to a sock adapted for covering a foot of a wearer, whereby said shoe and sock cooperate to form a stable, unitary outer covering for the foot.

17. A shoe according to claim 16, wherein said means for attaching comprises hook or loop fasteners adapted for mating with complementary fasteners located on an outside of the sock.

18. A shoe according to claim 17, wherein said hook or loop fasteners are located on an inside of the shoe upper, and are adapted for mating with complementary fasteners located on the outside of the shoe.

19. A shoe according to claim 17, wherein said hook or loop fasteners are located on the shoe sole, and are adapted for mating with complementary fasteners located on the outside of the sock.

20. A shoe according to claim 17, and comprising a raised heel, and wherein said hook or loop fasteners are located on the raised heel, and are adapted for mating with complementary fasteners located on the outside of the sock.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD AND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a footwear combination incorporating a releasably attached sock and shoe. In one embodiment, the invention utilizes a lightweight shoe resembling a conventional slipper commonly used indoors, in the bedroom, hotels, and spas, and for light outdoor and recreational activity, such as walking. The slipper has either an open or closed toe, and may be constructed of any suitable material including terry fabric and leather.

Footwear intended for indoor and outdoor usage exists in many forms. As a more casual alternative to dress shoes and sneakers, the slipper has re-emerged as a popular and convenient foot covering among users of all ages. Many individuals choose to wear their slippers together with socks, especially for outdoor usage and particularly in cool weather. When worn with socks, the sock-covered foot has a tendency to slip relative to the sole of the slipper. This lateral shifting of the sock with respect to the slipper sole creates a general discomfort and temporary imbalance, especially when walking, and will often cause the sock to bunch or form wrinkles beneath the wearer's foot. This leads to further discomfort and even the formation of blisters on the foot.

In view of the above, the present invention is designed to provide a stable and secure footbed in a sock/shoe combination which during normal wear resists shifting of the sock relative to the shoe. The resulting footwear combination offers a safer and more comfortable foot covering which can be applied to and removed from the foot as an attached unit.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

Therefore, it is an object of the invention to provide a footwear combination which incorporates a lightweight, open or closed-toe slipper.

It is another object of the invention to provide a footwear combination which has a stable and secure footbed.

It is another object of the invention to provide a footwear combination which is comfortable and convenient.

It is another object of the invention to provide a footwear combination which is applicable for both indoor and outdoor usage.

It is another object of the invention to provide a footwear combination which is relatively inexpensive to manufacture.

It is another object of the invention to provide a footwear combination which can be applied to and removed from the foot of the wearer as a single attached unit.

It is another object of the invention to provide a footwear combination which resists bunching and wrinkling of the sock beneath the foot of the wearer.

These and other objects of the present invention are achieved in the preferred embodiments disclosed below by providing a footwear combination comprising a releasably attached sock and shoe. The sock is adapted for covering a foot of a wearer, and has integrally-formed toe, top foot, heel, and sole portions. The shoe covers at least a portion of the sock, and has a shoe upper and attached sole. Means are provided for releasably attaching the shoe and sock together, whereby the shoe and sock cooperate to form a stable, unitary outer covering designed for being applied to and removed from the foot in combination.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, the means for attaching comprises mating hook and loop fasteners.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, the hook and loop fasteners are located in the top foot portion of the sock and an inside of the shoe upper, respectively.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, the hook and loop fasteners are located in the sole portion of the sock and the shoe sole, respectively.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, the hoop and loop fasteners are arranged in respective spaced-apart patches extending from respective toe ends of the sock and shoe to respective heel ends of the sock and shoe.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, the shoe is a low-cut slipper.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, the shoe further includes a raised heel.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, the means for attaching includes hook and loop fasteners located in the heel portion of the sock and the raised heel of the shoe, respectively.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, the sock is designed for extending above an ankle of the wearer.

In another embodiment, the invention is a sock adapted for covering a foot of the wearer in a footwear combination. The sock has integrally-formed toe, top foot, heel, and sole portions. The sock comprises means for releasably attaching to a shoe. The shoe and sock cooperate to form a stable, unitary outer covering designed for being applied to and removed from the foot in combination.

In yet another embodiment, the invention is a shoe for use in a footwear combination. The shoe has a shoe upper and attached sole. The shoe comprises means for releasably attaching to a sock adapted for covering a foot of a wearer. The shoe and sock cooperate to form a stable, unitary outer covering designed for being applied to and removed from the foot in combination.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Some of the objects of the invention have been set forth above. Other objects and advantages of the invention will appear as the description proceeds when taken in conjunction with the following drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a footwear combination according to one preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is perspective view of a sock adapted for incorporating in the present footwear combination;

FIG. 3 is perspective view of a slipper adapted for incorporating in the present footwear combination;

FIG. 4 is perspective view of a sock adapted for incorporating in the present footwear combination according to a second preferred embodiment;

FIG. 5 is perspective view of a slipper adapted for incorporating in the present footwear combination according to the second embodiment;

FIG. 6 is perspective view of a sock adapted for incorporating in the present footwear combination according to a third preferred embodiment;

FIG. 7 is perspective view of a slipper adapted for incorporating in the present footwear combination according to the third embodiment;

FIG. 8 is perspective view of a sock adapted for incorporating in the present footwear combination according to a fourth preferred embodiment; and

FIG. 9 is perspective view of a slipper adapted for incorporating in the present footwear combination according to the fourth embodiment.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT AND BEST MODE

Referring now specifically to the drawings, a footwear combination according to the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 1, and shown generally at reference numeral 10. The combination 10 comprises a sock 11 and lightweight shoe 12, and means for releasably attaching the two together. The attaching means (discussed below) conveniently “weds” the sock 11 and shoe 12 together forming a stable, unitary outer covering which can be applied to and removed from the foot of the wearer in combination. The sock 11 resembles a conventional above the ankle, ankle-cut, footie sock, tube sock, or the like. In the embodiment shown, the shoe 12 resembles a conventional closed-toe slipper including a shoe upper 14 and sole 15. Although not shown, the combination may incorporate other footwear including men's and women's sandals, mocassin, clogs, sneakers, and the like.

FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate one preferred arrangement of hook and loop fasteners adapted for mating alignment upon assembly of the combination 10 (as in FIG. 1), and cooperating to releasably attach the sock 11 and shoe 12 together. According to this embodiment, the sock 11 comprises centrally-disposed, longitudinal loop strips 16A, 17A, and 18A which releasably mate with complementary longitudinal hook strips 16B, 17B, and 18B located on the shoe. The loop strip 16A extends along a top foot portion of the sock 11 from the over-toe panel towards a front ankle portion of the sock 11. The opposing loop strips 17A and 18A extend along an outside sole of the sock 11 from an under-toe portion towards the heel, and are preferably separated at a midpoint of the sole. The hook strip 16B of the shoe 12 is located on an inside of the shoe upper 14, and is precisely arranged to mate with the loop strip 16A of the sock 11. The hook strips 17B and 18B reside on an inside of the shoe sole 15, and extend generally from the toe towards the heel. The hook strips 17B, 18B mate with the complementary loop strips 17A, 18A of the sock 11. Upon application of the attached sock 11 and shoe 12 to the foot, the resulting combination 10 forms a stable footbed that resists shifting in lateral, medial, anterior, and posterior directions relative to the plantar surface of the wearer's foot—particularly when engaging in light activity such as walking.

FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate an alternative arrangement of hook and loop fasteners adapted for mating alignment upon assembly of the footwear combination, and cooperating to releasably attach the sock 21 and shoe 22 together. As previously described, the shoe 22 has an attached closed-toe upper 24 and sole 25. According to this embodiment, the sock 21 comprises a number of strategically placed loop patches 31A, 32A, 33A, 34A, 35A, 36A, 37A, and 38A which releasably mate with complementary hook patches 31B-38B located on the shoe 22. The loop patches 31A-33A are positioned adjacent the over-toe panel and top foot portion of the sock 21, respectively. The loop patches 34A, 35A are located opposite the loop patches 31A, 32A at the under-toe portion of the sock 21, while loop patches 36A-38A extend at spaced intervals along the outside sole of the sock 21 towards the heel. The hook patches 31B-33B of the shoe are arranged on the inside of the shoe upper 24, and at precise locations to mate with the complementary loop patches 31A-33A of the sock 21. The hook patches 34B-38B reside on an inside of the shoe sole 25, and extend at spaced intervals generally from the toe towards the heel. The hook patches 34B-38B mate with the complementary loop patches 34A-38A of the sock 21. As previously indicated, upon application of the attached sock 21 and shoe 22 to the foot, the resulting combination forms a stable footbed that resists shifting in lateral, medial, anterior, and posterior directions relative to the plantar surface of the wearer's foot.

FIGS. 6 and 7 show a further alternative footwear combination comprising a sock 41 and a modified shoe 42. The shoe has a closed-toe upper 43, sole 44, and a raised heel 45. The sock 41 and shoe 42 include respective hook and loop fasteners adapted for mating alignment upon assembly of the combination, and cooperating to releasably attach the sock 41 and shoe 42 together. According to this embodiment, the sock 41 comprises centrally-disposed, longitudinal loop strips 46A, 47A, 48A and an additional loop strip 49A at the heel. The loop strips 46A-49A releasably mate with complementary hook strips 46B-49B located on the shoe 42. The loop strip 46A extends along a top foot portion of the sock 41 from the over-toe panel towards a front ankle portion of the sock 41. The opposing loop strips 47A, 48A extend along an outside sole of the sock 41 from an under-toe portion towards the heel, and are preferably separated at a midpoint of the sole. The hook strip 46B of the shoe 42 is located on an inside of the shoe upper 43, and is precisely arranged to mate with the loop strip 46A of the sock 41. The hook strips 47B, 48B are located on an inside of the shoe sole 44, and extend generally from the toe towards the heel. The hook strips 47B, 48B mate with the loop strips 47A, 48A of the sock 41, while the additional hook strip 49B at the raised heel 45 mates with the sock loop strip 49A. As indicated above, upon application of the attached sock 41 and shoe 42 to the foot, the resulting combination forms a stable footbed that resists shifting in lateral, medial, anterior, and posterior directions relative to the plantar surface of the wearer's foot.

Yet another embodiment of a footwear combination according to the invention is shown in FIGS. 8 and 9. This combination comprises a sock 51 and a further modified shoe 52. The shoe 52 has a closed-toe upper 53, sole 54, and a raised sole band 55 extending from the upper 53 around the back of the heel. As previously described, the sock 51 and shoe 52 include respective hook and loop fasteners adapted for mating alignment upon assembly of the combination, and cooperating to releasably attach the sock 51 and shoe 52 together. According to this embodiment, the sock 51 comprises centrally-disposed, longitudinal loop strips 56A, 57A, 58A, and further loop strips 59A, 60A, 61A located inside opposing walls and at the heel of the sole band 55. The loop strips 56A-61A releasably mate with complementary hook strips 56B-61B located on the shoe 52. The loop strip 56A extends along a top foot portion of the sock 51 from the over-toe panel towards a front ankle portion of the sock 51. The opposing loop strips 57A, 58A extend along an outside sole of the sock 51 from an under-toe portion towards the heel, and are preferably separated at a midpoint of the sole. The hook strip 56B of the shoe 52 is located on an inside of the shoe upper 53, and is precisely arranged to mate with the loop strip 56A of the sock 51. The hook strips 57B, 58B are located on an inside of the shoe sole 54, and extend generally from the toe towards the heel. The hook strips 57B, 58B mate with the complementary loop strips 57A, 58A of the sock 51, while the hook strips 59B-61B at the raised sole band 55 mate with the sock loop strips 59A-61A. As indicated above, upon application of the attached sock 51 and shoe 52 to the foot, the resulting combination forms a stable footbed that resists shifting in lateral, medial, anterior, and posterior directions relative to the plantar surface of the wearer's foot.

A footwear combination is described above. Various details of the invention may be changed without departing from its scope. Furthermore, the foregoing description of the preferred embodiment of the invention and best mode for practicing the invention are provided for the purpose of illustration only and not for the purpose of limitation—the invention being defined by the claims.