Title:
Sole cover for work shoes or boots
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cover underlies the sole and heel of a shoe or boot to prevent debris from same contracting the floor surface. The cover sole is of a size to extend outwardly beyond the edge of a footwear sole and heel. Material having a back and a loop pile of synthetic polymeric material is formed to provide the sole and forwardly and rearwardly located straps. Fabric closure elements of the hook type in place on certain of the straps engage the loop pile on a companion strap to retain the cover on a piece of footwear.



Inventors:
Baxter, Richard P. (Gasquet, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/125033
Publication Date:
11/16/2006
Filing Date:
05/10/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43C15/00; A43B23/28
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MOHANDESI, JILA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
James D. Givnan, Jr. (Portland, OR, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A cover for the sole and heel of an article of footwear and including, a sole of a size and shape to underlie the sole and heel of the article of footwear, said sole of synthetic fibrous material having loop pile for contact with a floor surface, front straps integral with the sole for engagement with the footwear, rear straps integral with the sole for engagement with the footwear, said straps of synthetic fibrous material having loop pile, attachment means on said front straps and said rear straps for joining respectively and front straps and said rear straps for retention of the cover on the footwear.

2. The cover claimed in claim 1 wherein said loop pile is of polymeric material.

3. The cover claimed in claim 2 wherein said sole additionally includes a back of polymeric material.

4. The cover claimed in claim 2 wherein said attachment means includes fabric closure elements engageable with said loop pile on said straps.

5. The cover claimed in claim 2 wherein said front and rear straps each include a flaired portion integral with said sole.

6. The cover claimed in claim 1 wherein said front straps include a center strap.

7. The cover claimed in claim 6 wherein said front straps overlap one another.

8. A cover for temporary application to work footwear for confinement of debris for protection of a floor surface, said cover including, a sole comprising a back having loop pile, said sole having side margins for offset laterally from a work shoe when in place on the cover, front straps and a center strap on the sole, rear straps on the sole, fabric closure elements. said straps each having an end integral with the sole and loop pile, and fabric closure elements on some of said straps engageable with loop pile on other of said straps for cover retention on the work footwear.

9. The cover claimed in claim 9 wherein said straps additionally serve to lift said side margins of the sole upon installation of the cover on work footwear.

10. A sole and heel cover for a work shoe or boot isolating dirt thereon from contact with a floor, said sole cover including, a sole and front and rear straps all of homogeneous construction and including loop pile, and attachment elements on said straps for engagement with the loop pile on other of said straps for retention of the cover on a shoe or boot.

11. The sole cover claimed in claim 10 wherein said sole includes pliable side margins extending laterally beyond a shoe or boot side for reception of particles from the shoe or boot.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention may be termed a shoe or boot sole cover for protecting a floor carpeting, rugs, etc., from foreign matter.

Work shoes or boots often become contaminated by dirt, oil and grease, chemicals requiring changing of footwear when entering a home or office. Such changing constitutes a nuisance and requires that additional footwear must be made available at entry locations. Where there are several workers, pairs of shoes, slippers and the like must be available at the entry area.

A solution to the foregoing problem is proposed by providing an over-the-shoe (or boot) cover for temporary installation on contaminated footwear. Cost, ease of use, durability, convenient storage, range of sizes are some of the considerations enter into providing a desirable over-the-shoe (or boot) article or cover.

U.S. patent application 2003/0226281 discloses an article having a fibrous sole formed from a sheet of felt with multiple front and rear straps stitched thereto.

U.S. patent application 2002/0148138 discloses a shoe cover having an upper with an elastic opening for shoe reception and is of neoprene, rubber or the like.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,056,240 discloses an overshoe intended for use by someone doing gardening who finds it necessary to periodically enter the home with dirty or contaminated footwear. The article is of molded material having a sole and an upper closeable about an article of footwear with an adjustable strap secured by a fabric closure. A tab facilitates retention of the overshoe during shoe entry.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,694,704 discloses a adhesive sheet sized and shaped to permit attachment to a work shoe with the sheet overlapping a portion of the shoe upper for protection from overspray from a commercial spray booth. The cover and strap securing the cover in place are formed from a sheet of adhesive bearing material.

U.S. patent application publication U.S. 2003/0230006 discloses a cover for a shoe or boot sole intended for use by workers at a work station over long periods of time to provide a resilient anti-fatigue layer which is otherwise provided by resilient mats at a work station. The cover includes a sole of synthetic fibrous material which resiliently supports a shoe or boot. An array of straps in conjunction with front and rear sole mounted tabs serve to attach the cover to the footwear with two strap ends provided with fabric closure members. Front, side and rear tabs in place on the sole of one embodiment serve to connect the plurality of straps engageable with the toe, sides and heel portion of a piece of footwear. The cover is apparently intended for use over a substantial period of time as it entails a degree of effort for footwear attachment.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,659,978 discloses the use of interconnected toe straps directed through a common ring with some of the straps reversed for attachment purposes. It appears as if the disclosed article is more or less for attachment to a piece of footwear for a considerable duration.

U.S. patent application Publication 2004/0006893 shows a shoe attachment having a relatively thick pad for placement beneath a shoe sole with front and rear straps passing through the pad for buckled attachment about a work shoe.

U.S. Pat. No. 1,187,778 discloses an overshoe formed from a fabric to provide a sole portion with a toe cap for insertion of the toe of a shoe. Strap segments pass through fabric loops and are tied for retention of the overshoe.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,009,269 discloses a molded overshoe with a strap for extension over a shoe upper with strap ends attached as by fabric closure material or alternatively, buckle.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

A cover is provided to underlie the sole and heel of a work shoe or boot. A sole component of the present cover is attached to contaminated footwear by multiple front straps and rear straps provided with fabric closure elements of the hook type. The cover is formed from material having closed loop pile with the same or like material utilized on the straps which cooperates with a hook type closure element on another strap. The cover sole has upturned side margins for retention of dirt or debris from the contaminated footwear. Construction of the straps from a piece of material having closed loop pile provides straps engageable at any point therealong with the hook type closure elements. Both economy of manufacture and simplicity of installation on footwear is realized.

The present cover provides homeowners and workers a means for preventing damage to floors or floor coverings by providing a cover readily applied to a piece of dirty footwear, perhaps several times a day. The cover is lightweight, sturdy material which lends itself to cleaning and convenient storage adjacent a home or building entry. Use of low cost material and minimal assembly effort contributes to a modest cost of manufacture.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the accompanying drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a work shoe with the cover in place;

FIGS. 2 and 3 are top and bottom plan views with the cover detached from the work shoe;

FIG. 4 is a vertical section taken along line 44 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of a portion of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is an elevational view of a rack with stored covers;

FIG. 7 is a top plan view of a modified cover.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With continuing attention to the drawings wherein applied reference numerals indicate parts similarly hereinafter identified, the reference numeral 1 indicates generally a sole of the present cover which is of a length to extend somewhat beyond the length of a shoe or boot sole and a heel. A surface at 2 to be protected from dirt or debris on the footwear indicated generally at F.

With continuing attention to the sole 1 of the cover, the same is of a width to provide side margins as at 4 extending laterally beyond the sides of a footwear sole and heel. Similarly, the cover sole 1 extends lengthwise to a point somewhat beyond the front and rear-most portions of the footwear to be isolated from a floor surface. A typical piece of footwear is shown in broken lines at F in place on the cover sole. It is to be noted that the side margins 4 of the cover, when applied to footwear, are upwardly inclined, as later described, to confine any dirt or other debris or contaminant.

It is desirable from a practical standpoint to form sole 1 from material with a floor contacting surface comprised of loop pile at 5 of miniature loops of polymeric material such as polypropylene which loops are highly resistant to separation when tensioned. The sole has an upper surface or back 6 of a synthetic polymer which serves to carry the loop pile as the same is partially embedded in the back during manufacture. The sole may be embodied in level loop pile carpeting having a depth of 3/16th to ΒΌth of an inch including back and the loop pile.

Forward or toe straps at 7 and 8 are integral with sole 1 for engagement with the footwear toe. The straps 7 and 8 preferably have reduced width inner segments at 7B and 8B to facilitate placement over the footwear toe. A frontal center strap at 9 with a fabric closure element 11 assists in elevating the forward end portion of the sole for retention of dirt or debris on the sole.

With attention now to the rearward straps at 14 and 15, which may be termed heel straps, are of greater length than toe straps 7 and 8 and wrap oppositely about the wearer's ankle prior to joining forward of the ankle in a snug manner. A hook type closure element at 16 on one strap 14 or 15 engages the remaining heel strap at a segment thereon as the heel straps, like the forward or toe straps, provide a multitude of fabric loops therealong. Hook type closure element 16 and the loop pile on the cooperating strap segment provide cover attachment means. Forward attachment means are provided by hook type closure element 10 on a forward or toe strap 7 or 8 and a cooperating strap segment of the remaining toe strap and specifically the loop pile located thereon.

During installation of the present cover on a work shoe, or other footwear, the marginal areas 4 along the opposite side of the sole will be displaced upwardly, as best shown in FIG. 4, upon upward positioning the forward straps and rearward straps about the piece of footwear.

For economy of manufacture or other reasons the front and rear straps 7-8 and 14- 15 are preferably formed from the same material as the sole. The straps may be formed separately if so desired and applied to the sole during assembly of the cover as by stitching, bonding, stapling, etc., per FIG. 7.

An included angle, 60 degrees or so between each forward strap and the centerline lengthwise of sole 1 provides snug, desired transverse placement of same across the footwear toe.

Installation of the cover on a piece of footwear entails placement of the footwear with the shoe vamp located intermediate the innermost ends toe straps 7 and 8. Rear or heel straps 14-15 are applied with the first applied strap passing rearwardly of the footwear so as to lie across the wearer's ankle (or boot upper) whereupon the remaining rear strap is wound oppositely about the ankle (or boot) to locate the attachment element 16 for pressed engagement with the loop pile on the first positioned rear strap. The front and rear straps so positioned contribute to the side margins 4 of the sole being drawn upwardly.

The loop pile of the sole of the cover is formed from polymeric material with the back joining the loops preferably of like material. The combination of such loop pile and backing is found in carpeting wherein polymers such as polypropylene, polyethylene, olefin, nylon and polyester may be utilized and bonded to the backing. The back upper surface is substantially continuous and lends itself to ease of cleaning and debris removal.

Suitable material may have an overall depth or thickness of approximately one- quarter of an inch but could be varied to best suit an intended use. Strap width, at the juncture with the sole, is flaired to contribute to elevation to the sole margins. Several covers may be stored on a wall mounted rack 20 per FIG. 6 having a strip of loop pile 21 to receive a cover mounted element.

Hook and loop type closure elements are sold under the registered trademark VELCRO and are available with an adhesive permitting installation on the back of smooth side of selected straps. The closure elements may also be stapled to the straps selected.

While I have shown but a few embodiments of the invention, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the invention may be embodied still otherwise without departing from the spirit and scope of the claimed invention.

Having thus described the invention, what is desired to be secured by a Letters Patent is: