Title:
Overshoe for sports
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An overshoe for sports is comprised of a flexible, stretchable, waterproof material with a plurality of spikes extending from the a base surface that is entirely flat. The plurality of spikes forms a circular design at the toe portion of the flat base and staggers outward so that the spikes uniformly cover the base. The design and placement of the spikes enhances the balance of the user while preventing large amounts of turf or earth from clinging to the base of the outsole. The flat base surface allows the overshoe to contour around a user's footwear of choice thus maintaining a flat surface with the ground while, at the same time, maintaining the user's comfort in his footwear of choice. The flat base surface also assists in maintaining balance while contemporaneously restricting sway and movement of other parts of the body.



Inventors:
Cromley, Ralph W. (Jacksonville Beach, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/217364
Publication Date:
03/08/2007
Filing Date:
09/02/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B1/10
View Patent Images:
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20090188132Slip-resistant shoe soleJuly, 2009Fujikawa et al.
20050066549Strap happyMarch, 2005Grivas
20080229618Animal paw coverSeptember, 2008Mckay-leffler



Primary Examiner:
MOHANDESI, JILA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WHITHAM, CURTIS & CHRISTOFFERSON, P.C. (RESTON, VA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An overshoe for golf or other sports, comprising: an open top portion formed from stretchable water proof or water resistant material into which a user's shoe can be inserted; and a bottom portion connected to or integrally formed with said open top portion, wherein said bottom portion has a bottom surface for contacting the earth on which there is formed a plurality of spaced apart, downwardly projecting spikes, and wherein said bottom portion extends from a heel region to a toe region, and being flat from said heel region to said toe region.

2. The overshoe of claim 1, wherein said downwardly projecting spikes are pyramidal shaped.

3. The overshoe of claim 1, wherein said downwardly projecting spikes located in a sole region of said bottom surface of said bottom portion are arranged in a circular pattern.

4. The overshoe of claim 1, wherein said downwardly projecting spikes are distributed over an entirety of said bottom portion from said heel region to said toe region and at all points in between.

5. The overshoe of claim 3, wherein said downwardly projecting spikes not arranged in said circular pattern are generally evenly spaced apart and are staggered.

6. The overshoe of claim 1, wherein a pull-tab is connected to or integrally formed with a heel portion of said open top portion.

7. An overshoe for golf or other sports, comprising: an open top portion formed from stretchable water proof or water resistant material into which a user's shoe can be inserted; and a bottom portion connected to or integrally formed with said open top portion, wherein said bottom portion has a bottom surface for contacting the earth on which there is formed a plurality of spaced apart, downwardly projecting spikes, said bottom portion extending from a heel region to a toe region, and wherein said downwardly projecting spikes located in a sole region of said bottom surface of said bottom portion are arranged in a circular pattern.

8. The overshoe of claim 7, wherein said downwardly projecting spikes are pyramidal shaped.

9. The overshoe of claim 7, wherein said downwardly projecting spikes are distributed over an entirety of said bottom portion from said heel region to said toe region and at all points in between.

10. The overshoe of claim 7, wherein said downwardly projecting spikes not arranged in said circular pattern are generally evenly spaced apart and are staggered.

11. The overshoe of claim 7, wherein a pull-tab is connected to or integrally formed with a heel portion of said open top portion.

12. An overshoe for golf or other sports, comprising: an open top portion formed from stretchable water proof or water resistant material into which a user's shoe can be inserted; and a bottom portion connected to or integrally formed with said open top portion, wherein said bottom portion has a bottom surface for contacting the earth on which there is formed a plurality of spaced apart, downwardly projecting spikes, said bottom portion extending from a heel region to a toe region, and wherein said downwardly projecting spikes are distributed over an entirety of said bottom portion from said heel region to said toe region and at all points in between.

13. The overshoe of claim 14, wherein said downwardly projecting spikes not arranged in said circular pattern are generally evenly spaced apart and are staggered.

14. The overshoe of claim 12, wherein said downwardly projecting spikes located in a sole region of said bottom surface of said bottom portion are arranged in a circular pattern.

15. The overshoe of claim 12, wherein said downwardly projecting spikes are pyramidal shaped.

16. The overshoe of claim 12, wherein a pull-tab is connected to or integrally formed with a heel portion of said open top portion.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to an overshoe that can be worn over a user's shoes to provide protection against water and mud, while, at the same time, permitting the user to have stability for performing an athletic movement, such as a golf swing.

2. Background Description

Water resistant overshoes, designed to allow a user to more easily play golf or other sports in wet or muddy conditions, have been described in various patents.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,643,352 shows an overshoe for golf with screwed on metal spikes or cleats. The overshoe is shown with a bottom surface having an arched portion separating the heel and toe portions of the bottom surface, and curved toe portion. No cleats or spikes protrude from the arched portion separating the heel and toe portions.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,568,101 shows a softspike overshoe for playing golf. There are both integrated diamond-shaped spikes and a raised grid-like pattern on the bottom surface of the shoe. Like the '352 patent, the overshoe shows a bottom surface with an arched portion separating the heel and toe portions of the bottom surface, and does not include spikes in this arched portion.

Currently, the undersigned is not aware of any commercially available overshoe products with spiked bottom surfaces such as those described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,643,352 and 6,568,101. This maybe due to problems with the design of the overshoes or for other reasons. Given that the popularity of golf is expanding, and that rain and inclement weather continues to pose problems for golfing or other sports activities, there is a need for improved overshoe designs that allow for better stability, ease of manufacture, comfort to the wearer, and ease of use in wet or muddy conditions.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an exemplary object of this invention to provide an overshoe with a bottom surface with downwardly projecting spikes uniformly distributed thereon, and where the bottom surface is flat from heel to toe, thereby allowing for more contact with the earth and greater stability.

It is another exemplary object of this invention to provide an overshoe with a bottom surface having a plurality of downward projecting pyramidal shaped spikes that are separated from one another so as to avoid collection of turf on the bottom surface of the shoe.

It is yet another exemplary object of this invention to provide an overshoe with a bottom surface having a plurality of downward projecting pyramidal shaped spikes distributed uniformly thereon, with a portion of the sole designed with a circular pattern of the pyramidal shaped spikes to allow for improved turning ability for the wearer, while still allowing greater stability.

The overshoe of the present invention is made of a flexible, stretchable material (e.g., rubber, plastic, etc.) for stretching over a user's footwear. The flexible, stretchable material is all-weather and waterproof to protect the user's footwear. The overshoe includes an open top portion in which a user's footwear can be inserted. A heel portion of the open top portion may include an integrally formed, or otherwise connected, pull-tab that assists the user in stretching the overshoe over his or her footwear. The overshoe further includes a bottom portion that extends from the heel portion to the toe portion, and is preferably integrally formed with the top portion so as to form one continuous piece. The bottom portion includes a bottom surface, or base surface, with a plurality of spikes projecting downward from the bottom surface. The spikes may be integrally formed with the bottom surface of the bottom portion, or otherwise attached to the bottom surface. Preferably, the spikes are pyramidal shaped; however, any pointed shape of spike can be used (e.g., diamond, conical, etc.). Moreover, the spikes are manufactured at a suitable height and width so as to not restrict the turn of the foot on the outdoor surface. Accordingly, pressure on the wearer's knees is reduced.

According to one embodiment of the present invention, the base surface of the portion is uniformly and continuously flat from a heel region to a toe region. In other words, the base surface does not include an arched portion that makes the heel portion distinct from the toe portion of the bottom portion. The purpose and benefit of the uniformly flat base surface are two-fold. First, the flat base surface assists in maintaining balance while contemporaneously restricting sway and movement of other parts of the body. In the sport of golf, for example, the flat base surface will help a golfer maintain his balance and restrict unnecessary bodily movement (e.g., the head) during a golf swing and putting. As is known in the sport of golf, balance and restriction of certain bodily movements are some of the most important steps in executing the proper golf swing. Thus, those familiar with the sport of golf will appreciate the enhanced swinging and putting techniques that result from an overshoe with a flat base surface. Second, the overshoe is capable of stretching over footwear with a deeper or wider heel or sole construction while maintaining the flat base surface. Thus, a user can maintain the comfort of his or her footwear of choice while ensuring balance and certain required movement restriction.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, the spikes located in a sole region of the base surface of the bottom portion are arranged in a circular pattern. This circular pattern is designed to let a user turn between 1 and 360 degrees on the user's feet without applying excessive pressure to other parts of the feet and legs during walking, running or other movements necessary in outdoor sports and related activities. In the sport of golf, for example, the circular pattern enhances a user's golf swing on the final path through the ball.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, the spikes are distributed over an entirety of the base surface of the bottom portion from the heel region to the toe region and at all points in between. The spikes not positioned in a circular pattern are, preferably, distributed in a staggered pattern and, generally, evenly spaced apart from one another. The spacing can range from 1/20 of an inch to 1 inch. Within the scope of this invention, staggered means that the adjacent spike is slightly offset and spaced apart, as shown in FIG. 1. This staggered pattern and the distance between the spikes reduces turf build-up on the bottom surface of the overshoe. If turf does collect on the bottom surface of the overshoe, the staggered pattern allows the overshoe to release grass, dirt, and turf that builds up on the base surface by flexing the overshoe.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing and other objects, aspects and advantages will be better understood from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment of the invention with reference to the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a bottom view of the overshoe of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a left side view of the overshoe of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a top view of the overshoe of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a right side view of the overshoe of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a length wise cross-sectional view of the overshoe of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the overshoe along line A-A in FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the overshoe along line B-B in FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the overshoe along line C-C in FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the overshoe along line D-D in FIG. 1;

FIG. 10 is an isometric view of the overshoe of the present invention;

FIG. 11 is a front view of the overshoe of the present invention; and

FIG. 12 is a back view of the overshoe of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 1, 2 and 4, there is shown an overshoe for sports according to the present invention. The overshoe 10 includes an outsole 12 made of flexible, stretchable material with a base surface 14, which includes a plurality of spikes 16. The outsole 12 has a toe portion 12a and a heel portion 12b, and the base surface 14 has a toe portion 14a and a heel portion 14b. The overshoe 10 is preferably made of rubber, plastic, polyvinyl chloride or any flexible, stretchable material that is waterproof or water resistant. Preferably, the toe portions 12a, 14a and heel portions 12b, 14b of the outsole 12 and base surface 14, respectively, will be constructed with an appropriate thickness of the material so as to be rigid enough to play on outdoor terrains and in outdoor conditions that one would encounter while playing outdoor sports such as golf.

The overshoe 10 also preferably includes a pull tab 18 made of flexible, stretchable material. The pull tab 18 may be integrated with the overshoe 10. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the pull tab 18 is integrated into the upper heel portion 22a of the outsole 12 so as to form one continuous piece. Alternatively, the pull tab 18 can be sown in or otherwise attached to the upper heel portion 22a, as shown in FIG. 10. When a user is placing the overshoe 10 over the user's footwear of choice, the user will pull the tab 18 in order to stretch the outsole 12 over the footwear. The pull tab 18 is, preferably, integrated in order to prevent the tab from ripping from the upper heel portion 22a of the outsole 12.

The base surface 14 extends from the toe portion 14a to the heel portion 14b, and is continuously flat from the toe portion 14a to the heel portion 14b, thus allowing the base surface 14 to be in contact with the ground from heel to toe. Particularly, there is no arched portion that would make the toe portion 14a distinct from the heel portion 14b. When a user stretches the overshoe over his or her footwear, the base surface 14 remains continuously flat, even if the user's footwear includes a deeper or wider heel or sole construction. The flat base surface 14 assists in balance and movement restriction in a way that a base surface with an arched portion cannot. Specifically, because the base surface 14, including the toe portion 14a and heel portion 14b, uniformly contacts the ground, the user can better control his or her balance by easily distributing his or her body weight to get into a balanced position. In contrast, the overshoes in the related prior art include arched portions on the base surface. This arched portion tends to move a user's balance forward or backward since the surface contact is considerably less than the flat base surface 14 of the present invention. The base surfaces in the related prior art are arched to make movement during walking easier (i.e., heel to toe movement). However, in the sport of golf for example, an arched portion on a base surface causes there to be less of a flat surface for a user to adjust his or her balance in order to swing a golf club. Therefore, the uniformly flat base surface 14 of the present invention allows for maximum contact with the ground so a user can maintain better balance.

Returning to the spike placement on the base surface of the overshoe, as shown in FIG. 1, the spikes 16 located in the center of the sole of the base surface 14 are distributed in a circular pattern 16a in a location corresponding to the ball of the user's foot. Although the circular pattern 16a is shown at the toe portion 14a of the base surface 14, a circular pattern of spikes can be positioned at any region (e.g., heel region) on the base surface within the scope of the present invention. When a user is playing the sport of golf, for example, a user will put pressure on the ball of his or her foot when swinging a golf club and twist his or her foot in a stationary, circular motion. As the ball of the user's foot corresponds to the location of the circular pattern 16a of the spikes 16, the circular pattern 16a assists in the stationary turn of a user's foot during play. Particularly, the circular pattern 16a allows for the natural twisting on the ball of a turning foot makes when, for example, swinging a golf club. Further, the arms and legs of a user would not have to assist as much in twisting his or her foot due to the smooth uniform movement that the circular pattern 16a provides.

As shown in FIG. 1, the spikes 16 are distributed over the entire flat base surface 14 from the toe portion 14a to the heel portion 14b and all points in between. The spikes 16 are preferably pyramid-shaped; however, any shape of pointed spike or cleat can be used (e.g., diamond, conical, etc.). The pyramid shape of each spike 16 allows a user to turn, walk, run, etc., over all types of outdoor terrain without raking up and trapping grass, dirt, turf, etc., in between the spikes. Particularly, the pyramid-shaped spike 16, when pushed into the ground will gather little or none of the specific terrain because of the pointed design on each spike. Further, because of the staggered pattern of the spikes 16, as opposed to spike clusters found on overshoes in the related prior art, there is no catch point between the spikes that would capture the specific terrain. Thus, little or no turf is trapped between the spikes in the present invention. Reducing trapping of turf is also enhanced by having an even spacing between spikes. In the preferred configuration, the spikes not positioned in a circular pattern 16a are, generally, evenly spaced apart from each other. The spacing can range from 1/20 of an inch to 1 inch. As shown in FIG. 1, the spikes not positioned in the circular pattern 16a have adjacent spikes slightly offset and spaced apart from one another (i.e., in a staggered pattern).

Referring now to FIG. 3, a top view of the overshoe 10 according to the present invention is shown. The upper portion 22 of the outsole 12 includes a wide enough opening 24 to allow the user to insert his or her footwear of choice (not shown) into the overshoe 10. Once the overshoe 10 is fully stretched over the user's footwear of choice by using the pull tab 18, the upper portion 22 is designed to elastically fit around the footwear so a waterproof or water resistant seal is formed.

Referring now to FIGS. 5-9, there is shown different cross-sections of the overshoe of the present invention. As shown in FIGS. 5-9, the spikes are manufactured at a suitable height and width so as to not restrict the turn of the foot on an outdoor surface. Accordingly, pressure on the knees is reduced. In a preferred embodiment, the spikes 16 have a height of 4mm and a base width of 0.2 mm. Although the spike height and width is, preferably, 4 mm and 0.2 mm, respectively, different heights and widths can be applied to the spikes within the scope of the present invention. Further, the spikes 16 may be integrated into the base surface 14 so as to form one continuous piece (as shown in FIGS. 6-9), or otherwise attached to the base surface 14 (as shown in FIG. 5).

While the invention has been described in terms of its preferred embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that the invention can be practiced with modification within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.