Title:
Cleat covering device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is directed to a cleated shoe protection system having a sandal member for receiving a shoe with a plurality of gripping members and a disposable insert member configured to fit within the sandal member. The disposable insert member has a deformable top layer to form a plurality of recesses by pressing the gripping members of an athletic shoe into the insert member so as to accommodate different patterns of gripping members. The present invention is also directed to a kit containing the cleated shoe protection system as well as extra disposable insert members and a display rack or bag.



Inventors:
Gorynski, Robert (Bayside, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/975374
Publication Date:
04/23/2009
Filing Date:
10/19/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43C15/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20040143995Direct attach footwear constructionJuly, 2004Mcclelland
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20070039211Orthotic insert having recess for therapeutic patchFebruary, 2007Pichler
20040128864Static electricity removing tool for footwear bottom, static electricity removing footwear bottom and electricity removing method of footwear bottomJuly, 2004Kimura et al.
20050022421Ballet pointe shoeFebruary, 2005Bruckner
20090100712Ball Control InsertApril, 2009Baker et al.
20070245598Shoe tagsOctober, 2007Pawsey
20080179859Motorcycle foot peg and boot cleat assemblyJuly, 2008Boehmke et al.
20040187346COUPLING DEVICE FOR A DETACHABLE SHOE UPPER ON A SHOESeptember, 2004Bianchi et al.
20030213148Shoe with cleats and cleat cleaner membraneNovember, 2003Knowles
20080301976Anti-dust shoe pad deviceDecember, 2008Li



Primary Examiner:
MOHANDESI, JILA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Law Office of Leo G. Lenna (Northport, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A cleated shoe protection system, comprising: a shoe member for receiving a shoe with a plurality of gripping members, said shoe member having at least one securing member, said shoe member configured to receive an insert member; said insert member having a deformable layer, wherein said insert is positionable within said shoe member and said insert member has a top layer that is deformable to form a plurality of recesses by pressing said gripping members of said shoe into said insert member so as to accommodate different patterns of gripping members.

2. The cleated shoe protection system of claim 1, wherein said insert member comprises a plurality of deformable ciliate extensions protruding upward from said top layer, said deformable ciliate extensions having spaces there between so that said cilia can deform and/or spread apart to accommodate different patterns of gripping members.

3. The cleated shoe protection system of claim 1, wherein said insert member is made of a material having air pockets dispersed throughout so that a plurality of recesses are formed by pressing said gripping members of said shoe into said insert member and forms a tight fit around said recesses.

4. The cleated shoe protection system of claim 1, wherein said material having air pockets dispersed throughout is made form materials selected from the group consisting of Styrofoam, polyurethane gel, polyethylene gel, a resilient foam material, manmade materials, and mixtures thereof.

5. The cleated shoe protection system of claim 4, wherein said material having air pockets dispersed throughout is made of Styrofoam.

6. The cleated shoe protection system of claim 1, wherein said sandal member includes a resilient sole.

7. The cleated shoe protection system of claim 1, wherein said sandal further comprises a sole, a front portion, and a rear portion, and a lip portion extending upwardly from said sole, wherein said lip portion includes a material that is flexible and elastic so as to secure said shoe inserted into said sandal closely to said sandal.

8. The cleated shoe protection system of claim 1, wherein said securing structure is comprised of at least a rear strap, a front strap and a toe cover.

9. The cleated shoe protection system of claim 1, wherein said insert member is removably positioned within said sandal member so as to allow interchanging of said insert member in order to accommodate different patterns of gripping.

10. The cleated shoe protection system of claim 1, wherein said insert member is secured within said sandal member by an adhesive, Velcro, or a plurality of spikes that insert into a bottom of said insert to hold said insert in place.

11. The cleated shoe protection system of claim 1, wherein the toe cover is made of an elastic material and is designed to firmly press against a toe portion of a cleated shoe be inserted into the cleated shoe protection system.

12. A kit comprising the cleated shoe protection system of claim 1 and a plurality of additional deposable inserts for use with said cleated shoe protection system.

13. The cleated shoe protection system of claim 1, wherein the insert is disposable.

14. The cleated shoe protection system of claim 1, wherein the shoe member has a plurality of small spikes facing upwardly so as to puncture one side of said insert so as to secure said insert to said shoe member.

15. A kit comprising said shoe protection system of claim 1 and a carrying device for displaying said shoe protection system.

16. The kit of claim 15 wherein said display is configured to hold and display said shoe members and said inserts according to size.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the field of athletic shoes, in particular the field of spiked athletic shoes such as cleats. Even more particular, the present invention relates to a spike-covering device for athletic cleats that easily slips on so as not to damage a rug, ceramic tiles walking thereon. These covers can be used in golf clubs when a member wants to enter into the clubhouse without removing his or her cleats and not damage the clubhouse floor.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Cleats are used in many sports and come in all shapes and sizes. That is the design on the bottom of cleats varies as much as the design of the shoe itself. Cleats used in baseball have a different cleat arrangement than cleats used for golf. In fact, even cleats used in the same sport come in many different cleat designs.

Covers for cleats are not new and have been described in several patents filed in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. These patents include U.S. Pat. No. 5,070,631 to Fenton; U.S. Pat. No. 3,574,959 to Cicero; U.S. Pat. No. 3,913,243 to Arnold et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 4,872,273 to Smeed; U.S. Pat. No. 3,987,510 to Sbicca; and U.S. Pat. No. 4,010,558 to Slusher all of which have problems that the present invention overcomes. These patents are briefly discussed below.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,070,631 to Fenton discloses a golf shoe cleat cover having a plurality of cleat gripping members slidably positioned within a groove to conform to the pattern and spacing of the cleats on a golf shoe. The problem with this device is that not all cleats fit this device and the cleats loosely sit in the groove, which tends to allow the shoe to move. Not having a tight grip on the shoe makes it difficult to walk and increases the possibility of injury.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,574,959 to Cicero patent discloses a golf shoe spike guarding shield wherein a plurality of such shields made of rubber or the like, are used on the heels and soles of the shoes to fit closely between and against the spikes and have gripping engagement with the sole portions of the shoes. Unfortunately, the structure of the disclosed golf shoe spike guarding shield doesn't cover all of the spikes on spiked shoes, including golf shoes and is too high and unstable to provide comfortable shoe wear.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,872,273 to Smeed discloses a two-piece spiked shoe protector, but relies exclusively on strap elasticity for accommodating different shoe sizes thus making it difficult to adjust for small and large shoe sizes. The strap is affixed at both of its ends with no provision for adjustment.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,987,510 to Sbicca discloses a method of making footwear that comprises two components; an upper made from conventional elastic webbing and a sole molded thereto and consisting of an electrometric plastic composition. The upper embraces and covers a principal portion of the wearer's normal shoe and the sole has cavities for accommodating spikes, cleats and other such devices commonly present on athletic footwear for protecting the underlying surfaces and damage to the spikes. While this particular footwear article overcomes a number of the aforementioned prior art, this patent also discloses a device, which is too bulky, too difficult to install and remove, and anesthetically configured, thus making it unlikely to be a commercially viable product. In addition not all cleat arrangements can use this device.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,010,558 to Slusher discloses a golf rubber overshoe fabricated of flexible rubber or plastic and which fits over a pair of golf shoes, but which provides a clearance for the spikes over which the overshoe is fitted. Thus, unlike the other described art, this particular patent discloses an overshoe which is designed to prevent weathering of the golf shoe, but which is not designed to protect the spikes or the underlying surface with which the spikes come in contact.

Although the above-mentioned patents disclose spike/cleat covers, they all require many pre-designed fit to accommodate the tens, if not hundreds, of possible cleat configurations available on the market today. This results in either too many designs that need to be made or settling for less than a perfect fit. It is more than likely at least some of the many different possible cleat designs would not be accommodated at all using the prior art cleat coverings. Moreover, manufacturing of the cleat covers described in the prior art would be very costly since many different molds would have to be made in order to make cleat covers that accommodate the various cleat designs available on the market. This would also be a sporting goods stores inventory headache, since so many different types of cleat covers would have to be kept in inventory, each in a variety of sizes, if the sporting goods store wanted to adequately serve the public. Finally, the prior art cleat covers make it almost impossible for golf clubs to provide complimentary cleat covers to their guests and/or members since so many different designs would be needed to be kept on hand so as to accommodate the different cleat designs of their members and/or guests.

What is needed is a cleat cover shoe that can be easily customized to fit a specific cleat arrangement and either remains customized or when the cleated shoe is removed a new insert can be added so as to become customized to the next set of cleats using the cleat covers. This will allow golf clubs to keep several pairs of cleat covers available that would accommodate every cleat arrangement available on the market. This will also make manufacturing and inventory problems associated with the product less burdensome and costly than the cleats covers available in the prior art. The cleat cover shoe must have a tight fit so as to allow one to walk about comfortably and without injury. The present invention overcomes the problems associated with the cleat covers of the prior art discussed above. The present invention is described in the sections and drawings immediately following this section.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a protective covering for cleated shoes that in the form of a sandal, shoe or sneaker. One embodiment of the present invention is shown as a sandal, but the present invention should not be so limited. The sandal is designed to fit any cleat formation available and to tightly fit to the cleated shoe so as to allow a person to walk around with the protective covering of the present invention without slipping or sliding about.

In particular, the present invention is directed to a cleated shoe protection system, comprising a sandal member configured for receiving a shoe having a plurality of gripping members, such as cleats. The sandal member is also configured to receive an insert member that is used to embrace the gripping member of the shoe being received. The insert can be either disposable or reusable depending on the material from which it is made. The insert can be secured in place by Velcro® and/or some other type of attach and release system.

In general, the insert member has a deformable layer that is designed to receive the gripping members of a shoe and is positionable within the sandal member of the present invention. The insert member has a top layer that is deformable to form a plurality of recesses simply by pressing the gripping members of the cleated shoe into the insert member. This configuration accommodates different patterns of gripping members. A disposable version of the insert would be made of a cheap one-time use material such as Styrofoam®, where a reusable insert would be made of resilient deformable materials having a predetermined memory.

The deformable layer of the insert member of the present invention may comprise a plurality of deformable ciliated extensions protruding upward from the top layer of the insert member. The deformable ciliated extensions are arranged so as to have spaces disposed there between so that the cilia can deform and/or spread apart to accommodate different patterns of gripping members. In another embodiment of the present invention, the disposable insert may be made of Styrofoam® or the like.

The present invention is also directed to a kit comprising the cleated shoe protection system described above and a plurality of additional disposable inserts for use with the cleated shoe protection system. The kit may come with a carrying bag and/or storage rack for use outside clubhouses on a golf course. The carrying rack can be used to display the cleated shoe protection system of the present invention as well as extra inserts at the entranceway of a clubhouse, pro-shop, lounge or other area that the present invention can be used.

The present invention is described in greater detail in the figures and the detailed description section below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective side view of the cleated protector shoe of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a top prospective view of the cleated protector shoe of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a prospective side view of the insert of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a prospective side view of the insert and the cleated protector shoe of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a partial cut-away side view of the cleated protector shoe with the insert in place.

FIG. 6 is a top prospective view of one embodiment of the cleated protector shoe of the present invention having ciliated bodies.

FIG. 7 is a top prospective view of one embodiment of the cleated protector shoe of the present invention having spikes pointing upwards to engage the insert.

FIG. 8 shows a side prospective view of one embodiment of the insert shown in FIG. 7.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As stated above, cleated shoes are used in many sports including soccer, baseball, football, and lacrosse by both adults and children. In addition to these sports, cleated shoes are also used in recreational sports like golf. In fact, many golf courses around the country and the world require that cleats be used on the course but removed prior to entering the clubhouse area. Since cleats are designed to grab a surface so as to provide better footing for the user on grass, they cannot be worn off the field/course since doing so would damage the surface that they come in contact with. If worn on concrete or asphalt it is possible to damage the cleats themselves thus making them less effective on the field.

This means that the user would have to either carry a change of shoes in order to walk inside the clubhouse at a golf course. Often, players go to the locker room instead of the clubhouse to use the restrooms, since cleats are often allowed in the locker room. Once in the locker room, should the player desire to go into the clubhouse, they would have to change from cleats to shoes. Then before resuming play the golfer must make another trip to the locker room to change back into cleated shoes. This is often time consuming and tedious. In fact, some players would rather not have lunch or a cocktail in the clubhouse until they are finished playing so that they do not have to change shoes between tours. This is especially burdensome when there is a considerable distance between the locker rooms and the clubhouse.

A better solution to the above-discussed scenarios is to be able to cover the cleats in a quick a safe way so as to allow the user to enter the clubhouse during a game or directly there after. However, the cleat covers available on the market today are either clumsy or have specific configurations for the cleats and therefore do not fit all of the possible cleat formations available. That is, a person would often have to have his or her own cleat cover in order to fit his or her cleated shoes. This would require a golfer to carry his or her cleat-protecting device around with him or her, which is equivalent to toting around an extra pair of shoes to change into before exiting the course. This is not usually done for all of the apparent reasons as well as the reasons stated above.

Also, children using cleats have to travel to the field, track or course with one set of street shoes/sneakers and then change into cleats when they get there. However, what often happens is when the children arrive at the field and goes to change into his or her cleats; they realize that they are not in their sports bag. As a result, the child can either not play or practice because they do not have cleats or someone has to travel back home to get the cleats. This can be prevented if the cleats can be worn to the game with a protective shoe and the protective shoe simply removed before entering the filed. This would guarantee that the child has his or her cleats when he or she arrives at the field.

The present invention is directed to a protective covering for a cleated shoe in the form of a sandal. The sandal is designed to tightly fit any cleat formation and allow a person to walk around with the protective covering of the present invention without the cleated shoe slipping away from the cleated shoe protector. This makes the device safe to use and universal to all cleat formations. The protective covering for cleated shoes of the present invention would solve both of the problems discussed above. It would allow a golf course offer cleat protectors that the gofer can slip on prior to entering the clubhouse. The cleat protector of the present invention can be stacked in a decorative display at the entranceway of the clubhouse so as to provide the protective covering to its members. Once done, the cleated shoe protector would be removed and placed back on the rack or given to an attendant at the club and the golfer would never have to remove his or her cleated shoes. That means no additional trips to the locker room in order to change shoes just to enter the clubhouse.

The present invention would also solve the problem with forgetting cleats at home when traveling to a practice and or game. That is, the cleats would be worn with the cleated shoe protector of the present invention when leaving the house assuring that they player has his or her cleats to play.

The specific design of the present invention allows for the portion of the cleat protector that receives the cleats to adapt to any configuration available just by stepping into and pressing down onto the device. In order to remove the cleat protector the cleated shoe is simply pulled away from the portion of the present invention that received the cleats in the first place.

In one embodiment of the present invention, the portion of the cleat protector that receives the cleats is made form a deformable material such as Styrofoam® which can be disposed of after each use and additional inserts made available at the club or in the display so that the next person, probably having a different cleat design, can use a new insert and make his/her own custom fitted cleat protector simply by stepping into the sandal onto the insert. The insert does more than just accommodate different cleat designs, it also provides a secure, tight fit that helps in preventing shifting of the cleated shoe in the cleat protector. This is important since shifting about can cause a person to sprain or even break his or her ankle if it occurs unexpectedly of while walking up stairs. The present invention is also fitted with securing straps and a galoshes-type rubber rim that provides additional securing mechanisms for preventing slippage.

One embodiment of the present invention is directed to a cleated shoe protection system comprising a sandal member that is designed to receive a shoe having a plurality of gripping members, namely cleats. The sandal member is also equipped with at least one securing member that is configured to receive a disposable insert that fits into the sandal. The securing member, designed to grip the insert and hold it securely in place can comprise a plurality of upward facing spikes that grip the insert on the side opposite the face that receives the cleated shoe and secures it to the sandal. Additional securing means for the insert ca be provided to assure that it does not move once it is inserted. That is, a Velcro® attaching means can be provided on the bottom of the insert with the male portion of the Velcro® being attached on the bottom of the insert and the female portion of the Velcro® being attached to the sandal. Once placed together the male and the female portions of the Velcro® attach and secure the insert in place. In the alternative, the insert can have two-sided tape stripes, ribs of adhesive material, or a snap fit that can be used in addition to or instead of the above-mentioned insert securing means. All in all the objective of the securing means is clear, to place the insert in position and make sure it remains securely attached until ready to be removed. Other mechanisms to secure the insert in place can be contemplated and fall within the spirit of the present invention.

The disposable insert member must have a deformable cleat-receiving surface that can easily be deformed to accommodate a plurality of gripping members from a cleated shoe simply by pressing the gripping members of the cleated shoe into the insert member. Since the deposable insert member is deformable, the griping members, i.e. cleats, would puncture the surface and the material of the insert, i.e. Styrofoam® would securely fit around each cleat.

To further describe the structure of the present invention we now refer to FIGS. 1-8.

In FIG. 1 a side view perspective of the cleated protector shoe (10) of the present invention is shown. In this embodiment, the cleated protector shoe is in the form of a sandal but it is well within the teachings of the present invention that the cleated shoe protector can take many different configurations and styles as long as the cleated shoe protector is able to accept cleated shoes easily and in such a way as to prevent the cleats form touching the surface. That is, the cleated protector shoe of the present invention can be in the form of a sandal, open toe shoe, closed toe shoe, sneaker, etc.

FIG. 1 shows a sandal (10) having a sole (20) a toe protector (15) and a plurality of straps for strapping a cleated shoe into the sandal (10) of the present invention. Although the sandal (10) shows two sets of straps, it is within the scope of the present invention to include additional strapping devices for attaching the cleated shoe to the sandal (10) of the present invention. In the embodiment shown, one set of straps having a first strapping member (45) and second strapping member (55) each of which have an attaching means (50) on at least part of the strap.

The attaching means (50) when put together are designed to attach the first strapping member (45) of the strap to the second strapping member (55) of the strap. The strap is also designed to fit around the ankle area of the person wearing the sandal of the present invention so as to hold the sandal to the foot of the user without sliding. In one embodiment of the present invention, the sandal (10) may be equipped with a set of back straps (40) that when fully closed, further tighten the sandal of the present invention to the users' cleated shoe.

To further assure that the cleated shoe remains in place and does not shift while walking, the sandal may be equipped with a peripheral rubber rim that is designed to hug a cleated shoe when placed into the device so as to keep it in place. This additional securing mechanism is easily used and is effective in preventing shifting of the cleated shoe within the protector, thereby avoiding injury. The peripheral rubber rim works on the same or similar premise in which galoshes stay closely attached to the shoe they are protecting from the weather elements.

The sandal (10) has a sole (20) with a front (30) portion designed for absorbing the impact of the sole when it hits the pavement. The sandal (10) may also have a heel (25) for providing a step to the shoe. However, since the sandal is simply one design choice that can be worn with a shoe, the sandal (10) does not have to have a heel (25) and may be constructed as a flat rubber sole that is wider than a normal cleated shoe.

The length and the width of the sandal (10) may change with the size requirements of the cleated shoe being inserted. However, in general, the sandal (10) is designed so that one size is able to fit multiple size-cleated shoes. That is, the sandal (10) can be sized so that one sandal (10) can fit cleated shoes having the sizes 5-8 or 9-12, which are the most common sizes. This, as stated above, will reduce the number of molds that need to made in order to produce the sandals and therefore reduce production costs of the product. In addition, having only two different sizes that fit the majority of the shoe sizes on the market would reduce inventory in stores as well as make it easier for golf clubs to provide the cleated shoe protectors for use by guests at the entranceways to the clubhouse and/or dining area.

FIG. 2 shows a top prospective view of the cleated protector shoe (75) of the present invention. In this view, the inner portion of the sole that accepts the cleated shoe (70) is shown. The recessed insert receiving surface support has a front locking notch (65) and a rear-locking notch (60) formed therein. These two notches are designed to accept the front and rear locking pegs (115 and 110 shown in FIG. 3) so as to assure that the insert when placed into the sandal does not slip out of place. The sandal (75) of the present invention may also be equipped with a heel insert connector (80) located at the rear of the sandal that is designed to accept a portion of the insert shown in FIG. 3. This additional connector (80) is designed to further prevent slippage of the insert and proper placement of the insert into the sandal (75).

FIG. 2 also shows the top view of the toe cover (15), the first and second strapping members (45 and 55 respectively), the rear strapping members (40), as well as, the peripheral rubber rim (35). Together, these features secure the cleated shoe to the sandal when inserted. In one embodiment of the present invention, prior to accepting the cleated shoe, the sandal must be provided with an insert that is designed to receive the cleats of the cleated shoe.

As shown in side prospective view of FIG. 3, the insert (100) is designed with a rear-locking peg (115) and a front locking peg (110) that is configured so as to fit into sandal (75) of the present invention. Since the insert (100) is designed to fit within the sandal (75) of the present invention, it too can be made in two standard sizes. That is, as with the sandal (100) of the present invention, the insert (100) can be produced to fit cleated shoes having the sizes 5-8 or 9-12, which, as stated above, are the most common sizes. Sizes outside of these ranges can be custom made upon request.

The insert (100) shown in FIG. 3 has a substantially flat surface (130) having a front portion (105) and a rear portion (125). The rear portion can be made with a heel connector (120) that is designed to fit in the heel connector insert (80) shown in FIG. 2. The heel connector insert (80) together with the rear locking peg (115) and the front locking peg (110) of the insert (100) are designed to prevent the insert (100) from slipping once it is placed into the sandal of the present invention.

The insert (100) is constructed from a penetrable or puncturable material such as, Styrofoam®, rubber, soft plastics, gels and different types of manmade materials that are both inexpensive and durable but yet easily punctured by the cleats of a cleated shoe. This arrangement allows for the insert to accommodate any configuration of cleats possible since the cleats themselves make their own impressions in the insert (100). This makes the insert (100) universal for any cleat design, which reduces inventory stocks and allows for the cleated shoe protector to be used in golf clubs, and other areas where many different cleat designs can exist. Since the insert (100) is disposable, once it is used by one patron it can be replaced with a fresh insert (100) so that the cleated shoe protector of the present invention can be used again and again by many different patrons having different cleat designs.

FIG. 4 shows a prospective side view of the insert and the cleated shoe protector of the present invention. In this figure, the insert (200) is shown having a rear portion (125), a substantially flat upper surface (130) that will come in contact with the cleated shoe and a front portion (105) that inserts into the sandal (210) under the front toe cover (15). The insert also has a lower surface (220) configured with a rear locking peg (115) and front locking peg (110) that are designed to fit tightly into their receiving counter parts, namely the rear locking notch (60) and the front locking notches (65) of the sandal (210).

The insert (200) may also be equipped with a heel connector (120) that extends downward at the rear of the insert and is configured to fit into a receiving portion of the sandal so as to assure proper alignment of the insert into the sandal and also prevent slipping. In addition to these measures, the lower surface (220) of the insert (200) may have an adhesive, Velcro®, or other attaching means provided thereon so as to adhere to the sandal (210) once inserted. Whatever adhesive means that are used, the adhesive must be of the non-permanent and must provide enough adhesiveness to keep the insert (200) in place, but not so much that it can not be removed in order to put a fresh insert in its place.

The sandal (210) is show with a sole (20) that may or may not have a heel (25) and a front portion (300) designed to withstand the impact associated with walking and supporting a user wearing cleated shoes. The sandal (210) is also equipped with a first strapping portion (45) and a second strapping portion (55) that is designed to come together at a connection point where the two portions overlap (50). The sandal (210) also has a back strap (40) designed to further lock the insert (200) in place. The toe cover (15) can be made from an elastic material, which not only provides a stylish look to the sandal when worn but would provide additional support to keep the cleated shoe in place when walking.

FIG. 5 shows the insert (200) and the sandal (210) together as a single unit (300). In this figure the insert (200) is inserted into the sandal (210) and the heel connector (120) is in it's the preformed heel connector notch (240), the front and rear locking pegs (115 and 110) are seated in their respective receiving notches (60 and 65), the back strap (40) and the first and second strap portions (45 and 55) are attached together to show the configuration that will be used to lock a cleated shoe in place. These locking devices as well as the goulashes-type rubber rim and the elastic toe cover provide a cleated shoe protector that is firmly attached to the cleated shoe, is easy to put on, accepts any cleat design, and allows a patron to walk comfortably and securely into a clubhouse without first taking off his or her cleated shoe to prevent damage to the floor. Although FIG. 5 shows one embodiment of the invention, additional embodiments are also contemplated by the invention. That is, embodiments having additional or different securing means that are used to firmly attach the cleated shoe to the cleat protect are also within the scope of the invention.

In fact, FIG. 6 shows a prospective top view of an alternative embodiment of the invention (400). Here either an insert or the sandal itself is designed to contain a plurality of closely arranged ciliated bodies (405) protruding upwardly from the sole of the sandal or from the insert. These ciliated bodies accommodate any cleated design since inserting the cleats of a cleated shoe into the ciliated bodies forces the bodies to conform to the particular cleat configuration of the shoe. This is achieved by pushing and moving the ciliated bodies to each side so as to allow room for the cleats. The displaced ciliated bodies press up against the cleats so as to provide a tight fit. The ciliated sandal (400) is also configured to have a first strap portion (410) and second strap port (420), which comes together at the overlapping attaching means (415). The sandal (400) may also have the heel-connecting portion and the rear straps (425) and toe cover (445) to provide the same tight fit than is in the other described embodiments. Although not shown should, the ciliated bodies alternatively can be part of an insert. The insert can be equipped with a multiplicity of locking pegs so as to fit into a receiving notch in the sole of the sandal as shown in the configuration in FIG. 5.

Still yet another embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 7, which provides a unique way for attaching a punturable/penetrable insert into the sandal (500). Here, the sandal (500) is configured to have a plurality of small traction spikes (500) pointing upwards that will grasp the insert (not shown) when inserted into the sandal (500). Using this configuration the insert need not have locking pegs (as shown in FIG. 5) but instead can be substantially flat like the upper surface of the insert. Once the insert is inserted, the spikes (550) will puncture only so slightly into the material of the insert so as to hold into place. It is important that the spikes (550) do not extend far into the insert since the other side of the insert will be receiving the cleated shoe and there can not be any touching of the spikes and cleats since this can cause less than a perfect fit. That is, the insert must be thick enough to accommodate the spikes in one direction and the cleats in the other so as not to touch in the middle.

As shown in FIG. 8, the insert (600) is thicker than the normal insert shown in the other figures and has a substantially flat surface on both sides. This configuration of the sandal (500) and the insert (600), together provide a configuration that provides all of the attributes of the invention discussed in the other embodiments shown in FIGS. 1-6 and discussed above. That is, the toe cover (545), the first and second traps (510, 530) which overlap (515) to hold the shoe in place, the rear straps (570) and the goulashes-type rubber rim all keep the shoe firmly in place so as to prevent injury when walking with the device on a cleated shoe.

The insert can be produced by cutting the insert from Styrofoam® or other suitable material sheets or blowing Styrofoam® or other suitable material into a mold. Once blown into a mold, the material is allowed to cure to produce an insert for the sandal as described above. The insert can also be made by any known technique used for making innersole-type inserts that are configured to be placed inside a sandal or shoe that is know in the art. The sandal can made in the form of a shoe or sandal and can be made by blow-molding materials into a mold and curing the materials to produce the whole shoe/sandal or parts of the shoe sandal that can be later assembled. The sandal/shoe can also be produced using standard leather workmanship, or other well-known shoe making techniques available in the art at the time of filing. Since the style of shoes often change, different styles of the shoe/sandal of the present invention can be made in order to keep up with fashion but the general structure should deviate from the general spirit and scope of the invention.

While the preferred embodiment of the present invention has been illustrated and described in detail, various modifications of, for example, components, materials and parameters, will become apparent to those skilled in the art, and all such modifications and changes are intended to fall within the scope of the claims of the present invention.