Title:
Footwear apparatus having simulated deer hoof bottoms
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A footwear apparatus has simulated animal hoof bottoms. More specifically, the footwear apparatus includes a footwear top portion, a footwear sole portion connected to the footwear top portion, and a footwear bottom portion connected to the footwear sole portion. The footwear bottom portion includes a simulated deer front foot portion and a simulated deer rear foot portion which are connected to the footwear sole portion and project downward therefrom. The footwear top portion includes straps. The footwear sole portion can include a stiff flexible inner member layer housed between outer flexible layers. Together, the pair of simulated front deer foot portions and the pair of simulated rear deer foot portions comprise simulated deer hoofs. Preferably, a bottom side of each of the pair of simulated front deer foot portions projects forward from the footwear sole portion at a bottom side forward projection angle of approximately twenty-two and one-half degrees.



Inventors:
Smith Jr., Dwight E. (Williamsburg, VA, US)
Application Number:
12/384625
Publication Date:
10/08/2009
Filing Date:
04/07/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
36/11.5
International Classes:
A43B13/00; A43B3/12
View Patent Images:
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20090241381Shoe AccessoryOctober, 2009Bailar
20020092207Sole for boot, in particular a sports boot, a method of manufacturing same, and a boot having such a soleJuly, 2002Girard et al.
20080072461Cushioned orthoticMarch, 2008Howlett et al.
20020004996SLIP GUARDJanuary, 2002Scheucher
20090090027Footwear with a Foot StabilizerApril, 2009Baudouin
20060236562Shoe sole insertOctober, 2006Wang



Primary Examiner:
MOHANDESI, JILA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dwight E. Smith, Jr. (Williamsburg, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed as being new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent of the United States is as follows:

1. A footwear apparatus having simulated animal hoof bottoms, comprising: a footwear top portion, a footwear sole portion connected to said footwear top portion, and a footwear bottom portion which includes a simulated animal front foot portion and a simulated animal rear foot portion, wherein said simulated animal front foot portion and said simulated animal rear foot portion are connected to said footwear sole portion and project downward therefrom, and wherein a bottom side of said simulated animal front foot portion projects forward from said footwear sole portion at a bottom side forward projection angle.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said bottom side forward projection angle is in a range of from fifteen to thirty degrees.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said bottom side forward projection angle is approximately twenty-two and one-half degrees.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein a top side of said simulated animal front foot portion projects forward from said footwear sole portion at a top side forward projection angle.

5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein said top side forward projection angle is in a range of from thirty to forty degrees.

6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein said top side forward projection angle is approximately thirty-five degrees.

7. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said simulated animal front foot portion includes a pair of simulated front foot portions.

8. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein said pair of simulated front foot portions includes a pair of simulated front deer foot portions.

9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein each of said pair of simulated front deer foot portions includes a base region having a base region width and includes an end region having an end region width, wherein said base region width is greater than said end region width, such that said pair of simulated front deer foot portions taper from said base region to said end region.

10. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said simulated animal rear foot portion includes a pair of simulated rear foot portions.

11. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein said pair of simulated rear foot portions includes a pair of simulated rear deer foot portions.

12. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein said pair of simulated rear deer foot portions project from said footwear sole portion at approximately ninety degrees.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority based upon my copending Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/123,145; filed Apr. 7, 2008.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to footwear, and, more particularly, to footwear especially adapted for impressing simulated animal tracks into the ground when worn by a person.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Footwear that is especially adapted for impressing simulated animal tracks into the ground when worn by a person is well known in the art. In this respect, throughout the years, a number of innovations have been developed relating to such animal track footwear, and the following U.S. patents are representative of some of those innovations: U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,402,485, 4,769,931, 6,018,889, and 6,398,126.

More specifically, each of U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,402,485, 4,769,931, 6,018,889, and 6,398,126 provides animal track footwear wherein the animal track members extend downwardly, perpendicular to the bottom of the sole of the footwear. In this respect, when walking through the woods wearing one of the above-cited animal track footwear, the wearer steps down on top of leaves that are lying on the soil. Stepping down on leaves makes noise, and that noise alerts animals to presence of the nearby person. To avoid making such noise from stepping on leaves, it would be desirable if a wearer could walk through the woods with one's footwear permitting the wearer to lift leaves off of the ground as the wearer walks through the woods before stepping down on the soil.

In addition, it would be desirable if a wearer could easily strap on and remove such novel footwear without removing one's conventional footwear.

Thus, while the foregoing body of prior art indicates it to be well known to use footwear that impresses animal tracks on the ground, the prior art described above does not teach or suggest a footwear apparatus having simulated deer hoof bottoms which has the following combination of desirable features: (1) permits a wearer to walk through the woods while permitting the wearer' feet to lift leaves off of the ground as the wearer walks through the woods before stepping down on the soil; and (2) permits a wearer to easily strap on and remove such novel footwear without removing one's conventional footwear. The foregoing desired characteristics are provided by the unique footwear apparatus having simulated deer hoof bottoms of the present invention as will be made apparent from the following description thereof. Other advantages of the present invention over the prior art also will be rendered evident.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

To achieve the foregoing and other advantages, the present invention, briefly described, provides a footwear apparatus which has simulated animal hoof bottoms. More specifically, the footwear apparatus includes a footwear top portion, a footwear sole portion connected to the footwear top portion, and a footwear bottom portion connected to the footwear sole portion. The footwear bottom portion includes a simulated animal front foot portion and a simulated animal rear foot portion. The simulated animal front foot portion and the simulated animal rear foot portion are connected to the footwear sole portion and project downward therefrom. Normally, a wearer wears a set of footwear apparatuses of the invention, one on right foot and another on the left foot.

The footwear top portion includes straps. The footwear sole portion can include a stiff flexible inner member layer housed between outer flexible layers. The footwear sole portion can further include an upper sole cushion layer attached to a top outer flexible layer.

Preferably, the simulated animal front foot portion simulates a deer front foot portion, and the simulated animal rear foot portion simulates a deer rear foot portion.

Preferably, the simulated animal front foot portion includes a pair of simulated front foot portions. More preferably, the pair of simulated front foot portions includes a pair of simulated front deer foot portions.

Preferably, the simulated animal rear foot portion includes a pair of simulated rear foot portions. More preferably, the pair of simulated rear foot portions includes a pair of simulated rear deer foot portions. Together, the pair of simulated front deer foot portions and the pair of simulated rear deer foot portions comprise simulated deer hoofs.

Preferably, a bottom side of each of the pair of simulated front deer foot portions projects forward from the footwear sole portion at a bottom side forward projection angle. The bottom side forward projection angle is in a range of from fifteen to thirty degrees. Preferably, the bottom side forward projection angle is approximately twenty-two and one-half degrees.

Preferably, a top side of each of the pair of simulated front deer foot portions projects forward from the footwear sole portion at a top side forward projection angle. The top side forward projection angle is in a range of from thirty to forty degrees. Preferably, the top side forward projection angle is approximately thirty-five degrees.

In addition, the pair of simulated rear deer foot portions project downward from the footwear sole portion at approximately ninety degrees.

In addition, preferably, each of the pair of simulated front deer foot portions includes a base region which has a base region width and includes an end region which has an end region width. The base region width is greater than the end region width, such that the pair of simulated front deer foot portions taper from the base region to the end region.

The above brief description sets forth rather broadly the more important features of the present invention in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood, and in order that the present contributions to the art may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will be for the subject matter of the claims appended hereto.

In this respect, before explaining a preferred embodiment of the invention in detail, it is understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of the construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood, that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception, upon which disclosure is based, may readily be utilized as a basis for designing other structures, methods, and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved footwear apparatus having simulated deer hoof bottoms which has all of the advantages of the prior art and none of the disadvantages.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a new and improved footwear apparatus having simulated deer hoof bottoms which may be easily and efficiently manufactured and marketed.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a new and improved footwear apparatus having simulated deer hoof bottoms which is of durable and reliable construction.

An even further object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved footwear apparatus having simulated deer hoof bottoms which is susceptible of a low cost of manufacture with regard to both materials and labor, and which accordingly is then susceptible of low prices of sale to the consuming public, thereby making such footwear apparatus having simulated deer hoof bottoms available to the buying public.

Still yet a further object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved footwear apparatus having simulated deer hoof bottoms which permits a wearer to walk through the woods while permitting the wearer' feet to lift leaves off of the ground as the wearer walks through the woods before stepping down on the soil, thereby reducing noise made by stepping on leaves.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved footwear apparatus having simulated deer hoof bottoms that permits a wearer to easily strap on and remove such novel footwear without removing one's conventional footwear.

These together with still other objects of the invention, along with the various features of novelty which characterize the invention, are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this disclosure. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and the specific objects attained by its uses, reference should be had to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there are illustrated preferred embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be better understood and the above objects as well as objects other than those set forth above will become more apparent after a study of the following detailed description thereof. Such description makes reference to the annexed drawing wherein:

FIG. 1 is a side view showing a preferred embodiment of the invention of the footwear apparatus having simulated deer hoof bottoms, wherein the footwear apparatus is in the form of a sandal.

FIG. 2 is a front view of the embodiment of the footwear apparatus shown in FIG. 1 taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the embodiment of the footwear apparatus shown in FIG. 1 taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the embodiment of the footwear apparatus of FIG. 2 taken along line 4-4 thereof.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 1-4, wherein the footwear apparatus is about to be pressed into a portion of soil to leave simulated deer hoof prints in the soil.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

With reference to the drawings, a new and improved footwear apparatus having simulated deer hoof bottoms embodying the principles and concepts of the present invention will be described.

However, before describing a preferred embodiment of the invention, background facts leading to the invention are of interest.

The inventor of the present inventor has been an avid deer hunter since he was a child. Through the years, the inventor has studied animal behavior both in the field and through reading books on the whitetail deer. One of the most interesting things that the inventor noticed about deer was their ability to slip through the woods without making a lot of noise. One day while the inventor was deer hunting from a tree stand a Black Angus bull came walking through the woods. The inventor could see the bull coming from a long way off, but he could barely hear him walking. The inventor pondered this phenomenon and asked himself this question: how can a bull weighing 800 lbs or more walk through the woods and make less noise than a man? Then, with a flash of insight, the inventor suspected that this had something to do with animals that had hoofs.

Then, the inventor made a closer study of deer behavior. The inventor studied how deer walked and observed that instead of walking on the leaves, they slipped their hoofs under the leaves and stepped on the soft ground. The inventor deduced that this explained why a person could hear a buck walking towards one and, if the buck detected one's scent in the wind, or picked up one's scent on the trail, the person could not hear the buck slip away.

Then, the inventor closely studied deer hoofs and concluded that the natural shape and angle of their hoofs allowed them to quietly move through the woods without making a sound. After having arrived at this conclusion, the inventor conceived of the present invention in which auxiliary footwear are strapped onto conventional footwear to permit a wearer to lift leaves off of the ground as the wearer walks through the woods before stepping down on the soil, thereby making less noise than conventional footwear as the wearer walks through the woods.

In view of the above, a footwear apparatus 10 of the invention has simulated animal hoof bottoms.

Turning to FIGS. 1-5, there is shown a preferred embodiment of the footwear apparatus having simulated deer hoof bottoms of the invention generally designated by reference numeral 10. In each of the figures, reference numerals are shown that correspond to like reference numerals that designate like elements shown in other figures.

In the preferred embodiment, footwear apparatus having simulated deer hoof bottoms 10 includes a footwear top portion 12, a footwear sole portion 14 connected to the footwear top portion 12, and a footwear bottom portion 16 connected to the footwear sole portion 14. The footwear bottom portion 16 includes a simulated animal front foot portion and a simulated animal rear foot portion. The simulated animal front foot portion and the simulated animal rear foot portion are connected to the footwear sole portion 14 and project downward therefrom.

The footwear top portion 12 includes straps 30. The straps 30 are used for connecting the footwear apparatus 10 of the invention to a wearer's foot on which conventional footwear, such as boot 11, is worn.

The footwear sole portion 14 can include a stiff flexible inner member layer 32 housed between outer flexible layers 34. The footwear sole portion 14 can further include an upper sole cushion layer 36 attached to a top outer flexible layer 34.

Preferably, the simulated animal front foot portion simulates a deer front foot portion, and the simulated animal rear foot portion simulates a deer rear foot portion.

Preferably, the simulated animal front foot portion includes a pair of simulated front foot portions. More preferably, the pair of simulated front foot portions includes a pair of simulated front deer foot portions 18.

Preferably, the simulated animal rear foot portion includes a pair of simulated rear foot portions. More preferably, the pair of simulated rear foot portions includes a pair of simulated rear deer foot portions 20. Together, the pair of simulated front deer foot portions 18 and the pair of simulated rear deer foot portions 20 comprise simulated deer hoofs.

Preferably, a bottom side of each of the pair of simulated front deer foot portions 18 projects forward from the footwear sole portion 14 at a bottom side forward projection angle 22. The bottom side forward projection angle 22 is in a range of from fifteen to thirty degrees. Preferably, the bottom side forward projection angle 22 is approximately twenty-two and one-half degrees.

Preferably, a top side of each of the pair of simulated front deer foot portions 18 projects forward from the footwear sole portion 14 at a top side forward projection angle 24. The top side forward projection angle 24 is in a range of from thirty to forty degrees. Preferably, the top side forward projection angle 24 is approximately thirty-five degrees.

In addition, the pair of simulated rear deer foot portions 20 project downward from the footwear sole portion 14 at approximately ninety degrees.

In addition, preferably, each of the pair of simulated front deer foot portions 18 includes a base region which has a base region width 26 and includes an end region which has an end region width 28. The base region width 26 is greater than the end region width 28, such that the pair of simulated front deer foot portions 18 taper from the base region to the end region.

To use the footwear apparatus 10 has simulated deer hoof bottoms of the invention, the straps 30 are used to attach the footwear top portion 12 to a wearer's foot has a conventional boot 11 worn on the foot, as shown in FIG. 5. The straps 30 can includes fasteners, such as Velcro or buckles to assure a tight fit of the footwear apparatus 10 on the boot-wearing foot of the wearer.

Once the footwear apparatus 10 is attached to the wearer's foot, without has the full weight of the wearer on the pair of simulated front deer foot portions 18, the wearer can use the end portion of the pair of simulated front deer foot portions 18, as shown in FIG. 5, to slide under leaves 13 and expose bare ground 15, so that when the wearer places one's full weight on both the pair of simulated front deer foot portions 18 and the pair of simulated rear deer foot portions 20 on the bare ground 15, the pair of simulated front deer foot portions 18 and the pair of simulated rear deer foot portions 20 do not make a crunching sound on the leaves 13. In this way, deer are not alerted to the presence of wearer walking in the woods where the deer habitat.

To make one set of hoofs of the invention, a set of hoofs was carved out of wood. Then, a plaster of Paris mold was made of the wood hoofs. Then, fiberglass was poured into the mold, and set a large washer with nut and bolt was placed therein so finished fiberglass hoofs could be bolted onto a shoe sole. The fiberglass hoofs were then sanded and shaped to closely resemble a real deer hoof. However, the fiberglass hoofs were not easy to walk with. With another method of fabrication of the auxiliary footwear of the invention, the auxiliary footwear was made out of wood. This auxiliary footwear was easy to walk with, but caused the wearers feet to ache after only 30 minutes of walking.

With another method of fabrication of the auxiliary footwear of the invention. A hard rubber sole from an old pair of boots were taken, and a flexible steel band was inserted in them for added support. The harder sole worked fine. It is contemplated by the inventor that the auxiliary footwear could be improved by using an even harder rubber or maybe a polymer sole.

In general, the sole should have some flexibility, and back strap that goes around the wearer's heel has to be loose or elastic to allow the wearer to dig in when climbing steep embankments. Actual wearers have walked around for hours in this embodiment of the invention through pouring down rain, through snow, up steep hills, and down muddy banks, and the traction is remarkable. All four hoof portions on one foot dig in going down hills, and the front two hoof portions dig in going up hill.

The inventor has walked across hard surface roads and actually ran down an asphalt road, and it was easy to maintain balance with a back pack on and a gun in his hands while running.

The first time the inventor's brother tried the auxiliary footwear of the invention on, he was able to actually run up and down hills after just a few minutes of test walking. He was surprised at how stable he felt going down a muddy bank and how quiet he was able to walk through dry leaves. The inventor walked beside him in conventional boots while the inventor's brother wore the auxiliary footwear of the invention to see what the difference in noise level was. In this respect, there was a marked difference that will surprise any wearer once the wearer learns how to slide one's foot forward and under the leaves. In this respect, the wearer will understand how a deer can slip through the woods so quietly.

In addition, several members of the inventor's family includes his young nephews have put them the auxiliary footwear of the invention on, and they were surprised how quickly they adjusted to walking in them and how quiet they were walking in the leaves.

In addition, the inventor has observed that with hunters wearing conventional footwear, deer get up and walk away from an approaching hunter. In addition, the inventor has watched bucks walk behind hunters while feeding. Most hunters walk to their stands without realizing that they are pushing the deer away from their area. Then, they wait for hours before they see anything.

In sharp contrast, the inventor, wearing auxiliary footwear of the invention, moves through the woods like a deer by walking quietly sometimes, by running sometimes, and by pawing the ground as if feeding on acorns sometimes. In this respect, the inventor has been able to walk up on deer close enough to shoot. A lot of times the deer are just standing there looking and trying to figure out what I am. The inventor has walked to his stand, slipped out of the auxiliary footwear of the invention and had deer come by him while he was still climbing the tree so he knows that he had moved into the area without disturbing the deer. Clearly, the auxiliary footwear of the invention really work well in not alerting deer to the presence of a hunter. The auxiliary footwear of the invention can be designated HOOFERS™.

The components of the footwear apparatus having simulated deer hoof bottoms of the invention can be made from inexpensive and durable metal, plastic, fiberglass, and rubber materials.

As to the manner of usage and operation of the instant invention, the same is apparent from the above disclosure, and accordingly, no further discussion relative to the manner of usage and operation need be provided.

It is apparent from the above that the present invention accomplishes all of the objects set forth by providing a new and improved footwear apparatus having simulated deer hoof bottoms that is low in cost, relatively simple in design and operation, and which may advantageously be used to permit a wearer to walk through the woods while permitting the wearer' feet to lift leaves off of the ground as the wearer walks through the woods before stepping down on the soil, thereby reducing noise made by stepping on leaves. With the invention, a wearer can easily strap on and remove the subject footwear without removing one's conventional footwear.

Thus, while the present invention has been shown in the drawings and fully described above with particularity and detail in connection with what is presently deemed to be the most practical and preferred embodiment(s) of the invention, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that many modifications thereof may be made without departing from the principles and concepts set forth herein, including, but not limited to, variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use.

Hence, the proper scope of the present invention should be determined only by the broadest interpretation of the appended claims so as to encompass all such modifications as well as all relationships equivalent to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification.

Finally, it will be appreciated that the purpose of the annexed Abstract is to enable the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the public generally, and especially the scientists, engineers and practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent or legal terms or phraseology, to determine quickly from a cursory inspection the nature and essence of the technical disclosure of the application. Accordingly, the Abstract is neither intended to define the invention or the application, which only is measured by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way.