Title:
PROTECTIVE FOOTWEAR
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The disclosed technology includes a multi-layered protective footwear device, and methods of manufacturing and using the protective footwear device. In one implementation, the protective footwear device includes a substrate layer comprising waterproof antimicrobial microfiber material or antibacterial microfiber material sized to the shape of a user's foot with a void space between a big toe region and an index toe region. In one implementation, an adhesive layer comprises a sine wave multi-sectioned design configured to adhere to a user's foot. The protective footwear device can further include a perforated backing layer for sectional removal. The backing layer is configured to cover the adhesive layer until user application. Some implementations of the protective footwear device include extendable adhesive layers, easy removal tabs, traction grips, padding, rubber, or ointment.



Inventors:
Ishmael, Brittany (Castle Rock, CO, US)
Ishmael, Thomas Blake (Castle Rock, CO, US)
Application Number:
14/993608
Publication Date:
07/14/2016
Filing Date:
01/12/2016
Assignee:
ROLLINKINE, LLC (Castle Rock, CO, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
156/250
International Classes:
A43B3/10; A41D13/06; A43B7/08
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20050081280FOLDABLE HEADBANDApril, 2005Allgood
20090106879Sock for reducing footwear instep creasingApril, 2009Post
20060010555Wearable sweat towel and garmentJanuary, 2006Hayes et al.
20140259797HAND TRUCK AXLE INTERFACE HOOK SHOE ATTACHMENTSeptember, 2014Atkins et al.
20130160186Glove for Small Child with View of Finger OpeningsJune, 2013Favia
20140189944GOGGLE APPARATUSJuly, 2014Lynd et al.
20110302686CLOSE-FITTING SPORTS GARMENTDecember, 2011Chapuis
20090293178Trouser anti tuck deviceDecember, 2009Caulfield
20110209274Form And Function HelmetSeptember, 2011Del Rosario
20130161984HIGH CHAIR BIBJune, 2013Yaghmai et al.
20060037122Visor hinged lens systemFebruary, 2006Mcevily



Primary Examiner:
BAYS, MARIE D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HOLZER PATEL DRENNAN (Denver, CO, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A protective footwear device comprising: a substrate layer including, wherein the substrate layer is shaped and sized to cover an entire bottom surface of a user's foot; an adhesive layer affixed to a first side of the substrate layer configured to attach the substrate layer to the user's foot; and a backing layer affixed to the adhesive layer, the backing layer configured to be removed from the adhesive layer prior to user application.

2. The protective footwear device of claim 1, wherein the substrate layer includes a void space between a big toe region and an index toe region.

3. The protective footwear device of claim 1, wherein the backing layer is perforated to facilitate sectional removal of the backing layer from the adhesive layer.

4. The protective footwear device of claim 1, wherein the substrate layer includes a weave of at least one elastic fiber.

5. The protective footwear device of claim 1, wherein the adhesive layer comprises two or more layers of adhesive material separated by an air permeable gap, the air permeable gap configured to provide breathability to the user's foot.

6. The protective footwear device of claim 1, wherein the adhesive layer comprises a step-frequency wave pattern.

7. The protective footwear device of claim 1, wherein the substrate layer comprises at least one of synthetic antimicrobial microfiber material and synthetic antibacterial microfiber material.

8. The protective footwear device of claim 1, wherein the substrate layer comprises one or more removal pull tabs.

9. The protective footwear device of claim 1, wherein the substrate layer is configured to extend around sides of a user's foot.

10. The protective footwear device of claim 1, wherein the substrate layer comprises one or more padding material regions.

11. The protective footwear device of claim 1, wherein the substrate layer comprises one or more traction dot grips arranged on the substrate layer.

12. The protective footwear device of claim 1, further comprising a protective layer covering at least a portion of the substrate layer.

13. A method of manufacturing a protective footwear device, comprising: attaching a first side of an adhesive layer to a first side of a substrate layer; attaching a backing layer to a second side of the adhesive layer; and cutting the backing layer, the adhesive layer, and the substrate layer in a shape of a human foot.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein cutting the backing layer, the adhesive layer, and the substrate layer in the shape of a human foot includes cutting a void space in between a big toe region and an index toe region.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein cutting the backing layer, the adhesive layer, and the substrate layer further comprises cutting one or more removal pull tabs on the protective footwear device.

16. A method of using a protective footwear device comprising: removing a backing layer from an adhesive layer in the protective footwear device; applying the protective footwear device to a bottom surface of a user's foot, wherein applying the protective footwear device includes: affixing a portion of the adhesive layer to a first region of the bottom surface of the user's foot; stretching the adhesive layer to conform to the bottom surface dimensions of the user's foot; and pressing the adhesive layer firmly against remaining exposed regions of the bottom surface of the user's foot, thereby affixing a remaining adhesive layer to the user's foot.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein affixing the portion of the adhesive layer to a first region of the bottom surface of the user's foot includes affixing the portion of the adhesive layer to a heel region of the user's foot, and affixing the remaining adhesive layer to the user's foot includes affixing the adhesive layer to a toe region with a void space between a big toe region and an index toe region.

18. The method of claim 16, wherein removing the backing layer from the adhesive layer further comprises removing sections of perforated portions of the backing layer.

19. The method of claim 16, further comprising removing the protective footwear device from the user's foot with one or more removal pull tabs.

20. The method of claim 16, further comprising stretching the protective footwear device to extend around sides of a user's foot.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims priority to pending U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 62/102,167, entitled “Foot Protective Device, Method of Making, and Method of Using the Same,” filed on Jan. 12, 2014, which is specifically incorporated by reference herein for all that it discloses and teaches.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Traditional foot coverings protect human feet from exposure to microbes and/or bacteria and promote daily healing of minor foot conditions in dry or wet conditions. In the absence of traditional foot coverings, the health of a person's foot may be at risk. For example, in certain airport security areas, a passenger may be required to take off their footwear. As a result, there is no foot protection from a highly exposed floor area unless the passenger is wearing socks. In other examples, a person's feet may be exposed to microbes and/or bacteria in health club locker rooms and showers, academic institution locker rooms and showers, yoga studios, fitness shows, spas, salons, and hotels.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The disclosed technology includes a protective footwear device comprising a substrate layer including, wherein the substrate layer is shaped and sized to cover an entire bottom surface of a user's foot, an adhesive layer affixed to a first side of the substrate layer configured to attach the substrate layer to the user's foot, and a backing layer affixed to the adhesive layer, the backing layer configured to be removed from the adhesive layer prior to user application.

In another implementation of the disclosed technology, a method of manufacturing a protective footwear device comprises attaching a first side of an adhesive layer to a first side of a substrate layer, attaching a backing layer to a second side of the adhesive layer, and cutting the backing layer, the adhesive layer, and the substrate layer in a shape of a human foot. In yet another implementation, a method of using a protective footwear device comprises removing a backing layer from an adhesive layer in the protective footwear device, applying the protective footwear device to a bottom surface of a user's foot, wherein applying the protective footwear device includes affixing a portion of the adhesive layer to a first region of the bottom surface of the user's foot, stretching the adhesive layer to conform to the bottom surface dimensions of the user's foot, and pressing the adhesive layer firmly against remaining exposed regions of the bottom surface of the user's foot, thereby affixing the remaining adhesive layer to the user's foot.

This Summary of the Invention section is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Descriptions. This Summary is not intended to identify key features or essential characteristics of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter. This Summary of the Invention section is neither intended to be, nor should be, construed as being representative of the full extent and scope of the present disclosure. Additional benefits, features and implementations of the present disclosure are set forth in the attached figures and in the description herein below, and as described by the claims. Accordingly, it should be understood that this Summary section may not contain all of the aspects and implementations claimed herein. Additionally, the disclosure herein is not meant to be limiting or restrictive in any manner. Moreover, the present disclosure is intended to provide an understanding to those of ordinary skill in the art of one or more representative implementations supporting the claims. Thus, it is important that the claims be regarded as having a scope including constructions of various features of the present disclosure insofar as they do not depart from the scope of the methods and apparatuses consistent with the present disclosure (including the originally filed claims). Moreover, the present disclosure is intended to encompass and include obvious improvements and modifications of the present disclosure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are included to provide a further understanding of the invention and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate implementations of the invention and together with the description serve to explain the principles of the invention. Note: Each figure represented hereinafter is interchangeable between a right and left human foot.

FIG. 1 illustrates a top view of a perforated backing layer in an example protective footwear device, including a single horizontal perforated line and a single vertical perforated line.

FIG. 2 illustrates a top view of a perforated backing layer in an example protective footwear device, including a single horizontal perforated line.

FIG. 3 illustrates a top view of a perforated backing layer in an example protective footwear device, including two horizontal perforated lines according to another implementation of the invention.

FIG. 4 illustrates a top view of a perforated backing layer in an example protective footwear device, including one horizontal perforated line.

FIG. 5 illustrates a top view of an adhesive layer in an example protective footwear device, including a continuous, uninterrupted sine wave adhesive design.

FIG. 6 illustrates a top view of an adhesive layer in an example protective footwear device, including two sections of sine wave adhesive designs.

FIG. 7 illustrates a top view of an adhesive layer in an example protective footwear device, including three sections of sine wave adhesive designs.

FIG. 8 illustrates a top view of an adhesive layer in an example protective footwear device, including six sections of sine wave adhesive designs.

FIG. 9 illustrates a top view of an adhesive layer in an example protective footwear device, including six sections of sine wave adhesive designs.

FIG. 10 illustrates a bottom view of the substrate layer of an example protective footwear device.

FIG. 11A illustrates a perspective view of an example protective footwear device on a foot.

FIG. 11B illustrates a perspective view of an example protective footwear device on a foot.

FIG. 11C illustrates a perspective view of an example protective footwear device on a foot.

FIG. 11D illustrates a bottom view of an example protective footwear device on a foot.

FIG. 11E illustrates a perspective side view of an example protective footwear device on a foot.

FIG. 12 illustrates a bottom view of a substrate layer in an example protective footwear device with removal pull tabs.

FIG. 13 illustrates a bottom view of a substrate layer in an example protective footwear device, including traction dot grips arranged in three sections.

FIG. 14 illustrates a bottom view of a substrate layer in an example protective footwear device, including traction dot grips arranged in two sections of wave designs.

FIG. 15 illustrates a bottom view of a substrate layer in an example protective footwear device, including traction waves and traction dot grips with connectors.

FIG. 16 illustrates a bottom view of a substrate layer in an example protective footwear device, including padding in a metatarsal region.

FIG. 17 illustrates a bottom view of a substrate layer in an example protective footwear device, including padding in a metatarsal region and in a heel region.

FIG. 18 illustrates a bottom view of a substrate layer in an example protective footwear device, including padding in a metatarsal region and in a toe region.

FIG. 19 illustrates a bottom view of a substrate layer in an example protective footwear device, including a protective layer portion in a metatarsal region and in a toe region of the foot.

FIG. 20 illustrates a bottom view of a substrate layer in an example protective footwear device, including a multi-dimensional layered rubber portion in a metatarsal region and in a toe region.

FIG. 21 illustrates a bottom view of a substrate layer in an example protective footwear device, including rubber layers in a metatarsal region, a toe region and a heel region.

FIG. 22A illustrates a cross-sectional view of the example protective footwear device.

FIG. 22B illustrates a cross-sectional view of the example protective footwear device.

FIG. 22C illustrates a cross-sectional view of the example protective footwear device.

FIG. 23 illustrates a step frequency wave pattern of an adhesive layer in an example protective footwear device.

FIG. 24 illustrates example operations for manufacturing a protective footwear device.

FIG. 25 illustrates example operations for using the protective footwear device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS

For the purposes of promoting an understanding of the principles of the present disclosure, reference will now be made to the exemplary implementations illustrated in the drawing(s), and specific language will be used to describe the same.

Appearances of the phrases an “implementation,” an “example,” or similar language in this specification may, but do not necessarily, refer to the same implementation, to different implementations, or to one or more of the figures. The features, functions, and the like described herein are considered to be able to be combined in whole or in part one with another as the claims and/or art may direct, either directly or indirectly, implicitly or explicitly.

As used herein, “comprising,” “including,” “containing,” “is,” “are,” “characterized by,” and grammatical equivalents thereof are inclusive or open-ended terms that do not exclude additional un-recited elements or method steps unless explicitly stated otherwise.

The disclosed technology relates to a protective footwear device. In other implementations, the disclosed technology includes methods of manufacturing and using a protective footwear device. The protective footwear device can include a substrate layer, an adhesive layer and a backing layer. In other implementations, the protective footwear device may include at least one of a substrate layer, an adhesive layer and a backing layer. In other implementations, the protective footwear device can include a protective layer, traction grips, ointment, padding, or other layers or components in various combinations and shapes. The disclosed technology provides protection to feet from microbes and/or bacteria in dry or wet conditions, and provides daily healing of minor foot conditions in dry or wet conditions.

The protective footwear device conforms to the shape of a user's foot, attaching via the adhesive layer. The backing layer can be perforated or unperforated, and configured to cover the adhesive layer to protect the adhesive layer from drying prior to user application. One implementation includes an extended adhesive layer that wraps on the sides of a user's foot. One implementation of the protective footwear device includes at least one removal pull tab.

In another implementation, the substrate layer may include any number of traction grips aligned in various configurations for additional traction during use. One implementation of the protective footwear device includes padding. In yet another implementation, there may be rubber grips aligned on the substrate layer to help the user when running on hard surfaces as well as help provide additional traction. One implementation of the protective footwear device can include ointment.

In one implementation, the adhesive layer can comprise a waterproof, breathable, high-elasticity material. In some implementations, the protective footwear device includes approximately 35-45% acrylic polymer, approximately 50-60% ethyl acetate, and approximately 1-10% tackifying resin. Other compositions of the protective footwear device in varying amounts and materials are contemplated.

For example, the substrate layer can comprise of a variety of materials. For example, the substrate layer can include at least one of fabric, synthetic fabric, woven fabric, non-woven fabric, rayon woven fabric, rayon non-woven fabric, yarn, weft yarn, wool fibers, linen, string, filaments, twine, cord, thermoplastic, thermoplastic polyurethanes, polyurethane, viscose fiber, plastic, natural fibers, synthetic fibers, woven fibers, non-woven fibers, microfibers, antimicrobial agents, antibacterial agents, elastic strand, elastic core, elastic sheathes, synthetic elastic sheathes, non-elastic sheathes, non-elastic synthetic sheathes, thread, rubber thread, elastomeric filament, lycra, vinyl, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), animal fibers, alpaca, angora, bison down, camel hair, cashmere, catgut, chiengora, guanaco, llama, mohair, pashmina, qiviut, rabbit, silk, sinew, spider silk, wool, vicuna, yak, vegetable fibers, aback bamboo, coir, flax, hemp, jute, kapok, kenaf, pina, raffia palm, ramie, sisal, wood, mineral fibers, asbestos, basalt, mineral wool, glass wool, cellulose fibers, acetate, art silk, bamboo, lyocell (tencel), modal, rayon (viscose silk), acrylic, aramid (twaron, kevlar, technora, and nomex), carbon (tenax), derclon, modacrylic, nylon, olefin, polyester, polyethylene (dyneema, spectra), spandex, vinalon, zylon, acetate, polyurethane, liquid silicone, foam, foam pellets, polyurethane foam, rubber, solid rubber, gum rubber, carbon rubber, blown rubber, synthetic elastomers, silicone elastomer, silicone rubber, neoprene rubber, Butyl rubber Buna-n (nitrile), styrene block copolymers, EPDM rubber, SBR rubber, SBR/EPDM blended rubber, synthetic mesh, artificial suede, nylon yarn, canvas, leather, synthetic leather, polyether, cloth, cotton, cotton sheathes, cotton yarn, cotton fiber, polyester yarn, paper, paper facestock, foil, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), polypropylene, polypropylene yarn, polyimide, polycarbonate, urethane, sponge rubber, neoprene, silicone, silver nanoparticles, gauze, foam, foam rubber, felt, adhesive felt, orthopedic felt, moleskin, hydrocolloid, plastazote, evazote, lunasoft, lunairflex, lunairmed, lunalastik, dinoform, dino foam, superform, PPT, biflex padding material, dyatec, dyasoft padding material, cellular unvulcanized rubber, rubber padding, relax foam, bedding foam, foam sheeting, terry cloth padding fabric, sportolon, PS velour, d3o, viscoelastic polymer dough (VPD), and poron.

The backing layer can comprise a variety of materials in a variety of compositions and shapes. For example, the backing layer can include at least one of material non-breathable to the adhesive layer, paper, waxed paper, crepe paper, flatback paper, kraft paper, tissue paper, paper facestock, polymeric film, foam, fabric, cotton, cloth, glass cloth, polyethylene coated cloth, non-woven fiber, laminates, aluminum, lead, neoprene, foil, plastic, acrylic, polyester, polypropylene, polyethylene, polypropylene co-polymer, polyethylene co-polymer, UHMW-polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride (vinyl), polyimide, polyamide (nylon), PTFE, PVA, polyurethane, polyvinyl fluoride, adhesive primer, silicone release agent, paper liner, polyester liner, poly-coated paper, siliconized paper, siliconized film, and polyvinyl carbamate.

In one implementation, the protective footwear device is sized and dimensioned to outline a human foot and/or approximate the shape. The protective footwear device may include adhesive protective tape, e.g., kinesiology tapes as described with reference to U.S. Patent Application Publication Nos. 2011/0056621, 2011/0271854, and 2014/0102362, each of which are hereby incorporated by reference

In some implementations, additives may be added to the protective footwear device (e.g., additives configured for protecting human feet from microbes and/or bacteria and promoting daily healing of minor foot conditions in dry or wet conditions when traditional foot coverings are not worn).

In one implementation, the substrate layer includes adhesive protective tape for other applications. For example, the adhesive protective tape in the shape of a hand to be adhered to or around a hand, shaped to be adhered to or around a knee, shaped to be adhered to or around an elbow, shaped to be adhered to or around an inner thigh to help prevent chafing, shaped to be adhered to or around a shoulder, shaped to be adhered to or around a shin, shaped to be adhered to or around recently applied tattoos, shaped to be adhered to or around a neck (e.g., for weightlifters to help prevent irritation when performing squats with a bar on their back, shaped to be adhered to or around a forearm, shaped to be adhered to or around paws, hooves or feet of animals).

Reference will now be made to the figures wherein like structures will be provided with like reference designations. It is understood that the figures are diagrammatic and schematic representations of some implementations of the invention, and are not limiting of the present invention, nor are they necessarily drawn to scale. Each individual figure of either a right or left foot depicted and described hereinafter are to be understood that the opposite foot (not shown) with an exact mirrored image of the figure are included in the invention.

FIG. 1 illustrates a top view of a perforated backing layer 100 in an example protective footwear device, including a single horizontal perforated line 104 and a single vertical perforated line 105. In at least one implementation, the protective footwear device comprises of three layers: the backing layer, the adhesive layer, and the substrate layer. The backing layer 100 is releasably attached to the protective footwear device via an adhesive layer (not shown). In particular, the backing layer 100 can include paper, plastic, or combinations or any other material suitable for protecting the adhesive layer from drying or becoming exposed before use. In one implementation, the backing layer 100 includes a waxed paper which protects the adhesive on the adhesive layer from being removed or drying. The adhesive layer attaches to a user's foot once the backing layer is removed. The substrate layer is attached to the adhesive layer and contacts the ground underneath the user's foot. The backing layer 100 may be formed as a single piece of material or separated into one or more sections. In one implementation, the various sections are releasable with one or more perforations. The perforation type can vary as dashes, dots, or combinations of the same in one or more rows.

Referring to FIG. 1, the backing layer 100 is configured into three separate releasable sections, section 101, section 102, and section 103 separated by a perforated line 104 and a perforated line 105. In this implementation, section 101 can be separated from sections 102 and 103 by peeling at a location (e.g., starting from a heel region 112 in a direction of the arrows shown in FIG. 1 across a section A-A′ depicted in section 101 towards the middle of the foot where the perforated line 104 runs horizontally across the midsection of the foot). After removal of section 101 and adherence of the underlying adhesive layer (not shown) to the foot, the section 102 can be removed (e.g., peeled off towards a big toe region 108 wherein the perforated line 105 runs vertically from the center of the horizontal perforated line 104 to a void space 106 between the big toe region 108 and an index toe region 110). After removal of section 102 and adherence of the underlying adhesive layer to the foot, section 103 can be removed (e.g., peeled off towards the index toe region 110. After removal of section 103, the remaining section of the underlying adhesive layer can be adhered to the foot. Any number of divisions of the backing layer 100 may be used (e.g., one section without adhesive layers and perforations, or two or more sections). Moreover, any geometry of the different sections may be used (e.g., circles, ovals, rectangles, triangles, squares, and combinations of the same).

FIG. 2 illustrates a top view of a perforated backing layer 200 in an example protective footwear device, including a single horizontal perforated line. The backing layer 200 is releasably attached to the protective footwear device by an adhesive layer. In particular, the backing layer 200 can include paper, plastic, or combinations or any other material suitable for protecting the adhesive layer from drying or becoming exposed before use. In one implementation, the backing layer 200 includes a waxed paper which protects the adhesive layer from being removed or drying. The backing layer may be formed as a single piece of material or separated into one or more sections. In one implementation, the various sections are releasable with one or more perforations. The perforation type can vary as dashes, dots, or combinations of the same in one or more rows.

Referring to FIG. 2, the backing layer 200 is configured into two separate releasable sections, section 201 and section 202, separated by a perforated line 204. In this implementation, section 201 can be separated from section 202 by peeling at a location, (e.g., starting from a heel region 212 in a direction of the arrows shown in FIG. 2 across a section A-A′ depicted in section 201 towards the middle of the foot where the perforated line 204 runs horizontally across the midsection of the foot). After removal of section 201 and adherence of the underlying adhesive layer (not shown) to the foot can be done, the section 202 can be removed (e.g., peeled off towards a big toe region 208 toward a void space 206 between the big toe region 208 and the index toe region 210. The remaining section of the underlying adhesive layer can be adhered to the foot. Any number of divisions of the backing layer 200 may be used (e.g., one section without adhesive layers and perforations, or two or more sections). Moreover, any geometry of the different sections may be used (e.g., circles, ovals, rectangles, triangles, squares, and combinations of the same).

FIG. 3 illustrates a top view of a perforated backing layer 300 in an example protective footwear device, including two horizontal perforated lines according to another implementation of the invention. In this implementation, the backing layer 300 is releasably attached to an adhesive layer. The backing layer 300 can include paper, plastic, or combinations or any other material suitable for protecting the adhesive layer from drying or becoming exposed before use. In one implementation, the backing layer 300 includes a waxed paper which protects the adhesive layer from being exposed prior to use and/or drying. The backing layer 300 may be formed as a continuous piece separated into one or more sections with one or more perforations. Perforation type can vary as described herein.

In this implementation, three perforated sections of the backing layer 300 are shown, section 301, section 302, and section 303. The sections are separated by perforated lines 304 and 305 as described herein (see dashed lines). In one implementation, section 301 can be peeled starting from a heel region 312 in a direction of the arrows shown in FIG. 3 across a section A-A′ depicted in section 301 towards the middle of the foot where a perforated line 304 runs horizontally across the midsection of the foot. After removal of section 301 and adherence of the underlying adhesive layer to the foot, the section 302 can be peeled off towards the metatarsal region of the foot where a perforated line 305 runs horizontally across the ball of the foot. After removal of section 302 and adherence of the underlying adhesive layer to the foot, section 303 can be peeled off towards the index toe region 310. After removal of section 303, the remaining section of the underlying adhesive layer can be adhered to the foot.

FIG. 4 illustrates a top view of a perforated backing layer 400 in an example protective footwear device, including one horizontal perforated line 404. In one implementation, the backing layer 400 is releasably attached to the protective footwear device by an adhesive layer (not shown). The backing layer 400 can include paper, plastic, or combinations or any other material suitable for protecting the adhesive layer from drying or becoming exposed before use. In one implementation, the backing layer 400 includes a waxed paper which protects the adhesive layer from being removed or drying. The backing layer may be formed as a continuous piece or into various sections separated by perforations or other means.

Referring to FIG. 4, the perforated backing layer 400 allows removal of the backing layer 400 in two perforated sections, section 401 and section 402 separated by perforations or other means. Section 401 can be peeled starting from a heel region 412 in a direction of the arrows shown in FIG. 4 across a section A-A′ depicted in section 401 towards the metatarsal region of the foot where a perforated line 404 runs horizontally across the ball of the foot. After removal of section 401 and adherence of the underlying adhesive layer to the foot, the section 402 can be peeled off towards an index toe region 410. After removal of section 402, the remaining section of the underlying adhesive layer can be adhered to the foot.

FIGS. 5-9 illustrate patterned adhesive layers in an example protective footwear device that can be applied to a substrate layer. The pattern designs of the patterned adhesive layers can include a step frequency pattern, which can be uniform across the adhesive layer or can be divided into various sections along the substrate layer, which correlate with certain areas of the human foot. In addition, the pattern designs can be different in each of the different sections or the same through each section, e.g., each section can have a different and unique step frequency wave pattern. There can be any number of sections in any form, fashion, or design used for the pattern designs in each section. In addition, each section of pattern designs can include any form, fashion, or design of color dyes and/or pigments.

In one implementation, the pattern designs of the adhesive layer can include a series of adhesive lines interrupted by gaps (e.g., air gaps). The adhesive lines are non-permeable to fluids such as sweat and in one implementation non-permeable to air. The gaps are permeable to both air and fluid, thereby allowing a user's foot to breathe while the protective footwear device is attached to the foot. For example, the gaps can allow air to reach the skin of the user. Additionally or alternatively, the gaps can be permeable to fluids such as sweat. The gaps can allow sweat from the user's skin to be wicked away from the skin by the substrate layer. Removing sweat from the user's skin can prevent the sweat from adversely affecting the adhesion of the adhesive layer to the user's skin.

In one implementation, the adhesive layer 500 can include dyes or pigments to make the adhesive layer any variation of color or colors and applied in any form, fashion, or design.

In one implementation, the pattern designs of FIGS. 5-9 can include a single color dye and/or pigment used across the entire adhesive layer in any form, fashion, or design. In one implementation, the adhesive design of FIG. 9 can include a different color dye and/or pigment for each adhesive design section in any form, fashion, or design.

Referring to FIG. 5, a top view of an adhesive layer in an example protective footwear device, including a continuous, uninterrupted sine wave adhesive pattern, is shown. An adhesive layer 500 is applied to the substrate layer (not shown). The pattern of the adhesive layer can include a series of adhesive lines 520 interrupted or separated by gaps (e.g., air gap 122).

The simple continuous design of the adhesive layer 500 can allow for the adhesive layer to better adhere to the contour of a human foot as opposed to a solid and/or continuous adhesive layer without any air gaps, which does not allow breathability or horizontal or vertical adhesive lines 520 which can cause lifting at the edges of the substrate layer.

The adhesive layer 500 is configured to permit moderate vertical stretching of the adhesive layer and minimal horizontal stretching of the adhesive layer with improved adhesion of the substrate layer to the foot. This design allows the substrate layer to stretch vertically along the foot to fit the length of the user's foot for optimal fit and also keeps the substrate layer from peeling with vertical movement. The spacing between adhesive sine waves is normal throughout which provides optimal adherence to the entire foot. The normal spacing which provides normal size air gaps is essential for the breathability of the entire foot, prevention of sweat buildup and functionality of the adhesive layer. The width of the adhesive 520 can vary from about 0.1 mm to about 50 mm or greater. In one implementation, the width is in a range from about 2 mm to about 4 mm. Moreover, the width of the air gap 522 can vary from about 0.1 mm to about 50 mm or greater. In one implementation, the width is in a range from about 1 mm to about 1.5 mm. In addition, the width of the air gap 522 and width of adhesive 520 can be constant or vary.

The adhesive layer 500 can include any adhesive which will allow the substrate layer to adhere to the skin of a user without irritating the user's skin. For example, the adhesive layer 500 can include pressure-sensitive adhesive. A pressure sensitive adhesive is an adhesive which forms a bond when pressure is applied and no solvent, water, activator chemicals, heat or other activating agent is needed to activate the adhesive. In at least one implementation, the degree of bonding is influenced by the amount of pressure which is used to apply the adhesive layer to the surface of the backing layer. In one implementation, the adhesive layer 500 can be latex free for sensitive skin using an acrylic based, medical grade adhesive. The main ingredient of the adhesive layer 500 can include a single compound or a mixture of compounds. For example, the adhesive layer 500 can include a polyacrylate material as a main ingredient. Additionally, or alternatively, the adhesive layer 500 can include a solvent which is configured to evaporate or break down after application of the adhesive layer, leaving the main ingredient behind. For example, the adhesive layer 500 can include approximately 50% of a main ingredient and approximately 50% solvent. In one implementation, the solvent can include ethyl acetate.

In one implementation, the adhesive layer 500 can include a reusable washable adhesive. One example of a reusable washable adhesive can include a body side adhesive preferably being a hypoallergenic, pressure-sensitive, acrylate adhesive that is non-toxic and reduces irritation of the skin of a user. The reusable adhesive can have a pressure-sensitive silicone gel adhesive. The reusable adhesive may be reused multiple times, even after washing. The washability of the adhesive layer 500 can be significantly improved by forming a layer of pressure-sensitive adhesive silicone gel directly on the surface of a material. One implementation of the reusable adhesive layer 500 can be formed by applying a layer of unsaturated silicone containing a thermally activated catalyst, such as platinum, to the sheet or material, and heating it to an elevated temperature to cure the layer of gel. The final product can be washed numerous times without loss of adhesive.

FIG. 6 illustrates a top view of an adhesive layer 600 in an example protective footwear device, including two sections (e.g., sections 601 and 602) of sine wave adhesive designs or pattern design sections. In one implementation, the adhesive layer 600 is configured to provide more adhesive material on an area of the foot that moves or flexes more than another area of the foot that moves or flexes less. The adhesive layer 600 can include a step frequency wave pattern. In at least one implementation, a step frequency wave pattern can include the adhesive applied in a modified sine wave pattern with varying amplitudes and frequency in certain areas of the protective footwear device.

In at least one implementation, the adhesive layer 600 can provide greater adhesion for the substrate layer in one area relative to another area of the substrate layer. For example, the adhesive layer 600 can provide adhesion even with vertical movement of the substrate layer relative to the user's skin. In particular, the adhesive layer 600 can provide resistance to movement of the substrate layer in any direction on the user's skin. In at least one implementation, such resistance can allow the substrate layer to better provide benefits to the user during use of the protective footwear device, as described above.

The adhesive layer 600 includes adhesive lines 620 and air gaps 622 in both sections 601 and 602. The two sections 601 and 602 allow for the adhesive layer to better adhere to the contour of a human foot as opposed to a solid and/or continuous adhesive without any air gaps, which does not allow breathability or horizontal or vertical adhesive lines 620 which can cause lifting at the edges of the substrate layer.

The pattern design section 601 is configured to permit moderate horizontal stretching of the adhesive layer and minimal vertical stretching of the adhesive layer over the heel and lower half of the midsole. The pattern design section 601 allows the substrate layer to stretch horizontally to fit the width of the lower half of the user's foot for optimal fit. The spacing between adhesive sine waves is normal throughout which provides optimal adherence to the heel and lower half of the midsole which do not flex or bend as much as other areas of the foot. The normal spacing which provides normal size air gaps is essential for the breathability of the lower half of the foot, prevention of sweat buildup and functionality of the adhesive layer.

The pattern design section 602 is configured to permit moderate vertical stretching of the adhesive layer and minimal horizontal stretching of the adhesive layer over the upper midsole, ball and toes. The pattern design section 602 allows the substrate layer to stretch vertically to fit the length of the user's upper half of the foot for optimal fit and also keeps the substrate layer from peeling with vertical movement. The spacing between the adhesive sine waves is decreased throughout which provides more adhesion to the upper midsole, ball and toes which have the most movement out of the foot. The decreased spacing across the upper half of the foot exchanges breathability for added adhesion in an area which requires the substrate layer to stay perfectly adhered to the skin during movement.

FIG. 7 illustrates a top view of an adhesive layer 700 in an example protective footwear device 700, including three sections of sine wave adhesive designs (e.g., section 709, section 710, and section 711). The pattern design section 700 includes adhesive lines 720 and air gaps 722. The three sections 709, 710, and 711 allow for the adhesive layer 700 to better adhere to the contour of a human foot as opposed to a solid and/or continuous adhesive layer without any air gaps, which does not allow breathability or horizontal or vertical adhesive lines 720 which can cause lifting at the edges of the substrate layer.

The pattern design section 709 is configured to permit moderate vertical stretching of the adhesive layer and minimal horizontal stretching of the adhesive layer over the heel and midsole. The pattern design section 709 allows the substrate layer to stretch vertically to fit the length of the heel and midsole of the user's foot for optimal fit. The spacing between adhesive sine waves is normal throughout which provides optimal adherence to the heel and midsole. The normal spacing which provides normal size air gaps is essential for the breathability of the heel and midsole of the foot, prevention of sweat buildup and functionality of the adhesive layer.

The pattern design section 710 is configured to permit moderate horizontal stretching of the adhesive layer and minimal vertical stretching of the adhesive layer over the ball. The pattern design section 710 allows the substrate layer to stretch horizontally to fit the width of the ball of the user's foot for optimal fit. The spacing between adhesive sine waves is normal throughout which provides optimal adherence to the ball. The normal spacing which provides normal size air gaps is essential for the breathability of the ball of the foot, prevention of sweat buildup and functionality of the adhesive layer.

The pattern design section 711 is configured to permit moderate vertical stretching of the adhesive layer and minimal horizontal stretching of the adhesive layer over the toes. The pattern design section 711 allows the substrate layer to stretch vertically to fit the length of the toes of the user's foot for optimal fit. The spacing between adhesive sine waves is normal throughout which provides optimal adherence to the toes. The normal spacing which provides normal size air gaps is essential for the breathability of the toes of the foot, prevention of sweat buildup and functionality of the adhesive layer.

FIG. 8 illustrates a top view of an adhesive layer 800 in an example protective footwear device, including six sections of sine wave adhesive designs. In this implementation, the adhesive sign wave design includes a pattern design which includes six sections of adhesive sine wave designs or pattern design sections (e.g., pattern design section 815, pattern design section 816, pattern design section 817, pattern design section 818, pattern design section 819, and pattern design section 824.

The six pattern design sections allow for the adhesive layer 800 to better adhere to the contour of a human foot as opposed to a solid and/or continuous adhesive layer without any air gaps, which does not allow breathability or horizontal or vertical adhesive lines 820 which can cause lifting at the edges of the substrate layer.

The pattern design section 815 is configured to permit moderate horizontal stretching of the adhesive layer and minimal vertical stretching of the adhesive layer over the heel. The pattern design section 815 allows the substrate layer to stretch horizontally to fit the width of the user's heel for optimal fit and also keeps the substrate layer from peeling with vertical movement. The spacing between adhesive sine waves is normal throughout which provides optimal adherence to the heel which does not flex or bend. The normal spacing which provides normal size air gaps is essential for the breathability of the heel, prevention of sweat buildup and functionality of the adhesive layer.

The pattern design section 816 is configured to permit moderate vertical stretching of the adhesive layer and minimal horizontal stretching of the adhesive layer over the inner midsole. The pattern design section 816 allows for the substrate layer to stretch and move as the user flexes and bends the inner midsole of the foot. The spacing between adhesive sine waves is normal throughout which provides optimal adherence to the inner midsole. The normal spacing which provides normal size air gaps is essential for the breathability of the inner midsole, prevention of sweat buildup and functionality of the adhesive layer.

The pattern design section 817 is configured to permit moderate horizontal stretching of the adhesive layer and minimal vertical stretching of the adhesive layer over the outer midsole. The pattern design section 817 allows for the substrate layer to stretch horizontally to the outer edge of the foot for optimal fit and also keeps the substrate layer from peeling with vertical movement. The spacing between the adhesive sine waves is normal throughout which maintains optimal adherence to the outer midsole which does not flex or bend as much as the inner midsole. The normal spacing across the outer midsole which provides normal size air gaps is essential for the breathability of the outer midsole, prevention of sweat buildup and functionality of the adhesive layer.

The pattern design section 818 is configured to permit moderate vertical stretching of the adhesive layer and minimal horizontal stretching of the adhesive layer over the ball. The pattern design section 818 allows for the substrate layer to stretch vertically with the ball of the foot for optimal fit and also keeps the substrate layer from peeling with vertical movement. The spacing between adhesive sine waves is normal throughout which provides optimal adherence to the ball. The normal spacing across the ball which provides normal size air gaps is essential for the breathability of the ball, prevention of sweat buildup and functionality of the adhesive layer.

The pattern design section 819 is configured to permit moderate horizontal stretching of the adhesive layer and minimal vertical stretching of the adhesive layer over the base of the toes. The pattern design section 819 allows for the substrate layer to stretch horizontally to fit the width of the user's toes for optimal fit. The spacing between adhesive sine waves is normal throughout which provides optimal adherence to the base of toes. The normal spacing across the base of the toes which provides normal size air gaps is essential for the breathability of the base of the toes, prevention of sweat buildup and functionality of the adhesive layer.

The pattern design section 824 can allow for moderate vertical stretching of the adhesive layer and minimal horizontal stretching of the adhesive layer over the tips of the toes. The pattern design section 824 allows for the substrate layer to stretch vertically to fit the length of the user's toes for optimal fit and also keeps the substrate layer from peeling with vertical movement. The spacing between the adhesive sine waves is decreased throughout which provides more adhesion to the tips of the toes which have the most movement out of the foot. The decreased spacing across the tips of the toes exchanges breathability for added adhesion in an area which requires the substrate layer to stay perfectly adhered to the skin during movement.

Referring to FIG. 9, illustrates a top view of an adhesive layer 900 in an example protective footwear device, including six sections of sine wave adhesive designs sections or pattern designs (e.g., pattern design section 924, pattern design section 925, pattern design section 926, pattern design section 927, pattern design section 928, and pattern design section 929.

The pattern design sections allow for the adhesive layer 900 to better adhere to the contour of a human foot as opposed to a solid and/or continuous adhesive layer without any air gaps, 922 which does not allow breathability or horizontal or vertical adhesive lines 920 which can cause lifting at the edges of the substrate layer.

The pattern design section 924 is configured to permit moderate vertical stretching of the adhesive layer and minimal horizontal stretching of the adhesive layer over the heel. The pattern design section 924 allows the substrate layer to stretch vertically to fit the length of the heel of the user's foot for optimal fit. The spacing between the adhesive sine waves is decreased throughout which provides more adhesion to the heel. The decreased spacing across the heel of the foot exchanges breathability for added adhesion in an area which requires the substrate layer to stay perfectly adhered to the skin during movement.

The pattern design section 925 is configured to permit moderate vertical stretching of the adhesive layer and minimal horizontal stretching of the adhesive layer over the lower half of the inner midsole. The pattern design section 925 allows for the substrate layer to stretch vertically for optimal fit and also keeps the substrate layer from peeling with vertical movement. The spacing between the adhesive sine waves is normal throughout which maintains optimal adherence to the lower half of the inner midsole. The normal spacing across the lower half of the inner midsole which provides normal size air gaps is essential for the breathability, prevention of sweat buildup and functionality of the adhesive layer.

The pattern design section 926 is configured to permit moderate vertical stretching of the adhesive layer and minimal horizontal stretching of the adhesive layer over the lower half of the outer midsole. The pattern design section 926 allows for the substrate layer to stretch vertically for optimal fit and also keeps the substrate layer from peeling with vertical movement. The spacing between the adhesive sine waves is decreased throughout which provides more adhesion to the lower half of the outer midsole. The decreased spacing across the lower half of the outer midsole exchanges breathability for added adhesion in an area which requires the substrate layer to stay perfectly adhered to the skin during movement.

FIG. 9 shows the pattern design section 927 is configured to permit moderate vertical stretching of the adhesive layer and minimal horizontal stretching of the adhesive layer over the upper half of the inner midsole, inner half of the ball, and big toe. The pattern design section 927 allows for the substrate layer to stretch vertically for optimal fit and also keeps the substrate layer from peeling with vertical movement. The spacing between the adhesive sine waves is normal throughout which maintains optimal adherence to the upper half of the inner midsole, inner half of the ball, and big toe. The normal spacing across the upper half of the inner midsole, inner half of the ball, and big toe which provides normal size air gaps is essential for the breathability, prevention of sweat buildup and functionality of the adhesive layer.

The pattern design section 928 is configured to permit moderate vertical stretching of the adhesive layer and minimal horizontal stretching of the adhesive layer over the upper half of the outer midsole and the outer half of the ball. The pattern design section 928 allows for the substrate layer to stretch vertically for optimal fit and also keeps the substrate layer from peeling with vertical movement. The spacing between the adhesive sine waves is decreased throughout which provides more adhesion to the upper half of the outer midsole and the outer half of the ball. The decreased spacing across the upper half of the outer midsole and the outer half of the ball exchanges breathability for added adhesion in an area which requires the substrate layer to stay perfectly adhered to the skin during movement.

The pattern design section 929 is configured to permit moderate vertical stretching of the adhesive layer and minimal horizontal stretching of the adhesive layer over the toes. The pattern design section 929 allows for the substrate layer to stretch vertically for optimal fit and also keeps the substrate layer from peeling with vertical movement. The spacing between the adhesive sine waves is normal throughout which maintains optimal adherence to the toes. The normal spacing across the toes which provides normal size air gaps is essential for the breathability, prevention of sweat buildup and functionality of the adhesive layer.

FIG. 10 illustrates a top view of the substrate layer 1000 an example protective footwear device. In some implementation, the substrate layer 1000 includes woven material, fabric, thermoplastic, thermoplastic polyurethanes, natural fibers, synthetic fibers, viscose fiber, woven fibers, non-woven fibers, weft yarn, microfibers, synthetic elastic sheathes, synthetic elastic cord, string, cord, urethane, rayon, acrylic, polyacrylate, polyurethane, thread, rubber thread, elastomeric filament, lycra, vinyl, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), antimicrobial agents, antibacterial agents, silver nanoparticles and combinations of the same and the like. In one implementation, the protective footwear device is configured with a supporting adhesive layer having a skin-safe high tack adhesive on one side (not shown). The substrate layer 1000 has a high-stretch fabric base, which is breathable. The fabric base, itself, can be waterproof. The substrate layer 1000 can have a stretch coefficient range of approximately 100%-200%.

In one implementation, the protective footwear device can have a total thickness in a range from about 0.01 mm to about 1 mm. In another implementation, the total thickness of the substrate layer is in a range from about 0.1 mm to about 0.4 mm, including an adhesive layer, of about 0.15 mm to about 0.5 mm. The small thickness of the adhesive layer can allow for the protective footwear device to be worn in socks, shoes, sandals, and other footwear without snagging or obstructing natural movement by conforming perfectly to the human foot without any protruding edges.

The protective footwear device is cut out in the shape of a human foot with a slit in between the big toe and the index toe. The slit in between the big toe and the index toe allows for natural movement of the toes when wearing the protective footwear device which can also help prevent the substrate layer from peeling around the toes. One implementation of the substrate layer 1000 can include lettering, designs and/or logos printed onto the sheet.

In one implementation, the protective footwear device includes microfiber material wrapped around synthetic elastic sheathes, the microfiber material layer a strip of elastic and non-elastic fibers, each fiber is covered in a material which can include synthetic antimicrobial microfiber material or synthetic antibacterial microfiber material. Both the synthetic antimicrobial microfiber material or synthetic antibacterial microfiber material materials can be waterproof. The fibers can be microfibers having a median diameter of 10 micrometers or less. In one implementation, the protective footwear device includes ultra-light microfibers made up of reinforced 100% synthetic elastic sheathes designed to provide durability and increased strength.

Synthetic microfibers are fast drying and provide superior weight-to-strength ratios. The synthetic elastic sheathes retain their elasticity far better over time than cotton. These synthetic elastic sheathes can be embedded into weft yarn to provide unidirectional elasticity allowing for bilinear elasticity along the length of the substrate layer and no elasticity in the substrate layer's width. These fibers ensure the substrate layer 1000 will provide stable support without restricting motion. The stretch-ability of the substrate layer 1000 allows it to flex and move comfortably with the body's tissue, releasing and recoiling like a rubber-band. In one implementation, the substrate layer 1000 is also 100% waterproof and 100% sweat proof which allows for moisture release which is critical for comfort and wear-ability. The more porous the substrate layer's weave, the better it releases moisture caused by sweating or being worn in the water.

The protective footwear device with application of adhesive layer can provide up to 50% breathability over the entire layer. In this configuration, enhanced breathability and release of moisture so that it is comfortable to wear for numerous days at a time without itching, irritation or reactions with the skin is achieved. The protective footwear device can also cover the entire bottom of a human foot, which prevents any contact between the ground and the bottom of the foot.

In one implementation, the protective footwear device can include a synthetic antimicrobial microfiber material. Antimicrobial is defined as a substance that kills microorganisms or inhibits their growth or replication; an antimicrobial agent also called antimicrobic.

In one implementation, the protective footwear device can include added antimicrobial agents. An antimicrobial agent is configured to kill microorganisms or suppresses their multiplication or growth. Antimicrobial agents are classified functionally according to the manner in which they adversely affect a microorganism.

In one implementation, the protective footwear device can also include an antibacterial agent. An antibacterial agent is classified as an antibiotic which is a substance derived from a mold or bacterium, or produced synthetically, that destroys (bactericidal) or inhibits the growth (bacteriostatic) of other microorganisms and is thus used to treat infections. Antibiotics can be classified into several groups according to their mode of action on or within bacteria.

In one implementation, the protective footwear device can include an antibacterial agent preventing bacterial growth, which can include but is not limited to topical antibacterial agents for the treatment of bacterial skin infections, e.g. 2% fusidic acid, 2% mupirocin (Bactroban), 0.25% neomycin (e.g. Cicatrin, Graneodin), 10,000 units polymyxin (Polyfax), 1% silver sulfadiazine (Flamazine).

In one implementation, the protective footwear device can include an antibacterial coated fabric. For example, the antibacterial fabric can include embedding sets of nanowires or nanothreads loaded with silver-TCNQ into a textile material. The fabric can be built into most materials, including but not limited to cotton and nylon. The coating of the silver-TCNQ onto the substrate layer is configured to kill off the bacteria within 10 minutes of being exposed to the organisms. The fast-acting nature of the silver TCNQ-coated fabric gives it an advantage over other antibacterial fabrics.

FIG. 10 illustrates the individual fibers can be woven together to produce a cloth-like synthetic waterproof substrate layer that is able to stretch in a single direction. In particular, the protective footwear device is useful in foot care to help protect a human left and right foot when traditional foot coverings are not worn, and also to help promote healing of minor foot conditions, e.g., dry feet, athlete's foot, eczema, psoriasis and diabetic foot conditions.

The protective footwear device can help prevent the skin of the bottom of a human left and right foot from touching a surface, which can help protect human feet from microbes and/or bacteria and help promote daily healing of minor foot conditions in dry or wet conditions when traditional foot coverings are not worn.

The protective footwear device can include a substrate layer made into any color or variations of colors, e.g., red, green, blue or combinations of the same. Also, the protective footwear device can be glow in the dark or have portions that are glow in the dark. One implementation of the substrate layer 1000 can include the substrate layer 1000 with reflectors, e.g., exposed retroreflective lenses (WO2011147079 A1).

In one implementation, the protective footwear device can be dimensioned into dimensions approximating a human foot. The protective footwear device extends in a longitudinal direction from a first end to a second end. The width and length of the protective footwear device are dimensioned to accommodate every foot size (e.g., U.S. sizes for Men (3.5, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 12, 12.5, 14), U.S. sizes for Women (5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 85, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 12, 13, 14, 15.5), U.S. sizes for Boys (11.5, 12, 12.5, 13, 13.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5), and U.S. sizes for Girls (9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 12, 12.5, 13, 13.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4)). Alternatively, different sizing standards can be used, e.g., Extra Small (XS), Small (S), Medium (M), Large (L), and Extra Large (XL). The thickness of the protective footwear device can range from about 0.01 mm to about 1.0 mm or greater. Again, in one implementation, the protective footwear device can be configured to have an open space between the big toe and the index toe. Leaving a big toe region disconnected from a region comprising the other toes can allow for better movement when the protective footwear device is worn on a foot.

FIGS. 11A-E illustrates a protective footwear device 1100 on a human foot. In some implementations, the protective footwear device covers the bottom surface of the foot only, or covers the bottom surface of the foot and some of the sides of the foot, or the protective footwear device includes an extended adhesive layer (as shown in FIGS. 11A-E, extended adhesive layer 1102) when adhered to a foot in order to allow for it to be wrapped up on the sides of the foot.

Referring to FIGS. 11A-E, the protective footwear device 1100 can include an extended adhesive layer 1102. FIG. 11A shows a perspective view of the inside of a foot when wearing the protective footwear device 1100 with an extended adhesive layer 1102. FIG. 11B shows a front view of a human foot when wearing the protective footwear device 1100 with an extended adhesive layer 1102. FIG. 11C shows a rear view of the heel of a foot when wearing the protective footwear device 1100 with an extended adhesive layer 1102. FIG. 11D shows a bottom view the foot when wearing the protective footwear device 1100 with an extended adhesive layer 1102. FIG. 11E shows a perspective view of the outside of a foot when wearing the protective footwear device 1100 with an extended adhesive layer 1102.

FIG. 12 illustrates a bottom view of a substrate layer 1200 in an example protective footwear device with removal pull tabs 1210. The removal pull tabs 1210 allow for easy removal of the protective footwear device without having to touch the bottom of the substrate layer, which might have become contaminated during use. The removal pull tabs 1210 can be an extension of the substrate layer or the adhesive layer. The removal pull tabs 1210 can be placed in any location and in any form or fashion (e.g., near a heel region of the protective footwear device). The width and length of the removal pull tabs 1210 may also vary from what is depicted. The removal pull tabs 1210 may incorporate any type of adhesive design in order to best conform to the skin.

FIGS. 13-15 are a bottom view of the substrate layer with traction dot grips. FIG. 13 illustrates a bottom view of a substrate layer 1300 in an example protective footwear device, including traction dot grips arranged in three sections. The protective footwear device can include any number of traction dot grips aligned in any form or fashion on an outer surface of the device. In one implementation, the protective footwear device can include traction dot grips 1324 located on a surface of the protective footwear device. The traction dot grips 1324 can be located on the heel, on the ball, and on the toes of the substrate layer 1300. The traction dot grips 1324 can allow for additional grip for users after having been adhered to the skin of a human foot. Alternatively, the protective footwear device can include other materials considered to improve traction. Acceptable traction dot grips are considered to be within the knowledge of persons skilled in the art of footwear manufacturing and are not discussed here in detail. In one implementation, the traction dot grips 1324 are a grip-dot forming emulsion and can be selected from a number of well-known prior art curable emulsions, including polymer emulsions, polyvinyl chloride emulsions and the like. The traction dot grips may be high performance platinum cure liquid silicone compounds and the like. The traction dot grips may be a rigid, malleable or combination of same material, e.g., thermoplastic material.

FIG. 14 illustrates a bottom view of a substrate layer 1400 in an example protective footwear device, including traction dot grips 1424 arranged in two sections of wave designs (e.g., wave design 1426). The traction dot grips 1424 and waves designs can be located in sections and in various areas on the substrate layer 1400, and vary in size and shape. In this implementation, the size of the diameters of the traction dot grips 1424 vary. The traction dot grips 1424 are configured to provide for additional grip for users after having been adhered to the skin of a human foot. Alternatively, the protective footwear device can include other materials considered to improve traction. Acceptable traction dot grips 1424 are considered to be within the knowledge of persons skilled in the art of footwear manufacturing and are not discussed here in detail. In one implementation, the traction dot grips 1424 are a grip-dot forming emulsion and can be selected from a number of well-known prior art curable emulsions, including polymer emulsions, polyvinyl chloride emulsions and the like. The traction dot grips 1424 may be high performance platinum cure liquid silicone compounds and the like. The traction dot grips 1424 may be a rigid, malleable or combination of same material, e.g., thermoplastic material.

FIG. 15 illustrates a bottom view of a substrate layer 1500 in an example protective footwear device, including traction dot grips with connectors 1524, and traction waves 1520, 1523 and 1526. The traction dot grips with connectors 1524 and the traction waves 1520, 1523 and 1526 can be located in various areas of the substrate layer 1500. On FIG. 15, the traction waves 1520, 1523 and 1526 are located on the outer midsection and two toe regions of the substrate layer 1500. The traction dot grips with connectors 1524 are located in the metatarsal and heel regions of the substrate layer.

The traction dot grips with connectors 1524 allow for additional grip for users after having been adhered to the skin of a human foot. Alternatively, the protective footwear device can include other materials considered to improve traction. Acceptable traction grips are considered to be within the knowledge of persons skilled in the art of footwear manufacturing and are not discussed here in detail. In one implementation, the traction grips are a grip-dot forming emulsion and can be selected from a number of well-known prior art curable emulsions, including polymer emulsions, polyvinyl chloride emulsions and the like. The traction dot grips with connectors 1524 and the traction waves 1520, 1523 and 1526 may be high performance platinum cure liquid silicone compounds and the like. The traction dot grips with connectors 1524 and the traction waves 1520, 1523 and 1526 may be a rigid, malleable or combination of same material, e.g., thermoplastic material.

FIGS. 16-18 are a top view of an adhesive layer. The padding shown is inlaid in between two adhesive layers.

FIG. 16 illustrates a top view of an adhesive layer 1600 in an example protective footwear device, including padding in a metatarsal region. The protective footwear device can include any number of paddings aligned in any form or fashion on the face of the substrate layer or embedded within the protective footwear device on the adhesive layer 1600. The padding 1626 can include a single pad embedded within two adhesive layers in order to stay within the protective footwear device. The padding can include any material (e.g., gauze, foam, foam rubber, felt, adhesive felt, orthopedic felt, moleskin, hydrocolloid, and plastazote) configured to protect the foot from impact (e.g., by adding cushion to the protective footwear device).

In this implementation, the padding 1626 is located on the ball of the protective footwear device. The added padding can be used to help prevent blisters or abrasion as well as help provide additional comfort when worn. Acceptable paddings are considered to be within the knowledge of persons skilled in the art of bandage, shoe, and mole skin manufacturing and are not discussed here in detail.

FIG. 17 illustrates a top view of an adhesive layer 1700 in an example protective footwear device, including padding in a metatarsal region and in a heel region. The protective footwear device can include any number of paddings aligned in any form or fashion on the face of the substrate layer or embedded within the protective footwear device on the adhesive layer 1700. In one implementation, the protective footwear device with padding can include two pads, a padding 1726 and a padding 1728 embedded within two adhesive layers in order to stay within the protective footwear device.

The padding 1728 is located on the heel of the protective footwear device. The padding 1726 is located on the ball of the protective footwear device. The added padding can be used to help prevent blisters or abrasion as well as help provide additional comfort when worn. Acceptable paddings are considered to be within the knowledge of persons skilled in the art of bandage, shoe, and mole skin manufacturing and are not discussed here in detail.

FIG. 18 illustrates a top view of an adhesive layer 1800 in an example protective footwear device, including padding in a metatarsal region and in a toe region. The protective footwear device 1800 can include any number of paddings aligned in any form or fashion on the face of the substrate layer or embedded within protective footwear device on the adhesive layer 1800. In this implementation, the protective footwear device includes four different sections of padding, section 1831, section 1832, section 1833, and section 1834 embedded within two adhesive layers in order to stay within the protective footwear device. The padding in section 1831 is located on the left half of the ball of the protective footwear device. The padding in section 1832 is located on the right half of the ball of the protective footwear device. The padding in section 1833 is located on the four toes of the protective footwear device. The padding in section 1834 is located on the big toe of the protective footwear device. The added padding can be used to help prevent blisters or abrasion as well as help provide additional comfort when worn. Acceptable paddings are considered to be within the knowledge of persons skilled in the art of bandage, shoe, and mole skin manufacturing and are not discussed here in detail.

FIGS. 19-21 are a bottom view of a substrate layer with a protective rubber layer covering a portion of the substrate layer. FIG. 19 illustrates a bottom view of a substrate layer 1900 in an example protective footwear device, including a protective layer portion 1936 in a metatarsal region and in a toe region of the foot. The protective layer portion 1936, can comprise of various protective materials (e.g., rubber material). The protective layer portion 1936 can include any number of rubber grips aligned in any form or fashion on the face of the adhesive layer of the protective footwear device. The protective layer portion 1936 can include a single layer of rubber located on the face of the substrate layer. In FIG. 19, the protective layer portion 1936 is configured to cover the ball and toes of the protective footwear device. The protective layer portion 1936 can help the user when running on hard surfaces as well as help provide additional traction. The protective layer portion 1936 can include any material which provides additional grip and protection against hard and natural surfaces. In addition, the rubber material is considered to be within the knowledge of persons skilled in the art of footwear manufacturing and is not discussed here in detail.

FIG. 20 illustrates a bottom view of a substrate layer 2000 in an example protective footwear device, including a multi-dimensional protective layer portion in a metatarsal region and in a toe region. The protective footwear device includes various protective layers arranged in patterns as shown 2038. In one implementation, the protective layer portion 2000 includes any number of rubber grips aligned in any form or fashion on the face of the substrate layer of the protective footwear device. In one implementation, the substrate layer can include a single, multidimensional, layered design of rubber patterns located on the protective footwear device.

In this implementation, the rubber is covering the ball and toes of the substrate layer. The protective layer portion can be configured to help the user when running on hard surfaces as well as help provide additional traction. Acceptable rubber is considered to be within the knowledge of persons skilled in the art of footwear manufacturing and is not discussed here in detail.

FIG. 21 illustrates a bottom view of a substrate layer 2100 in an example protective footwear device, including protective layer portions 2140 and 2141 in a metatarsal region, a toe region and a heel region. The protective layer portions 2140 and 2141 can help the user when running on hard surfaces as well as help provide additional traction. Acceptable rubber is considered to be within the knowledge of persons skilled in the art of footwear manufacturing and is not discussed here in detail.

FIG. 22A illustrates a cross-sectional view of section A to A′ of the example protective footwear device shown in FIG. 1. The protective footwear device includes a substrate layer 2201, adhesive layer 2202 arranged in a pattern including adhesive lines 2222 and air gaps 2224, and a backing layer 2203. The material 2201 can be a substrate layer, e.g., woven material, fabric, thermoplastic, thermoplastic polyurethanes, natural fibers, synthetic fibers, viscose fiber, woven fibers, non-woven fibers, weft yarn, microfibers, synthetic elastic sheathes, synthetic elastic cord, string, cord, urethane, rayon, acrylic, polyacrylate, polyurethane, thread, rubber thread, elastomeric filament, lycra, vinyl, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), antimicrobial agents, antibacterial agents, silver nanoparticles and combinations of the same and the like.

FIG. 22B illustrates a cross-sectional view of section A to A′ of the example protective footwear device shown in FIG. 13. The protective footwear device includes traction grips 2205) arranged on a substrate layer 2206, an adhesive layer 2207 arranged in a pattern including adhesive lines 2230 and air gaps 2232, a padding material 2208, an adhesive layer 2209 arranged in a pattern including adhesive lines 2234 and air gaps 2236, an optional ointment layer 2210, and covered by a backing layer 2211. The ointment is defined as a semisolid preparation for external application to the skin or mucous membranes, usually containing a medicinal substance. Official ointments consist of medicinal substances incorporated in suitable vehicles (bases).

FIG. 22C illustrates a cross-sectional view of section A to A′ of the example protective footwear device shown in FIG. 21. The protective footwear device includes a protective layer 2213, an adhesive layer 2214 arranged in a pattern including adhesive lines 2238 and air gaps 2240, a substrate layer 2215, an adhesive layer 2216 arranged in a pattern including adhesive lines 2242 and air gaps 2244, an optional ointment layer 2217, and a backing layer 2218. The ointment is defined as a semisolid preparation for external application to the skin or mucous membranes, usually containing a medicinal substance. Official ointments consist of medicinal substances incorporated in suitable vehicles (bases).

FIG. 23 illustrates a step frequency wave pattern 2300 of an example adhesive layer in an example protective footwear device. The step frequency wave pattern 2300 is not limiting of the design that may be used for the adhesive layer, and is subject to change while staying within the scope of its original purpose. Specifically, the step frequency wave pattern 2300 illustrates the width of an adhesive at a peak 2301 as approximately 4 millimeters, a width of the adhesive at an equidistant point between the peak 2301 and a trough 2302 as approximately 2 millimeters, a width of the adhesive at the trough 2303 as approximately 4 millimeters, a width of a gap at a peak 2304 as approximately 1.5 millimeters, a width of the gap at a point equidistant between the peak 2304 and the trough 2305 as approximately 1 millimeter, a width of the gap at the trough 2306 as approximately 1.5 millimeters, an amplitude 2307 as approximately 18 millimeters, and a frequency 2308 as approximately 80 millimeters. The widths, amplitude, frequency, and pattern can be in a range from about 0.5 mm to about 100 mm or greater and can vary in other implementations of the protective footwear device without departing from the purpose and scope of the original invention.

FIG. 24 illustrates a flow chart of example operations 2400 for manufacturing a protective footwear device. The example operations 2400 can be implemented using devices as described in US 2011/0056621 such as a variable depth die cut, adhesive applicator and a printing device or by other systems. Therefore, the example operations 2400 will be described, exemplarily, with reference to the variable depth die cut, the adhesive applicator, and the printing device. Nevertheless, one of skill in the art can appreciate that the example operations 2400 can be accomplished using other apparatus than those described with reference to the variable depth die cut, the adhesive applicator, and the printing device as described in US 2011/0056621.

An operation 2402 applies an adhesive layer to a substrate layer. For example, in at least one implementation, an adhesive applicator can be used to apply adhesive in an adhesive layer, or applying an adhesive layer to a substrate layer, as a strip of adhesive layer. In one implementation, the adhesive layer can include a dye and/or pigment in any form, fashion, or design. The adhesive layer allows a user to easily apply the protective footwear device as need requires, without additional materials.

An operation 2404 applies a pattern to the adhesive layer. In one implementation, the pattern can include a single color dye and/or pigment used across the entire adhesive design in any form, fashion, or design. An adhesive applying device can include a comb, wherein the comb is configured to produce a pattern in the adhesive as the backing layer moves past the comb, wherein the comb includes a spine and multiple teeth protruding from the spine, wherein the teeth remove adhesive from the backing layer. The adhesive applying device can further include a shaft attached to the spine and an erratic cam, wherein the erratic cam is configured to move the shaft on the comb to produce motion in the comb and a motor for rotating the erratic cam. Additionally or alternatively, the teeth need not all be the same size depending on the desired pattern. In at least one implementation, the width of the comb can indicate the width of the area on the surface of the backing layer which can receive adhesive.

For example, the width of the comb may be greater than the width of the backing layer to which adhesive may be applied, e.g., if the width of the comb is 950 millimeters, the width of the surface to which adhesive may be applied can be 900 millimeters. Further, lateral movement of the teeth can allow a periodic or non-periodic pattern to be created in the adhesive. For example, regular reciprocating motion of the teeth can create a sine wave pattern in the adhesive. Additionally or alternatively, lateral motion of the teeth can create a pattern, such as a step frequency pattern. Patterns in the adhesive may provide for better adhesion between the protective footwear device and the user's skin. For example, patterns can allow some of the tracks in the adhesive to point horizontally and others to point vertically. Patterns can allow the protective footwear device to resist forces caused by a user's movement in any direction. In one implementation, the comb can have varying sizes of teeth. For example, the comb can have alternating sections of small and large teeth width along the length of the comb. The alternating teeth width along the comb can be specially aligned so that when applying patterns to the adhesive on the adhesive layer the sections of small teeth width can run across the area of the adhesive layer where the outer edges of the protective footwear device will be located, and the sections of large teeth width can run across the area of the adhesive layer where the inner area of the protective footwear device will be located. Alternating the sections of teeth width of the comb as described can allow for better adhesion of the outer edges of the protective footwear device and increased breathability for the inner area of the protective footwear device when applied to a human foot. In other implementations, the teeth of the comb can be arranged in any form, fashion, design, size, or width to apply a pattern to the adhesive on the adhesive layer. Additionally or alternatively, the adhesive pattern can be applied with deposition techniques including printing, depositing, and others as known in the art.

In other implementations, more than one pattern may be applied to the adhesive on the adhesive layer. In one implementation, the protective footwear device can include any number of sections in the adhesive on the adhesive layer which contain different adhesive designs such as described in FIGS. 5-9. In one implementation, the adhesive design can include a single color dye and/or pigment used across the entire adhesive layer in any form, fashion, or design, e.g., neon green, blue, red, yellow, black, tan. In one implementation, the adhesive design can include a different color dye and/or pigment for each adhesive design section in any form, fashion, or design, e.g., neon green, blue, red, yellow, black, tan. For example, the different colors of adhesive can be applied in any arrangement in order to accommodate for the specific adhesive design sections and colors being used. In one implementation, the adhesive applying device can include numerous combs with different sizes of teeth to create patterns with differing widths of air gaps and adhesive lines applied in any direction across the adhesive layer. For example, as described in FIGS. 5-9 with adhesive designs that contain numerous sections of patterns, each adhesive design section can have its own specially sized comb and teeth with a certain size and width of teeth in order to create adhesive patterns designed specifically to adhere to certain sections of a human foot to allow for optimal breathability and adhesion (e.g., small, medium, and large teeth width). Each uniquely sized comb and teeth can be applied in any direction for each adhesive design section as the adhesive layer with adhesive runs through the combs, (e.g., vertical, horizontal, and angled). The different sized air gaps and adhesive lines as well as the multidirectional adhesive design sections created from the uniquely sized combs with differing sized teeth can allow for the adhesive to better adhere to the contour of a human foot as opposed to an adhesive with unidirectional adhesive lines and uniformly wide air gaps and adhesive lines, which do not provide the breathability nor the proper width of horizontal and vertical adhesive lines required for an adhesive design to perfectly adhere to the contour of a human foot without any lifting of the substrate layer. In addition, when applying additional patterns to the adhesive in numerous sections, the use of uniquely sized combs with differing sized teeth can allow for prevention of sweat buildup in the most sweat prone sections of the foot as well as provide additional adhesive to sections of the foot most susceptible to movement and friction.

In some implementations, a pattern is not applied to an adhesive layer and operation 2404 is omitted. For example, the adhesive layer may not have a pattern and may be one uniform sheet of adhesive. Or in another implementation, the adhesive layer may be applied in a pattern, thereby negating the operation of later applying a pattern on the adhesive layer.

In an operation 2406, a backing layer is applied to the adhesive layer. The backing layer can be used to protect the adhesive on the adhesive layer and prevent drying of a solvent until a user is ready to apply the protective footwear device. For example, the adhesive can be pressure-sensitive adhesive. Pressure sensitive adhesive is adhesive which forms a bond when pressure is applied, e.g., no solvent, water, activator chemicals, heat or other activating agent is needed to activate the adhesive. In at least one implementation, the degree of bonding is influenced by the amount of pressure which is used to apply the adhesive to the surface of the substrate layer. In at least one implementation, attaching the backing layer to the adhesive layer can include applying pressure to the adhesive layer and the backing layer to activate or administer pressure sensitive adhesive.

The backing layer, the adhesive layer, and the substrate layer attached together make up an assembled protective footwear device. An operation 2408 cuts the assembled protective footwear device with laser cutting techniques, heat cutting techniques, mechanical cutting techniques, combinations of the same and the like. In at least one implementation, the protective footwear device can include using a die cut. For example, in at least one implementation, the die can cut, shape and form protective footwear devices sized and dimensioned to perfectly outline a human foot or approximate the shape, and the backing layer attached to the adhesive layer, during the manufacture thereof. In particular, dies in varying sizes and shapes can be used to cut, shape, and form perfectly dimensioned and outlined shapes of a human left and right foot into different foot sizes.

An operation 2410 cuts perforations or perforates the backing layer. Cutting or perforating the backing layer of the protective footwear device allows a user to separate individual strips or sections of the protective footwear device from one another as needed. In addition, varying designs for multiple patterns of perforations in any form, fashion, or design can be die cut or perforated onto the backing layer. In one implementation, a perforation design, which can include a single perforation design, can be cut into the backing layer running horizontally across the midsection of the foot such as described in FIG. 2. Other implementations of perforations can include perforation designs such as described in FIGS. 1, 3 and 4.

The examples operations 2400 can also include cutting one or more removal pull tabs on the protective footwear device, or cutting the protective footwear device into the shape of a human foot, or into the shape of a human foot with extended portions for stretching the protective footwear device to extend around the sides of a user's foot.

In other implementations, examples operations 2400 can also include printing a logo on the protective footwear device. The printing can be accomplished using a printing device, such as described in US 2011/0056621. In at least one implementation, the printing device can print on the protective footwear device using a screen, or silk-screen, printing method or combinations of the same. Screen printing includes a printing technique that uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil. The attached stencil forms open areas of mesh that transfer ink as a sharp-edged image onto a substrate layer. Also, the logo or design can be glow in the dark or have portions that are glow in the dark. One implementation can include reflectors, e.g., exposed retroreflective lenses (WO2011147079 A1). In addition, the protective footwear device can include a logo or design made into any color or variations of colors, e.g., red, green, blue, neon green, black or tan.

FIG. 25 illustrates example operations 2500 for using the protective footwear device. The example operations 2500 can be implemented using one protective footwear device or a pair of the protective footwear devices (e.g., a protective footwear device for a left foot and a right foot).

An operation 2502 removes a pair of the protective footwear devices, which includes a left and right footwear device. For example, in one implementation, the pair of protective footwear devices can be unwound from and torn off a roll of protective footwear devices. In one implementation, the pair of the protective footwear devices can be removed from a package in which the protective footwear devices are stacked upon one another. Nevertheless, one of skill in the art can appreciate that the operation 2502 can be accomplished using other apparatus for removal than those described.

The following operations 2504-2512 involve applying the protective footwear devices to the bottom of a user's feet. In one implementation, each protective footwear device can be applied individually in order to make use of the user's two hands to best handle and apply the protective footwear device one at a time.

An operation 2504 removes a first section of a backing layer of one of the left or right protective footwear devices starting at a heel region and peeling towards a toe region. In one implementation, the protective footwear device can include a single sheet of backing layer, which when removed peels off in one piece, revealing the entire underlying adhesive layer. However, other implementations can include multiple perforated sections of the backing layer allowing for the backing layer to be removed in sections.

An operation 2506 applies an exposed adhesive layer to the bottom of the user's foot starting at a heel region and applying towards a toe region by stretching the adhesive layer to fit the desired dimensions of the bottom of the user's foot. In one implementation, numerous adhesive design sections of the adhesive layer can be applied to corresponding sections of the user's foot in order for the adhesive layer to provide optimal breathability and adhesion when worn. For example, different adhesive design sections as described in FIGS. 5-9 can be applied as described to corresponding areas of the foot, which can provide greater breathability and adhesion and prevent peeling on the edges as opposed to a single adhesive design.

An operation 2508 peels off remaining sections of the backing layer from the bottom of each perforation towards the toe region. Operation 2508 occurs if there are one or more perforations or perforated sections in the backing layer. In one implementation, the backing layer can have a single perforation running horizontally across the protective footwear device corresponding to the midsection of a user's foot as described in FIG. 2. A single perforation or perforated line of the backing layer can allow the user to more easily attach a portion of the adhesive layer to the foot to act as an anchor while peeling off the remaining section of backing layer to then more easily stretch and apply the remaining section of adhesive layer along the foot up to the toes. In other implementations, there can be numerous perforations in the backing layer which can be peeled in succession starting from the bottom of each perforation towards the toes to more easily attach the adhesive layer to the bottom of the human foot as described in FIGS. 1, 3, and 4.

An operation 2510 applies the exposed adhesive layer to the remaining area of the bottom of the user's foot by stretching the adhesive layer to fit the desired dimensions of the bottom of the foot. Operation 2510 occurs if there are one or more perforations in the backing layer. In one implementation, numerous adhesive design sections of the adhesive layer can be applied to their corresponding sections of the human foot in order for the adhesive design to provide optimal breathability and adhesion when worn. For example, different adhesive design sections as described in FIGS. 5-9 can be applied to their corresponding areas of the foot, which can provide greater breathability and adhesion and also prevent peeling on the edges as opposed to a single adhesive design.

If there are no perforations or perforated sections in the backing layer, operations 2508 and 2510 do not occur. In such implementations, one uniform section of backing layer is peeled off the adhesive layer from the heel region toward the toe region.

An operation 2512 presses the protective footwear device after application to the bottom of the user's foot to affix the adhesive of the adhesive layer onto the user's skin. In one implementation, the adhesive in the adhesive layer can be pressure sensitive adhesive, which can be heat activated and ensure optimal adhesion to the skin of the user's foot and prevent peeling on the edges of the substrate layer.

In implementations using a pair of protective footwear devices, the operations 2504-2512 can be performed for the foot of the protective footwear device. After applying the second protective footwear device, the bottom of both feet can then be protected when the protective footwear device is worn.

The described implementations are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the purpose of the protective footwear device as discussed in the Background, Brief Summary and Detailed Description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the purpose are to be embraced within their scope.

EXAMPLES

By way of example, and not by way of limitation, examples will be provided for use of the protective footwear device to help protect feet, prevent infection, and enhance healing of wounds.

The protective footwear device can be utilized for taping to the bottoms of feet, without the need for any additional cutting to form to the feet. Each individual strip of the protective footwear device can be applied as a single sheet (if unperforated), or the uncut portion could be applied as an “anchor” portion followed by separation of the perforated portions of the backing layer. The various versions of perforations of the backing layer can facilitate such placement by allowing removal of only some of the backing layer to expose only a portion of adhesive during application.

The inventions and methods described herein can be viewed as a whole, or as a number of separate inventions, that can be used independently or mixed and matched as desired. All inventions, steps, processes, devices, and methods described herein can be mixed and matched as desired. All previously described features, functions, or inventions described herein or by reference may be mixed and matched as desired.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variation can be made in the present invention without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Thus, it is intended that the present invention cover the modifications and variations of this invention provided they come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.





 
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