US20090241369A1 - Latticed elastic shoe cover with cleats - Google Patents

Latticed elastic shoe cover with cleats Download PDF

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US20090241369A1
US20090241369A1 US12/383,745 US38374509A US2009241369A1 US 20090241369 A1 US20090241369 A1 US 20090241369A1 US 38374509 A US38374509 A US 38374509A US 2009241369 A1 US2009241369 A1 US 2009241369A1
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Prior art keywords
shoe cover
cover
shoe
covering
depressions
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US12/383,745
Inventor
Earl J. Votolato
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EARL J AND KIMBERLY VOTOLATO TRUSTEES OF VOTOLATO LIVING TRUST DATED JUNE 1 1994 AS WHOLLY AMENDED
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EARL J AND KIMBERLY VOTOLATO TRUSTEES OF VOTOLATO LIVING TRUST DATED JUNE 1 1994 AS WHOLLY AMENDED
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Priority to US4056808P priority Critical
Priority to US4795908P priority
Priority to US7706008P priority
Priority to US8796208P priority
Application filed by EARL J AND KIMBERLY VOTOLATO TRUSTEES OF VOTOLATO LIVING TRUST DATED JUNE 1 1994 AS WHOLLY AMENDED filed Critical EARL J AND KIMBERLY VOTOLATO TRUSTEES OF VOTOLATO LIVING TRUST DATED JUNE 1 1994 AS WHOLLY AMENDED
Priority to US12/383,745 priority patent/US20090241369A1/en
Assigned to EARL J. AND KIMBERLY VOTOLATO, TRUSTEES OF THE VOTOLATO LIVING TRUST, DATED JUNE 1, 1994 AS WHOLLY AMENDED reassignment EARL J. AND KIMBERLY VOTOLATO, TRUSTEES OF THE VOTOLATO LIVING TRUST, DATED JUNE 1, 1994 AS WHOLLY AMENDED ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: VOTOLATO, EARL J.
Publication of US20090241369A1 publication Critical patent/US20090241369A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B3/00Footwear characterised by the shape or the use
    • A43B3/16Overshoes
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A43FOOTWEAR
    • A43BCHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF FOOTWEAR; PARTS OF FOOTWEAR
    • A43B13/00Soles; Sole and heel units
    • A43B13/14Soles; Sole and heel units characterised by the constructive form
    • A43B13/22Soles made slip-preventing or wear-resisting, e.g. by impregnation or spreading a wear-resisting layer
    • A43B13/223Profiled soles

Abstract

Slip resistant covers are presented. An especially preferred slip-resistant cover includes an elastic shoe cover comprising a latticed surface that allows the shoe cover to stretch further than would ordinarily be possible if the shoe cover had a uniform thickness. Contemplated shoe covers can also comprise cleats on the bottom surface to provide slip resistance.

Description

  • This application claims priority to the following U.S. provisional applications: U.S. provisional application having Ser. No. 61/040568 filed on Mar. 28, 2008; U.S. provisional application having Ser. No. 61/047959 filed on Apr. 25, 2008; U.S. provisional application having Ser. No. 61/077060 filed on Jun. 30, 2008; and U.S. provisional application having Ser. No. 61/087962 filed on Aug. 11, 2008. These and all other extrinsic materials discussed herein are incorporated by reference in their entirety. Where a definition or use of a term in an incorporated reference is inconsistent or contrary to the definition of that term provided herein, the definition of that term provided herein applies and the definition of that term in the reference does not apply.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The field of the invention is slip resistant coverings.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Producing a cost-effective slip resistant shoe covering is difficult due to a number of issues surrounding the manufacturing process, among many other issues. One such issue includes that a manufacturer requires multiple shoe cover molds of different sizes to make shoe different sized shoe covers. To effectively cover a market, a manufacturer must purchase and maintain all the different molds, or corresponding equipment at great expense. Preferably a manufacture should be able to produce shoe covers in a minimal number of sizes (e.g., one or two sizes) that can address the needs in the market. Additionally, a “one sized fits all” approach to shoe covers should not sacrifice shoe protection or slip resistance in exchange for fit.
  • One example shoe cover that requires different mold sizes is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,948,261 to Grasso titled “Supplemental Removable Outersole for Footwear” (September 2005). Grasso contemplates that a removable cleated outersole can be attached to a shoe through the use of an elastic band. Another example of a shoe cover that must be manufactured in incremental sizes includes U.S. patent application publication 2007/0175064 to Culton et al. titled “Waterproof Protective Overshoe for Golf Shoes” (August 2007). Culton's overshoe also includes patterned tread for traction. Both of the above shoe covers require the covers to be manufactured in different sizes for different sized shoes, which can be expensive.
  • Others have attempted to provide slip-resistant shoe covers where a cover can fit a range of shoe sizes. For example, U.S. patent application publication 2008/0022555 to Mor et al. titled “Anti-Slip Overshoe” (January 2008) describes an anti-slip overshoe comprising elastic bands that can be adjusted to fit various shoe sizes. Another example includes U.S. patent application publication 2008/0301973 to Lee Tsi titled “Non-Slip Shoe Cover for Various Slippery Conditions Such as Snow, Golf, Fishing and the Like” (December 2008). The Lee Tsai approach provides for a non-slip shoe cover having multiple studs and protrusions where the cover has a large cutout on the sole. Although the Mor and Lee Tsai coverings can fit shoes of different sizes, they fail (1) to provide full coverage over the bottom, sole, or sides of a shoe, and (2) to adequately distribute stresses due to stretching across the covering.
  • The above cited references, or other known art, make a sacrifice of protection or slip resistance for fit, or vice versa. What has yet to be appreciated is that shoe coverings can be made without such sacrifices. For example, a shoe covers can comprise a material with a latticed surface having variation in thickness, and that can address the issues described above while also providing many additional advantages. A shoe covering having a latticed surface allows the covering to stretch further than would ordinarily be possible for a surface having substantially uniform thickness. Such a shoe covering produced at a given size can be used to cover a larger range of shoe sizes than a traditional counterpart and can distribute stresses across the latticed surface as opposed to having stresses localized to weak points along the covering. One or two sizes of shoe coverings having latticed material can easily fit a spectrum of shoe sizes within the market while also retaining desired slip resistance or shoe protection.
  • Unless the context dictates the contrary, all ranges set forth herein should be interpreted as being inclusive of their endpoints and open-ended ranges should be interpreted to include only commercially practical values. Similarly, all lists of values should be considered as inclusive of intermediate values unless the context indicates the contrary.
  • Thus, there is still a need for slip-resistant coverings that provide traction, provide substantial shoe protection, distribute stresses, or that fit shoes having a wide range of dimensions.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The inventive subject matter provides apparatus, systems and methods in which a slip-resistant covering can be produced. In one aspect of the inventive subject matter a covering comprises a main body portion configured to elastically couple to a shoe, and a bottom covering portion that covers a bottom surface or sole of the shoe. In a preferred embodiment, the bottom covering portion comprises a lattice of raised surfaces and depressions disposed on an external surface of the shoe cover's bottom portion. The depressions can be extend partially into a base material forming the cover, or can extend completely through the cover to form a hole. The contemplated lattice forms a highly stretchable, slip resistant surface, and allows a single shoe cover to fit a wide range of shoe sizes or shapes. In a preferred embodiment, a single shoe cover can stretch along a linear dimension by up to 400%, or even more preferably up to 900%, without suffering substantial permanent deformation. The ability of the covering to stretch can be further enhanced by including one or more stretch zones located on various sides of the covering (e.g., top, bottom, sides, etc.).
  • In some embodiments, the main body and the bottom covering portion can be manufactured from different materials, preferably different elastomeric materials. It is contemplated that the bottom portion can be made of a harder material than that used to make the main body. Providing a harder bottom portion is considered to improve the gripping capability or slip-resistance of the latticed surface. Furthermore, the raised slip-resistant surfaces can be formed from yet another material other than those used to form the remaining portions of the covering. For example, the raised slip-resistant surface could comprise a cleat of a hard nitrile rubber, plastic, metal, wood, or other hard materials.
  • As used herein “lattice” is used euphemistically to reference a repeating unit cell that has having variations in thickness in a covering material, preferably including depressions. The repeating unit cell can have a regular or irregular shape as discussed below. However, in a preferred embodiment the repeating structure comprises a substantially regular pattern.
  • As used herein, the term “cleat” is used to reference a raised surface or “island” protruding from the bottom surface of the shoe cover surrounded by a base surface. Contemplated cleats can include spikes, studs, pyramids, or other projections. One should note that a cleat can have a regular polygon (e.g., circle, triangle, square, pentagon, hexagon, etc.) head surface, or irregularly shaped head surface.
  • Various objects, features, aspects and advantages of the inventive subject matter will become more apparent from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments, along with the accompanying drawing figures in which like numerals represent like components.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic of a possible embodiment of a slip resistant shoe cover.
  • FIG. 2 is an illustration of possible embodiment of a bottom portion of a slip resistant shoe cover having a lattice of raised slip resistant surfaces and stretchable depressions.
  • FIG. 3A is an illustration of possible unit cells used to form the lattice on the bottom portion of the shoe cover in FIG. 2.
  • FIG. 3B is a schematic of a few possible configurations of unit cells that can be used to form a lattice.
  • FIG. 4 is a schematic of a side, cut view of a bottom portion of a shoe cover showing raised slip resistant surfaces and stretchable depressions.
  • FIG. 5 is an illustration of a bottom portion of a prototype shoe cover.
  • FIG. 6 is an illustration of a prototype shoe cover disposed on a shoe.
  • FIG. 7 is an illustration of a close-up view of raised slip-resistant surfaces on a bottom portion of a prototype shoe cover.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • The inventive subject matter is presented using an elastic shoe covering as an example. One should appreciate that the inventive concepts, in any combination, can equally apply to other coverings that could require additional traction or slip-resistance. Other coverings that could benefit from disclosed techniques include gloves, socks, floor mats, tires, or other surface covers. In fact, all surfaces are contemplated. In a similar vein, the term “shoe” is used euphemistically to represent any footwear (e.g., boots, sandals, shoe, etc.) and should not be interpreted as limiting the inventive concepts to a shoe per se.
  • In FIG. 1, covering 100 is embodied as a shoe cover. “Covering” and “shoe cover” are used interchangeably within this document. Shoe cover 100 comprises main body 160 coupled to one or more bottom portions 150 that collectively represent a sole of cover 100. Bottom portion 150 preferably comprises a plurality of raised slip-resistant surfaces 155, which can be embodied by cleats possibly having gripping cup 157. For reference purposes, shoe covering 100 includes toe portion 120 consider to be the “front” of the covering, and include heel portion 110 considered to be the “rear” of the covering. Shoe cover 100 can also include one or more stretch zones 165 that can allows shoe cover 100 to accommodate a large range of shoes having different dimensions (e.g., width, length, etc.).
  • In a preferred embodiment, shoe cover 100 comprises a single piece design. Shoe cover 100 preferably comprises one or more materials capable of stretching, preferably elastomeric materials.
  • Main covering body 160 is preferably formed or molded from a soft, elastomeric material capable of stretching to elastically couple to a shoe, possibly by at least partially enveloping the shoe. Preferred elastomeric materials have one or more of the following properties: can be molded into a desired shape, temperature resistant, water resistant or water proof, or substantially chemically inactive. Acceptable elastomeric materials can include natural rubber, synthetic polyisoprene, polybutadiene, styrene-butadine rubber, or other elastomeric compounds. A preferred embodiment employs a nitrile rubber.
  • Main body 160 can also comprise one or more reinforced areas that would allow cover 100 to resist tearing or becoming substantially deformed. For example, a thicker layer of material can be deposited near toe 120 or heel 110, or another material can be bonded in the various areas that would benefit from reinforcement. It is contemplated that other materials including cloth weaves, plastics, other elastomeric compounds, or other reinforcements can be used. It is also contemplated that toe 120 or heel 110 could include reinforced stretch zones that would provide cover 100 a better hold on a shoe while also providing resistance to tearing.
  • Bottom portion 150 can comprise one or more regions on the bottom of covering 100. In some embodiments, bottom portion 150 is a single region substantially covering the sole of a shoe. However, it is also contemplated that bottom portion 150 could comprise multiple, distinct regions. For example, a first region could be deployed toward the front of covering 100 and a second region could be deployed rearward near heel 110. Any number of regions can be used to form bottom portion 150.
  • Bottom portion 150 can be formed from similar, if not the same, elastomeric materials as body 160. In a preferred embodiment, bottom portion 150 comprises a second, different elastomeric material than body 160, possibly a harder material. Furthermore, raised surfaces 155 can be made of the same material as bottom portion 150, or a third, alternative material from main body 160 or bottom portion 150. Raised surface 155 are not required to be formed from an elastomeric material and could comprise metal, plastic, wood, or other material. However, preferred surfaces 155 are of a harder material than the rest of the shoe covering. For example, the cleats can comprise a harder elastomeric material, e.g., a nitrile rubber, while the surrounding material would be a softer version of the rubber, or even a different material all together. The softer rubber provides highly elastic properties so the shoe cover stretches over many different sizes of shoes, while hard raised surfaces 155 increase traction, or decrease wear.
  • Shoe cover 100 as contemplated can be manufactured using a suitably shaped mold. The elastomeric materials can be co-vulcanized by disposing one or more initial elastomers in the mold for the raised surfaces 155 (e.g., cleats) followed by disposing additional elastomers in the mold for the bottom covering portion 150 and main covering body 160. It is contemplated that the elastomers can be placed in the mold in their raw states. The materials can then be heated in the mold to co-vulcanize them together to from single piece shoe cover 100. One skilled in the art will recognize that multiple layers or materials can also be used to form the shoe cover while still falling within the scope of the inventive subject matter. Additionally, the material used to form main body 160 can be over-molded or co-molded to raised surfaces 155. In such an approach the material of main body 160 forms the connecting bonds among raised surfaces 155 and thereby forms or becomes bottom portion 150.
  • It is contemplated that main body 160, bottom portion(s) 150, and raised surfaces 155 can all be of the same material, or different materials in any combination. Furthermore, raised surfaces 155 could comprise a heterogeneous mix of materials. For example, in embodiments where surfaces 155 are cleats, the cleats near the front and rear could be made of a harder material than those cleats near the middle of the covering.
  • Acceptable manufacturing steps or configurations can also be found in co-owned pending U.S. patent application having Ser. No. 11/867638, titled “Elastic Overshoe with Sandwiched Sole Pads” filed on Oct. 4, 2007.
  • Stretch zone 165 preferably includes a region on shoe cover 100, preferably on main covering body 160, having an array of depressions within the material used to make cover 100. Depressions in the material represent spaces where the material is thinner than surrounding areas and allows the base material to stretch further than would otherwise be permitted without the depressions. The depressions can be made to any depth into the material, and can include holes through the material. A preferred embodiment has depressions that are at least half the thickness of the base material. Covers 100 that have non-hole depressions provide additional protection to a shoe, or other footwear, by reducing risk of exposure to water, liquids, chemicals, dust, or other contaminants.
  • The depressions within stretch zone 165 can be configured through many difference processes. One example includes molding the depressions into the material during vulcanization. Another example includes cutting holes in the material, possibly after manufacture, to form a stretchable mesh.
  • FIG. 1 illustrates that one or more zones 165 can be placed on the sides of the cover 100. Such a configuration allows cover 100 to stretch in length to fit a wide range of shoe sizes. Stretch zones 165, possibly in conjunction with the latticed structure of bottom portion 150, allows cover 100 to stretch up to about 400% in a linear dimension, and more preferably up to about 900% in a linear dimension without suffering permanent deformation. Zones 165 can also be placed in other positions on cover 100 to allow stretching in length, width, depth, or along any other desirable dimensions. It is also specifically contemplated that main body 160 could be configured as a single stretch zone, possibly as a mesh of cut holes.
  • Cover 100 preferably is able to stretch without suffering substantial permanent deformation, which is considered to mean that cover 100 can return to its initial size or shape within a 5% tolerance after stretching, or more preferably does not tear or rip.
  • FIG. 2 present a schematic of an embodiment of a shoe cover's bottom portion 250. It is contemplated that many alternative patterns are possible. The pattern presented should be considered an example for illustration purposes. Other patterns are also contemplated. A preferred pattern comprises a lattice of repeating unit cells (see discussion below) where each cell has one or more raised slip-resistant surface 255 that protrudes outward from the base 251 material and one or more depressions 253 that extend into the base 251 material. In a preferred embodiment, raised surfaces 255 comprise cleats that are “islands” of raised material surround by base 251. Additionally, depression 253 can also be a recessed area surrounded by base 25 1.
  • The lattice shown in FIG. 2 is color coded for clarity. Grey is used to represent base 251 that is considered to be of a neutral elevation. Black is used to represent raised surfaces 255 (e.g., cleats) that have a raised surface elevation relative to and protrude outward from grey base 251. White is use to represent depressions 253 that have a lower surface elevation relative to and extends into grey base 25 1. Base 251 also represents an external surface bottom portion 250 that is a surface intermediary between raised surface 255 and the surface within depression 253. Preferably base 251 extends across, and substantially covers, bottom portion 250. It is also contemplated that base 251 could extend only over the front portion or rear portion of bottom 250, where an non-latticed section separates the front from the rear portions, possibly accommodating a contour of a user's foot.
  • The lattice structure can be deployed over the entire bottom of a shoe cover as shown, or can be disposed within one or more distinct regions on the bottom. For example, in one embodiment, the lattice can be dispose at only at the front and at the rear of the shoe cover. It is also contemplated that the each region could also comprise distinct sub-regions.
  • One should note that raised surfaces 255 or depression 253 do not necessarily have to comprises homogeneous shapes. For example, as shown, raises surfaces 255 comprise two types of cleats. A first type of cleat is a roughly circular cleat comprising eight protruding triangles extending outward from the end or head of the cleat (see also FIG. 5). A second type of cleat is chevron shaped cleat comprising multiple polygons. Depression 253 could also comprise different shapes as opposed to a single shape as shown. In a preferred embodiment, raised surfaces 255 and depressions 253 form a unit cell that is repeated to tessellate a region of bottom portion 250, where at least one unit cell can be adjacent to another unit cell on all sides.
  • FIG. 3A illustrates several possible unit cells 300A, 300B, or 300C, collectively referred to as cells 300, of the bottom portion 250 in FIG. 2. Unit cells 300 represent a small subset of possible unit cells, for the illustrated pattern. Unit cells 300 present different possible unit cells than can be used to tessellate bottom portion 250 of a shoe cover. One should note that even though the unit cells 300 are different, the resulting pattern across the bottom of the cover is the same. Note that unit cell 300A has depressions at the left and right side, while unit cell 300B has the depressions at the top and bottom, and yet unit cell 300C has the depression at the corners.
  • Of particular note is that unit cells 300 all have the same ratio of raised surface area (RA) to the area of the depressions (DA). The ratio (RA/DA) is particularity useful as a measure of slip resistance relative to ability to stretch in order to accommodate different sized footwear. Preferred unit cells have a ratio (RA/DA) of more than about 0.5 and less than about 4, and more preferably about 2. Covers that have a ratio less than 0.5 are thought to suffer tears or breaks more often than desirable, and covers having a ratio greater than four are thought to lack sufficient capacity to stretch to the extent necessary to accommodate a larger range of shoe sizes (e.g., stretch up to 400%, or even up to 900%). The total area of raised and depressed areas (RA+DA) is preferably at least 40%. It is also contemplated that the total area (RA+DA) can be about 50%, 60%, 70%, or even up to 90% of the area of the unit cell.
  • FIG. 3B illustrates that unit cells can be of different sizes and shapes to form lattices 350A, 350B, or 350C, collectively referred to as lattices 350. Unit cells can be regular polygons (e.g., equilateral triangles, squares, pentagons, hexagons, etc.), irregular polygons (e.g., trapezoids, rhombi, triangles, rectangles, etc.), or other shapes that can tile a surface. For example, lattice 350A comprises rectangular unit cells; lattice 350B comprises trapezoid unit cells; and lattice 350C comprises rhomboid unit cells.
  • It is also contemplated that a lattice could comprise two, three, or more different types of polygons to tessellate the bottom portion of a shoe cover. For example, octagons and squares can be used to tile a region. Alternatively, triangles and pentagons can be used to tile a region.
  • A unit cell as minimum width, W, as shown in lattices 350. With respect to a shoe cover, the minimum width of a unit cell is preferably less than two centimeters, and more preferably less than one centimeter, but also preferably greater than 0.25 centimeters. Other types of coverings (e.g., gloves, floor mats, tires, etc.) would likely have different preferred minimum widths. For example, gloves would likely have unit cells with very small widths, possibly less than 0.5 centimeters, or even less than 0.1 centimeters; where a tire might have unit cells having a minimum width greater than 4 centimeters.
  • In FIG. 4, a schematic of a side, cut view of a shoe cover's bottom portion 450 is presented. Bottom portion 450 comprises base 451 extending laterally along the bottom of a shoe cover, where base 451 has a thickness, T. Base 451 has a first, internal surface 458 that would be placed adjacent to a shoe sole and a second, external surface 459 that would be exposed. Raised surfaces 455 protrude outward from external surface 459 by height, H, and depression 453 extends into external surface 459 toward internal surface 458 by a depth, D.
  • In a preferred embodiment, thickness, T, for a shoe cover is preferably in the range from about 0.5 millimeters to about 5 millimeters. Depth, D, is preferably greater than about 0.5 T (i.e., one half of the value of T), more preferably greater than 0.7 T, and yet more preferably about 0.9 T. In some embodiments, depth, D, remains less than the thickness T to ensure full protection across the sole of a shoe against undesirable conditions, caustic chemicals for example. In other embodiments where protection is less necessary, but ability to stretch or flex is more important, depth, D, can be equal to T to form a hole through base 451.
  • Raised surface 455, shown as a cleat, can extend from external surface 459 by height, H, as necessary. H is preferably at least one millimeter. Although any height can be used to fit the target use of the cover. In this instance, and where other bounding limits are not expressly stated, the reader should infer a reasonable bounding limit. In this instance, for example, a commercially reasonable upper limit is about for height, H, is about one centimeter for a shoe cover.
  • It is also contemplated that raised surface 455 could comprises further surface features at the end or head of surfaces 455 that could enhance their slip-resistant natures. For example, the surface features located at the head portion of surfaces 455 could include protrusions 463 or cup 457. Alternative surface features could include textures, studs, or the like.
  • In embodiments with gripping cup 457, cup 457 preferably has a depression surrounded by a raised rim 461, possibly a molded bead that at least partially surrounds cup 457. In some embodiments, cup 457 has an approximately concave surface. Cup 457 has a preferred depth of about or less than 1 mm for a shoe cover, although all depths are contemplated. One should appreciate that the depression-rim structure of gripping cup 457 forms a suction cup-like structure. As a person walks, rim 461 squeegees liquid away from cup 457 while cup 457 grips the contacting surface.
  • FIG. 5 depicts a prototype bottom portion 550 of a shoe cover having a pattern similar to that illustrated in FIG. 2. Bottom portion 550 comprises a nitrile rubber having cleats 555 with depressions 553 intermixed among cleats 555. Note depressions 553 do not extend through the base 551, but rather are thinner than the thickness of base 551. Furthermore cleats 553 are surround by external surface of base 551. Cleats 555 are configured with additional surface features protruding from the head end of the cleats. The surface features comprise wedge shape areas separated from each other by thin gaps. The thin gaps are considered to allow cleats 555 some ability to stretch.
  • FIG. 6 presents a side and a bottom view of a shoe having an example shoe cover 600 that employs many of the techniques disclosed above. Shoe cover 600 has a lattice structure comprising cleats 655 and depressions 653 (e.g., holes) on the bottom. The lattice provides the necessary stretch while the cleats provide slip resistance. Note that depressions 653 are holes through the base material.
  • FIG. 7 presents yet another embodiment showing a close-up view of bottom portion 750 detailing cleats 755. In the illustrated embodiment, cleats 755 comprise a gripping end having a gripping cup 757 defined by rim 761. Base 751 surrounds cleats 755 and forms channels for liquid to flow away from cleats 755. Note that cleats 755 can also include a textured surface within cup 757, which can further enhance the slip-resistance properties of a shoe cover.
  • The dimensions disclosed above with respect to a shoe covering have been found to be effective for the various possible embodiments of a shoe cover, and are not mere design choices. However, the various dimensions can be adjusted as necessary to fit the functionality for other types coverings. For example, a glove having the contemplated covering would likely have raised slip-resistant surfaces that are 1 mm or less in height. A floor mat or tire would likely have larger dimensions.
  • It should be apparent to those skilled in the art that many more modifications besides those already described are possible without departing from the inventive concepts herein. The inventive subject matter, therefore, is not to be restricted except in the spirit of the appended claims. Moreover, in interpreting both the specification and the claims, all terms should be interpreted in the broadest possible manner consistent with the context. In particular, the terms “comprises” and “comprising” should be interpreted as referring to elements, components, or steps in a non-exclusive manner, indicating that the referenced elements, components, or steps may be present, or utilized, or combined with other elements, components, or steps that are not expressly referenced. Where the specification claims refers to at least one of something selected from the group consisting of A, B, C . . . and N, the text should be interpreted as requiring only one element from the group, not A plus N, or B plus N, etc.

Claims (24)

1. A slip-resistant shoe cover, comprising:
a main covering body configured to elastically couple to a shoe;
a bottom covering portion coupled to the main body, and configured to elastically cover a bottom surface of the shoe; and
wherein an external surface of the bottom portion comprises a lattice of (a) raised slip-resistant surfaces protruding outward from the external surface and (b) stretchable depressions recessed into the external surface, where the depressions are intermixed among the raised surfaces.
2. The shoe cover of claim 1, wherein the main covering body comprises a first elastomeric material.
3. The shoe cover of claim 2, wherein the bottom covering portion comprises at least a second elastomeric material.
4. The shoe cover of claim 3, wherein the second elastomeric material is different than the first elastomeric material.
5. The shoe cover of claim 3, wherein the second elastomeric material is harder than the first elastomeric material.
6. The shoe cover of claim 3, wherein the second elastomeric material comprises a nitrile rubber.
7. The shoe cover of claim 1, wherein the raised surface includes a cleat.
8. The shoe cover of claim 7, wherein the cleat comprises a gripping cup.
9. The shoe cover of claim 7, wherein the cleat is configured to stretch.
10. The shoe cover of claim 7, wherein the cleat comprises a material other than that used to form the bottom covering portion.
11. The shoe cover of claim 1, wherein at least a portion of the main covering body comprises a stretch zone.
12. The shoe cover of claim 11, wherein the stretch zone comprises an array of depressions.
13. The shoe cover of claim 12, wherein the depressions comprise holes through a material forming the main covering body.
14. The shoe cover of claim 11, wherein the stretch zone is located on a side of the main covering body.
15. The shoe cover of claim 1 1, wherein the cover comprises multiple stretch zones located on at least two sides of the cover.
16. The shoe cover of claim 1, wherein the bottom covering portion has a base thickness, T, and where the depressions extend into the bottom covering portion to a depth, D, that is at least 0.5 T.
17. The shoe cover of claim 16, wherein the depth, D, is at least 0.7 T.
18. The shoe cover of claim 17, wherein the depth, D, is at least 0.9 T.
19. The shoe cover of claim 18, wherein the depressions are holes through the bottom covering portion.
20. The shoe cover of claim 16 wherein T is in the range of about 0.5 millimeters to about five millimeters, inclusively.
21. The shoe cover of claim 1, wherein the lattice comprises a regular, repeating pattern having a unit cell with a smallest dimension of less than two centimeters.
22. The shoe cover of claim 21, wherein the unit cell has a shape other than a rectangle.
23. The shoe cover of claim 1, wherein the cover is configured to stretch along a linear dimension up to 900% without substantially deforming the cover.
24. The shoe cover of claim 23, wherein the cover is configured to stretch along the linear dimension up to 400% without substantially deforming the cover.
US12/383,745 2008-03-28 2009-03-26 Latticed elastic shoe cover with cleats Abandoned US20090241369A1 (en)

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US4056808P true 2008-03-28 2008-03-28
US4795908P true 2008-04-25 2008-04-25
US7706008P true 2008-06-30 2008-06-30
US8796208P true 2008-08-11 2008-08-11
US12/383,745 US20090241369A1 (en) 2008-03-28 2009-03-26 Latticed elastic shoe cover with cleats

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Cited By (11)

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US20180027920A1 (en) * 2015-02-17 2018-02-01 Gts Global Co., Ltd. Aqua shoe having anti-slip structure
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EP3056103A4 (en) * 2013-10-10 2017-06-28 ASICS Corporation Shoe sole
US10159306B2 (en) 2013-10-10 2018-12-25 Asics Corporation Shoe sole
US9901135B2 (en) 2014-12-09 2018-02-27 Nike, Inc. Footwear with flexible auxetic ground engaging members
US9681703B2 (en) 2014-12-09 2017-06-20 Nike, Inc. Footwear with flexible auxetic sole structure
US9775408B2 (en) 2014-12-09 2017-10-03 Nike, Inc. Footwear with auxetic ground engaging members
US20180027920A1 (en) * 2015-02-17 2018-02-01 Gts Global Co., Ltd. Aqua shoe having anti-slip structure
EP3258804A4 (en) * 2015-02-17 2018-10-03 GTS Global Co., Ltd. Aqua shoe having anti-slip structure
USD781537S1 (en) 2015-03-04 2017-03-21 Mark Ungania Footwear cover
USD794317S1 (en) 2015-06-09 2017-08-15 Allegiance Corporation Slipper tread
US20190053575A1 (en) * 2017-06-19 2019-02-21 John R. Austin Overshoe
US10687584B2 (en) * 2017-06-19 2020-06-23 John R. Austin Overshoe
US10932500B2 (en) * 2017-10-26 2021-03-02 Treds, LLC Foot cover for fall prevention
USD903293S1 (en) * 2018-07-02 2020-12-01 Griffiths & Nielsen Limited Anti-slip sole for a sock
WO2020176827A1 (en) * 2019-02-28 2020-09-03 Shoes For Crews, Llc Slip resistant expansion overshoe

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