US20120102613A1 - Compression sock - Google Patents

Compression sock Download PDF

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Publication number
US20120102613A1
US20120102613A1 US12913627 US91362710A US2012102613A1 US 20120102613 A1 US20120102613 A1 US 20120102613A1 US 12913627 US12913627 US 12913627 US 91362710 A US91362710 A US 91362710A US 2012102613 A1 US2012102613 A1 US 2012102613A1
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Prior art keywords
sock
pads
wearer
leg section
side
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
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US12913627
Inventor
Damian Loth
Greg Hoscheit
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Lifestyle Medical Group LLC
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Lifestyle Medical Group LLC
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A41WEARING APPAREL
    • A41BSHIRTS; UNDERWEAR; BABY LINEN; HANDKERCHIEFS
    • A41B11/00Hosiery; Panti-hose
    • A41B11/003Hosiery with intermediate sections of different elasticity
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A41WEARING APPAREL
    • A41DOUTERWEAR; PROTECTIVE GARMENTS; ACCESSORIES
    • A41D13/00Professional, industrial, or sporting protective garments, e.g. garments affording protection against blows or punches, surgeon's gowns
    • A41D13/05Professional, industrial, or sporting protective garments, e.g. garments affording protection against blows or punches, surgeon's gowns protecting only a particular body part
    • A41D13/0543Legs
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, E.G. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F13/00Bandages or dressings; Absorbent pads
    • A61F13/06Bandages or dressings; Absorbent pads specially adapted for feet or legs; Corn-pads; Corn-rings
    • A61F13/08Elastic stockings; for contracting aneurisms
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B71/00Games or sports accessories not covered in groups A63B1/00 - A63B69/00
    • A63B71/08Body-protectors for players or sportsmen, i.e. body-protecting accessories affording protection of body parts against blows or collisions
    • A63B71/12Body-protectors for players or sportsmen, i.e. body-protecting accessories affording protection of body parts against blows or collisions for the body, e.g. shoulders, or the legs
    • A63B71/1225Body-protectors for players or sportsmen, i.e. body-protecting accessories affording protection of body parts against blows or collisions for the body, e.g. shoulders, or the legs for the legs, e.g. thighs, knees, ankles, feet
    • A63B2071/1258Body-protectors for players or sportsmen, i.e. body-protecting accessories affording protection of body parts against blows or collisions for the body, e.g. shoulders, or the legs for the legs, e.g. thighs, knees, ankles, feet for the shin, e.g. shin guards
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B71/00Games or sports accessories not covered in groups A63B1/00 - A63B69/00
    • A63B71/08Body-protectors for players or sportsmen, i.e. body-protecting accessories affording protection of body parts against blows or collisions
    • A63B71/12Body-protectors for players or sportsmen, i.e. body-protecting accessories affording protection of body parts against blows or collisions for the body, e.g. shoulders, or the legs
    • A63B71/1225Body-protectors for players or sportsmen, i.e. body-protecting accessories affording protection of body parts against blows or collisions for the body, e.g. shoulders, or the legs for the legs, e.g. thighs, knees, ankles, feet
    • A63B2071/1275Body-protectors for players or sportsmen, i.e. body-protecting accessories affording protection of body parts against blows or collisions for the body, e.g. shoulders, or the legs for the legs, e.g. thighs, knees, ankles, feet for the ankle
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B71/00Games or sports accessories not covered in groups A63B1/00 - A63B69/00
    • A63B71/08Body-protectors for players or sportsmen, i.e. body-protecting accessories affording protection of body parts against blows or collisions
    • A63B71/12Body-protectors for players or sportsmen, i.e. body-protecting accessories affording protection of body parts against blows or collisions for the body, e.g. shoulders, or the legs
    • A63B71/1225Body-protectors for players or sportsmen, i.e. body-protecting accessories affording protection of body parts against blows or collisions for the body, e.g. shoulders, or the legs for the legs, e.g. thighs, knees, ankles, feet
    • A63B2071/1283Body-protectors for players or sportsmen, i.e. body-protecting accessories affording protection of body parts against blows or collisions for the body, e.g. shoulders, or the legs for the legs, e.g. thighs, knees, ankles, feet for the foot

Abstract

The present disclosure describes a sock with graduated compression and pads. The pads are on the leg section of the sock and are adapted to increase protection of the wearer, particularly, in sports applications. The pads can be aligned with the wearer's shin, which is a relatively unprotected during many athletic contests. Pads can also be positioned on the side of the sock. These pads may help protect the wearer's ankle or the side of the leg.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates to the field of garments, and more specifically to a method and apparatus related to socks, and even more specifically to a method and apparatus related to compression socks.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Garments and clothes are worn to protect a person's body. Socks are garments to protect the feet of the wearer. Technology has been slow to improve upon socks, especially, in the athletic area.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,823,195 describes a medial ankle pad is provided for the medial side of the leg, ankle and foot. A lateral ankle pad is provided for the lateral side of the leg, ankle and foot. The pads are worn individually and/or together as a method of treatment for venous diseases. The pads are held in place by a constant pressure stocking, a gradient pressure stocking and/or by means of tape. The pads, placed under a pressure gradient stocking, apply even pressure to the skin around the ankle.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 4,513,740 describes a therapeutic stocking comprising, a first circumferential segment for placement on the leg below the knee, with the first segment extending from the ankle to a point slightly below the knee. The first segment exerts a compressive pressure on the wearer's leg gradually decreasing from the ankle to said point below the knee. The stocking has a second circumferential segment for placement on the leg above the knee, with the second segment extending from a point slightly above the knee to the upper thigh. The method of placement of a therapeutic stocking on a wearer's leg includes the steps of measuring the circumference of the wearer's leg at two locations, placing an elastic fabric panel having overlapping side edges about the wearer's leg, the upper and lower ends of the panel having indicia representing a number of possible selected circumferential measurements of a wearer's leg, and securing the side edges of the panel together with the side edges overlapped to match the two previously determined circumferential measurements of the wearer's leg. The second segment exerts a compressive pressure on the wearer's leg gradually decreasing from said point above the knee to the upper thigh.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention provides unique structures for socks, such as compression socks and athletic socks.
  • In an aspect of the present disclosure, a sock includes a foot section and a leg section. The leg section includes graduated compression. In various embodiments, the foot section can include compression and/or areas of different compression. The foot section is adapted to cover a foot of a wearer. The foot section can be formed of knit material and can form a closed toe end and an open, ankle end. The leg section is adapted to cover part of a lower leg portion of the wearer. The leg section can include a lower end connected to the ankle end and an upper end that is open to receive a leg of the wearer therein.
  • In an aspect, a front of the leg section extends between the lower end and the upper end and is to extend along a front of a leg of the wearer while worn. A shin pad in integrally formed in at least the front of the leg section. In an example, the shin pads are knit or interwoven into material of the leg section and cannot be removed from the leg section. In an example, a plurality of shin pads is positioned along the front of the leg section. In an example, the shin pads are aligned vertically along the front of the leg section. The shin pads can cover more than about half of the shin of the wearer. The shin pads can cover more than about three-quarters (¾) the shin of the wearer. The shin pads can also be positioned on sides of the leg section.
  • In an aspect, at least one side pad is positioned, at least partly, on a side of the leg section. The side pads can extend onto the front of the leg section. The shin pads can extend around to the side of the leg section. In an example, the shin pads are aligned vertically along an outer side of the leg section to cover at least part of an outer side of the leg of the wearer.
  • In various aspects, the shin pads and/or the side pads are polygonal in shape. The pads can be formed of more material than the other parts of the socks. In an example, the pads can be formed of a larger loop knit than the remainder of the leg section. In an example, the pads can be formed of a larger diameter thread than at least part of the remainder of the leg section. In an example, the remainder of the leg section is a flat knit.
  • In an aspect, a plurality of side pads is formed on the leg section. In an example, the side pads have a chevron shape. In an example, the plurality of side pads are all adjacent an ankle of the wearer when the sock is worn. The side pads can include a lower side pad below the ankle bone of the wearer and an upper side pad above the ankle of the wearer.
  • In an aspect, both the leg section and the foot section can include woven or knit materials and can include hydrophobic material to increase wicking of moisture from the skin of a wearer.
  • In an aspect, the foot section can include an elastic material to provide a compression such that both the foot section and the leg section are held in place by the elastic to assist in preventing blisters to the wearer. In an example, the foot section includes essentially uniform compression. In an example, the foot section includes a central band around the foot that has a different, e.g., a higher compression, than the remainder of the foot section.
  • It will be recognized that pads can be placed at additional locations on the sock, for example, on the top of the foot section. The pads can be positioned in a side-by-side arrangement as well as vertically along the front of the leg section. Any of pads described herein can also be moved to the sides of the leg section.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 shows an embodiment of a compression sock.
  • FIG. 2 is a front view showing an embodiment of the compression sock.
  • FIG. 3 is a rear view showing an embodiment of the compression sock.
  • FIG. 4 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken generally along line 4-4 of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 5 shows an embodiment of a compression sock.
  • FIG. 6 is a front view showing an embodiment of the compression sock.
  • FIG. 7 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken generally along line 7-7 of FIG. 5.
  • FIG. 8 shows an embodiment of a compression sock.
  • FIG. 9 is a front view showing an embodiment of the compression sock.
  • FIG. 10 shows an embodiment of a compression sock.
  • FIG. 11 is a front view showing an embodiment of the compression sock.
  • FIG. 12 is a flow chart for manufacturing a compression sock according to an embodiment.
  • FIG. 13 is a flow chart for using a compression sock according to an embodiment.
  • DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • In the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments, reference is made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. It is understood that other embodiments may be utilized and structural changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention.
  • The leading digit(s) of reference numbers appearing in the Figures generally corresponds to the Figure number in which that component is first introduced, such that the same reference number is used throughout to refer to an identical component which appears in multiple Figures.
  • FIG. 1 shows one embodiment of the present invention having a sock 100 to be worn on a foot and leg of a wearer. Sock 100 includes a foot section 101 adapted to enclose a foot of the wearer when worn and a leg section 102 adapted to cover a leg section of the wearer when worn. The foot section 101 can be formed of a knit material, e.g., cotton, manmade fibers, polymers, and elastic fibers. The foot section 101 has a closed, toe end 121 that encloses the toes of the wearer when worn. The toe end 121 can be made with slightly more room on the big toe side compared to the small toe side. With the construction, the sock 100 is made with a left or a right orientation so that the sock will have an improved fit for athletic use. The sock orientation being matched to a specific left or right side will help prevent bunching of the sock and blister formation. This can be especially important for professional athletes as missed training or play in games can be detrimental to performance. Foot section 101 includes an open ankle end 112 remote from the toe end 121. The body of the foot section 101 can include compression to hold the foot section in place and further assist in the prevention of blisters. The compression in the foot section 101 is uniform. In another example, the compression in the foot section 101 is uniform but for a band up to 3 inches in width positioned intermediate the foot section, which has higher compression. This higher compression band extends around the entire foot section generally aligned with a wearer's arch when worn. In an example, the toe end of the sock has less compression than the remainder of the foot section.
  • The leg section 102 includes a lower end 131, an upper end 132, and a body 133. Lower end 132 can be integral with the ankle end 122 of the foot section. The body section 133 includes graduated compression. In an example, the greater compression is adjacent the lower end 132 and decreases through the body 133 to the upper end 132. Graduated compression is measured in millimeters of mercury, (mmHg). The higher the number, the more compression or pressure is applied to the leg. The compression at the lower end can be at any of several different levels of compression, e.g., 10-15 mmHg; 15-20 mmHg; 20-30 mmHg; 30-40 mmHg; or 40-50 mmHg. The compression reduces through the length of the body 133 to about 70-90%, and in a specific example 80%, of the beginning lower end compression.
  • The material that can be knit into the foot section 101 and the leg section 102 can include about 35-50% nylon, 30-45% polyester, 10-20% performance nylon, and 2-10% elastic. In an example, the elastic is spandex. The performance nylon can be nylon 6.6 and the non-performance nylon can be a different nylon fiber. In a specific example, the material can be 50-65% nylon, 30-40% polyester, and 5-10% spandex. The use of these fabrics and materials can deliver superior moisture wicking and athletic comfort, when compared to natural fibers like cotton and wool. The present invention is not limited to manmade fibers and socks, unless specifically claimed are not limited to manmade fibers. It is also recognized that some experts view certain type of nylon to not be entirely manmade and not entirely organic.
  • A plurality of pads 110 are positioned in the front 135 of leg section body. Pads 110 are shown with a suffix, A, B, or C, to indicate individual pads. The pads 110A-110C are aligned with a shin of a wearer when worn. In an example, the pads 110A-110C are fixed on the centerline of the sock that is intended to align up the wearer's shin, i.e., the front of the tibia. In an example, the pads 110A-110C are formed with more material than the remainder of the leg section body 133. In an example, the pads 110A-110C are knit and integral with the leg section body 133. In an example, a large loop knit is used for the pad while a flat knit is used for the remainder of the body 133.
  • A plurality of side pads 115 are positioned along the side of the leg section body 133. Side pads 115 are shown with a suffix, A, B, or C, to indicate individual pads. The pads 115A-115D or 115E-115H are aligned with a side of the leg of a wearer when worn. In an example, the pads 115A-115D or 115E-115H are aligned generally with the ankle bone of the wearer when the sock is worn. In an example, the pads 115A-115H are formed with more material than the remainder of the leg section body 133. In an example, the pads 115A-115H are knit and integral with the leg section body 133. In an example, a large loop knit is used for the side pad while a flat knit is used for the remainder of the body 133.
  • These side pads can further include side pads that are the same as those described above with regard to the front of the sock. As a result, the side of the sock can have protective pads on the lower part of the leg section, e.g., pads 115 and additional pads extending along the side of the leg section, e.g., pads corresponding to 110 but on the side of the leg section.
  • The side pads 115 can be positioned adjacent the ankle bone. In an example, the side pads 115 (e.g., 115A or 115B) include at least one pad on the lateral malleolus. At least one side pad can be placed below the lateral malleolus. In an example, at least one side pad is positioned above the lateral malleolus. The pads 115, e.g. 115C, 115D, above the lateral malleolus can be positioned to protect at least the lower portion of the wearer's fibula.
  • In another example, side pads are also positioned on the other side of the leg section. In this example, the side pads 115 (e.g., 115E or 115F) include at least one pad on the medial malleolus. At least one side pad can be placed below the medial malleolus. In an example, at least one side pad is positioned above the medial malleolus. The pads 115, e.g. 115G, 115H, above the medial malleolus can be positioned to protect at least the lower portion of the wearer's tibia.
  • The side pads 115 are shown as having a polygon shape. In an example, all of the side pads 115 have an inverted V shape. See, e.g., side pads 115A, 115B, 115D, 115E, 115F, and 115H. Side pad 115C is shown as having a rectangular shape. The inverted-V form of the side pads 115A, 115B, and 115D may assist in securing the sock in place about the side of the wearer's leg and provide minor impact protection to the wearer.
  • In an example, the upper side pads 115C, 115D can be adjacent the lower ones of the front pads 110 to provide a greater protection adjacent the ankle joint and adjacent bones that are closer to the skin.
  • The compression in the leg section 102 continues through the pads 110A-110C and 115A-115H. Accordingly, the compression remains essentially uniform in its gradient around the circumference of the leg section 102. The lower front pad 110A will have a greater compression than the top front pad 110C. In an example, the lower side pad 115A or 115E may have a greater compression than the top side pad 115D or 115H.
  • FIG. 2 shows the sock 100 from the front with the front pads 110A-110C extending upwardly from above the ankle to near the top of the shin when worn. The side pads 115A-115D and 115E-11H are positioned on the sides of the leg section. The lowest font pad 110A can expand in width, e.g., tapers outwardly, from bottom to top. The other front pads can also increase in width as they extend upwardly. This will cover more of the wearer's leg as the width of the wearer's leg increases. While shown as three front pads, it will be recognized that the pads can be split into additional pads. The front pads 110A-110C are each separated from each other by an interstice of flat knit of the leg section 102.
  • FIG. 3 shows a rear view of the sock. The front pads 110A-110C cannot be seen from the rear. The side pads 115A-115H are visible and are upraised from the surface of the flat knit of the remainder of the leg section 102.
  • As can be seen in the FIG. 2 and FIG. 3 illustrations, the side pads 115A-115H stand outwardly from the remainder of the leg section 102. This increase in width and material provides additional protection to the wearer without significantly increasing the weight or mass of the sock.
  • FIG. 4 shows an enlarged cross-sectional view taken generally along line 4-4 of FIG. 1. The leg section 102 at this cross-section shows the body of the leg section as a flat knit 401 having a first thickness. The pads 110A, 115D, and 115H are integrally part of the leg section 102. In fabrication, the pads 110A, 115D, and 115H are knit or woven with the leg section. In another example, the pads 110A, 115D, and 115H can be adhered, e.g., thermoset or glued, to the leg section. The pads 110A, 115D, and 115H have a second thickness that is greater than the first thickness.
  • FIG. 5 shows an embodiment of the present invention having a sock 500 to be worn on a foot and leg of a wearer. It will be recognized that the sock 500 can include the same components as described above with regard to sock 100 but with the pads being different. Sock 500 includes a foot section 501 adapted to enclose a foot of the wearer when worn and a leg section 502 adapted to cover a leg section of the wearer when worn. An upper pad group 503 is positioned on an upper part of the leg section 501. The pad group 503 includes a plurality of pads that are arranged in a pattern. The pad group 503 can include pads that are vertically aligned, horizontally aligned, or both. A lower pad group 504 is positioned at a lower part of the leg section 502 and is below the upper pad group 503. The lower pad group 504 includes a plurality of pads that are arranged in a pattern. The pad group 503 can include pads that are vertically aligned, horizontally aligned, or both. The pads of both groups 503 and 504 can be formed as described herein. In an example, the pad groups 503, 504 are both formed so that they are centered along the midline of the sock 500 and are adapted to be at least partly positioned of the shin of a wearer of the sock. In an example, the midline of the sock 500 is a line along the front of the sock drawn by the sagittal plane that divides the sock into equal left and right halves.
  • FIG. 6 shows the sock 500 from the front with two pad groups 503, 504. Each of these groups includes a plurality of pads. The upper pad group 503 includes a plurality of horizontal rows of pads (here shown as two), which rows can include a plurality of pads. The pad group 503 can have an oval configuration. The width and height of the pad group 503 can be essentially the same. In an example the width of the pad group 503 is less than its height. The top row of pads 511A, 511B, 511C are horizontally aligned with the top and bottom edges of each being at essentially the same height. The center pad 511B is aligned on the midline of the sock and will be on the wearer's shin when worn. The outer pads 511A, 511C are wider than the center pad 511B and may cover the side of the wearer's shin when worn. The pads 511A, 511C will extend outwardly of the wearer's shin and protect the sides of the tibia and can cover part of the soft tissue of the wearer's leg as well as the fibia. The bottom row of pads 512A, 512B, 512C are horizontally aligned with the top and bottom edges of each being at essentially the same height. The center pad 512B is aligned on the midline of the sock and will be on the wearer's shin when worn. The outer pads 512A, 512C can be wider than the center pad 512B and may cover the side of the wearer's shin when worn. The pads 512A, 512C will extend outwardly of the wearer's shin and protect the sides of the tibia and can cover part of the soft tissue of the wearer's leg as well as the fibia. The pads 511A-511C and 512A-512C can cover up to about one-quarter to one-third of the front half of the sock defined by the coronal plane of the sock.
  • The lower pad group 504 includes a plurality of horizontal rows of pads (here shown as two), which rows can include a plurality of pads. The pad group 504 is in an oval configuration having a width greater than its height. The top row of pads 513A, 513B, 513C are horizontally aligned with the bottom edges of each being at essentially the same height. The center pad 513B is aligned on the midline of the sock and will be on the wearer's shin when worn. The outer pads 513A, 513C are less wide than the center pad 513B and may cover the side of the wearer's shin when worn. The pads 513A, 513C will extend outwardly of the wearer's shin and protect the sides of the tibia and can cover part of the soft tissue of the wearer's leg as well as the fibia. The bottom row of pads 514A, 514B, 514C are horizontally aligned with the top edges of each being at essentially the same height. The center pad 514B is aligned on the midline of the sock and will be on the wearer's shin when worn. The outer pads 514A, 514C less wide than the center pad 514B and may cover the side of the wearer's shin when worn. The pads 514A, 514C will extend outwardly of the wearer's shin and protect the sides of the tibia and can cover part of the soft tissue of the wearer's leg as well as part of the fibia. The pads 513A-513C and 514A-514C can cover up to about one-sixteenth to one-eighth of the front half of the sock defined by the coronal plane of the sock. In an example the front pads 511A-511C, 512A-512C, 513A-513C and 514A-514C cover more than ⅝ths of the front half of the sock.
  • FIG. 7 shows an enlarged cross-sectional view taken generally along line 7-7 of FIG. 5. The leg section 502 at this cross-section shows the body of the leg section as having a flat knit material 701 having a first thickness. The pads 511A, 512C, and 512C are integrally part of the leg section 502. In fabrication, the pads 511A, 512C, and 512C are knit with the leg section. In another example, the pads 511A, 512C, and 512C can be adhered, e.g., thermoset or glued, to the leg section. The pads 1511A, 512C, and 512C have a second thickness that is greater than the first thickness. The pads of the lower pad group 504 are not visible as they have a thickness from the flat knit surface of the leg section 502 that is equal to or less than thickness of the pads of the upper pad group 503.
  • FIGS. 8 and 9 show an embodiment of the present invention having a sock 800 to be worn on a foot and leg of a wearer. It will be recognized that the sock 800 can include the same components as described above with regard to sock 500 but with top pad group 803 rotated to one side. Otherwise the top pad group 803 is the same as top pad group 503 described above with regard to FIGS. 5-7. In the illustrated example, the top pad group 803 is rotated at least 45 degrees from the midline of the sock as defined by the sagittal plane. In another example, the top pad group 803 can be rotated about 90 degrees so that the top pad group 803 is centered on the coronal plane. In an example, the top pad group 803 includes at least one pad that is positioned on coronal plane. The lower pad group 504 is the same as that described above with regard to FIGS. 5-7. In another example, the lower pad group 504 can be rotated to align with the top pad group 803.
  • FIGS. 10 and 11 show an embodiment of the present invention having a sock 1000 to be worn on a foot and leg of a wearer. It will be recognized that the sock 1000 can include the same components as described above with regard to sock 800 but with bottom pad group 1004 rotated to one side directly below the top pad group 803.
  • The pads described herein generally have a greater thickness than the surrounding sock material. The pads can have a thickness of at least about 25% greater than the surrounding material. The pads can have a thickness in a range of about 20% to 50% greater than the surrounding material. In some embodiments, the pads have a thickness of up to 100% the thickness of the surrounding material. Other embodiments can have a pad thickness that is 150%, 200% of the thickness of the surrounding material. Pads in different areas of the sock can have different thicknesses.
  • FIG. 12 shows a method of fabricating the sock as described herein. At 1202, materials are fed to a knitting machine that knits a closed toe, essential tubular foot section including compression. In an example, the closed toe part and the body of the foot section are knitted separately and joined together. Elastic yarn or fibers are fed into the machine to define the compression in the foot section. In an example, additional elastic fibers are knitted into a center part or central band of the foot section to provide an increased compression to hold the foot section in place when worn. The materials can include wicking fibers or yarns. At 1204, material is fed to a knitting machine to knit the leg section. In an example, the leg section is knitted with the foot section. The leg section is essentially tubular and, hence, applies circular knitting technology. Elastic yarn or fibers are fed into the machine to define the compression in the leg section. In an example, the compression is graduated and employs a greater number of elastic yarns or fibers at the bottom of the leg section than at the top of the leg section. The knitting machine can control the amount of elastic fiber. The knitting machine further changes the knit from a flat knit to a bulk knit to produce the pads. The pads can be formed from a denser, looser knit and/or using a larger diameter yarn or fiber. The machine alters between the flat knit for the part of the leg section not padded and the pad knit for the padded parts of the leg section. The pattern for the sock can be programmed into a computer or other controller that controls operation of the knitter.
  • FIG. 13 shows a method of wearer the sock described herein. At 1302, a wearer aligns their foot with the open top of the leg section of an appropriately sized and side, e.g., left or right, sock. The wearer inserts their foot into the open top ant through the leg section into the foot section. At 1304, the wearer aligns there foot in the foot section, which can include some compression to hold the sock in place. The toe section covers the toe. The arch section is aligned with the arch of foot. The heel of the foot is in the heel portion of the sock. At 1306, the wearer extends the leg section up the leg. At 1308, the leg section is aligned with the wearer's leg. At 1310, the pads are positioned in the appropriate position on the user's leg. In the example with pads to cover the shin, the pads are aligned up the shin. In the example with pads adjacent the ankle, these pads are aligned on the sides of the wearer's leg. In the example with pads on the side of the leg, these pads are so positioned.
  • The present, performance sock 100, 500, or 800 described herein is shown as an above the calf or to the knee height sock. It will be recognized that socks of other heights are within the scope of the present disclosure. However, it is preferable that sock extend above the calf of a wearer such that the wearer receives maximum benefit of the compression and protective features of the sock.
  • The performance sock 100, 500, or 800 described herein can provide appropriate and variable compression on the various parts of foot. The present compressive sock can include various parts including shin, calf, instep, toe, heel, and sole. Each of these parts can provide appropriate compression. These parts can be knitted with high elasticity yarn to provide elastic (compression) forces and a core yarn. The present sock parts and fabrics that comprise those sock parts can be made from high elasticity yarn and made from a multi-stage compressive knitting technology that can adjust the lateral tensile force of the elastic threads. As a result the recovery from athletic events can be reduced and blood clotting can be reduced in the foot and lower leg.
  • While not explicitly shown the above illustrated embodiments, it will be recognized as within the scope of the present disclosure that the pads of any of the figures could be combined with other figures. In one example, the pads 110 are placed on at least one side of the sock, generally aligned with the line formed essentially by the coronal plane of the leg section. In an example, the pads 110 are on both sides of the leg section. In an example, the pads 110 overlap the coronal plane. In an example, the pads can be on both sides of the sock. The increased pad coverage on the side of the sock can assist in preventing abrasions or other injury to athletes who slide on the ground or playing surface, e.g., baseball fields, softball fields, soccer pitches, etc.
  • It will further be understood as part of the present disclosure that the larger front pads 110A-110C can be positioned elsewhere on the sock. For example, the pads 110A-110C can be moved such that they do not align with the midline of the sock defined by the sagittal plane. In an example, the pads 110A-110C extend onto the front of the sock but are not equally bisected by the sagittal plane. In another example, the pads 110A-110C do not cross the sagittal plane. In an example, the pads 110A-110C cross the coronal plane of the sock. In an example, the pads 110A-110C are aligned on the coronal plane. In a further example, pads 110A-110C are placed on both sides of the sock.
  • While the above pads are described as integral with the adjacent woven or knit fabric. The pads can include materials other than those that comprise the surrounding material. The pads can further include rigid polymers, which are sewn or woven into the body of the sock. In an example, the rigid polymer pads can be inserted into pockets formed at the locations of pads as shown and described herein. The pads can also include foam inserts. In an example, gel pads can be inserted into pockets formed at the locations of pads as shown and described herein.
  • The present description describes portions of the material as a flat knit. Knit materials are constructed as a series of interlocking loops. Knit materials have a degree of stretch, with a greater amount of stretch crosswise than lengthwise. The flat knit material can include at least some weave materials, e.g., a flat weave fabric generally constructed with a single warp thread crossing over and under subsequent individual weft threads. Generally flat weave fabrics do not much stretch but the choice of material can lend to a stretch and compression. A flat weave will further act to reduce a pile or nap that can cause bunching of fabric and blisters to wearer's of the fabric, particularly when used for athletics. However the flat weave as used in the present description refers to the relatively small thickness of the fabric or material and is not limited to flat weaves and can include some knit materials.
  • Another example of yarn or fiber that can be used includes technical fibers and fabrics designed to wick moisture away from the skin. The fabrics employ specially-engineered polyester fibers to improve “breathability” compared to natural fibers like cotton. An example of such fibers or yarn include COOLMAX® brand from INVISTA of, Wichita, Kans. Additional yarns, fibers, and/or fabrics can include those described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 7,797,968; 7,637,091; 7,240,476; 7,143,790; 7,117,695; 6,472,494; 5,948,875; 5,198,288; and 5,050,406, and US Patent Application Publication No. 2006/0040101, which are hereby incorporated by reference for any purpose. However, if the subject matter incorporated by reference conflicts with the present explicit description, the present description controls.
  • The fibers and fabric used herein can include antimicrobial and antifungal features, e.g., coatings, imbedded into fiber cores, or knitted into the fabric.
  • The foot section of the sock described herein can include a heel cushioning pad similar to that described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,032,296, which is hereby incorporated by reference for any purpose. However, if the subject matter incorporated by reference conflicts with the present explicit description, the present description controls.
  • The present embodiments described herein are directed to socks to cover a foot and at least part of a leg. However, the protective pads and the compression fabric can be adapted to other garments. Examples of garments can include sleeves, running tights, tights, shorts, shorts, etc. Such a garment can include a graduated compression on a human body and formed from a heavily-stretchable portion. An example of such a garment is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,263,923, which is hereby incorporated by reference for any purpose. However, if the subject matter incorporated by reference conflicts with the present explicit description, the present description controls.
  • It has been reported that graduated compression footwear can improve blood flow when the footwear delivers a controlled amount of pressure that is greatest at the ankle and gradually decreases towards the top end. The gradient pressure can assist in promoting better circulation to help control swelling and relieve tired achy legs. Improving blood flow can further improve athletic performance, help prevent injury and speed recovery. It is further believed that improving blood flow in athletes through the use of compression socks may reduce the incidence of delayed onset muscle soreness in the legs by over 70%. This translates to a much faster recovery from intense exercise. A highly desirable outcome in athletic events. Moreover, a sock of this type can also assist in preventing blood clots, e.g., deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and swelling during travel.
  • An embodiment of the present disclosure includes means for covering a foot and means to cover a lower leg that includes graduated compression and means to protect the wearer. The means to protect the wearer can include at least one of a plurality of shin pads positioned along the front of the leg section and at least one side pad positioned, at least partly, on a side of the leg section.
  • It is understood that the above description is intended to be illustrative, and not restrictive. Many other embodiments will be apparent to those of skill in the art upon reviewing the above description. The scope of the invention should, therefore, be determined with reference to the appended claims, along with the full scope of equivalents to which such claims are entitled.

Claims (21)

  1. 1. A sock, comprising:
    a foot section to cover a foot of a wearer, the foot including material to form a closed toe end and an open, ankle end; and
    a leg section to cover part of a lower leg portion of the wearer, the leg section including graduated compression, the leg section including:
    a lower end connected to the ankle end;
    an upper end that is open to receive a leg of the wearer therein;
    a front extending between the lower end and the upper end, the front to extend along a front of a leg of the wearer while worn;
    graduated compression;
    a plurality of shin pads positioned along the front of the leg section; and
    at least one side pad positioned, at least partly, on a side of the leg section.
  2. 2. The sock of claim 1, wherein the shin pads are polygonal in shape.
  3. 3. The sock of claim 1, wherein the shin pads are aligned vertically along the front of the leg section to cover more than about half of the shin of the wearer.
  4. 4. The sock of claim 1, wherein the shin pads are aligned vertically along an outer side of the leg section to cover at least part of an outer side of the leg of the wearer.
  5. 5. The sock of claim 1, wherein the shin pads cover more than about three-quarters (¾) the shin of the wearer.
  6. 6. The sock of claim 1, wherein the shin pads are knit into material of the leg section and cannot be removed from the leg section.
  7. 7. The sock of claim 6, wherein the shin pads are formed of a larger loop weave than the remainder of the leg section.
  8. 8. The sock of claim 6, wherein the shin pads are formed of a larger diameter thread than at least part of the remainder of the leg section.
  9. 9. The sock of claim 8, wherein the remainder of the leg section is a flat knit.
  10. 10. The sock of claim 1, wherein the side pad includes a plurality of side pads.
  11. 11. The sock of claim 10, wherein the plurality of side pads have a chevron shape.
  12. 12. The sock of claim 10, wherein the plurality of side pads are all adjacent an ankle of the wearer when the sock is worn.
  13. 13. The sock of claim 10, wherein the plurality of side pads includes a lower side pad below the ankle bone of the wearer and an upper side pad above the ankle of the wearer.
  14. 14. The sock of claim 10, wherein the side pads are formed of a larger loop knit than the remainder of the leg section.
  15. 15. The sock of claim 14, wherein the remainder of the leg section is a flat knit.
  16. 16. The sock of claim 10, wherein the side pads are formed of a larger diameter thread than at least part of the remainder of the leg section.
  17. 17. The sock of claim 1, wherein the leg section includes knit material and the knit materials of both the leg section and the foot section include hydrophobic material to increase wicking of moisture from the skin of a wearer.
  18. 18. The sock of claim 17, wherein the foot section includes an elastic material to provide a compression such that both the foot section and the leg section are held in place by the elastic to assist in preventing blisters to the wearer.
  19. 19. The sock of claim 17, wherein the foot section includes essentially uniform compression except for an intermediate band of different compression.
  20. 20. The sock of claim 1, further comprising at least one pad on a top of the foot section.
  21. 21. The sock of claim 1, wherein the shin pads are positioned in a side-by-side arrangement as well as vertically along the front of the leg section.
US12913627 2010-10-27 2010-10-27 Compression sock Abandoned US20120102613A1 (en)

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Cited By (14)

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US20130047313A1 (en) * 2010-05-07 2013-02-28 John R MIERS Thermal regulating compression garments
WO2014152372A1 (en) * 2013-03-15 2014-09-25 Nike Innovate C.V. Protective ankle and calf sleeve
US20150034511A1 (en) * 2012-02-22 2015-02-05 Sports Design Concepts Limited Leg Protector
US20150128652A1 (en) * 2012-02-28 2015-05-14 Bauerfeind Ag Meshwear with different zones in stress-elongation behaviour
WO2015118235A1 (en) 2014-02-04 2015-08-13 Sallet Pierre Compression socks having variable compression areas and variable compression force
US20150264995A1 (en) * 2014-03-24 2015-09-24 Henry Lucius Hilderbrand, IV Grip-Enhancing Sportswear and Methods of Manufacturing the Same
US9173438B2 (en) * 2012-02-21 2015-11-03 Annie Morgan Blumenfeld Reusable rash preventing shin guard system
WO2015167877A1 (en) * 2014-04-21 2015-11-05 G-Form, LLC Improved limb protectors, methods of making and methods of using
US20160076175A1 (en) * 2014-09-11 2016-03-17 Myant Capital Partners Inc. Compression fabrics with tailored comfort
US9615611B2 (en) 2011-08-11 2017-04-11 G-Form, LLC Breathable impact absorbing cushioning and constructions
US9770642B2 (en) 2010-08-11 2017-09-26 G-Form, LLC Flexible cushioning pads, items incorporating such pads, and methods of making and using
USD801038S1 (en) 2016-01-28 2017-10-31 Jeffrey Mack Sock and gel pad set
WO2017197058A3 (en) * 2016-03-24 2018-04-12 Stein Celeste Decorative graduated compression sock
WO2018075757A1 (en) * 2016-10-21 2018-04-26 Brolt, Llc Integrated fabric system for apparel

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Cited By (21)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20130047313A1 (en) * 2010-05-07 2013-02-28 John R MIERS Thermal regulating compression garments
US9770642B2 (en) 2010-08-11 2017-09-26 G-Form, LLC Flexible cushioning pads, items incorporating such pads, and methods of making and using
US9782662B2 (en) 2010-08-11 2017-10-10 G-Form, LLC Flexible cushioning pads, items incorporating such pads, and methods of making and using
US9908028B2 (en) 2010-08-11 2018-03-06 G-Form, LLC Flexible cushioning pads, items incorporating such pads, and methods of making and using
US20170172228A1 (en) * 2011-08-11 2017-06-22 G-Form, LLC Breathable impact absorbing cushioning and constructions
US9615611B2 (en) 2011-08-11 2017-04-11 G-Form, LLC Breathable impact absorbing cushioning and constructions
US9173438B2 (en) * 2012-02-21 2015-11-03 Annie Morgan Blumenfeld Reusable rash preventing shin guard system
US20150034511A1 (en) * 2012-02-22 2015-02-05 Sports Design Concepts Limited Leg Protector
US9656149B2 (en) * 2012-02-22 2017-05-23 Sports Design Concepts Limited Leg protector
US20150128652A1 (en) * 2012-02-28 2015-05-14 Bauerfeind Ag Meshwear with different zones in stress-elongation behaviour
WO2014152372A1 (en) * 2013-03-15 2014-09-25 Nike Innovate C.V. Protective ankle and calf sleeve
CN105188431A (en) * 2013-03-15 2015-12-23 耐克创新有限合伙公司 Protective ankle and calf sleeve
JP2016519721A (en) * 2013-03-15 2016-07-07 ナイキ イノベイト シーブイ Protective sleeve for the ankle and calf
WO2015118235A1 (en) 2014-02-04 2015-08-13 Sallet Pierre Compression socks having variable compression areas and variable compression force
US20150264995A1 (en) * 2014-03-24 2015-09-24 Henry Lucius Hilderbrand, IV Grip-Enhancing Sportswear and Methods of Manufacturing the Same
CN106573169A (en) * 2014-04-21 2017-04-19 G形式有限责任公司 Improved limb protectors, methods of making and methods of using
WO2015167877A1 (en) * 2014-04-21 2015-11-05 G-Form, LLC Improved limb protectors, methods of making and methods of using
US20160076175A1 (en) * 2014-09-11 2016-03-17 Myant Capital Partners Inc. Compression fabrics with tailored comfort
USD801038S1 (en) 2016-01-28 2017-10-31 Jeffrey Mack Sock and gel pad set
WO2017197058A3 (en) * 2016-03-24 2018-04-12 Stein Celeste Decorative graduated compression sock
WO2018075757A1 (en) * 2016-10-21 2018-04-26 Brolt, Llc Integrated fabric system for apparel

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