US 3605292 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 20, 1971 L. GOLDBLATT SAFETY FOOTWEAR Filed May L8, 1970 United States Patent 3,605,292 SAFETY FOOTWEAR Lillian Goldblatt, 715 Ridge Road, Wilmette, Ill. 60091 Filed May 18, 1970, Ser. No. 38,389 Int. Cl. A43b /08 U.S. Cl. 36-81 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An article of footwear adapted to be worn on the feet to prevent dangerous slipping and falling in the bath, shower or on other wet surfaces. The article includes a perforated body member, and a sponge rubber layer or sole attached to the bottom of the body member. The sponge rubber sole has openings or cut-out sections so that portions of the body member are exposed. The body member is provided with means to hold it on the wearers foot.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to the shoe art and in particular to the art concerned with bathing and antislipping sandals and shoes and non-skid, ventilated footwear. The prior art includes various sandals and other articles of footwear for use in the bathtub or shower or for otherwise preventing dangerous slipping on wet surfaces. These include such footwear as are shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,075,229; 2,179,124 and 3,258,863. The prior art also includes ventilated non-skid footwear, such as that shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,383,782.
The problem of slipping on wet surfaces of bathtubs and shower stalls is well known, and this is a particular problem for elderly persons and people who, as a result of illness or injury, have been subjected to long confinement in bed, either in hospitals or at home. Because of their feebleness, these people hesitate to step on the wet surfaces of tubs or shower stalls and therefore have to forego baths and showers or resort to bed baths. None of the prior art devices have fully or satisfactorily solved this problem.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a safety sandal which may be used for taking baths or showers by the elderly, by ill or injured people, or by others. The sandal can be used for walking on any wet surfaces, while taking showers or baths, at swimming pools, or for other like situations. It is also an object to provide an article of footwear which promotes sanitation and foot health. It is another object of this invention to provide an article of footwear which can be easily and economically manufactured.
Further objects and advantages of this invention will be apparent from the description, the drawings and the appended claims.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The article of footwear of this invention includes a body member constructed of perforated rubber or plastic and a sponge rubber layer or sole adhered to the body member. The sponge rubber sole has openings or cut-out sections which expose a part of the perforated body member. The perforations, which extend entirely through the body member, together with the water-absorbing capacity of the sponge rubber sole, provide a suction effect between the article of this invention and a wet surface, enhancing traction and preventing the wearer from slipping. A strap or other means is provided to retain the body member to the wearers foot. The strap may be part of the body member or it may be 'a separate part connected to the member. The strap also may be perforated. The
3,605,292 Patented Sept. 20, 1971 'ice BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DMWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the embodiment of FIG. 1, showing the embodiment in place on the foot of a wearer.
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the embodiment of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view of the embodiment of FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken on lines 5-5 of FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is a partial view of the embodiment of FIG. 1, showing a modification of this embodiment.
FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of an alternative embodiment of the invention, showing the embodiment in place on the foot of a wearer.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIGS. 15 show one embodiment 10 of the invention, namely, a sandal which includes a body member '12, preferably formed of natural or synthetic rubber or other elastomeric material. The body member 12 has a foot supporting portion 14 which supports the entire length of the foot. The upper portion 16 of the body member 12' is adapted to fit over the instep and hold the article on the wearers foot. The body member '12 is provided with a plurality of perforations 18.
Attached to the foot-supporting portion 14 of the body member 12 is a sponge rubber layer or sole 20*. The sole is relatively thick as compared to the body member. The sole 20 is adhered to the body member 12 by vulcanization or through bonding by an adhesive, glue or other similar means. The sole 20 is capable of absorbing water and has openings or cut-out sections 22 which expose a part of the perforated foot-supporting portion 14 of the body member 12. While the openings 22 of the sponge rubber sole 20 are shown in the drawings as arranged in a particular pattern, other suitable patterns can be employed. By providing the sole 2.0 with openings, the exposed surface area of the sole is increased, and the sole is thereby capable of more rapid water absorption.
The sponge rubber sole 20 is of the type and density which has the ability to immediately absorb water upon contact with a wet surface. This water-absorbing property is facilitated by the compression of this sole caused by the weight of the wearer. The sponge rubber softens on contact with .water, and the softened rubber rapidly absorbs water and creates a suction effect between the sandal 10 and the wet surface. This suction effect causes the sandal to immediately grip the wet surface and to give the :wearer instant traction and the concomitant assurance of security against slipping.
In embodiment 10 the sponge rubber sole 20 includes a center section 21 and a plurality of rib-like members 23 extending therefrom. The members 23 and the center section 21 define channeling means to aid the evacuation of water from beneath body member 12 as the wearer steps down on the sponge rubber sole. This evacuation helps to promote the traction between the footwear and the wet surface. The sole 20 is preferably made of untreated or raw sponge rubber, rather than finished or treated sponge rubber, because the former has a greater water-absorbing capacity and will create a greater suction effect between the sandal 10 and the wet surface.
The upper portion 16 of the sandal 10 is integral with the foot-supporting part 14 of the body member 12 and adapted to fit over the instep of the wearers foot. The upper portion 16 also includes a strap 24 which is adapted to fit around the wearers ankle. In this way, the sandal is securely held on the wearers foot. The perforations in the upper portion 16 are for decorative purposes and also to promote water expulsion from the sandal 10 during bathing. Alternative means for securing the sandal 10 to the foot may be used, such as using the instep strap alone. Also, in lieu of straps, a conventional thong may be attached to the front and rear of the foot-supporting portion 14 and arranged to pass between the toes of a wearer.
The sandal 10 may be manufactured by the following steps. The body member 12 is formed in a partially cured state. A solid piece of raw, uncured and untreated sponge rubber 20, relatively thick as compared to the thickness of the body member 12, is cut into a shape, such as that shown in FIG. 4, and is provided with perforations. As shown in FIG. 5, the sponger rubber layer is placed in underlying relationship with the bottom surface of the body member 12, and some of the perforations may be aligned in registration wvith the perforations of the body member 12, and the two layers are then vulcanized together through the application of heat and pressure. This forms a water-resistant bond between the layers. Alternatively, the sponge rubber layer 20 may be bonded to the body member 12 with a water-insoluble and waterresistant glue or other adhesive.
FIG. 6 illustrates a modification of the foot-supporting portion 14 of the body member 12. The heel portion is omitted so that the foot-supporting portion 14 extends only from the wearers toe to the anterior of the heel, thereby exposing the wearers heel to direct contact with the wet surface. Under certain circumstances, this promotes traction and also results in greater comfort for the wearer.
FIG. 7 illustrates an alternative embodiment 30 of the article of footwear of this invention in [Which a flange 32 is provided around the outer edge of the foot-supporting portion 14 of the body member 12. The flange 32 fits snugly against the @wearers foot. This promotes more intimate contact between the wearers foot and the embodiment 30, and afiords an improved fit.
While particular embodiments of the invention have been described, it will be understood that other modifications may be made which fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention, and it will be understood that these modifications are to be covered by the appended claims.
1. An article of footwear for use on a wet surface, comprising a body member provided with a plurality of perforations and formed of an elastomeric material; meansfor holding said body member on a foot; and a sponge rubber sole integral with the body member, said sole having a plurality of perforations which cooperate with the perforations in said body member to create a traction-increasing, suction-like effect between the article and the wet surface.
2. The article of claim 1 wherein said body member includes a foot-supporting portion which is attached to the sponge rubber sole and includes a plurality of perforations.
3. The article of claim 1 'wherein said sole is made of raw, uncured and untreated sponge rubber.
4. The article of claim 2 wherein said foot-supporting portion is vulcanized to said sponge rubber sole.
5. The article of claim 2 wherein said foot-supporting part of the body member underlies the foot only fromthe toe to the anterior portion of the heel so that the heel is exposed to the wet surface.
6. The article of claim 2 wherein said body member includes a flange extending around the outer edge of the foot-supporting part of said body member.
7. The article of claim 2 wherein said sole has means for channeling and evacuating water from underneath said article.
8. The article of claim 2 wherein said sole includes a center section and a plurality of ribs extending from said center section to the outer edge of the foot-supporting part of said 'body member so that channels are formed beneath said article to evacuate water from under the article.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,537,778 5/1925 Nyhagen 368.1X 2,185,762 l/l940 Cox 368.1 2,394,454 2/1946 Kappeler 36-59 2,541,738 1/1951 Bassichis 368.1
PATRICK D. LAWSON, Primary Examiner