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|United States Patent Application
July 3, 2008
Stretchable High Friction Sock
A woven sock body having a multitude of high friction dots defining
friction buttons arrayed around the bottom thereof.
Patterson; Joe; (Carlsbad, CA)
MANUEL F. DE LA CERRA
6885 CATAMARAN DRIVE
March 17, 2008|
|Current U.S. Class:
|Class at Publication:
||D04B 11/00 20060101 D04B011/00|
1. High friction grip sock comprising:an elastic knit tube formed with an
ankle and foot portion, the foot portion including a sole portion
defining toe, ball and heel sections;the toe section being formed with
five tubes for receipt of the wearer's toes;an array of high friction
buttons spaced substantially uniformly about and adhered to at least the
bottom of the toe ball and heel sections; andthe foot portion being
stretchable to cooperate in fitting over a wearer's foot and the buttons
being so sized and arranged as to, when the sections are flexed with
articulation of the foot for foot portions to make contact with an
underlying floor surface, maintain a plurality of the buttons in contact
with the surface to frictionally resist sliding of the foot on the
2. The sock of claim 1 for use in pilates and that includes:a field of at
least 900 high friction buttons spaced substantially equal distance apart
throughout the underside of the sole.
3. The sock of claim 1 wherein:the high friction buttons are constructed
of rubberized material.
4. The sock of claim 1 wherein:the high friction buttons have a diameter
of about 1/8'' of an inch and are spaced apart about 3/8'' of an inch.
5. The sock of claim 1 wherein:the elastic tube is constructed of knit
6. The sock of claim 1 that includes:a field of substantially high
friction buttons distributed throughout the underside of the sole.
7. The sock of claim 1 wherein:the high friction buttons are formed with
bottom walls configured with respective upwardly concave dimples.
8. The sock of claim 1 that includes:at least 500 high friction buttons
distributed about the sole portion.
9. The sock of claim 1 wherein:the high friction buttons are spaced
substantially throughout the underside of the sole.
10. The sock of claim 1 that includes:substantially 33 transversely
extending rows of high friction buttons spaced longitudinally along the
11. The sock of claim 1 that includes:27 longitudinally extending columns
of high friction buttons spaced laterally across the sole.
12. The sock of claim 1 that includes:substantially 27 longitudinal
columns of high friction buttons spaced equidistant apart laterally
across the sole and defining substantially 33 lateral rows.
13. The sock of claim 1 wherein:the high friction buttons are disposed
along rows projecting diagonally of the sole.
14. The sock of claim 1 wherein:the tube is seamless.
15. A high friction pilates grip sock comprising:an elastic woven tube
formed with an ankle and heal portion, the foot portion including a sole
defining ball and heal sections and the foot portion further including
five toe tubes defining the respective bottom walls thereof cooperating
to form the sole;an array at least 900 high friction buttons spaced
substantially uniformly throughout and adhered to the bottom of the sole;
andthe foot portion being stretchable to cooperate the fitting over a
wearer's foot and the high friction buttons being so comprised and
arranged as to the disposed under the toe ball and heel sections so that
when the wearer's weight is applied to any one of such sections, the
plurality of the buttons will be in contact with an underlying support
16. The sock of claim 14 wherein:the buttons are substantially 1/8'' of an
inch in diameter and horizontal cross section and are spaced apart
substantially 3/16'' of an inch throughout the array when the sole is in
its unstretched condition.
17. The sock of claim 14 wherein:the high friction buttons are constructed
of rubberized material.
18. The sock of claim 14 wherein:the buttons are adhered to the sole by an
19. The sock of claim 14 wherein:the high friction buttons are formed on
their underside with respective upwardly concave dimples.
20. The sock of claim 14 wherein:the tube is seamless.
CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates generally to socks and particularly to
low profile active wear socks that can be worn for various exercises and
disciplines and particularly pilates, yoga, karate, gymnastics and other
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Description of the Prior Art
Various slippers and footwear have been proposed for use in active
routines involving quick precise movement on a floor surface. Early work
led to the proposal of stockings formed with tubes for receipt of a
wearer's toes so that the toes could be articulated in use. A stocking of
this type is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 1,308,483 to Craighead.
Other efforts have led to the proposal of socks of various
configurations to address issues of perspiration. One such dry sock
system is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 6,016,575 to Prychak. This sock is
constructed with an upper portion fabricated from an elastomeric material
and a lower portion constructed from an absorbent material and including
toe sections. Socks of this type are satisfactory for their intended
purpose but suffer the shortcoming that participants involved in active
floor sports wearing such socks would not typically enjoy feeling of firm
and reliable gripping with the underlying floor.
Various footwear has been proposed to enhance the performance of,
for instance, track and field participants. In this regard, it has been
proposed to construct a form fitting foot and toe cover from a
stretchable fabric and to apply a rubber like material by a spatula to
the entire bottom of the covering or to specific selected areas to act as
spikes as by a hot
melt glue. A device of this type is shown in U.S. Pat.
No. 4,651,354 to Petrey. Petrey purposes that the rubberized material be
built up to form a spike shape for better grip of the track or playing
field. While satisfactory for track or field sports, such coverings have
the shortcoming that the rubberized pads or spikes do not typically
provide for firm gripping with a floor surface and, for instance,
pilates. Furthermore, full sole coverings or spike-like patches do not
lend to use or comfortable low profile relatively thin woven sock
material and would likely be subject to cracking as the material was
flexed in use.
The need for anti-skid gloves and footwear in high disciplined yoga
exercises has long been recognized. In this regard, it has been proposed
to provide footwear constructed of leather and covered in certain areas
by a rubber material. Device of this type are shown in U.S. Pat. No.
6,766,536 to Aarons. While providing some support against slippage,
devices of this type suffer the shortcoming that the footwear does not
provide for a high degree of flexing and identical toe tubes and fails to
afford the tactility simulating the feel of bare foot exercises.
Other efforts to provide gloves and socks for yoga activity has led
to a proposal that a sock be formed with a separate big toe tube, the
remaining toes being housed together at the end of the sock and a low
coefficient of friction material be added. A device of this type is shown
in Publication No. 2005/0091729 published May 5, 2005 to Alley. Such
socks suffer a number of shortcomings including the fact that for pilate
applications it is important that the five toes of the foot be allowed to
spread apart during the athletic maneuvers involved and that all five
toes have a high coefficient grip with the underlying floor surface.
Other athletic socks have been proposed which include separate toe
compartments and are designed particularly for athletic activity. Such a
sock is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 6,708,348 to Romay. Socks of this type
suffer the shortcoming that, in addition to being relatively expensive to
manufacture, they have a relatively slippery sole surface which
discourages use in direct contact with floor exercises.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The gripping sock of the present invention is characterized by a
woven low profile sock configured with a sole area having small dots in
the form of high friction buttons arrayed about the bottom thereof to, in
practice, maintain frictional contact with the underlying support surface
during the active maneuvers in a floor exercises.
There has been outlined rather broadly the more important features
of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof that
follows may be better understood and in order that the present
contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are, of course,
additional features of the invention that will be described herein and
which will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto.
In this respect, before explaining my preferred of the invention in
detail, it is to be understood is not limited in its application to the
details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set
forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The
invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and
carried in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the
phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purposes of
descriptions and should not be regarded as limiting.
As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate the conception,
upon which this disclosure is based, may readily be utilized as a basis
for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying
out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important,
therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent
constructions in so far as they do not depart from the spirit of the
The sock will be form fitting and actually present a feeling not
unlike a second skin, The toes are separated in practice to enhance the
balance, flexibility, performance and minimize perspiration. In those
embodiments where the sock is constructed of cotton, a natural fiber that
breathes that, it serves to reduce moisture and friction between the
toes, provides precise control and can eliminate blistering during
Other features and advantages of the invention will become apparent
from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the
accompanying drawings which illustrate, by way of example, the features
of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a bottom plan view of a gripping sock embodied in the
FIG. 2 is a left hand side view thereof;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view thereof;
FIG. 4 is a partial vertical sectional view, in a large scale, taken
along the line 4-4 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a right side view, in reduced scale, of the high friction
sock of FIG. 1 on a wearer's foot;
FIG. 6 is a partial top plan view taken along the line 6-6 of FIG.
FIG. 7 is a detail view, in a large scale, taken from the circle 7
in FIG. 5.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Referring to FIGS. 1, 4 and 7, the gripping sock of the present
invention includes, generally, a knit tube 21 in the shape of a sock, an
ankle portion 23 foot portion 25 and sole 27. The sole includes heel and
ball and sections 31 and 33 toe sections formed by the bottom walls of
respective tubes 34, 35, 36, 37, 38 and 39 adhered to the underside of
the sole portion is an array of high friction small diameter buttons 37
spaced throughout and located under at least the heel ball and toe
portions of the sock.
Socks and particularly golf socks and the like are available in a
relatively thin gauged material and are typically woven such that the
sock material will stretch to fit over feet of various different sizes
and shapes. In my invention, I prefer a relatively thin gauged weave,
seamless weave, preferably about 30 gauge, to enhance the tactical
characteristics thereof in use. The heddle may be about 130 (60.times.2)
and the thread 30S single cotton. A sock is typically formed with a band
around the ankle area and with a cup shape in the area of the heel
section 31. In a typical sock for adult use, the sock, in its unstretch
condition, may have a sole width of about 31/2'' inches and be about 6''
inches long. I prefer to have a fairly dense concentration of high
friction buttons 37 disposed about the entire sole area and particularly
in the heel ball and toe section. I have found that by applying a
generally uniform concentration of small diameter buttons about the sole
area I can be assured that the working foot area of the athlete in
contact with the underlying floor surface will always have several
buttons in contact with the floor surface to maintain a high friction
resistance to unwanted slippage. In my preferred embodiment, I array the
buttons in a diagonal, spaced apart rows underneath the sole and arranged
in checker board fashion so as to also form approximately 27 to 29
longitudinal columns spaced laterally apart and about 33 lateral rows
spaced longitudinally apart. I array about 13 to 15 buttons in the
section underneath the big toe and about 8 to 9 under the second toe, 7
to 9 under the third toe, about 7 on the fourth toe and about 5 under the
Underneath the ball, arch and heel I prefer at least 500 buttons,
900 preferably and for high energy activities about 950 buttons so that
the small diameter buttons will add only minimum bulk to the body of the
sock and present little resistance to foot articulation, while assuring
that a plurality of buttons are always in contact with the underlying
surface to thus maintain a firm grip to prevent accidental slippage.
In my preferred embodiment, I provide buttons which actually are
more like dots and having a horizontal cross section of about 1/8'' of an
inch, a height of about 1/16'' of an inch and a pattern spacing buttons
uniformly apart 3/8'' of an inch center to center. The button are
preferably manufactured of rubberized material having substantial
flexibility and are either flat on the bottom or formed with upwardly
concave dimples to act as mini-suction cups when pressed against smooth
polished floor. The sock body may be woven in a conventional manner and
the button adhered thereto by a high temperature and moisture resistant
With this construction I have discovered that the participant can
easily slide the gripping sock onto his or her foot and to present a feel
not unlike that of a bare foot thus affording maximum flexibility,
maneuverability and gripping action. The placement of the wearer's toes
within the toe tubes 34, 35, 36, 38 and 39 positions the toes for ready
splaying during various floor maneuvers such that the toes can be bent in
the metatarsal area as shown in FIG. 5 to spread out as shown in FIG. 6
to thus provide a high degree of maneuverability and flexibility giving
the athlete a sense of freedom and security as is so important for
pilates. As the exercise is undertaken and forces applied through the
foot to the underlying floor, the composite array of buttons in, for
instance, the ball and toe area will provide total support for the
wearer's weight and will resist slippage as shown in FIG. 7 thereby
maintaining a firm grip on the floor surface and resisting unwanted
sliding during the floor maneuver.
My invention has proven particularly popular amongst pilates
enthusiasts. In this regard, the socks are relatively compact to pack in
the wearer's tote kit and, when the exercises are to be commenced, the
wearer's street shoes may be removed and the thin woven sock will readily
stretch approximately 10% to slide over the wearer's foot and up over the
ankle with the toes being received in the toe tubes 34, 35, 36, 38 & 39
as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. Then, as the wearer manipulates through
various maneuvers, whether with the weight primary on the heel, on the
ball, foot or up on the toes a firm reliable grip will be maintained with
the floor surface. That is, the multiple friction buttons under the ball
of the foot and toe as the wearer rises up on the ball of the foot and
toes as shown in FIG. 5, the toes are free to splay apart and, on the
order of 44 to 45 buttons under the toes and an additional 4 to 5 rows of
buttons under the ball of the foot will be in contact with the floor to
thus create a substantial cumulative area of frictional contact to
provide a stable and reliable support platform under the foot to thereby
generate confidence in the mind of the wearer. The buttons, being dimpled
upwardly in the center of the bottom surfaces, tend to assume an
individual large area foot prints to afford a high degree of frictional
contact and acting somewhat as small suction cups.
As the wearer moves about the floor and assumes different positions
thus maneuvering the foot about from front to back and side to side, her
or she can expect a high number of buttons to maintain favorable contact
with the floor surface to thus afford a grip which will minimize slippage
irrespective of the particular degree to which the foot is articulated
medially, laterally, forward or back.
From the foregoing, it will be apparent that the high grip foot sock
of the present invention provides an economical and highly reliable sock
which is comfortable to wear, reliable and which will enhance the
tactical feel one desires to achieve in high skill active floor
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