SPORTS GLOVE WITH INDEPENDENTLY MOVABLE LAYER OF PROTECTION

- EASTON SPORTS, INC.

A sports glove, such as a hockey or lacrosse glove, includes an inner glove and an outer protective layer positioned over the rear surface of the inner glove. The inner glove and the outer protective layer are attached to each other via a plurality of gussets or other connectors. The connectors generally are located along the perimeter or edge regions of the sports glove, such as at the distal ends of the finger sections, along the sides of the finger sections, along the edges of the wrist region, and so forth. The inner surface of the outer protective layer is not secured, or is substantially not secured, to the inner glove, such that a space or void is provided between the outer protective layer and the inner glove. As a result, the outer protective layer is movable independently of the inner glove.

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Description

BACKGROUND

Sports gloves used in contact sports, such as hockey and lacrosse gloves, commonly include thick padding that covers the back of the hand and fingers of a wearer to protect the hand and fingers from stick-slashing and other violent contact. Multiple blocks of this padding material, which may be made of foam or another suitable impact-absorbing material, are typically encased in nylon or another fabric material that is stitched together at the base regions of the padding blocks. These gloves tend to be somewhat bulky and also allow for substantial movement of a wearer's hands within the gloves, such that the palm and finger sections of the gloves typically do not fit closely to the wearer's hands. As a result, while sports gloves with thick padding provide protection to a wearer's hands, they also generally provide a loose fit that is prone to twisting and movement, compromising stick control and feel.

SUMMARY

A sports glove, such as a hockey or lacrosse glove, includes an inner glove and an outer protective layer positioned over the rear surface of the inner glove. The inner glove and the outer protective layer are attached to each other via a plurality of gussets or other connectors. The connectors generally are located along the perimeter or edge regions of the sports glove, such as at the distal ends of the finger sections, along the sides of the finger sections, along the edges of the wrist region, and so forth. The inner surface of the outer protective layer is not secured, or is substantially not secured, to the inner glove, such that a space or void is provided between the outer protective layer and the inner glove. As a result, the outer protective layer is movable independently of the inner glove. Other features and advantages will appear hereinafter. The features described above can be used separately or together, or in various combinations of one or more of them.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the drawings, wherein the same reference number indicates the same element throughout the views:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the rear side of a sports glove, according to one embodiment.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the palm side of the sports glove shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of a sports glove, according to one embodiment.

FIG. 4A is a side view of one of the finger sections of the sports glove shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4B is a side view of the finger section shown in FIG. 4A with the outer gusset shown in transparency.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Various embodiments of the invention will now be described. The following description provides specific details for a thorough understanding and enabling description of these embodiments. One skilled in the art will understand, however, that the invention may be practiced without many of these details. Additionally, some well-known structures or functions may not be shown or described in detail so as to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the relevant description of the various embodiments.

The terminology used in the description presented below is intended to be interpreted in its broadest reasonable manner, even though it is being used in conjunction with a detailed description of certain specific embodiments of the invention. Certain terms may even be emphasized below; however, any terminology intended to be interpreted in any restricted manner will be overtly and specifically defined as such in this detailed description section.

Where the context permits, singular or plural terms may also include the plural or singular term, respectively. Moreover, unless the word “or” is expressly limited to mean only a single item exclusive from the other items in a list of two or more items, then the use of “or” in such a list is to be interpreted as including (a) any single item in the list, (b) all of the items in the list, or (c) any combination of items in the list.

Turning now in detail to the drawings, FIGS. 1-4 illustrate a sports glove 100, according to one embodiment. The sports glove 100 described herein may be used in a variety of sports, including hockey, lacrosse, and other contact sports. For ease of description, these gloves will generally be referred to as “sports gloves” or “hockey gloves.”

The sports glove 100 includes an inner glove 110 and an outer protective layer 120. According to the embodiments described herein, the inner glove 110 is configured to fit closely to a wearer's hand to improve stick control and feel. The inner glove 110 includes a main region or “central region” 140 from which a plurality of finger sections 130a and a thumb section 130b extend for receiving a wearer's fingers and thumb. For ease of description, the finger sections 130a and thumb section 130b may collectively be referred to herein as “finger sections.”

As illustrated in FIGS. 1-2, the inner glove 110 includes a top (or dorsal) layer 150 and a palm layer 160. The top layer 150 and palm layer 160 are stitched or sewn together by at least one outer seam, forming the central region 140 and the finger sections 130a, 130b. The top layer 150 and palm layer 160 optionally may be connected via one or more inner gussets, as described below. The palm layer 160 may be made of any durable material suitable for gripping hockey or lacrosse sticks or other athletic equipment such as leather, suede, microfiber, or polyester. The palm layer 160 may include openings, perforations, or breathable material in one or more regions to provide ventilation to a wearer's hand. The top layer 150 may be made of a similar durable material or of a stretchable, breathable material, such as Lycra®, neoprene, mesh, or spandex.

The outer protective layer 120 has an external side and an internal side (not shown). In one embodiment, the outer protective layer 120 includes a series of pads 170 to protect the top or rear region of the wearer's hand. The pads 170 may be made of an open cell, urethane foam (e.g., Poron®), a PVC nitrile foam, or of another suitable impact-absorbing material. The pads 170 optionally are encased in a fabric material, such as nylon, polyester, polyurethane film, leather, suede, or another suitable material.

The pads 170 may be attached to the external side or the internal side of the outer protective layer 120, and may be arranged in any suitable manner to protect the back of the hand and fingers of a wearer. In one embodiment, the pads over the wearer's knuckle region may be arranged to form a zigzag pattern 180 to accommodate knuckle movement when the wearer grips a hockey stick, a lacrosse stick, or other athletic equipment.

In one embodiment, the outer protective layer 120 also includes one or more side pads or padding to protect the sides of a wearer's fingers and hands that are exposed while gripping a piece of athletic equipment. Such side pads or padding may be positioned, for example, over the lateral or outer side of the index finger, the medial or outer side of the pinky finger, the medial or lateral sides of the thumb, or the lateral (or radial) or medial (or ulnar) sides of the hand or wrist.

The outer protective layer 120 is attached to the inner glove 110 via a plurality of fabric strips, straps, bands, unpadded gussets, or padded gussets, collectively referred to herein as “outer gussets” 190, positioned along the outer perimeter or edges of the sports glove 100. The outer gussets 190 may be located at the finger sections 130a, 130b, the central region 140, or the wrist section 200. The outer gussets 190 may permanently attach (e.g., by stitching, sewing, or swaging) or detachably connect (e.g., by magnets, snaps, buttons, ties, or hook-and-loop material) the outer protective layer 120 to the inner glove 110. In one embodiment, at least two of the sports glove layers (e.g., the outer protective layer 120, the inner-glove top layer 150, or the inner-glove palm layer 160) are permanently or detachably connected via gussets or other connectors. Alternatively, any of the sports glove layers may be permanently or detachably connected to each other directly via stitching or via another suitable connection.

As illustrated in FIGS. 3-4, in one embodiment, the outer gussets 190 attach the outer protective layer 120 to the inner-glove palm layer 160. The inner-glove top layer 150 is attached to the inner-glove palm layer 160 via a plurality of inner gussets 220. The outer gussets 190 and inner gussets 220 may be continuous along the length of the finger sections 130a, 130b and the other portions of the glove 100, or they may include a series of discrete connectors spaced apart from one another to provide increased breathability and comfort.

The outer gussets 190 each have an upper edge 230 and a lower edge 240, and may be located at the distal ends or side regions of the finger sections 130a, 130b, or at the side regions of the hand or wrist sections. In the illustrated embodiment, the upper edge 230 of each outer gusset 190 is attached to the outer protective layer 120, while the lower edge 240 of the outer gusset 190 is attached to the inner-glove palm layer 160. In an alternative embodiment, the lower edge 240 of the outer gusset 190 may be attached to the inner-glove top layer 150.

While the perimeter or edge regions of the outer protective layer 120 are connected to perimeter or edge regions of the inner glove 110, the inner surface of the outer protective layer 120 is not secured to the top layer 150 of the inner glove 110. Thus, a space or void is provided between the outer protective layer 120 and the inner glove 110, which allows the outer protective layer 120 to move independently or “float” above the inner glove 110. This floating arrangement provides increased hand-movement, flexibility, and breathability, while also allowing the user to securely grip a hockey stick, lacrosse stick, or other athletic equipment.

As illustrated in FIGS. 4A and 4B, an exemplary finger section 130a includes an inner-glove section 110a and an outer protective layer 120. The inner-glove section 110a includes an inner-glove top layer 150 connected to an inner-glove palm layer 160 (at an upper seam 250 and a lower seam 260) via an inner gusset 220. In an alternative embodiment, the top layer 150 may be stitched or sewn directly to the palm layer 160. The inner-glove section 110a is connected to the outer protective layer 120 via an outer gusset 190 at the distal end of the finger section 130a. In one embodiment, the upper edge 230 of the outer gusset 190 is connected to the outer protective layer 120, while the lower edge 240 of the outer gusset 190 is connected to the inner-glove palm layer 160 at the lower seam 260. In an alternative embodiment, the lower edge 240 of the outer gusset 190 may be connected to the inner-glove top layer 150.

According to one embodiment, the outer gussets 190 at the distal end of each finger section 130a include an inelastic portion 270 and an elastic portion 280. The inelastic portion 270 is at the most distal or fingertip region, and may be made of any suitable durable material (e.g., leather, suede, or microfiber) to prevent or minimize separation between the outer protective layer 120 and the inner glove 110. The elastic portion 280 extends from the inelastic portion 270 along the medial and lateral sides of the finger section 130a, and may be made from any suitable elastic or stretchable material (e.g., Lycra®, latex, or spandex). The stretchable material allows the outer protective layer 120 to be closely coupled to the inner glove 110, while also providing some slack between the two components to facilitate flexing of the finger sections 130a into a closed or gripping position.

In one embodiment, the sports glove 100 includes one or more interconnected, outer wrist pads 290. The outer wrist pads 290 may be connected to an external surface of the outer protective layer 120 or to the top layer 150 of the inner glove 110. The sports glove 100 may also include one or more interconnected, inner wrist pads 300 connected to the palm layer 160 of the inner glove 110. The connections between the outer and inner wrist pads 290, 300 and the proximal end of the sports glove 100 (i.e., the proximal end of the outer protective layer 120, the top layer of the inner glove 150, or the palm layer of the inner glove 160) may be made using a suitable stretchable material (e.g., elastic, Lycra®, or neoprene) to allow for wrist flexibility.

The sports glove 100 may include an adjustable cuff 310 that provides additional protection and allows the wearer to tighten the sports glove 100 around the wearer's wrist. In one embodiment, the adjustable cuff 310 may also serve as an attachment between the outer protective layer 120 and the inner glove 110.

The sports glove 100 described herein provides several advantages. For example, because the inner glove 110 and the outer protective layer 120 largely move independently of each other, the sports glove 100 facilitates improved hand-movement, while also providing a close fit that allows for excellent feel and control of a hockey stick, lacrosse stick, or other athletic equipment. Further, because the outer protective layer 120 is spaced from, and moves independently of, the inner glove 110, the sports glove 100 exhibits excellent breathability and comfort.

Any of the above-described embodiments may be used alone or in combination with one another. Further, the sports glove may include additional features not described herein. While several embodiments have been shown and described, various changes and substitutions may of course be made, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. The invention, therefore, should not be limited, except by the following claims and their equivalents.

Claims

1. A sports glove, comprising:

an inner glove, configured to fit closely on a wearer's hand, comprising a palm section and a rear section;
an outer protective layer positioned over the rear section and connected to edge regions of the inner glove such that a void is provided between an outer surface of the rear section and an inner surface of the outer protective layer.

2. The sports glove of claim 1, wherein the outer protective layer is attached to the inner glove via a plurality of strips of material.

3. The sports glove of claim 2, wherein the plurality of strips are permanently or detachably attached to the inner glove.

4. The sports glove of claim 2, wherein the plurality of strips are attached to an outer edge of the palm section.

5. The sports glove of claim 2, wherein the inner glove includes a plurality of finger sections, and wherein an end-strip of material is attached to a distal end of each of the finger sections.

6. The sports glove of claim 5, wherein each of the end-strips comprises an inelastic portion at a tip region of the finger section, and an elastic portion at a side region of the finger section.

7. The sports glove of claim 1, wherein the rear section and the palm section are connected to each other via a plurality of gussets.

8. The sports glove of claim 1, wherein the outer protective layer comprises a plurality of rear pads.

9. The sports glove of claim 8, wherein the outer protective layer further comprises a plurality of side pads.

10. The sports glove of claim 1, wherein the rear section comprises a breathable material.

11. The sports glove of claim 1 wherein the inner glove includes a main region from which a plurality of finger sections extend, wherein the void resides between the inner surface of the outer protective layer and the main region, and between the inner surface of the outer protective layer and the finger sections.

12. A sports glove, comprising:

an inner glove comprising a palm section and a rear section; and
a padded, outer protective layer positioned over the rear section and movably connected to the inner glove such that the outer protective layer is movable relative to the inner glove.

13. The sports glove of claim 12, wherein the outer protective layer is attached to the inner glove via a plurality of gussets.

14. The sports glove of claim 13, wherein at least some of the gussets are attached to an outer edge of the palm section.

15. The sports glove of claim 13, wherein a gusset is attached at the distal end of each finger section.

16. The sports glove of claim 12 wherein the inner glove includes a main region from which a plurality of finger sections extend, wherein a void resides between an inner surface of the outer protective layer and the main region, and between the inner surface of the outer protective layer and the finger sections.

17. A sports glove, comprising:

an inner glove comprising a palm section and a rear section;
an outer protective layer positioned over the rear section;
means for attaching the inner glove to the outer protective layer such that the outer protective layer is movable independently of the inner glove.

18. The sports glove of claim 17 wherein the inner glove includes a main region from which a plurality of finger sections extend.

19. The sports glove of claim 18 wherein a void resides between an inner surface of the outer protective layer and the main region.

20. The sports glove of claim 18 wherein a void resides between an inner surface of the outer protective layer and the finger sections.

Patent History

Publication number: 20140143924
Type: Application
Filed: Nov 29, 2012
Publication Date: May 29, 2014
Applicant: EASTON SPORTS, INC. (Van Nuys, CA)
Inventors: Dmitry Rusakov (Pasadena, CA), Allan Kar Kee Wong (Aberdeenshire)
Application Number: 13/689,715

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: Hand Or Arm (2/16)
International Classification: A41D 13/08 (20060101);