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Convertible footwear

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20140165426 patent thumbnailZoom

Convertible footwear


A convertible show having a sole and plurality of receiving means is described herein. The receiving means may be permanently or removably affixed to the sole. The receiving means are adapted to receiving at least one tie in order to create a wearable style.
Related Terms: Wearable

USPTO Applicaton #: #20140165426 - Class: 36100 (USPTO) -
Boots, Shoes, And Leggings > Boots And Shoes >Convertible From One Style Or Color To Another



Inventors: Lisalyn Chapin

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20140165426, Convertible footwear.

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RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/739,526 filed on Dec. 19, 2012 and incorporates the application by reference as if fully rewritten herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

Exemplary embodiments of the present invention relate to footwear. More particularly, exemplary embodiments of the present invention relate to footwear having a sole capable of conversion between several different configurations through the use of securing means and ties.

BACKGROUND

Initially, shoes developed to serve a utilitarian function: that of protecting the human foot. The oldest shoes that have been recovered to date are sandals found at Paleoindian sites in the American southwest dating from approximately 8,000 to 7,000 BC. The world\'s oldest leather shoe, was found in a cave in Armenia in 2008 and is believed to date to 3,500 BC. A glimpse at these and other examples of ancient footwear quickly shows that there was little, if any, cosmetic purpose served by the act of wearing shoes.

In today\'s world, a shoe, while maintaining a utilitarian function, is first and foremost a fashion accessory. It is not uncommon for an individual to purchase numerous shoes each season in order to obtain a variety of looks through their manner of dress. For example, a woman may purchase pumps, sandals, clogs, flats, loafers, mules, peep-toes, platforms, sneakers, boots, etc. Further, within each category of shoe, it may be necessary to purchase a variety of styles. This is also true of men\'s shoes although the categories of shoes available may be somewhat more limited. Obtaining a sufficient selection of shoe styles can be extremely costly and time consuming as trips to numerous stores must often be made in acquiring the shoes. From Imelda Marcos, who notoriously owned 1,200 pairs of shoes to the character of Carrie Bradshaw in the HBO series Sex and the City who proclaimed to have spent $40,000 on her shoe wardrobe, society is full of indicators as to how expensive it can be to be properly shod. Further, the NPD group, a retail and consumer information company based in Port Washington, N.Y. reports that American women spent nearly $17 billion on fashion footwear between October 2004 and October 2005.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTIVE CONCEPT

There is a need in the market for a shoe which permits its owner to alter the look that can be obtained when the shoe is worn. Specifically, by purchasing a single shoe, the owner may be able to transform its style depending on the manner in which components of the shoe are arranged. For example, a single shoe could be worn casually, dressy, etc. by selectively choosing one of a variety of configurations offered by the shoe. In an exemplary embodiment, convertible footwear comprises a sole having a plurality of securing means where each securing means is adapted to receive a portion of a tie such that the user may select a first grouping of securing means for receiving the tie to obtain a first look and may select a second grouping of securing means for receiving the tie to obtain a second look. In some exemplary embodiments, a convertible shoe may come with more than one tie where each tie has a different appearance providing the shoe owner with additional style options.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A better understanding of the disclosed embodiments will be obtained from a reading of the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings wherein identical reference characters refer to identical parts and in which:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of an exemplary embodiment of a convertible show shown with a tie being received by a first grouping of receiving means;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the exemplary convertible show according to the inventive concept illustrated in FIG. 1 shown with at least one tie removed;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of an exemplary embodiments of a convertible shoe according to the present invention shown with at least one tie received by a second grouping of said receiving means;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of an exemplary embodiment of a convertible shoe in accordance with the inventive concept wherein dashed lines represent a potential third grouping of receiving means utilizing at least two ties in order to create a wearable style;

FIG. 5 is a bottom perspective view of another exemplary embodiment of a convertible show in accordance with the present invention having at least one opening for receiving a receiving means; and

FIG. 6 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of an exemplary receiving means utilized in the embodiment shown in FIG. 5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As illustrated in FIG. 1 an exemplary embodiment of a convertible shoe 100 includes a sole 110 having a first side 120 for receiving a foot and a second side 130 (shown in FIG. 2) for coming into contact with the ground when the shoe is worn, a plurality of receiving means 200 attached to the sole 110 such that each of the receiving means 200 is adapted to selectively receive a portion of at least one tie 300 on the first side 120 of the sole. Preferably, the receiving means are arranged such that different groupings of receiving means may be utilized to receive a portion of at least one tie 300 thereby enabling a user to obtain different looks with the same shoe. The exemplary convertible shoe shown in FIG. 1 shows a first grouping of receiving means 200 being used to receive a tie 300.

The exemplary convertible shoe of FIG. 1 is shown from the side in FIG. 2. As shown in FIG. 2, the receiving means 200 may pass through the sole 110 and have flared ends 250 to retain the receiving means 200 to the sole 110. It should also be understood that in other exemplary embodiments the receiving means 200 may be affixed to the top side 120 of the sole 110. The receiving means 200 may be arranged parallel to the longitudinal axis of the sole 110, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. In other exemplary embodiments, the receiving means 200 may be rotated so as to be arranged in a variety of angles including normal to the longitudinal axis of the sole 110. In this manner the receiving means 120 can accommodate a variety of different styles.

As illustrated in FIG. 3, the exemplary convertible show of FIG. 1 shown in another configuration to create a second show style. As shown in FIG. 3 a single tie 300 is used to create the style, but those of skilled the art should understand that multiple ties 300 may be used. To create the show style shown in FIG. 3 some of the receiving means 200 are perpendicular to one another. The ability to rotate the receiving means 200 increase the number show styles achievable. In order to move and arrange the receiving means 200 the sole 110 may have apertures 400 therein. The receiving means 200 may be passed through the apertures 400 to create different styles.

FIG. 4 illustrates yet another configuration the exemplary embodiments of the convertible shoe according to the inventive concept may take. In FIG. 4, the receiving means 200 are arranged similar to that in FIG. 1, but in this configuration at least two ties 300 are used. A first tie 300 is used with a first grouping of receiving means near the front of the sole 110. A second tie 310 is used with the two rear receiving means 200. This ability to easily change from one style to another represents an advantages over traditional shoes.

In some exemplary embodiments of the convertible shoe, such as that shown in FIGS. 1 through 4, each of the receiving means 200 stays in a predetermined location on the sole 110 regardless of whether or not the receiving means 200 is selectively being utilized to receive at least one tie 300. In other exemplary embodiments, the receiving means 200 not in use may be removed from the sole 110. As shown, the receiving means 200 may comprise a loop which protrudes from the first side 120 of the sole 110. Different types of receiving means may be used and in some exemplary embodiment one convertible shoe used more than one type of receiving means 200. For example, a receiving means 200 may be a snap, clamp, tie, opening defined by the sole 110, etc. and an exemplary embodiment of a convertible shoe 100 may have two receiving means 200 that are clamps while the other receiving means 200 are loops, etc. In some exemplary embodiment, the receiving means 200 are flexible such that they may stay in a predetermine location on the sole 110 but are comfortable and provides for give when being worn up against a foot. Some examples of materials that may be utilized to create a comfortable receiving means include fabric, elastic polymers, etc.

In another exemplary embodiment, as shown in FIG. 5, a convertible shoe comprises a sole 110 having a first side 120 for receiving a foot and a second side 130 for coming into contact with the ground when the shoe is worn where the sole defines at least one opening 500 for selectively receiving a receiving means 600 such that when the receiving means 600 has been received by the opening 500 a loop portion 650 of the receiving means 600 protrudes from the first side 120 of the sole 110. The loop portion 650 protrudes through an aperture 700 in the opening 500. The aperture 700 has a smaller circumference than the opening 500 and allows only the loop portion 650 to pass therethrough.

When a convertible shoe 100 defines at least one opening 500 for selectively receiving a receiving means 600, the receiving means 600 can be inserted into and received by the at least one opening 500 when it is desired that there be a receiving means 600 in the location of the opening 500 for receiving at least one tie 300. A convertible shoe 100 may define a plurality of openings 500 where each opening 500 is adapted to receive a receiving means 600. In exemplary embodiments where a convertible shoe defines a plurality of openings 500 where each opening 500 is adapted to receive a receiving means 600, the receiving means 600 may be selectively received by a first grouping of openings 500 when it is desired that there be receiving means 600 located at the first grouping positions. The shoe may comprise more than one grouping of openings 500 where each grouping corresponds to a different shoe style when receiving means have been inserted into the openings and utilized to receive a portion of at least one tie 300. For example, when a user wants to wear an exemplary convertible shoe 100 in a first style, he or she may insert receiving means 600 into every opening 500 in a first grouping of openings 500 defined by the sole 110 and then appropriately utilize at least one tie 300 in conjunction with the receiving means. If the user wants to utilize the convertible shoe 100 in a second style, he or she may be able to remove the at least one tie 300 from the receiving means 600 and remove the receiving means from the first grouping of openings 500, insert the receiving means 600 into a second grouping of openings 500 then lace the receiving means creating the second shoe style. In some exemplary embodiments, at least one opening 500 is part of a first grouping and a second grouping meaning that the receiving means receives a part of at least one tie 300 in that location to create a first and a second shoe style.

Being able to remove the receiving means 600 from the convertible shoe 100 when the receiving means 600 are not being used to receive a portion of at least one tie 300 may create a more attractive shoe and may also increase comfort. In other exemplary embodiments, a blank or plug may be inserted into the opening 500 to provide cushioning when a receiving means 600 is not used in the opening 500. In some exemplary embodiments, a receiving means may be removed from the sole of a convertible shoe even when the sole does not define an opening for receiving the receiving means 600. For example, the sole of a convertible shoe 100 may comprise an attachment mechanism for selectively attaching a receiving means to the first side 120 of the sole 110. An attachment mechanism may comprise a snap, clamp, etc. Sometimes, there is a corresponding attachment mechanism on the receiving means 600. For example, a sole may comprise the female portion of a snap and the receiving means may comprise the male portion such that when the male portion of the snap is inserted into the corresponding female portion, the receiving means 600 is selectively held in position on the first side 120 of the sole 110.

In some exemplary embodiments, a convertible shoe may use more than one tie 300. As shown in FIG. 4 when more than one tie 300, 310 is utilized by a convertible shoe, each receiving means may still receive a portion of just one tie 300, 310. In other exemplary embodiments, a receiving means 200, 600 may receive a portion of at least two ties 300, 310. Different types of ties 300, 310 may be implemented by a convertible shoe. For example, a convertible shoe 100 may utilize a first tie 300 made from a first material and a second tie 310 made from a second material. Many times, ties 300, 310 will be made from fabric or polymer blends. Leather ties 300, 310 may be implemented in some exemplary embodiments. It may be desirable to use ties 300, 310 of varying lengths in conjunction with a convertible shoe. The length of the tie 300, 310 may depend on the grouping(s) of receiving means 200, 600 which may be receiving the tie 300, 310 when the convertible shoe is utilized.

In some exemplary embodiments, a tie 300, 310 is literally tied (such as into a knot or bow) once it has been received by a grouping of receiving means 200, 600 such that a wearable shoe style has been created. In other exemplary embodiments however, the tie 300, 310 comprises a securing means which prevents the tie 300, 310 from being pulled from a grouping of receiving means 200, 600 when the shoe is being worn. In one exemplary embodiment a tie 300, 310 comprise Velcro which may be fastened to prevent the tie 300, 310 from being pulled from a grouping of receiving means 200, 600 when the shoe is being worn. In another exemplary embodiment, a tie 300, 310 comprises a first end and a second end where the first end comprises a clamp into which the second end of the tie 300, 310 can be selectively inserted and secured to prevent the tie 300, 310 from being pulled from a grouping of receiving means 200, 600 when the shoe is being worn. In yet another exemplary embodiment, a tie 300, 310 comprises a first and second end where the first end comprises a buckle and the second end defines at least one opening to be used in conjunction with the buckle for securing the tie 300, 310 in place when the shoe is being worn. Upon the reading of this disclosure it will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art that these examples are illustrative and there are other manners in which a tie may be selectively secured in a desired configuration so that the shoe may be worn.

In some exemplary embodiments, a convertible shoe comprises a first type of receiving means 200, 600 and a second type of receiving means 200, 600 where the first and second types of receiving means are both adapted to receive a portion of at least one tie 300, 310, but where the first and second types of receiving means 200, 600 are different in appearance. They may be different in color, size, texture, reflective qualities, etc. Additionally, the manner in which they receive a portion of at least one tie 300, 310 may be different. In such an exemplary embodiment a user of the shoe may replace the first type of receiving means 200, 600 with the second type to obtain an alternative shoe style. The user may also be able to use the first and second type of receiving means 200, 600 at the same time to create yet another alternative style.

In some exemplary embodiments, a convertible shoe 100 may be utilized in conjunction with a shoe jewelry system such as that described in co-pending application which is being filed concurrently with the present application. In such exemplary embodiments, a receiving means 200, 600 may be attached to a piece of jewelry which receives part of at least one tie 300, 310 used to hold the shoe on a foot during wear and which is connected (permanently or temporarily) to the sole of the shoe 100. A receiving means 200, 600 may comprise a jewelry connecting means which may be utilized to connect one piece of jewelry to the receiving means 200, 600 when the convertible shoe is used in conjunction with a shoe jewelry system. A jewelry connecting means may be a magnetic force which holds a metal piece of jewelry to the receiving means 200, 600. In some exemplary embodiments, a jewelry connecting means comprises threading on the receiving means 200, 600 such that a piece of jewelry having corresponding threading may be twisted in relationship to the receiving means 200, 600 until it is securely connected to the receiving means 200, 600. Other types of jewelry connecting means may also be used.

In some exemplary embodiments, the sole of a convertible shoe 100 is connected to a heel. In such an exemplary embodiment, the sole 100 may have a first side 120 for receiving a foot, and a second side 130 for coming into contact with a heel. The sole of a convertible shoe 100 may be connected to a high heel, a low heel, a platform, etc. In some exemplary embodiments, the sole of a convertible shoe 100 may be selectively connected to and disconnected from more than one type of heel. In exemplary embodiments where a convertible heel may be selectively connected to a disconnected from different types of heels, the sole 110 may further comprise more than one grouping of receiving means 200, 600 for receiving at least one tie 300, 310 in a specific style. Thus, the style of the convertible shoe may be altered not only by changing the configuration of the at least one tie 300, 310 in relationship to the receiving means 200, 600, but also by changing the type of heel to which the sole is connected.

In some exemplary embodiments of a convertible shoe 100 that may be connected to a heel, the convertible shoe 100 is connected to the heel via at least one tie 300, 310 that is utilized to create a wearable shoe style by being received by a grouping of receiving means 200, 600. In such an exemplary embodiment, at least one tie 300, 310 may be received by a grouping of receiving means 200, 600 connected to the first side 120 of the sole 110 of a convertible shoe 100 as well as a receiving means 200, 600 connected to the heel. The receiving means 200, 600 may be the same type of receiving means 200, 600 as that which is utilized on the first side 120 of the shoe sole 110 but may also be a different type.

The sole 110 of a convertible shoe 100 may be made from a variety of materials. In preferred exemplary embodiments, the sole 110 is made from a material which may provide sufficient traction if the sole 110 is to come into contract with the ground. For example, polymeric materials may be used. Leather may also be a material from which at least part of a convertible shoe\'s sole 110 is manufactured. In some exemplary embodiments, the sole 110 of a convertible shoe 100 is made from a first material and a second material where the second material is utilized to form a portion of the sole that defines an opening 500 and the first material is utilized for the remainder of the sole. Additionally, the sole 110 of a convertible shoe 100 may have one of a variety of shapes. In some exemplary embodiments, the first side 120 of the sole 110 which is adapted to receive a foot, is shaped such that it substantially conforms in shape to the received foot. Such a sole 110 may be therapeutic to wear. In other exemplary embodiments, the sole 110 is substantially flat. In still other exemplary embodiments, the sole 110 may be adapted for insertion into another shoe. In this embodiment, a user may be able to change the configuration of an existing shoe.

It should be understood, of course, that the foregoing relates to exemplary embodiments of the invention and that modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the following claims.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20140165426 A1
Publish Date
06/19/2014
Document #
14134875
File Date
12/19/2013
USPTO Class
36100
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
43B3/24
Drawings
5


Wearable


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