Title:
Double-sided adhesive retainer for footwear
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A double-sided adhesive retainer for footwear and other apparel is described. An embodiment of the present invention includes a core composed of a polyurethane foam cushion. The core is flexible and can conform to the shapes of the inside of a shoe and a wearer's heel and/or foot. On one side of the core is a layer of adhesive that stays permanently affixed to the core and can be used to removably attach the device to the inside of a shoe. On the opposite side of the core is a second layer of adhesive that is also permanently affixed to the core and can be used to removably attach the device to the wearer's skin or any apparel worn on the wearer's foot or ankle. The device described is therefore able to ensure that a shoe remains attached to a wearer's foot.



Inventors:
Stokes, Dawn (Denver, CO, US)
Application Number:
12/220548
Publication Date:
01/28/2010
Filing Date:
07/26/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
36/37, 36/43, 36/71
International Classes:
A43B21/36; A43B13/38; A43B19/00; A43B21/32
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20100000127SHOE WITH INTERCHANGEABLE STRAP SYSTEMJanuary, 2010Feller et al.
20080083134Rope retainerApril, 2008Lin
20090049711Overshoe For RunningFebruary, 2009Finch
20080110050Flexible and Adjustable FastenerMay, 2008Prickell
20080216353Article of Footwear for Use with a Left Foot and a Right FootSeptember, 2008Langvin et al.
20070094897Fine dress and evening sandal with variable color and ornamentationMay, 2007Nakatsu
20070169380DEVICE FOR BLOCKING FLEXIBLE STRANDSJuly, 2007Borsoi



Primary Examiner:
PRANGE, SHARON M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dawn, Stokes (9884 E. Idaho St., Denver, CO, 80247, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A retaining device for footwear and other apparel, comprising: a core having a first side and a second side; a first adhesive applied to the first side of the core; a second adhesive applied to the second side of the core; and wherein the first adhesive is configured so as to removably adhere to the inside of footwear and the second adhesive is configured so as to removably adhere to a user's foot or ankle.

2. The device of claim 1, further comprising: a first protective tape removably applied to the first adhesive; a second protective tape removably applied to the second adhesive; and wherein the first tape and the second tape are removed prior to application of the device.

3. The device of claim 2 wherein the core comprises a flexible cushion material.

4. The device of claim 3 wherein the flexible cushion material is polyurethane foam.

5. The device of claim 1 wherein the core comprises a flexible cushion material.

6. The device of claim 5 wherein the second adhesive is a medical-grade adhesive.

7. The device of claim 3 further comprising a pull-tab attached to the core and wherein the second adhesive is a medical-grade adhesive.

8. The device of claim 5 further comprising a pull-tab attached to the core.

9. The device of claim 1 further comprising: the first adhesive is a first adhesive strip having a first side and a second side; the second adhesive is a second adhesive strip having a first side and a second side; the first side of the first adhesive strip has a permanent adhesive attaching the first adhesive strip to the first side of the core; the second side of the first adhesive strip has a removable adhesive to attach the first adhesive strip to the shoe; the first side of the second adhesive strip has a permanent adhesive attaching the second adhesive strip to the second side of the core; and the second side of the second adhesive strip has a removable adhesive to attach the second adhesive strip to the user's foot or ankle.

10. The device of claim 8 further comprising: the first adhesive is a first adhesive strip having a first side and a second side; the second adhesive is a second adhesive strip having a first side and a second side; the first side of the first adhesive strip has a permanent adhesive attaching the first adhesive strip to the first side of the core; the second side of the first adhesive strip has a removable adhesive to attach the first adhesive strip to the shoe; the first side of the second adhesive strip has a permanent adhesive attaching the second adhesive strip to the second side of the core; and the second side of the second adhesive strip has a removable adhesive to attach the second adhesive strip to the user's foot or ankle.

11. The device of claim 9 comprising a pull-tab attached to the core and wherein the second adhesive is a medical-grade adhesive.

12. A retaining device for footwear and other apparel, comprising: a core having a first side and a second side; a first adhesive applied to the first side of the core; a second adhesive applied to the second side of the core; and wherein the first adhesive is configured so as to removably adhere to a first section of apparel and the second adhesive is configured so as to removably adhere to a user's skin or to a second section of apparel.

13. The device of claim 12, further comprising: a first protective tape removably applied to the first adhesive; a second protective tape removably applied to the second adhesive; and wherein the first tape and the second tape are removed prior to application of the device.

14. The device of claim 13 wherein the core comprises a flexible cushion material and wherein the second adhesive is a medical-grade adhesive.

15. The device of claim 14 wherein the flexible cushion material is polyurethane foam.

16. The device of claim 12 wherein the core comprises a flexible cushion material.

17. The device of claim 16 wherein the flexible cushion material is polyurethane foam.

18. The device of claim 14 further comprising a pull-tab attached to the core.

19. The device of claim 16 further comprising a pull-tab attached to the core.

20. The device of claim 12 further comprising: the first adhesive is a first adhesive strip having a first side and a second side; the second adhesive is a second adhesive strip having a first side and a second side; the first side of the first adhesive strip has a permanent adhesive attaching the first adhesive strip to the first side of the core; the second side of the first adhesive strip has a removable adhesive to attach the first adhesive strip to the first section of apparel; the first side of the second adhesive strip has a permanent adhesive attaching the second adhesive strip to the second side of the core; and the second side of the second adhesive strip has a removable adhesive to attach the second adhesive strip to the user's foot or to the second section of apparel.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention relates generally to footwear and other apparel, and more particularly to a means and method of ensuring that footwear and apparel remains in place.

BACKGROUND

Footwear has been around for thousands of years. In relatively recent times, high heels and other more decorative and fashionable footwear have come into vogue. However, because such footwear is designed with a focus on aesthetics rather than functionality, such shoes often do not fit well and tend to slip, rub, and generally do not stay in place. These problems are especially onerous when the footwear must be worn for extended periods and when walking significant distances.

In order to address some of these issues, a number of existing products have been developed. For example, a plethora of cushioning inserts can be worn inside ill-fitting shoes in order to take-up the extra space and help keep such shoes on the wearer's feet. However, because the padding of such inserts squeezes the foot and makes the shoes tight, the inserts can make the shoes even more uncomfortable. Also, although cushioning inserts can help with the above problems they still don't completely solve the slipping and rubbing issues common in current high-fashion shoes. In additional two-sided tape is known in the art and can be used in an attempt to keep shoes in place. However, such tape can be difficult to remove and reuse, can irritate the wearer's skin, does not allow the foot to “breath,” and often wears out prematurely because it does not flex and move as the wearer walks around.

There is therefore a need for a device that can ensure that shoes and other apparel remain comfortably in place.

SUMMARY

Embodiments of the present invention described and claimed herein address the foregoing problems by application of a device that ensures that shoes and other apparel remain comfortably in place. Various embodiments are described and recited herein. Although materials and methods similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice of the invention, suitable materials and methods are described below. Furthermore, the materials, methods, and examples are illustrative and not intended to be limiting.

In one embodiment, a core is used as the foundation of the invention. The core is composed of a polyurethane foam cushion. In other embodiments, other types of cushion material are utilized. The core is flexible and can conform to the shape of the inside of a shoe and to the shape of a wearer's heel and/or foot. The core is basically flat, having two sides and a thin edge around its perimeter.

On one side of the core is a layer of adhesive. The adhesive stays permanently affixed to the core and can be used to removably attach the device to the inside of a shoe. The adhesive needs to be selected so that it is strong and yet can release and be reused on the same shoes or on other shoes. Additionally, it must not damage the shoe itself. This can be accomplished because of the nature of the adhesive: it is strong enough to hold the device against the inside of a shoe, and yet allows the device to be removed from the shoe when an appropriate removal force is applied thereto. In one embodiment, a single layer of adhesive attaches to the device, in another embodiment, an adhesive strip is used having a permanent adhesive on one side to attach to the device and a different removable adhesive on the other to attach to the shoe.

On the opposite side of the core is a second layer of adhesive. This layer of adhesive is also permanently affixed to the core and can be used to removably attach the device to the wearer's skin or any apparel worn on the wearer's foot or ankle. This adhesive can be medical-grade adhesive which is approved for skin contact. In one embodiment, a single layer of adhesive attaches to the device, in another embodiment, an adhesive strip is used having a permanent adhesive on one side to attach to the device and a different removable adhesive on the other to attach to the wearer's foot or apparel worn on the foot.

In one embodiment, a pull-tab extends from the core of the device. The tab does not have any adhesive on it and so can be used as a convenient aid in removing the device.

The device described above is therefore able to ensure that a shoe remains in place on a wearer's foot. The core plays a significant part in the functionality of the invention by providing the means for the device to absorb shock and to flex as needed to reduce the stresses placed on the adhesives as a wearer walks.

In another embodiment, the device is generally oval-shaped and has a cut-out center portion. The cut-out provides for additional cushioning as well as enhancing breathability. In yet another embodiment the substantially oval-shape is refined to resemble a pair of slightly-open lips.

The present invention provides many benefits over the prior art. Because the device has adhesives on both sides of the core, the slipping and rubbing problems common in the art are ameliorated. Furthermore, because of the cushioning and stress-absorbing nature of the core, the device is able to flex and move with the wearer just enough to reduce the frictional forces that quickly degrade the efficacy of other devices.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The aforementioned and other features and objects of the present invention and the manner of attaining them will become more apparent and the invention itself will be best understood by reference to the following descriptions of a preferred embodiment and other embodiments taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a double-sided adhesive retainer for footwear and other apparel.

FIG. 2 illustrates a side view of an exemplary embodiment of double-sided adhesive retainer for footwear and other apparel.

FIG. 3 illustrates a front elevational view of another embodiment of a double-sided adhesive retainer for footwear and other apparel with the protective tape strips removed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A double-sided adhesive retainer for footwear and other apparel is described. An embodiment of the present invention includes a core composed of a polyurethane foam cushion. The core is flexible and can conform to the shapes of the inside of a shoe and a wearer's heel and/or foot. On one side of the core (the “shoe” side) is a layer of adhesive that stays permanently affixed to the core and can be used to removably attach the device to the inside of a shoe. In another embodiment, an adhesive strip having a permanent adhesive on the core-side and a removable adhesive on the shoe-side is used. On the opposite side of the core (the “foot” side) is a second layer of adhesive that is also permanently affixed to the core and can be used to removably attach the device to the wearer's skin or any apparel worn on the wearer's foot or ankle. This adhesive can be medical-grade adhesive which is approved for skin contact. Once again, in another embodiment, an adhesive strip having a permanent adhesive on the core-side and a removable adhesive on the foot-side is used.

Before application of the device, pieces of protective tape are in place over each side of the device to protect the adhesives. To employ the device, a user first peels the protective tape from the foot-side of the device and uses the uncovered adhesive to attach the device to her foot (or to apparel worn on the foot). The user then peels the protective tape from the shoe-side of the device and inserts her foot into the shoe. Contact is thereby made between the adhesive on the shoe-side of the device and the shoe itself, thereby effectively attaching the shoe to the wearer's foot.

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a double-sided adhesive retainer for footwear and other apparel 100. Because the retainer 100 is in position within a shoe 190, details concerning the components of the retainer 100 can not be seen. Such details are shown and described in reference to FIG. 2, below.

The shoe 190 shown in FIG. 1 is an exemplary high-heel type shoe. The retainer 100 may, of course, be used in many other types and styles of shoes. Furthermore, the placement of the retainer 100 can vary from that shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 2 illustrates a side view of an exemplary embodiment of double-sided adhesive retainer for footwear and other apparel 200. The primary components of the embodiment shown in FIG. 2 include: a core 210, a first adhesive 220, a second adhesive 230, a first protective tape 240, a second protective tape 250, and a pull-tab 260.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2, the core 210 is composed of a single layer of polyurethane foam cushion. In other embodiments, other types of cushion material are utilized, and additional layers are contemplated. The core 210 is flexible and can conform to the shape of the inside of a shoe and to the shape of a wearer's heel and/or foot. The core 210 is basically flat, having two sides and a thin edge around its perimeter. The core 210 plays a significant part in the functionality by providing the means for the retainer 200 to absorb shock and to flex as needed to reduce the stresses placed on the adhesives 220 and 230 as a wearer walks.

On one side of the core 210 is a first adhesive 220. The first adhesive 220 stays permanently affixed to the core 210 and is used to removably attach the retainer 200 to the inside of a shoe. This can be accomplished because of the nature of the adhesive: it is strong enough to hold the retainer 200 against the inside of a shoe, and yet allows the retainer 200 to be removed from the shoe when an appropriate removal force is applied thereto. In another embodiment, the first adhesive 220 is an adhesive strip having a permanent adhesive on the core-side and a removable adhesive on the shoe-side.

On the opposite side of the core 210 is a second adhesive 230. This second adhesive 230 is also permanently affixed to the core 210 and can be used to removably attach the retainer 200 to the wearer's skin or any apparel worn on the wearer's foot or ankle. This adhesive can be medical-grade adhesive which is approved for skin contact. In another embodiment, the second adhesive 230 is an adhesive strip having a permanent adhesive on the core-side and a removable adhesive on the foot-side.

Prior to application of the retainer 200, the first adhesive 220 is protected by a first protective tape 240. The first tape 240 can be paper coated with a waxy substance that allows the first adhesive 220 to only lightly adhere to the first tape 240. Other similar types of adhesive-protectors can be used. When a user is ready to employ the retainer 200, she simply peels back and removes the first tape 240 and then applies the retainer 200.

Prior to application of the retainer 200, the second adhesive 230 is protected by a second protective tape 250. The second tape 250 can be paper coated with a waxy substance that allows the second adhesive 230 to only lightly adhere to the second tape 250. Other similar types of adhesive-protectors can be used. When a user is ready to employ the retainer 200, she simply peels back and removes the second tape 250 and then applies the retainer 200.

In one embodiment, a pull-tab 260 extends from the core of the retainer 200. The tab does not have any adhesive on it and so can be used as a convenient aid in removing the retainer 200.

In another embodiment, the retainer 200 is generally oval-shaped and has a cut-out center portion. The cut-out provides for additional cushioning as well as enhancing breathability. In yet another embodiment the substantially oval-shape is refined to resemble a pair of parted lips.

It will readily be understood that the various adhesive components of this embodiment could be implemented by other equivalent glues and/or adhesive components and that various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention and the scope of the appended claims.

FIG. 3 illustrates a front elevational view of another embodiment of a double-sided adhesive retainer for footwear and other apparel 300 with the protective tape strips removed. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3, the thickness of the core 310 can be clearly seen relative to the height and width thereof. Furthermore, the core 310 is shaped as an oval. However, in alternate embodiments the thickness of the core 310 and its shape may vary. Located approximately in the center of the core 310 is a cut-out 380. The cut-out 380 enhances the cushioning effect of the retainer 300. Furthermore, the cut-out 380 enhances the breathability of the retainer 300. In other embodiments, the size, shape and even the existence of a cut-out 380 may vary. Also shown in FIG. 3 is a first adhesive 320.

In addition to being employed to keep shoes in place on the wearer's feet, the device can be used to retain the desired position of other pieces of apparel as well. For example, the shoulder-straps of dresses can often slip out of place or a blouse can gap between buttons. By application of appropriately shaped and sized versions of the device, a user can quickly and easily ameliorate both problems. Since the adhesive on the skin-side of the device can be a medical-grade, non-irritating adhesive, the device can offer significant improvements in performance over double-sided tape and other products. Furthermore, the core layer also enhances the functionality and comfort advantages that the device enjoys over other products when employed to retain apparel (the advantages are similar to those discussed above in regards to shoe retention).

The descriptions above illustrate exemplary components that can make up an exemplary double-sided adhesive retainer for footwear and other apparel. The above specification, examples and data provide a description of the structure and use of exemplary embodiments of the invention. Since many embodiments of the invention can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, the invention resides in the claims, including those hereinafter appended. Other embodiments are therefore contemplated.