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This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/721,721 filed Nov. 2, 2012 entitled “Portable Sport Footwear Lacing Chair”, and is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.
A portable sport footwear lacing chair is described herein. Specifically, a chair assembly is described, having a platform for supporting a player's shoe or skate to facilitate another person to more easily tie the player's shoe or skate.
FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of one embodiment of a portable sport footwear lacing chair.
FIG. 2 is top perspective view of one embodiment of a portable sport footwear lacing chair
FIG. 3 is a front elevation view of one embodiment of a portable sport footwear lacing chair.
FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of a portable sport footwear lacing chair.
FIG. 5 is a rear elevation view of a portable sport footwear lacing chair.
FIG. 6 is a bottom perspective view of a portable sport footwear lacing chair.
FIG. 7 is an elevation view of a portable sport footwear lacing chair in a non-use position.
Referring now to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals designate identical or corresponding parts throughout the several views. As best illustrated in FIGS. 1-6, portable footwear lacing chair 10 includes a chair assembly 20 and a platform 60. In particular, chair assembly 20 comprises a seat portion 23 and a base structure 21 which is made up of a plurality of leg members 26 configured to support an individual.
The plurality of leg members 26 form a base for chair assembly 20 and may include several variations and orientations. In the disclosed embodiment, the plurality of leg members 26 include a pair of front legs 27, a pair of rear legs 28 and two pair of respective side legs 29 and 30. Each of the plurality of leg members 26 include a proximal end portion 32, a distal end portion 35, and a medial portion 37 extending therebetween. In this case, each of the pairs (i.e. pair of front legs 27, pair of rear legs 28 and pair of respective side legs 29 and 30) are connected to one another at the medial portion 37.
In the illustrated example embodiment, leg members 26 are configured in a cross-configuration, as best shown in FIGS. 1 and 3-6. As will be recognized, and is further described below, this configuration will accommodate folding when portable sport footwear lacing chair 10 is in a non-use position. Leg members 26 are connected to each other via a fastener 39, such as a conventional bolt, rivet, screw or wing nut assembly.
In the embodiment illustrated, leg members 26 are constructed from elongate tubing having a generally round cross-section. One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that leg members 26 may be formed from tubing having other cross-sectional shapes, such as rectangle or square. Furthermore, the tubing may be formed of any suitable material, such as, but not limited to, aluminum, steel, fiberglass, plastic or other applicable materials. The various attachment components of the leg members 26 may include any of the multitudes of means, which are well known in the art, such as, for example, rivets, nuts and bolts, pins, and the like.
To provide further stability for the disclosed embodiments, leg members 26 are also coupled to a number of foot members 40. Foot members 40 are connected to distal end portion 35 of the plurality of leg members 26 to give a larger contact surface between chair assembly 20 and the ground. Foot members 40 help to facilitate a stable surface for portable sport footwear lacing chair 10 when in use. As further discussed below, distal end portion 35 is movably attached to foot members 40 in order to accommodate the folding of chair assembly 20. As also discussed below, each of the pairs of legs (i.e. pair of front legs 27, pair of rear legs 28 and pair of respective side legs 29 and 30) have their distal end portion 35 attached to different foot members 40.
A number of bracket assemblies 45 interconnect seat portion 23 with proximal end portions 32 of leg members 26. In at least one particular embodiment (as best illustrated in FIG. 2), a plurality of ring fasteners 50 secure the corners of seat portion 23 to bracket assembly 45. To provide additional support, seat portion 23 may be reinforced with additional stiching in the areas surrounding ring fasteners 50. Similarly, bracket assembly 45 is also pivotably coupled to proximal end portion 32 of various leg member 26. Again, a movable coupling of proximal end portion 32 with bracket assembly 45 is utilized in order to accommodate movement between a use and non-use position of chair assembly 20. This movement will also provide a level of “give” when a person sits on the portable sport footwear lacing chair 10. Although no one material is required, ring fasteners 50 are generally a plastic or metal material. Ring fastener 50 must be strong enough to withstand the forces applied to seat portion 23 when a person sits on portable sport footwear lacing chair 10.
As best shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, chair assembly 20 may also include an optional holding strap 52. Holding strap 52 will help to facilitate compact storage of portable sport footwear lacing chair 10 is in a retracted or stored configuration (see FIG. 7). Holding strap 52 may also be removably attached to allow for a variety of placement options to secure the portable sport footwear lacing chair 10 in the stored position. In one example, a hook and loop material (commercially referred to as Velcro®) may be used as a portion of holding strap 52 to accommodate removal and reattachment as necessary.
As best shown in FIG. 2, seat portion 23 is generally square in shape. Again, seat portion 23 is attached to chair assembly 20 with ring fasteners 50. Seat portion 23 is preferrably made from a flexible water resilient material and connected to leg members by bracket assembly 45. One example material comprises a fabric material. As appreciated by those skilled in the art, seat portion 23 provides a place for a user to sit when portable sport footwear lacing chair 10 is in use. Seat portion 23 is generally planar, and supported at each corner by the respective portions of base structure 21. Although a slightly concave surface may also be used to provide more comfort for the user.
In other contemplated embodiments, seat portion 23 may also comprise other shapes, such as circles, triangles and the like. Although, no particular shape is required, seat portion 23 should provide a user with a surface to allow one to comfortably sit when the chair assembly 20 is in use.
Chair assembly 20 may optionally include a back portion 53 extending upwardly from seat portion 23. As best illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 5, back portion 53 comprises two substantially vertical rear supports 43 and 44 and a back rest 46. Rear supports 43 and 44 provide additional stability to chair assembly 20. Still referring to FIGS. 1 and 5 rear supports 43 and 44 are each coupled to their respective foot members 40 on one terminal end and are integrally related to back rest 46. As best shown in FIG. 5, rear supports 43 and 44 are each positioned in rear pockets 63 and 64 of back portion 53, which are located adjacent to the lateral edges thereof. As best shown in FIG. 1, rear supports 43 and 44 are positioned through ring fasteners 50 to provide additional support to chair assembly 20.
Referring now to FIGS. 1-3 and 6-7, showing several views of one example embodiment of platform 60. As illustrated, platform 60 is a substantially rectangular planar member used to dispose a person's foot thereon. Platform 60 may also be trapezoidal in shape. Platform 60 may be made of several types of materials, such as plastic, rubber, neoprene, Teflon®, and other applicable materials.
In one example use of portable sport footwear lacing chair 10, it is contemplated that a user will be seated on seat portion 23 and another person will be positioned adjacent thereto in a manner that allows them to position their foot on platform 60. In a more specific example, the other person will be a player or participant in a sporting activity such as soccer, basketball, hockey, skiing, volleyball, etc. who is in need of lacing or tying of their footwear. A non-limiting list of footwear contemplated within the scope of the invention include; inline roller skates, ice skates, tennis shoes, volleyball shoes, running shoes, football cleats, baseball cleats, soccer cleats, track spikes, basketball shoes, rugby cleats, field hockey shoes, wrestling shoes, skiing boots, snowboarding boots and roller skates.
In a related example, the player or participant is a child who may require assistance in lacing and/or tying of footwear and the user is a parent, coach, sibling, manager, or some other assistant. To further accommodate use, platform 60 may also include a non-slip surface on at least the side used to rest a shoe or skate. In at least one related embodiment, a non-slip surface may include applicable materials, such as neoprene, rubber, styrene butadiene rubber, nitrile-butadiene rubber, polyurethanes and other materials that will provide at least a portion of platform 60 with a surface having a slip-resistant feature. Non-slip surface may also include treading to enhance the slip-resistant characteristics.
When portable sport footwear lacing chair 10 is in use, platform 60 slants downward and away from chair assembly 20. Platform 60 may also include a slot 63 which allows for skate blades, such as roller blades and ice skate blades, to be placed through slot 63 thus providing a stable surface for a player to rest there foot while having their skate tied. Platform 60 may alternatively have a single planar surface without a slot portion.
As illustrated in the various figures, platform 60 is attached to a front portion of seat portion 23. Although many attachment mechanisms are possible, the present embodiment includes tether slots 67 for connecting platform 60 to seat portion 23 via a tether 65. Tether 65 is passed through at least one tether slot 67. In one example embodiment, one end of tether 65 is coupled to platform and is threaded through at least two tether slots 67 as shown in FIGS. 2-3. In this example, tether is a resilient fabric material that allows platform 60 to be removably connected to chair assembly 20. The tether may be securedly fastened by a pin snapped into apertures found along the interior sidewall of tether slot 67 (not shown). The opposed terminal end of tether is coupled to seat portion 23 by stitching 55, although fastening means such as adhesive could also be used. Moreover, less permanent means of securement may also attach tether to seat portion 23, such as snaps, zippers, Velcro®, clasps, buttons, ties or other securement means known buy one of ordinary skill in the art.
Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 7 which illustrate portable sport footwear lacing chair 10 in a use position (FIG. 1) and non-use position (FIG. 7). Referring now to FIG. 7 which shows portable sport footwear lacing chair 10 in a non-use position where chair assembly 20 is collapsed in a compact or folded position. In the non-use configuration, each pair of the plurality of leg members 26 proximal end portions 32 and distal end portions 35 are positioned closer to one another. Moreover, seat portion 23 is located substantially medial to the folded plurality of leg members 26. Additionally, when in a non-use position, ring fasteners 50 will slide along rear supports 43 and 44 to a position closer to the collapsed back rest 46. It should also be appreciated that platform 60 is also sized to be substantially similar in width and height to the chair assembly 20 in a folded position which provides for ease of stowing portable sport footwear lacing chair 10 in a pouch or bag.
Also contemplated is a method for deploying portable sport footwear lacing chair 10 which can be readily configured from a folded position to an unfolded position. When the portable sport footwear lacing chair 10 is in use, chair assembly 20 is unfolded (FIGS. 1-6) and the leg members are expanded to provide the user with a stable base to prevent rocking and instability when a person sits on seat portion 23. Moreover, platform 60 is positioned in a manner to allow for a player in need of lacing or tying footwear to place their footwear thereon with an orientation the allows a person sitting on seat portion 23 to conveniently tie or lace the player's footwear. As previously discussed footwear such as inline roller skates, ice skates, tennis shoes, volleyball shoes, running shoes, football cleats, baseball cleats, soccer cleats, track spikes, basketball shoes, rugby cleats, field hockey shoes, wrestling shoes, skiing boots, snowboarding boots, roller skates and the like may be placed on platform 60 which allows for the laces of the sporting footwear to be readily accessible to the user sitting on the seat portion 23. When the portable sport footwear lacing chair is no longer needed, the portable sport footwear lacing chair 10 can be easily folded and placed in an equipment bag, such as a hockey bag or a gym bag, or stowed for later use.
While the invention has been described above in terms of specific embodiments, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to these disclosed embodiments. Upon reading the teachings of this disclosure many modifications and other embodiments of the invention will come to mind of those skilled in the art to which this invention pertains, and which are intended to be and are covered by both this disclosure and the appended claims. It is indeed intended that the scope of the invention should be determined by proper interpretation and construction of the appended claims and their legal equivalents, as understood by those of skill in the art relying upon the disclosure in this specification and the attached drawings.