Title:
SHOE ACCESSORY DEVICES
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A shoe accessory including a heel cover, a heel collar cover, and a shoe insert, constructed to support a shoe substantially against the bottom of a human foot.


Inventors:
Alas, Angelica (Phoenix, AZ, US)
Application Number:
14/201877
Publication Date:
09/10/2015
Filing Date:
03/09/2014
Assignee:
ALAS ANGELICA
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43C11/00
View Patent Images:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A shoe accessory configured to keep a shoe substantially against the bottom of a human foot, comprising: a heel cover configured to loop around a heel of said shoe and to cover a substantial portion of said heel, to substantially protect it from marring or scuffing; a heel collar cover configured to cover both an inside portion and an outside portion of a heel collar of said shoe and to cover a substantial portion of a rear of said shoe, to substantially protect it from marring or scuffing; and a shoe insert configured for placement within said shoe beneath a heel of a human foot, the shoe insert including sidewalls of cloth with PVC or plastic dots that create a gentle friction-fit against the sides of the human foot and the inside of the shoe, the shoe insert also including an underside of cloth with PVC or plastic dots beneath a human foot and in contact with a floor of the inside of the shoe, configured to make the shoe accessory slippage-resistant when utilized in the shoe; wherein the heel cover, the heel collar cover, and the shoe insert are connected with or conjoined with each other, to support said shoe substantially against the bottom of a human foot.

2. The shoe accessory of claim 1, wherein: the heel cover substantially encapsulates the heel of said shoe from near ground level to at least the point where the heel attaches to the bottom of said shoe.

3. The shoe accessory of claim 1, comprising: an elastic portion connected with the heel collar cover and configured to stretch around or against a rear, upper structure of said shoe, to create tension for the heel collar cover between the heel collar and the heel, to hold the heel collar cover in an attached position on the heel.

4. The shoe accessory of claim 1, comprising: a strap attached to the sidewalls, the strap configured for at least two of three positions, with a first position strapping over a top of a human foot, a second position within said shoe and underneath said human foot, and a third position outside and strapping beneath said shoe.

5. The shoe accessory of claim 4, wherein: the strap comprises at least one of cloth, leather, and metal.

6. The shoe accessory of claim 4, wherein: the strap comprises at least two pieces, wherein the two pieces are configured to connect.

7. The shoe accessory of claim 6, wherein: the two pieces connect with at least one of tying, a buckle, snaps, buttons, and hooks and loops.

8. The shoe accessory of claim 1, wherein: at least one of the heel cover and the heel collar cover comprise lace material.

9. The shoe accessory of claim 1, wherein: the sidewalls comprise padding for wearer shoe fit.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 13/744,534, filed on Jan. 18, 2013.

FIELD

The subject technology generally relates to shoe accessory devices that are configured to detachably connect to the heel of a shoe. Preferably, but not exclusively, the shoe accessory devices are configured for use with a woman's high-heeled stiletto-style shoe.

BACKGROUND

Women love shoes. The appeal of a woman in a beautiful pair of shoes is nearly universal, across many cultures and backgrounds. Women wear high heels practically everywhere: to school, at work, and at play. Women often buy shoes for their aesthetics, for instance with a high heel to give swagger and poise. The higher the heel, however, the steeper the incline against which the arch of the foot rests, pushing and possibly crushing the toes into the point of a shoe, with the woman's heel then extending a great distance from the rear of the shoe, or what is typically called the heel collar.

When too much distance is present between a woman's heel and the heel collar, the shoe can “flop” with each step. When shoes flop around they can be dangerous to the wearer, causing them to be unstable and potentially fall. For these reasons women sometimes buy shoes that are actually a size or two too small for their feet, which forces their toes and balls of their feet against the structure of the shoe. This attempt at a solution can cause blisters, cramped/crushed toes, and even cause skeletal alignment issues. Even simply wearing the correct size in a high heel can actually cause muscle damage and permanent deformation, according to Drs. Neil Cronin, Rod Barrett, and Christopher Carty's article “Long-term Use of High Heeled Shoes Alters the Neuromechanics of Human Walking,” Journal of Applied Physiology, January, 2012. In sum, heels are admired but they can cause damage to the feet. Further, some women have high-heeled shoes they would like to wear, but choose not to because of “flopping” or due to an improper fit.

SUMMARY

The subject technology overcomes the previous problems by providing a shoe accessory device that is configured to support a shoe substantially against the bottom of a human foot. Individual embodiments of the instant invention may include all of the elements of the claims and written description as provided herein, or a portion or portions of the element(s) of the claims and written description as provided herein.

In a non-limiting embodiment, the invention provides a shoe accessory device comprising a heel cover, a heel collar cover, and a shoe insert. The shoe accessory is configured to keep a shoe substantially against the bottom of a human foot. The heel cover is configured to loop around a heel of a shoe and to cover a substantial portion of the heel to substantially protect it from marring or scuffing. The heel collar cover is configured to cover a heel collar of a shoe and to cover a substantial portion of a rear of the shoe to substantially protect it from marring or scuffing. The shoe insert is configured for placement within a shoe beneath a heel of a human foot. The shoe insert may include sidewalls.

The heel cover, the heel collar cover, and the shoe insert are connected with or conjoined with each other, to support the shoe substantially against the bottom of a human foot. In a non-limiting embodiment, the heel cover substantially encapsulates the heel of the shoe from near ground level to at least the point where the heel attaches to the bottom of the shoe.

The shoe accessory device may include an elastic portion connected with the heel collar cover and configured to stretch around or against a rear, upper structure of the shoe, to create tension for the heel collar cover between the heel collar and the heel, to hold the heel collar cover in an attached position on the heel/rear of the shoe. In a non-limiting embodiment, the shoe accessory device includes a strap attached to the sidewalls. The strap is configured for at least two of three positions: a first position strapping over a top of a human foot, a second position within the shoe and underneath the human foot, and a third position outside and strapping beneath the shoe. The strap may comprise material of at least one of cloth, leather, and metal. In on-limiting embodiments, the strap may comprise at least two pieces that are configured to connect. The two pieces may connect with at least one of tying, a buckle, snaps, buttons, and hooks and loops, or similar.

In a non-limiting embodiment, the shoe accessory including at least one of the heel cover and the heel collar cover may comprise lace material. In an additional non-limiting embodiment, the sidewalls may comprise padding for assisting the wearer to fit their foot in a shoe that might otherwise be too large.

Additional features and advantages of the subject technology will be set forth in the description below, and in part will be apparent from the description, or may be learned by practice of the subject technology. The advantages of the subject technology will be realized and attained by the structure particularly pointed out in the written description and claims hereof, as well as the appended drawings.

It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory and are intended to provide further explanation of the subject technology as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are included to provide further understanding of the subject technology and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate aspects of the subject technology and together with the description serve to explain the principles of the subject technology. The features and nature of the present disclosure will become more apparent from the detailed description set forth below when taken in conjunction with the drawings in which like reference characters identify correspondingly throughout and wherein:

FIG. 1 is an illustration exemplifying potential problems with wearing high heels.

FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary shoe accessory device with a strap that is configured to wrap or strap over the top of a human foot to thereby connect and hold the shoe substantially against the bottom of a human foot.

FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary shoe accessory device with a strap that is configured for placement within a shoe and beneath a human foot.

FIG. 4 illustrates an exemplary shoe accessory device with a strap that is configured to strap outside and beneath the shoe.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In the following detailed description, numerous specific details are set forth to provide a full understanding of the subject technology. It will be obvious, however, to one ordinarily skilled in the art that the subject technology may be practiced without some of these specific details. In other instances, well-known structures and techniques have not been shown in detail so as not to obscure the subject technology.

FIG. 1 illustrates some of the problems with wearing high heels. As shown in the Figure, a person's foot/ankle 1 extends from a high heel shoe 4. High heel shoe 4 includes the stiletto heel 3 and the heel collar 2. Due to the relative height of the stiletto heel 3, the foot/ankle 1 displaces from the heel collar 2, resulting in “gap” or space. Any space can cause the shoe 4 to be unstable and to “flop.” Unstable shoes can be dangerous. The movement of the foot/ankle 1 relatively “out” of the heel collar 2, followed by movement back within the heel collar 2 as a person walks, can cause blisters. Additionally, the crunching of the toes to the front of the shoe 4 caused by the height of the stiletto heel 3 can cause permanent deformities to the foot/ankle 1, including skin damage, muscle damage, and skeletal alignment issues between the many bones in the toes, foot, and ankle.

FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary, non-limiting embodiment of the invention. As shown in FIG. 2, a shoe accessory device 1 is provided for shoe 4. Shoe 4 is illustrated as a woman's stiletto heel-type shoe, but may be of another type with a heel 3. The shoe accessory device includes heel collar cover 2, heel cover 5, and shoe insert 6. Shoe insert 6 includes sidewalls 7. The shoe accessory device may include an elastic material 8 that pulls back in an installed position over the rear of shoe 4 to create an elastic-like bias or tension so that the shoe accessory device 1 remains installed on shoe 4. The shoe accessory device 1 may be made of lace-type material, cloth, elastic, leather, rubber, metal, or combinations of same.

The various portions of shoe accessory device 1, including heel collar cover 2, heel cover 5, and insert 6, are typically stitched together to form one contiguous piece of cloth. The seams for any stitching are internal to provide a seamless appearance. In a non-limiting, exemplary embodiment, the material for the heel cover 5 and heel collar cover 2 is doubled over, or made to have the design-side of such cloth face both inwardly and outwardly, with the seams internal to the doubled-over cloth. The cloth used in heel cover 5 and heel collar cover 2 may be a slightly elastic material to provide for different sized heels 3 or shoes with different sized heel collars.

Shoe accessory device 1 may include a strap 9. Strap 9 may be a material of cloth, leather, metal, or combinations of various materials, and is configured to strap across the top of a human foot to thereby hold the she 4 against the bottom of the foot. In other words, in non-limiting embodiments, the strap 9 may be used to hold the shoe 4 in proper wearing position.

Strap 9 may comprise strips of leather than have been braided together and linked to a buckle or other fixing devices, such as a snap, button, hook, latch, or additional fixing/connecting means. The strap 9 may also comprise links of metal, for instance, steel or titanium links that form a portion or even an entirety or substantial majority of strap 9.

In an exemplary embodiment, strap 9 may be a centimeter or more in width, up to a width of substantially a few or more inches, and may be as long as up to 18-24 inches in length, with longer lengths potentially being used to wrap multiple times around a foot. In additional embodiments, strap 9 may be a thin string or strip of plastic or nylon, including variants of polyethylene.

Various embodiments of the strap 9 have varying tensile strengths. For instance, an embodiment crafted entirely of titanium chain links would have an ultimate strength of approximately 1040 megapascals, while an embodiment comprised entirely of aromatic polyamide, or paramid, for instance Kevlar™ made by Dupont, would have an ultimate strength of approximately 2757 megapascals, and an embodiment comprised substantially of leather would have an ultimate strength of approximately 20-50 megapascals.

In an embodiment where strap 9 is braided leather, the leather may be braided and linked, or may otherwise be stitched to a buckle, acting as fixing element. During the braiding of the leather strips, preferably 2-5 strips of leather are used for a total width of typically less than 2 inches. The leather strips are braided until an appropriate length of the strap 9 is reached, typically about eight to twelve inches in length to connect in one loop around the typical human foot and for about twice those lengths for two loops around the typical human foot, in differing embodiments. The ordinarily skilled artisan comprehends that leather is shown by way of example only, and that various other materials, including plastics, metals, strips, strings, and various combinations of materials could be used to construct strap 9. Strap 9 may also be elastic, and may comprise self-adhesive technology, such as hook and loop, or Velcro-Brand® self-latching connectivity.

Sidewall 7 and shoe insert 6 may comprise padding material, for comfort and/or for assisting a wearer with adjusting the fit of a shoe 4 that might otherwise be too large to wear. Shoe collar cover 2 covers the collar of shoe 4 and protects the rear of shoe 4 from scuffing or marring. Heel cover 4 covers heel 3 and likewise protects the heel 3 from scuffing or marring.

FIG. 3 illustrates an embodiment of the invention where strap 9 is positioned inside of shoe 4, for use underneath a wearer's foot, for instance where padding within walls 7 provides a wearer with a comfortable and safe fit without the use of strap 9 to hold the shoe in proper place.

FIG. 4 illustrates an embodiment of the invention were strap 9 is positioned outside and underneath of shoe 4, for instance where padding within walls 7 provides a wearer with a comfortable and safe fit without the use of strap 9 to hold the shoe in proper place. FIG. 4 also illustrates the application of friction-fitting of sidewalls 7 against a human foot during use, by virtue of PVC or plastic dots 10 that are populated in the material comprising sidewalls 7. The PVC or plastic dots 10 provide both friction fitting and help to prevent slippage of the foot against the inside of the shoe. PVC or plastic dots 10 are typically heat-formed on the cloth comprising sidewalls 7 utilizing plastic manufacturing processes that are well-known, for instance, 3-D printing, or by applying heated plastic dots during a plastic extrusion or similar process onto a cloth material, where it later cools and thereby adhesively connects to the cloth. Similar PVC or plastic dots may also added to the underside of shoe insert 6, for example, as shown by element 11 in FIG. 4, to prevent slippage of the shoe insert against the inside of a shoe when worn by a user.

In various embodiments described herein, elastic 8 has been pulled up and over heel collar 2, pulling heel cover 3 close in, against, and around heel 3. Once pulled over heel collar 2, elastic portion 8 keeps shoe accessory device 1 in an attached position on shoe 4 for use by a wearer/user by creating tension against stiletto heel 3. Not all of elastic portion 8 need be elastic, but may include a smaller section that is elastic nearly entirely around the top area of where heel collar 2 is located at the top of shoe 4. Heel cover 5, heel collar cover 2, elastic portion 8, and strap 9 may comprise ribbon, lace, or fanciful/colorful material.

Referring back to FIG. 1, the instant invention keeps gap/space 5 to a minimum while a user walks wearing shoe 4. This gives the user a stable shoe that does not “flop” around, that does not rub the heel unnecessarily in the vicinity of heel collar 2, and that also allows the user to wear the correctly sized shoe 4, despite practically any height of stiletto heel 3.

The description of the subject technology is provided to enable any person skilled in the art to practice the various configurations described herein. While the disclosure has been particularly described with reference to the various figures and configurations, it should be understood that these are for illustration purposes only and should not be taken as limiting the scope of the subject technology.

There may be many other ways to implement the subject technology. Various functions and elements described herein may be partitioned differently from those shown without departing from the sprit and scope of the subject technology. Various modifications to these configurations will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and generic principles defined herein may be applied to other configurations. Thus, many changes and modifications may be made to the subject technology, by one having ordinary skill in the art, without departing from the spirit and scope of the subject technology.

It is understood that the specific order or hierarchy of steps or blocks in the processes disclosed is an illustration of exemplary approaches. Based upon design preferences, it is understood that the specific order or hierarchy of steps or blocks in the processes may be rearranged. The accompanying method claims present elements of the various steps in a sample order, and are not meant to be limited to the specific order or hierarchy presented.

The previous description is provided to enable any person skilled in the art to practice the various aspects described herein. Various modifications to these aspects will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the generic principles defined herein may be applied to other aspects. Thus, the claims are not intended to be limited to the aspects shown herein, but is to be accorded the full scope consistent with the language claims, wherein reference to an element in the singular is not intended to mean “one and only one” unless specifically so stated, but rather “one or more.” Unless specifically stated otherwise, the term “some” refers to one or more. Pronouns in the masculine (e.g., his) include the feminine and neuter gender (e.g., her and its) and vice versa. All structural and functional equivalents to the elements of the various aspects described throughout this disclosure that are known or later come to be known to those of ordinary skill in the art are expressly incorporated herein by reference and are intended to be encompassed by the claims. Moreover, nothing disclosed herein is intended to be dedicated to the public regardless of whether such disclosure is explicitly recited in the claims.

All structural and functional equivalents to the elements of the various configurations described throughout this disclosure that are known or later come to be known to those of ordinary skill in the art are expressly incorporated herein by reference and intended to be encompassed by the subject technology. Moreover, nothing disclosed herein is intended to be dedicated to the public regardless of whether such disclosure is explicitly recited in the above description.