Title:
Anti-flap heel pad for footwear
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An anti-flap device is formed from double sided adhesive material. The device includes a first adhesive surface which attaches to an article of footwear and a second adhesive surface which attaches to the heel of the wearer. The device allows for increased walking stability and eliminates separation of the heel from the foot.



Inventors:
Smith, Linda M. (Morrisville, NC, US)
Application Number:
09/909891
Publication Date:
01/31/2002
Filing Date:
07/23/2001
Assignee:
SMITH LINDA M.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
36/80, 36/25R
International Classes:
A43B3/10; (IPC1-7): A43B3/12
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20040025377Footwear insert to prevent foot slidingFebruary, 2004Brannon
20060254085Thong sandal accessoryNovember, 2006Mollicone
20080307671MOVEMENT ENHANCING FOOTWEARDecember, 2008Koffler
20100031537OUTSOLES FOR ESD TYPE PROTECTIVE FOOTWEAR AND METHODS OF MANUFACTURING THE SAMEFebruary, 2010Geisler
20020029494Removable and interchangeable shoe tongueMarch, 2002Small
20070017124ALTERNATING BONDED PARTICLES AND PROTRUSIONSJanuary, 2007Koo et al.
20030131499Footwear having a flexible outsoleJuly, 2003Silverman
20100018076Removable attachment for footwearJanuary, 2010Buck
20060090371Toe sockMay, 2006Chan
20080250667Strap System with Integrated EyeletOctober, 2008Rasmussen et al.
20090158621BootsJune, 2009Yamamoto



Primary Examiner:
KAVANAUGH, JOHN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STITES & HARBISON PLLC (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An anti-flap shoe comprising: a flexible sole having a top surface and a bottom surface; a strap attached to the top surface; and a double-sided adhesive pad having a first side attached to the top surface of said sole and a second side for adhesively engaging a wearer's heel.

2. The anti-flap shoe according to claim 1 further comprising a removable cover for protecting said second side of said pad when the shoe is not being worn.

3. The anti-flap shoe according to claim 1, wherein said pad is circular in shape.

4. The anti-flap shoe according to claim 3 wherein said pad has a diameter of 1 inch to 1.5 inches.

5. The anti-flap shoe according to claim 1 wherein said first side of said pad has greater adhesive strength than said second side.

6. A device for retaining the heel of a foot to the sole of an article of footwear comprising: a double-sided adhesive pad having a first adhesive surface attachable to a sole of an article of footwear and a second adhesive surface for engaging a wearer's heel, said first adhesive surface having greater adhesive strength than said second adhesive surface.

7. The device according to claim 6 further comprising releasable coverings for protecting said first and second sides.

8. The device according to claim 7 wherein said releasable covering for said second side is substantially the same size and shape as said second side.

9. A kit for modifying shoes to prevent a wearer's heels from separating from soles of shoes when walking, said kit comprising at least two pairs of double-sided adhesive pads, each of said pads having a first adhesive surface attachable to the sole of a shoe and a second adhesive surface for engaging the wearer's heel, one of said two pairs having a smaller diameter than the other of said pairs.

10. The kit according to claim 9 wherein said first surface of each of said pads is attached to a substrate having a releasable coating, said substrate being larger than said pads and said second surface including a removable covering having substantially the same size and shape as said second surface.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to footwear and, in particular, to adhesive heel pads for maintaining shoes securely against the wearer's feet.

[0003] 2. Background of the Invention

[0004] Backless shoes such as sandals are a popular form of footwear particularly during summer seasons, and are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Such footwear generally comprises a sole shaped to engage the underside of the wearer's foot, a rear heel portion on the bottom side of the base, and a strap member for slidably accepting the front of the wearer's foot and serving to maintain the shoe in position during normal activities.

[0005] The strap members of backless shoes may also take various forms from conformal members covering the instep to thin straps primarily retained at the front of the foot. While stylish, the backless shoe is unstable on the foot of the wearer and annoyingly flexes and flaps during normal walking.

[0006] More particularly, as the wearer walks forwardly the thin cross section of the sole and the limited frontal connection provided by the strap member permits the rear of the sole to flex downwardly and separate from the heel of the wearer. At the end of each step, the heel flexes upwardly against the heel in a slapping fashion. Such movement affects the normal walking pattern, reduces walking stability, and produces annoying and distracting motions and noises.

[0007] While various prior art devices are known for securing a wearer's heel to a shoe, these devices tend to be cumbersome. U.S. Pat. No. 3,373,513, for example, discloses a shoe with a heel retaining device wherein a male member on the wearer's heel forms an interlocking engagement with a female member positioned in the shoe. The primary drawback of this device is that it requires precise placement of the wearer's heel in the shoe. U.S. Pat. No. 2,948,971 discloses a device which holds the heel portion of a shoe in position with the heel of the wearer by securing magnets to the wearer's heel and to the shoe. This device can be uncomfortable and also requires very precise placement of the heel within the shoe.

[0008] Accordingly, there is a need for a device for comfortably retaining the heel of the foot within the sole of a shoe, and more particularly, for preventing backless shoes or sandals from slapping against the wearer's feet when walking.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] In accordance with the general object of the present invention, a device is provided for retaining the heel of a wearer's foot to the sole of an article of footwear, e.g., a shoe or sandal.

[0010] It is another object of the present invention to provide an anti-flap shoe or sandal which is adapted to adhesively engage the heel of the wearer.

[0011] These objects of the present invention are achieved by providing an adhesive pad which has a first adhesive surface for engaging the inner sole of an article of footwear and a second adhesive surface for engaging the heel of a wearer.

[0012] In a preferred embodiment, the anti-flap device includes a double sided adhesive material. The material has a first adhesive surface which is attachable to a sole of an article of footwear. The material further includes a second adhesive surface for engaging the heel of the wearer.

[0013] Further features and advantages of the present invention will be set forth in, or are apparent from, the detailed description of the preferred embodiments which follows.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0014] There follows a detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the invention which are to be taken together with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[0015] FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a sandal on the foot of the wearer;

[0016] FIG. 2 is a top view of the sandal showing the positioning of the anti-flap pad;

[0017] FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view taken along line 3-3 in FIG. 2; and

[0018] FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing a kit containing the anti-flap pads of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0019] Referring now to the figures, like elements are represented by like numerals throughout the several views.

[0020] FIG. 1 shows an article of footwear in accordance with the invention. For purposes of illustration a thong-type sandal is shown. However, it is to be understood that the anti-flap pad may be used in any type of footwear. Though most commonly used in backless shoes, the anti-flap pad is also useful where a shoe is too large for the wearer's foot. The anti-flap sandal 10 includes a sole 12, a heel 14, a foot strap 16 and an anti-flap pad 18.

[0021] As shown in FIG. 2, the sole 12 is a longitudinally curvilinear, thin wall member having an upper surface 20 conforming to the base of the foot 22 of a wearer. The peripheral shape of the sole 12 outwardly circumscribes the base of the foot 22. The heel 14 projects downwardly from the rearward bottom surface of the sole 12 below the heel 34 of the wearer. The strap 16 is a thin elongated member having one end 30 attached to the sole on one side thereof adjacent the arch 32 of the foot 22 and the other end 31 attached to the sole on the other side adjacent the arch 32 of the foot 22. The ends of the strap 16 extend forwardly from the sides and are attached to the sole at a point 28 between the large toe and the adjacent toe of the wearer.

[0022] In normal use, it will be appreciated that as the wearer walks forwardly, the wearer's heel 34 is raised. The sole 12, with the weight of the heel 14 is such that the rear portion of the sole 12 flexes downwardly and separates from the foot 22. As the heel 34 of the foot 22 is further raised at the end of the step, the flexed sole 12 rebounds and slaps against the wearer's foot 22. Such annoying and distracting movement is overcome by the anti-flap pad 18 of the invention.

[0023] The anti-flap pad 18 is adhesively interposed between the rearward portion of the top surface 20 of the sole 12 and the heel 34 of the wearer's foot 22. As shown in FIG. 3, the pad 18 is a double-sided adhesive material having a first adhesive surface 26 attached to the sole and a second adhesive surface 24 engaging the heel 34 of the foot 22. The pad 18 is attached to the heel 34 during use sufficiently to overcome the tendency of the sole 12 to deflect downwardly in use, while being removable from the foot after use. The pad 18 may be manufactured in various sizes and shapes. Moreover, the adhesive may be more or less tacky. All of these features may be modified to best suit the needs of the user and generally depend on such factors as the size and weight of the shoe, size of the user and whether or not hosiery is worn with the footwear.

[0024] In the preferred embodiment, the pads have a circular shape and a diameter of 0.25 to 2.5 inches, even more preferably 1.0 to 1.5 inches. The thickness of the pads is typically only about 4.1 mils so that they are relatively imperceptible to the wearer. However, the pads may also be manufactured in a thicker size with a foam material or the like interposed between the adhesive surfaces such that they provide a cushioning effect in the heel. A suitable material for use as an anti-flap pad is available through Avery-Dennison.

[0025] As shown in FIG. 4, the pads are preferably packaged between two coverings, typically sheets of paper of about 80 lb. weight having a release coating thereon. In use, the first cover 36 is peeled from the first adhesive side 26 of the pad 18. The wearer places her foot in the shoe and determines where her heel is seated in the shoe. The first adhesive side 26 is then adhered to the sole of the shoe. The second cover 38 is removed from the second adhesive side 24 and the wearer carefully puts on the shoe and places her heel against the second adhesive side 24.

[0026] Preferably, the first adhesive side 26 is a stronger adhesive such that when the wearer pulls the shoe away from her heel to remove the shoe, the pad 18 remains in place in the shoe. The pad 18 may be reused several times. A greater number of usages are possible if the second covering 38 is placed over the exposed adhesive surface 24 when the shoe is not being worn. Moreover, the adhesive tends to provide a stronger adhesion if the wearer's foot and the shoe are first cleaned to remove oils and dirt.

[0027] As shown in FIG. 4, the anti-flap pads of the invention are preferably packaged as a kit 37 having at least one pair of pads 18 which are positioned on a substrate 38, such as a strip of paper containing a release coating. Even more preferably, the kit includes pads of different sizes, shapes and/or adhesive strengths for use in different types of shoes. As shown, the kit includes a second set of smaller pads 19. The first adhesive surface 24 is secured to the substrate. In order to use the pads 18, 19, they are removed from the substrate 36 which has a releasable coating thereon and placed on the heel on the rearward top surface 20 of the sole 12. Covering 38 has a releasable coating on the side 40 adjacent the adhesive surface 24 and is removed when the shoe is worn, and may be replaced after wearing. Preferably the covering 38 is substantially the same size and shape as the pad such that it is not visible allowing the wearer to wear the shoe without securing their heel to the second adhesive surface if desired. Moreover, covering 38 may be constructed of a thinner material than substrate 38 since it is not intended to act as a support for more than one pad. The covering 38 may also include a tab 42, or may be slightly larger than the pad to allow easier removal of the covering 38 from the second adhesive surface.

[0028] Although the invention has been described in detail with respect to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art that the invention is capable of numerous modifications and variations, within the spirit and scope of the invention.