Title:
Shoe with a counter portion
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A shoe has a sole, an upper and a counter portion. The upper is securely connected to the sole and has a rear end defined with an opening. The counter portion is detachably connected to the rear end of the upper to close the opening in the upper. A fastener and a connecting device are respectively mounted on two opposite sides of the upper and the counter portion to connect the counter portion to the rear end of the upper. Accordingly, a wearer's foot in the shoe can be vented. Also, for a pair of tied shoes with the counter portions can be put on or taken off without tying or untying the laces. The use of the shoe is versatile and convenient.



Inventors:
Chang, David (Nan-Tou Hsien, TW)
Application Number:
10/134790
Publication Date:
10/30/2003
Filing Date:
04/29/2002
Assignee:
CHANG DAVID
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
36/105, 36/100
International Classes:
A43B3/10; A43B3/24; A43B7/06; A43B11/00; A43B23/02; (IPC1-7): A43B23/08; A43B3/24
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060042124Athletic shoe having an improved cleat configurationMarch, 2006Mills et al.
20070283600Heel and insole combination for woman's shoeDecember, 2007Trives Marcos
20050022424Shoes - a new designFebruary, 2005Held
20040049949Protection for a sports shoe, particularly for a golf shoeMarch, 2004Valentini
20100058613STRUCTURE OF BOTTOM OF SHOESMarch, 2010Im
20100064552Ice crampon for mountaineering with adjustable front spikeMarch, 2010Petzl et al.
20060086005High heel shoe insertApril, 2006Yerian
20100000127SHOE WITH INTERCHANGEABLE STRAP SYSTEMJanuary, 2010Feller et al.
20100037485SLIPPERSFebruary, 2010WU
20050126045Changeable shoesJune, 2005Guidry
20080010867Personalized footwearJanuary, 2008Davis III



Primary Examiner:
KAVANAUGH, JOHN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Alan D. Kamrath (Minneapolis, MN, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A shoe with a counter portion comprising a sole; an upper securely connected to the sole and having a rear end with an opening defined in the rear end; a counter portion detachably connected to the upper to close the opening in the upper; a fastener mounted between a first side of the upper end and the counter portion to detachably connect a first end of the counter portion to the rear end of the upper; and a connecting device is mounted between a second side of the upper and the counter portion to detachably and pivotally connect a second end of the counter portion to the rear end of the upper, wherein the fastener comprises a first connecting member securely attached to the upper and a second connecting member securely attached to the counter portion at a position corresponding to the first connecting member to engage with the first connecting member.

2. The shoe with a counter portion as claimed in claim 1, wherein the connecting device has: a connector attached to the counter portion; and a pivot latch attached to the second side of the upper to pivotally engage with the connector so as to pivotally mount the counter portion to the sole.

3. The shoe with a counter portion as claimed in claim 2, wherein the connector on the counter portion comprises: a body securely attached to the counter portion; a longitudinal neck integrally formed at a lower end of the body; a transversally extending pivot pin integrally formed at a lower end of the neck; and two gaps respectively defined on opposite sides of the neck; and the pivot latch is formed as an inverted J-shaped bracket, wherein the J-shaped bracket has an upper horizontal piece; a slot defined in a middle of the J-shaped bracket and corresponding to the neck of the connector; and a pivot socket defined in the J-shaped bracket to pivotally receive the pivot pin, whereby the pivot pin of the connector can be pivotally fitted into the pivot socket of the pivot latch.

4. The shoe with a counter portion as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first connecting member of the fastener has: a base plate securely attached to the upper; a fastening lug integrally formed on the base plate; and a retaining head integrally formed at an outer end of the fastening lug; and the second connecting member of the fastener has: a connecting arm pivotally attached to the counter portion; at least one notch defined in the connecting arm and corresponding to the fastening lug to engage with the fastening lug; and a tab perpendicularly extending out from the connecting arm.

5. The shoe with a counter portion as claimed in claim 4, wherein the base plate of the first connecting member is attached to an outer surface of the upper; and the base plate of the second connecting member is attached to an outer surface of the counter portion.

6. The shoe with a counter portion as claimed in claim 4, wherein the base plate of the first connecting member is mounted inside the upper; and the fastening lug is exposed from the upper to engage with one of the at least one notch in the second connecting member.

7. The shoe with a counter portion as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first connecting member of the fastener has: a base plate attached to the upper; a socket defined in one side of the base plate; and a resilient pushing block formed on the base plate; and the second connecting member of the fastener has: a base plate attached to the counter portion; a plug formed on one side of the base plate to be inserted into the socket; and a resilient block formed on the plug to engage with the socket.

8. The shoe with a counter portion as claimed in claim 7, wherein the base plate of the first connecting member is inserted into the upper; the socket is exposed from the upper; and the plug of the second connecting member is exposed from the counter portion to be inserted into the exposed socket.

9. The shoe with a counter portion as claimed in claim 7, wherein the base plate of the first connecting member is attached to an outer surface of the upper; and the base plate of the second connecting member is attached to an outer surface of the counter portion.

10. The shoe with a counter portion as claimed in claim 7, wherein the base plate of the first connecting member is attached to an inner surface of the upper; and the base plate of the second connecting member is attached to an inner surface of the counter portion.

11. The shoe with a counter portion as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first connecting member of the fastener has: a base attached to the upper; an engaging member with teeth pivotally mounted on the base with a pivot pin; and a spring mounted on the pivot pin to push the engaging member to the base; and the second connecting member is a strap with multiple teeth formed on one side of the strap to engage with the teeth on the engaging member of the first connecting member.

12. The shoe with a counter portion as claimed in claim 11, wherein an adjusting member with teeth is pivotally mounted on the base of the first connecting member with a pivot; and a spring mounted on the pivot to push the adjusting member to the base, whereby the engagement between the first connecting member and the second connecting member will be tightened when the adjusting member is pulled and the teeth on the adjusting member engages with the teeth on the strap.

13. The shoe with a counter portion as claimed in claim 1 further comprising a wing plate secured to each respective side of the counter portion and detachably connected to each respective side of the upper.

14. The shoe with a counter portion as claimed in claim 13, wherein at least one button is mounted between each respective wing plate and the upper to detachably connect the wing plate to the upper; and each at least one button has: a male element secured on the wing plate; and a female element secured on the upper and corresponding to the male element.

15. The shoe with a counter portion as claimed in claim 1 further comprising an auxiliary fastener mounted between a top of each respective side of the counter portion and a top of the corresponding side of the upper to keep the top of the counter portion from turning outward relative to the upper.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a shoe having a counter portion with a lower end pivotally connected to the rear end of an upper.

[0003] 2. Description of Related Art

[0004] Conventional footwear is an outer covering for the human foot typically having a thick or stiff sole with an attached heel and an upper attached to the sole. Besides protecting the foot, shoes have for centuries been a fashion item. Therefore, there are various types of shoes available, for example: boots, high-heeled shoes, court shoes, training shoes, tennis shoes, wooden shoes, sandals, etc. Most formal shoes are shoes with continuous uppers, which include a toe cup, a vamp and quarter and counter portions. These shoes with continuous uppers are often worn by people for more than eight hours per day. Even though shoes are designed and made to suit people's feet, it is uncomfortable to wear a pair of shoes with continuous uppers for a long time. However, to take off shoes to air the feet is rather unsightly behavior in many formal places.

[0005] However, in some places, customs or hygiene requirements dictate that people take off their shoes before entering a room, etc. In these cases, a pair of shoes with tied laces will cause people to have to take a lot of time to tie and untie the laces. Furthermore, it is difficult for children to deal with laces.

[0006] To overcome the shortcomings, the present invention tends to provide a shoe with a counter portion to mitigate or obviate the aforementioned problems.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] The main objective of the invention is to provide a shoe with a counter portion that is pivotally detached from the upper or completely detached from the upper. The shoe has a sole, an upper and a counter portion. The upper is securely attached to the sole and has an open rear end. The counter portion is detachably connected to the rear end of the upper to close the opening in the upper. A fastener and a connecting device are respectively mounted between opposite sides of the upper and the counter portion to connect the counter portion to the upper. Releasing the counter portion allows the foot in the shoe to be exposed to fresh air, and a pair of tied shoes with the counter portions can be put on or taken off without tying or untying the laces. Thus, the shoe is versatile and convenient.

[0008] Other objects, advantages and novel features of the invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a shoe with a counter portion in accordance with the present invention;

[0010] FIG. 2 is a side plan view of the shoe in FIG. 1;

[0011] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the shoe in FIG. 1 showing that the counter portion pivotally rotates relative to the upper of the shoe;

[0012] FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of a second embodiment of a shoe with a counter portion in accordance with the present invention; and

[0013] FIG. 5 is an exploded perspective view of a third embodiment of a shoe with a counter portion in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0014] With reference to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the present invention relates to a shoe (10) having a counter portion (20). The shoe (10) comprises an upper (11) securely connecting to a sole (12). The upper (11) is particularly defined with an opening (111) at a rear end of the upper (11). The counter portion (20) is optionally connected over the opening (111) of the upper (11). In practice, the counter portion (20) is pivotally connected to one side of the upper (11) by means of a pivotal device. The pivotal device comprises a connector (40) and a pivot latch (42). The connector (40) is secured to the counter portion (20) and has a body (402), a longitudinal neck (404) and a transverse pivot pin (406). The body (402) is securely mounted in the counter portion (20). The longitudinal neck (404) is integrally formed at one end of the body (402). The transverse pivot pin (406) is integrally formed at one end of the neck (404). Two gaps (not numbered) are respectively defined on opposite sides of the neck (404).

[0015] The pivot latch (42) is secured on one side of the upper (11) and corresponds to the connector (40) on the counter portion (20). The pivot latch (42) is formed as an inverted J-shaped bracket. The bracket has an upper horizontal retainer (422), and a slot (424) is defined in a middle of the bracket to divide the horizontal retainer (422) into two matching pieces and corresponds to the neck (404) of the connector (40). The horizontal retainers (422) and bracket define a pivot socket (not numbered) to pivotally hold the pivot pin (406) in the pivot latch (42). Accordingly, the pivot pin (406) of the connector (40) can be pivotally mounted in the pivot socket of the pivot latch (42).

[0016] A fastener such as a locking arm fastener, a clip fastener, a belt fastener, etc. is mounted between the upper (11) and the counter portion (20) at the side opposite to the pivotal device. The fastener comprises a first connecting member (30) and a second connecting member (32). The first connecting member (30) is securely attached to the upper (11) near the opening (111). The second connecting member (32) is securely attached to the counter portion (20) at a position corresponding to and aligning with the first connecting member (30) when the counter portion (20) closes the opening (111) in the upper (11). When the connector (40) is pivotally mounted in the pivot latch (42), the first connecting member (30) and the second connecting member (32) detachably connect to each other to securely hold the counter portion (20) in place over the opening (111) in the upper (11). The first connecting member (30) can be disconnected from the second connecting member (32) so the counter portion (20) can be pivoted to expose the opening (111) in the upper (11) or be removed from the shoe (10) completely by further disengaging the connector (40) from the pivot latch (42).

[0017] A first embodiment of the first connecting member (30) comprises a base plate (302), a fastening lug (304) and a retaining head (306). The base plate (302) is securely attached to the upper (11). In practice, the base plate (302) can be selectively secured to the outer surface of the upper (11) or the inner surface of the upper (11). The base plate (302) can also be covered by the upper (11). The fastening lug (304) is integrally formed on the base plate (302) and extends out from the upper (11). The retaining head (306) is integrally formed at an outer end of the fastening lug (304).

[0018] The second connecting member (32) includes a connecting arm (322), at least one notch (324) and a tab (326). The connecting arm (322) is pivotally connected to the counter portion (20). Each notch (324) is defined in the connecting arm (322) and corresponds to the fastening lug (304). The tab (326) extends perpendicularly out from the top of the connecting arm (322).

[0019] With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, when the counter portion (20) is connected to the upper (11) by means of the pivot pin (406) pivotally fitted in the pivot socket of the pivot latch (42), the second connecting member (32) catches with the fastening lug (304). Consequently, the counter portion (20) is detachably connected with the upper (11) and the sole (12) to be a typically integrated shoe.

[0020] With reference to FIG. 3, when a user wants to open the counter portion (20) of the shoe (10), the second connecting member (32) on the counter portion (20) can be easily pulled up to release the second connecting member (32) from the fastening lug (304) of the first connecting member (30). Thus the counter portion (20) is then pivotally opened, and a foot (not shown) of the user can be easily removed from or inserted into the shoe (10). In addition, the counter portion (20) can be completely detached from the sole (12) to change the style of the shoe (10) to a “mule” or “clog” style shoe.

[0021] In addition, with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, a wing plate (34) is secured to each respective side of the counter portion (20) and is detachably connected to each respective side of the upper (11). At least one button is mounted between each respective wing plate (34) and the upper (11). Each button comprises a male element (35) secured on the wing plate (34) and a female element (352) secured on the upper (11) and corresponding to the male element (35). With the arrangements of the buttons, the wing plates (34) are respectively detachably connected to the opposite sides of the upper (11) to cover the pivotal device and the fastener. Accordingly, the appearance of the shoe (10) is improved and versatile by means of the arrangements of the wing plates (34). Furthermore, an auxiliary fastener (36) is mounted between the top of each respective side of the counter portion (20) and the top of the corresponding side of the upper (11). The auxiliary fastener (36) can keep the top of the counter portion (20) from turning outward relative to the upper (11).

[0022] With reference to FIG. 4, a second embodiment of the first connecting member (50) of the fastener has a base plate (502) selectively attached to an outer surface, an inner surface of the upper (11) or inside the upper (11). A socket (504) is defined in one side of the base plate (502). A resilient pushing block (506) is formed on the base plate (502). The second embodiment of the second connecting member (52) is selectively attached to the outer surface, inner surface of the counter portion (20) or inside the counter portion (20). Each second connecting member (52) has a base plate (522) that can be connected to the counter portion (20). A plug (524) is formed on one side of the base plate (522) and exposed from the counter portion (20). A resilient block (526) is formed on the plug (524). When the plug (524) is inserted into the socket (504) in the corresponding first connecting member (50). The resilient block (526) will engage with the socket (504). When the user pushes the resilient pushing block (506) from the outer surface of the upper (11), the resilient block (526) will disengage from the socket (504).

[0023] With reference to FIG. 5, a third embodiment of the first connecting member (60) of the fastener has a base (602) attached to the upper (11). An engaging member (604) with teeth is pivotally mounted on the base (602) with a pivot pin (not shown). An adjusting member (606) with teeth is pivotally connected to the base (602) with a pivot pin (not shown). A spring (not shown) is mounted on each pivot pin to push the corresponding member (604, 606) to the base (602).

[0024] A second connecting member (62) is a strap (622) with multiple teeth (624) formed on one side of the strap (622). When the second connecting member (62) is inserted into the first connecting member (60) and the teeth on the engaging member (604) engage with the teeth (624) on the strap (622), the second connecting member (62) securely engages with the first connecting member (60). The opening (111) in the upper (11) is closed with the counter portion (20). When the adjusting member (606) is pulled, the teeth on the adjusting member (606) will engage with the teeth (624) on the strap (622). The strap (622) is pushed to move relative to the base (602) so the engagement between the second connecting member (62) and the first connecting member (60) is tightened.

[0025] In practice, two fasteners are respectively mounted at two sides between the counter portion (20) and the upper (11) to detachably attach the counter portion (20) to the upper (11) as shown in FIG. 6. The fasteners can be locking arm fasteners, clip fasteners, belt fasteners and so on shown in FIGS. 1, 4 and 5. Each fastener can have a structure the same as or different from that of the other fastener.

[0026] With the counter portion (20), when a wearer's feet become uncomfortable due to being enclosed in the shoes (10) for a long time, the second connecting members (32,52,62) are easily released from the first connecting members (30,50,60) by hand. The counter portion (20) is then pivotally opened or completely detached from the upper (11), whereby the feet are vented and relaxed. In addition, for a pair of laced up shoes (10) with counter portions (20), it is convenient for a person to put on or take off the shoe (10) without having to tie or untie the laces.

[0027] Even though numerous characteristics and advantages of the present invention have been set forth in the foregoing description, together with details of the structure and function of the invention, the disclosure is illustrative only, and changes may be made in detail, especially in matters of shape, size, and arrangement of parts within the principles of the invention to the full extent indicated by the broad general meaning of the terms in which the appended claims are expressed.