Title:
Link shoelace replacement
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A shoe link for maintaining opposite sides of an upper portion of a shoe having opposite openings therethrough in a chosen spaced relationship comprises: a first lateral member having opposite end portions each of which is adapted to extend through and be held in one of the opposite openings in the top portion of the shoe and having an arched central portion which extends over a foot in the shoe. A method of using the shoe link to facilitate convenient insertion and removal comprising the steps of: removing the shoelace extending between and through openings in opposite sides of the upper portions of the shoe; providing a shoe link having a first lateral member having opposite ends each of which is adapted to extend through and be held in one of the opposite openings in the top portion of the shoe and having an arched central portion which extends over a foot in the shoe; and, securing the opposite ends of the shoe link between and through the openings in the opposite sides of the upper portion of the shoe.



Inventors:
Mc Fee, Brian F. (Canon City, CO, US)
Application Number:
10/156287
Publication Date:
12/04/2003
Filing Date:
05/29/2002
Assignee:
MC FEE BRIAN F.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
36/1
International Classes:
A43C11/16; A43C11/22; (IPC1-7): A43C11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BAYS, MARIE D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
G.F. Gallinger (Colorado Springs, CO, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A shoe link for maintaining opposite sides of an upper portion of a shoe having opposite openings therethrough in a chosen spaced relationship comprising: a first lateral member having opposite end portions each of which is adapted to extend through and be held in one of the opposite openings in the top portion of the shoe and having an arched central portion which extends over a foot in the shoe; so that convenient mounting and removal of the shoe on the foot is facilitated.

2. A shoe link as in claim 1 wherein opposite end portions of the first lateral member are removably secured in position in the openings of the top portion of shoe the by screws and nuts.

3. A shoe link as in claim 2 wherein the lateral member is made of anodized aluminum.

4. A shoe link as in claim 2 wherein the openings in the shoe have a generally upright axis and wherein the opposite ends of the lateral member are adapted to lie beneath the top portion of the shoe and wherein the shoe link further comprises two screws each attached to opposite end portions of said lateral member and each extending up through the openings in the top portion of the shoe along the axis and wherein the shoe link further comprises two nuts adapted to mate with the screws.

5. A shoe link as in claim 4 further comprising an ornament which is attached to a top portion of the nut.

6. A shoe link as in claim 5 wherein the ornament has a skull shape.

7. A shoe link as in claim 2 wherein the openings in the shoe have a generally upright axis and wherein the opposite ends of the lateral member are adapted to lie on and above the top portion of the shoe and wherein each end portion has an upright internally threaded opening therein and wherein the shoe link further comprises two threaded bolts adapted to be received in opposite end portions of said lateral member so that the bolts can be inserted up through the openings where they can be received in the opposite end portions of the lateral member.

8. A shoe link as in claim 2 wherein the openings in the shoe have an axis which is generally planar with an interior edge portion of one of the opposite sides of the upper portion of the shoe and wherein the link further comprises a second lateral member having opposite ends which are adapted to extend through one of the openings and attach to the first similarly shaped lateral member.

9. A shoe link as in claim 8 further comprising a bolt used to attach end portions of the first and second similarly shaped lateral members together.

10. A method of maintaining a laced shoe in a semi-closed position to facilitate convenient insertion and removal comprising the steps of: removing the shoelace extending between and through openings in opposite sides of the upper portions of the shoe; providing a shoe link having a first lateral member having opposite ends each of which is adapted to extend through and be held in one of the opposite openings in the top portion of the shoe and having an arched central portion which extends over a foot in the shoe; and, securing the opposite ends of the shoe link between and through the openings in the opposite sides of the upper portion of the shoe; so that convenient mounting and removal of the shoe on the foot is facilitated.

11. A method as in claim 11 wherein opposite end portions of the first lateral member are removably secured in position in the openings of the top portion of shoe by screws.

12. A method as in claim 11 wherein the lateral member is made of anodized aluminum.

13. A method as in claim 11 wherein the openings in the shoe have a generally upright axis and wherein the opposite ends of the lateral member are adapted to lie beneath the top portion of the shoe and wherein the shoe link further comprises two threaded studs each attached to opposite end portions of said lateral member and each extending up through the openings in the top portion of the shoe along the axis and wherein the shoe link further comprises a nut adapted to mate with the stud.

14. A method as in claim 13 further comprising an ornament which is attached to a top portion of the nut.

15. A method as in claim 14 wherein the ornament has a skull shape.

16. A method as in claim 17 wherein the openings in the shoe have a generally upright axis and wherein the opposite ends of the lateral member are adapted to lie on and above the top portion of the shoe and wherein each end portion has an upright internally threaded opening therein and wherein the shoe link further comprises two threaded bolts adapted to be received in opposite end portions of said lateral member so that the bolts can be inserted up through the openings where they can be received in the opposite end portions of the lateral member.

17. A method as in claim 11 wherein the openings in the shoe have an axis which is generally planar with an interior edge portion of one of the opposite sides of the upper portion of the shoe and wherein the link further comprises a second lateral member having opposite ends which are adapted to extend through one of the openings and attach to the first similarly shaped lateral member.

18. A method as in claim 17 further comprising a bolt used to attach end portions of the first and second similarly shaped lateral members together.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to an apparatus and method of holding and spacing opposite sides of an upper portion of a shoe over a user's foot. More particularly this invention relates to a decorative link which replaces laces in shoes.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Teen age skateboarders commonly designate a pair of rubber soled shoes for use with their skateboard. The laces in that designated pair of shoes are then permanently tied in a loosely closed position. This loosely closed position maintains the shoes on their feet while riding the skateboard and also allows them to slip into and wear the shoes without tying them each time they are worn.

[0003] Many older and less flexible and dexterous older individuals similarly choose to tie their shoes in a semi-closed position which accommodates slipping on the shoes without bending over and tying them on their feet each time the shoes are worn. When shoes are worn in a loosely closed position there is additional wear on the laces. It is necessary to more frequently replace the laces.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

[0004] It is an object of this invention to disclose a convenient method of maintaining nominally laced shoes in a semi-closed position which allows the shoes to be slipped on and off without tying or untying them. It is a further object of this invention to disclose an attractive and rugged link which replaces laces in shoes. Unlike loosely tied laces the links do not wear out or work out of a preferred spacing into a position wherein the top portion of the shoe is excessively spaced. It is a final object of this invention to disclose a means of distinctively ornamenting shoes.

[0005] One aspect of this invention provides for a shoe link for maintaining opposite sides of an upper portion of a shoe having opposite openings therethrough in a chosen spaced relationship. The shoe link comprises: a first lateral member having opposite end portions each of which is adapted to extend through and be held in one of the opposite openings in the top portion of the shoe and having an arched central portion which extends over a foot in the shoe. Convenient mounting and removal of the shoe on the foot without having to tie and untie laces is thereby facilitated.

[0006] In a preferred aspect of this invention the opposite end portions of the first lateral member are removably secured in position in the openings of the top portion of shoe the by screws and nuts.

[0007] A method of maintaining a laced shoe in a semi-closed position to facilitate convenient insertion and removal comprising the steps of: removing the shoelace extending between and through openings in opposite sides of the upper portions of the shoe; providing a shoe link having a first lateral member having opposite ends each of which is adapted to extend through and be held in one of the opposite openings in the top portion of the shoe and having an arched central portion which extends over a foot in the shoe; and, securing the opposite ends of the shoe link between and through the openings in the opposite sides of the upper portion of the shoe. As above convenient mounting and removal of the shoe without having to tie and untie laces is thereby facilitated.

[0008] Various other objects, advantages and features of this invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

FIGURES OF THE INVENTION

[0009] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a shoe wherein the shoelace is replaced by links.

[0010] FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of the style of link shown in the lower top portion of the shoe in FIG. 1. The link shown in FIG. 2 comprises an optional decorative skull which is not shown in FIG. 1.

[0011] FIG. 3 is an alternate embodiment of a shoe link. This embodiment of the shoe link must be positioned prior to engagement of a foot in the shoe.

[0012] FIG. 4 is an enlarged exploded perspective view of the link extending between opposite loops shown in the upper portion of the shoe in FIG. 1.

[0013] FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view, showing an arched central portion of the link as viewed along line 5-5 on FIG. 4.

[0014] The following is a discussion and description of the preferred specific embodiments of this invention, such being made with reference to the drawings, wherein the same reference numerals are used to indicate the same or similar parts and/or structure. It should be noted that such discussion and description is not meant to unduly limit the scope of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0015] Turning now to the drawings and more particularly to FIG. 1 we have a perspective view of a shoe 18 wherein the shoelace 16 is replaced by shoe links 20. FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of the style of link 20 shown in the lower top portion of the shoe 18 in FIG. 1. The shoe link maintains opposite sides 14 of an upper portion of a shoe 18 having opposite openings 12 therethrough in a selected spaced relationship. The shoe link 20 comprises: a first lateral member 22 having opposite end portions 26 each of which is adapted to extend through and be held in one of the opposite openings in the top portion of the shoe 18. The shoe link 18 has an arched central portion 24 which extends over a foot (not shown) in the shoe 18 so that convenient mounting and removal of the shoe 18 on the foot (not shown) is facilitated.

[0016] Most preferably opposite end portions 26 of the first lateral member 22 are removably secured in position in the openings 12 of the top portion of the shoe 18 by screws 28 and nuts 30. And most preferably the lateral member 22 is made of anodized aluminum.

[0017] FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of the style of link 20 shown in the lower top portion of the shoe 18 in FIG. 1. This link 20 is used only where the openings 12 in the shoe 18 have a generally upright axis 34 and wherein the opposite ends 26 of the lateral member 22 are adapted to lie beneath the top portion of the shoe 18. This style of link 22 comprises two screws 28, or more preferably threaded studs 29 each attached to opposite end portions of said lateral member 22 and each extending up through the openings 12 in the top portion of the shoe 18 along the axis 34. The shoe link 20 further comprises a nut 30 adapted to mate with the threaded studs 29. In a preferred embodiment of the invention an ornament 31 which is preferably has a skull shape 32 is attached to a top portion of the nut 30.

[0018] FIG. 3 is an alternate embodiment of a shoe link 20. This embodiment of the shoe link 20 must be positioned in the shoe 18 prior to engagement of a foot (not shown) in the shoe 18. This style of a shoe link 20 is used where the openings 12 in the shoe 18 have a generally upright axis 34, The opposite ends 26 of the lateral member 22 are adapted to lie on and above the top portion of the shoe 18. Each end portion 22 has an upright internally threaded opening 13 therein. The shoe link 20 further comprises two threaded bolts 36 adapted to be received in opposite end portions of said lateral member 22 so that the bolts 36 can be inserted up through the openings 12 where they can be received in the opposite end portions 26 of the lateral member 22.

[0019] FIG. 4 is an enlarged exploded perspective view of the link 20 extending between opposite loops 10 shown in the upper portion of the shoe 18 in FIG. 1. FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view, showing an arched central portion 24 of the link 22 as viewed along line 5-5 on FIG. 4. The style of a shoe link 20 shown in FIG. 4 is used where the openings 12 in the shoe 18 have an axis 35 which is generally planar with an interior edge portion 13 of one of the opposite sides 14 of the upper portion of the shoe 18. This style of shoe link 20 further comprises a second lateral member 23 having opposite ends which are adapted to extend through one of the openings 12 and attach to the first similarly shaped lateral member 22. Most preferably a bolt 38 is used to attach end portions 26 of the first lateral member 22 and second similarly shaped lateral member 23 together.

[0020] A method of maintaining a nominally laced shoe 18 in a semi-closed position to facilitate convenient insertion and removal comprising the steps of: removing the shoelace 16 extending between and through openings 12 in opposite sides 14 of the upper portions of the shoe 18. A shoe link 20 having a first lateral member 22 having opposite ends 26 each of which is adapted to extend through and be held in one of the opposite openings 12 in the top portion of the shoe 18 has an arched central portion which extends over a foot in the shoe 18 is provided. Finally, the opposite ends 26 of the shoe link 22 are secured between and through the openings 12 in the opposite sides 14 of the upper portion of the shoe 18; so that convenient mounting and removal of the shoe 18 on the foot (not shown) is facilitated.

[0021] It is contemplated that shoe links 20 of varying lengths will be sold so that users can choose what spacing they wish maintained between opposite sides 14 of an upper portion of a shoe 18.

[0022] While the invention has been described with preferred specific embodiments thereof, it will be understood that this description is intended to illustrate and not to limit the scope of the invention, which is defined by the following claims.