Title:
Inerchangeable shoe ensemble
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An interchangeable shoe ensemble includes a base member, or sole, having snaps secured along its periphery and positioned for snap fitting engagement with corresponding snaps on a removable strap. The strap is provided having a silk-screened design provided on its upper surface for aesthetic purposes. The configuration of the shoe lends itself to quick and efficient replacement of the strap where, for example, an alternative strap design is desired.



Inventors:
Barteet, Dominique M. (Palm Beach Gardens, FL, US)
Application Number:
10/263179
Publication Date:
04/08/2004
Filing Date:
10/03/2002
Assignee:
BARTEET DOMINIQUE M.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B3/10; A43B3/24; (IPC1-7): A43B3/24
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20050241186Thermoplastic printed film innersole for shoesNovember, 2005Mulligan et al.
20060107551OutsoleMay, 2006Teng
20080083134Rope retainerApril, 2008Lin
20020069556Fastening system for shoesJune, 2002Paxton
20080019119Footwear Illumination AssemblyJanuary, 2008Marston
20090224908Battery-less emergency distress signal and position indication broadcasting methods and devicesSeptember, 2009Rastegar et al.
20080289219ADJUSTABLE FOOTWEAR SOLE CONSTRUCTIONNovember, 2008Nakano
20050138841Sole structure of working shoeJune, 2005Wu
20080216351Shoe with lacing systemSeptember, 2008Carroll et al.
20080148607Crease prevention shoe insertJune, 2008Spar et al.
20090000153Ventilated FootwearJanuary, 2009Grimmeisen



Primary Examiner:
BAYS, MARIE D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Feldman Gale, P.A. (Miami, FL, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A footwear assembly, comprising: a base member in the form of a human foot and generally defined by upper and lower surfaces separated by a peripheral edge, the peripheral edge including a front surface, a rear surface, a left surface and a right surface; an upper member releasably attachable to said base member proximate to the front surface thereof, the upper member having an upper surface and a lower surface; and decorative indicia provided on the upper surface of said upper member, wherein, a foot-receiving opening is defined between the upper surface of said base member and the lower surface of said upper member.

2. A footwear as recited in claim 1, further comprising fastening means for enabling said releasable attachment of said upper member to said base member.

3. A footwear as recited in claim 2, wherein said fastening means further comprise: at least one pair of snaps attached to and extending from the right and left peripheral edge surfaces of said base member; and at least one pair of snap-receiving members attached to the lower surface of said upper member and corresponding to said base member snaps.

4. A footwear as recited in claim 1, wherein said decorative indicia further comprises a silk-screened design.

5. A footwear as recited in claim 2, wherein said decorative indicia further comprises a silk-screened design.

6. A footwear as recited in claim 3, wherein said decorative indicia further comprises a silk-screened design.

7. A footwear as recited in claim 2, wherein said fastening means further comprises one half of a hook-and-loop fastener system attached to the lower surface of said upper member, and a corresponding other half of a hook-and-loop fastener system attached to the right and left surfaces of said base member.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates generally to footwear having removable components and, more particularly, to shoes and sandals having removable and interchangeable upper members to provide for design and aesthetic flexibility.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] In the field of footwear, a variety of shoes and sandals are known in the prior art that are designed to serve more than a single purpose. In fact, myriad footwear accessories have been developed to expand the range of usage of shoes and sandals. For example, removable coverings are known for sandals, wherein the coverings are provided for the purpose of protecting the feet of a wearer during inclement weather conditions. Likewise coverings have been developed for dress shoes for the purpose of protecting the shoes from mud, snow, salt, rain and other undesirable matter. Additionally, a variety of insulating auxiliary accessories have been developed to keep the feet warm in cold environments. All of the aforementioned footwear innovations have generally been geared towards providing adaptability for changing environmental-related conditions; however, they are not geared toward enhancing fashion and aesthetic variety.

[0005] Still other shoes and sandals have been developed to having removable components with an eye toward functional enhancement. With regard to men's shoes, these functional enhancements have primarily been directed toward providing removable components related to the sole portion in order to controllably vary shoe traction. For instance, it is known to provide men's dress shoes with interchangeable sole portions for use during icy or wet conditions, in order to provide improved traction. Similarly, it is known to provide athletic shoes having replaceable cleat members for use during baseball, golf, and other sports-related activities. With regard to women's shoes, it is known to provide a replaceable high heel such that the shoe or sandal is compatible for either formal use or informal everyday usage.

[0006] Thus, the interchangeable components of existing footwear have been primarily directed to providing either protection from environmental conditions or, alternatively, varying functionality. However, the aforementioned footwear does not provide for interchangeable footwear components specifically directed toward enabling a wearer to alter the aesthetic appearance of a shoe or sandal. Accordingly, it would be desirable to provide a shoe or sandal having an interchangeable upper member that facilitates substantial aesthetic flexibility without affecting the functionality of the shoe or sandal.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] The present invention is directed to an interchangeable shoe ensemble configured to provide a shoe or sandal having easily interchangeable upper portions or straps to provide for substantial design and aesthetic flexibility.

[0008] It is an object of the present invention to provide an interchangeable shoe ensemble designed to provide a practical shoe having a convenient and easily replaceable upper member.

[0009] A further object of the present invention is to provide an interchangeable shoe ensemble that permits a wearer to substantially alter the appearance of the shoe ensemble with minimal effort and cost.

[0010] An additional object of the present invention is to provide an interchangeable shoe ensemble facilitating the discarding and replacement of an upper member to keep up with current design trends and fashions.

[0011] A further object of the present invention is to provide an interchangeable shoe ensemble wherein the upper portion can be easily discarded and replaced after it is worn out, broken, or otherwise unusable.

[0012] In a first general aspect of the invention, and interchangeable shoe ensemble includes a base member, an upper strap member releasably attachable to the base member proximate to a front surface thereof, and decorative indicia provided on the upper surface of the upper strap member.

[0013] In another aspect of the invention, a snap fit fastener system is employed for enabling releasable attachment of opposite left and right sides of the strap to corresponding left and right sides of the base member.

[0014] In another aspect of the invention, the decorative indicia are provided by silk screening designs upon an upper exposed surface of the upper strap member.

[0015] These and other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become more readily apparent from the attached drawings and the detailed description of the preferred embodiments, which follow.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016] The preferred embodiments of the invention will hereinafter be described in conjunction with the appended drawings provided to illustrate and not to limit the invention, where like designations denote like elements, and in which:

[0017] FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of the interchangeable shoe ensemble of the present invention with the strap removed;

[0018] FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the strap of the interchangeable shoe ensemble of the present invention;

[0019] FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of the interchangeable shoe ensemble showing only one side of the upper portion secured to the sole; and

[0020] FIG. 4 is a front perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the interchangeable shoe ensemble in its fully assembled configuration in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

[0021] Like references numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views of the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0022] Shown throughout the figures, the present invention is generally directed to footwear, and particularly shoes and sandals, incorporating an interchangeable upper member to provide a wearer with substantial design and aesthetic flexibility.

[0023] Referring initially to FIG. 4, an interchangeable shoe ensemble, shown generally as reference numeral 10, is illustrated in a fully assembled state. The footwear is preferably in the form of a shoe or sandal and includes a base member 20 having a detachable upper member 30.

[0024] Referring now to FIGS. 1-4, base member 20 is generally defined by upper and lower surfaces, 22 and 24, respectively, separated by contiguous right 23, left 25, front 26 and rear 28 peripheral surfaces.

[0025] As illustrated in the accompanying figures, the thickness of base member 20 may vary lengthwise, in order to provide a raised heel design. Alternatively, the interchangeable shoe ensemble of the present invention can incorporate a relatively flat or planar base member. The base member 20 can be constructed from any known materials generally used in footwear construction such as polymer compositions, rubbers, foams, and wood, to name just a few. Mechanical snap fit members 40 are provided attached to and extending outwardly from right and left peripheral surfaces, 23 and 25, respectively. The snap fit members 40 can be attached to the base member using rivets, adhesives and any other fastening means known. As further described below, the base member snap fit members 40 are configured for releasable snap-fit engagement with corresponding snap-fit members 42 of upper member 30.

[0026] Upper member 30 is preferably provided in the form of a band or strap configured for attachment to the base member 20, as will be described in further detail below. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the upper member 30 has a rectangular shape generally defined by lower and upper surfaces, 32 and 34, respectively, separated by contiguous rear 33, front 35, left 36 and right 38 peripheral sides. However, it should be apparent to those skilled in the art of footwear that various alternative upper member shapes and geometries could be employed without departing from the scope of the invention. Snap fit members 42, corresponding to respective base member snap fit members 40, are provided attached to the lower surface 32 of upper member 30. Snap fit members 42 can be attached to upper member 30 using rivets, adhesives and any other means of attachment known. In this manner, when upper member 30 is snap fittingly attached to base member 30, it provides a means for securing the ensemble 10 to the foot (not shown) of a wearer. That is, toes and front portion of the wearer's foot are received through an opening defined between the lower surface 32 of upper member 30 and upper surface 22 of base member 20.

[0027] Although it is preferred to use a mechanical snap system as shown in the accompanying illustrations, it will be appreciated that a variety of alternative means are available for providing the aforementioned releasable attachment of the upper member 30 to the base member 20. For example, alternatives to the illustrated mechanical snap fit system can include hook-and-loop type fasteners, and button and slot systems. However, it is desirable that the fastening means employed enables quick and easy replacement of the upper member 30.

[0028] The upper portion 30 of the interchangeable shoe ensemble 10 will preferably include decorative indicia 37 thereupon so as to provide an aesthetically pleasing and fashionable look to the shoe ensemble 10. The decorative indicia 37 will preferably be disposed on the upper surface 34 of the upper member 30. Any of a wide variety of means may be utilized to place decorative indicia 37 on the upper portion 30 without departing from the present invention. In a most preferred embodiment, the decorative indicia will be applied using known silk screening technology. Alternatively, the decorative indicia 37 may be formed directly onto leather by any of a wide variety of techniques well known in the art. Since the upper member 30 is quickly and easily replaceable, it is seen that the wearer can replace the upper portion 30 as often as desired to keep up with current trends and fashions.

[0029] Since many modifications, variations, and changes in detail can be made to the described preferred embodiments of the invention, it is intended that all matters in the foregoing description and shown in the accompanying drawings be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense. Thus, the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalence.