Title:
Interchangeable athletic shoe cover pad
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An athletic shoe system includes an athletic shoe having an upper, one or more insert pads attached to a region of the upper, and one or more cover pads having substantially the same dimensions as at least one of the insert pads. Each of the one or more insert pads includes a first part of a releasable attachment system. Further, each of the one or more cover pads includes a second part of the releasable attachment system on a lower surface and an ornamental decoration on an upper surface. The cover pads are arranged to be releasably attached to the one or more insert pads using the releasable attachment system. Accordingly, an ornamentation of the athletic shoe is customized by interchanging the cover pad(s) releasably attached to the athletic shoe.



Inventors:
James, Steve Anthony (Houston, TX, US)
Application Number:
10/888623
Publication Date:
01/13/2005
Filing Date:
07/09/2004
Assignee:
JAMES STEVE ANTHONY
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
36/71, 36/136
International Classes:
A43B3/24; (IPC1-7): A43B19/00; A43B5/00; A43B23/00
View Patent Images:
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20160007676MULTIFUNCTIONAL OUTDOOR SHOEJanuary, 2016Leimer et al.
20120272547FOOTWEAR WITH IMPROVED SOLE ASSEMBLYNovember, 2012Borel et al.
20130081303ORTHOPEDIC CUSHIONING DEVICEApril, 2013Zubizarreta et al.
20080127526ORTHTIC DEVICE AND METHOD FOR PROVIDING STATIC AND DYNAMIC STABILITY TO THE MEDIAL ARCH AND SUBTALAR BONE COMPLEXJune, 2008Spicer
20140259750AIR-CUSHIONED HEEL WITH BREATHING FUNCTIONSeptember, 2014Yeh
20140041260BOOT WITH SLEEVE TO ACCOMODATE INTERCHANGEABLE DECORATIVE INDICIAFebruary, 2014Jewell et al.
20150282561SOLE FOR PRONATION CONTROLOctober, 2015Swager Van



Primary Examiner:
MOHANDESI, JILA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STEVE A. JAMES (HOUSTON, TX, US)
Claims:
1. An athletic shoe system, comprising: an athletic shoe having an upper; at least one insert pad attached to a region of the upper, the at least one insert pad comprising a first part of a releasable attachment system; and at least one cover pad having substantially the same dimensions as the at least one insert pad, wherein the at least one cover pad comprises a second part of the releasable attachment system and is arranged to be releasably attached to the at least one insert pad using the releasable attachment system.

2. The athletic shoe system of claim 1, wherein the releasable attachment system comprises: an adhesive attachment system; and an interlock attachment system.

3. The athletic shoe system of claim 2, wherein the adhesive attachment system comprises: a first adhesive strip attached to a perimeter of an upper surface of the at least one insert pad; and a second adhesive strip attached to a perimeter of a lower surface of the at least one cover pad and arranged to be adhesively attached to the first adhesive strip.

4. The athletic shoe system of claim 2, wherein the interlock attachment system comprises: at least one insert channel attached to an upper surface of the at least one insert pad; and at least one stud attached to a lower surface of the at least one cover pad and arranged to be interlockingly attached to the at least one insert channel.

5. The athletic shoe system of claim 2, wherein the adhesive attachment system is a hook and loop fastener system.

6. The athletic shoe system of claim 2, wherein the interlock attachment system is a slot and track fastener system.

7. The athletic shoe system of claim 2, wherein the interlock attachment system is a press and lock fastener system.

8. The athletic shoe system of claim 2, wherein the interlock attachment system is formed of one selected from a plastic material and a rubber material.

9. The athletic shoe system of claim 1, wherein the first part of the releasable attachment system comprises: an adhesive strip attached to a perimeter of an upper surface of the at least one insert pad; and at least one insert channel attached to an upper surface of the at least one insert pad.

10. The athletic shoe system of claim 1, wherein the second part of the releasable attachment system comprises: an adhesive strip attached to a perimeter of a lower surface of the at least one cover pad; and at least one stud attached to a lower surface of the at least one cover pad.

11. The athletic shoe system of claim 1, wherein the at least one insert pad comprises a backing having an upper surface, and wherein the first part of the releasable attachment system is attached to the upper surface.

12. The athletic shoe system of claim 11, wherein the backing is formed of one selected from a flexible synthetic rubber material or a flexible synthetic plastic material.

13. The athletic shoe system of claim 1, wherein the at least one cover pad comprises a backing having a lower surface, and wherein the second part of the releasable attachment system is attached to the lower surface.

14. The athletic shoe system of claim 13, wherein the backing comprises an upper surface having an ornamental decoration.

15. The athletic shoe system of claim 14, the backing comprising: a first layer having the ornamental decoration; and a second layer having the second part of the releasable attachment system, wherein the second layer is juxtaposed to and attached to the first layer.

16. The athletic shoe system of claim 15, wherein the first layer is formed of a synthetic leather material.

17. The athletic shoe system of claim 15, wherein the second layer is formed of one selected from of a flexible synthetic plastic material and a flexible synthetic rubber material.

18. An athletic shoe set, comprising: a plurality of cover pads; a pair of athletic shoes, each athletic shoe comprising: an upper; and at least one insert pad attached to a region of the upper and having substantially the same dimensions of at least one of the cover pads, wherein the at least one insert pad of each of the pair of athletic shoes is arranged to be releasably attached to at least one cover pad of the plurality of cover pads.

19. The athletic shoe set of claim 18, wherein each cover pad of the plurality of cover pads comprises a unique ornamental decoration, and wherein an ornamentation of athletic shoe set is changed by replacing the cover pad attached to the at least one insert pad of at least one athletic shoe of the pair of athletic shoes with another cover pad of the plurality of cover pads.

20. The athletic shoe set of claim 19, wherein each of the at least one insert pads comprises: an adhesive strip attached to a perimeter of the at least one insert pad; and at least one insert channel attached to a surface of the at least one insert pad.

21. The athletic shoe set of claim 20, wherein each cover pad of the plurality of cover pads comprises: an adhesive strip attached to a perimeter of the at least one cover pad; and at least one stud attached to a surface of the at least one cover pad.

22. The athletic shoe set of claim 21, wherein the adhesive strip of each of the at least one insert pads is releasably attachable to the adhesive strip of at least one cover pad of the plurality of cover pads, and wherein the at least one insert channel of each of the at least one insert pads is releasably attachable to at least one stud of at least one cover pad of the plurality of cover pads.

23. A method for ornamenting an athletic shoe, comprising: releasably attaching a first cover pad having an first ornamental decoration to an insert pad disposed on the athletic shoe, wherein releasably attaching the cover pad comprises: interlockingly attaching the cover pad to the insert pad using a interlock attachment system; and adhesively attaching the cover pad to the insert pad using an adhesive attachment system.

24. The method of claim 23, wherein an ornamentation of the athletic shoe is changed by replacing the first cover pad with the first ornamental decoration with a second cover pad having a second ornamental decoration.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/485,819 filed on Jul. 9, 2003.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

1. Technical Field

The invention relates generally to shoes having ornamental, or decorative, uppers in which all or part of the ornamentation is interchangeable.

2. Background Art

Over the years, athletic shoes have grown in popularity such that they currently form a multi-billion dollar industry. In many cases, consumers purchase athletic shoes not for their athletic use, but, rather, as a matter of personal style and fashion. Accordingly, athletic shoes are available in a wide variety of styles, colors, and designs, thereby allowing a consumer to purchase shoes that match or accent a particular outfit.

In a wardrobe, a consumer typically possesses many outfits, each having a different style, color, and/or design. Thus, in order to ensure that one's shoes match or accent all of the outfits in one's wardrobe, a consumer is often forced to purchase several pairs of shoes. Consequently, because a single pair of athletic shoes is typically expensive, purchasing enough pairs of shoes to complement one's wardrobe can become very costly for the consumer.

Accordingly, it would be desirable to provide an athletic shoe system in which a consumer could customize an appearance of an athletic shoe to match or accent outfits having differing styles, colors, and/or designs. Advantageously, with such a system, a consumer would be able to purchase fewer pairs of athletic shoes for his wardrobe, thereby minimizing a percentage of one's budget that is spent on shoes.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

According to one aspect, an athletic shoe system comprises an athletic shoe having an upper; at least one insert pad attached to a region of the upper, the at least one insert pad comprising a first part of a releasable attachment system; and at least one cover pad having substantially the same dimensions as the at least one insert pad, wherein the at least one cover pad comprises a second part of the releasable attachment system and is arranged to be releasably attached to the at least one insert pad using the releasable attachment system.

According to another aspect, an athletic shoe set comprises a plurality of cover pads; a pair of athletic shoes, each athletic shoe comprising: an upper; and at least one insert pad attached to a region of the upper and having substantially the same dimensions of at least one of the cover pads, wherein the at least one insert pad of each of the pair of athletic shoes is arranged to be releasably attached to at least one cover pad of the plurality of cover pads.

According to another aspect, a method for ornamenting an athletic shoe, comprises releasably attaching a first cover pad having an first ornamental decoration to an insert pad disposed on the athletic shoe, wherein releasably attaching the cover pad comprises: interlockingly attaching the cover pad to the insert pad using a interlock attachment system; and adhesively attaching the cover pad to the insert pad using an adhesive attachment system.

Other aspects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description and the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1a and 1b show views of an athletic shoe in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 2a, 2b, 2c, and 2d show views of a cover pad in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 3a and 3b show views of an assembly of an athletic shoe system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 4a and 4b show interlock techniques of an athletic shoe system in accordance with the present invention.

FIGS. 5a and 5b show views of athletic shoe systems in accordance with alternate embodiments of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Embodiments of the present invention will now be described with reference to the above drawings. Like references are used in the figures to represent like elements.

Embodiments of the present invention relate to a method and apparatus for providing an athletic shoe with an interchangeable cover pad. Embodiments of the present invention further relate to an athletic shoe system in which an appearance of an athletic shoe may be customized.

In one aspect, the present invention relates to an athletic shoe system in which an appearance of an athletic shoe may be customized using a plurality of cover pads having differing, or unique, ornamentations. Each cover pad is provided with a part of a releasable attachment system which allows the cover pad to be releasably attached to the athletic shoe. Attached to the athletic shoe is an insert pad having another part of the releasable attachment system, to which the cover pad may be releasably attached. Advantageously, by interchanging the cover pad attached to the athletic shoe with another of the plurality of cover pads, the appearance, or ornamentation, of the athletic shoe may be altered, or customized. Thus, a consumer may purchase a minimum of athletic shoe sets, or pairs of athletic shoe systems, required to customize a wardrobe.

FIGS. 1a and 1b show views of an athletic shoe (10) in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. In FIG. 1a, a side perspective view of the athletic shoe (10) is shown, and, in FIG. 1b, a rear perspective view of the athletic shoe (10) is shown.

Referring to FIG. 1a, an athletic shoe (10) includes a sole (14) and an upper (12) attached to the sole (16). Further, attached to a side region of the upper (12) is an insert pad (16). The insert pad (16) includes a backing (22) having an upper surface and a lower surface. On the upper surface of the backing (22), an adhesive strip (18) is attached to a perimeter of the insert pad (16), and insert channels (20) are attached inside the perimeter. Together, the adhesive strip (18) and the insert channels (20) form a first part of a releasable attachment system. Further, the lower surface of the backing (22) is attached to a region of the upper (12). In some embodiments, the backing (22) is formed of a semi-rigid material, such as a flexible synthetic plastic or a flexible synthetic rubber. Advantageously, over time and throughout use of the athletic shoe (10), the insert pad (16) may substantially retain its shape, thereby facilitating attachment of a cover pad. However, those skilled in the art will appreciate that alternate materials may be used to form the backing (22) without departing from the scope of the invention.

Note that, although the insert pad (16) is shown to have three insert channels (20) in FIG. 1a, those skilled in the art will appreciate that an alternate number of insert channels (20) may be used without departing from the scope of the invention. Further, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the dimensions of the insert pad (16) and/or placement of the insert pad (16) on the upper (12) may be altered without departing from the scope of the invention. In particular, an insert pad (16) may encompass a smaller or larger region of the upper (12) and/or be placed in an alternate location, such as a toe region of the upper (12). In addition, the athletic shoe (10) may include as many insert pads (16) as necessary to desirably customize the ornamentation. For example, in some embodiments, insert pads (16) are included on both a left side and a right side of the athletic shoe (10).

Note that, as mentioned above, the insert pad (16) is attached to the upper (12) of the athletic shoe (10), rather than incorporated into the upper (12). Advantageously, the insert pad (16) may be fabricated separately from the athletic shoe (10) and attached to the athletic shoe (10) during a later phase of a manufacturing process. However, those skilled in the art will appreciate that, if beneficial to the manufacturing of the athletic shoe (10), the insert pad (16) may be incorporated into, rather than attached to, the upper (12). In such an embodiment, the adhesive strip (18) and insert channels (20) may be directly attached to a desired region of the athletic shoe's upper (12), rather than attached to a backing (22).

Referring to FIG. 1 b, a rear perspective view of the athletic shoe (10) is shown. Note that, in this view, only the upper (12), the sole (14), and the insert channels (20) are shown to aid in the understanding of the invention. In particular, a cross-sectional character of the insert channels (20) is visible. Further, as is also visible, embodiments of the invention include insert pads (16) on both the left side and the right side of the athletic shoe (10). However, as mentioned above, an alternate number of insert pads (16) may be used without departing from the scope of the invention.

FIGS. 2a, 2b, 2c, and 2d show views of a cover pad (24) in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. In FIG. 2a, a front view of the cover pad (24) is shown. In FIG. 2b, a back view of the cover pad (24) is shown, and, in FIGS. 2c and 2d, cross-sectional views of the cover pad (24) are shown.

Referring to FIG. 2a, a view of an upper surface of the cover pad (24) is shown. The cover pad (24) includes a backing (28) and an ornamental decoration (26) disposed on an upper surface of the backing (28). Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the ornamental decoration (28) may be of any design or conform to any standard conventional in the athletic shoe industry.

Referring to FIG. 2b, a view of a lower surface of the cover pad (24) is shown. On a lower surface of the backing (28), an adhesive strip (30) is attached to a perimeter of the cover pad (24), and studs (32) are attached inside the perimeter. Together, the adhesive strip (30) and the insert channels (32) form a second part of the releasable attachment system.

Note that, as mentioned above for the insert pad (16), although the cover pad (24) is shown to have three studs (32), an alternate number of studs (32) may be used without departing from the scope of the invention. As will be obvious to those skilled in the art, a number of studs (32) included on the cover pad (24) should equal a number of insert channels (32) included on the insert pad (16). Further, the dimensions of the cover pad (24) may be altered from the dimensions shown without departing from the scope of the invention. As will be obvious to those skilled in the art, the dimensions of the cover pad (24) should be substantially the same as the dimensions of the insert pad (16) in order to facilitate mating of the adhesive strips (18, 30). As will also be obvious to those skilled in the art, the placement of the studs (32) on the backing (28) is such that mating with the insert channels (20) is facilitated.

Referring to FIG. 2c, a cross-sectional view of the cover pad (24) is shown. In particular, a cross-sectional character of the backing (28), the adhesive strip (30), and the insert channels (32) is visible.

Referring to FIG. 2d, a cross-sectional view of the backing (28) is shown. The backing (22) includes a first layer (28a) and a second layer (28b). The first layer (28a) forms an upper portion of the backing (22), and, thus, includes the ornamental decoration (26). The second layer (28b) forms a lower portion of the backing (22), and, thus, includes the second part of the releasable attachment system. In some embodiments, the first layer (28a) is formed of a material similar to that used to form a region of the upper (12) surrounding the insert pad (16), such as a synthetic leather.

Further, in some embodiments, the second layer (28b) is formed of a semi-rigid material, such as a flexible synthetic plastic or a flexible synthetic rubber. Advantageously, because the backing (28b) is formed of first and second layers (28a, 28b) in the manner described above, the cover pad's (24) outer surface may match the athletic shoe's (10) appearance when attached, while, throughout use of the athletic shoe (10), the cover pad (24) may substantially retain its shape, thereby facilitating attachment to the insert pad (16). Although synthetic leather, plastic, and rubber have been described above as being used to form the layers (28a, 28b) of the backing (22), those skilled in the art will appreciate that alternate materials may be used without departing from the scope of the invention.

FIGS. 3a and 3b show views of an assembly of an athletic shoe system (34) in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. In FIG. 3a, a side perspective view of the assembly of the athletic shoe system (34) is shown, and, in FIG. 3b, a rear perspective view of the assembly of the athletic shoe system (34) is shown.

Referring to FIG. 3a, the cover pad (24) is shown in the process of being attached to the athletic shoe (10). Note that, as is visible, only a portion of the cover pad (24) is shown in the figure in order to facilitate understanding of the invention. Further, note that, the manner and position in which the cover pad (24) is depicted are meant only to show the placement of the cover pad (24) with respect to the insert pad (16) and not to imply any manner of attaching the cover pad (24) to the insert pad (16).

Referring again to FIG. 3a, an athletic shoe system (34) is shown to include the athletic shoe (10), the insert pad (16), and the cover pad (24). When attached to the athletic shoe (10), the cover pad (24) is aligned with the insert pad (16) such that lower surface of the cover pad's backing (28) faces the upper surface of the insert pad's backing (22). Further, the cover pad's adhesive strip (30) is mated with the insert pad's adhesive strip (10) such that the adhesive strips (30, 18) are adhesively attached. Accordingly, together, the adhesive strips (30, 18) form an adhesive attachment system. In addition, the cover pad's studs (32) are aligned with the insert pad's insert channels (20). As is described below for FIGS. 4a and 4b, in some embodiments, the studs (32) and the insert channels (20) are interlockingly attached, or interlocked, thereby forming a interlock attachment system.

In some embodiments, the adhesive attachment system is a hook and loop fastener system where one of the adhesive strips (18, 30) is formed from a material having a series of hooks, while the other of the adhesive strips (18, 30) is formed from a material having a series of loops. One example of a hook and loop fastener system that may be used in embodiments of the present invention is Velcro®. In such a system, the adhesive strips (18, 30) may be sewn and/or bonded respectively onto the insert pad (16) and cover pad (24). However, those skilled in the art will appreciate that other manners of attachment may be used in attaching the adhesive strips (18, 30). Those skilled in the art will also appreciate that alternate adhesive attachment systems may be used without departing from the scope of the invention. One such system is a magnetic attachment system. In addition, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the aforementioned adhesive attachment systems or any alternate adhesive attachments systems may be combined to form an adhesive attachment system within the scope of the invention.

Further, in some embodiments, the interlock attachment system is a slot and track fastener system where the studs (32) are formed as tracks designed to slidably interlock with corresponding slots formed by the insert channels (20). In some embodiments, the interlock attachment system may be formed from a material such as rubber or plastic. In alternate embodiments, either the insert channels (20) or the studs (32) may be formed from rubber, while the other of the two is formed from plastic. In such systems, the insert channels (20) and the studs (32) may be respectively bonded onto the insert pad (16) and cover pad (24). However, those skilled in the art will appreciate that other manners of attachment may be used in attaching the insert channels (20) and the studs (32). Those skilled in the art will also appreciate that alternate materials may be used to formed one or more of the insert channels (20) and/or studs (32). Further, those skilled in the art will appreciate that alternate interlock attachment systems may be used without departing from the scope of the invention. One such system is a press and lock fastener system in which the studs (32) are pressably locked into the insert channels (20). Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the aforementioned interlock attachment systems or any alternate interlock attachments systems may be combined to form an interlock attachment system within the scope of the present invention.

Referring to FIG. 3b, a rear perspective view of the cover pad (24) in the process of being attached to the athletic shoe (10) is shown. As is mentioned above for FIG. 3a, the manner and position in which the cover pad (24) is depicted are meant only to show the placement of the cover pad (24) with respect to the insert pad (16) and not to imply any manner of attaching the cover pad (24) to the insert pad (16). Further, in this view, only portions of the cover pad (24) and the athletic shoe (10) are shown to facilitate understanding of the invention. In particular, a cross-sectional character of the insert channels (20) and the cover pad's studs (24) is shown. Accordingly, an alignment for interlocking, or releasably attaching, the studs (24) and the insert channels (20) together is visible in this view.

FIGS. 4a and 4b show views of slot and track interlock techniques in accordance with embodiments of the present invention. In FIG. 4a, a first slot and track interlock technique is shown, and, in FIG. 4b, a second slot and track interlock technique is shown.

Referring to FIG. 4a, a cross-sectional view of the athletic shoe system (34) is shown, depicting the first interlock technique for the cover pad (24) and the insert pad (16). In particular, the cover pad (24) is provided with L-shaped studs (32) that are designed to interlock with correspondingly L-shaped insert channels (20). Accordingly, the studs (32) and insert channels (20) may be aligned in the manner shown, after which, the studs (32) may be pressed into the insert channels (20) and the cover pad (24) slid along the insert pad (16) until the perimeters formed by the adhesive strips (30, 18) are substantially aligned.

Referring to FIG. 4b, a cross-sectional view of the athletic shoe system (34) is shown, depicting the second interlock technique for the cover pad (24) and the insert pad (16). In particular, the cover pad (24) is provided with T-shaped studs (32) that are designed to interlock with correspondingly T-shaped insert channels (20). Accordingly, the studs (32) and insert channels (20) may be aligned in the manner shown, after which, the studs (32) may be pressed into the insert channels (20) and the cover pad (24) slid along the insert pad (16) until the perimeters formed by the adhesive strips (30, 18) are substantially aligned.

Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the interlock techniques depicted in FIGS. 4a and 4b may be combined together and/or with any other slot and track interlock techniques common in the art without departing from the scope of the invention. Further, as mentioned above, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the slot and track interlock techniques described may be combined or replaced with other interlock techniques common in the art.

Note that, by providing both an adhesive attachment system and an interlock attachment system in the releasable attachment system, the present invention ensures that the cover pad (24) may be securely attached to the insert pad (16). Advantageously, during use of the athletic shoe (10), a consumer may be assured that the cover pad (24) will remain attached to the athletic shoe (10), and, thus, not be lost.

Further, note that, although the insert pad's insert channels (20) and the cover pad's studs (32) depicted in FIGS. 1 a, 2b, and 3a are shown to have a substantially linear shape and uniform alignment, alternate shapes and/or alignment patterns may be used for the insert channels (20) and studs (32) without departing from the scope of the invention. In some embodiments, such alternate shapes and/or alignment patterns may be used to accommodate alternate interlock techniques and/or to maximize the effectiveness of the abovementioned interlock techniques. Further, in some embodiments, such alternate shapes and/or alignment patterns may be used to facilitate manufacturing of the athletic shoe system. Embodiments of athletic shoe systems using such alternate shapes and alignment patterns are depicted in FIGS. 5a and 5b.

Referring to FIG. 5a, an athletic shoe system (36) having an athletic shoe (38) and a cover pad (44) is shown. Attached to the athletic shoe (38) is an insert pad (40), where insert channels (42) are attached to an upper surface of the insert pad (40). Also, attached to an upper surface of the cover pad (44) are corresponding studs (46). As can be seen in FIG. 5a, both the insert channels (42) and studs (46) are curved in shape and are arranged in a zigzag pattern. In reference to the curved shape, those skilled in the art will appreciate that curved insert channels (42) and studs (46) may be used in either the slot and track or press and lock interlock systems mentioned above to more securely attach the cover pad (44) to the insert pad (40). Further, in reference to the zigzag alignment pattern, those skilled in the art will appreciate that such an alignment of the insert channels (42) and studs (46) may also increase the security of the cover pad's (44) attachment to the insert pad (40).

Referring to FIG. 5b, an athletic shoe system (48) having an athletic shoe (50) and a cover pad (56) is shown. Attached to the athletic shoe (50) is an insert pad (52), where insert channels (54) are attached to an upper surface of the insert pad (52). Also, attached to an upper surface of the cover pad (56) are corresponding studs (58). As can be seen in FIG. 5b, both the insert channels (54) and studs (58) are cylindrical in shape and are arranged in a grid pattern. In reference to the cylindrical shape, those skilled in the art will appreciate that cylindrical insert channels (54) and studs (58) may work well in a press and lock interlock system such as mentioned above. Further, in reference to the grid alignment pattern, those skilled in the art will appreciate that such an alignment of the insert channels (54) and studs (58) may be used to increase the security of the cover pad's (44) attachment to the insert pad (40).

Advantages of the present invention may include one or more of the following. In one or more embodiments, because an athletic shoe having an insert pad including a first part of a releasable attachment system is provided with a plurality of interchangeable cover pads each including a second part of a releasable attachment system, an appearance, or ornamentation, of the athletic shoe may be altered, or customized.

In one or more embodiments, because an insert pad is attached to an upper of an athletic shoe, rather than incorporated in the upper, the insert pad may be fabricated separately from the athletic shoe and attached to the athletic shoe during a later phase of a manufacturing process.

In one or more embodiments, because a releasable attachment system of an athletic shoe system is provided with both an adhesive attachment system and an interlock attachment system, a cover pad attached to an insert pad of the athletic shoe may remain securely attached throughout use of the athletic shoe.

While the invention has been described with respect to a limited number of embodiments, those skilled in the art, having benefit of this disclosure, will appreciate that other embodiments can be devised which do not depart from the scope of the invention as disclosed herein. Accordingly, the scope of the invention should be limited only by the attached claims.





 
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