Title:
Shoe cover for transforming casual shoes into dress shoes
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention relates to a shoe cover, and more particularly relates to a cover designed to provide an ornamental facade to change the appearance of a user's shoes. In particular, the cover of the invention is designed to be used to change the appearance of casual shoes, more particularly children's casual shoes, to suitably “formal” or “dress” shoe wear, without the need for buying expensive and often uncomfortable dress shoes.



Inventors:
Marchese, Julie (Vernon Hills, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/932708
Publication Date:
03/03/2005
Filing Date:
09/02/2004
Assignee:
MARCHESE JULIE
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
36/96, 36/7.1R
International Classes:
A43B3/18; A43B3/30; A43B23/24; (IPC1-7): A43B7/14; A43B3/16; A43B3/26; A43B13/22
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BAYS, MARIE D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COOK ALEX LTD (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A shoe cover designed to mask an underlying shoe, said shoe cover comprising: a) a facade, said facade including a design material that presents the image of a dress shoe; and b) anchoring means for anchoring said shoe cover to said underlying shoe.

2. The shoe cover of claim 1 wherein said image is chosen from the group consisting of oxfords, boat shoes, mules, moccasins, loafers, wing-tips, mary-janes, and slippers.

3. The shoe cover of claim 1 wherein said design material is chosen from the group consisting of cotton, leather, suede, ultrasuede, neoprene, rubber, canvas and vinyl.

4. The shoe cover of claim 1 wherein said anchoring means comprises one or more fasteners.

5. The shoe cover of claim 4 wherein said one or more fasteners further comprise a securing means.

6. The shoe cover of claim 4 wherein said one or more fasteners is elastic.

7. The shoe cover of claim 5 wherein said securing means is Velcro® hook and loop material.

8. The shoe cover of claim 4 wherein said one or more fasteners is Velcro® hook and loop material.

9. The shoe cover of claim 1 wherein said anchoring means includes an end securing means located at the heel portion of the cover for fixing the cover to said underlying shoe.

10. The shoe cover of claim 1 wherein said anchoring means includes a top securing means located at the top portion of the cover for fixing the cover to said underlying shoe.

11. The shoe cover of claim 1 further comprising excess design material wherein said material covers at least a part of the sole of said underlying shoe.

12. The shoe cover of claim 1 further comprising means for securing said cover to said underlying shoe, said means including cinching material.

13. A shoe cover designed to mask an underlying shoe, said shoe cover comprising: a) a facade, said facade including a design material that presents the image of a dress shoe; b) a first fastener attached to said design material for anchoring said shoe cover to said underlying shoe; and c) a second fastener attached to said design material for anchoring said shoe cover to said underlying shoe; wherein said first fastener and said second fastener include securing means for attaching said first fastener to said second fastener.

14. The shoe cover of claim 13 wherein said first fastener is elastic and wherein said second fastener is elastic.

15. The shoe cover of claim 13 wherein said securing means is Velcro® hook and loop material.

16. The shoe cover of claim 13 wherein said first fastener is Velcro® hook and loop material and wherein said second fastener is Velcro® hook and loop material.

17. The shoe cover of claim 13 further comprising excess design material wherein said material covers at least a part of the sole of said underlying shoe, and wherein said excess design material further comprises cinching material attached to said excess material.

18. A shoe cover designed to mask an underlying shoe, said shoe cover comprising: a) a facade, said facade including a design material that presents the image of a dress shoe; b) excess material attached to said design portion wherein said material covers at least a part of the sole of said underlying shoe; and c) means for securing said cover to said underlying shoe, said means including cinching material attached to said excess material.

19. The shoe cover of claim 18 further comprising at least one fastener attached to said design material for anchoring said shoe cover to said underlying shoe.

20. The shoe cover of claim 18 further comprising at least one securing means for fixing the cover to said underlying shoe.

Description:

This application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. Section 119 (e) of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/499,561, titled “Shoe Cover for Transforming Casual Shoes into Dress Shoes,” filed Sep. 2, 2003, the subject of which is specifically incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to a shoe cover. More particularly, the present invention relates to a cover designed to provide an ornamental facade to change the appearance of a user's shoes. The cover of the invention is especially suitable to be used to change the appearance of casual shoes, more particularly children's casual shoes, to suitably “formal” or “dress” shoe wear, without the need for buying expensive and often uncomfortable dress shoes.

Traditional dress shoes are necessary in a variety of situations as part of a formal attire. Social custom often requires that one wear dress shoes at events such as weddings, funerals, fundraisers, religious gatherings and other occasional events. Frequently, a purchaser will buy a pair of dress shoes for a particular occurrence or event, only to find that the shoes are not useful for additional occasions. Specifically where the event requires attire that one would not wear on a daily basis, dress shoes may be required in a variety of styles and colors.

It has been found that dress shoes are often moderately to considerably expensive. This makes buying multiple pairs, such as for different events, economically disadvantageous. There is a need for a method of reducing the cost and inconvenience of purchasing and wearing dress shoes.

This dilemma is compounded when dealing with children's shoes. Not only are children often reluctant to wear formal shoes, but children's shoe sizes rapidly change as the child grows, resulting in the need for multiple pairs of shoes. A parent must be concerned with buying shoes for different occasions, as well as with buying shoes in different sizes within a relatively short time-frame. Further, the stress and strain of encouraging a child to wear uncomfortable dress shoes additionally adds to a parent's quandary. The shoe covers of the present invention address these dilemmas.

Traditional shoe covers have been created in the past to provide protection for footwear from a variety of substances including dust, charged particles, surgical byproducts, and scratches. These covers are often not aesthetically pleasing, and are designed principally to prevent infiltration of harmful substances. Traditional shoe covers are often designed for an adult foot only and are created to function as protection, as opposed to being the visual focus of the foot.

For example, several patents claim protective surgical foot covers designed to reduce the transmission of contaminants. Patents such as U.S. Pat. No. 6,209,227, Swango, et al., claim shoe covers designed primarily for use as disposable surgical articles. These covers are used to blanket as much of the wearer's foot and shoe as possible, in order to prevent contamination of both the wearer and the surrounding environment. It is not uncommon for these covers to be comprised of one or two pieces of material connected by glue or other adhesive means, with no concern as to the appearance of the cover. Instead, these covers are designed solely to protect the footwear, the wearer, and third-parties from contaminants.

By way of further example, a number of patents claim covers designed to protect a shoe from cosmetic damage. These patents, too, focus on the cover's particular functionality as a protector of the underlying shoe. The covers of these patents may extend over only part of the shoe, as in U.S. Pat. No. 5,996,258, Simmons, or may cover a wearer's entire shoe and more, as in Brandon, U.S. Pat. No. 4,918,839. While these shoe covers protect the underlying shoe from damage stemming from scratches and water, they are not cosmetic in nature and do not present the image of a traditional shoe.

In addition, the patents of the prior art often claim shoe covers made of a single, double or multiple-piece construction. Many include seams in unsightly places such as the front of the foot, to better serve their purpose of protecting the footwear. Further, as fashion is not the focus of these covers, many are loose-fitting, creating a “boot-like” appearance, regardless of the type of shoe worn underneath. While some of these patents include adhesive or other gripping material on the foot of the cover, many are not designed to be worn for extended periods of time, or in inclimate environments, making them highly impractical out of doors. These prior art shoe covers come in various forms, but none provide a shoe cover suitable for wear at more formal events. In fact, most are designed to be worn inside of a specific environment, such as a hospital, and are impractical for other uses.

It is therefore desirous to provide a shoe cover that is useful in practically any environment or occasion and transforms a wearer's shoe into the appearance of a dress or formal shoe.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a shoe cover that affords the facade of a dress shoe and may be worn in practically any environment. The cover of the present invention offers the opportunity for a wearer to be clad in the shoes of his or her choice, while at the same time maintaining a formal appearance.

A general aspect or object of the present invention is to provide a shoe cover which fits over a traditional shoe and displays the appearance of a dress or formal shoe.

Another aspect or object of this invention is to provide a shoe cover that is capable to adjust in size to fit snugly over the traditional shoe of the wearer.

Another aspect or object of the present invention is to provide a shoe cover which fits over a child's shoe to present the facade of a dress or formal shoe.

Another aspect or object of the invention is to provide a cover for a traditional shoe which does not slip off of the shoe of the wearer while in use.

Other aspects, objects and advantages of the present invention will be understood from the following description according to preferred embodiments of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a side view of a boys' wingtip shoe cover having an optional shoelace and an elastic fastener with Velcro® securing means.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the boys' wingtip shoe cover of FIG.1 with portions broken away to facilitate illustration of additional elastic fastener with securing means under the cover, at the top and heel of the cover.

FIG. 3 is a side view of a women's loafer shoe cover having an elastic fastener with Velcro® securing means.

FIG. 4 is a side view of a men's oxford shoe cover having a shoelace and two elastic fasteners with Velcro® securing means attached to the cover.

FIG. 5 is a girls' mary-jane shoe cover having cinching material, along with securing means attached to the cinching material, and further having an all-Velcro® fastener.

FIG. 6 is a girls' mary-jane shoe cover having a boot-type configuration and further having an upper securing means and an end securing means.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are described herein. However, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely illustrative of the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, numerous modifications may be made by those skilled in the art, without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention, and the specific details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting.

The shoe covers of the present invention are designed to fit snugly over the shoes of the wearer to present the appearance of a dress shoe. By placing these covers over the wearer's shoes, and securing them, the wearer may change between a more casual shoe-type, such as a sneaker, to a dress shoe, while at the same time maintaining comfort. Further, a wearer is able to convert virtually any size shoe to a dress shoe, without purchasing multiple pairs of formal footwear. The shoe covers of the present invention are disposable and reusable, come in a variety of sizes, and are adjustable, further cutting back on the costs associated with formal wear.

Preferably, the shoe cover of the present invention may be used for small children who do not wish to wear formal dress shoes. In another preferred embodiment, the present invention is useful for professionals who quickly need to convert a traditional, less formal shoe into a dress shoe.

Several types of shoes may be projected by the cover of the present invention. For example, the shoe covers may resemble men's and/or boys' leather oxfords, boat shoes, mules, moccasins, loafers and wing-tips. Alternately, as an example, the covers may resemble women's and/or girls' mary-janes, slippers, oxfords, mules, and loafers. These covers may be made of any number of fabrics, including cotton, leather, suede, ultrasuede, neoprene, rubber, canvas and vinyl. Most preferably, the shoe cover of the present invention is manufactured of inexpensive leather or vinyl.

A preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown in the attached FIG. 1. FIG. 1 shows the main portion of the shoe covers of the present invention consists of material forming the facade, or design portion, 10, of the desired type of shoe. FIG. 1 depicts a boys' wing-tip dress shoe. As shown in FIG. 1, the image of a wing-tip shoe is created by the design portion 10, which is preferably a material such as vinyl, as well as an optional shoelace 12.

The shoe cover of FIG. 1 is placed over the more casual shoe. One or more fasteners, 14, are attached to the design portion 10 and are preferably made of an elastic material. In a preferred embodiment, the design portion is pulled tightly around the shoe. The fasteners, 14, are then secured in place by one or more securing means 16, preferably made of Velcro® hook and loop-type material. It will be appreciated that the fastener 14 and securing means 16 may be of any other suitable securing material.

As shown in FIG. 2, another preferred embodiment of the shoe cover of the present invention may further include securing means 18 and 20. FIG. 2 shows the wing-tip shoe cover of FIG. 1 in greater detail. In the embodiment of FIG. 2, upper securing means 18 consists of a fastener, preferably made of elastic, found most preferably under the design material 10, but over the underlying casual shoe 40. The upper securing means 18 is attached to the design material 10 in such a manner as to provide “pull” on the design material 10 to further secure the cover to the shoe 40. Similarly, as also shown in FIG. 2, an end securing means 20, may be present. Like the upper securing means 18, the end securing means 20 generates a force on the design material 10 to secure the cover to the shoe 40.

FIG. 3 demonstrates another preferred embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 3, the shoe cover creates the facade of a women's loafer. The design material 22 in this embodiment is preferably an inexpensive leather material. A buckle 24 is further shown as part of the shoe cover. This buckle 24 may be purely ornamental, or may disguise a preferably underlying upper securing means (not shown), similar to the upper securing means 18 of FIG. 2. The cover of FIG. 3 includes two fasteners 14, preferably made of the inexpensive leather or other material of the design material 22. The fasteners 14 are anchored via securing means 16, preferably made of Velcro®. Again, it will be appreciated that a cover such as that shown in FIG. 3 may be secured to a shoe by means other than those shown.

Yet another embodiment is shown in FIG. 4. FIG. 4 shows a men's oxford shoe projected by the shoe cover of the invention. In FIG. 4, the design material 26 that makes up the cover portion is a suede or ultrasuede material. In addition to the shoelace 12 that helps make the appearance of an oxford shoe, the cover of FIG. 4 includes multiple fasteners 14, preferably made of elastic. These fasteners 14 are fixed by securing means 16 made of a material such as Velcro®. FIG. 4 shows four such fasteners 14 and securing means 16 used to anchor the cover to a shoe.

Another preferred embodiment of the shoe cover of the present invention presents the image of a girls' mary-jane shoe, as in FIG. 5. In FIG. 5, the design material 28 is preferably neoprene. In order to better provide the appearance of a mary-jane type shoe, an additional, neutral-colored material, 32, is present. Further, a strap 30 is present to also better provide the image of a mary-jane shoe. Like the buckle 24 in FIG. 3, this strap may be purely ornamental or may disguise a preferably underlying upper securing means (not shown).

FIG. 5 additionally demonstrates another means of securing the cover of the present invention to the shoe of a wearer. These means may be used in addition to, or in lieu of, other means used to secure the cover. The shoe cover of FIG. 5 possesses excess material, 34, which preferably is a continuation of the design material, 28, used to present the shoe cover image. Attached to this excess material 34 is cinching material 36. The cinching material 36 is capable of generating a force on the excess material 24 to pull the cover relatively tight around the shoe. The cinching material 36 is preferably elastic or stitching or another type of expandable material.

It will be appreciated that a shoe cover such as that in FIG. 5 may include one or more fasteners 38. These fasteners 38 may be in addition to the excess material 34 and cinching material 36, or may be used alone, as in previous embodiments. The fasteners 38 of FIG. 5 are preferably made entirely of a securing material such as Velcro®.

Yet another preferred embodiment is shown in FIG. 6. FIG. 6 demonstrates a shoe cover displaying a girls' mary-jane shoe, similar to the shoe cover in FIG. 5. However, unlike in FIG. 5, the shoe cover of FIG. 6 does not contain excess material 34 or cinching material 36 or the fasteners 38 seen on the shoe cover of FIG. 5. Instead, the shoe cover of FIG. 6 may be “stepped into,” much like a sock would be applied. Here, the design material 42 is preferably vinyl and is uniform across the sole of the shoe, forming a “pouch.” In this embodiment, the primary means of securing the cover to the underlying shoe lies in the upper securing means 18 and the end securing means 20. As there is no need for cinching material or fasteners in this embodiment, the cost associated with the shoe cover is further reduced.

The shoe covers of the present invention may combine any of the features seen in the Figures described above, provided that a shoe cover is presented that puts forward the facade of a shoe type and is secured to an underlying shoe.