Title:
SHOELACE LOCKDOWN SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is a shoe having a lace lockdown system. In particular, the shoe comprises a sole attached to an upper. A lace threaded about the upper has a pull tab with a first piece of hook and loop material attached to the lace. A corresponding second piece of hook and loop material is connected to the shoe. Once the lace is tightened, the first piece of hook and loop material is coupled to the second piece of hook and loop material to secure the lace.



Inventors:
Wiper, Anne (Broomfield, CO, US)
Application Number:
10/905368
Publication Date:
07/06/2006
Filing Date:
12/30/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43C11/00
View Patent Images:
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20070251123Improved ShoesNovember, 2007Lian



Primary Examiner:
BAYS, MARIE D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Holland & Hart LLP (Salt Lake City, UT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A shoe, comprising: a sole; an upper coupled to the sole; a throat arranged in the upper; a tongue attached to the upper and traversing the throat; at least one lace, the at least one lace traversing the throat; a first piece of hook and loop material coupled to the at least one lace; a second piece of hook and loop material coupled to the tongue; and the first piece of hook and loop material to releasably couple to the second piece of hook and loop material to secure the at least one lace.

2. The shoe of claim 1, further comprising a pull tab coupled to the at least one lace and wherein the first piece of hook and loop material resides on the pull tab.

3. The shoe of claim 2, wherein the at least one lace is a continuous loop lace.

4. The shoe of claim 2, further comprising a cord lock coupled to the at least one lace.

5. The shoe of claim 4, wherein the cord lock defines a loop in the at least one lace and the pull tab is coupled to the at least one lace about the loop.

6. The shoe of claim 1, wherein the second piece of hook and loop material is coupled to the tongue about a centerline of the shoe.

7. A shoe, comprising: a sole; an upper coupled to the sole, the upper having a centerline; at least one lace, the at least one lace traversing the centerline of the upper; a first piece of hook and loop material coupled to the at least one lace; a second piece of hook and loop material coupled to the upper; and the first piece of hook and loop material to releasably couple to the second piece of hook and loop material to secure the at least one lace.

8. The shoe of claim 7, wherein the upper further comprises: a throat substantially about the centerline of the upper; and a tongue traversing the throat.

9. The shoe of claim 8, wherein the second piece of hook and loop material is coupled to the tongue of the upper.

10. The shoe of claim 7, wherein the second piece of hook and loop material is coupled to the centerline of the upper.

11. The shoe of claim 7, wherein the second piece of hook and loop material is coupled to the upper such that the second piece of hook and loop material is not aligned with the centerline of the upper.

12. The shoe of claim 7, further comprising a pull tab coupled to the at least one lace and wherein the first piece of hook and loop material resides on the pull tab.

13. The shoe of claim 7, wherein the at least one lace is a continuous loop lace.

14. The shoe of claim 12, further comprising a cord lock coupled to the at least one lace.

15. The shoe of claim 14, wherein the cord lock defines a loop in the at least one lace and the pull tab is coupled to the at least one lace about the loop.

16. A method of wearing a shoe, the method comprising the steps of: placing a shoe on a foot of a wearer; orienting a cord lock into a first position such that a lace threaded through the cord lock can be moved; pulling on a pull tab coupled to the lace to tighten the shoe about the foot of the wearer; orienting the cord lock into a second position such that friction resists movement of the lace threaded through the cord lock; and releasably securing the pull tab to the shoe.

17. The method of claim 16, further comprising the steps of: unsecuring the pull tab from the shoe; orienting the cord lock into the first position such that the lace can be moved; un-tightening the shoe; and removing the shoe from the foot of the wearer.

18. The method of claim 16, wherein the releasably securing step comprises engaging a first piece of hook and loop material to a corresponding second piece of hook and loop material.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to footwear and, more particularly, a shoelace lockdown system.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Most comfortable fitting performance shoes fit snuggly on the foot of a person. To enhance the fit to an individual foot, many shoes comprise laces The laces assist the shoe fit snuggly to the foot during use, but allow the shoe to be loosened such that the shoe can be removed or put on the foot relatively easily.

Laces increase the ability of generic performance shoes to fit different individuals, but may provide a tripping hazard, get caught in equipment, are unsightly, etc. because a portion of the lace frequently can move or “flop around” during use.

Thus, it would be desirous to provide a shoelace lockdown system to inhibit the ability of laces to move during use, but not greatly inconvenience a wearer when they wish to remove the shoes.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a shoe having lace lockdown system. The shoe comprises a sole and an upper attached to the sole. At least one lace threaded to the upper has a first piece of hook and loop material coupled to the lace. A second (and corresponding) piece of hook and loop material is coupled to the shoe. The first piece of hook and loop material can be releasably coupled to the second piece of hook and loop material to secure the lace.

The foregoing and other features, utilities and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following more particular description of a preferred embodiment of the invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the present invention, and together with the description, serve to explain the principles thereof. Like items in the drawings are referred to using the same numerical reference.

FIG. 1 is a top side elevation of a shoe constructed in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 2 is a diagram of a lace consistent with an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention will now be described with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2. Referring first to FIG. 1, a top side elevation view of a shoe 100 is shown. Shoe 100 includes a sole 102 and an upper 104. Sole 102 and upper 104 form an internal cavity 106 to accept a user's foot and an external portion 108. Upper 104 has a throat 110. A tongue 112 traverses throat 110 and is attached to upper 104 by a seam 114 at a toe box portion 116 of shoe 100. Seam 114 could be any conventional seam or connection, such as, for example, a stitch, a heat fusion seam, or the like.

Upper 104, typically, has two symmetrical boarders 118 outlining throat 110. Eyelets or loops 120 are conventionally connected to boarders 118. One or more laces 122 traverse throat 110 by threading through loops 120 in a zigzag pattern. Attached to tongue 112 is a patch of hook or loop material 124. While shown located substantially about a centerline 128 of shoe 100, material 124 could be located off the centerline as desired.

FIG. 2 shows a continuation of the lace 122 from FIG. 1. Lace 122 is shown as a continuous loop lace having a cord lock 202 and a pull tab 204. Lace 122 is treaded through a pair of holes 210 in cord lock 202. Lace 122 is threaded through a channel 212 in pull tab 204. Cord lock 202 and pull tab allows a user to tighten lace 122 by pulling pull tab 204 in a direction 206 while cord lock 202 moves in direction 208, at least relative to pull tab 204. While a number of conventional cord locks are possible, cord lock 202 as shown works by allowing movement of lace 122 when cord lock is oriented perpendicular to a longitudinal axis of lace 122 and resisting movement when cord lock 202 is oriented at something other than a 90 degree angle.

Once tightened, a relatively free moving loop 216 results. Loop 216 comprises lace 122 extending from one hole 210 of cord lock 202 to the other hole 210 of cord lock 202 and includes pull tab 204. Conventionally, as mentioned in the background of the invention above, loop 216 is free moving. Pull tab 204, however, has a patch of hook and loop material 214 corresponding to the patch of hook and loop material 124 located on tongue 112 of shoe 100. Material 124 and material 214 can be releasably attached to secure or lock loop 216 in place. While it is believed material 124 should be placed about the centerline of shoe 100, material 124 could optionally be placed elsewhere on the upper as shown by patch 124o.

Using the above configuration, after the laces are tightened, lace 122 can be locked in place by attaching material 124 and 214. To loosen laces 122, material 124 and 214 are separate and the throat loosened in a conventional manner.

While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to an embodiment thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various other changes in the form and details may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.