Title:
Flip- flop shoe and method of making same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A flip-flop shoe comprising a base having a foot engagement body joined to the base, and having combined ribbon strips tied and adhered to the foot engagement body, and coated in a hairspray. A method of making a flip-flop shoe comprising providing a base and providing a foot engagement body and joining the foot engagement body to the base, and providing combined ribbon strips and tying the combined ribbon strips to the foot engagement body with knots, and applying an adhesive to the knots and coating the combined ribbon strips with a hairspray, and trimming the combined ribbon strips.



Inventors:
Sussman, Carole (Boca Raton, FL, US)
Cunningham, Kathryn (Jupiter, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/371832
Publication Date:
09/28/2006
Filing Date:
03/09/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B13/28
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KAVANAUGH, JOHN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CAROLE SUSSMAN (BOCA RATON, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A shoe comprising: a base a foot engagement body joined to and extending from the base; a ribbon tied to the foot engagement body with a knot to join the ribbon and foot engagement body; and an adhesive applied to the knot to prevent the knot from unraveling.

2. The shoe according to claim 1 wherein the adhesive is waterproof.

3. The shoe according to claim 1 further comprising a hairspray applied to the ribbon after it has been tied to the foot engagement body.

4. The shoe according to claim 1 wherein the knot has a smooth surface and the base has a foot contact side and the smooth surface of the knot faces the foot contact side such that the smooth surface of the knot provides for a comfortable shoe.

5. The shoe according to claim 2 wherein the adhesive is clear when dried.

6. A shoe comprising: a base having a foot engagement body that is joined to the base and extends from the base, ribbons stacked on top of one another to form combined ribbon strips and the combined ribbon strips tied to the foot engagement body with knots for joining the ribbons and foot engagement body; and an adhesive applied to the knots to prevent the knots from unraveling.

7. The shoe according to claim 6 wherein the adhesive is waterproof and wherein the adhesive is clear when dried.

8. The shoe according to claim 7 further comprising a hairspray applied to the combined ribbon strips after they have been tied to the foot engagement body.

9. The shoe according to claim 6 wherein the knots have smooth surfaces and the base has a foot contact side, and the smooth surfaces of the knots face the foot contact side such that the smooth surfaces of the knots contact a foot when the shoe is worn and the smooth surfaces provide for increased comfort.

10. The shoe according to claim 5 wherein the number of ribbons in the combined ribbon strips is three.

11. The shoe according to claim 6 wherein the number of ribbons in the combined ribbon strips is greater than two, and the ribbons have different widths and different lengths.

12. The shoe according to claim 6 wherein each of the ribbons in the combined ribbon strip has a different width, length and texture.

13. A method of making a shoe comprising: providing a base and providing a foot engagement body and joining the base and foot engagement body; providing ribbons and stacking the ribbons on top of one another to form combined ribbon strips; tying the combined ribbon strips to the foot engagement body with knots; applying an adhesive to the knots to prevent the knots from unraveling; and spraying the combined ribbon strips with a hairspray so that the combined ribbon strips remain stiff.

14. The method according to claim 13 wherein the adhesive is waterproof and wherein the adhesive is clear when dried.

15. The method according to claim 13 further including providing each of the knots with smooth surfaces and providing the base with a foot contact side and tying the knots such that the smooth surfaces of the knots face the foot contact side so that the shoe is comfortable to wear.

16. The method according to claim 13 comprising selecting the number of ribbons for each combined ribbon strip to be three.

17. The method according to claim 13 comprising selecting the number of ribbons for each combined ribbon strip to be greater than two and selecting the ribbons to have different widths and different lengths and trimming the ribbons after the hairspray dries.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/660,292, filed Mar. 10, 2005, to Sussman et al. for a Flip-Flop Shoe and Method of Making Same.

BACKGROUND

Many people wear open air shoes, especially in the summer months. In some geographic areas, warm weather allows use of such open air shoes and sandals year round.

One type of open air shoe is commonly known as a “flip-flop” shoe. Almost everyone has seen such shoes, and one such flip-flop shoe is shown in FIG. 1, which is a prior art shoe 18 as noted in drawing FIG. 1. The shoe 18 has a base 20 that is typically formed from a soft plastic material. The base 20 has a foot contact side 22 and a ground contact side 24. Extending from and joined with the base 20 is a foot engagement body 26 comprising a toe portion 28 and first and second arch portions, 30,32, respectively. The toe portion 28 and first and second arch portions, 30,32, respectively, meet and are joined with one another at junction 34, as shown in FIG. 1.

To use the flip-flop, the wearer inserts her or his big toe and adjacent toe (toes not shown) into the flip-flop 18, such that the big toe and adjacent toe surround the sides of the toe portion 28. The first and second arch portions, 30,32, respectively, fit over the wearer's foot, such that when she or he walks the flip-flop shoes 18 are lifted off the ground.

However, such flip-flop shoes are not without drawbacks. For example, small children oftentimes prefer to run about without any shoes on, and will not wear flip-flop shoes to protect their feet. As a result, feet can be exposed to dangerous objects, for example glass and nails, and thus injury may result. In addition, even if flip-flop shoes are worn, they offer little protection from feet becoming sunburned, being bitten by insects, and the environment. Thus, there is a need for a better shoe that protects the foot and that increases the likelihood that people will wear their shoes.

SUMMARY

The present invention is for a flip-flop shoe having a foot engagement body to which are joined bundles of ribbons. In particular, in one of the preferred embodiments, three separate ribbons are provided and are layered to form a stack of ribbons, or a combined ribbon strip. A plurality of combined ribbon strips are tied or joined to the first and second arch portions of the foot engagement body.

A method is provided for joining the combined ribbon strips to the first and second arch portions. The method includes cutting the ribbons to a predetermined length and bringing three ribbons together to form a combined ribbon strip, tying the combined ribbon strips to the first and second arch portions of the foot engagement body with knots, applying an adhesive or glue to the knot so that it cannot unravel, allowing the adhesive or glue to dry, and cutting the individual ribbons that extend from the flip-flop shoe to a predetermined length, and spraying the combined ribbon strips with a hairspray to stiffen the ribbons.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

One of the preferred embodiments of the invention is illustrated in the drawings, in which, like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the figures of which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a prior art shoe;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the flip-flop shoe of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the flip-flop shoe of the invention showing the foot engagement body and a combined ribbon strip tied to the first arch portion of the foot engagement body;

FIG. 3A is a sectional view taken along cut line A-A of FIG. 3;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of a combined ribbon strip;

FIG. 5 is an exploded view of the combined ribbon strip showing three ribbons;

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the flip-flop shoe;

FIG. 7 is a bottom plan view of the flip-flop shoe;

FIG. 8 is a rear elevational view of the flip-flop shoe;

FIG. 9 is a front elevational view of the flip-flop shoe;

FIG. 10 is a right end elevational view of the flip-flop shoe;

FIG. 11 is a left end elevational view of the flip-flop shoe; and

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a pair of flip-flop shoes showing a left flip-flop shoe and a right flip-flop shoe.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A pair of flip-flop shoes 48 is shown in FIG. 12, and the pair of flip-flop shoes 48 comprises a right flip-flop shoe 50 and a left flip-flop shoe 52. The right flip flop shoe 50 will be described presently, with the understanding that the left-flip flop shoe 52 is made in a substantially identical manner.

The right flip-flop shoe 50 (hereinafter shoe 50) is shown generally in FIGS. 2-12. The shoe 50 comprises a base 20 that has a foot contact side 22 as shown in FIG. 2 and a ground contact side 24, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7. A surrounding sidewall 25 extends between the foot contact side 22 and the ground contact side 24, as shown in FIGS. 1-3. The ground contact side 24 can, in one of the preferred embodiments, have traction protrusions 38 formed in it, as shown in FIG. 7. The base 20 can comprise plastics, foam materials, rubber, natural products and combinations thereof.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, extending from and joined with the base 20 is a foot engagement body 26 comprising a toe portion 28 and first and second arch portions, 30,32, respectively, as shown in FIG. 3. The toe portion 28 is proximal a toe end 29 of the base 20, and the first and second arch portions, 30,32, respectively, are proximal a heel end 31 of the base 20, as shown in FIG. 3. The toe portion 28 and first and second arch portions, 30,32, respectively, meet and are joined with one another at junction 34, as shown in FIG. 3. The foot engagement body 26 can be formed as a one piece body as shown in the drawing figures, and can be made of plastic(s), rubber, organic materials and other suitable materials.

The base 20 has three openings, commonly designated 35, and the openings 35 are for receiving an end of the toe portion 28, an end of the first arch portion 30 and an end of the third arch portion 32. FIG. 3A is a sectional view taken along cut line A-A of FIG. 3, and shows the toe portion 28 extending through opening 35 from the foot contact side 22 to the ground contact side 24 of the base 20. As shown in FIG. 7 and FIG. 3A, an enlarged portion 56 is formed at the end of the toe portion 28, and similar enlarged portions 56 are formed at the ends of the first and second arch portions 30,32, respectively. The enlarged portions 56 have a diameter, designated D2 in FIG. 3A, that is greater than a diameter, designated D1 in FIG. 3A, of the openings 35. FIG. 3A also shows the enlarged portion 56 at the end of the toe portion 28 abutting against the ground contacting side 24 of the base 20, such that the enlarged portion 56 cannot be readily slid out of the opening 35. The ends of the first and second arch portions 30,32, respectively, have enlarged portions 56 as shown in FIG. 7 which prevents them from moving out of the openings 35 in the above-described manner.

The shoe 50 of the present invention comprises ribbons 60 that are joined to the foot engagement body 26, as shown in FIGS. 2, 3, and 4-11. The ribbons 60 can be variously embodied and can comprise different materials. For example, the ribbons 60 can be embodied to be any color and any pattern. The ribbons 60 can comprise fabrics, woven fabrics, nonwoven fabrics, silk, rayon; satin, cloths, plastic, natural fibers, synthetic fibers, rubber, and other suitable materials. In addition, the ribbons 60 can be embodied to have colors and can have patterns. The ribbons 60 can also be embodied to have different widths, different textures and different lengths. Thus, the ribbons 60 shown throughout the figures are for one of the preferred embodiments of the ribbons 60.

In one of the preferred embodiments, the ribbons 60 are stacked into a combined ribbon strip 62, and each combined ribbon strip 62 has three ribbons 60. These three ribbons 60 can have the same or different widths. In one of the preferred embodiments, the combined ribbon strip 62 is manually held together as a bundle, that is, the individual ribbons 60 are stacked on top of each other and manually held together.

The combined ribbon strip 62 is then wrapped around the first arch portion 30 of the foot engagement body 26 and tied in a knot 64, as shown in FIG. 3. The knot 64 thus joins the combined ribbon strip 62 to the first arch portion 30. Then, a glue or adhesive 70 is applied to the knot 64 for purposes preventing the knot 64 from unraveling. As shown in FIG. 3, after the knot 64 has been tied, the combined ribbon strip 62 has a smooth surface 61 that faces the foot contact side 22 of the shoe 50, which advantageously provides for a comfortable shoe 50, because no rugged or sharp projections from the combined ribbon strip 62 will cause injury or discomfort to a person wearing the shoe 50. In one of the preferred embodiments, the combined ribbon strips 62 are each tied to the first and second arch portions 30,32, respectively, very close to one another, such that adjacent knots 64 abut against one another.

The tying of the combined ribbons strips 62 advantageously has a doubling effect, such that after tying there are six (6) ribbons 60 that extend from the flip-flop shoe 50. The tied combined ribbon strips 62 advantageously protect the wearer's feet from the environment, the sun, rain, debris, insects, and other contaminants. In addition, because the ribbons 60 tied to each shoe 50 can be different as described above, it is easy for a shoe 50 owner to quickly locate his or her shoes 50, and this advantageously decreases the likelihood of the shoes 50 being misidentified or mistakenly taken or worn. The flip-flop shoe 50 can be advantageously washed if the adhesive or glue 70 is waterproof.

In addition, the present invention advantageously provides a method for making the shoe 50. To make the flip-flop shoe 50, the base 20 having the foot engagement body 26 joined to it is provided. Next, a plurality of different types of ribbon 60 are provided, for example, there can be between two to ten styles of colored and patterned ribbons 60 utilized. In other embodiments, more styles of ribbon 60 can be used. The process of selecting the ribbon 60 to be used with a particular pair of flip-flops shoes 50, includes matching the ribbon 60 to the specific color of the selected pair of flip-flops 50, which can be variously colored. In one of the preferred embodiments, the ribbons 60 each have a width that is between about 0.1 inches to about 0.75 inches, and a length that is about ten (10) inches. In other embodiments the ribbons 60 can have the same widths and can have various patterns and colors, and can be wider or narrower than the above described range width.

Next, three of the ribbons 60, as shown in FIG. 5, are collected and aligned with one another, to form the combined ribbon strip 62, as shown in FIG. 4. The combined ribbon strip 62 is tied tightly to the foot engagement body 26, as shown in FIG. 3. In one of the preferred embodiments, the combined ribbon strip 62 is joined to the foot engagement body 26 by a standard double knot 64, as shown in FIG. 3. In other embodiments, other knots could be utilized to tie the combined ribbon strip 62 to the foot engagement body 26, for example a square knot, and these other knots are well known to those having ordinary skill in the art.

The combined ribbon strips 62 are first tied to the first arch portion 30, with the first combined ribbon strip 62 tied such that it abuts against the foot contact side 22 of the base 20, as shown in FIG. 3. Another combined ribbon strip 62 (not shown) is tied adjacent to that, such that it abuts against the previously tied combined ribbon strip 62. The combined ribbon strips 62 are tied all along the first arch portion 30 to the junction 34, and thence along the second arch portion 32 and back to the foot contact side 22 of the base 20. Thus, a plurality of combined ribbon strips 62 are tied to the first arch portion 30 and the second arch portion 32. After the last combined ribbon strip 62 has been tied, each tied combined ribbon strip 62 abuts the adjacent combined ribbon strip 62, and all the smooth surfaces 61 of the knots 64 face the foot contact side 22 of the shoe 50. This advantageously provides for increased wearer comfort because the knots 64 will not irritate the foot of the person wearing the shoe 50.

After tying, an adhesive 70, for example glue, is applied to or introduced into each knot 64, and the adhesive secures the knot 64 and prevents it from unraveling, and further serves to join the combined ribbon strips 62 to the flip-flop shoe 50. The glue or adhesive 70 can deposited as a drop of adhesive on each knot 64. In addition, the adhesive 70 is deposited on the surfaces 31 of the first arch portion 30 and second arch portion 32, as shown in FIG. 3. The adhesive or glue 70 eliminates the possibility that the knots 64 will unravel. In one of the preferred embodiments, the glue or adhesive 70 is clear when dry to avoid a messy appearance of the shoe 50. In addition, the glue or adhesive 70 can be a waterproof glue or adhesive when it dries. Waterproof adhesives and glues are well known to those having ordinary skill in the art. This advantageously allows the shoe 50 to be worn in wet conditions.

The combined ribbon strips 62 are not tied along the toe portion 28, as placement of combined ribbon strips 62 on the toe portion 28 could potentially result in wearer discomfort. However, in another embodiment, the combined ribbon strips 62 could be tied and glued to the toe portion 28 of the foot engagement body 26 in the same manner as described above.

Next, each of the ribbons 60 is cut to a desired length with any suitable tool, for example, scissors (not shown). Then, each shoe 50 is inverted such that its ribbons 60 hang down due to gravity forces, and the flip-flop shoe 50 is shook. This achieves the fullness of the ribbons 60. Next, the ribbons 60 are sprayed with a fabric stiffening agent, such as a hair spray 68, as shown in FIG. 6. Hairspray is well known to those having ordinary skill in the art. In other embodiments, waterproof fabric stiffening sprays could be applied to the ribbons 60, such sprays well known to those having ordinary skill in the art. Then, after the hairspray 68 dries on the ribbons 60, any uneven ribbons 60 are cut to a desired length with the cutting tool.

To use the flip-flop shoe 50, the wearer inserts her or his big toe and adjacent toe (toes not shown) into the flip-flop shoe 50, such that the big toe and adjacent toe surround the sides of the toe portion 28. The flip-flop shoe 50 stays on the wearer as she or he walks due to this fit. In addition, the first and second arch portions, 30,32, respectively, fit over the wearer's foot, such that when the wearer walks in the flip-flop shoes 50 they are lifted off the ground. The combined ribbon strips 62 advantageously cover and protect the top portion of the wearer's foot. The shoe 50 invention advantageously protects the foot of the wearer from environmental factors, such as the sun and insects and increases the probability of a person purchasing the shoes because of these advantages. In addition, the shoe 50 advantageously allows the owner to quickly identify his or her shoes 50 and can be washed. All of the above advantageously entices consumers to purchase and wear the show 50.

It is to be understood that the shoe 50 shown throughout the figures is for illustrating one embodiment of the invention, but, as described above, the flip-flop shoe 50 can be variously embodied by varying the lengths, texture, colors, patterns, widths, and number ribbons 60 used. In addition, in other embodiments, the number of ribbons 60 used in each combined ribbon strip 62 can be varied to include at least two ribbons 60. In another embodiment, single ribbons 60 are individually tied to the shoe 50 in the above described manner. Therefore, the scope of this invention is broad and covers all of these various embodiments and configurations.

While the invention has been described in connection with certain embodiments, it is not intended to limit the scope of the invention to the particular forms set forth, but, on the contrary, it is intended to cover such modifications and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.