Title:
Rear foot support
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A kit is provided to provide a rear foot support for shoes. The kit includes a flexible member, a removable securing mechanism, and instructions. The instructions describe the use of the flexible member and the removable securing mechanism on shoes, and they recommend the use of the same to support one of a wearer's heel or ankle to a shoe. The kit further includes packaging to contain the flexible member, the removable securing mechanism, and the instructions.



Inventors:
Zorin, Rebecca R. (Wilbraham, MA, US)
Application Number:
11/220152
Publication Date:
03/08/2007
Filing Date:
09/06/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
36/136
International Classes:
A43B3/12; A43B23/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
MOHANDESI, JILA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Manion Gaynor & Manning LLP (Boston, MA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A kit to provide rear foot support for shoes, the kit comprising: a flexible member; a removable securing mechanism including elements to removably secure a portion of the flexible member to a sole portion of a shoe; media including instructions referring to a shoe, the instructions further recommending a use of the removable securing mechanism to removably secure the flexible member to the shoe for the purpose of supporting one of a wearer's heal or ankle to the shoe; and packaging to contain the flexible member, the removable securing mechanism, and the instructions.

2. The kit according to claim 1, wherein the flexible member includes a strap.

3. The kit according to claim 2, wherein the strap includes two (2) opposing ends.

4. The kit according to claim 3, wherein the strap is a thin strap with a moderate width.

5. The kit according to claim 4, wherein the thickness of the strap is less than ⅛ inches of uniform thickness and the width of the strap is between 1 centimeter and 3 centimeters width along the length of the strap.

6. The kit according to claim 3, wherein the removable securing mechanism includes elements to removably secure each of the two opposing ends of the strap to a sole portion of a shoe.

7. The kit according to claim 6, wherein the removable securing mechanism includes first and second securing parts, the first securing part to removably secure one of the two opposing ends to one side of a bottom sole portion of the shoe, and the second securing part to removably secure the other of two opposing ends of the strap to a different portion of the shoe underneath the sole.

8. The kit according to claim 7, wherein the strap includes plastic.

9. The kit according to claim 8, wherein the strap is made of a transparent material.

10. The kit according to claim 7, including two separate lengths of straps, a first length of strap being shorter to serve as an add-on heel strap for a backless shoe, and the second length of strap being longer than the first length to serve as an add-on ankle strap for a backless shoe.

11. The kit according to claim 8, wherein the strap is colored.

12. The kit according to claim 8, wherein the strap is decorated.

Description:

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

This patent document contains information subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent, as it appears in the US Patent and Trademark Office files or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.

BACKGROUND

One or more aspects of the present disclosure may relate to shoes and to mechanisms to help hold a shoe on the foot of the person wearing the shoe.

Many shoes on the market today are backless shoes, for example, mules, slip-ons, or sandals, that have no back or rear strap to support either the ankle or the heel of the person wearing the shoe. These shoes look stylistic and aesthetically pleasing, and at the same time they are slightly less formal in appearance. A disadvantage of these shoes is that they lack support at the rear of the shoe.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a simplified drawing of a backless shoe;

FIG. 2 shows a cross section of the sole of the shoe in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is shows another type of backless shoe;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a flexible member; and

FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram of a kit to provide rear foot support for backless shoes.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to the drawings in greater detail, FIGS. 1 and 3 show examples of backless shoes. FIG. 1 shows a sandal type backless shoe, and FIG. 3 shows a mule. Each of these shoes is provided with an add-on strap 12 or 13. In FIG. 1, the add-on strap is an add-on heel strap 12. In FIG. 3, the add-on strap is an add-on ankle strap 13.

Each of the add-on straps shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 serves as a flexible member. In the illustrated embodiments, that member includes, in each example, two opposing ends. Each of the two opposing ends is removably or repositionably secured to the underside of the outsole of the shoe.

More specifically, referring to FIG. 1, a backless shoe 10 is provided, which, in the illustrated embodiment, is a sandal type shoe. The illustrated shoe 10 includes an outsole 16, an upper 14, an insole 17, and a heel 18. An add-on heel strap 12 is removably secured to a portion of the outsole 16 underneath the shoe, at a location near heel 18. More specifically, add-on heel strap 12 includes a pair of opposing ends, and each of those ends is removably secured to a location underneath the outsole 16.

FIG. 2 is a cross section of the sole of the illustrated shoe 10, and shows the manner in which the pair of opposing ends 15 of the illustrated add-on heel strap 12 may be removably secured to the underneath portion of outsole 16. As shown in FIG. 2, each of opposing ends 15 of the illustrated add-on heel strap 12 is provided with an adhesive 19 that removably secures the respective opposing ends 15 to the underneath portion of outsole 16 of the shoe.

While the shoe in FIG. 1 is a sandal, it may be any type of backless shoe, including a mule, a slip-on type shoe, or a sandal, wherein the shoe is without a back or rear strap providing support to either the ankle or the heel of the person wearing the shoe. Accordingly, while the add-on heel strap 12 is provided on a sandal type backless shoe 10 in FIG. 1, and an add-on ankle strap 13 is provided on a mule 10a as shown in FIG. 3, those straps may be interchanged, or provided on other types of backless shoes (or on any type of shoe for which additional support may be desired).

FIG. 3 shows an example of a backless shoe (a mule type shoe in the illustrated embodiment) provided with an add-on ankle strap 13. The add-on ankle strap 13 serves as a flexible member which is removably secured to a sole portion of shoe 10a. In the illustrated embodiment, the flexible member is removably secured to the underneath of the outsole of the illustrated shoe. More specifically, the flexible member, in the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 3, includes a strap. Generally, in embodiments herein, the strap is a thin strap (for example, less than ⅛ of an inch thick), and is of a moderate width (e.g., between 1 centimeter and 3 centimeters). The length of the respective straps 12 and 13 will depend upon the individual wearing the shoe, and whether or not the strap is configured as a heel strap 12 or an ankle strap 13. In the illustrated embodiments, the straps 12 and 13 are made of plastic, and the plastic has some elasticity to it to accommodate movement of the person's ankle or heel.

As shown in FIG. 3, the illustrated mule type backless shoe 10a includes an upper 14a, an outsole 16a, an insole 17a, and a heel 18a.

The flexible member removably secured to the shoe, may be a strap 20, for example, as shown in FIG. 4. Alternatively, other types of flexible members may be used. For example, the flexible member may be a web-like material that wraps around the heel of the person wearing the shoe.

In the embodiment shown herein, and as specifically shown in FIG. 4, a strap 20 is provided, which generally is in the shape of an elongated flat member having a uniform width and thickness along its length. Strap 20, includes, in the specific embodiment shown, two opposing ends. Alternatively, a strap may be provided which has no ends, but rather is a loop, where a portion of the loop is removably secured to underneath the shoe, in a manner similar to that described above with respect to FIGS. 1-3.

The strap 20 shown in FIG. 4 includes, at each opposing end, a repositionable adhesive 22, covered by a liner 24. When a user wishes to removably secure each of the opposing ends of strap 20 to a position underneath a shoe, the liner 24 is removed at each end of the strap 20 and the strap is affixed or removably secured to the location underneath shoe by pressing the repositionable adhesive 22 portion of the strap to the position to which it is to be secured underneath the shoe.

In one embodiment, a kit is provided which provides rear foot support for backless shoes, and the kit includes a flexible member, for example, as described above, and a removable securing mechanism (for example, including a repositionable adhesive) for removably securing a portion of the flexible member to a sole portion of a shoe. In addition, such a kit may include instructions describing the type of shoe to which the strap can affixed, and recommending the use of a removable securing mechanism to attach the flexible member for purposes of supporting one of a wearer's heel or ankle to a backless shoe. In addition, the kit will likely include packaging to contain all of the other elements of the kit.

As specifically shown in FIG. 5, such a kit may include a strap 40 kept in a rolled or folded manner, a booklet of instructions 42, a repositionable adhesive tape strip 35, and a permanent adhesive element 44.

As noted above, the illustrated kit is provided within packaging 36, and the illustrated strap 40 is included in the kit in the form of a bulk folded strap or roll. In use, the bulk strap 40 can be cut. Optionally, the kit can include enough bulk strap material 40 to allow a user make more than one strap for more than one shoe, and/or to customize a given strap for a given shoe, for example, by cutting bulk strap material 40 to a specific desired length.

Alternatively, the kit could include two straps, including a first shorter strap for an add-on heel strap, such as the add-on heel strap 12 shown in FIG. 1, and a longer strap for use as an add-on ankle strap such as the add-on ankle strap 13 shown in FIG. 3. When any strap is affixed to the shoe, it can be affixed at a position underneath the outsole of the shoe further away from the heel to provide a tighter fit, or closer to the heal to provide a looser fit.

The illustrated kit further includes a repositionable adhesive tape strip 35, which, in the illustrated embodiment, includes a tape substrate 34, upon which is provided a repositionable adhesive material 32. A liner 30 is positioned over the top of repositionable adhesive 32, to protect the repositionable adhesive, while the tape strip is in packaging 36. Permanent adhesive 44 includes, in the illustrated embodiment, a bottle of adhesive 46 and a spray bottle of an activator 48. In use, in order to provide removable securing mechanisms to the opposing ends of a given strap, a portion may be cut from the repositionable adhesive tape strip 35 and placed at each of the opposing ends of a given strap, by permanently affixing the clean side of tape substrate 34 to the corresponding opposing ends of the strap. By way of example, this can be done by applying adhesive 46 to the cut smaller piece of tape substrate 34, and then spraying the activator 48 onto the permanent adhesive 46, before affixing the tape strip potion to the intended opposing end of the strap.

A booklet 42 of instructions, or instructions in any other tangible media form, will typically be provided along with packaging 36 for such a kit. Optionally, the instructions can be affixed on or somehow integrated with packaging 36, or the instructions 42 could be provided as a separate piece of media. Instructions 42 may include such information as the description of the type of shoe for which the kit is intended, specifically, backless shoes, and a recommended use of the repositionable securing elements. Such a recommended use may be for the purpose of attaching a flexible member to a rear portion of a shoe to allow support of a wearer's heel or ankle to a shoe, which may be a backless type of shoe.

The strap material can include a flexible plastic material, and can be made of a clear plastic. If a strap is made of a clear plastic, the surface of the plastic may be matted or dull, and the strap can be thin enough and narrow enough so that it will be less visible to observers, allowing the person wearing the shoe to have a pair of shoes that still appear to be in conformance with a backless style. In other words, people may not notice that the person wearing the shoes has an add-on heal or ankle strap. The strap may also be colored or decorated.

The permanent adhesive may include a two part adhesive, such as the 2P-10 Ten Second Adhesive Kit provided by FastCap, or that provided by the ITW Chemtronics Circuitworks® Quick-Bond Gel Adhesive Kit, which provides a strong, fast bonding adhesive for rubber, metal, or plastic. Each of these kits comes in two parts, including an adhesive and an accelerator. Alternatively, for example, the permanent adhesive may include the 3M Automix Quick Fix Adhesive Kit, which is a cyanoacrylic adhesive kit used to bond rubber, metal, and plastic. The kit includes an accelerator, and provides fast bonding plus added strength.

For the removable position of the repositionable adhesive elements described above, a 3M™ Removable, Repositionable Tape 9870 may be utilized. This tape provides a high tack/low tack double sided adhesive. A permanent adhesive is on one side, while a removable adhesive is on the other. This tape includes a double coated 1.0 mil polyester film. The primary adhesive is 0.4 mil, 1000 repositionable acrylic, and the secondary adhesive is 1.5 mil, 320 high strength acrylic on 3.2 mil, 55 pound densified kraft liner.

The claims as originally presented and as they may be amended, encompass variations, alternatives, modifications, improvements, equivalents and substantial equivalents of the embodiments and teachings disclosed herein, including those that are presently unforeseen or unappreciated, and that, for example, may arise from applicants/patentees and others.