Title:
Fine dress and evening sandal with variable color and ornamentation
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A shoe, such as a fine dress or evening sandal or slide, has interchangeable appearance. The shoe includes a sole. Tab indentations are formed in the sole. A fixed strap is secured to the sole as part of the shoe upper. The fixed strap extends across a width of the sole, in order to accommodate a wearers foot atop the sole. The fixed strap has a first adhering surface. A separate cover strap for the shoe has a second adhering surface. The cover strap is formed with end tabs. The cover strap is removably connected to the first adhering surface of the fixed strap by contacting the first and second adhering surfaces. The end tabs of the cover strap fit in the tab indentations of the sole. The shoe has appearance of an upper, comprised of the fixed strap and the cover strap, secured to the sole. The cover strap is removable, however, and interchangeable with other cover straps, such as to change color, ornamentation and so forth of the upper of the shoe.



Inventors:
Nakatsu, Marie (Austin, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/265419
Publication Date:
05/03/2007
Filing Date:
11/02/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
36/101
International Classes:
A43B3/24
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080222914FootwearSeptember, 2008Sherman
20050138841Sole structure of working shoeJune, 2005Wu
20060185196Massage shoesAugust, 2006Wang
20090019729FOOTWEAR SOLE CONSTRUCTIONJanuary, 2009Nakano et al.
20070051013Shoe ventilation systemMarch, 2007Akhidime
20070107257Multi-material molded shell for footwearMay, 2007Laska
20050011086Protective casual footwear suitable as a slipperJanuary, 2005Goetze
20030217483Enhanced impact and energy absorbing product for footwear, protective equipment, floors, boards, walls, and other surfacesNovember, 2003Abraham
20030110663Shoe cover deviceJune, 2003Patterson
20070144039Footwear having independently articuable toe portionsJune, 2007Fliri
20050022430Protective covering for athletic shoesFebruary, 2005Terry



Primary Examiner:
BAYS, MARIE D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
H. DALE LANGLEY, JR. (AUSTIN, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A shoe, comprising: a sole forming tab indentations; a fixed strap secured to the sole, having a first adhering surface; and a cover strap having end tabs for locating in the tab indentations of the sole and having a second adhering surface engageable to the fixed strap on the first adhering surface.

2. The system of claim 1, further comprising: the fixed strap securely attached within the tab indentations; and the end tabs of the cover strap removably located within the tab indentations abutting the fixed strap.

3. The system of claim 2, further comprising: the first adhering surface of the fixed strap removably engaged to the second adhering surface of the cover strap.

4. The system of claim 3, wherein the end tabs of the cover strap are substantially concealed within the tab indentations as so located.

5. The system of claim 3, wherein the cover strap is substantially flush to the fixed strap as so engaged.

6. The system of claim 5, wherein the end tabs of the cover strap are substantially concealed within the tab indentations as so located.

7. A shoe, comprising: a top of a magnetically active material; a cover of a corresponding magnetically active material connected to the top; a tab extending from the cover; and a receptacle for the tab, connected to the top.

8. The shoe of claim 7, further comprising: a sole fixed to the top; wherein the sole forms the receptacle.

9. A shoe, comprising: a top having a first adherable surface; a cover having a second adherable surface for adhering to the first adherable surface; a sole connected to the top; and a portion of the cover removably connectable to the sole.

10. A shoe having an interchangeable appearance, comprising: a sole with an indentation; an upper fixed to the sole; a tabbed piece fittable within the indentation.

11. The shoe of claim 10, comprising a plurality of different ones of the tabbed piece.

12. The shoe of claim 11, comprising: a second indentation of the sole; and a portion of the tabbed piece fittable within the second indentation.

13. A method of manufacturing a shoe, comprising the steps of: forming a sole with a formed space in a top of the sole; attaching a fixed upper to the sole securely in the formed space; and providing a cover adherable to the fixed upper and having a tab fittable within the formed space of the sole.

14. The method of claim 13, further comprising the steps of: adhering the cover to the fixed upper; and locating the tab of the cover in the formed space of the sole.

15. A kit, comprising: a shoe having an upper and a sole, the sole having a crevice and the upper including a fixed part secured to the sole in the crevice; and a plurality of covers replaceably attachable to the fixed part and removably at least partially insertable into the crevice of the sole.

16. The kit of claim 15, wherein the crevice is formed in an edge of the sole.

17. The kit of claim 15, wherein the crevice is formed in a top of the sole.

18. The kit of claim 15, wherein the sole has dual crevices formed on generally opposing sides of the sole, across a width of the sole.

19. The kit of claim 18, wherein each of the plurality of covers includes dual tabs at extents thereof and the each one of the dual tabs is locatable in respective ones of the dual crevices.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to quality footwear and, more particularly, relates to changeable vamp color and ornamentation of dress and evening sandals or the like.

Fine dress and evening sandals and slides include soles, which can include a variety of sole and heal designs, and uppers, which can include a variety of straps connected to the soles and for containing a wearer's foot. The upper straps of these fine sandals and slides have included a variety of colors, configuration, and ornamentation. Because such fine dress and evening footwear is typically for active wear, including dancing, strolling, and so forth, the upper straps have generally been firmly attached to the soles.

In the past, others have contemplated various shoe designs in which a shoe upper is replaceably attached to a shoe sole. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,461,102 of DeVincentis describes a shoe with interchangeable straps as the upper, having spring connectors to attach the straps to the shoe sole. Other designs have included various snap attachments incorporated in or with the sole, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 5,896,684 to Lin describes a detachable toe strap and ankle strap, having locating members which are serrated plug holes of the sole and matching serrated tongues of the straps, wherein the tongue meets with the plug hole and is retained by the matching serrations; U.S. Pat. No. 5,992,058 to Jneid describes detachable straps with snaps for mating with snap counterparts attached along an edge of a sole; and U.S. Patent Application Pub. No. US 2004/0,128,859 of Cambronero describes a sole formed with indents along edges to accommodate replaceable straps with end rivets for lodging into the indents to secure the straps.

Each of these designs is not particularly suitable for most fine dress and evening strap sandals and slides. For example, replaceable straps can tend to become undone in use. Also, the appearance of the shoes with the replaceable straps has certain appearance with the bulky and jutting snaps, connectors and the like. Because most fine dress and evening sandals and slides tend to be sleek and slim in appearance, and tend to be sufficiently sturdy to permit the active nature of the wearer in using them, these designs are not favorable.

Other shoe designs have included various attachable overlays to straps and upper surfaces. Certain of these designs have provided for interchangeable overlays that attach to the straps or other upper surfaces by Velcro™ or other releasable fasteners. These designs are described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,651,359 to Bricker as including interchangeable shoe strap covers, for altering the decorative look of a shoe, by securing selected covers to the strap by hook and loop fastener attached to each of the strap and the cover. Others have similarly described interchangeable strap covers for shoes, such as in U.S. Patent Pub. No. US2004/0,093,765 of Baldwin describing a flip-flop type sandal with a shoe upper having an outer surface including one part of a releasable attachment system and shoe covers that have the dimensions of the upper and a second part of the releasable attachment system for attachment to the upper; and US2005/0,066,550 of Liu also describing a shoe upper that has a top surface of releasable fasteners to which cover members can attach.

These designs are also generally unsuitable for fine dress and evening sandal and slide shoes for women, particularly because they leave exposed rough edges and seams that can be caught and pulled when worn. Moreover, women tend to prefer seamless and sleek appearance of their fine dress and evening sandals and slides. The rough edges and seams, where covers attach at sides to the shoe upper in the designs, do not have this seamless, sleek appearance. Moreover, ends of strap covers, Velcro™ and similar attachment means, and the like in these designs have these problems and lack desirable appearance in use.

It would, therefore, be a significant improvement in the art and technology to provide a fine dress and evening shoe with desirable appearance and usability, and that is changeable as to the upper to coordinate colors, styles, and appearance of the shoe. The present invention provides numerous advantages and improvements, including improvements and nuances in the foregoing respects.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An embodiment of the invention is a shoe. The shoe includes a sole forming tab indentations, a fixed strap secured to the sole, having a first adhering surface, and a cover strap having end tabs for locating in the tab indentations of the sole and having a second adhering surface engageable to the fixed strap on the first adhering surface.

Another embodiment of the invention is a shoe. The shoe includes a top of a magnetically active material, a cover of a corresponding magnetically active material connected to the top, a tab extending from the cover, and a receptacle for the tab, connected to the top.

Yet another embodiment of the invention is a shoe. The shoe includes a top having a first adherable surface, a cover having a second adherable surface for adhering to the first adherable surface, a sole connected to the top, and a portion of the cover removably connectable to the sole.

Another embodiment of the invention is a shoe having an interchangeable appearance. The shoe includes a sole with an indentation, an upper fixed to the sole, a tabbed piece fittable within the indentation.

Yet another embodiment of the invention is a method of manufacturing a shoe. The method includes forming a sole with a formed space in a top of the sole, attaching a fixed upper to the sole securely in the formed space, and providing a cover adherable to the fixed upper and having a tab fittable within the formed space of the sole.

Another embodiment of the invention is a kit. The kit includes a shoe having an upper and a sole, the sole having a crevice and the upper including a fixed part secured to the sole in the crevice, and a plurality of covers replaceably attachable to the fixed part and removably at least partially insertable into the crevice of the sole.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention is illustrated by way of example and not limitation in the accompanying figures, in which like references indicate similar elements, and in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a front and side perspective view of a shoe, having an upper and a sole, the upper including a fixed strap and a cover strap removably attached to the fixed strap, and the sole including insert holes in which tabs of the cover strap are located, according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates a front, cross-sectional view along line A-A′ of the shoe of FIG. 1, the fixed strap (in phantom) being secured in the insert holes of the sole (in phantom), the cover strap being removably attached to the fixed strap and having end tabs extended into the insert holes, according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates a front, cross-sectional view along line A-A′ of the shoe of FIG. 1, substantially the same as the view of FIG. 2, with the cover strap (in phantom) removably attached to the fixed strap, the fixed strap secured to the sole in the insert holes, and end tabs of the cover strap extended into the insert holes, according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 4 illustrates a top view of the cover strap of the shoe of FIGS. 1-3, the cover strap being flattened in elongated display, with the end taps at opposing extents of the cover strap, according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 5 illustrates a front view of the shoe of FIG. 1, with the cover strap detached from attachment to the fixed strap and with the end tabs dislocated from the insert holes, according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 6 illustrates an enlarged partial of the front and side perspective view of the shoe of FIG. 1, detailing an edge and base part of the sole, the insert hole formed between the edge and the base part and the fixed strap secured therein, with the cover strap attached to the fixed strap and the end tab of the cover strap extending into the insert hole, according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 7 illustrates a top view of the enlarged partial of the shoe of FIG. 6, detailing the edge and the base part of the sole forming the insert hole, the fixed strap secured therein, and the cover strap attached to the fixed strap and the end tab of the cover strap extended into the insert hole, according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 8 illustrates a front and side perspective view of another shoe, having an upper and a sole different than the sole of the shoe of FIG. 1, the upper including a fixed strap and a cover strap removably attached to the fixed strap, and the sole including indents formed in the edges of the sole, with the fixed strap bending into secured location in the indents and tab ends of the cover strap also bent and situation in the indents of the sole, according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 9 illustrates a front, cross-sectional view along line C-C′ of the shoe of FIG. 8, the fixed strap being secured in the indents in the edges of the sole and bending at the sole across the width of the sole, the cover strap being removably attached to the fixed strap and having the tab ends bent into and seated in the indents of the sole, according to certain embodiments of the invention; and

FIG. 10 illustrates an alternative of the view of the shoe of FIG. 9, the sole being a single piece formed with indents in edges of the sole, and the fixed strap and the cover strap attached together across the width of the sole, with the fixed strap secured in the indents and tab ends of the cover strap inserted in the indents, according to certain embodiments of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIG. 1, a fine shoe 100 generally includes a sole 102 and an upper 104. For purposes of the following description, the term “sole” is used to refer to the part of the shoe 100 on which a wearer stands underlying the foot (including, for example, any insole, arch support, or similar matter which the foot touches) and the term “upper” is used to refer to any other part of the shoe appearing above the sole. There are typically two types of sole of fine dress and evening sandals and slides, and the sole 102, as hereafter further described, is one such type (the other type is the sole 802 in FIG. 8, later discussed).

The sole 102 of the shoe 100 includes a base part 106 that includes a forefoot portion and a heel portion. The heel portion can be any of a wide variety of styles, including, for example, flat, platform, wedge, and others. The particular heel style of the shoe 100 is not critical to the present description. However, of import to the description herein, is the particularity of the outer edges of the sole 102. The sole 102 of the shoe 100 has an outer edge 108 that attaches to the base part 106. This outer edge 108 is attached to the edges of the base part 106, for example, by adhesives, stitching, incorporation via formation with the base part 106, or other, and provides an outer desired appearance for the shoe. For example, fine dress and evening sandals and slides often have leather, synthetic leather, latex, or other makeup, that gives the shoe 100 certain outward fine appearance, color, and ornamentation.

A fixed strap 110 of the shoe 100, or other upper 104, is secured to the base part 106 and covered at secured ends thereof by the edge 108. For example those secured ends of the fixed strap 110 are sewn, glued, or otherwise fixedly attached to the base part 106. The edge 108 covers the securement of the fixed strap 110 to the base portion 106, to give a sleek and refined outward appearance of the shoe 100, without exposing the secured ends of the fixed strap.

In FIG. 1, the fixed strap 110 is formed with an outward (i.e., upward in FIG. 1) magnetically active first part. The fixed strap 110 is, for example, a flexible plastic, leather, cloth or other similar material and comprises either a magnetically active outward coating or is formed entirely of magnetically active material. In the shoe 100, the fixed strap 110 forms a first part of a magnetically active surface for connection to a second part of a magnetically active surface, as here detailed.

The second part comprises a cover strap 112 that also has a magnetically active undersurface, via which the cover strap 112 is magnetically attachable to the magnetically active outward surface of the fixed strap 110. Another surface of the cover strap 112 is a fine material, such as leather, plastic, synthetic, or other and can include various filigree, ornamentation, style, design, color, and configuration. In the shoe 100, the cover strap 112 is outwardly exposed when attached to the fixed strap 110. The cover strap 112 provides a desired appearance for the shoe 100 in use. The cover strap 112, because magnetically attached to the fixed strap 110, rather than permanently secured thereto, can be interchanged with a variety of styles and designs of the cover strap 112.

To give the shoe 100 a sleek and refined appearance in use, the cover strap 112 is formed with opposing end tabs 114. The shoe 100, unlike a conventional shoe with an edge of the sole entirely secured to the sole base part, includes a formed space 116 (shown in detail in later Figures) to receive and accept the end tabs 114 when the cover strap 112 is magnetically attached to the fixed strap 110. The formed space 116 is situated between the edge 108 and the base part 106 and, within very limited tolerance, maintains the end tabs 114 to appear as though the cover strap 112 is formed integral with the base part 106 and the edge 108.

Referring to FIG. 2, a cross-section 200 along lines A-A′ of FIG. 1, illustrates the cover strap 112 in place as magnetically attached to the fixed strap 110 (in phantom). Relative dimensions in FIG. 2 are not intended to necessarily be indicative of the particular relative size and look of the sole 102, upper 104 and relevant elements; rather, the arrangement of those pieces is generally (but not necessarily) enlarged in the illustration to show the associations. The sole 102 includes the base part 106 and the edge 108 around edges of the base part 106. Between the base part 106 and the edge 108, in locations of the fixed strap 110 securement, the base part 106 and the edge 108 are slightly separated as the formed space 106. This slight separation that is the formed space 106 accommodates the fixed strap 110 as it is secured to the base part 106. Also, the formed space 106 includes sufficient separation between the base part 106 and the edge 110 to accommodate the end tabs 114 of the cover strap 112.

In FIG. 2, the formed space 106 appears as an edgewise indentation of the base part 106 at the location for the fixed strap 110 and the end tabs 114 of the attached cover strap 112. However, such an indentation is not necessarily required, and minimal separation of the base part 106 and the edge 108 at these locations can alternately merely be formed by allowing a slight bulge in the edge 108 sufficient to accommodate the end tabs 114 between the edge 108 and the base part 106. Of course, the particularities of the formed space 106 will depend upon the thicknesses of the fixed strap 110 and the attached cover strap 112. The end tabs 114 can also be tailored to be of lesser thickness than other portions of the cover strap 112, if desired. In any event, the resulting attached cover strap 112 and the fixed strap 110 yield a relatively uniform extension appearance from between the base part 106 and the edge 108, as may be desired for the shoe style and design, such that the cover strap 112 appears as merely integral with the fixed strap 110 in attachment to the sole 102.

As previously mentioned, the end tabs 114 eliminate exposed ends of the cover strap 112 that would otherwise be visible and exposed (e.g., and tend to be uneven, subject to catching on externalities, and the like). Moreover, the end tabs 114 give an external appearance consistent with the seamless, refined look typically desired in fine dress and evening styles.

Referring to FIG. 3, in conjunction with FIG. 2, a similar cross-section 300 along line A-A′ of FIG. 1, illustrates the cover strap 112 (in phantom) in place as magnetically attached to the fixed strap 110. The base part 106 and the edge 108 around edges of the base part 106 comprise the sole 102. The base part 106 and the edge 108 are slightly separated as the formed space 106. Within the formed space 106, extensions of the fixed strap 110 are permanently secured to the base part 106, for example, by stitching, glue, combination, or other means.

The slight separations between the base part 106 and the edge 108, in locations of the fixed strap 110 securement, that are the formed space 106, include space between the secured fixed strap 110 and the edge 108 sufficient to accommodate the end tabs 114 of the cover strap 112. When the cover strap 112 is magnetically attached to the fixed strap 110 (as shown in phantom in FIG. 3), the end tabs 114 extend into the formed space 106 and are maintained therein. Although it is not contemplated as a requirement of the shoe 100, certain retainers within the area of the formed space 106 for accommodating the end tabs 114 could include various serrations, plugs, hooks, or other releasable attachments in order to more sturdily hold the end tabs 114 in the area of the formed space 106. Generally, such additional releasable attachments are not required, even with the active wear of the shoe 100, because the magnetic attachment of the cover strap 112 coupled with the retained end tabs 114 adequately maintains the cover strap 112 in place over the fixed strap 110. In fact, the uniqueness of the shoe 100 includes that, even in quite active wear and in which the shoe 100 may be rubbed against externalities, the lack of exposed end portions of the cover strap 112 avoid any catching of the strap and the magnetic attachment is sufficiently strong to prevent any lateral displacement from engagement with the fixed strap 110.

Although repetitive, it is notable that, although the formed space 106 appears as an edgewise indentation of the base part 106 at the location for the fixed strap 110 and the end tabs 114 of the attached cover strap 112, such indentation is not required. Instead, the minimal separation of the base part 106 and the edge 108 at these locations can be formed by providing, in manufacture, a slight space between the edge 108 and the base part 106 sufficient that the end tabs 114 are pushable into the space when attaching the cover strap 112.

Referring to FIG. 4, a cover strap 400 includes an elongate portion 402 and respective end tab portions 404, 406. Thicknesses and materials of the cover strap 400 are any of the wide variety previously mentioned. Moreover, as previously mentioned, the cover strap 400 is sized to extend via the elongate portion 402 over the entire extent of the fixed strap 110 (shown in FIGS. 1-3) of the shoe 100, between each attachment location of the fixed strap 110 to the sole 102. However, the particular width dimensions along edges of the elongate portion 402 other than the end tab portions 404, 406, need not fully conform to corresponding surfaces of the fixed strap 110. For example, the cover strap 400 could have arced edges at the widths, filigreed or ornamented edges, larger or smaller width over the elongate portion 402, or other configuration. Moreover, the cover strap 400 can be a plurality of parts that are fixed together to form the elongate portion 402, such as two halves tides together as with laces of shoes or so forth. A surface of the cover strap 400 must have the magnetically active surface, however, the other side surface of the cover strap 400 can include all possible ornamentation, studs, jewels, colors, design artwork, and other desired shoe appearance.

Referring to FIG. 5, the front 500 of the shoe 100 of FIG. 1 has the cover strap 114 not engaged with the fixed strap 112, but located above the fixed strap 112 as when placing the cover strap 114 for magnetic attachment to the fixed strap 112. The arrow B indicates direction of movement of the cover strap 114 to magnetically attach it to the fixed strap 112. The edge 108 is secured along the base part 106. The formed space 116 is open at the top (in FIG. 5) to receive the tabs 114 (or 404, 406 in the other Figures). As seen in phantom, the formed space 116 at each side between the fixed strap 110 and the edge 108 is suitable for insertion of the tabs 114 (or 404, 406). The top surface (in FIG. 5) of the fixed strap 110 is a first part of a magnetically active surface, and the bottom surface (in FIG. 5) of the cover strap 112 (or 402) is a second part of the magnetically active surface. Of course, engage of the top surface of the fixed strap 110 with the bottom surface of the cover strap 112 (or 402) attaches the pieces because of the magnetic attraction.

Referring to FIG. 6, a partial perspective view of a side 600 of the shoe 100 of FIG. 1, illustrates an enlarged view of a location of securement of the fixed strap 110 with the base part 106. The edge 108 is secured to the base part 106. The formed space 116 is between the edge 108 and the base part 106 in the each location of the securement of the fixed strap 110. The cover strap 112 is magnetically engaged on the fixed strap 110. The end tab 114 of the cover strap 112 is located within the formed space 116 between the fixed strap 110 outer surface and the edge 108 inner surface.

Referring to FIG. 7, a partial top view of a top 700 of the shoe 100 of FIG. 1, corresponding to the partial view of FIG. 6, illustrates the formed space 116 that is entered by the end tab 114 of the cover strap 112. The fixed strap 110 abuts the base part 106 along the edge thereof at the location of the fixed strap 110 securement. The edge 108 abuts the base part 106 along the edge thereof at other locations, and at the location of the fixed strap 110 securement, the formed space maintains the cover strap 112.

Referring to FIG. 8, another type of fine dress and evening shoe 800 is distinguishable from the shoe 100 of FIG. 1 because a sole 802 does not necessarily have an edge (e.g., for example, the edge 100 of FIG. 1). Rather the sole 802 is a single solid form or otherwise there is not any such edge that can provide a sleek and refined appearance (at least not practically do so) if the upper 804 is located in the seam between any edge and any base part (as with the shoe 100 of FIG. 1). For example, it is possible that an edge of a base part can have a laminar or other edge. However, any formed space between such type of edge and the base part would appear outwardly lump-like or irregular. In such instance, design and appearance preferences dictate different requirements for a cover strap 812 and a tab hole 816 (i.e., functionally like the formed hole 106 of the shoe 100 of FIG. 1) of the shoe 800.

In the shoe 800, a fixed strap 810 is securely attached to the sole 802 within the tab hole 816. The shoe 800 has an insole 808 or similar topping or cover fixed atop a bottom part 806 of the sole 802. Between the insole 808 and the bottom part 806, the fixed strap 810 is located in the tab hole 816 which is formed between the insole 808 and the bottom part 806 (substantially the same or similar to the way the formed 106 of the shoe 100 of FIG. 1 is formed by spacing between the base part 106 and the edge 108 there; that is, space sufficient to accommodate the fixed strap secured therein and also to accommodate end tabs of a cover strap with minimal tolerance). Moreover, adjacent the fixed strap 810 between the insole 808 and the bottom part 806 the tab hole 816 is spaced to permit location of an end tab 814 of the cover strap 812. In this instance, the end tab 814 forms a bend in the cover strap 812 at the location of the tab hole 816. The end tab 814 fits within the tab hole 816, in a manner underlying at least a portion of the fixed strap 810 where the fixed strap 810 is secured to the bottom part 806. The fixed strap 810 is secured to the bottom part 806 within the tab hole 816, for example, because the fixed strap 810 extends farther into the tab hole 816 (than the end tab 814) and is attached therein clear of the end tab 814 when located therein, or otherwise.

Referring to FIG. 9, a front cross-section 900 along line C-C′ of the shoe 800 of FIG. 8 illustrates the bottom part 806 and the insole 808 fixed atop the bottom part 806. Between the bottom part 806 and the insole 808, at locations of securement of the fixed strap 810 to the bottom part 806, the fixed strap 810 extends into the tab hole 816 between the insole 808 and the bottom part 806. As just explained, the tab hole 816 additionally includes adequate additional space to accommodate the end tab 814 of the cover strap 812 lodged between the surface of the fixed strap 810 and the bottom part 806. The cover strap 812 includes a first magnetically active surface that attaches to a second magnetically active surface of the fixed strap 810, in the manner as has been previously discussed. The cover strap 812, via the placement of the end tabs 814 thereof in the tab hole 816 and engagement of the respective magnetically active surfaces of the fixed strap 810 and the cover strap 812, sufficiently secures the assembly for active wear and use. Moreover, the described features provide sleek, refined appearance and no exposed or catchable ends of the cover strap 812 outwardly remain.

Referring to FIG. 10, if a shoe 1000 similar to that of FIG. 8 does not include an insole 808 or the like, then a bottom part 1006 of the shoe 1000 is formed with tab insets 1016 in which are locatable end tabs 1014 of a cover strap 1012. For example, some wooden, plastic, composite or other soles may be formed of a single piece (or the like) and the wearer's foot may directly impact the sole (rather than excess cushioning, insole or similar). In such instance, the same principles are applied in that the cover strap 1012 magnetically engages the fixed strap 1016. The fixed strap 1016 is attached to the bottom part 1006, within the tab insets 1016. The tab insets 1016 include space adjacent the fixed strap 1016 and between the fixed strap 1016 as secured and the bottom part 1006 within the tab insets 1016.

In operation, the foregoing embodiments of shoes, and variations thereof, various cover straps can be interchanged to obtain a desired shoe outer upper appearance. For example, various colored, or otherwise ornamented or shaped, cover straps can be used in similar manner by replaceably attaching to fixed straps, and this allows a wearer to coordinate the shoe colors and styles. A wearer first selects a particular cover strap, then the wearer removes by pulling away any prior attached cover strap from the fixed strap. Then, the wearer locates the particular cover strap so selected over and on top of the fixed strap, and concurrently locates end tabs of the cover strap in the formed space or tab inset, as the case may be for the particular type of shoe sole. The adherence of the cover strap both by surface engagement with the fixed strap, and also by location of the end tabs to eliminate exposed ends, gives the wearer a versatile, sleek and refined, stylish, not easily catchable, and sufficiently secure attachment for active wear of the shoe.

Various alternatives are possible in keeping with the foregoing, and those skilled in the art will know and understand the multitude of possibilities. Certain alternatives include that the magnetic engagement of the cover strap to the fixed strap can be substituted for other non-permanent attachment options. For example, the attachment can be by ZipLoc™ type seams wherein each of the cover strap and the fixed strap include matching channels. Other possibilities include Velcro™, glues, attractant materials, zippers, and other present or future removably attachable types of mechanisms. Magnetic engagement is believed to be preferable because of the unitary, flush attachment appearance obtained. But, certain shoe styles and designs can use the attachment mechanism as ornamentation to provide particular appearance, if and as desired.

Although the shoes depicted and described herein include straps that hold the foot to the shoe, any other upper design can also employ the same cover interchangeable concepts. For example, a cap-toed shoe can include the same types of materials and a fixed cap can be covered by a cover cap. The attachment via magnets, or otherwise, coupled with the tab indentations in the sole or parts of the sole, provide a favorable interchangeable, yet durably attachable cover over whatever fixed upper pieces are involved. In fact, other types of straps, such as ankle straps, heel portions, lace ties and the like can be placed to cover fixed parts of uppers, in keeping with the interchangeably attachable cover portions and tabbing insets herein described.

In the foregoing specification, the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments. However, one of ordinary skill in the art appreciates that various modifications and changes can be made without departing from the scope of the present invention as set forth in the claims below. Accordingly, the specification and figures are to be regarded in an illustrative rather than a restrictive sense, and all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the present invention.

Benefits, other advantages, and solutions to problems have been described above with regard to specific embodiments. However, the benefits, advantages, solutions to problems and any element(s) that may cause any benefit, advantage, or solution to occur or become more pronounced are not to be construed as a critical, required, or essential feature or element of any or all the claims. As used herein, the terms “comprises, “comprising,” or any other variation thereof, are intended to cover a non-exclusive inclusion, such that a process, method, article, or apparatus that comprises a list of elements does not include only those elements but may include other elements not expressly listed or inherent to such process, method, article, or apparatus.