Title:
Tethered shoelace clip
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A clip combination for a child's shoe includes a spring actuated clip tethered to an anchor. The tether and anchor combination secures the clip to the shoe and prevents accidental discarding, and may be accomplished with a bar that fits through the eyelet of the shoe in a first orientation, but cannot fit through the eyelet in other orientations thus resisting dislodging. The anchor can be placed through the eyelet and trapped on the inside of the shoe, undetected by the child's foot. When tension is placed on the tether corresponding to dislodging of the clip, the anchor is pulled against the eyelet such that, by its connection, passage through the eyelet is resisted.



Inventors:
Bongard, Peter (Indio, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/338488
Publication Date:
07/26/2007
Filing Date:
01/24/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B23/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BAYS, MARIE D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FULWIDER PATTON LLP (LOS ANGELES, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A shoelace clip for a child's shoe comprising: a spring biased clip adapted for reciprocated opening and closing about a tied shoe lace; a tether having first and second ends, said first end connected to said spring biased clip; and an anchor connected to said second end of said tether, said anchor coupling said clip to said child's shoe in a releasable attachment.

2. The shoelace clip of claim 1 wherein said anchor comprises a bar having a length, a width, and a height, and said child's shoe having a plurality of equally dimensioned substantially circular eyelets having a diameter, and wherein said length of said anchor is greater than said diameter of said eyelet and said width and height of said anchor is less than said diameter of said eyelet.

3. The shoelace clip of claim 1 wherein a length of said tether is shorter than a distance between said eyelet and a bottom surface of said child's shoe.

4. The shoelace clip of claim 1 further comprising a faceplate on said clip, said faceplate depicting an animal face.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to the field of shoe accessories, and more particularly to a shoelace clip particularly suited for children to maintain their laces tied.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Anyone who is tasked with the supervision of children is aware of the exasperation that follows from constantly tying kids' shoelaces. Children's shoelaces seem to perpetually come untied, requiring repeated efforts to retie the laces. Teachers, coaches, camp counselors, and the like can find that a great deal of their time is dedicated to retying children's shoe laces. The solution most typically applied to this situation is to double knot the laces, provided the laces are long enough to double knot. This is difficult for kids to perform, often leads to knots in the laces that are difficult to undo, and often times is as ineffective as regular tying. Also, anything used to secure the laces could be dislodged and possibly swallowed by a small child. The present inventor is unaware of any suitable, cost-effective solution to the problem of maintaining children's shoelaces tied and secured.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a clip combination for a child's shoe that includes a spring actuated clip tethered to an anchor. The clip is opened and placed over the child's laces and then closed to secure the laces in a tied configuration. The tether and anchor combination secures the clip to the shoe and prevents accidental discarding, and may be accomplished with a bar that fits through the eyelet of the shoe in a first orientation, but cannot fit through the eyelet in other orientations thus resisting dislodging. The anchor can be placed through the eyelet and trapped on the inside of the shoe, undetected by the child's foot. When tension is placed on the tether corresponding to dislodging of the clip, the anchor is pulled against the eyelet such that, by its connection, passage through the eyelet is resisted. Thus, the clip is effectively releasably connected to the child's shoe.

Other features and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings which illustrate, by way of example, the features of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

An understanding of the invention may be realized by reference to the drawings and their description below, in conjunction with the detailed description of the preferred embodiment. However, it is to be understood that the drawings and the detailed description is not intended to limit the invention or its scope to only those embodiments depicted or described, but rather the scope of the invention is to be construed solely by the words of the claims appended hereto.

FIG. 1 is an elevated perspective view of a first embodiment of the present invention incorporated onto a children's shoe; and

FIG. 2 is an elevated perspective view of a second embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 illustrates a children's shoe 10 having ordinary laces 12 used to secure and close the shoe after a child's foot 14 is inserted therein. After tying the laces 12 into a conventional bow tie arrangement, the clip 16 of the present invention is placed thereon securing the tied portion of the bow tie at the knot area. With the clip 16 in place, the laces 12 resist slipping out of the bow tie arrangement and repeated retying of the shoes is avoided.

The clip 16 includes a spring-biased pair of jaws 18 that reciprocate open and closed by compressing a handle portion 20. The tension on the jaws 18 due to the spring bias should be sufficient to prevent slippage of the laces during normal child activity, while not requiring so much force as to task the strength of mothers or babysitters given to use them.

Because clip 16 can become disengaged from the laces 12 during more strenuous activity (wrestling, kicking a ball, running through wooded areas, etc.), the present invention includes a tether 24 that connects the clip 16 to the shoe 10. This connection may preferably be accomplished using an anchor 26 such as a bar at the distal end 28 of the tether 24 that passes longitudinally through an eyelet 30 of the child's shoe 10. The dimensions of the anchor 26 must be such that it exceeds the diameter of the eyelet 30 in a first dimension such as length, such that the anchor will resist falling through the eyelet 30 when pulled or tugged from a central position 32 on the anchor 26. Conversely, the second and third dimensions of the anchor 26, e.g., width and height, must be smaller than the eyelet 30 in order that the anchor 26 be passed through the eyelet 30 initially to secure the clip 16. The length of the tether 24 is preferably long enough to allow the clip 16 to easily be fitted onto the laces 12, but short enough so that the clip 16 will not reach below the child's shoe 10 when dislodged so that the child will not step on the clip.

In a second embodiment, the connection from the clip 16 to the shoe 10 is accomplished with a second clip (not shown) at the distal end 28 of the tether 24, which can be used to clip onto the tongue 40 of the shoe or to other suitable location. Alternatively, a hook and loop fastener combination (not shown) can be employed, where a patch of hooks can be adhered to the side of the shoe and the tether can include a tab member with loops, providing simple and quick fastening and unfastening of the clip to the shoe. Other known means of fastening are also within the scope of the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows a variation of the embodiment of FIG. 1 with a tiger head 44 fitted over or replacing the upper portion of the clip 16, emulating an animal biting the laces 12. The use of an animal face place 44 to secure the laces would promote more enthusiasm for some children and would help to implement the article. Other face plates such as action figures, cartoon characters, dinosaurs, and the like are also contemplated by the invention.

The method and apparatus for carrying out the method described above is illustrative of the present invention. Those of ordinary skill in the art will readily recognize variations of the above-described methods and apparatus, and such variations should be considered within the scope of the invention. The above described methods and apparatus are not intended to the limiting in any manner, and the scope of the invention should be measured by the words of the appended claims, taken in their ordinary meaning in conjunction with the specification and documents cited therein.