Title:
Convertible Sandal
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An article of footwear to be used as a convertible sandal comprising a sole for supporting a foot, a forefoot cover, and a rear heel support. The sole has a top surface, a toe side, a heel portion, and a sidewall. The sidewall of the sole has an interlocking section along the heel portion of the sole. The convertible sandal further includes a forefoot cover, which is securely attached to the sole and extends over the toe side of the top surface of the sole. The forefoot cover is preferably in the form of a thong, but alternatively may be in the form of a slide, a vamp, a foot strap, a sock, or a clog. The convertible sandal also includes a rear heel support member securely attached to the sole. The rear heel support is capable of being set within the interlocking section of the sidewall of the sole to thereby hold the rear heel support to the sidewall of the sole. The user thus has the option of using the rear heel support to secure his heel to the heel portion of the sandal, or alternatively setting the rear heel support within the interlocking section of the sidewall and thereafter using the sandal in a “flip-flop” style.



Inventors:
Januszewski, John J. (Blackstone, MA, US)
Mossiat, Andre (Millis, MA, US)
Ruth, Robert (Brockton, MA, US)
Foresta, Brian (Canton, MA, US)
Application Number:
12/018066
Publication Date:
08/14/2008
Filing Date:
01/22/2008
Assignee:
Reebok International Ltd. (Canton, MA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
36/50.1, 36/11.5
International Classes:
A43B3/24; A43B3/12; A43C11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BAYS, MARIE D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STERNE, KESSLER, GOLDSTEIN & FOX P.L.L.C. (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A convertible sandal, comprising: a sole having a top surface, a toe section, a heel section, and a side wall, the side wall having an interlocking section along the heel section of the sole; and a support member having a first portion extending from a lateral side of the sole to a medial side of the sole, wherein the first portion of said support member is adapted to be movable between a first position in which the first portion is set within the interlocking section from the lateral side of the sole to the medial side of the sole and a second position in which the first portion extends over a portion of the top surface of the sole.

2. A convertible sandal as defined in claim 1, wherein the sole is comprised of ethylene vinyl acetate.

3. A convertible sandal as defined in claim 1, wherein the sole includes an opening which transects through the sole from the lateral side to the medial side, and wherein a second portion of the support member is disposed within the opening to thereby link the support member with the sole.

4. A convertible sandal as defined in claim 1, wherein the support member is comprised of rubber.

5. A sandal, comprising: a sole having a top surface, a bottom surface, and a sidewall having a channel extending around the heel portion of the sole, wherein said sole has an opening which transects through the sole from a lateral side to a medial side thereof; and a strap adapted to be movable between a first position in which the strap is set within said channel from the lateral side of the sole to the medial side of the sole and a second position in which said strap extends over a portion of top surface of the sole, wherein at least a portion of the strap is disposed within the opening to thereby connect the strap with the sole.

6. A sandal as defined in claim 5, wherein the sole includes a midsole and an outsole, and the channel on the heel portion of the sole is embedded into the midsole.

7. A sandal as defined in claim 5, wherein the sole is comprised of ethylene vinyl acetate.

8. A sandal as defined in claim 5, wherein the strap is comprised of rubber.

9. A sandal, comprising: a sole having a sidewall, said sidewall having an interlocking section; and a strap linked to the sole for retaining a user's foot, wherein said strap is adapted to be set within the interlocking section from a lateral side of the sole to a medial side of the sole to thereby interlock with the sidewall.

10. A sandal as defined in claim 9, wherein the sole is comprised of ethylene vinyl acetate.

11. A sandal as defined in claim 9, wherein the sole includes an opening which transects through the sole from the lateral side to the medial side, and wherein the strap is partially disposed within the opening to thereby link the strap with the sole.

12. A sandal as defined in claim 9, wherein the strap is comprised of rubber.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a Continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/148,447, filed Jun. 9, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to footwear. More specifically, the present invention relates to a convertible sandal having a heel strap that is capable of being interlocked with the midsole of the sandal.

2. Related Art

Sandals are a common and widely used type of footwear. Early sandals included a flat component, formed of a suitable material such as leather, that served as a sole. Various methods to secure the sandal to a user's foot are known. For example, a forefoot cover, or vamp, can be used to cover the instep of the user's foot and thereby secure the sandal to the foot. The forefoot cover may only partially cover the top of the foot so that the toes extend outward into the open air. In the alternative, the forefoot cover may cover most of the top of the foot or even enclose the entire forward portion of the foot.

Sandals having only forefoot covers are sometimes referred to as “slide” sandals or “flip-flop” sandals. As such, the sandal is only loosely attached to the foot and is useful for more leisurely types of activities. More active types of activities, requiring quicker movements, could result in the sandal becoming inadvertently disconnected from the foot, which might be undesirable.

An improvement to the “flip-flop” sandal is the addition of a strip of material, referred to as a heel strap, which ties or wraps around the user's heel. The rear heel strap can be connected to the forefoot cover or other structural components of the sandal. The rear heel strap is typically formed of a material such as a synthetic fabric or leather.

Some sandals employ a rear heel strap that can be disconnected from the sandal. To achieve this disconnect feature, the sandal can incorporate buckles, hook and eye fasteners and other types of mechanical fasteners to connect and disconnect at least one end of the rear heel strap to and from the sandal. If both ends of the rear heel strap can be disconnected, the sandal can be used as a “slide” or “flip-flop” styled sandal. Once removed, however, it would be necessary to store or carry the rear heel strap to prevent loss thereof. Since sandals are often used at the beach and at swimming pools, storage of the rear heel strap in order to avoid loss could be inconvenient. Thus, there is a need for a convertible sandal, that includes a forefoot cover and a rear heel strap, and can be utilized with or without the heel strap without disassembling the sandal.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,237,249 discloses a convertible slide-type sandal having a vamp securely attached to the midsole of the sandal. The vamp includes a pair of outwardly extending studs for providing a pair of pivot points. A rear heel strap is provided for securing the convertible slide to the foot. The heel strap is rotatively connected to the pair of outwardly extending studs for rotating between a first lowered position about the heel of the foot and a second raised position above the vamp. Finally, an outsole is bonded to the midsole for contacting the ground surface. In a first alternative embodiment, the pair of outwardly extending studs is replaced by a pair of rivets, while in a second alternative embodiment, the pair of outwardly extending studs is replaced by a pair of threaded screws.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a convertible sandal comprising a sole for supporting a foot; the sole having a top surface, a toe side, a heel portion, and a sidewall. The sidewall of the sole has an interlocking section along the heel portion of the sole. The convertible sandal further includes a foot strap, which is securely attached to the sole and extends over the toe side of the top surface of the sole. The foot strap serves the purpose of covering the user's foot and, at least loosely, securing the sandal to the user's foot. The foot strap is preferably in the form of a thong, but alternatively may be in the form of a slide, a vamp, a foot cover, a sock, or a clog. The convertible sandal also includes a rear heel support member having two terminal ends. At least one terminal end of the rear heel support member is securely attached to the sole. The rear heel support is capable of being set within the interlocking section of the sidewall of the sole to thereby hold the rear heel support to the sidewall of the sole. The user thus has the option of using the rear heel support to secure his heel to the heel portion of the sandal, or alternatively setting the rear heel support within the interlocking section of the sidewall and thereafter using the sandal in a “flip-flop” style. The sole of the convertible sandal is preferably comprised of blown ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), but may be comprised of other materials known within the art such as rubber or polyvinylchloride (PVC). The sole may also include an outsole which is preferably formed of rubber. The foot strap is preferably comprised of rubber, but may be comprised of other materials known in the art such as EVA or PVC. The rear heel support is preferably formed of an elastic material such as rubber. The rear heel support may alternatively be formed of one continuous piece, or may be separated into portions which become attached via conventional methods such as VELCRO® fasteners, magnets, fasteners, ties, buttons, or anything else known in the art.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a sandal comprising a sole having a forefoot portion and a heel portion. The sole preferably includes a midsole with a groove embedded along the heel portion. The sandal further includes a forefoot cover, which is attached to the sole and extends over the forefoot portion of the sole. The forefoot cover serves the purpose of securing the sandal to a user's foot. The sandal also includes a heel strap attached to the sole. The heel strap is capable of being set within the groove embedded along the heel portion and thereby interlocked with the heel portion of the sole. The heel strap is preferably comprised of an elastic material such as rubber. The heel strap preferably includes two terminal ends; wherein each terminal end is preferably attached to the sole using an adhesive. The heel strap can alternatively have a latch member extending from each terminal end. In such a configuration, the heel strap can be attached to the sole by engaging the latch members on the terminal ends of the heel strap with the sole. Alternatively, the sole can have at least one latch member extending therefrom, and the heel strap, having two terminal ends, can be attached to the sole by engaging the heel strap with one of the latch members extending from the sole. In another embodiment, the heel strap is attached to the sole with rivets. In yet another embodiment, the sandal includes a heel cover which extends from the heel strap to the heel portion of the sole to thereby form a continuous link between the heel strap and the heel portion of the sole.

In accordance with yet another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a sandal comprising a sole having a toe side, a heel portion, and a midsole. The midsole includes a sidewall, which forms a perimeter around the midsole, and has a channel running along at least a portion of the sidewall. The sandal further includes a foot strap attached to the sole. The foot strap extends over the toe side of the sole and serves the function of securing the sandal to a user's foot. The sandal also includes a heel strap linked to the sole. The heel strap is capable of being interlocked with the sidewall by setting the heel strap within the channel along the sidewall. The heel strap is preferably linked to the sole by gluing the ends of the heel strap to the midsole. The heel strap, however, can alternatively be attached to the foot strap. In an alternative embodiment, the midsole has an opening which transects through the midsole from the lateral side to the medial side of the sandal. In such a configuration, at least a portion of the heel strap may be disposed within the opening to thereby link the heel strap with the midsole.

In accordance with still another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a convertible sandal comprising a sole for supporting a user's foot; the sole having a forefoot portion, a heel portion, an outsole, a midsole, and an insole. The convertible sandal further includes a sidewall, which forms a perimeter around the midsole. The sidewall includes an interlocking section along the heel portion of the sole. The sandal also includes a forefoot cover securely attached to the sole. The forefoot cover extends over the forefoot portion of the sole and serves to secure the sandal to the user's foot. The sandal further includes a rear heel support member, which is securely attached to the sole. The rear heel support can be set within the interlocking section of the sidewall of the midsole to thereby hold the rear heel support member to the sole and thus allow the user to use the sandal in a “flip-flop” style.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS/FIGURES

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated herein and form part of the specification, illustrate the present invention and together with the description further serve to explain the principles of the invention and to enable a person skilled in the pertinent art to make the invention.

FIG. 1 is an elevated view of a convertible sandal in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the convertible sandal of FIG. 1 having the heel strap in a raised position.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the convertible sandal of FIG. 1 having the heel strap set within the groove along the heel portion of the midsole.

FIG. 4 is an elevated view of a convertible sandal having the forefoot cover taking the form of a slide.

FIG. 5 is a side view of the convertible sandal of FIG. 4 having the heel strap in a raised position.

FIG. 6 is a side view of the convertible sandal of FIG. 4 having the heel strap set within the groove along the heel portion of the midsole.

FIG. 7 is an elevated view of a convertible sandal having the forefoot cover taking the form of a clog.

FIG. 8 is a side view of the convertible sandal of FIG. 7 having the heel strap in a raised position.

FIG. 9 is a side view of the convertible sandal of FIG. 7 having the heel strap set within the groove along the heel portion of the midsole.

FIG. 10 is an elevated view of a convertible sandal having a heel cover extending between the heel strap and the heel portion of the sole.

FIG. 11 is a side view of the convertible sandal of FIG. 10 having the heel strap in a raised position.

FIG. 12 is a side view of the convertible sandal of FIG. 10 having the heel strap set within the groove along the heel portion of the midsole.

FIG. 13 is a bottom view of the convertible sandal of FIG. 1, in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional view of the convertible sandal of FIG. 13 cut along line A-A′.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A preferred embodiment of the present invention is now described with reference to the figures where like reference numbers indicate identical or functionally similar elements. Also in the figures, the left most digit of each reference number corresponds to the figure in which the reference number is first used. While specific configurations and arrangements are discussed, it should be understood that this is done for illustrative purposes only. A person skilled in the relevant art will recognize that other configurations and arrangements can be used without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It will be apparent to a person skilled in the relevant art that this invention can also be employed in a variety of other applications.

FIG. 1 is an elevated view of a convertible sandal 100 in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention. Convertible sandal 100 is comprised of a sole 102, or base member, which includes a top surface 104, or foot bed, a midsole 105, and an outsole (not shown). The sole 102 may also include a separate insole (not shown) or sock-lines (not shown). The top surface 104 is typically formed of a rubber material; however, the top surface can alternatively be comprised of a synthetic fabric, leather, or any other material known to the art. The top surface 104 may also be contoured to fit the shape of a human foot or modified in any manner to increase the comfort of the user. The top surface 104 is typically adhered to the midsole 105 using conventional methods. The midsole 105 is typically formed of blown ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). The top surface 104 may alternatively be formed of the same material as the midsole 105. The outsole (not shown) is discussed in conjunction with FIG. 13.

The sole 102 can be divided into a forefoot portion 106, or toe side, and a heel portion 108. The forefoot portion 106 begins at approximately the middle of the sole and extends forward to the area wherein a user's toes would set. The heel portion 108 begins at approximately the middle of the sole and extends backward to the area wherein the user's heel would set.

Forming a perimeter around the midsole 105 is a sidewall 110. The sidewall 110 is preferably integral with the midsole 105 and is formed of the same material as the midsole. Along the heel portion 108 of the midsole 105, the sidewall 110 includes a groove 111, or indentation. The groove 111, serves as an interlocking section in which a heel strap 116 may be set within (as shown in FIG. 3). The groove 111, preferably has a thickness approximately equal to the thickness of the heel strap 116.

The convertible sandal 100 includes a forefoot cover 112, or foot strap, which is securely attached to the sole 102. The forefoot cover 112 is typically embedded in the midsole 105 using conventional means well known within the art. The forefoot cover 112 takes the form of a thong. When a user inserts his foot, the forefoot cover 112 covers his instep and the thong portion 114 lies between the user's first and second toes. The forefoot cover 112 may also be cut or designed to meet any ornamental or functional purpose. FIGS. 4 and 7 show alternative forms which the forefoot cover may take.

The convertible sandal 100 further includes a heel strap 116, or rear heel support member. The heel strap 116 is linked to and extends from the sole 102 and is preferably securely attached to the outsole (not shown) as further described in FIG. 13. The heel strap 116 may alternatively be rotatably attached to the forefoot cover 112 or may be rotatably attached to the sole 102 using rivets, screws, latch members, or any other means known within the art. The heel strap 116 typically sits around the heel of the user and thereby ensures that the sandal remains attached to the user's foot when the user performs such functions as running, walking through water, or walking on the beach. The heel strap 116 is preferably made of an elastic material such as rubber and includes a tab 118 to aid the user in gripping the heel strap 116.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the convertible sandal 100 of FIG. 1 having the heel strap 116 in a raised position. FIG. 2 shows the convertible sandal 100, including the sole 102, which is comprised of the top surface 104, midsole 105, and outsole 205. The sole 102 is divided into approximately two halves comprising the forefoot portion 106 and the heel portion 108. Attached to the sole 102, and extending over the forefoot portion 106, is the forefoot cover 112, which takes the form of a thong. Also attached to the sole 102 is the heel strap 116. The heel strap 116 is preferably attached to the sole at an attachment point 214 between the forefoot portion 106 and heel portion 108. In such a configuration, a user can secure the heel strap 116 around his heel and ensure that the convertible sandal 100 will not fall off of his foot.

The sidewall 110 forms a perimeter around the midsole 105. Along the heel portion 108, the sidewall 110 is formed to create a groove 111. The groove 111 is defined by the space created under the lip 211 formed by the side channel 213, which preferably wraps around the heel portion 108 of the sidewall 110. The groove 111 is large enough to set the heel strap 116 within the side channel 213 to thereby serve as an interlocking section and thus hold the heel strap 116 to the heel portion 108 of the midsole 105, as seen in FIG. 3.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the convertible sandal 100 of FIG. 1 having the heel strap 116 set within the groove 111 along the heel portion 108 of the midsole 105. As illustrated, a user can set the heel strap 116 within the groove 111, and side channel 213, to thereby interlock the heel strap 116 with the midsole 105. In this configuration, the convertible sandal 100 takes the form of a typical “flip-flop” thong sandal, which may be preferred by the user for added comfort. Since the heel strap 116 is formed of an elastic material, the heel strap holds tightly and securely around the heel portion 108 of the midsole 105.

FIG. 4 is an elevated view of a convertible sandal 400 having a forefoot cover 412 taking the form of a slide. The convertible sandal 400 has the same features and serves the same functions as the convertible sandal 100 of FIG. 1, with the exception that the forefoot cover 412 takes the form of a slide. Such a construction may be preferred by a user for comfort and/or aesthetic reasons. The forefoot cover 412 is attached to the sole 102 and extends over the forefoot portion 106. The forefoot cover 412 can be ornamented and designed in any shape or pattern desirable to the user.

FIG. 5 is a side view of the convertible sandal 400 of FIG. 4 having the heel strap 116 in a raised position.

FIG. 6 is a side view of the convertible sandal 400 of FIG. 4 having the heel strap 116 set within the groove 111 along the heel portion 108 of the midsole 105. The heel strap 116 is interlocked within the groove 111 along the side channel 213 to thereby secure the heel strap 116 to the heel portion 108 of the midsole 105. In this configuration, the user can use the convertible sandal 400 as a typical “flip-flop” slide sandal.

FIG. 7 is an elevated view of a convertible sandal 700 having a forefoot cover 712 taking the form of a clog. The convertible sandal 700 has the same features and serves the same functions as the convertible sandal 100 of FIG. 1, with the exception that the forefoot cover 712 takes the form of a clog, or half shoe vamp. Such a constriction may be preferred by a user for comfort and/or aesthetic reasons. The forefoot cover 712 is attached to the sole 102 and extends over the forefoot portion 106. The forefoot cover 712 can be ornamented and designed in any shape or pattern desirable to the user.

FIG. 8 is a side view of the convertible sandal 700 of FIG. 7 having the heel strap 116 in a raised position.

FIG. 9 is a side view of the convertible sandal 700 of FIG. 7 having the heel strap 116 set within the groove 111 along the heel portion 108 of the midsole 105. The heel strap 116 is interlocked within the groove 111 along the side channel 213 to thereby secure the heel strap 116 to the heel portion 108 of the midsole 105. In this configuration, the user can use the convertible sandal 700 as a typical “flip-flop” clog sandal.

FIG. 10 is an elevated view of a convertible sandal 1000 having a heel cover 1003 extending between the heel strap 116 and the heel portion 108 of the sole 102. The heel cover 1003 is integral with the heel strap 116 and the heel portion 108 of the sole 102. The heel cover 1003 is preferably formed of a synthetic fabric, but may alternatively be formed of any material such as leather, nylon, or any other material known within the art. The heel cover 1003 may be preferred by the user for added comfort. As illustrated, the forefoot cover 112 takes the form of a thong, having a thong portion 114, as described in FIG. 1.

FIG. 11 is a side view of the convertible sandal 1000 of FIG. 10 having the heel strap 116 in a raised position. As illustrated, the heel cover 1003 extends from the heel portion 108 of the sole 102 to the heel strap 116. In this fashion, a user's heel is covered by the heel cover 1003. Such a construction may be desired for comfort and/or aesthetic reasons.

FIG. 12 is a side view of the convertible sandal 1000 of FIG. 10 having the heel strap 116 set within the groove 111 along the heel portion 108 of the midsole 105. In this configuration, heel cover 1003 has been tucked between the heel strap 116 and the heel portion 108 of the midsole 105. As such, the convertible sandal 1000 may be used as a conventional “flip-flop” thong sandal.

FIG. 13 is a bottom view of the convertible sandal 100 of FIG. 1. The convertible sandal 100 has a lateral side 1305 and a medial side 1307. The convertible sandal 100 also includes an outsole 1310, comprised of forefoot outsole 1310a, on the forefoot portion 106 of the midsole 105, and heel outsole 1310b, on the heel portion 108 of the midsole 105. The outsole 1310 is typically formed of a rugged rubber material for improved traction and wear. The outsole 1310 is typically glued to the midsole 105. The heel strap 116 is preferably linked to the convertible sandal 100 by gluing the heel strap 116 to the midsole 105 between the midsole and the outsole 1310b at attachment points 214a and 214b. The heel strap 116 may alternatively be linked to the convertible sandal 100 by first creating an opening which transects from the lateral side 1305 to the medial side 1307 of the midsole 105; the heel strap 116 can then be formed to be one continuous piece, wherein at least a portion of the heel strap is disposed within the opening. In such a construction, the heel strap 116 can rotate freely within the opening created through the midsole 105.

FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional view of the convertible sandal 100 of FIG. 13 cut along line A-A′. As illustrated in FIG. 14, one of the terminal ends of the heel strap 116 is glued to the midsole 105 at attachment point 214a. The heel strap 116 then extends upward to a raised position over the heel portion 108 of the midsole 105. Also illustrated in FIG. 14 is the path of the side channel 213 along side wall 110 of the heel portion 108 of the midsole 105. The side channel 213 begins at the attachment point 214a and follows along the perimeter of the heel portion 108, concluding at the second attachment point 214b (shown in FIG. 13). The side channel 213 is approximately the width and depth of the heel strap 116 such that when the heel strap is positioned appropriately, it can fit, and thereby interlock, within the groove 111 along the side channel 213.

While various embodiments of the present invention have been described above, it should be understood that they have been presented by way of example, and not limitation. For example, the forefoot covers illustrated were not intended to be limiting. The forefoot covers may take on any form or configuration desirable to a user. It will be apparent to a person skilled in the relevant art that various changes in form and detail can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, instead of having the heel strap 116 fit into the groove 111, the heel strap may be outfitted with a securing device such as a snap which allows the heel strap to stay securely attached to the midsole 105. This may be necessary if the heel strap 116 is not made of an elastic material. In addition, the length of the heel strap 116 may be made of separate pieces, one attached to each side of the midsole. The heel strap 116 can be made adjustable with conventional methods such as the use of VELCRO® fasteners, snaps, buttons, latches, or magnets. Thus the present invention should not be limited by any of the above-described exemplary embodiments, but should be defined only in accordance with the following claims and their equivalents. All cited patent documents and publications in the above description are incorporated herein by reference.