Title:
Tongue for footwear with changeable overlays
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Footwear incorporating a shoe tongue, or gusset, and opposite rear tab, various overlays, one or more of structure, attached to the upper end of the tongue, and may be folded over, individually, so as to disclose different coloration, appearance, or designs, upon the upper surface of the shoe tongue, to add to its aesthetics. In addition, fasteners may be used for holding the overlays onto the upper surface of the tongue, and additional fasteners, such as a strap, or pouch, may be employed adjacent the underside of the tongue, to hold the unused overlays into storage, as when not in usage.



Inventors:
Cox, Donald R. (Wildwood, MO, US)
Application Number:
12/069125
Publication Date:
08/14/2008
Filing Date:
02/07/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
36/54, 36/136, 36/50.1
International Classes:
A43B3/24; A43B23/00; A43B23/26; A43C11/00
View Patent Images:
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20090119950Self Assembled Article of Footwear with Customized DesignsMay, 2009Kohatsu et al.
20050115116Article of footwear, binding assembly and article of footwear-binding assembly combinationJune, 2005Pedersen et al.
20090288318FOOTWEAR WITH LIGHTED LACESNovember, 2009Guzman
20090178303ARTICLE OF FOOTWEAR WITH FOREFOOT PLATESJuly, 2009Hurd et al.
20050235524Structure of wound-healing insoleOctober, 2005Huang
20040134101Waterproof shoeJuly, 2004Chen



Primary Examiner:
MOHANDESI, JILA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Paul M. Denk (St. Louis, MO, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. Footwear incorporating changeable overlays in order to vary the coloration, design, and indicia of the shoe, when worn, including footwear, the footwear having a sole, a vamp upon said sole, one of a shoe tongue, gusset, and shield applied to its vamp, two quarter portions outwardly upon said sole, a counter opposite said vamp, and a rear tab upon said counter; said shoe tongue extending behind said vamp and having an upper edge opposite said vamp, a front surface generally opposite said sole and an underside generally opposite said front surface; at least one overlay affixed to the upper edge of the shoe tongue, such that when the overlay is not used, the overlay will rest contiguously against the underside of the shoe tongue, but that when the overlay is applied, to vary the coloration, indicia, or design of the shoe tongue, the overlay will fold over and lie upon the front surface of the shoe tongue; and, fastening means provided for holding the overlay to the front surface of the shoe tongue, in order to provide an appearance change to the coloration, design, and indicia for the shoe tongue while the footwear is being worn.

2. The footwear with changeable overlays of claim 1 wherein said fastening means includes one of stitching, rings, spiral band, hook and loop fasteners, and elastic cord.

3. The footwear with changeable overlays of claim 1 further comprising: said at least one overlay extending from said tongue opposite said vamp and, folding upon said front surface; said tongue having at least two grommets therethrough and said at least one overlay having at least two grommets therethrough in registration with said grommets of said tongue; and, said fastening means including at least one strap extending from one of said quarter portions, to said tongue, and through said grommets, said strap having two opposite ends, one end securing to the other end using one of one of snaps, hook and loop fasteners, bayonet locks, and cooperating loop and peg.

4. The footwear with changeable overlays of claim 1 further comprising: said at least one overlay extending from said tongue opposite said vamp and folding upon said front surface; and, at least one pocket locating upon said tongue retaining said at least one overlay when not in usage.

5. The footwear with changeable overlays of claim 1 further comprising: said at least one overlay extending from said tongue opposite said vamp and folding upon said front surface; and, at least one keeper locating upon said tongue proximate said vamp and retaining said at least one overlay.

6. The footwear with changeable overlays of claim 1 further comprising: said at least one overlay having a generally tubular shape including an interior surface, a fixed end and an opposite free end, said fixed end connecting to said tongue opposite said vamp, said free end receiving the perimeter of said tongue, and said at least one overlay rolling upon said front surface and said underside of said tongue towards said vamp.

7. The footwear with changeable overlays of claim 1 further comprising: said rear tab extending across said counter and upwardly from said counter towards said quarter portions; and, said at least one overlay affixed to said rear tab, such that when said overlay is not used said at least one overlay rests contiguously against said rear tab outwardly of said counter, and said at least one overlay when applied during use folding over said rear tab and lying against the inside of said rear tab; and, said fastening means provided for holding said overlay upon said rear tab to provide a change in appearance to said footwear.

8. The footwear with changeable overlays of claim 7 further comprising: at least two of said overlays; one of said overlays being stitched partially along the perimeter of said rear tab except along said counter; and, one of said overlays flipping over said rear tab during usage to reveal a second of said overlays upon said rear tab.

9. The footwear with changeable overlays of claim 8 further comprising: said fastening means including stitching, rings, spiral band, hook and loop fasteners, and elastic cord.

10. The footwear with changeable overlays of claim 7 further comprising: said overlay folding inwardly upon grasping by the wearer of said footwear upon the outer edges of said overlay and then flipping said overlay inside said rear tab to reveal another of said overlays outwardly upon said rear tab.

11. The footwear with changeable overlays of claim 7 further comprising: said overlay lifting from said rear tab upon grasping by the wearer of said footwear upon the center of said overlay and then flipping said overlay inside said rear tab to reveal another of said overlays outwardly upon said rear tab.

12. Footwear capable of varying in appearance when worn, said footwear having the components of a sole, a vamp upon said sole, a tongue extending behind said vamp, a gusset, two quarter portions outwardly upon said sole, a counter opposite said vamp, and a rear tab upon said counter, comprising: said tongue having an upper edge opposite said vamp and a front surface generally opposite said sole; at least one overlay affixed to said upper edge, said overlay when not in usage resting contiguously against the underside of said tongue, and said overlay when applied during usage folding over said tongue and lying upon the front surface of said tongue; and, fastening means provided for holding said overlay upon said front surface to provide a change in appearance to said footwear; wherein the wearer of said footwear can vary the coloration, indicia, or design of said footwear.

13. The footwear varying in appearance of claim 12 wherein said fastening means includes one of stitching, rings, spiral band, hook and loop fasteners, and elastic cord.

14. The footwear varying in appearance of claim 12 further comprising: at least one overlay extending from said tongue opposite said vamp; said at least one overlay folding upon said front surface thus varying the appearance of said footwear; said tongue having at least two grommets therethrough and said a at least one overlay having at least two grommets therethrough in registration with said grommets of said tongue; and, said fastening means including at least one strap extending from said quarter portion, to said tongue, and through said grommets, said strap having two opposite ends, one end securing to the other end using one of one of snaps, hook and loop fasteners, bayonet locks, and cooperating loop and peg.

15. The footwear varying in appearance of claim 12 further comprising: a rear tab extending across said counter and upwardly from said counter and slightly forward of said counter to the upper edge of said quarter portions; and, at least one overlay affixed to said rear tab, said overlay when not in usage resting contiguously against said rear tab outwardly of said counter, and said overlay when applied during usage folding over said rear tab and lying against the inside of said rear tab; and, fastening means provided for holding said overlay upon said rear tab to provide a change in appearance to said footwear.

16. The footwear varying in appearance of claim 15 further comprising: said at least one overlay being stitched partially along the perimeter of said rear tab; and, said at least one overlay flipping over said rear tab during usage to change the appearance of said rear tab.

17. The footwear varying in appearance of claim 16 further comprising: at least two overlays folding inwardly upon grasping by the wearer of said footwear upon the outer edges of said overlay and then flipping said overlay inside said rear tab to reveal another of said overlays outwardly upon said rear tab.

18. The footwear varying in appearance of claim 16 further comprising: at least two overlays lifting from said rear tab upon grasping by the wearer of said footwear upon the center of said overlay and then flipping said overlay inside said rear tab to reveal another of said overlays outwardly upon said rear tab.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This non-provisional application claims priority to the provisional application Ser. No. 60/900,659 filed on Feb. 9, 2007 and is commonly owned by the same inventor.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to footwear, and more specifically pertains to athletic, walking shoes, or footwear in general, wherein the tongue or gusset is applied in the usual fashion to its upper vamp, with the tongue incorporating one or more overlays that may be unfolded to overlap the upper surface of the tongue in order to change the general appearance of the subject shoe.

Obviously, this footwear, constructed of various components, for achieving a multitude of purposes, has long been considered in the prior art. Most of these types of innovations have been in the area of running or athletic shoes, and generally pertains to various types of sole constructions, or patterned soles, in order to enhance the efficiency of usage of the shoe during participation in some type of a sport, exercise, or other activity. In addition, shoes have been modified in the past to include various changes to the tongue, or other aspects of the shoe, such as adding a pocket within the tongue, or pockets along the quarter portion of the shoe, in order to add to the utility of the subject footwear.

For example, the patent to Adamik, U.S. Pat. No. 4,372,060, shows a tongue for footwear wherein a pocket is integrated into the gusset structure.

The patent to Tonkel, U.S. Pat. No. 4,805,321, shows a tongue for a shoe which is reversible, held at its bottom edge to the upper vamp, so that it may be pulled free, turned over, in order to expose its opposite side.

The patent to Lasher, U.S. Pat. No. 5,459,947, shows a decorative shoe tongue simulating and lace securing device, which connects onto the lacing, to hold the overlaying tongue in place.

The patent to Bordin, U.S. Pat. No. 6,321,466, shows a removable tongue for a shoe and attachment device therefore, in which appears to be more of a boot or perhaps a ski shoe in structure.

The published application to Small, No. US2002/0029494a1 shows a removable and interchangeable shoe tongue.

The patent to McAtee, U.S. Pat. No. 6,397,497, discloses a shoe tongue accessory, wherein a decorative reversible cover for a shoe tongue is adapted for displaying indicia on the top surface of the tongue. The structure of this device appears to be integrated into a pouch structure for the tongue.

The patent to Smith, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,379,529, shows a tongue strapping system for a shoe upper.

The patent to Attilieni, U.S. Pat. No. 5,673,499, shows a footwear tongue with removable decorative element.

The patent to Sileo, U.S. Pat. No. 5,659,979, shows transparent footwear with interchangeable tongue and insole and kit therefore.

The patent to Marry, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,212,797, shows footwear with a detachable spat, within the region of the shoe gusset area.

The current invention is a modification that is quite distinct and different from what is shown in this prior art, but adds similar type of results, by furnishing means for revising the aesthetics, appearance, indicia, and decorative designs, that are displayed upon the shoe, in the region of overlaying its tongue, to enhance the appearance of the footwear in general.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The principal object of this invention is to provide a shoe tongue, which has one or more overlays applied to it, generally at its upper edge, and which may be folded into overlaying relationship upon the tongue so as to change its color, appearance, design, and the like.

This invention contemplates the formation of the usual type of shoe, whether it be a dress shoe, athletic shoe, running shoe, or the like, and which normally includes the usual structure of a vamp, quarter portions, counter, a tongue, all integrated together, and applied to the shoe sole. The essence of this invention, though, is to apply to the upper edge of the tongue one or more flexible overlays, which normally will reside in close contiguity to the underside of the tongue, and against the upper arch of the foot, until such time as the overlays are required for usage. Then, as they are needed, one or more of the overlays may be folded over the upper edge of the shoe tongue, and span its length in width down to the lower edge of the tongue in proximity with the upper edge of the shoe vamp, and therein provide an entirely different appearance to the shoe, from a coloration, design, indicia, or of other appearances.

Generally, one or more of these overlays may be otherwise stitched, hinged, held be a hook and pile Velcro means, be held by clasps or clamps, zippered thereto, or held by a spiral connector, to the upper edge of the shoe tongue. These overlays, which may be one, or as many as five, or even additional amounts, will have their own distinct coloration in appearance, particularly upon that surface which will be exposed upon the upper surface of the footwear or tongue, as the overlays are folded into an overlying relationship, to completely change the coloration of the tongue, during usage.

Generally, these overlays will be a flexible cloth, leather, or other materials, and in a variety of color and textures, so that they can be easily folded over, to overlay the surface of the shoe gusset, but yet be held at position, under the shoe lacing, during usage.

The essence of this invention, then, is to provide a new method of changing the appearance of the shoe tongue. With the usage of this particular embodiment, the concept for the shoe can be changed in color, texture, or design of the tongue, without having it turn the tongue physically, itself, simply be providing one or more overlays that can be folded over into an overlaying relationship upon the tongue, to expose its own coloration, etc. In addition, by making the tongue and the overlays of this invention of a wider dimension, they may even extend slightly down the quarter portions of the shoes, so as to be exposed through any apertures provided within the shoe structure, such as star designs, etc., in order to change the coloration of the shoe, and the side logos, at those positions likewise. The number of overlays that can be attached to the tongue will depend upon the thickness of the original tongue for the shoe. It is envisioned that the footwear could be made to offer a customer five or six different appearances, and looks, for the shoe, by incorporating that number of overlays into the structure of the shoe tongue.

Various methods may be used for incorporating the structure of the overlays into the tongue. It may be done by stitching several tongue overlays onto the top of the original tongue at its top edge, and folding them contiguously against the back side of the original tongue, until used. By removing or pulling each separate tongue overlay design from the underside of the gusset, and folding them over the top edge of the tongue, and down the front of the tongue through a keeper and down to the bottom edge of the tongue, each separate tongue overlay can have its own appearance, design, indicia, so as to substantially change the looks of the shoe, as the overlays are applied. Those overlays that are not applied will either be folded under the overlay that overlays the tongue or they may yet remain against the underside of the shoe gusset, and against the upper foot, as the shoe is worn. In addition, there may also be applied any type of an elastic band, that may be secured to the backside of the tongue, in order to hold those overlays, unused, against the interior of the tongue, while the shoe is being worn. Or, the tongue may include a pouch or pocket along its undersurface, and these additional overlays, not employed, may be slipped into the pouch, and held into the contiguous relationship therewith, until used. In this manner, the overlays will not roll up or ball up, against the foot, nor will they add any inconvenience to the wearer of the shoe, during usage.

Another method for attaching the tongue overlays into position may include any type of a spiral type of polymer or metal securement device, or perhaps the use of any type of small rings, such as D rings, to hold the overlays in position for pivoting about the upper edge of the shoe tongue. A soft plastic type of binding could be used with holes punched in the top of the overlays, in addition to the top of the tongue, as in a spiral notebook, type of holder, and allow the overlays to be turned, individually, as used. The overlays can be attached to the top of the original tongue of the shoe, as manufactured, and marketed. They again would fold back over the tongue, and slide under an elastic band, or perhaps be held by Velcro at the lower edges of the tongue, and the overlays, to keep them in position contiguously against the underside of the tongue, when installed. In addition, there may be some Velcro provided at the downward edge of the overlays so that when they are folded over, into an overlying relationship upon the tongue, they can be fastened at the bottom, by Velcro, and held in position during usage. Or, there may an elastic strap provided upon the lower segment of the bottom of the tongue, into which the overlays may insert, to hold them contiguously against the tongue, particularly in those instances where the shoes do not incorporate lacing, to hold the shoe onto the foot, particularly where a slip on type of shoe may be employed.

Another method for holding the overlays in position may include one or more eyelets, on the top of the original tongue and attaching the tongue overlays by D rings, as stated, so that the overlays can be folded over onto the tongue, arranged down the front surface of the tongue, and held under the laces, as stated. These overlays could then again be folded back over the tongue, and slid under an elastic band, and be secured to the back or underside of the tongue, or slipped into a self contained pocket in the tongue, to retain them as when not in usage.

Hence, the principal object of this invention is to provide one or more overlays secured to a footwear tongue and which may be folded over, into an overlying relationship upon the surface of the tongue, and be held thereto to add or enhance, or change, the appearance, color, design, or other indicia, for footwear during usage.

These and other objects may become more apparent to those skilled in the art upon reviewing the summary of the invention as provided herein, and upon undertaking a study of the description of its preferred embodiment, in view of the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In referring to the drawings,

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of footwear incorporating the overlays of this invention;

FIG. 2 is an isolated view of a shoe tongue, showing a series of tongue overlays stitched along its upper edge;

FIG. 3 shows the back of the tongue, in a modification, and showing how a pocket or pouch may provide a receptacle into which the unused overlays may insert;

FIG. 4 shows a further modification to an isolated tongue for a shoe, wherein a series of overlays are linked by retainers or D rings to the upper edge of the shown tongue;

FIG. 5 provides a back view of the tongue of FIG. 4, and discloses how a tongue pocket may be provided for inserting the overlays therein as during non usage;

FIG. 6 shows footwear having a series of overlays held by a spiral attachment to the upper edge of the shown tongue;

FIG. 7 shows a series of overlays held by the spiral attachment of FIG. 6, to the shoe tongue, which may incorporate a pocket or pouch for retaining one or more of the unused overlays within the tongue as during non usage;

FIG. 8 shows multiple overlays that fit over the top of eye row of lacing;

FIG. 9 shows a series of multiple overlays that fir under the lacings;

FIG. 10 discloses various fastening devices for holding the overlays in place, and for hooking them at their bottom edges when assembled;

FIG. 11 is a side view of footwear with a flip over top to the shoe tongue or gusset to vary its coloration or design;

FIG. 12 is a operational view showing how a finger slid under the pocket like covering can be flipped to the underside, thereby disclosing a new surface upon the upper edge of said tongue;

FIG. 13 is a front view of the upper edge of a shoe tongue with a plurality of layers, three in number, being applied to the upper edge of said tongue;

FIG. 13a is a front view of the upper edge of a tongue showing the outer overlay lifted by fingers; and FIG. 13b is another front view of tongue's upper edge showing the outer overlay pinched and revealing the lower overlays;

FIG. 14 is a side view of the layered tongue of FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a back view of the tongue;

FIG. 16 is a side view of footwear with a modified type of plurality of flaps applied to the upper edge of its tongue, gusset, or overlay;

FIG. 17 is a front view of the tongue with the plurality of overlays extending upwardly therefrom;

FIG. 18 shows a pair of overlays disclosing differing designs;

FIG. 19 shows the upper edge of the tongue with a series of overlays extending upwardly therefrom, disclosing how at least three layers of overlays are provided for installation and usage with the tongue during application within footwear;

FIG. 20a describes a side view of the rear of a shoe; and FIG. 20b illustrates a rear view of a shoe with an overlay upon the rear tab; and,

FIG. 21a shows a side view of a shoe's rear with fingers lifting an overlay form the sides; and, FIG. 21b provides a rear view of a shoe with fingers lifting an overlay from the center of the rear tab.

The same reference numerals refer to the same parts throughout the various figures.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to the drawings, and in particular FIG. 1, therein is shown a shoe 1 constructed of the usual style, incorporating a sole underneath, as at 2, and having connected thereon the usual vamp 3 quarter portions 4 and 5, and counter 6, as at its back end. Also incorporated into this structure of the shoe is the tongue 7 which usually is connected by stitching, as at its lower end 8, to the upper edge 9 of the vamp 3, as can be seen. Lacings 10 are normally employed for holding the shoe onto the foot, during usage, although other styles of footwear, such as slip on shoes, that incorporate a gusset or tongue, are also envisioned for usage in application of this invention.

As can be noted, the tongue 7 includes structure 11 securing at its upper edge, and may be connected by a variety of means for fastening as to be subsequently described. In the preferred embodiment, this structure includes a series of overlays that are generally stitched in position, at the upper edge 12 of the shown tongue, and perform in a manner as to be subsequently described.

As can be seen in FIG. 2, the tongue 7 has a series of the structured overlays 11 stitched, as at 13, to the upper edge 12 of the shown shoe tongue, and as can be noted, in this particular embodiment, the series of overlays include two or more here shown as four in number, as noted at 14 through 17. Actually, in any given embodiment, as many as two, or an infinite number of overlays, may be applied in this manner, depending upon the clearance provided under the shoe tongue, when the footwear is worn, and which does not distract from the convenience and comfort of the wearer, during shoe usage.

As can be understood, these individual overlays 14 through 17 may be folded over, one at a time, starting with the initial overlay 14, and which may be folded over onto the top surface, as at 18, of the shown tongue, so as to expose the coloration of that overlay, onto the upper surface of the tongue, as can be understood. Thus, if the normal tongue 7 of the shoe may be of a coloration that is synonymous with the total color of the footwear as manufactured, the overlay 14, may be of an entirely different color, on its exposed surface, when it is folded over into an overlying and contiguous relationship upon the surface 18 of the tongue 7, so as to completely change the coloration, appearance, or design, for the shown shoe, when worn.

In addition, as can be noted, there may be a keeper device, such as the elastic band 19 provided some distance down the tongue, so that the overlay may be inserted therethrough, and held in a contiguous position against the surface of the tongue, as the shoe is being worn. This type of a keeper may be useful where the shoe is of the slip on type, and does not incorporate the type of lacing, as shown at 10, in FIG. 1. On the other hand, where the lacing is applied to the shoe, this may be sufficient to hold anyone of the overlays against the tongue, as can be understood. In addition, instead of the usage of any type of a keeper, such as the elastic band, or any other type of strap, as can be understood, it may be that the lower edge of the tongue may incorporate some Velcro, which may cooperate with a similar narrow strip of Velcro provided at the bottom edge of each of the overlays 11, and be fastened in that manner to the upper surface 18 of the tongue, as the shoe is being used. In addition, when the overlay is then folded over the tongue, once again, as when not in use, it may cooperate with similar type of Velcro, or other type of fastening strap, and held in position contiguously against the underside of the shoe gusset, as the overlays are not used.

As can be seen, the individual overlays may be folded over, one at a time, onto the upper surface of the tongue, to expose each of their individual appearances, upon the surface of the gusset, and generally change the overall appearance of the shoe, to add to the variety of its appearance. As can be understood, as for example, when overlay 16 is to be employed, overlays 14 and 15 will have been previously folded over, and then overlay 16 is folded over, in order to expose its coloration, at the top of the gusset 7, during usage. At that time, the overlay 17 may remain against the underside of the tongue, as can be understood. But, if the overlay 17 is required, then it may to be folded over, and held against the upper surface of the tongue 7, to expose its particular changed coloration or design, during usage.

As can be well understood, utilizing overlays of this type, that may change the appearance or design of the shown footwear, may be used for, for example, displaying different colorations synonymous with school colors, club colors, or add different types of designs, trademarks, even add caricatures, that are exposed at the top of the tongue, within the spacing between the upper edges of the shoe quarter portions 4 and 5, as can be clearly understood.

As can be noted in FIG. 3, the back of the tongue may include a pouch, as at 20, and into which the various overlays 14 through 17, may insert, between the interior edges 21 and 22, of the pouch, to hold the overlays in position, as when not in usage. Or, one or more of the overlays may be employed upon the upper surface 18 of the tongue 7, while the unused overlays may insert within the pouch, and beheld therein, as during their non usage. These are just examples as to how the structure and concept of this invention may be employed in order to furnish means for substantially changing the appearance of the shoe, during usage.

FIG. 4 shows another modification to the subject matter of this invention. As noted, the tongue 23 has a series of overlays 24 through 27 held thereto, in this instance, by a series of clips, fasteners, or D rings, as at 28, as noted. The manipulation of the various overlays 24 through 27, when used with this style of shoe tongue is very similar in function to that as previously described with the stitched form of overlays. Once again, as each of the overlays are folded over, onto the upper surface 29 of the shown shoe gusset, they can be held in position by means of the keeper or strap 30 as previously explained. Or, hook and pile fastening means, such as Velcro, applied somewhere along the overlays, and on the upper surface of the tongue 23, can be used to hold the overlays on place against the upper surface of the tongue, and even those that are not used, and remain contiguous against the undersurface of the tongue, as when not in use. In addition, FIG. 5 shows how a tongue pocket 31 may be employed within the structure of the shoe gusset, having an opening extending to the internal edges 32 and 33 of the shown pouch, and into which the unused overlays may insert, for temporary storage.

FIG. 6 shows a further modification to the tongue 34, and in this particular instance, a spiral type of fastener, as at 35 may be employed. This type of spiral fastener or attachment may hold a series of the overlays 36 to 39 adjacent the upper edge of the shoe tongue, used, with the similar type of keeper 40 shown to hold the overlays in position, when employed. Or, other types of keepers may be used, as previously explained. In addition, FIG. 7 shows how another pouch or pocket 41 may be used, and structured internally into the shoe gusset, in order to hold the unused overlays into position, when not employed. Obviously, in order that the pouch may be opened, and regardless which type of fastening device is used, whether it be the stitching of FIG. 2, the rings of FIG. 4, or the spiral attachment of FIG. 6, such fasteners will be connected with the upper edge of the outer layer of the shown tongue, so as not to interfere with the opening of the shown pouches, of FIGS. 3, 5, and 7, to allow the unused overlays to insert therein, for storage.

FIG. 8 discloses multiple overlays that are secured at the upper edges of the footwear tongue, and may be overlaid, one on top of the other, to disclose a series of various overlays that may have multiple colors, designs, or the like. And, the overlays may even be smaller or in graduated decreasing sizes, so that the main overlay may be at the bottom, as shown at 42, while the upper overlay, as at 43, may be of smaller dimensions, so as to disclose a series of multiple designs or colorations, as the overlays are assembled, on top of the shoe laces. Additionally, each overlay may extend outwardly from the vicinity of the tongue and upon the quarter portions 4, 5 to a securement proximate the sole 2 at the beginning of the instep towards the wearer's ankle. An overlay may have a somewhat triangular shape with the point of the triangle towards the vamp and the opposite ends of the triangle wrapping over the instep towards the securement point. The overlay can secure using hook and loop fasteners, loops upon posts, and other releasably connections.

FIG. 9 discloses a similar arrangement for a series of overlays, as at 44, and which may be arranged under the shoe laces, as can be noted. The bottom end of the overlays may be staggered, so as to provide, once again, a multitude to exposed colorations or designs, as the next overlay is inserted on top of the multiple of overlays as displayed.

FIG. 10 discloses how the shoe 45 may include means for attachment of the overlays, as at 46, at the upper edge of the shoe tongue, as at 47, and which may be held by means of any type of ring, plastic ring, stretch cords, ties, or other devices, for holding the overlays in place, by attaching through their eyelets, as at 48, as noted.

In addition, the bottom of each overlay may include a loop type of means, as at 49, and which may be engaged onto a hook, peg, as at 50, or the like, as to stretch and hold the overlays in place, once assembled onto the shoe tongue.

In addition, it is just as likely that the overlays may include pockets, so as to hold keys, coins, or the like. In addition, as for example for hunting or work boots, these pockets may be of such size as to accommodate the location of a heat pack therein, so as to keep the foot warm, during inclement or colder temperatures. Or, one of those ice packs may be included therein, in the summertime, to add to the comfort of the wearer, during usage. In addition, the tongues may be made of transparent material, so as to disclose various designs therethrough, when assembled. These are examples of the versatility for the usage of the overlays of this invention, when installed into footwear construction.

As just referred to, it is likely that the tongue of the shoes may incorporate various types of pockets, or overlays, that may cooperate with the tongue, to provide means for facilitating a change in appearance for the shoes, when used. For example, in FIGS. 11 and 12, there is shown a side view for a shoe 45 the tongue 51 includes a series of elastic and resilient type of pouches, generally called flips, as at 52, and these are generally stitched around their perimeter, to the outer edge of the tongue 51, as can be seen at 53, so that the pocket or flip can be grasped by the finger, as can be seen in FIG. 12, and stretched upwardly to flip around the top of the tongue and become resiliently applied against the back side of the tongue, when it is desired to change the appearance of the upper edge of tongue, as can be understood.

As shown in FIG. 13, it can be seen that the flips 52 can include a plurality of them, as noted at 52a, 52b, and 52c, so that, for example, while the top layer 52 may have one particular color, or design, it can be lifted up and elastically flipped to the back side of the tongue, as noted in FIG. 12, so as to display in its entirety the second overlay, as at 52b. And, it is likely that the second overlay 52b could likewise be stretched and flipped over the top of the tongue 51, so as to display in full the coloration or design of the overlay 52c, when desired. The overlays utilize a construction of Lycra® or other material the readily stretches to invert and fit over the top of the tongue of the shoe.

FIG. 13a illustrates how a wearer of the shoe grasps the tongue 51 with the fingers F of one hand and then grips an overlay 52 a, 52b, 52c with the fingers F of the other hand. The wearer then stretches one overlay 52a, 52b, 52c over the end of the tongue 51 to reveal another overlay beneath. This stretching can be continued for the various number of overlaps located upon the tongue. Each overlay is generally stitched upon three sides, or edges, with the lowest edge, towards the vamp 3 not stitched and generally lifted towards the top of the tongue to flip the overlay. The various overlays can show colors, team names, team mascots, or other indicia. Further, FIG. 13b shows a wearer of the shoe gripping both edges of the tongue 51 with the fingers F of both hands in opposition. The wearer advances the fingers towards the midline of the tongue which pinches the outer flip 52, or overlay, at the center and reveals the overlays locating beneath.

In an alternate embodiment, the overlay 52 has a tubular, or sleeve like, form, or shape, with a fixed end and a free end. The fixed end attaches the overlay to the tongue generally at the top or opposite the vamp. The free end extends away from the fixed end. During a period of non-usage, the tubular overlay folds beneath the tongue. When the wearer desires to change the appearance of the tongue, the wearer extends the tubular overlay from beneath the tongue and outwardly from the fixed end. The wearer then rolls, or peels, the overlay outwardly from the axis of the tubular shape and reveals the interior surface of the overlay. The wearer rolls the overlay towards the tongue upon the entire circumference of the tubular overlay. The wearer pulls the overlay towards and then upon the tongue similar to a person placing a sock upon a foot. The wearer pulls the overlay like a sleeve upon the top and bottom surfaces of the tongue and thus the tongue attains the appearance of the interior of the tubular overlay which may have different coloring, indicia, logos, and the like from the top surface of the tongue. The free end of the overlay locates proximate the vamp while the fixed end of the overlay remains exposed upon the tongue opposite the vamp.

The preceding has described a tongue with one tubular overlay. This alternate embodiment can also have a plurality of overlays. Each of the plurality of overlays has a tubular, or sleeve like, form with a fixed end secured upon the tongue opposite the vamp and a free end opposite the fixed end. During a period of non-usage, the tubular overlays fold beneath the tongue in a mutually parallel orientation. When the wearer desires to change the appearance of the tongue, the wearer extends the selected tubular overlay from beneath the tongue and outwardly from the fixed end. If the selected tubular overlay was the closest to the tongue, the wearer unfolds the remaining overlays of the plurality from beneath the tongue and places them upon the top surface of the tongue. The wearer then rolls, or peels, the selected overlay outwardly from the axis of the tubular shape and reveals the interior surface of the selected overlay. The wearer rolls the overlay towards the tongue upon the entire circumference of the tubular overlay. The wearer pulls the overlay towards and then upon the remaining overlays and the tongue similar to a person placing a sock upon a foot. The wearer pulls the overlay like a sleeve upon the top and bottom surfaces of the tongue and thus the tongue attains the appearance of the interior of the selected tubular overlay which may have different coloring, indicia, logos, and the like from the top surface of the tongue. The free end of the selected overlay passes over the remaining overlays and locates proximate the vamp while the fixed end of the selected overlay remains secured to the tongue with the remaining overlays but exposed upon the tongue opposite the vamp.

If the selected tubular overlay was the furthest from the tongue of the plurality, the wearer leaves the remaining overlays of the plurality beneath the tongue. The wearer then rolls, or peels, the selected overlay outwardly and reveals the interior surface of the selected overlay. The wearer then rolls the overlay towards the tongue upon the entire circumference of the tubular overlay. The wearer pulls the overlay towards and then upon the tongue along with the remaining overlays beneath the tongue and the tongue. The wearer pulls the selected overlay like a sleeve upon the top surface of the tongue so the tongue attains the appearance of the interior of the selected tubular overlay. Like before, the free end of the selected overlay passes over the remaining overlays and locates proximate the vamp while the fixed end of the selected overlay remains secured to the tongue with the remaining overlays but exposed upon the tongue opposite the vamp.

If the selected overlay is within the plurality of overlays, the wearer unfolds the overlays beneath the selected overlay upon the top surface of the tongue and retains the overlays above the selected overlay, those towards the tongue, in place. The wearer then rolls and peels the selected tubular overlay towards the tongue. The wearer slips the free end of the selected tubular overlay upon those overlays above the tongue and the remaining overlays beneath the tongue. The free end of the selected tubular overlay reaches proximate the vamp while the fixed end remains at the top of the tongue opposite the vamp. The selected tubular overlay retains the plurality of overlays upon the tongue in a compact form, comfortable for the wearer. The preceding has described the alternate embodiment of the overlays having a tubular form and applied singly or in a plurality upon a shoe with a tongue.

Thus, as can be determined, there can be as many of the overlays as desired, within reason, that can be flipped to the back side of the tongue, or once again returned to the front side of the tongue, when it is desired to display the design or coloration of that particular overlay, upon the upper front surface of the tongue, in a manner as can be seen in FIG. 11. The overlays will be stitched along the side edges and top of the tongue, as along the edges 54, as noted in FIG. 14, and these overlays can then be stretched and flipped over onto the back side of the tongue, as noted in FIG. 15, where the flip or overlay 52a has been arranged.

These overlays or flips, which form a pocket like structure at the top of the tongue, can be made of a resilient or elastic type of material, such as a Lycra, and which are stitched around the upper side edges and the top of the shoe tongue 51, so as to allow them to be stretched and forced to the back side of the tongue, when a new coloration surface is desired for the upper front of the tongue, while the shoes are being worn.

FIG. 16 shows a variation upon the type of overlays or multi-layers that may be applied to the upper surface of the tongue, during usage of the shoe. As noted, in this instance, the shoe tongue, gusset, or overlay, as noted at 55 upon the shown shoe 56 also includes a series of flaps, as can be seen at 57a, 57b, or 57c. As noted, these overlays are shown simply extending upwardly upon the tongue. But, during usage and application, one or more of these flaps 57 will extend downwardly, over the upper surface of the shoe tongue, overlay, or shield 55, so that its opening slot 58 will become aligned with the opening 59 of the overlay 55, so that the fastening strap 60 can extend through both of the slots 58, to hold the shoe overlay, and its flaps, in place, against the surface of the shoe, while worn. The slots 58 may include grommets, as at 59, in order to reinforce these slots and to provide them with longevity, during continuous usage when the shoes are worn.

As can be seen in FIG. 17, as at 61, and in FIG. 18, as at 62 and 63, various designs may be applied to the flaps 57, so that whichever flap is selected, such as 57a, b, or c, it will disclose its particular design upon the surface of the shoe overlay, during usage. Those flaps which are not folded down over the upper top of the overlay 55, can be bent under and tucked in beneath the overlay or tongue 55, and yet still remain held into position of nonusage, under the overlay, even while the shoe is being worn.

As can be also noted, in FIG. 18, and likewise in FIG. 17, it can be seen that the shoe tongues 55 can include a swivel, as at 62a that even further allows the shoe tongue to be pivoted, from its top to its bottom side, to further add to the versatility of usage of this invention.

FIG. 19 shows a clearer view of the shoe tongue, overlay, or shield 55, how it may have a graphic print 64 provided upon its surface, as intermediate the pair of grommet slots 58, and can be displayed thereat, during usage of the shoe. But, when one or more of the flaps 57a, 57b, or 57c, are folded down either individually, or in combination, upon the upper front surface of the shoe tongue 55, they can be locked into position by means of the strap 60, and held against the shoe tongue, to provide a different display of coloration, indicia, or design, while the shoe is being worn. Obviously, it can be understood that the strap 60 is deigned to also fasten the shoe tongue, and the shoe, to the foot, once the strap 60 is tightly fastened in position. The strap can include Velcro, a buckle, a clasp, or any other type of fastener, that allows for it to be held securely against the upper quarter portion of the shoe, during its usage.

Viewing the rear portion of a shoe 45, FIG. 20a shows the vicinity of the heel. The shoe has quarter portions 4, 5 upon a sole 2 that extend rearward to a counter 6 that enwraps the heel of the wearer. Above the counter, the shoe has a rear tab 65 that extends upwardly from the edge of the quarter portions opposite the sole. The rear tab allows the wearer to grip the rear of the shoe and assists in donning the shoe upon a foot. The rear tab has a flip or first overlay 66a secured upon three sides, preferably by stitching, with an unsecured edge towards the sole. Beneath the first overlay, additional overlays are shown, a second overlay 66b, and a third overlay 66c. Further overlays, in a plurality can be secured upon the rear tab to suit the tastes of the wearer. The overlays upon the rear tab are generally Lycra® or other material that stretches readily. Generally each overlay releasably fastens to the rear tab using hook and loop fastening, snaps, loops on posts, and like connections.

Then viewing the rear portion of the shoe, FIG. 20b shows the heel of the shoe with the counter 6 in the foreground above the sole 2. Opposite the sole and atop the counter, the shoe has a rear tab 65, here shown with two rises outwardly and a valley centered, that assists a wearer to grip the heel of the shoe. This figure shows an athletic shoe however, the invention can be applied to other styles of shoe. Between the quarter portions 4, 5, to each side of the shoe, the rear tab has a first overlay 66 that extends for the height of the rear tab and along the width of the counter from side to side. The present invention has a construction that allows for multiple overlays, 66b, 66c locating beneath the first overlay.

In usage of the present invention, FIG. 21a again shows the rear portion of a shoe 45. The rear tab 65 extends from one quarter portion 4 to the other quarter portion 5, above the counter 6 and opposite the sole 2. As above, the rear tab has a plurality of overlays 66a, 66b, 66c, upon one another. This figure shows a wearer gripping the first overlay 66a with opposed fingers F and compressing the first overlay to reveal the second overlap 66b beneath. The wearer continues rotating the first overlay inwardly of the rear tab to expose the second overlay entirely. Thus a wearer can change the appearance of the rear tab readily. To access additional overlays, the wearer compresses each overlay and rotates it inwardly as necessary to reach the desired overlay. The overlays upon the rear tab can be used in cooperation with overlays upon the tongue of a shoe or alternatively the rear tab alone can have overlays.

Turning the shoe 45 to view the counter 6, FIG. 21b shows the shoe from the rear. Above the counter 6, the shoe has the rear tab with a first overlay 66a in the grip of a wearer's fingers F. Here, the wearer grips the center of the first overlay, in the valley and between the rises, and lifts the entire overlay in a hinge like motion into the shoe and behind the rear tab. In doing so, the wearer exposes the second overlay 66b with the third overlay 66c still shown beneath. The wearer can reveal further overlays by gripping the center of an overlay, as at 66b for example, and lifting it inwardly of the rear tab. This can be repeated for each additional overlay until an overlay desirable to the wearer is shown. The various overlays upon the rear tab can have different colors, team names, team mascots, logos, or other indicia thereon.

Variations or modifications to the subject matter of this invention may occur to those skilled in the art upon review of the disclosure as provided herein. Such variations, if within the scope of this disclosure, are intended to be encompassed within the spirit of the invention as defined. The description of the preferred embodiment, and the depiction of the invention in the drawings, is done so for illustrative purposes only.