Title:
Attachment device for attaching objects to laced footwear
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This is a two-piece device (known as a “bozzee”) that can be used on all laced footwear. It is an elongate body member configured to fit within the laces of laced footwear. It is comprised of a plastic platform that is tied into the laces and sits on top of the tongue of the footwear and an elastic sleeve retention member that slips over the platform and secures in place any appropriately sized object that one wishes to carry on his or her shoe. The platform has one hooked end that serves as a retainer region in the laces towards the toe of the footwear, a slightly upturned end that serves as a retainer region under the knot in the laces. The hooked end of the device easily slides under the lace so that the shoe does not have to be completely untied to get it off and on, and has a concave bottom that fits comfortably on top of the tongue. The device fits on most types of shoes and is easy to transfer between shoes. The band secures any manner of objects on the shoe including sensors for sports kits; small pedometers, watches, coins, medications and/or any other appropriately sized object that a person would care to take on a run, walk or hike. The device is easy to use, and can be transferred between different types of footwear without modification.



Inventors:
Simon, Bruce L. (Hillsborough, CA, US)
Flint, Colin G. (San Mateo, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/006443
Publication Date:
09/25/2008
Filing Date:
01/02/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B23/00
View Patent Images:
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20030110661Shock-absorbing shoeJune, 2003Wu



Primary Examiner:
MOHANDESI, JILA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Bruce L. Simon (Hillsborough, CA, US)
Claims:
1. An attachment device for attaching objects to laced footwear comprising, an elongate body member configured to fit substantially within the lace region of laced footwear and including, a platform region configured to be placed on said lace region and accept at least one object for attachment to the footwear, a retainer region at a first end of said body member configured to be inserted under a first portion of the laces in said lace region and held in place thereby, and a lace attachment region at a second end of said body member configured to accept a second portion of the laces in said lace region and held in place thereby; and an elastic sleeve retention member configured to encompass at least a portion of the platform region of said elongate body member together with the object to be attached to the footwear, and thereby retain the object in close proximity to said platform region.

2. An attachment device as recited in claim 1 wherein said retainer region is oriented at an angle relative to the plane of said platform region.

3. An attachment device as recited in claim 1 wherein said lace attachment region includes a recess to accept said second portion of the laces and retain said laces in a releasable manner while the attachment device is attached to the footwear.

4. An attachment device as recited in claim 1 wherein said platform region comprises a relief region to allow said platform region to approximately conform to the shape of said footwear lace region when said attachment device is attached to said footwear.

5. An attachment device as recited in claim 1 wherein said elastic sleeve retention member further comprises a pocket region for preventing the object from being dislodged from the attachment device when the attachment device is attached to the footwear.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to an attachment device to allow users to attach objects to footwear using a plastic platform that can accept at least one object for attachment by use of an elastic sleeve. In particular, people who run, walk, hike and take part in other athletic endeavors commonly want to attach items, such as sports music systems and small pedometers, to their footwear. In addition to its utility, this invention will be made of materials with interchangeable colors that allow the user to match clothing, shoes, school colors and/or any other color scheme, which the user finds to be cosmetically pleasing. It is intended to be functional and cool. The invention has multiple applications, but is primarily intended to allow a person to easily and securely attach something to a shoe. The invention will also attach to other items under which its unique end system can be slid, like backpacks, daypacks, and other walking/hiking accessories.

2. Description of the Invention

The inventors run and hike for hobby and realized that certain sports kits, in particular, the Nike+iPod Sports Kit, could only be used with particular shoes as designed. In addition, it has become common for runners and hikers to carry pedometers, GPS devices, and other high tech components, which attach to footwear. They also desire to carry other things such as coins, vitamins, sensors, transmitters, and other components on their shoes. This caused the inventors to invent and design this invention, which allows small items to be carried on the shoe by using a plastic platform onto which the object is placed and sliding over the platform an elastic sleeve so that the device, with the object in place, can be retained on top of the tongue of the shoe by means of two retainer regions on the top and bottom of the platform. The platform has a hooked end that serves as a retainer region in the laces towards the toe of the footwear, and a slightly upturned end into which the laces are tied such that the knot sits on top of the platform and forms another retainer region. The elastic sleeve is used to secure the object on the platform so that when the device is placed in laced region of laced footwear, the device and the object are held securely in place on the top of the footwear.

The main principles behind the invention were to provide the user with an easy way to transfer objects from one type of footwear to another, to make the attachment easy and universal, and to have it be comfortable. In order to also provide more appeal to the product, it will be made of lightweight plastic and elastic material such as silicon rubber. The lightweight plastic platform will be made in many different colors as will the elastic sleeve so that the user can make any number of combinations of colors to match his or her outfit, shoes, school colors and/or other preferences. The elastic sleeve portion in particular, can be personalized and made in multiple colors or designs so that the invention is functional and cool.

The plastic platform is the piece, which secures the entire unit to the footwear, and is placed on the laced region of the footwear so as to accept at least one object for attachment. It was developed from many trial runs and is intended to not only fit comfortably on the tongue of the footwear, but also to easily attach using the existing lacing system of any footwear. It has a unique hook system at one end which serves as a retainer region closest to the toe of the shoe (the end which attaches first), has a slightly upturned opposite end which gets tied into the laces, and is concave on the bottom to allow it to sit comfortably on the tongue of the shoe. (See FIGS. 1-3) The elastic sleeve which can be made of flexible material that does not slide back and forth, and is loose enough to slide an object under, but tight enough to keep the object in place. The shape of the sled, and its configuration on the shoe, prevent the device from coming detached even with the pounding of the foot associated with running. In fact, the device is designed so that sensors, like the Nike I Pod plus, work just as well as if they were contained in the shoe as designed.

The elastic sleeve can be a flexible silicon band, which can be open on both ends or partially closed on one end to serve as a pocket or coin purse. It will be thick enough to hold down any object placed therein, and yet flexible enough that if the user chooses to interchange objects into the unit, it can be done easily.

The user will place the object to be attached on top of the platform and slide the band over the top of the platform, and then the whole device will be tied into the shoe. Any object contained in the device will be secure, will not come out even during a vigorous run or hike, and will be firmly in place so that any readings that come from a sensor or pedometer will be true, just as if the object was part of the shoe.

The purpose of the invention is to allow appropriate sized items to be attached to footwear in an interchangeable and universal manner, and to give the user an easy way to attach high tech devices to shoes that are not designed to carry them in the first instance.

3.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1: This depicts the platform (Ref. 1-1) with the retainer region consisting of the hooked end which slides under the laces of the footwear nearest to the toe (Ref. 1-2) as well as the retainer region with the slightly upturned end that sits under the knot in the laces at the top of the footwear (Ref. 1-3). This also depicts the elastic sleeve (Ref. 1-4). Lastly, the figure depicts the platform with on object placed thereon before the elastic sleeve is slid over the object thereby securing it to the platform (Ref. 1-5).

FIG. 2: This depicts the entire device with an object on the platform and secured to the platform by the elastic sleeve. The device in this condition is ready to be put onto the lace region of the footwear by sliding the hooked end under the laces towards the toe of the shoe and tying the slightly upturned end into laces at the knot.

FIG. 3: This depicts one laced shoe (Ref. 3-1) with the device in place ready to be used. The hooked end of the platform is retained under the laces towards the toe of the shoe (Ref. 3-2) and the slightly upturned end of the platform is tied under the knot (Ref. 3-3). The elastic sleeve is retaining the object on the platform (Ref. 3-4) and the concave bottom of the platform sits comfortably on the top of the tongue of the shoe. (Id.)

4. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As depicted in FIGS. 1 through 3, the device is an elongate body member configured to fit substantially within the lace region of laced footwear. The platform is of the length and width that it will fit on almost all footwear, and will have sufficient flexibility and strength, that it will adapt in a universal manner to all footwear. It has a hook at one end that is designed to easily slide under the laces, and secure the device in place. This serves as one retainer region for the device. The other end is slightly upturned to allow it to be easily tied into the shoe. This serves as the second retainer region for the device. The bottom is concave so as to comfortably sit on the tongue of the shoe. The fact that the elastic sleeve goes all the way around the sled will provide extra comfort. This preferred embodiment is meant to be practically unnoticeable as it rides on top of the shoe.

As depicted in FIG. 1 (Ref. 1-4), the elastic sleeve can be made of the same type of silicon rubber as the popular wristbands worn by many people. The elastic sleeve is intended to be cosmetically pleasing as well as very functional. It is of the size and thickness that it will easily stretch to go over most appropriately sized objects, but also stiff enough to hold them firm in place. The elastic sleeve will slide over the object to be held and the platform so that the bottom of the elastic sleeve is under the bottom of the platform (FIG. 2). This will keep the elastic sleeve from sliding back and forth during use. The elastic sleeve will also have the quality of protecting the object from the elements, keeping it firmly in place so that readings from high tech devices like sensors are true, and it will be flexible enough to slide different objects in and out easily. It will be made in many popular colors, including multi-colors so that it can be customized for causes, sports teams, fashion, seasons, and most any cosmetically pleasing manner. The intent is that the user may have multiple colors of elastic sleeves and platforms to interchange according to the desired fashion effect, team affiliation and/or cause. The elastic sleeve may be personalized with numbers or other information that makes it collectible, and may also have personal emergency information printed thereon. The elastic sleeve will be open on both ends in one embodiment, and partially closed like a pocket on one end in another embodiment.

As depicted in FIG. 3, the combined unit after the elastic sleeve is slid over the platform can contain small objects and keep them in place on the shoe. This will allow the user to carry with him or her, objects that must be on the shoe, like sensors and pedometers, or convenience items like pill containers, coins and the like. This will allow the user to have a universally adaptable device that will go on any shoe, or other things that have laces, cords, or webbing like backpacks. The device will not only be functional, but it will also cosmetically enhance the shoe and the outfit of the user. The device is intended to provide a way to use sports kits in a free and unhindered fashion that is not directly related to the type of footwear owned by the user. This invention provides access to all irrespective of what footwear they choose to buy.

The device is operated by placing the object on the top of the platform, sliding the elastic sleeve over the platform and the object (FIG. 2) until it fits neatly unto the platform, putting the hooked end of the platform under the laces closer to the toe of the shoe (FIG. 3. Ref. 3-2), and then sliding the top, slightly upturned end of the platform under the laces at the top of the shoe, which is then tied into place when the shoe tied (FIG. 3 Ref. 3-3). Both the design of the platform, and the elastic sleeve hold the object firmly in place. In addition, the laces themselves as tied into the device also serve to keep the object in place for a combination system that alleviates the worry that the object will dislodge. The device is removed by doing the above-described steps in reverse.

The device may be used with other athletic equipment other than shoes in different embodiments, and the elastic sleeve itself can be separately used on other athletic equipment in its current embodiment. It is also anticipated that the elastic sleeve may be worn by the user for decoration when it is not being used in combination with the platform.

5. EXAMPLES OF MANUFACTURE, USE AND APPLICATIONS

A. The platform will be molded plastic and can be mass-produced in any color. (FIG. 1 Ref. 1-1) The plastic will be similar to that used in PDA's and other devices. It will be attractive, light, strong and flexible. The platform will be able to withstand constant use, stresses, and exposure to the elements without breaking. The assembly of the platform will be easy, and essentially involves putting the liquid plastic into high volume molds, heating, curing, and cooling. The platform is a self-contained component with no moving parts, and is intended to be the base for the object and the elastic sleeve.

B. The elastic sleeve (FIG. 1 Ref. 1-2) can be made of silicon rubber of the same consistency and approximate thickness of the popular wristbands worn by millions of people. Its assembly is also easy, using existing methods employed for making the popular wristbands. The elastic sleeve is intended to work with the platform to hold at least one small object, but can also be separately used for display. Although, it will not be big enough to be worn on an arm or wrist, it could be put on other objects such as backpacks, sports bags, ski poles and such. The inventors intend the elastic sleeve to be cosmetically desirable, available in an infinite number of colors and combinations of colors, and will be the type of product that people will want to display. In its primary purpose, the elastic sleeve will be slid over the platform to hold an object onto the platform so the combined device, with object in place, can be secured on laced footwear.

C. The platform and elastic sleeve will be packaged together, and more than one color elastic sleeve will be included in the packaging. The elastic sleeve will be embossed with the trademark “bozzee”, may have different designs embossed into it, and in one version will have personal emergency information embossed and/or attached to it. It is also anticipated that wrist and ankle bands that look like the elastic sleeve will be made available, and may be packaged with the device so that people can show they are users of the device. The marketing of this product will emphasize ease of use, freedom to use with any shoe, style, coolness, and durability.

D. The device is primarily intended for laced footwear, and in particular, attaching small high tech objects to laced footwear, but it may also be attached to other objects. It is anticipated that people will want to attach it to backpacks, fanny packs, sports bags, ski poles, tennis rackets, and other sports equipment. The device may be modified to become a watch, a light, a warning device and other applications one would associate with sports and hiking. In one potential application, the elastic sleeve may be closed at one end and could be a ready source of change, or folded currency, so that when a runner gets done with a race, he or she has some spending money to buy a drink, catch a bus or taxi, or make a phone call. The device will be marketed at running races, and is a suitable replacement for the sensors used in most marathons to make sure participants stay on course, and to measure their time. Most races organizations use old-fashioned sensors that attach somewhat awkwardly to the running shoes. This invention would provide an easy to use substitute and also present logo opportunities. In addition, a participant could keep the device after the race and use it at home.

E. In one potential configuration, the platform may be made of metal, and the hook end modified so it could be used as a tool for hikers, like a bottle opener, screwdriver, or such.