Title:
SHOE GRIP
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device, kit, and method for securing a shoe to a foot employing a securement comprising a one-piece, flexible, elastic, and continuous loop which is independent of the shoe and which is devoid of hooks, slots, buttons, snaps, or other mechanisms for cooperation with any mechanism on the shoe for attachment



Inventors:
Wyland, Pamela (St. Charles, MO, US)
Application Number:
12/056940
Publication Date:
10/02/2008
Filing Date:
03/27/2008
Assignee:
Wyland, Pamela (St. Charles, MO, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B23/28
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KAVANAUGH, JOHN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STINSON LLP (ST LOUIS, MO, US)
Claims:
1. A securement for securing a shoe to a foot, the securement comprising: a one-piece, flexible, elastic, and continuous loop which is unattached to the shoe, and wherein the loop is devoid of hooks, slots, buttons, snaps, or other mechanisms for cooperation with any mechanism on the shoe for attachment.

2. The securement of claim 1 wherein said loop has a length between about 4 and about 8 inches in its relaxed condition.

3. The securement of claim 1 wherein said loop has a length between about 10 and about 18 inches in its stretched condition.

4. The securement of claim 2 wherein said loop has a length between about 10 and about 18 inches in its stretched condition.

5. The securement of claim 1 wherein the loop has a length of about 5¾ inches in its relaxed condition and a length of about 14 inches in its stretched condition.

6. The securement of claim 1 wherein the securement consists only of said loop.

7. The securement of claim 6 wherein said loop has a length between about 4 and about 8 inches in its relaxed condition.

8. The securement of claim 6 wherein said loop has a length between about 10 and about 18 inches in its stretched condition.

9. A shoe kit comprising: a shoe having a substantially open upper, a sole, and a heel; and a securement comprising a one-piece, flexible, elastic, and continuous loop which is unattached to the shoe, wherein the loop is devoid of hooks, slots, buttons, snaps, or other mechanisms for cooperation with any mechanism on the shoe for attachment.

10. The shoe kit of claim 9 wherein said loop has a length between about 4 and about 8 inches in its relaxed condition.

11. The shoe kit of claim 9 wherein said loop has a length between about 10 and about 18 inches in its stretched condition.

12. The shoe kit of claim 9 wherein the loop has a length of about 5¾ inches in its relaxed condition and a length of about 14 inches in its stretched condition.

13. The shoe kit of claim 9 wherein the securement consists only of said loop.

14. A method for securing a shoe having a substantially open upper, shoes, and a shoe heel to a foot having toes, an instep, a ball, and a foot heel, the method comprising: placing the shoe on the foot; and holding the securement of claim 1 in an at least partially stretched and generally open manner to form an aperture; moving the toes and aperture formed by the stretched loop relatively to each other to insert the toes through the loop to where a plane generally defined by the stretched loop intersects the foot between the ball of the foot and the foot heel; and deflexing the loop so the loop grips the instep and grips the shoe under the sole at a location forward of the shoe heel, thereby pulling the instep downwardly toward the shoe and pulling the shoe sole upwardly toward the foot.

Description:

This application claims priority from U.S. application Ser. No. 60/908,293 filed 27 Mar. 2008.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to footwear and, specifically, a device, kit, and method for securement of footwear to the foot.

BACKGROUND

The basic components of a shoe are a sole which includes an insole on which a foot rests and an outsole in contact with the ground, a heel, and a vamp or upper that holds the shoe onto the foot. The upper typically covers all or most of the instep of the foot.

The upper in many shoes, especially in many women's fashion shoes, are largely open. For these shoes, the upper covers perhaps the toes and little or none of the instep. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,461,102 shows a shoe with an upper which is substantially open. These same types of largely open shoes may also have open toes, so the upper consists of, in essence, a strap or two. These types of shoes can present problems and inconveniences for the wearer in that they can flop when the wearer walks, or can slip off. To address this issue, U.S. Pat. Nos. 1,196,281, 4,854,056 and others have presented ideas for straps and other temporary or detachable devices to help secure a shoe to a foot. A shortcoming of the prior designs is that they require a slide such as G in U.S. Pat. No. 1,196,281, or an interlocking mechanism such as 525/527 in U.S. Pat. No. 4,854,056. These features can detract from the appearance of the shoe, or can be inconvenient to engage and disengage. Also, many of these securements can only be used with shoes outfitted with the required slide.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide a device, kit, and method for securing a shoe to a foot, which is flexible in that a securement may be optionally easily removed and the shoe worn without the securement and the securement is out of sight so as not to detract from appearance, or the securement may be quickly and easily engaged.

Briefly, therefore, the invention is directed to a securement for securing a shoe to a foot, the securement comprising a one-piece, flexible, elastic, and continuous loop which is unattached to the shoe.

In another aspect the invention is directed to a shoe kit comprising a shoe having a substantially open upper, a sole, and a heel, and a securement comprising a one-piece, flexible, elastic, and continuous loop which is unattached to the shoe.

The invention is also directed to a method for securing a shoe having a substantially open upper, sole, toe, and a shoe heel to a foot having toes, an instep, a ball, and a foot heel, the method comprising placing the shoe on the foot; holding the securement in an at least partially stretched and generally open manner to form an aperture, moving the shoe toe and aperture formed by the stretched loop relatively to each other to insert the toe through the loop to where a plane generally defined by the stretched loop intersects the foot between the ball of the foot and the foot heel, and deflexing the loop so the loop grips the instep and grips the shoe under the sole at a location forward of the shoe heel, thereby pulling the instep downwardly toward the shoe and pulling the shoe sole upwardly toward the foot.

Other objects and features of the invention will be in part apparent and in part pointed out hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is an illustration of a shoe and the securement of the invention.

FIGS. 2A and 2B are views of the securement of the invention in relaxed and stretched condition, respectively.

FIGS. 3 and 4 are top and side views of a foot engaged by the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

As shown in FIG. 1, the invention in one aspect is a securement which comprises a continuous loop 20 of flexible material, and in another aspect a kit comprising this flexible loop and a shoe 10, having a toe 14, sole 16, and heel 12. The securement has a flexible, elastic, and continuous loop 20 which is stretchable in that it has a first length (circumference) when it is relaxed and a second length (circumference) when it is stretched.

In one preferred embodiment, the loop 20 has a length between about 4 and about 8 inches in its relaxed condition as shown in FIG. 2A, and between about 10 and about 18 inches in its stretched condition in 2B. In another preferred embodiment, it has a length between about 5 and about 6½ inches in its relaxed state and between about 13 and about 15 inches in its stretched state. In one particularly preferred embodiment, it has a length of about 5¾ inches in its relaxed condition and a length of about 14 inches in its stretched condition.

The securement preferably consists only of the loop 20 of flexible material and has no cooperating hooks, slots, buttons, snaps, or other mechanisms on the loop for cooperating with any mechanism on the shoe for securing it to the shoe. The loop material in one embodiment as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2A is an elastic rubber material inside a sleeve of another material, such as cloth. It therefore has a core material which is different from its exterior material. In another embodiment, the loop is a woven flexible piece which does not have a core material distinct from an exterior material. It also may be that two or more continuous interwoven loops constitute the loop.

In operation, the invention is used in the following manner. The shoe is placed on the foot. The securement loop 20 is held in an at least partially stretched and generally open manner to form an aperture as shown in 2B. The shoe toe 14 and the loop 20 are moved relatively to each other to where the ball of the foot and foot heel are on opposite sides of the loop, with the loop surrounding the instep. The loop is deflexed so it, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, grips the instep 18 and grips the shoe under the sole 16 at a location forward of the shoe heel 12, thereby pulling the instep downwardly toward the shoe and pulling the shoe sole 16 upwardly toward the foot. That is, the toe 14 and aperture 20 formed by the stretched loop are moved relatively to each other to insert the toe through the loop to where a plane A-A (FIG. 4) generally defined by the stretched loop 20 intersects the foot and shoe in front of the heel 12 and behind the ball of the foot as shown in FIG. 4.

An immediately evident advantage of the invention is that the securement is not attached and not affixed to the shoe, so that it can be quickly and easily put on and taken off, and discretely stored in a purse or pocket. This is facilitated by the fact that the securement is entirely independent of the shoe, and in its operable position is not restrained or held in place by any loops, hooks, eyes, or other devices. For example, a wearer can wear her shoes without the securement while she is at her desk, walking around her office, or in meetings with customers and associates. And then she can easily slip the securement on the shoe when she needs to walk a longer distance such as to the cafeteria or out to her car. And she can wear the securement while driving, and then remove it after parking the car. The user can employ the securement to keep her shoe especially secure on her feet while on her way driving, walking, and ascending stairs to a formal occasion, and then she can quickly remove the securement when she arrives at the formal occasion. Upon removing the securement, her shoes have the substantially open-toe and open-upper elegance intended by the shoes' designer.

In contrast to prior art straps and securements, the securement of the present invention does not require any buckles or loops or other accessories on the shoe. It can therefore be used with multiple different pairs of shoes, and can be used with just about any shoe one might purchase. It is especially advantageous for largely open-upper shoes and or backless shoes which have a greater tendency to flop when walking. It is a continuous uniform loop having no particular top, bottom, left, or right, and in a preferred embodiment it is entirely unadorned with decorations, and therefore does not require any special attention to orientation.

When introducing elements of the present invention or the preferred embodiments(s) thereof, the articles “a”, “an”, “the” and “said” are intended to mean that there are one or more of the elements. The terms “comprising”, “including” and “having” are intended to be inclusive and mean that there may be additional elements other than the listed elements.

In view of the above, it will be seen that the several objects of the invention are achieved and other advantageous results attained.

As various changes could be made in the above compositions and methods without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description and shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.