Title:
SHOE SNAP FOR ATTACHING EMBELLISHMENTS TO SHOES
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A snap for decorating a shoe with ornamental objects. The snap includes a first section and a second section. The first section is secured to the shoe. The second section is adapted to be received by the first. The second section is also fitted with an ornamental object to decorate the shoe.



Inventors:
Fromm, Tiffany (Canton, GA, US)
Application Number:
12/109945
Publication Date:
11/06/2008
Filing Date:
04/25/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
24/598.1
International Classes:
A43B23/24; A44B99/00
View Patent Images:
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20040100792Illumination device for mounting on lace or strap of footwearMay, 2004Trzecieski



Primary Examiner:
MOHANDESI, JILA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Tiffany Fromm (Canton, GA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A snap for use with a shoe that allows a user to attach at least one ornamental object to the shoe, the snap comprising: a first section having a base that is secured to the shoe; and a complementary second section adapted to be releasably received by the first section, a portion of the second section being configured to receive the at least one ornamental object.

2. The snap of claim 1, wherein the first section comprises at least one flexible biased finger adapted to engage at least a portion of the second section.

3. The snap of claim 2, wherein the first section comprises two flexible biased fingers.

4. The snap of claim 1, wherein the base includes at least one hole for securing the snap to the shoe.

5. The snap of claim 4, wherein the base is secured to the shoe with thread.

6. The snap of claim 1, wherein the base is between about 1 and 5 millimeters thick.

7. The snap of claim 3, wherein the second section comprises an upper segment and a lower segment.

8. The snap of claim 7, wherein the upper segment is configured to receive the at least one ornamental object.

9. The snap of claim 8, wherein the lower segment is adapted to be releasable secured by the first section.

10. In a shoe having a cavity configured to receive a user's foot therein, the cavity being defined by an exterior body, the improvement comprising: a connector for securing an ornamental object to the exterior body of the shoe, wherein the connector comprises a first section and a complementary second section, the first section having a base and configured to be secured in the cavity of the shoe, and the second section being adapted to be received by the first section.

11. The improvement of claim 10, wherein the first section includes a pair of flexible biased fingers that releasably receive a portion of the second section therein.

12. The improvement of claim 10, wherein the base is between about 1 and 5 millimeters thick.

13. The improvement of claim 11, wherein the second section includes an upper segment and a lower segment.

14. The improvement of claim 13, wherein the ornamental object is secured to the upper segment.

15. The improvement of claim 14, wherein the lower segment is releasably received by the pair of flexible biased fingers.

16. The improvement of claim 15, wherein the improvement further comprises a protective pouch for covering the first section within the shoe cavity.

17. A kit for retrofitting a pair of shoes with interchangeable embellishments comprising: at least two shoe snaps having a first section and a second section; and at least two protective pouches having a size and shape somewhat larger than the second section; wherein the second section is releasably securable by the first section, and wherein the second section is adapted to receive an ornamental object thereon.

18. The kit of claim 17, further comprising a plurality of ornamental objects for connecting to the first section.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to provisional application Ser. No. 60/915,562, entitled SHOE SNAP, filed on May 2, 2007, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to shoes and more particularly, to a connector or snap for connecting embellishments or other decorations to a shoe.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

People, and especially women, often own many pairs of shoes so that their shoes match, compliment, or otherwise coordinate with the remainder of their outfit on any given day. For example, a person may own a particular pair of shoes for each dress, business suit, pants, blouse, etc. However, it can be very costly for an individual to buy a pair of shoes for each outfit, as shoe prices can easily cost over a $100 per pair, and often cost much more. Therefore, it is very typical for an individual to purchase a pair of shoes that coordinates with a particular set of clothes, such as a particular pair of black pumps that coordinates with an individual's collection of black suits. Others may own a single pair of brown dress shoes that coordinate with an individual's khaki pant collection. Regardless, an individual may often desire to wear different pairs of shoes with a collection of clothes in order to refrain from being redundant and/or “boring,” but cannot afford to buy multiple pairs of shoes for any given outfit, or collection of outfits. It has been known to modify a pair of shoes with interchangeable embellishments or decorations in order to distinguish a pair of shoes from day to day. However, there is no reliable way to couple and secure such embellishments and/or decorations to a pair of shoes.

Thus it can be seen that needs exist for a snap or other means for attaching an embellishment and/or decoration to a pair of shoes. It is to the provision of these needs and others that the present invention is primarily directed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In example forms, the present invention relates to a snap for decorating a shoe with ornamental objects. The snap includes a first section and a second section. The first section is secured to the shoe. The second section is adapted to be received by the first. The second section is also fitted with an ornamental object to decorate the shoe. The first section also can comprise flexible biased fingers adapted to releasably receive and secure the second section therein. The present invention allows a user to interchange decorations or ornamental objects with a particular pair of shoes to change the appearance of the shoes and allow the user to refrain from buying multiple pairs of shoes to wear with a particular outfit or collection of outfits.

In one aspect, the present invention relates to a snap for use with a shoe. The snap allows a user to attach at least one ornamental object to the shoe. The snap includes a first section and a second section. The first section includes a base that is secured to the shoe. The second section is complementary to the first section and is adapted to be releasably received by the first section. A portion of the second section is configured to receive the at least one ornamental object.

In another aspect, the present invention relates to an improvement to a shoe having a cavity that is configured to receive a user's foot therein. The cavity is defined by an exterior body. The improvement includes a connector for securing an ornamental object to the shoe. The connector has a first section and a complementary second section. The first section includes a base and is configured to be secured in the cavity of the shoe. The second section is adapted to be received by the first section.

In still another aspect, the present invention relates to a kit for retrofitting a pair of shoes with interchangeable embellishments. The kit includes at least two shoe snaps having a first section and a second section. The kit also includes at least two protective pouches having a size and shape somewhat larger than the second section. The second section is releasably securable by the first section, and the second section is adapted to receive an ornamental object thereon.

These and other aspects, features and advantages of the invention will be understood with reference to the drawing figures and detailed description herein, and will be realized by means of the various elements and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims. It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following brief description of the drawings and detailed description of the invention are exemplary and explanatory of preferred embodiments of the invention, and are not restrictive of the invention, as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a shoe equipped with a shoe snap of the present invention according to an example embodiment, shown with an embellishment coupled to the snap.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the shoe and snap of FIG. 1, showing the snap unconnected.

FIG. 3 is close-up perspective view of the shoe and snap of FIG. 1, shown without an embellishment coupled to the snap for clarity.

FIG. 4 is a partial section perspective view of the snap of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a plan view of the snap of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a shoe and a snap according to a second example embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a plan view of a snap according to a third example embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXAMPLE EMBODIMENTS

The present invention may be understood more readily by reference to the following detailed description of the invention taken in connection with the accompanying drawing figures, which form a part of this disclosure. It is to be understood that this invention is not limited to the specific devices, methods, conditions or parameters described and/or shown herein, and that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments by way of example only and is not intended to be limiting of the claimed invention. Also, as used in the specification including the appended claims, the singular forms “a,” “an,” and “the” include the plural, and reference to a particular numerical value includes at least that particular value, unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Ranges may be expressed herein as from “about” or “approximately” one particular value and/or to “about” or “approximately” another particular value. When such a range is expressed, another embodiment includes from the one particular value and/or to the other particular value. Similarly, when values are expressed as approximations, by use of the antecedent “about,” it will be understood that the particular value forms another embodiment.

With reference now to the drawing figures, FIGS. 1-5 show a shoe 10 and a shoe snap, or connector, 20 according to an example embodiment of the present invention. Preferably, the snap provides an embellishment to the exterior body of the shoe on the upper toe portion. Alternatively, the snap provides an embellishment for the heel portion or other portion along the exterior body of the same. The shoe snap 20 generally includes a first section 30 and a cooperating second section 40, as better seen in FIGS. 3-5. The first section 30 further includes a base 32, which can be coupled to the shoe 10, and at least two flexible fingers 34, 36 adapted to receive the second section 40 therein. Alternatively, only one flexible finger can be used. The second section 40 of the snap 20 further includes an upper segment 42 and a lower segment 44, wherein the lower segment is adapted to be received by the flexible fingers 34, 36. The upper segment 42 can receive an embellishment or decoration 50 thereto, as shown in FIGS. 1-2. The snap 20 of the present invention can be used to retrofit existing shoes, or it can be designed into a new shoe and sold therewith. The snap 20 allows a user to decorate and change the appearance of the shoe 10 by permitting the user to interchange the shoe's embellishments or decorations 50. The snap can be made from one or more materials including plastic, rubber, metal, or any other material as desired by the user.

As shown in FIGS. 2-3, the first section 30 of the snap 20 can be placed beneath the surface of the shoe 10 or located in the shoe material (or between layers thereof), so that the first section is hidden from view. Thus, the snap 20 permits a user to wear the shoe 10 without any decoration or embellishment 50, in which case a casual observer would not likely be able to discern that the shoe was even equipped with the snap. The first section 30 can be glued, sewn, or otherwise coupled to the shoe 10. The second section 40 typically receives some kind of decoration or embellishment 50 to the section's upper segment 42, which can be flat (as shown) or otherwise adapted to receive a particular decoration/embellishment. A decoration or embellishment 50 can vary as desired by the user, and nothing in this specification is intended to limit the definition to any particular type of ornamental structure or feature. However, in commercial embodiments of the present invention, examples of decorations/embellishments 50 include flowers, buttons, tassels, discs, and other traditional, or even non-traditional, ornamental items for shoes. The embellishments 50 can be permanently affixed, semi-permanently affixed, or releasably affixed to the first section 30, with glue, epoxy, magnets, sewn together, etc. The second section's lower segment 44 is depicted in FIG. 4 as having a substantially circular knob-like protrusion 46, but the segment 44 can be additional shapes as needed or desired. Regardless of the shape, it is preferable that the lower segment 44 corresponds and complements the shape of the flexible fingers 34, 36.

In FIGS. 4-5 it can be seen how the snap 20 operates to secure the first section 30 and second section 40 together. In operation, a user can engage the lower segment 44 with the fingers 34, 36, of the first section 30, wherein the fingers are biased from a resting position 34′, 36′ to a flexed position 34″, 36″ as shown in FIG. 5. As the fingers 34, 36 are biased towards a flexed position 34″, 36″ a gap is created between the fingers that is wide enough to permit the lower segment 44 to slide between the same. Preferably, the fingers 34, 36 are adapted to correspond to the shape of the lower segment 44, such that the fingers can return from a biased position 34″, 36″ to a resting position 34′, 36′ while maintaining at least a portion of the lower segment 44 therein. In commercial embodiments, the fingers 34, 36 each have a cutout 38, 39 respectfully, wherein the knob-like protrusion 46 is secured. In other embodiments, the fingers 34, 36 and lower segment 44 can be configured in alternate shapes or sizes as desired by the user, as the shape and configuration of the same can be altered without deviating from the scope of the present invention. While the thickness of the snap 20 can vary, in preferred example embodiments, each section 30 of the snap 20 is typically between about 1 and 5 millimeters and the total thickness can range from about 3 to 15 millimeters so that the snap is thin as possible. A thinner snap 20 is preferred so as not to obstruct the fit of the user's foot into the shoe. However, the total thickness of the snap 20 will depend on the thickness of the shoe that the snap is being used in conjunction with. When the first section 30 and second section 40 of the snap 20 are secured together, at least a portion of the shoe 10 is held between the upper segment 42 and lower segment 44. In such a configuration, the upper segment 42 (or embellishment/decoration 50) is visible, while the remaining portion of the snap 20 is hidden from view by the shoe 10.

Another example embodiment of the snap 20 of the present invention is depicted in FIG. 6, showing a protective pouch 60 that can be used with the snap. The pouch 60 can be used to retrofit a shoe with a snap 20 of the present invention by being sewn, glued, or otherwise secured to the inside of the shoe, while allowing the first section 30 of the snap 20 to be coupled between the pouch and the shoe. The pouch 60 can protect a user's foot from rubbing against the snap and causing user irritation. Additionally, the pouch 60 can help vertically stabilize the connection between the first section 30 and the second section 40. Moreover, the upper segment 42 can have one or more holes 48 for securing an embellishment/decoration 50 thereto with thread.

FIG. 7 depicts still another example embodiment of the snap 20 according to the present invention. In this embodiment, the first section 30 can include one or more holes 37 to enable the first section to be secured to the shoe 10 (not shown) via thread or other conventional fasteners. Additionally, the second section 40 can include two or more holes 48 to receive thread or other conventional fasteners therein to secure an embellishment/decoration to the top face of the second section.

The present invention also comprises a retrofit kit, including two first sections 30 and at least two second sections 40, wherein each second section is fitted with at least one decoration/embellishment. Such a kit would allow a user to purchase a pair of snaps 20 and embellishments 50 to decorate at least one pair of shoes. In other example embodiments, the kit can include 4 or more second sections 40 and embellishments 50 allowing the user to interchange the decorations used with a single pair of shoes. Optionally, the kit can include one or more protective pouches 60, substantially as described above, to protect a user's foot against the retrofitted first sections 30.

While the invention has been described with reference to preferred and example embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that a variety of modifications, additions and deletions are within the scope of the invention, as defined by the following claims.