Title:
Elastic footwear strap
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is a strap that is designed to be a replacement strap for Crocs™ branded footwear and other similarly designed footwear. The present invention is an elastic footwear strap that allows the shoe to be worn securely by wrapping around the heel or ankle, while at the same time being selectively replaceable and removable. This replacement strap is both decorative and utilitarian in nature.



Inventors:
Burnett, Elizabeth Buxton (Raleigh, NC, US)
Application Number:
11/973159
Publication Date:
11/13/2008
Filing Date:
10/05/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
36/50.1
International Classes:
A43B11/00; A43C11/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20080078103Shoe Construction With Double UpperApril, 2008Liles
20020020082Continuous design footwearFebruary, 2002James
20070113425Cushioning system for footwearMay, 2007Wakley et al.
20040148809Bicycle shoe soleAugust, 2004Kikuta et al.
20070209231Shock Attenuation Method And System Of Elastic Insole Of ShoesSeptember, 2007Wu
20070271818Shoe spring and shock absorbing systemNovember, 2007Rabushka
20040045194Shock absorption insoleMarch, 2004Kumai
20090172971Composite Shoe Sole, Footwear Constituted Thereof and Method for Producing the SameJuly, 2009Peikert et al.
20090071040FELT SOLE WITH IMPROVED TRACTIONMarch, 2009Fergus
20080229612Human wearable laminar structure, insole made therefrom and methods for their manufactureSeptember, 2008Sommer et al.



Primary Examiner:
BAYS, MARIE D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NEO IP (DURHAM, NC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A footwear strap for attachment to a piece of footwear comprising: an elongate body component having a first end and a second end; an elastic component; at least two connectors; wherein the elastic component is affixed to the elongate body component; wherein one connector is attached to the elongate body component at the first end of the elongate body component; and wherein another connecter is attached to the elongate body component at the second end of the elongate body component, such that the at least two connectors are configured for releaseably attaching the strap to the piece of footwear.

2. The footwear strap of claim 1 wherein that the elongate body component has an extended and a relaxed state.

3. The footwear strap of claim 2 wherein the elongate body component has a continuum between the extended and the relaxed state.

4. The footwear strap of claim 2 wherein the elongate body component is a sleeve.

5. The footwear strap of claim 1 wherein the elongate body component comprises a material selected from the group consisting of ribbon, fabric, leather, elastic, and rubber.

6. The footwear strap of claim 1 wherein the elongate body component covers at least part of the elastic component of claim 1.

7. The footwear strap of claim 1 wherein the elastic component provides tension and friction between the footwear strap and a wearer's heel or ankle.

8. The footwear strap of claim 1 wherein the elastic component provides tension to the footwear strap to adjust to various sizes of wearers' feet.

9. The footwear strap of claim 1 wherein the elastic component causes the elongate body component to form decorative gathers.

10. The footwear strap of claim 1 wherein the footwear strap's at least two connectors are attachable to at least two rivets attached to a piece of footwear.

11. The footwear strap of claim 1 wherein each of the at least two connectors comprises a loop of elastic material.

12. The footwear strap of claim 1 wherein each of the at least two connectors comprises a hole as an opening in the elongate body component.

13. The footwear strap of claim 1 wherein the elastic component is stitched to the elongate body component.

14. The footwear strap of claim 1 wherein the at least two connectors are formed from extensions of the elastic component.

15. The footwear strap of claim 1 wherein the at least two connectors are continuous and integral with the elastic component.

16. The footwear strap of claim 1 wherein the at least two connectors include the elastic component.

17. A footwear strap for attachment to a piece of footwear comprising: an elongate body component having a first end and a second end; an elastic component having a first and a second end; wherein the ends of the elastic component further comprise connectors; and wherein the elastic component is affixed to the elongate body component.

18. A footwear strap for attachment to a piece of footwear comprising: an elongate body component having a first end and a second end and a first and a second side; an elastic component having a first and a second end; wherein each end of the elongate body component further comprise at least one hole through at least one side of the elongate body component; and wherein the elastic component is affixed to the elongate body component.

19. The footwear strap of claim 18 wherein the at least one hole continues through both sides of the elongate body component.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of the following provisional application, U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/928,586 filed May 10, 2007, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to footwear straps and more specifically to elastic footwear straps that are designed to be a replacement strap for Crocs™ branded footwear and other similarly designed footwear.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Generally, the field of footwear straps consist of straps that are attached to footwear to support the heel or ankle of a person wearing the footwear. A modern example of a detachable strap is the Crocs™ Turbo Strap™ which includes two hook and loop straps attached to a main rigid body of the strap, made of the same material as the shoe, where each of the straps have a rigid coupling means to attach the strap to a Crocs™ shoe. The Turbo Strap is designed for extra-active shoe wearers who need extra support. See “Crocs Inc—turbo strap,” http://shop.crocs.com/p-27-turbo-strap.aspx, last visited Sep. 24, 2007.

Additionally, Jibbitz, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Crocs, Inc., makes a replacement strap for the Crocs shoe. See “Jibbitz: Decorations for Crocs Shoes,” http://www1.jibbitz.com/store/Straps 9/, last visited Sep. 27, 2007. The Jibbitz strap appears to be made of the same material as the Crocs shoe and is almost identical to the original Crocs shoe strap except that it has multiple holes along its length for accepting Jibbitz charms. Functionally, the Jibbitz strap operates identically as the original Crocs shoe strap. The Crocs shoe is described below.

Below, specific citations and brief abstract statements summarizing the main points of each reference are as follows:

U.S. Pat. No. 6,923,697 issued August 2005, to John L. Wagner, for Universal open-heel dive fin replacement heel strap describes a dive fin replacement heel strap for use on open-foot pocket dive fins having a mounting device on each side of the fin to secure the fins onto a user's foot. The strap is made of an elongate elastic material and has a predetermined width (W). It has a plurality of orifices of a predetermined opening size (D), positioned on the elongate elastic material. There is a tab on the end of the elongate elastic material. The tab has a solid flexible lip around its periphery which has a width greater than W and a height greater than D. There is an indent in the upper horizontal surface and in the lower horizontal surface of the elongate elastic material adjacent to the tab. The orifices are adapted to attached to a mounting device of a dive fin. The tab is adapted to pass through a mounting device of a dive fin and to pass through an orifice and lock in place thereat.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,812,606 issued May 28, 1974, to Vincent Anthony Merola, for Footwear upper protector for cycle riders describes a protector for covering the upper portion of, for example, dress shoes against abrasion and indentation of the leather while riding a motorcycle. The invention comprises a sheet of leather or leather-like material, generally conformed to the outline of the forward portion of a shoe from the instep forward to the tip of the toe, and retaining straps designed and adapted to connect the sheet to the shoe by passing under the shoe and rearwardly around the ankle of the wearer.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,146,751 issued May 24, 2001, to Scott Seamans, assigned to Crocs Inc. for Footwear pieces generally describes a popular Crocs™ shoe. Specifically this patent describes footwear pieces having a sole and an upper portion extending from the sole. The upper portion is adapted to cover the top of the user's foot and includes a rear opening of receiving the user's foot. An adjustable strap is provided across the rear opening to engage the back of the user's foot.

U.S. Publication No. 20010001350 issued Dec. 12, 2006, to Santiago J. Aguerre, for Convertible Slide and Method describes a convertible slide and method for slide-type sandals typically used in the out-of-doors includes rubber and synthetic materials and exhibits a lightweight robust, high-strength, flexible construction including a midsole for supporting a foot. A vamp is securely attached to the midsole for covering the foot and includes a pair of outwardly extending studs for providing a pair of pivot points. A rear heel strap is provided for securing the convertible slide to the foot. The heel strap is rotatively connected to the pair of outwardly extending studs for rotating between a first lowered position about the heel of the foot and a second raised position above the vamp. Finally, an outsole is bonded to the midsole for contacting the ground surface. In a first alternative embodiment, the pair of outwardly extending studs is replaced by a pair of rivets while in a second alternative embodiment, the pair of outwardly extending studs is replaced by a pair of threaded screws.

None of the prior art describes a footwear strap capable of being replaceable and elastic. Such functionality is desired because an elastic strap allows the footwear to be worn securely by wrapping around the heel or ankle, while at the same time being replaceable and removable. Utilizing the straps mentioned in prior art are not flexible nor have elastic coupling means to attach the strap to a protuberance on the footwear. Further, none of the prior art teaches an elastic replaceable strap that allows for different aesthetically pleasing fabrics to be utilized.

Thus, there remains a need for an elastic footwear strap capable to naturally adjust different sized feet and shoes and keep the strap in desired position, yet being replaceable and decorative.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to an elastic footwear strap that is designed to be a replacement strap for a piece of footwear. The strap attaches to the piece of footwear and may wrap around a wearer's ankle, heel, or other portion of the wearer's foot.

In a preferred embodiment, a first aspect of the present invention provides a footwear strap for attachment to a piece of footwear including an elongate body component having a first end and a second end, an elastic component, at least two connectors, wherein the elastic component is affixed to the elongate body component, wherein one connector is attached to the elongate body component at the first end of the elongate body component, and wherein another connector is attached to the elongate body component at the second end of the elongate body component, such that the at least two connectors are configured for releaseably attaching the strap to the piece of footwear.

A second aspect of the present invention provides a footwear strap for attachment to a piece of footwear including a elongate body component having a first end and a second end, an elastic component having a first and a second end, wherein the ends of the elastic component further comprise connectors, and wherein the elastic component is affixed to the elongate body component.

A third aspect of the present invention provides a footwear strap for attachment to a piece of footwear including an elongate body component having a first end and a second end and a first and a second side, an elastic component having a first and a second end, wherein each end of the elongate body component further comprise at least one hole through at least one side of the elongate body component, and wherein the elastic component is affixed to the elongate body component.

These aspects of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art after a reading of the following description of the preferred embodiment when considered with the drawings, as they support the claimed invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view of the elastic footwear strap in a relaxed configuration, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the elastic footwear strap in an extended configuration, in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the elastic footwear strap in a relaxed configuration, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a side view of the elastic footwear strap in an extended configuration, in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a side view of a piece of footwear showing the elastic footwear strap in a relaxed configuration connected to the piece of footwear, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a side view of a piece of footwear showing the elastic footwear strap in an extended configuration connected to the piece of footwear and engaging a wearer's heel/ankle, in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a side view of a rivet connected to a piece of footwear showing an attachment mechanism of the elastic footwear strap, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a side view of a rivet connected to a piece of footwear showing an attachment mechanism of the elastic footwear strap, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a side view of a rivet connected to a piece of footwear showing an attachment mechanism of the elastic footwear strap, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 10 is a side view of a piece of footwear showing the elastic footwear strap in an intermediate configuration between a relaxed and an extended state connected to the piece of footwear and wrapped around rear part of the piece of footwear, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 11 is a side view of a piece of footwear showing the elastic footwear strap in an intermediate configuration between a relaxed and an extended state connected to the piece of footwear and wrapped around upper part of the piece of footwear, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 12 is a side view of a piece of footwear showing two elastic footwear straps in a relaxed configuration connected to the piece of footwear, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 13 is a side view of a piece of footwear showing two elastic footwear straps in an extended configuration connected to the piece of footwear and engaging both a wearer's heel/ankle and upper part of the wearer's foot, in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 12.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In the following description, like reference characters designate like or corresponding parts throughout the several views. Also in the following description, it is to be understood that such terms as “forward,” “rearward,” “front,” “back,” “right,” “left,” “upwardly,” “downwardly,” and the like are words of convenience and are not to be construed as limiting terms.

The present invention provides an elastic detachable strap for use with pieces of footwear, for instance sandals or clogs. Sandals usually have an open heel region that allows the person easily wear the sandal without having to deal with laces. Some sandals or clogs also have a strap that further secures the foot to the piece of footwear or prevents the piece of footwear from easily falling off a wearer's foot during use. Therefore, the present invention is, for instance, directed to a footwear strap that is designed to be a replacement strap for Crocs branded footwear and other similarly designed footwear; an original footwear strap can be seen in, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 7,146,751 issued May 24, 2001, to Scott Seamans, assigned to Crocs Inc., for Footwear pieces, which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety. As used herein, footwear, piece of footwear and shoe are used interchangeably to refer to a piece of footwear appropriate for use with the present invention.

The present invention provides a strap that is a combination of ribbon, fabric, leather, elastic, rubber, or any other materials that varies in length (depending on the size of the strap and on the size of the shoe it will be installed on), varies in width, and fastens to, attaches to, wraps around or otherwise grips two attachment points, which may be rivets, on a piece of footwear and pivot from those points.

The present invention also provides multiple ways of positioning the attached strap on a shoe, including the following: between the rear sole perimeter and the upper opening perimeter of the shoe and against the back side of a wearer's heel/ankle area, to serve the purpose of holding the shoe on the foot or for decoration; pivoted forward towards the toe section of the shoe, resting on the upper opening perimeter of the shoe; and pivoted backwards towards the rear sole perimeter of the shoe so that the friction caused by contact with the rear sole perimeter fixes the strap in place.

Preferably, the present invention provides an elastic strap that allows the sandal to be worn securely by engaging, or wrapping, around the heel, while at the same time being selectively replaceable and removable. The strap is made of an elastic material affixed or attached to an elongate body component, preferably a sleeve. The two ends of the straps further have an extension of the material of the elastic strap, or another piece of elastic material shaped into a loop or forming a hole that are used to attach the strap to the footwear of interest via knobs, tabs, rivets or other protuberance on the footwear. The strap is designed to be used with footwear made by Crocs, Inc., but can be used with other brands of footwear.

Referring now to the drawings in general, the illustrations are for the purpose of describing a preferred embodiment of the invention and are not intended to limit the invention thereto. FIG. 1 shows the elastic footwear strap, generally referred to as 10, in a compressed state which typically would be the strap's state when the strap is either unattached to a shoe or attached but without being stretched in an expanded state around a around a wearers foot. FIG. 2 shows the elastic footwear strap according to an embodiment of the present invention in an expanded state or and extended configuration.

The sleeve 11 of the footwear strap is made of any combination of ribbon, fabric, leather, elastic, rubber, or other flexible materials. The sleeve is a type of an elongate body component. An elastic component 12, which may be made of an elastic, a stretchable, and/or an elastomeric material is used to add tension to the strap. The sleeve 11 covers at least part of the elastic component 12 and the sleeve is affixed to the elastic component, preferably by a permanent stitch 17 or stitches affixing the ends of the sleeve to the ends of the elastic component. Preferably the permanent stitch or stitches span the width of the sleeve; alternatively the permanent stitch 27 or stitches spans less than the width of the sleeve, as shown in FIG. 1. Preferably, this stitch not only attaches the elastic to the sleeve but also attaches the front and back sides of the strap to each other, thereby minimizing the number of stitches required and optimizing manufacturing. Alternatively, more than one stitch may be used to attach each connector and the elastic component to the sleeve at each end of the sleeve. Tension in the elastic component included causes the sleeve 11 to compress into a compressed, or relaxed, state and form decorative gathers 15.

The two connectors 13, which serve as an attachment mechanism to a piece of footwear, are made of any material like ribbon, fabric, leather, elastic, rubber, or other materials. The connectors are attached to the elastic component and/or the sleeve preferably by a permanent stitch or stitches. The stitch or stitches affixing the connectors to the elastic component or the sleeve may be the same permanent stitch 17 described above to affix the sleeve to the elastic component; alternatively, there may be at least two sets of at least one stitch affixing the sleeve to the elastic component and the connectors to the sleeve and/or elastic component respectively. Further, in this embodiment of the present invention, the connectors include loops 14 on both ends of the strap. Alternatively the connectors may be made from extensions of the elastic component 12. In such an alternative embodiment, the loops are created either by stitching the elastic component onto itself at both ends or by creating a continuous elastic component with integral connectors that do not require stitching, e.g. by cutting the elastic component and connectors using a template from a piece of elastic material. Then the sleeve is slid over the elastic component and stitched to the elastic component at both ends of the sleeve.

FIG. 2 shows the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 1 wherein the elastic footwear strap is in its extended configuration, which is caused by a pulling tension being applied to the loops 14. The sleeve's decorative gathers have been minimized because any excess fabric has been pulled taught to form smoothed or extended gathers 16.

The two states of the elastic footwear strap, as represented by FIG. 1, the compressed or relaxed state, and FIG. 2, the expanded or extended state. While FIGS. 1 and 2 show the extremes of the states, there is a continuum between the two states. This means that the elastic footwear strap may exist at a point between FIGS. 1 and 2 where the sleeve's decorative gathers exist in a partially gathered or smoothed state.

FIG. 3 demonstrates another embodiment of the elastic footwear strap of the present invention, generally referred to as 20, in a compressed state which typically would be the strap's state when the strap is either unattached to a shoe or attached but without being stretched in an expanded state around a around a wearers foot. FIG. 4 shows the elastic footwear strap according to an embodiment of the present invention in an expanded state or and extended configuration. The sleeve 21 of the footwear strap is made of any combination of ribbon, fabric, leather, elastic, rubber, or other materials. The sleeve is a type of an elongate body component. An elastic component 22, which may be made of an elastic, a stretchable, and/or an elastomeric material is used to add tension to the strap. In this embodiment, the sleeve 21 completely covers the elastic component and the sleeve is affixed to the elastic component, preferably by a permanent stitch 27 or stitches affixing part of the ends of the sleeve to the ends of the elastic component. Preferably the permanent stitch or stitches span the width of the sleeve; alternatively the permanent stitch 27 or stitches spans less than the width of the sleeve, as shown in FIG. 3. Alternatively, more than one stitch may be used to attach each connector and the elastic component to the sleeve at each end of the sleeve. Tension in the elastic component strap causes the sleeve material to compress into a compressed state and form decorative gathers 25.

The two connectors 23, which serve as an attachment mechanism to a piece of footwear, are made of any material like ribbon, fabric, leather, elastic, rubber, or other materials. Slots or holes 24 are present in the ends of the sleeve. The holes 24 are preferably formed by cutting an opening in the strap material or otherwise separating the sleeve material from itself. The hole may either open on one side of the sleeve only, such that the sleeve attaches to and covers a rivet on a piece of footwear (described below) or open on both sides of the sleeve, such that the externally facing edge of the rivet is visible when the strap is attached to the piece of footwear (also described below).

FIG. 4 shows the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 3 wherein the elastic footwear strap is in its extended configuration, which is caused by a pulling tension being applied to the holes 24. The sleeve's decorative gathers have been minimized because any excess fabric has been pulled taught to form extended gathers 16.

The two states of the elastic footwear strap, as represented by FIG. 3, the compressed or relaxed state, and FIG. 4, the expanded or extended state. While FIGS. 3 and 4 show the extremes of the states, there is a continuum between the two states. This means that the elastic footwear strap may exist at a point between FIGS. 3 and 4 where the sleeve's decorative gathers exist in a partially gathered or smoothed state.

FIG. 5 illustrates the side view of a piece of footwear 30, which includes an upper part 31 and a sole part 32, with an elastic footwear strap 10, according to an embodiment of the present invention, selectively releasably attached to the piece of footwear. Preferably, the strap 10 is connected to the footwear at protrusions or rivets 33 attached to both sides of the upper part of the piece of footwear. Loops 14 or holes 24 in FIGS. 1 and 3 respectively fit or loop over the rivets 33 and the externally facing portion of the rivet is at least partially visible when strap is attached; alternatively, if the hole 24 only extends through one side of the sleeve, then the externally facing portion of the rivet would be completely covered by the sleeve's material. The decorative gathers 15 are maximally seen in this figure because the elastic footwear strap's sleeve is in its compressed or relaxed state.

FIG. 6 illustrates the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 5 further including a wearer's foot 40. The elastic footwear strap according to the present invention is in its expanded state or extended configuration because the wearer's heel or ankle 41 is pulling the strap 10 against the rivets 33 of the piece of footwear. This causes reduction in size of the decorative gathers 15 to form the extended gathers. Preferably the decorative gathers 15 are at least partially visible when the strap is worn by a wearer because of the continuum between the relaxed and extended states described above and the appropriately sized sleeve length to relaxed elastic component length; these two dimensions are chosen to provide at least partially visible decorative gathers when the elastic footwear strap of the present invention is being worn by a wearer. Further, the elastic component of the elastic footwear strap (not shown) provides tension and causes friction between the piece of footwear, the footwear strap, and the back of the heel or ankle this tension and friction helps hold the strap of the present invention in place against the wearer's foot. The elastic component also provides tension to the footwear strap to adjust to various sizes of feet.

FIGS. 7 and 8 show the side view of the rivet 33 where the connectors' 13 or 23 loop 14 or hole 24 surround, wrap, and/or grip to connect to the two rivets according to the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 respectively. FIG. 8 shows the embodiment of FIG. 3 where the connector or hole is open on both sides of the sleeve, such that the externally facing edge of the rivet is visible when the strap is attached to the piece of footwear. FIG. 9 shows a variation of the embodiment shown in FIG. 3 where the connector or hole is open on one side of the sleeve only, such that the sleeve attaches to and covers a rivet on a piece of footwear.

Accordingly, the present invention provides a footwear strap for attachment to a piece of footwear comprising a sleeve having a first end and a second end, an elastic component, at least two connectors, wherein the elastic component is affixed to the sleeve, wherein one connector is affixed to the sleeve at the first end of the sleeve, and wherein another connector is attached to the sleeve at the second end of the sleeve.

Further, the present invention provides a footwear strap for attachment to a piece of footwear including a sleeve having a first end and a second end, an elastic component having a first and a second end, wherein the ends of the elastic component further comprise connectors, and wherein the elastic component is affixed to the sleeve.

The present invention also accordingly provides a footwear strap for attachment to a piece of footwear including a sleeve having a first end and a second end and a first and a second side, an elastic component having a first and a second end, wherein each end of the sleeve further comprise at least one hole through at least one side of the sleeve, and wherein the elastic component is affixed to the sleeve.

FIGS. 10 and 11 demonstrate two embodiments of the elastic footwear strap of the present invention worn securely on the rear or upper part of the piece of footwear respectively, by wrapping the elastic footwear strap 10 around the rear part of the footwear 34 as seen in FIG. 10, or by wrapping the strap 10 around the upper part of the footwear 31 as seen in FIG. 11. FIGS. 12 and 13 illustrate another embodiment of the present invention utilizing two elastic footwear straps 10 worn near both the rear part 34 and the upper part 31 of the piece of footwear and against the wearer's heel or ankle 41 and the top of the wearer's foot 40. The embodiment shown in FIGS. 12 and 13 can also be adapted for Mary Jane style shoes, which, for example, but not be way of limitation, are currently sold by Crocs Inc. The Mary Jane version of the Crocs Inc. shoe has less material in the upper part and an additional strap to the one worn across a wearer's heel or ankle which is worn against the top part of the wearer's foot. Alternatively, the elastic footwear strap according to the present invention may be utilized only across the top of the wearer's foot without using another elastic footwear strap against the wearer's heel or ankle, which may be desirable if the shoe with which the present invention is being used does not require a rear strap because, for example, the shoe itself has a defined heel portion that is part of the main shoe body.

Certain modifications and improvements will occur to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the foregoing description. By way of example, present invention can be adapted as a handle for a bag or a case or as a watchband, or the elastic strap can be used as a hair accessory or key chain. Additionally, the sleeve may be releasably attached, with for instance hook and loop fasteners, to the elastic component and/or connectors such that the sleeve may be removed and replaced with another sleeve to vary aesthetics. The above mentioned examples are provided to serve the purpose of clarifying the aspects of the invention and it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that they do not serve to limit the scope of the invention. All modifications and improvements have been deleted herein for the sake of conciseness and readability but are properly within the scope of the following claims.