Title:
FASTENER FOR A SHOELACE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fastener for a shoelace includes a longitudinal shoelace clamp and a longitudinal pull unit. The shoelace clamp includes a base and two clamp rings extending longitudinally and oppositely from two sides of the base. Each of the clamp rings has a ring opening and a clamp piece extending across the ring opening. The pull unit includes a middle portion disposed over the base, two opposite pull members extending oppositely from the middle portion and disposed respectively over the clamp rings, and a joining unit. The joining unit includes a plurality of string members fixed to the pull unit and extending oppositely from the middle portion to the pull members along a longitudinal direction of the pull unit. The string members have fixed sections embedded within the middle portion and the pull members, and string rings exposed from the pull members and connected to the shoelace clamp.



Inventors:
Liu, Kun-chung (Taichung Hsien, TW)
Application Number:
12/169572
Publication Date:
08/06/2009
Filing Date:
07/08/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43C7/08
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
LAVINDER, JACK W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DLA PIPER LLP (US ) (EAST PALO ALTO, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A fastener for a shoelace, comprising: a longitudinal shoelace clamp including a base and two clamp rings extending longitudinally, oppositely, and respectively from two sides of said base, each of said clamp rings having a ring opening and a clamp piece extending across said ring opening; and a longitudinal pull unit including a middle portion disposed over said base, two opposite pull members extending oppositely from said middle portion and disposed respectively over said clamp rings, and a joining unit; said joining unit including a plurality of string members fixed to said longitudinal pull unit and extending oppositely from said middle portion to said pull members along a longitudinal direction, said string members having fixed sections embedded within said middle portion and said pull members, and string rings which are exposed from said pull members and which are connected to said longitudinal shoelace clamp.

2. The fastener as claimed in claim 1, wherein said longitudinal shoelace clamp further includes two connectors connected respectively to said clamp rings, said string rings of said joining unit being connected to said connectors.

3. The fastener as claimed in claim 1, wherein said pull members are formed as pull rings each of which has two pull ring components converging to said middle portion, each of said string members having a pair of said fixed sections embedded in one of said pull ring components, and one of said string rings exposed from one of said pull ring components and connected to said pair of said fixed sections.

4. The fastener as claimed in claim 2, wherein each of said string members has one of said fixed sections provided with an end that extends in said longitudinal direction and that is connected to an adjacent one of said string members, and another one of said fixed sections provided with an end that extends transversely of said longitudinal direction and that is connected to an adjacent other one of said string members.

5. The fastener as claimed in claim 2, wherein said base includes a main plate, each of said clamp rings having an inner clamp ring section pivoted to said main plate, an outer clamp ring section opposite to said inner clamp ring section, and two spaced apart slide sections interconnecting said inner and outer clamp ring sections, said clamp piece having two opposite ends connected slidably and respectively to said slide sections, each of said connectors being connected to said outer clamp ring section of one of said clamp rings.

6. The fastener as claimed in claim 5, further comprising a fixing ring disposed around said middle portion and said main plate, said main plate having two opposite sides formed with pivot tubes, said base further having a limit plate disposed under said main plate and having two opposite ends respectively fixed to said pivot tubes, said fixing ring extending through a gap formed between said main plate and said limit plate.

7. The fastener as claimed in claim 5, wherein each of said connectors has a connecting sleeve disposed around said outer clamp ring section of one of said clamp rings, and a connecting ring extending through said connecting sleeve so that said connecting ring is hinged to said outer clamp ring section, said connecting ring of each of said connectors extending through two of said string rings.

8. A pull unit of a fastener for a shoelace, which is usable in combination with a shoelace clamp of the fastener, said pull unit comprising: a middle portion, two opposite pull members extending oppositely from said middle portion in a longitudinal direction, and a plurality of string members extending oppositely from said middle portion to said pull members; said string members having fixed sections embedded within said middle portion and said pull members, and string rings which are exposed from said pull members and which are adapted to be connected to the shoelace clamp.

9. The pull unit as claimed in claim 8, wherein each of said pull members has two pull ring components converging to said middle portion, each of said string members having a pair of said fixed sections embedded in one of said pull ring components, and one of said string rings exposed from one of said pull ring components and connected to said pair of said fixed sections.

10. The pull unit as claimed in claim 9, wherein each of said string members has one of said fixed sections provided with an end that extends in said longitudinal direction and that is connected to an adjacent one of said string members, and has the other one of said fixed sections provided with an end that extends transversely of said longitudinal direction and that is connected to an adjacent other one of said string members.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to a fastener, more particularly to a fastener for a shoelace.

2. Description of the Related Art

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, U.S. Pat. No. 7,313,849 discloses a fastener for a lace 1. The fastener includes a fastening body 2 and a pull unit 3. The fastening body 2 includes a base 201, and two clamp assemblies 4, each of which has a substantially U-shaped member 401 pivotally connected to the base 201 to define an opening 403 with the base 201, and a clamp member 402 attached slidably to the U-shaped member 401 and extending across the opening 403 to divide the opening 403 into a first aperture 403′ proximate to the base 201 and a second aperture 403″ distal from the base 201. Each end segment of the lace 1 is extended through the first aperture 403′ of the opening 403, over the clamp member 402 of a corresponding one of the clamp assemblies 4, into the second aperture 403″ of the opening 403, and out of the U-shaped member 401 of the corresponding one of the clamp assemblies 4.

The pull unit 3 includes a middle portion 301 connected to the base 201 of the fastening body 2, and two opposite pull members 302 extending from the middle portion 301 and connected respectively to the U-shaped members 401 via corresponding anchoring elements 303.

When a manual pulling force is applied on the pull members 302 of the pull unit 3, the U-shaped members 401 are pivotally moved relative to the base 201 toward each other, and the clamp member 402 of each of the clamp assemblies 4 is moved toward the base 201, thereby releasing the lace 1 from being clamped by the clamp member 402 against the U-shaped member 401 of the corresponding one of the clamp assemblies 4.

Although the lace 1 can be fastened and released by the aforesaid fastener, the aforesaid fastener has the following disadvantages:

1. Since the pull unit 3 is usually made of cotton, and since the anchoring elements 303 are mounted on the is pull members 302 of the pull unit 3 by puncturing the anchoring elements 303 on the pull members 302, the pull members 302 are liable to be destroyed.

2. As shown in FIG. 2, since each of the anchoring elements 303 is formed as a substantially C-shaped ring, they are liable to be released from the pull members 302 of the pull unit 3 when the pulling force is too large.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, the object of the present invention is to provide a fastener for a shoelace that can overcome the aforesaid disadvantages of the prior art.

According to one aspect of this invention, a fastener for a shoelace includes a longitudinal shoelace clamp and a longitudinal pull unit. The longitudinal shoelace clamp includes a base and two clamp rings extending longitudinally, oppositely, and respectively from two sides of the base. Each of the clamp rings has a ring opening and a clamp piece extending across the ring opening. The longitudinal pull unit includes a middle portion disposed over the base, two opposite pull members extending oppositely from the middle portion and disposed respectively over the clamp rings, and a joining unit. The joining unit includes a plurality of string members fixed to the pull unit and extending oppositely from the middle portion to the pull members along a longitudinal direction of the pull unit. The string members have fixed sections embedded within the middle portion and the pull members, and string rings which are exposed from the pull members and which are connected to the longitudinal shoelace clamp.

According to another aspect of this invention, a pull unit of a fastener for a shoelace is usable in combination with a shoelace clamp of the fastener, and includes a middle portion, two opposite pull members extending oppositely from the middle portion in a longitudinal direction, and a plurality of string members extending oppositely from the middle portion to the pull members. The string members have fixed sections embedded within the middle portion and the pull members, and string rings which are exposed from the pull members and which are adapted to be connected to the shoelace clamp.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary exploded perspective view of a conventional fastener for a lace;

FIG. 2 is a partly sectional view of the conventional fastener;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary exploded perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a fastener for a shoelace according to this invention;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the preferred embodiment;

FIG. 5 is a schematic view of a longitudinal pull unit used in the preferred embodiment;

FIG. 6 is a bottom view of the preferred embodiment;

FIG. 7 is a perspective showing a shoe that incorporates the preferred embodiment of this invention;

FIG. 8 is a sectional view of the preferred embodiment, taken along line 8-8 in FIG. 4; and

FIG. 9 is a sectional view illustrating a loosening operation of the preferred embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 7, the preferred embodiment of a fastener 100 according to this invention is shown to be adapted for use with a shoe which includes a shoe body 300 with a pair of eyelet tabs 310, and a shoelace 200 having an anchoring segment 210 strung on the eyelet tabs 310, and a pair of distal lace segments 220, each of which is connected to the anchoring segment 210 at one end. The fastener 100 includes a longitudinal shoelace clamp 20, a longitudinal pull unit 30, and a fixing ring 50. It should be noted herein that, except for FIG. 7, the fastener 100 is not drawn to scale in the accompanying drawings and is actually illustrated in a magnified form for the sake of clarity.

The longitudinal shoelace clamp 20 includes a base 10, an anchoring member 12 welded on the base 10, a limit plate 13 welded and disposed under the base 10, two clamp rings 21 extending longitudinally, oppositely, and respectively from two sides of the base 10, and two connectors 23 connected respectively to the clamp rings 21. Each of the clamp rings 21 has a ring opening 213 and a clamp piece 22 extending across the ring opening 213 to divide the ring opening 213 into a first aperture 213′ proximate to the base 10 and a second aperture 213″ distal from the base 10.

The longitudinal pull unit 30 includes a middle portion 31 disposed over the base 10, two opposite pull members 32, 32′ extending oppositely from the middle portion 31 and disposed respectively over the clamp rings 21, and a joining unit 40.

The base 10 is formed of a metal plate, and includes a main plate 11 having two opposite sides formed with pivot tubes 116. The main plate 11 includes a first side face 111, a second side face 112 opposite to the first side face 111, a top face 113 extending between the first and second side faces 111,112, a bottom face 114 opposite to the top face 113, and a plurality of anchoring holes 115 extending through the top and bottom faces 113,114.

The anchoring member 12 has a press part 121 formed as a T-shape and pressing the middle portion 31 of the longitudinal pull unit 30 against the main plate 11 of the base 10, and a plurality of anchoring legs 122,123 extending from the press part 121 and penetrating the middle portion 31 of the longitudinal pull unit 30. One of the anchoring legs 123 penetrates through a middle string part 313 of the longitudinal pull unit 30, and the other two of the anchoring legs 122 penetrate two string end parts 314 of the longitudinal pull unit 30, respectively. The anchoring legs 122,123 are inserted respectively into the anchoring holes 116, and are welded to the main plate 11 of the base 10 in the anchoring holes 115.

The limit plate 13 is disposed under the main plate 11 of the base 10 and has two opposite ends respectively fixed to the pivot tubes 116 by welding so as to form a gap 131 between the main plate 11 of the base 10 and the limit plate 13 (best shown in FIG. 8).

Each of the clamp rings 21 has an inner clamp ring section 214 pivoted to the main plate 11 of the base 10, an outer clamp ring section 212 opposite to the inner clamp ring section 214, and two spaced apart slide sections 211 interconnecting the inner and outer clamp ring sections 214, 212. The clamp piece 22 has two opposite ends 221 connected slidably and respectively to the slide sections 211.

Each of the connectors 23 is connected to the outer clamp ring section 212 of one of the clamp rings 21. Each of the connectors 23 has a connecting sleeve 231 disposed around the outer clamp ring section 212 of one of the clamp rings 21, and a connecting ring 232 extending through the connecting sleeve 231 so that the connecting ring 232 is hinged to the outer clamp ring section 212.

Referring to FIGS. 3, 5 and 6, the joining unit 40 includes a plurality of string members 41, 42 fixed to the longitudinal pull unit 30 and extending oppositely from the middle portion 31 of the longitudinal pull unit 30 to the pull members 32, 32′ of the longitudinal pull unit 30 along a longitudinal direction (X) The string members 41, 42 have fixed sections 411, 421 embedded within the middle portion 31 and the pull members 32, 32′, and string rings 412, 422 which are exposed from the pull members 32, 32′ and which are connected to the connectors 23. Specifically, the connecting ring 232 of each of the connectors 23 extends through two of the string rings 412, 422. The pull members 32, 32′ are formed as pull rings each of which has two pull ring components 311, 312 converging to the middle portion 31. Each of the string members 41, 42 has a pair of the fixed sections 411, 421 embedded in one of the pull ring components 311, 312, and one of the string rings 412, 422 exposed from one of the pull ring components 311, 312 and connected to the pair of the fixed sections 411, 421. Each of the string members 41, 42 has one of the fixed sections 411, 421 provided with an end 4111, 4211 that extends in the longitudinal direction (X) and that is connected to an adjacent one of the string members 41, 42, and the other one of the fixed sections 411, 421 provided with an end 4112, 4212 that extends in a transverse direction (Y) transverse to the longitudinal direction (X) and that is connected to an adjacent other one of the string members 41, 42.

The fixing ring 50 is disposed around the middle portion 31 of the longitudinal pull unit 30 and the main plate 11 of the base 10. The fixing ring 50 extends through the gap 131 between the main plate 11 of the base 10 and the limit plate 13 (best shown in FIG. 8).

Referring to FIGS. 4, 7 and 8, in use, each of the distal lace segments 220 is extended through the first aperture 213′ of the ring opening 213, over the clamp. piece 22 of a corresponding one of the clamp rings 21, into the second aperture 213″ of the ring opening 213, and but of the connecting sleeve 231 of the corresponding one of the connectors 23. At the same time, the longitudinal pull unit 30, the fixing ring 50, and the distal lace segments 220 cooperate to form a double-bow configuration. After a foot (not shown) is slipped into the shoe 300, the distal lace segments 220 can be pulled apart from each other to tighten the shoe 300. When the shoe 300 is tightened, the eyelet tabs 310 are forced apart by the foot in the shoe 300, thereby applying tension on the shoelace 200. At the same time, the clamp piece 22 of each of the clamp rings 21 is forced by a corresponding one of the distal lace segments 220 to move toward the outer clamp ring section 212 of the corresponding one of the clamp rings 21 such that each of the distal lace segments 220 is clamped in a clamping position between the clamp piece 22 and the connecting sleeve 231 of the corresponding one of the connectors 23 for maintaining a tightened state of the shoe 300.

Referring to FIG. 9, to loosen the shoe 300, a manual pulling force is applied on the pull members 32, 32′ as indicated by arrows (P). This results in pivoting movement of the clamp rings 21 relative to the base 10 toward each other and in movement of the clamp piece 22 away from the outer clamp ring section 212 of the corresponding one of the clamp rings 21, thereby releasing the distal lace segments 220 from being clamped by the clamp pieces 22 against the connecting sleeves 231 so as to permit sliding movement of the distal lace segments 220 for loosening the shoe 300 accordingly.

In view of the aforesaid, the following advantages over the prior art can be achieved by the fastener of the present invention:

1. Since the fixed sections 411, 421 of the string members 41, 42 are embedded within the middle portion 31 and the pull members 32, 32′ of the longitudinal pull unit 30, and since the string rings 412, 422 of the string members 41, 42 are integrated with the fixed sections 411, 421 and are exposed from the pull members 32, 32′, the destruction problem encountered in the pull members 302 of the conventional fastener can be avoided, and the mechanical strength of the string rings 412, 422 can be improved.

2. Since the string rings 412, 422 of the string members 41, 42 are integrated with the fixed sections 411, 421, they can be firmly connected to the connecting ring 232 of each of the connectors 23.

While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiment but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent arrangements.