Title:
Convertible shoe
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A convertible shoe includes a shoe base having shoe base surfaces; fastener structures; at least two interchangeable shoe parts removably attachable with the fastener structures to at least one of the base surfaces to selectively produce a desired shoe configuration. The shoe base preferably includes an elongate panel having substantially the shape and size of a shoe sole for a given user, and the base surfaces to which the fastener structures are secured include longitudinal panel side surfaces, panel front and rear surfaces and panel top and bottom surfaces. The shoe parts preferably include a number of shoe top structures of various configurations and a number of shoe bottom structures of various configurations.



Inventors:
Diamond, Laurence (Deerfield Beach, FL, US)
Application Number:
12/012963
Publication Date:
08/06/2009
Filing Date:
02/06/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
36/34B, 36/42, 36/100, 36/23
International Classes:
A43B3/24; A43B21/00; A43B21/36; A43B23/20
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20050262727Shoe bed structure for sandalsDecember, 2005Cheng
20080047166Arch support with ribbed surfaceFebruary, 2008Conforti et al.
20040128862Item of footwearJuly, 2004Flack
20040093765Shoe with interchangeable upperMay, 2004Baldwin
20070033837Outsole with anti-slip treadFebruary, 2007Fulton
20060156583Pedicure shoe insertJuly, 2006Butash
20030208924Footwear having sealed ornamental memberNovember, 2003Pan
20080052955Waterproof SockMarch, 2008Barrow et al.
20040111919Shoe sole with a bladder and molds for making the soleJune, 2004Wang
20020108271Shell, particularly for sports shoesAugust, 2002Brait
20050022421Ballet pointe shoeFebruary, 2005Bruckner



Primary Examiner:
MOHANDESI, JILA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dickinson Wright PLLC - Fort Lauderdale (Fort Lauderdale, FL, US)
Claims:
1. A convertible shoe, comprising: a shoe base having upper, lower, and edge shoe base surfaces; a plurality of removably attachable fastener means, each fastener means having a first half coupled to one of said upper surface of said shoe base and said lower surface of said shoe base surface; and at least two interchangeable shoe parts, each part having a second half of one of said plurality of removably attachable fastener means and each interchangeable shoe part being removably attachable directly to at least one of said upper shoe base surface and said lower shoe base surface to selectively produce a desired shoe configuration.

2. The convertible shoe of claim 1, wherein said fastener means comprises an array of first snap fastener and connecting second snap fastener halves.

3. The convertible shoe of claim 1, wherein said fastener means comprises one of a hook portion and a loop portion of hook and loop fastener sheets and an opposing one of a loop portion and a hook portion of hook and loop fastener sheets.

4. The convertible shoe of claim 1, wherein said shoe base comprises an elongate panel having substantially the shape and size of a shoe sole for a given user, and wherein said base surfaces to which said fastener means are secured include longitudinal panel top and bottom surfaces.

5. The convertible shoe of claim 1, wherein said shoe parts comprise a plurality of shoe top structures of various configurations have shoe top structure lower ends and being shaped and sized to wrap over the top of a wearer foot and downwardly to connect at said shoe top structure lower ends to fastener means on at least one of said base surfaces.

6. The convertible shoe of claim 5, wherein said shoe top structure lower ends connect to at least one of: said longitudinal panel bottom surface and said panel top surface.

7. The convertible shoe of claim 4, wherein said shoe parts comprise a plurality of shoe bottom structures of various configurations comprising a sole portion connected to a heel portion.

8. The convertible shoe of claim 7, wherein said sole portion has a sole portion upper surface and has fastener means on said sole portion upper surface which register with and removably connect to fastener means on said panel bottom surface.

9. The convertible shoe of claim 7, wherein said heel portion and said sole portion one of: are permanently interconnected and a single integral part.

10. The convertible shoe of claim 7, wherein said panel and said bottom structure are one of: permanently interconnected and a single integral part.

11. The convertible shoe of claim 7, additionally comprising a heel cover sheet having heel cover fastener means for removably attaching to said base fastener means on said heel, for changing the color or style of the convertible shoe.

12. The convertible shoe of claim 7, additionally comprising a heel rigid cover having heel cover fastener means for removably attaching to said fastener means on said shoe, for changing the color or style of the convertible shoe.

13. The convertible shoe of claim 1, additionally comprising a foot bed for fastening to the shoe base upper surface.

14. The convertible shoe of claim 13, wherein said foot bed has foot bed ports for passing shoe top structure lower ends.

15. A convertible shoe, comprising: a shoe base having shoe base surfaces; a shoe sole portion having sole portion surfaces; a first fastener means having a first half coupled to one of said shoe base surfaces and a second half coupled to one of said shoe sole surfaces, the first fastener means removably attaching said shoe base to said shoe sole portion; a second fastener means; and at least two interchangeable shoe parts removably attachable with said second fastener means to one of said shoe base surfaces and said sole portion surfaces to selectively produce a desired shoe configuration.

16. The convertible shoe of claim 15, wherein at least one of said shoe parts is a shoe top structure.

17. A convertible shoe, comprising: a shoe base comprising a shoe sole portion having sole portion surfaces; a foot bed having foot bed surfaces; a first fastener means having a first half coupled to one of said sole portion surfaces and a second half coupled to one of said foot bed surfaces, the first fastener means removably attaching said shoe base to said foot bed; a second fastener means; and at least two interchangeable shoe parts removably attachable with said second fastener means to one of said sole portion surfaces and said foot bed surfaces to selectively produce a desired shoe configuration.

18. The convertible shoe of claim 17, wherein at least one of said shoe parts is a shoe top structure.

19. The convertible shoe of claim 1, additionally comprising various sized arches or supports with fastener means for removably attaching to said fastener means on said shoe, for changing for comfort or medical reasons.

20. The convertible shoe of claim 1, additionally comprising various sized arches or supports with lower ends passing through foot bed ports with fastener means for removably attaching to said fastener means on said shoe for changing for comfort and for medical reasons.

21. The convertible shoe of claim 1, additionally comprising a shoe base with one of spikes and cleats and fastener means comprising a shoe sole portion with fastener means a foot bed having foot bed surfaces for changing to and from golf course.

22. A convertible shoe, comprising: a shoe top structure which can be fastened with snap fastener halves or with hook and loop fastener portions, or with virtually any other fastener means to absolutely any surface of the foot bed, or to absolutely any surface of the shoe base such as an elongate panel, or to absolutely any surface of the sole portion including any surface of the heel portion, or to any combination of these, such that said present convertible shoe is fully versatile.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to the field of footwear. More specifically the present invention relates to a convertible shoe provided with variety of straps, wraps and snaps to permit customizing the shoe to various tastes, clothing combinations and occasions, permitting the purchaser to design and reconfigure his or her own shoe style and to have a new look whenever desired. The convertible shoe specifically includes a shoe base having shoe base surfaces fitted with fastener means to which any of a variety of interchangeable shoe accessories hereinafter referred to as shoe parts are removably attached to selectively produce a desired shoe configuration and color. Any suitable fastener means may be used, but one preferred fastener means is an array of first snap fastener halves secured to the base surfaces, with opposing and connecting second snap fastener halves secured to the shoe parts. Another suitable fastener means is the hook portion or loop portion of hook and loop fastener sheets also commercially known as VELCROâ„¢ secured to the shoe base surfaces, which removably connect to an opposing loop portion or hook portion of hook and loop fastener sheets on the shoe parts. The hook and loop fastener sheets are removably attached to the elements making up the shoe so that they can be replaced with new hook and loop fastener sheets when they become worn. The resulting assembled shoe may be a dress shoe, clog, boot, sandal or virtually any other type of shoe.

One version of the shoe base is an elongate panel having the shape and size of a shoe sole for the given wearer, and the base surfaces to which fastener means are secured include a longitudinal panel side surfaces, panel front and rear surfaces and panel top and bottom surfaces, respectively. The shoe parts include several shoe top structures of various configurations shaped to wrap over the top of a wearer foot and downwardly to connect at their lower ends to fastener means on the shoe base, and preferably to the longitudinal panel side surfaces, panel rear surface and in some instances to peripheral portions of the panel top and bottom surfaces. Since the shoe top structures may have very different configurations from each other, they connect to the shoe base at a variety of different locations. For this reason, the fastening means are provided over broad areas of the shoe base surfaces.

The shoe parts further include several shoe bottom structures of various configurations including a sole portion connected to a heel portion. The panel and the bottom structure are permanently interconnected or may be a single integral part. In either instance, a heel cover sheet for changing the color or style of the shoe also is optionally provided having heel cover fastener means which attach to base fastener means on the heel portion and bottom or sole surfaces.

2. Description of the Prior Art

There have long been many varieties and configurations of shoes. A limitation inherent in shoes has been that whatever configuration they initially have cannot be altered so that only one permanent style is provided.

Related patents include Berg, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,792,696, issued on Sep. 21, 2004, discloses a shoe with an interchangeable strap system; Bricker, U.S. Pat. No. 6,651,359, issued on Nov. 25, 2003, teaches an interchangeable shoe strap system; Yang, U.S. Pat. No. 6,418,643, issued on Jul. 16, 2002, reveals shoe structure provided with means to fasten interchangeably various insoles, pads or instep straps; Cotton, U.S. Pat. No. 6,345,454, issued on Feb. 12, 2002, discloses a shoe having a removable sole and method of use; Lin, U.S. Pat. No. 5,896,684, issued on Apr. 27, 1999, teaches a detachable toe strap and ankle strap mounting arrangement for a simple shoe; Hillyer, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 7,222,442, issued on May 29, 2007, reveals a sandal which fits inside an item of footwear that includes an outsole and an upper; Stern, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 7,219,445, issued on May 22, 2007, discloses a locking mechanism for securing detachable shoe uppers; Rolle, U.S. Pat. No. 7,210,251, issued on May 1, 2007, teaches a shoe with interchangeable covers; Phillips, U.S. Pat. No. 6,769,204, issued on Aug. 3, 2004, reveals a sandal system; Cambronero, U.S. Pat. No. 6,928,754, issued on Aug. 16, 2005, discloses a detachable straps connection to a shoe; Newson, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 7,140,129, issued on Nov. 28, 2006, teaches an article of footwear with perforated covering and removable components; Grove, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 7,076,890, issued on Jul. 18, 2006, reveals footwear with a separable upper and sole structure; Sapp, U.S. Pat. No. 6,944,976, issued on Sep. 20, 2005, discloses a protective and decorative shoe cover; Coomes, U.S. Pat. No. 6,442,869, issued on Sep. 3, 2002, teaches a children's sandal having replaceable soles; Grasso, U.S. Pat. No. 6,948,261, issued on Sep. 27, 2005, reveals a supplemental removal outersole for footwear; Greene, U.S. Pat. No. 6,931,766, issued on Aug. 23, 2005, discloses footwear with a separable foot-receiving portion and sole structure; Halliday, U.S. Pat. No. 6,976,323, issued on Dec. 20, 2005, teaches a footwear system with readily interchangeable components; Gerber, U.S. Pat. No. 7,117,615, issued on Oct. 10, 2006, reveals a shoe with removable upper; and Yama, U.S. Pat. No. 7,013,587, issued on Mar. 21, 2006, discloses foot wear exchangeable upper and sole portions.

It is thus an object of the present invention to provide a convertible shoe which includes a wide variety of shoe parts removably and interchangeably attachable to a shoe base so that the user can design and custom assemble his or her own shoe and create any of a variety of different shoe configurations and styles.

It is another object of the present invention to provide such a convertible shoe where the shoe parts include shoe top portions, shoe bottom portions and heel covers.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide such a convertible shoe which is easily converted to a different shoe configuration or style.

It is finally an object of the present invention to provide such a convertible shoe which is inexpensive to manufacture.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention accomplishes the above-stated objectives, as well as others, as may be determined by a fair reading and interpretation of the entire specification.

A convertible shoe is provided, including a shoe base having shoe base surfaces; fastener structures; at least two interchangeable shoe parts removably attachable with the fastener structures to at least one of the base surfaces to selectively produce a desired shoe configuration.

The fastener structures optionally include an array of first snap fastener halves secured to at least one of the base surfaces, with opposing and connecting second snap fastener halves secured to the interchangeable shoe parts. The fastener structures alternatively may include one of the hook portion and the loop portion of hook and loop fastener sheets secured to at least one of the shoe base surfaces, for removably connecting to an opposing one of a loop portion and a hook portion of hook and loop fastener sheets secured to the interchangeable shoe parts.

The shoe base preferably includes an elongate panel having substantially the shape and size of a shoe sole for a given user, and the base surfaces to which the fastener structures are secured include longitudinal panel side surfaces, panel front and rear surfaces and panel top and bottom surfaces.

The shoe parts preferably include a number of shoe top structures of various configurations having shoe top structure lower ends and being shaped and sized to wrap over the top of a wearer foot and downwardly to connect at the shoe top structure lower ends to fastener structures on at least one of the base surfaces. The shoe top structure lower ends preferably connect to at least one of: the longitudinal panel side surfaces, the panel rear surface and the panel top and bottom surfaces.

The shoe parts optionally include a number of shoe bottom structures of various configurations including a sole portion connected to a heel portion. The heel portion and the sole portion are one of: permanently interconnected and a single integral part. The panel and the bottom structure alternatively are one of: permanently interconnected and a single integral part. The convertible shoe optionally additionally includes a heel cover sheet having a heel cover fastener structure for removably attaching to the base fastener structure on the heel, for changing the color or style of the convertible shoe.

A convertible shoe is further provided, including a shoe base having shoe base surfaces; a shoe sole portion having sole portion surfaces; a fastener structure; at least two interchangeable shoe parts removably attachable with the fastener structure to one of a shoe base surface and a sole portion surface to selectively produce a desired shoe configuration. At least one of the shoe parts preferably is a shoe top structure.

A convertible shoe is still further provided, including a shoe base having a shoe sole portion having sole portion surfaces; a foot bed having foot bed surfaces; fastener structure; at least two interchangeable shoe parts removably attachable with the fastener structure to one of a sole portion surface and a foot bed surface to selectively produce a desired shoe configuration. At least one of the shoe parts preferably is a shoe top structure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Various other objects, advantages, and features of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following discussion taken in conjunction with the following drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded view of the shoe base and parts making up one embodiment of the present convertible shoe.

FIG. 1A is a top view of the assembled convertible shoe of FIG. 1.

FIG. 1B is a top perspective view of a shoe base which includes the integral heel portion, fitted with several snap fastener halves.

FIG. 2 is an exploded view a shoe base and parts as in FIG. 1, except that the shoe top structure is not shown and a foot bed is added.

FIGS. 2A and 2B illustrate sole portion upper surfaces fitted with combinations of removable hook and loop fasteners and snap fastener halves for firm and reliable connection to corresponding fasteners of the lower surface of a foot bed.

FIG. 3 is side perspective view of the shoe base of FIG. 1B with a heel cover sheet sized and shaped to wrap around the sides of the entire heel portion.

FIG. 4 is a view as in FIG. 3 except that the heel cover sheet is shown folded into a U-shape and positioned to fit around the back and sides of the heel portion.

FIG. 5 is a view as in FIG. 3 except that the tubular or sleeve version of the heel cover is illustrated which slips on and wraps entirely around the heel portion.

FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of a sandal embodiment of the present convertible shoe with one selected shoe top structure positioned for fastening to the shoe base.

FIG. 6A is a top view of the assembled convertible shoe of FIG. 6.

FIG. 7 is an exploded perspective view of a sandal embodiment of the present convertible shoe as in FIG. 6, except that a different selected shoe top structure is positioned for fastening to the shoe base.

FIG. 7A is a top view of the assembled convertible shoe of FIG. 7.

FIG. 8 is a perspective exploded view of sandal embodiment including a foot bed with foot bed ports through which shoe top structure lower ends are passed and fastened to the elongate panel.

FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective bottom view of the shoe top structure of FIG. 8 with its lower end cross-member fitted through the forward foot bed port to fasten to snap fastener halves on the foot bed lower surface, and showing the foot bed positioned to fit to the elongate panel.

FIG. 10 is an exploded view as in FIG. 1, except that the snap fasteners are replaced with hook portions and loop portions of hook and loop fasteners.

FIG. 11 is a perspective exploded view of a rigid heel cover positioned to be fit over the existing heel portion of a convertible shoe.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed structure.

Reference is now made to the drawings, wherein like characteristics and features of the present invention shown in the various FIGURES are designated by the same reference numerals.

First Preferred Embodiment

Referring to FIGS. 1-11, a convertible shoe 10 is disclosed including a shoe base 20 having shoe base surfaces S fitted with fastener means 40 to which any of a variety of interchangeable shoe parts P are removably attached to selectively produce a desired shoe configuration and color. Any suitable fastener means 40 may be used, but one preferred fastener means is an array of first snap fastener halves 42 secured to the base surfaces S, with opposing and connecting second snap fastener halves 44 secured to the shoe parts P. Another suitable fastener means is the hook portion 46 or loop portion 48 of hook and loop fastener sheets secured to the shoe base surfaces S, which removably connect to an opposing loop portion 48 or hook portion 46 of hook and loop fastener sheets on the shoe parts P. The hook and loop fastener sheets 46 and 48 are removably attached to the elements making up the convertible shoe 10 so that they can be replaced with new hook and loop fastener sheets 46 and 38 when they become worn.

One version of the shoe base 20 is an elongate panel 30 having the shape and size of a shoe sole for the given wearer, and the base surfaces S to which fastener means 40 are secured include a longitudinal panel side surfaces 32 and 34, panel front and rear surfaces 30A and 30B and panel top and bottom surfaces 36 and 38, respectively. The shoe parts P include several shoe top structures 60 of various configurations shaped to wrap over the top of a wearer foot and downwardly to connect at their lower ends 62 to fastener means 40 on the shoe base 20, and preferably to the longitudinal panel side surfaces 32 and 34, panel rear surface 30A, bottom surface and in some instances to peripheral portions of the panel top surface 36. Since the shoe top structures 60 may have very different configurations from each other, they connect to the shoe base 20 at a variety of different locations. For this reason, the fastening means 40 are provided over broad areas of the shoe base surfaces S.

The shoe parts 10 further include several shoe bottom structures 80 of various configurations including a sole portion 82 connected to a heel portion 84. The heel portion 84 is permanently connected to the sole portion 82 or are integral. One version of the sole portion 82 has spikes or cleats 88, so that the user can for example change sole portions 82 to move from the office to the golf course. Alternatively the panel 30 and the bottom structure 80 may be permanently interconnected or may be a single integral part. A foot bed 92 optionally is provided for fastening onto the panel top surface 36 to increase wearer height, and the foot bed 92 may be provided in any of a variety of colors and several may be stacked on a sole portion 82 to give the wearer greater height. See FIGS. 2-2B. The foot bed 92 preferably includes foot bed ports 64 for passing shoe top structure lower ends 62 so that the lower ends 62 can be fastened to the top surface of the elongate panel 30, or to the lower surface of the foot bed 92, or to the sides or bottom of the elongate panel 30. See FIGS. 8 and 9. The fasteners such as snap fastener halves 42 may be mounted on a lower end cross member 66.

The applicant notes that: one version is an arch support system allowing wearer to change various sized arches or supports, and customize for comfort or medical reasons. The changeable arches or supports can be fastened to the top surfaces and side surfaces of foot bed 92, or passed through foot bed ports 64 and fastened to the bottom surfaces of foot bed 92, or to the top surfaces and side surfaces of elongate panel 30.

Thus, in accordance with the present invention, a shoe top structure 60 can be fastened with snap fastener halves 42 and 44 or with hook and loop fastener portions 46 and 48, or with virtually any other fastener means 40 to absolutely any surface of the foot bed 92, or to absolutely any surface S of the shoe base 20 such as an elongate panel 30, or to absolutely any surface of the sole portion 82 including any surface of the heel portion 84, or to any combination of these. This is one way in which the present convertible shoe 10 is fully versatile.

A fabric heel cover sheet 90 may be provided for changing the color or style of the shoe 10. The fabric heel cover sheet 90 has heel cover fastener means 40 which attach to base fastener means 40 on heel portion 84. The heel cover sheet 90 may wrap around and cover the rear and side surfaces of the heel portion 84, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 or may wrap entirely around and cover the heel portion 84 rear, side and front surfaces. The heel cover sheet 90 still alternatively may take the form of a tube or sleeve sized as shown in FIG. 5 to fit snugly over the heel portion 84 from the heel portion 84 lower end, and is optionally elastic to accomplish such a snug fit. The fabric heel cover sheet 90 may be formed of thin material to follow and duplicate the shape of the heel portion 84, or may be formed of thicker material to define a shape different from that of the existing heel portion 84.

An alternative to the tubular fabric heel cover sheet 90 is a rigid heel cover 94 or heel cover block which has a substantially fixed solid form defining a heel portion 84 shape which has a heel receiving passageway 96 opening into its rigid heel cover 94 upper surface for receiving the existing shoe heel portion 84 and then fastening to the existing heel portion 84 or sole portion 82 or both. The rigid heel cover 94 optionally has a flexible cover sheet 94A permanently fastened to its outer surface which extends above the rigid or block segment of the heel cover 94 and has inwardly directed fasteners such as fastener halves 42 and 44 for fastening to the existing sole portion 82 and heel portion 84. See FIG. 11.

The outward surfaces of the snap fasteners 42 and 44 may be adorned with gemstones or other decorative element.

While the invention has been described, disclosed, illustrated and shown in various terms or certain embodiments or modifications which it has assumed in practice, the scope of the invention is not intended to be, nor should it be deemed to be, limited thereby and such other modifications or embodiments as may be suggested by the teachings herein are particularly reserved especially as they fall within the breadth and scope of the claims here appended.