Title:
FOOTWEAR ADORNMENT, SYSTEM FOR ACCESSORIZING FOOTWEAR, AND METHODS THEREFOR
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An adornment for an article of footwear having a forefoot portion that includes a thong portion adapted to be positioned between a wearer's toes, and a forefoot cover connected to the thong portion. The adornment includes a clip that has a legged structure having a pair of spaced apart legs, or elongate extensions, adapted to straddle a portion of the footwear and a mount supported relative to the elongate extensions. The adornment also includes a decorative accessory disposed on the mount and may be adapted to releasably engage the mount.



Inventors:
Nordstrom-wehner, Sheri L. (Highlands Ranch, CO, US)
Application Number:
12/133011
Publication Date:
12/10/2009
Filing Date:
06/04/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B23/24; A43B23/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20020121030THONG FOOTWEAR CUSHIONSeptember, 2002Coleman
20080004160Flexible meter music system and methodJanuary, 2008Kennard
20090211114SHOE, IN PARTICULAR SPORTS SHOEAugust, 2009Ivester et al.
20040139629Waterproof footwearJuly, 2004Wiener
20040211088Sport shoe with impact absorber systemOctober, 2004Volkart
20050235526Arch support reinforcement deviceOctober, 2005Kim
20080235985Boots, wash bag and outer container combinationOctober, 2008Gordon
20100031534FOOTWEAR WITH EXPANDABLE ENTRY AND EXIT FEATUREFebruary, 2010Davis et al.
20080000105Genie disposable slipperJanuary, 2008Cotton
20080086909Insole for sports shoes, particularly for golfApril, 2008Raspini
20080083136Pants cuff supportsApril, 2008Mcneely



Primary Examiner:
KAVANAUGH, JOHN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HOLLAND & HART, LLP (SALT LAKE CITY, UT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An adornment for footwear, comprising: a) a pair of elongate extensions adapted to straddle a portion of the footwear; b) a mount supported relative to said elongate extensions; and c) a decorative accessory disposed on said mount.

2. An adornment according to claim 1 wherein each elongate extension includes a stop portion.

3. An adornment according to claim 1 including a relief formed through an upper surface of said mount.

4. An adornment according to claim 3 wherein said decorative accessory includes a fastener sized and adapted to mate with said relief.

5. An adornment according to claim 1 wherein said decorative accessory is adapted to releasably engage said mount.

6. An adornment according to claim 5 wherein said decorative accessory is adapted to movably engage said mount.

7. An adornment according to claim 1 wherein said decorative accessory overhangs at least a portion of said mount.

8. An adornment according to claim 1 wherein said elongate extensions extend arcuately around a portion of the footwear.

9. An adornment for an article of footwear that includes a forefoot portion having a thong portion adapted to be positioned between a wearer's toes and a forefoot cover connected to the thong portion, said adornment comprising: a) a clip including a legged structure having a pair of spaced apart legs and a mount supported by said legged structure, said clip adapted to releasably engage the forefoot portion in a captured state wherein said legs straddle the thong portion and said mount is seated on the forefoot cover; and b) a decorative accessory adapted to releasably engage said mount.

10. An adornment according to claim 9 wherein said decorative accessory includes a fastener.

11. An adornment according to claim 10 including a relief formed through an upper surface of said mount along an open-ended contour to form a tongue shaped tab.

12. An adornment according to claim 9 wherein said legged structure is integrally formed from a unitary piece of material.

13. A system for accessorizing footwear that includes a forefoot portion, comprising: a) means for releasably attaching a clip to the forefoot portion; and b) means for releasably supporting a decorative accessory on said clip such that said decorative accessory is situated above the forefoot portion.

14. A system for accessorizing footwear according to claim 13 including means for movably supporting said decorative accessory on said clip.

15. A system for accessorizing footwear according to claim 14 including means for rotatably supporting said decorative accessory on said clip.

16. A system for accessorizing footwear, comprising: a) a clip including a pair of elongate extensions configured to straddle a thong portion of the footwear, and a mount secured above said extensions for positioning on a forefoot cover of the footwear; and b) at least one decorative accessory adapted to releasably engage said mount.

17. A system for accessorizing footwear according to claim 16 wherein said decorative accessory includes a fastener.

18. A system for accessorizing footwear according to claim 17 including a relief formed through an upper surface of said mount along an open-ended contour to form a tongue-shaped tab adapted to upwardly bias said fastener.

19. A system for accessorizing footwear according to claim 18 wherein said relief is configured so that said fastener snaps into said relief.

20. A system for accessorizing footwear according to claim 18 including a set of decorative accessories interchangeably attachable to said mount.

21. A method for accessorizing footwear, comprising: a) releasably attaching a clip to the footwear in a captured state wherein at least a portion of said clip straddles a first portion of the footwear; and b) releasably supporting a first decorative accessory on said clip such that said first decorative accessory is seated on a second portion of the footwear that is joined to the first portion.

22. A method according to claim 21 including removing said first decorative accessory and releasably supporting a second decorative accessory on said clip.

23. A method according to claim 21 wherein said clip includes a mount and comprising situating said mount on said second portion when in the captured state.

Description:

BACKGROUND

Sandals, thongs, and flip-flops, as they are known, are a very popular form of casual footwear. There are many different styles of sandals; however, in general, they include a sole and a forefoot portion that includes a thong connecting the sole to a forefoot cover. This type of footwear is a sanitary, inexpensive, and comfortable alternative to going barefoot. Sandals are particularly popular for beachgoers and around the pool to protect the wearer's feet from rocks and heat.

This simple form of footwear has been around for thousands of years. It is believed that sandals were originally made of wood and woven fiber. Sandals have been developed over the years to include new materials such as rubber, plastic, and cloth. These materials have allowed designers to add colors and patterns to the sandals in an effort to make their version of the footwear unique. Even still, the simple structure of the sandal means that it is difficult to distinguish among sandals.

People like to be different and as such they find various ways to accessorize themselves with jewelry, clothing, tattoos, hairstyles, sunglasses, and footwear. In the past footwear has been an accessory in and of itself. Some styles of footwear are further accessorized by adding brightly colored shoe laces, for example. Another more recent example of accessorizing footwear are Jibbitz® that fit into the vent openings on the popular plastic clogs known as Crocs®. Jibbitz® are quite useful in accessorizing this type of footwear, however they are particular to the Crocs® construction and therefore are not applicable to sandals.

Accordingly, there is a need for a means to conveniently accessorize sandals. Furthermore, there is a need for a system that allows one to interchange the accessory to match the occasion and/or the wearer's mood.

SUMMARY

Provided herein is an adornment for an article of footwear having a forefoot portion that includes a thong portion adapted to be positioned between a wearer's toes, and a forefoot cover connected to the thong portion. The adornment includes a clip that has a legged structure having a pair of spaced apart legs, or elongate extensions, adapted to straddle a portion of the footwear and a mount supported relative to the elongate extensions. The adornment also includes a decorative accessory disposed on the mount and may be adapted to releasably engage the mount. A system for accessorizing footwear may include a set of decorative accessories that are interchangeably attachable to the mount.

The clip is adapted to releasably engage the forefoot portion in a captured state where the legs straddle the thong portion and the mount is seated on the forefoot cover. Each elongate extension may include a stop portion. In general, the elongate extensions extend arcuately around a portion of the footwear. The legged structure may be integrally formed from a unitary piece of material.

Preferably, the decorative accessory includes a fastener sized and adapted to mate with a relief that is formed through an upper surface of the mount. The relief is formed through an upper surface of the mount along an open-ended contour to form a tongue shaped tab that is adapted to upwardly bias the fastener. The relief may also be configured so that the fastener snaps into the relief. The decorative accessory may be adapted to movably or rotatably engage the mount. The decorative accessory may also overhang at least a portion of the mount.

Also contemplated is a method for accessorizing footwear including releasably attaching a clip to the footwear in a captured state wherein at least a portion of the clip straddles a first portion of the footwear and releasably supporting a first decorative accessory on the clip such that the first decorative accessory is seated on a second portion of the footwear that is joined to the first portion. The first decorative accessory may be removed and replaced with a second decorative accessory.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating an adornment according to a first exemplary embodiment attached to an article of footwear in the captured state;

FIG. 2 is a side-view in elevation of the adornment shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a an enlarged side-view in elevation of the adornment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the adornment shown in FIGS. 1-3 with an exemplary alternate construction of the decorative accessory;

FIG. 5 is a top plan-view of the mount illustrating the contour of the relief and tab;

FIG. 6 is a side-view in partial cross-section of the adornment shown in FIG. 5 taken about line 6-6;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged side-view in partial cross-section illustrating the partial engagement of the decorative accessory with the mount;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged side view in partial cross-section illustrating the decorative accessory fully engaged with the mount;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view showing an adornment according to the first exemplary embodiment illustrating another exemplary alternate construction of the decorative accessory; and

FIG. 10 is a perspective view showing an adornment according to a second exemplary embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Provided herein is an adornment for an article of footwear. The adornment includes a clip that has a legged structure having a pair of spaced apart legs, or elongate extensions, adapted to straddle a portion of the footwear and a mount supported relative to the elongate extensions. The adornment also includes a decorative accessory adapted to releasably engage the mount. Also, provided is a system for accessorizing footwear that includes a set of interchangeable decorative accessories.

FIG. 1 shows an adornment according to a first exemplary embodiment attached to an article of footwear in the captured state. In this case, the article of footwear is a sandal 10. Sandal 10 includes a sole 6 and a forefoot portion, which includes forefoot cover 4 and thong portion 2. Adornment 20 engages the forefoot portion in a captured state by straddling thong portion 2 and seating on forefoot cover 4.

With further reference to FIGS. 2 and 3 it can be seen that adornment 20 includes a clip 50 which includes legged structure 40 and mount 30. Decorative accessory 22 is attached to mount 30 with fastener 24. In this case decorative accessory 22 resembles a bow. One ordinarily skilled in the art will readily recognize that decorative accessory 22 may take many forms. For example, decorative accessory 22 could resemble a flower 322 (see FIG. 4), a pinwheel, and various animals, to name just a few. Furthermore, as shown in FIG. 9, decorative accessory 122 may take on the theme of various holidays and/or special occasions. In this construction the decorative accessory 122 includes a pair of flags which may represent a patriotic holiday such as the Fourth of July, for example. It should also be recognized that a system for accessorizing footwear may include a set of decorative accessories, interchangeably attachable to mount 30. The set may include one or more decorative accessories, such as those mentioned above.

As perhaps best shown in FIG. 4, legged-structure 40 includes a pair of elongate extensions, or legs 44, which extend arcuately from proximal end portions 43 to distal end portions 45. Elongate extensions 44 are joined and spaced apart by crossbar 46. Distal end portions 45 terminate with end-stops 42. Elongate extensions 44 extend arcuately around forefoot cover 4 of sandal 10. End-stops 42 help to retain clip 50 in the captured state. Elongate extensions 44 support mount 30 above forefoot cover 4. In this embodiment it can be seen that legged structure 40 may be formed from a unitary piece of material, such as wire. Mount 30 may be attached to legged structure 40 by bonding with a suitable adhesive, for example. Alternatively, where mount 30 is formed of plastic it may be molded onto legged structure 40.

FIG. 5 illustrates mount 30 as viewed from above. Mount 30 includes relief 34 formed through upper surface 32. Relief 34 extends along an open-ended contour to form tongue-shaped tab 36. Relief 34 includes a waist portion 38 sized such that fastener 24 may be snapped in place thereby releasably engaging the decorative accessory 22. Fastener 24 includes spaced apart buttons 26 and 28 with neck 29 extending therebetween. Buttons 26 and 28 are spaced apart to accommodate both wall 32 and decoration 22.

With reference to FIGS. 7 and 8 it can be appreciated how fastener 24 engages relief 34. FIG. 7 illustrates decorative accessory 22 partially engaged onto mount 30. Fastener 24 is pressed into relief 34 displacing tab 36 downwardly. This allows button 28 to slide below upper wall 32. It should also be noted that neck 29 is sized to snap past waist portion 38. In this embodiment mount 30 includes an upper wall 32, a lower wall 31, and a surrounding sidewall 33 extending therebetween to enclose an interior 35. Preferably, mount 30 is sized such that decorative accessory 22 obscures at least a portion of mount 30. As in this case, mount 30 may be formed of a stiff yet resilient material such as plastic. This resiliency provides an upwardly biasing force to be applied to fastener 24. As shown in FIG. 8, where fastener 24 is fully engaged in relief 34, tab 36 urges fastener 24 upwardly providing a clearance for decorative accessory 22. This clearance allows the decoration to freely move or rotate about neck 29. So, for instance where decorative accessory 22 is a pinwheel, the decoration is allowed to spin with movement of the wearer's foot or wind. Alternatively, it may be desirable in other situations to fix decorative item 22 in a given position. In such case fastener 24 may be fixed to the decorative accessory.

FIG. 10 illustrates an adornment 220 according to a second exemplary embodiment. In this embodiment clip 250 includes mount 230, which is supported by elongate extensions 240. Decorative accessory 222 is disposed on mount 230. In this embodiment clip 250 is integrally formed of a unitary material. Clip 250 may be formed of any suitable material such as plastic or metal. While decorative accessory 222 is shown here as detachable, one ordinarily skilled in the art will recognize that it may also be integrally disposed on mount 230.

With the foregoing in mind, a method is also contemplated for accessorizing footwear. The method broadly includes releasably attaching a clip to the footwear in a captured state wherein at least a portion of the clip straddles a first portion of the footwear and releasably supporting a first decorative accessory on the clip such that said first decorative accessory is seated on a second portion of the footwear that is joined to the first portion.

Accordingly, the present invention has been described with some degree of particularity directed to the exemplary embodiments of the present invention. It should be recognized, however, that the present invention is defined by the following claims construed in light of the prior art so that modifications or changes may be made to the exemplary embodiments of the present invention without departing from the inventive concepts contained herein.