Title:
SANDAL SUITABLE FOR POST-PEDICURE USE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sandal of basically flip-flop configuration is provided comprising a sole (1, 19), an upstanding thong (2, 17, 23, 26, 29) for passing between the big toe and the adjacent second toe of a wearer and a pair of straps (3, 14, 22, 31) each of which operatively connects the thong with an opposite side (4) of the sole between the heel and toe thereof so as to form a closed loop with the sole. At least one releasable connection (6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 27, 28) is associated with the thong or straps or both whereby the closed loop that each strap forms with the sole can be releasably opened as and when required. The releasable connection that typically includes a two component connector may be provided at or towards an end region (5, 15) of its associated strap remote from the thong. Alternatively, the ends (21, 25, 30) of the straps (22, 31) associated with the thong are releasable from the sole either by being releasable from the thong or by the thong being releasable from sole.



Inventors:
Luiz, Arieta Pereira (Cape Town, ZA)
Application Number:
13/141845
Publication Date:
11/17/2011
Filing Date:
04/28/2009
Assignee:
LUIZ ARIETA PEREIRA
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B3/12
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MOHANDESI, JILA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TREGO, HINES & LADENHEIM, PLLC (HUNTERSVILLE, NC, US)
Claims:
1. A sandal of basically flip-flop configuration comprising a sole, an upstanding thong for passing between a big toe and an adjacent second toe of a wearer and a pair of straps each of which operatively connects the thong with an opposite side of the sole between the heel and toe thereof so as to form a closed loop with the sole, wherein at least one releasable connection is associated with at least one of the thong, and straps whereby the closed loop that each strap forms with the sole can be releasably opened as and when required.

2. A sandal as claimed in claim 1 in which the releasable connection is provided at or towards an end region of its associated strap remote from the thong.

3. A sandal as claimed in claim 2 in which the releasable connection includes a two component connector.

4. A sandal as claimed in claim 3 in which the releasable connection includes a two component connector carried by the free end region of a strap with a hoop fixed relative to the sole for receiving the strap passing therethrough with the strap secured in a doubled over condition.

5. A sandal as claimed in claim 1 in which the end of each strap remote from the thong is provided with a releasable connection connecting it to the sole.

6. A sandal as claimed in claim 1 in which the two straps are formed as a continuous strap assembly with only one end of one strap being attached by a releasable connection to the sole and wherein the thong has an eye through which the continuous strap assembly can be threaded.

7. A sandal as claimed in claim 1 in which the ends of the straps associated with the thong are releasable from the sole.

8. A sandal as claimed in claim 7 in which the ends of the straps associated with the thong are releasable from an upper end of the thong either separately or together.

9. A sandal as claimed in claim 7 in which the thong itself is releasable from the sole in order to open the loops formed between the straps and sole.

10. A pair of sandals as claimed in claim 1 packaged in a flexible storage bag.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a sandal that is suitable for post-pedicure use with the aim of diminishing the chance of contact with uncured or wet coating materials such as nail varnish, for example, that have been applied to toe nails during a pedicure procedure.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

The provision of a sandal or shoe for post-pedicure use that is particularly aimed at protecting uncured or wet coating materials that have been applied to toenails has received considerable attention. Thus, published United States patent application number US2007204483 describes a pair of sandals or slippers that can be folded into a compact format for transportion in a handbag or purse, for example. These sandals are basically a folding flip-flop type of sandal with a thong for passing between the big toe and the adjacent second toe.

Published United States patent application number US2007011915, on the other hand, describes an item of footwear which has a sandal type of sole with a removable protective toe cap. A number of other proposals have been made.

Some of the proposals involve the use of the sole of a pedicure sandal or slipper of the type that has an upright spacer for location between each adjacent pair of toes. Such sandals are uncomfortable for walking and are generally best used only during the pedicure procedure.

On the other hand, a sandal of the flip-flop type having a thong for passing between the big toe and the adjacent second toe has the inherent danger that it is rather easy to touch the newly finished toenails on the straps of the sandal as the foot is being introduced into the flip-flop.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of this invention to provide a sandal that is suitable for post-pedicure use and that does not have certain disadvantages that applicant perceives accompany the proposals outlined above.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with this invention there is provided a sandal of basically flip-flop configuration comprising a sole, an upstanding thong for passing between the big toe and the adjacent second toe of a wearer and a pair of straps each of which operatively connects the thong with an opposite side of the sole between the heel and toe thereof so as to form a closed loop with the sole, the sandal being characterised in that at least one releasable connection is associated with the thong or straps or both whereby the closed loop that each strap forms with the sole can be releasably opened as and when required.

In a first variation of the invention the releasable connection may be provided at or towards an end region of its associated strap remote from the thong. In such variation the releasable connection may include a two component connector such as a press stud or hook and loop fastener (such as that sold under the trade name VELCRO™). The free end of a strap may be passed through a hoop or loop fixed relative to the sole with the strap secured in a doubled over condition by means of the two component connector.

In this first variation of the invention the end of each strap remote from the thong may be provided with a releasable connection connecting it to the sole or, alternatively, the two straps may be formed as a continuous strap assembly with only one end of one strap being attached by a releasable connection to the sole. In the latter instance the thong preferably has an eye through which the continuous strap assembly can be threaded. Alternatively, the thong itself may be a flexible extended eye extending upwards from the sole so that a continuous strap assembly can be threaded through it.

In a second variation of the invention the ends of the straps associated with the thong are releasable and in such an instance the ends of the straps associated with the thong may be releasable from an upper end of the thong either separately or together. In an alternative form of the second variation of the invention, the thong itself may be releasable from the sole in order to open the loops formed by the straps.

It is a feature of this invention that a pair of sandals be packaged in a flexible storage bag that is preferably colour-coordinated or colour matched to the sandals.

In order that the invention may be more fully understood one embodiment of each variation of the invention as well as different embodiments of the variations will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the drawings:—

FIG. 1 is a schematic isometric view of a typical flip-flop type of sandal;

FIG. 2 is a similar view illustrating the principle of a flip-flop type of sandal according to the first variation of the invention with the loops formed by the straps in the open condition;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged schematic exploded side view illustrating one form of releasable connection for attaching an end of each of the straps to the sole;

FIG. 4 is similar to FIG. 3 but illustrating an alternative and adjustable form of releasable connection;

FIG. 5 is similar to FIG. 3 but illustrating a more direct releasable connection;

FIG. 6 is similar to FIG. 3 but illustrating a flexible loop in place of the hoop illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4;

FIG. 7 is a schematic view illustrating a pair of sandals according to the invention together with a storage bag therefor;

FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 2 but illustrating a modification whereby only one strap has a releasable end;

FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIG. 8 illustrating a variation of the thong and releasable connection;

FIG. 10 is a view similar to FIG. 2 but illustrating one form of the second variation of the invention;

FIG. 11 is a view similar to FIG. 10 but illustrating a second form of the second variation of the invention; and,

FIG. 12 is a view similar to FIG. 10 but illustrating a third form of the second variation of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION WITH REFERENCE TO THE DRAWINGS

In the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 6 of the drawings, the invention is applied to a sandal of the general type illustrated in FIG. 1, namely a sandal of basically flip-flop configuration comprising a sole (1), an upstanding thong (2) for passing between the big toe and the adjacent second toe of a wearer, and a pair of straps (3) each of which connects the thong with an opposite side (4) of the sole between the heel and toe thereof so as to form a closed loop with the sole. Such sandals are extremely common and well-known and are made in many different types of materials.

Referring now more particularly to FIG. 2 of the drawings, one embodiment of sandal according to the very first variation of the present invention enables the end (5) of each of the straps remote from the thong to be released from the sole of the sandal so that the normally closed loop can be opened as and when required. This enables the sandal to be introduced onto a person's foot without the toes having to pass through the rather restricted loops of the straps in order to locate the thong between the big toe and adjacent second toe, an action that invites contact to be made between what may be newly finished toenails and the straps.

Instead of this, and with the ends of the straps released from the sole, the sandal can be installed on a foot with a person's one hand holding the sole and the other holding the released straps so that the only guidance that is necessary is to align the thong with its desired position between the big toe and the second toe without the toenails having to pass through any loops.

In order to disengage the ends of the straps from the sole, and with particular reference to FIG. 3, a releasable connection may comprise a hoop (6) secured permanently to the sole and a press stud arrangement (7) on the end region of the strap. This arrangement enables the disengaged end of the strap to be passed through the hoop; folded back upon itself to form a doubled over section and the press stud to be closed to releasably anchor the doubled over end region of the strap to the hoop, and thus to the sole.

Of course, numerous different forms of releasable connection can be employed. Thus, and as illustrated in FIG. 4, the releasable end of the strap could be provided with a terminal pad (8) of one cooperating member of a hook and loop type of fastener system (such as that sold under the trade name VELCRO™), typically the “hook” member, with an adjacent longer pad (9) of the other cooperating member of the fastener, typically the “loop” member. This arrangement has the added advantage of adjustability in that the tautness of the straps is adjustable.

A still further alternative is illustrated in FIG. 5, wherein one cooperating member (10) of a fastener, such as a press stud fastener or a hook and eye fastener, could be permanently associated with the sole and the other cooperating member (11) provided at the releasable end of the strap, thus constituting a rather simple form of releasable connection.

FIG. 6 illustrates a flexible eye (6a) as a replacement for the generally rigid hoop illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4.

As indicated above, and as illustrated in FIG. 7, it is the intention that sandals according to the invention be sold in pairs thereof together with a storage bag (12) that is preferably colour-coordinated or colour matched.

Another form of the first variation of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 8. In this form of the invention, one end (13) of a continuous strap assembly (14) is permanently attached to the sole and only the other end (15) of one strap is attached by a releasable connection (16) to the sole. In this instance the thong (17) that is permanently attached to the sole (19) has an eye (20) through which the continuous strap assembly can be threaded in order to fasten the sandal for use.

FIG. 9 illustrates a variation in which the eye is in the form of a flexible extended eye (20a) that extends upwards from the sole (19) thereby itself defining the thong and obviating the necessity for any additional thong defining item. In this instance it is envisaged that the flexible extended eye could be used in combination with the flexible eye (6a) illustrated in FIG. 6 uniformity of design.

Turning now to the second variation of the invention, and with reference to FIG. 10 of the drawings, the ends (21) of the straps (22) associated with the thong (23) are attached to each other but are releasable from an upper end of the thong. In this instance the opening provided when the ends are disengaged from the thong is large and unlikely to interfere with the introduction of a foot into the sandal. The latter can preferably be done by placing the sole on the floor; holding the joined straps open; placing the foot upon the sole with the thong between the toes and then clipping the joined ends of the straps to the thong.

FIG. 11 illustrates another form of the second variation of the invention in which the ends (25) of the straps are separately releasably attached to the thong (26), with one strap conveniently having an eyelet (27) and the other one having a clip (28) that serves to hold both ends of the straps releasably captive relative to the thong.

In a still further alternative form of the second variation of the invention that is illustrated in FIG. 12, the thong (29) is permanently attached to both ends (30) of the straps (31) and the thong itself is releasable from a socket (32) in the sole in order to open the loops formed by the straps, very much along the lines of the embodiment described with reference to FIG. 10.

It will be understood that numerous variations may be made to the various embodiments of the invention described above without departing from the scope hereof. Of course, it will be appreciated that sandals according to the invention can be worn in the normal course of events as ordinary sandals and the releasable connection need only be employed as and when required such as after a pedicure procedure.