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Publication numberUS20020029494 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/949,403
Publication dateMar 14, 2002
Filing dateSep 7, 2001
Priority dateSep 12, 2000
Publication number09949403, 949403, US 2002/0029494 A1, US 2002/029494 A1, US 20020029494 A1, US 20020029494A1, US 2002029494 A1, US 2002029494A1, US-A1-20020029494, US-A1-2002029494, US2002/0029494A1, US2002/029494A1, US20020029494 A1, US20020029494A1, US2002029494 A1, US2002029494A1
InventorsIna Small
Original AssigneeSmall Ina R.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Removable and interchangeable shoe tongue
US 20020029494 A1
Abstract
The present invention is a detachable tongue for a shoe. The shoe has an upper covering, disposed on a sole, which defines an instep opening and an ankle opening communicating therewith. The instep opening has a fore end and an aft end. The detachable tongue is an elongated strip of material having fore and aft ends which is disposed in the instep opening. The shoe with the detachable tongue includes means for removably fastening the strip to the upper covering at the instep opening. The fastening means includes fasteners such as a fabric fastener defining a hook and loop fastening system, one or more buttons, a snap system, a hook and eye system, a zipper, and a string system. In one embodiment the detachable tongue is removably disposed on the upper covering of the shoe at the fore end of the instep opening such that the fastener is hidden from view.
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Claims(32)
What is claimed is:
1. A detachable tongue for a shoe, said shoe having an upper covering disposed on a sole, said upper covering defining an instep opening and an ankle opening communicating therewith, said instep opening having a fore end and an aft end, said detachable tongue comprising:
an elongated strip of material having fore and aft ends adapted to be disposed in said instep opening; and
means for removably fastening said fore end of said strip to said upper covering near said fore end of said instep opening.
2. A detachable tongue as claimed in claim 1 wherein said fastening means is disposed at the strip fore end.
3. A detachable tongue as claimed in claim 1 wherein said fastening means is a fastener from the group of a fabric fastener defining a hook and loop fastening system, one or more buttons, a snap system, a hook and eye system, a zipper, and a string system.
4. A detachable tongue as claimed in claim 1 wherein said fastening means is disposed at the strip fore end and beneath said upper covering such that said fastening means is hidden from view.
5. A detachable tongue as claimed in claim 1 wherein said elongated strip of material includes cushioning.
6. A detachable tongue as claimed in claim 1 wherein said fastening means permits said strip to be removed.
7. A detachable tongue as claimed in claim 1 wherein said strip is one of a plurality of strips adapted to be interchanged.
8. A detachable tongue as claimed in claim 1 wherein said strip bears indicia including indicia from the group of advertising indicia, wearer indicia, team member indicia, and trademark indicia.
9. A shoe, comprising:
a sole;
an upper covering disposed on said sole, said upper covering defining an instep opening and an ankle opening communicating therewith, said instep opening having a fore end and an aft end;
a detachable tongue having fore and aft ends, said tongue removably disposed in said instep opening; and
means for removably fastening said fore end of said tongue with said upper covering near said fore end of said instep opening.
10. A shoe as claimed in claim 9 wherein said fastening means are disposed at the tongue fore end and the instep opening fore end.
11. A shoe as claimed in claim 9 wherein said fastening means is a fastener from the group of a fabric fastener defining a hook and loop fastening system, one or more buttons, a snap system, a hook and eye system, a zipper, and a string system.
12. A shoe as claimed in claim 9 wherein said fastening means are disposed at the tongue fore end and on an underside of said upper covering.
13. A shoe as claimed in claim 9 wherein said tongue includes cushioning.
14. A shoe as claimed in claim 9 wherein said fastening means permits said tongue to be removed.
15. A shoe as claimed in claim 9 wherein said tongue is one of a plurality of tongues adapted to be interchanged.
16. A shoe as claimed in claim 9 wherein said tongue bears indicia including indicia from the group of advertising indicia, wearer indicia, team member indicia, and trademark indicia.
17. A detachable tongue for a shoe, said shoe having an upper covering disposed on a sole, said upper covering defining an instep opening and an ankle opening communicating therewith, said instep opening having a fore end, an aft end, and side walls, said detachable tongue comprising:
an elongated strip of material having a fore end, an aft end, and opposing side walls, said strip adapted to be disposed in said instep opening; and
one or more fasteners disposed on said strip at one or more locations from the group consisting of a fore end location and opposing side wall locations, for removably fastening said said strip to said upper covering.
18. A detachable tongue as claimed in claim 17 wherein said one or more fasteners is disposed at the strip fore end.
19. A detachable tongue as claimed in claim 17 wherein said one or more fasteners is disposed at the strip fore end and one of the strip side walls.
20. A detachable tongue as claimed in claim 17 wherein said one or more fasteners is disposed at the strip fore end and both of the opposing side walls.
21. A detachable tongue as claimed in claim 17 wherein said one or more fasteners is disposed at both of the opposing side walls.
22. A detachable tongue as claimed in claim 17 wherein said one or more fasteners is a fastener from the group of a fabric fastener defining a hook and loop fastening system, one or more buttons, a snap system, a hook and eye system, a zipper, and a string system.
23. A detachable tongue as claimed in claim 17 wherein said one or more fasteners is disposed on the strip and beneath said upper covering such that said one or more fasteners is hidden from view.
24. A detachable tongue as claimed in claim 17 wherein said elongated strip of material includes cushioning.
25. A detachable tongue as claimed in claim 17 wherein said strip is one of a plurality of strips adapted to be interchanged.
26. A detachable tongue as claimed in claim 17 wherein said strip bears indicia including indicia from the group of advertising indicia, wearer indicia, team member indicia, and trademark indicia.
27. A shoe, comprising:
a sole;
an upper covering disposed on said sole, said upper covering defining an instep opening and an ankle opening communicating therewith, said instep opening having a fore end, an aft end and opposing side walls;
a detachable tongue having a fore end, an aft end, and opposing side walls, said tongue removably disposed in said instep opening; and
one or more fasteners disposed on said tongue at one or more locations from the group consisting of a fore end location and opposing side wall locations.
28. A shoe as claimed in claim 27 wherein said one or more fasteners is a fastener from the group of a fabric fastener defining a hook and loop fastening system, one or more buttons, a snap system, a hook and eye system, a zipper, and a string system.
29. A shoe as claimed in claim 27 wherein said one or more fasteners is disposed on said tongue and on an underside of said upper covering.
30. A shoe as claimed in claim 27 wherein said tongue includes cushioning.
31. A shoe as claimed in claim 27 wherein said tongue is one of a plurality of tongues adapted to be interchanged.
32. A shoe as claimed in claim 27 wherein said tongue bears indicia including indicia from the group of advertising indicia, wearer indicia, team member indicia, and trademark indicia.
Description

[0001] This is a regular patent application based upon provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/231,871 filed Sep. 12, 2000, now pending.

[0002] The present invention relates to a removable and interchangeable shoe tongue.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Most shoes are made with an opening having a tongue originating near the front of the shoe which allows a person to more easily insert a foot into the shoe. The shoe's tongue protects the foot from the elements and/or protects a person's instep from fastening means which may be present above the tongue. The shoe's tongue usually runs along the instep up to the point where the person's shin meets the foot at or about the ankle line. Shoes with tongues are constructed such that the tongue is permanently attached to the shoe, i.e. the tongue cannot be removed without causing damage or destroying the shoe.

[0004] There is a need for a shoe with a removable tongue. A removable tongue allows a person to change the aesthetic appearance of the shoe by exchanging one tongue for another. In addition, a removable tongue makes cleaning the shoe easier, as the areas of the shoe below the laces or other fastening means is often times the most difficult to access for cleaning and/or polishing.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

[0005] It is an object of the present invention to provide a shoe with a removable tongue.

[0006] It is a further object of the present invention to provide an interchangeable tongue for a shoe.

[0007] It is a further object of the present invention to provide a removable tongue such that the shoe tongue can be removed and reattached by a simple method.

[0008] It is another object of the present invention to provide an interchangeable tongue for a shoe with indicia such that the shoe can be customized for a particular purpose or event.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] The present invention is a detachable tongue for a shoe. The shoe has an upper covering, disposed on a sole, which defines an instep opening and an ankle opening communicating therewith. The instep opening has a fore end near the front of the shoe and an aft end adjacent the ankle opening. The openings permit insertion of a person's foot in the shoe such that the instep opening is adjacent the person's instep when the foot is in the shoe. The detachable tongue is an elongated strip of material having fore and aft ends which is disposed in the instep opening such that the fore and aft ends of the strip substantially align with the fore and aft ends of the instep opening, respectively. The shoe with the detachable tongue includes a fastener at the fore end of the strip to attach the tongue to the upper covering near the fore end of the instep opening. The fastener for the detachable tongue includes a fabric fastener defining a hook and loop fastening system, one or more buttons, a snap system, a hook and eye system, a zipper, and a string system. The fastener can be hidden from view such as by locating it on an underside of the upper covering. The detachable tongue can include cushioning.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] Further objects and advantages of the present invention can be found in the detailed description of the preferred embodiments when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

[0011]FIG. 1A diagrammatically illustrates a shoe with a removable tongue;

[0012]FIG. 1B diagrammatically illustrates the removable tongue separate from the shoe;

[0013]FIG. 1C diagrammatically illustrates an interchangeable tongue;

[0014]FIGS. 2A and 2B diagrammatically illustrate a shoe with a removable tongue having a fabric fastener;

[0015]FIG. 3 diagrammatically illustrates a partial view of a shoe with a removable tongue having a zipper fastener;

[0016]FIG. 4 diagrammatically illustrates a partial view of a strap or string system fastener between the removable tongue and a shoe;

[0017]FIG. 5 diagrammatically illustrates a cross-sectional view of the removable tongue;

[0018]FIG. 6 illustrates a partial view of a button system fastener between the interchangeable tongue and the upper covering of the shoe;

[0019]FIG. 7 illustrates a partial view of a hook and eye fastening system between the detachable tongue and the shoe; and

[0020]FIGS. 8A, 8B and 8C illustrate the detachable tongue with various indicia.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0021] The present invention relates to a detachable tongue for a shoe. The detachable tongue can be utilized on all types of shoes with an instep area accommodating a flexible material utilized for fastening and removing the shoes. For example, the detachable tongue can be used for dress shoes, deck shoes, tennis shoes, cleats, or other athletic shoes. The detachable tongue permits the wearer to customize the shoes by replacing one tongue for another. For example, the members of a sporting team could replace the tongues on their shoes to have their team insignia, logo or mascot displayed on the tongue of their shoes.

[0022]FIG. 1A diagrammatically illustrates a shoe 20 with a removable or detachable tongue 12. The shoe 20 illustrated in FIG. 1A is a tennis shoe-style athletic shoe, commonly referred to as a sneaker. The shoe does not have a shoe string or lace threaded through its eyelets 26. The tongue 12 protrudes upward through the instep opening 30 defined by the upper covering 32 of the shoe. The upper covering 32 refers to the entire upper portion of the shoe, which would include what is traditionally referred to as the shoe's vamp, tip, collar, quarter, foxing and mudguard. The upper covering 32 is attached to the sole 34 and defines an instep opening 30 and an ankle opening 36 communicating therewith. The instep opening 30 has a fore end 40 near the front of the shoe, an aft end 42 adjacent the ankle opening 36, and two opposing sides 44, 46. The instep opening 30 and ankle opening 36 are large enough to permit insertion of a person's foot in the shoe 20. The shoe's tongue 12 is disposed within the instep opening 36 and typically covers a person's instep, that is, the upper surface of the arched middle portion of the foot in front of the ankle joint. Similar items are identified by similar reference numbers throughout the drawings.

[0023] The detachable tongue 12 is an elongated strip of material having fore and aft ends 50, 52 which is disposed in the instep opening 36 such that the fore and aft ends of the strip 50, 52 substantially align with the fore and aft ends of the instep opening 40, 42, respectively. The strip or detachable tongue 12 can be made of any material suitable for the particular type of shoe and known by those skilled in the art, such as leather, cloth, canvas, vinyl, or a combination thereof. In one embodiment, the detachable tongue 12 includes cushioning 58 (see FIG. 5) which can be a synthetic sponge material, for example, or similar material.

[0024]FIGS. 1B and 1C diagrammatically illustrate two interchangeable, detachable tongues 12. Tongue 12 in FIG. 1B includes indicia 14 in the form of a star. Tongue 12 in FIG. 1C illustrates a star and stripes indicia 14, 16.

[0025] In one embodiment, the shoe 20 with the detachable tongue 12 includes one or more fasteners at the fore end of the strip to attach the tongue to the upper covering 32 near the fore end 40 of the instep opening 30. FIGS. 1A, 1B and 1C illustrate the use of a snap system to removably fasten the tongue 12 to the upper covering 32. In FIGS. 1B and 1C, two snaps 60, 62 are disposed on the fore end 50 of strip 12. The snaps 60, 62 correspond to the snap counterparts 70, 72 (shown in dashed circles) located on the underside or beneath the upper covering 32 at the fore end 40 of the instep opening 30. This embodiment allows the fastening means to be hidden from view.

[0026]FIGS. 2A and 2B diagrammatically illustrate another embodiment of the shoe 20 and detachable tongue 12 in which the fastening means between the interchangeable tongue 12 and upper covering 32 is a fabric fastener 22. The fabric fastener 22 defines a hook and loop fastening system in which a strip of fabric having small hooks is affixed to one surface and another strip of fabric having miniature loops is affixed to the other surface, such that a mechanical bond is formed when the two strips come in contact with each other. In FIG. 2A, one part of the fabric fastener system 22 is attached to the underside of the upper covering 32 at the fore end 40 of the instep opening and the other part of the fabric fastener 10 is attached to the fore end 50 of the detachable tongue 12.

[0027]FIG. 3 diagrammatically illustrates a partial view of another embodiment of the fastening system between the shoe 20 and a corresponding detachable tongue 12. The tongue 12 in FIG. 3 is attached or fastened to the shoe 20 by a zipper system 74 in which the fore end 50 of the strip and the two opposing sides 54, 56 are connected to the instep opening 30. A portion of the aft end 52 of the strip is not attached. The zipper system 74 can also be utilized to connect only a portion of the tongue 12 to the upper covering 32. For example, the zipper 74 can be used to connect only the fore end 50 of the tongue 12 to the upper covering 32 at the fore end 40 of the instep opening 30. Likewise, two zipper systems can be utilized to fasten the tongue 12 to either of the upper covering opposing sides 44′, 46′.

[0028]FIG. 4 diagrammatically illustrates a partial view of another embodiment of the fastener between the detachable tongue 12 and shoe 20. In FIG. 4, a string or lace system is utilized in which the detachable tongue 12 is laced to the fore end of the upper covering 32. The laces 76 are held taut or fastened through the use of a buckle 78. The strings or laces 76 can also be tied together as regular shoe laces are traditionally tied.

[0029]FIG. 6 diagrammatically illustrates a partial view of a button fastening system. In FIG. 6, buttons 80, 80′ are attached to the tongue 12. The buttons substantially align with button slits 82, 82′, respectively. Besides fastening the tongue 12 to the upper covering 32 of the shoe, the buttons also serve to change the appearance of the shoe through the indicia 14 marking the surface of the button.

[0030]FIG. 7 diagrammatically illustrates a partial view of one embodiment of a hook and eye fastening system. The detachable tongue 12 includes small hooks 84, 84′ which latch on to small eyelets or loops 86, 86′ attached to the shoe's upper covering.

[0031] There are numerous fasteners that can be utilized to securely attach the tongue 12 to the upper covering 32 of the shoe 20 commonly known by those skilled in the art. For example, the previously described hook and eye system could be used throughout the tongue. Also, the fabric hook and loop system described earlier can be used in conjunction with small straps. The fasteners included in the drawings are merely exemplary, and not intended to limit the scope of the present invention.

[0032]FIG. 5 diagrammatically illustrates a cross-sectional view of the detachable tongue 12 from the perspective of reference line 55″ in FIG. 4. The detachable tongue in FIG. 5 is constructed with three layers. The outer layers 48, 48′ are made on leather or similar material commonly used to construct shoes. The inner layer 58 is made of a cushioning material, such as a synthetic sponge material to add comfort.

[0033] The detachable tongue 12 allows the wearer to interchange one tongue for another to change the look, and sometimes the style of the shoe. For example, the shoe 20 and interchangeable, detachable tongues 12 depicted in FIGS. 1A, 1B and 1C have indicia 14, 16, 18. The shoe 20 includes a star 18 on the side of the upper covering 32. The tongue 12 in FIG. 1B includes a star 14 at the aft end 52 of the strip. The interchangeable tongue 12 in FIG. 1C includes a double-star 14 and stripes 16. By taking out one tongue and replacing it with another with different indicia, the shoe can be customized. The wearer or owner of the shoe could attach a tongue with the wearer's indicia, for example, the wearer's initials or name. See indicia 14 in FIG. 8C. Several members of a team could change the tongues of their shoes to include indicia bearing the team's letters, colors, mascot, etc. See indicia 14 in FIG. 8B. Children's shoes could include several tongues bearing favorite cartoon characters. The tongue can also include trademark indicia or be used to advertise a particular brand as illustrated in FIG. 8A.

[0034] The claims appended hereto are meant to cover modifications and changes within the scope and spirit of the present invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6574887Apr 11, 2002Jun 10, 2003U-Turn Sports Co, LlcFootwear with reversible tongue
US7284343Jun 1, 2005Oct 23, 2007U Turn Sports, Co Llc.Footwear with reversible tongue
US7318290Feb 17, 2004Jan 15, 2008U Turn Sports Co., Llc.Footwear with reversible tongue
US7412785 *Mar 30, 2005Aug 19, 2008Edward NavaskyDecorative vamp system
US7464488Sep 16, 2004Dec 16, 2008U Turn Sports, Co Llc.Reversible footwear strap
US7614165Apr 22, 2005Nov 10, 2009Podi, L.L.C.Interchangeable footwear component
US7669352Mar 30, 2007Mar 2, 2010Jerry StefaniInterchangeable component shoe system
US7685739Mar 31, 2006Mar 30, 2010Nike, Inc.Convertible dance shoe
US7757414Aug 30, 2006Jul 20, 2010U Turn Sports Co. LLCFootwear with pivotal and/or rotatable tongue
US7891120 *Jul 12, 2007Feb 22, 2011Randy NeihoffCover for a shoe tongue
US8028441Mar 1, 2010Oct 4, 2011Jerry StefaniInterchangeable component shoe system
US8056266 *Jul 27, 2007Nov 15, 2011Andrew Curran DawsonPant-leg-covers for modified footwear, conventional footwear, and other foot-receiving apparatuses
US8161664 *Jul 27, 2007Apr 24, 2012Andrew Curran DawsonPant-leg-covers for modified footwear, conventional footwear, and other foot-receiving apparatuses
US20110247242 *May 4, 2010Oct 13, 2011Mor Koren SchwartzAsymmetrical footwear having a configuration that is continuous from one shoe to another
CN100435683CNov 6, 2002Nov 26, 2008U型旋转运动器材有限责任公司Footwear with reversible tongue
EP2052635A1 *Oct 25, 2007Apr 29, 2009Rossignol Lange S.R.L.Method of decorating sports footwear by painting
WO2003086130A1Nov 6, 2002Oct 23, 2003Turn Sports Co Llc UFootwear with reversible tongue
WO2007126991A2 *Mar 28, 2007Nov 8, 2007Nike IncConvertible dance shoe
WO2014031091A1 *Aug 20, 2012Feb 27, 2014In Eden Properties, Llc (Company)Shoes with a fashion design mounting base material for use with interchangeable fashion design attachments
Classifications
U.S. Classification36/54, 36/100
International ClassificationA43C11/20, A43B3/24, A43B23/26
Cooperative ClassificationA43B3/24, A43B3/0078, A43C11/20, A43B3/242, A43B23/24, A43B23/26
European ClassificationA43B23/24, A43B3/24B, A43B3/00S80, A43B3/24, A43B23/26, A43C11/20