US 20020046476 A1
An athletic shoe comprising a sole, a top, a tongue and laces overlying the tongue for securing the shoe to the foot, said tongue being elongated and defining an upper portion projecting beyond the upper lacing point and connected to the main portion of the tongue by a hinge, pocket means defined in the tongue for providing means for inserting a replaceable indicia bearing card or the like.
1. An athletic shoe comprising:
a tongue and laces overlying the tongue for securing the shoe to the foot;
said tongue being elongated and defining an upper portion projecting beyond the upper lacing point and connected to the main portion of the tongue by a hinge;
pocket means defined in the tongue for providing means for inserting a replaceable indicia bearing card or the like.
 This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/241,602 filed Oct. 19, 2001.
 The present invention relates to improvements in athletic shoes, and more specifically, to a unique tongue configuration allowing for changeable inserts for logos and the like.
 The manufactures of athletic shoes for sports have, in recent times, produced very colorful and stylized designs including the manufacturer's logo on various portions of the shoe, such as the sole or the perhaps the heel portion of the shoe.
 The present invention is aimed at providing the purchaser of shoes the ability to customize the shoe by labeling colored insert cards that can slide into the tongue flap of the shoe. The logo can take many forms and in some instances when the shoes are customized for a team, the logo of the team can be inserted in the tongue flap. Other inserts are used for simply adding color contrast or matching an outfit.
 The invention provides a number of possibilities for team sports. The insert can be used for example to display the name of the person wearing the shoe and in this way coaches are provided with another indicia for identify their players. Teams can have the entire same look with color selection logos.
 The drawings described below show details of the changeable indicia inserts for athletic shoes in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an athletic shoe incorporating the subject of this invention for identification indicia tab;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of FIG. 1;
FIGS. 3 and 4 are views shown in broken lines in FIG. 2, showing the identification indicia being inserted into the tab;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged top plan view showing the indicia in a partially assembled position;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of another embodiment of footwear having changeable indicia in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 7 is a top plan view thereof;
FIGS. 8 and 9 are enlarged fragmentary views of the portion shown in broken lines in FIG. 7;
FIG. 10 is an enlarged top plan view showing the indicia being assembled; and
FIG. 11 is a perspective view of another embodiment of athletic show incorporating the indicia feature of the present invention.
 Referring now the drawings and particularly to FIGS. 1-9, thereof, there is shown a first embodiment of athletic footwear incorporating indicia design in accordance with the present invention which is generally designated by the numeral 10. The shoe, as illustrated, is a convention athletic shoe having a sole 12 and a top 14. Lacing 16 is provided for securing the shoe to the foot. The shoe also has a tongue 20, which in the present instance is elongated to define an upper portion 22 overlying the laces 16 which is pivoted in a downward position to show the inside of the tongue facing upwardly as shown in FIG. 1. The tongue 20 can also be pivoted upwardly to lie flat against the leg of the wearer for a purpose to be described hereafter. In the present instance, the upper portion 22 of the tongue has a pocket 26 defined by a transparent panel 28 which, in the present instance, is secured about its periphery to the tongue 20 and has an open inner end 30 through which an indicia bearing card 32 can be inserted which as illustrated may represent the logo 52 of a team. An indicia may be in other forms including identification of the owner or other information. Even though the tongue has been shown as having a transparent face on the overlapping inner side, it may likewise be provided with a transparent panel defining a pocket on the bottom face when the tongue is worn in an upwardly pivoted position.
 There is shown in FIGS. 6-10, inclusive, another embodiment of footwear having indicia means in accordance with the present invention. In the present instance, the footwear is in the nature of a slipper having a sole 40 and a pair of support panels 42 and 44 projecting upwardly from opposing side edges of the sole and having Velcro® means 46 for securing them in an attached position over the instep of the upper arch of the user.
 In the present instance, one of the panels as illustrated in FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 has a pocket opening 50 for insertion of some form of indicia or logo. In the present instance, the upper face of the panel has a stylized “Z” logo 52 formed by transparent panels. An indicia card 54, when inserted in the pocket 50, adds color or other highlights to the indicia form of the logo 52 presented on the panel 44.
 This shoe is generally similar to the principal embodiments and accordingly like reference numerals are applied to various elements of the shoe such as the sole 12 a and top 14 a and lacing 16 a. The tongue 20 a of this embodiment of the invention is generally similar to that described in connection with FIGS. 1-9 embodiment in that it has a transparent panel on its outer face (not shown). In the present instance, the opaque interface 29 a of the tongue has a transverse slot 31 a therein adjacent the separate portion need the hinge 17 a. Indicia of the type illustrated in FIGS. 1-9 embodiment can be inserted through this slot and when the tongue is pivoted downwardly to overlie the lacing, the logo is displayed through the transparent upper panel. In the present instance, the interface of the tongue mounts a velcro strip 33 a which secures to a complementary velcro strip 35 a on the tongue so that the tongue can be secured in a overlapping position similar to that shown in FIG. 1.
 Even though particular embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described herein, it is not intended to limit the invention and changes and modifications may be made therein within the scope of the following claims.