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Publication numberUS20030041477 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/941,407
Publication dateMar 6, 2003
Filing dateAug 28, 2001
Priority dateAug 28, 2001
Publication number09941407, 941407, US 2003/0041477 A1, US 2003/041477 A1, US 20030041477 A1, US 20030041477A1, US 2003041477 A1, US 2003041477A1, US-A1-20030041477, US-A1-2003041477, US2003/0041477A1, US2003/041477A1, US20030041477 A1, US20030041477A1, US2003041477 A1, US2003041477A1
InventorsKun-Chung Liu
Original AssigneeKun-Chung Liu
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shoe with shoe lace device that facilitates tightening and loosening of the shoe
US 20030041477 A1
Abstract
A shoe lace device includes a pair of shoe lace units, a male fastener and a female fastener. Each of the male and female fasteners has a lace engaging section for engaging a respective one of the shoe lace units, and a fastener engaging section that extends from the lace engaging section. The fastener engaging sections of the male and female fasteners are capable of engaging removably each other to tighten a shoe body when the fastener engaging sections engage each other, and to loosen the shoe body when the fastener engaging sections are disengaged from each other. The male and female fasteners are disposed to abut against eyelet tabs of the shoe body to anchor front end portions of the shoe lace units on the eyelet tabs when the fastener engaging sections are disengaged from each other.
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Claims(15)
I claim:
1. A shoe, comprising:
a shoe body having a top opening, said shoe body including a vamp, a tongue, and a pair of eyelet tabs, said tongue having a front portion connected to said vamp and a rear portion extending to said top opening, said tongue further having an opposite pair of lateral sides that extend from said vamp to said top opening, each of said eyelet tabs being connected to said vamp and being disposed adjacent to one of said lateral sides of said tongue, each of said eyelet tabs being formed with a plurality of eyelets that are aligned with each other in a direction from said front portion of said tongue to said top opening; and
a shoe lace device including
a pair of shoe lace units, each having a front end portion, a rear end portion, and an intermediate portion between said front and rear end portions, said intermediate portions of said shoe lace units being strung through said eyelets to form a criss-cross pattern on said eyelet tabs, said front end portions of said shoe lace units being disposed proximate to said vamp, said rear end portions of said shoe lace units being disposed proximate to said top opening,
a male fastener having a lace engaging section for engaging said front end portion of one of said shoe lace units, and a fastener engaging section that extends from said lace engaging section, and
a female fastener having a lace engaging section for engaging said front end portion of the other of said shoe lace units, and a fastener engaging section that extends from said lace engaging section of said female fastener,
said fastener engaging sections of said male and female fasteners being capable of engaging removably each other so as to enable said front end portions of said shoe lace units to pull said eyelet tabs toward each other for tightening said shoe body when said fastener engaging sections engage each other, and so as to inhibit said front end portions of said shoe lace units from pulling said eyelet tabs toward each other for loosening said shoe body when said fastener engaging sections are disengaged from each other,
said male and female fasteners being disposed to abut against said eyelet tabs so as to anchor said front end portions of said shoe lace units on said eyelet tabs when said fastener engaging sections are disengaged from each other.
2. The shoe as claimed in claim 1, wherein said rear end portions of said shoe lace units are connected to each other to form a loop.
3. The shoe as claimed in claim 2, further comprising a clamp member sleeved slidably on said rear end portions of said shoe lace units.
4. The shoe as claimed in claim 1, wherein said lace engaging section of each of said male and female fasteners is tubular in shape and is sleeved tightly on said front end portion of the respective one of said shoe lace units.
5. The shoe as claimed in claim 4, wherein said lace engaging section of each of said male and female fasteners is formed with an axially extending slit that permits extension of the respective one of said shoe lace units thereinto when the respective one of said shoe lace units is bent relative to said lace engaging section.
6. The shoe as claimed in claim 4, wherein each of said male and female fasteners has a length and a largest cross-sectional area transverse to said length, said length being larger than a diameter of said eyelets, said largest cross-sectional area being smaller than a cross-sectional area of said eyelets.
7. The shoe as claimed in claim 1, wherein said fastener engaging section of said male fastener is formed as a hook, and said fastener engaging section of said female fastener is formed with a hole for engaging removably said hook.
8. The shoe as claimed in claim 1, wherein a frontmost pair of said eyelets in said eyelet tabs form a first distance therebetween, each of said eyelet tabs being further formed with an auxiliary eyelet proximate to said front portion of said tongue, said auxiliary eyelets being disposed adjacent to said frontmost pair of said eyelets and forming a second distance therebetween, the second distance being larger than the first distance.
9. A shoe lace device adapted for use with a shoe body having a top opening, the shoe body including a vamp, a tongue, and a pair of eyelet tabs, the tongue having a front portion connected to the vamp and a rear portion extending to the top opening, the tongue further having an opposite pair of lateral sides that extend from the vamp to the top opening, each of the eyelet tabs being connected to the vamp and being disposed adjacent to one of the lateral sides of the tongue, each of the eyelet tabs being formed with a plurality of eyelets that are aligned with each other in a direction from the front portion of the tongue to the top opening, said shoe lace device comprising:
a pair of shoe lace units, each having a front end portion, a rear end portion, and an intermediate portion between said front and rear end portions, said intermediate portions of said shoe lace units being adapted to be strung through the eyelets to form a criss-cross pattern on the eyelet tabs, said front end portions of said shoe lace units being adapted to be disposed proximate to the vamp, said rear end portions of said shoe lace units being adapted to be disposed proximate to the top opening;
a male fastener having a lace engaging section for engaging said front end portion of one of said shoe lace units, and a fastener engaging section that extends from said lace engaging section; and
a female fastener having a lace engaging section for engaging said front end portion of the other of said shoe lace units, and a fastener engaging section that extends from said lace engaging section of said female fastener;
said fastener engaging sections of said male and female fasteners being capable of engaging removably each other so as to enable said front end portions of said shoe lace units to pull the eyelet tabs toward each other for tightening the shoe body when said fastener engaging sections engage each other, and so as to inhibit said front end portions of said shoe lace units from pulling the eyelet tabs toward each other for loosening the shoe body when said fastener engaging sections are disengaged from each other;
said male and female fasteners being adapted to abut against the eyelet tabs so as to anchor said front end portions of said shoe lace units on the eyelet tabs when said fastener engaging sections are disengaged from each other.
10. The shoe lace device as claimed in claim 9, wherein said rear end portions of said shoe lace units are connected to each other to form a loop.
11. The shoe lace device as claimed in claim 10, further comprising a clamp member sleeved slidably on said rear end portions of said shoe lace units.
12. The shoe lace device as claimed in claim 9, wherein said lace engaging section of each of said male and female fasteners is tubular in shape and is sleeved tightly on said front end portion of the respective one of said shoe lace units.
13. The shoe lace device as claimed in claim 12, wherein said lace engaging section of each of said male and female fasteners is formed with an axially extending slit that permits extension of the respective one of said shoe lace units thereinto when the respective one of said shoe lace units is bent relative to said lace engaging section.
14. The shoe lace device as claimed in claim 12, wherein each of said male and female fasteners has a length and a largest cross-sectional area transverse to said length, said length being larger than a diameter of the eyelets, said largest cross-sectional area being smaller than a cross sectional area of the eyelets.
15. The shoe lace device as claimed in claim 9, wherein said fastener engaging section of said male fastener is formed as a hook, and said fastener engaging section of said female fastener is formed with a hole for engaging removably said hook.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The invention relates to a shoe, more particularly to a shoe with a shoe lace device that facilitates tightening and loosening of the shoe.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] A conventional shoe includes a shoe body with a top opening, and a shoe lace. The shoe body includes a vamp, a tongue, and a pair of eyelet tabs. The tongue has a front portion connected to the vamp and a rear portion extending to the top opening. The tongue further has an opposite pair of lateral sides that extend from the vamp to the top opening. Each of the eyelet tabs is connected to the vamp and is disposed adjacent to one of the lateral sides of the tongue. Each of the eyelet tabs is formed with a plurality of eyelets that are aligned with each other in a direction from the front portion of the tongue to the top opening. The shoe lace is strung through the eyelets to form a criss-cross pattern on the eyelet tabs. The shoe lace has distal end portions that can be tied together so as to form a knot in order to tighten the shoe.

[0005] Since the conventional shoe is devoid of an adjustable function for the shoe lace, various problems will arise for different foot sizes. For the wearer having smaller sized feet, the distal end portions of the shoe lace may be too long after the shoe lace is strung through the eyelets. On the other hand, for the wearer having larger sized feet, the length of the shoe lace may not be sufficient for stringing through all of the eyelets and for forming a proper knot.

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 5,469,640 discloses a quick adjusting shoe lace system for adjusting shoe lace tension in a single movement. Referring in FIG. 1, the shoe lace system disclosed in this U.S. patent includes a cinch plate 3 having eyelets 301 which are spaced apart by about the same distance as eyelets 201 formed in the eyelet tabs of the shoe 2. The shoe lace 1 is strung through the eyelets 301 in the cinch plate 3 and the eyelets 201 in the eyelet tabs of the shoe 2. A strap 4, fixably attached at a lower end to the shoe 2 and loopable at an upper end through a slot in the cinch plate 3, is used to adjustably pull the cinch plate 3 and the shoe lace 1 looped through the eyelets 301 downwardly and thus increase the shoe lace tension. Although the shoe lace system disclosed in this U.S. patent has the effect of the quick shoe lace tension adjustment, it is more suited for tightening the shoe 2. When the strap 4 is loosened to its maximum limit, the shoe lace with a fixed length can not be extended to loosen the shoe 2 further. Therefore, the utility of the shoe lace system disclosed in this U.S. patent is limited.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] Therefore, the object of the present invention is to provide a shoe with a shoe lace device that facilitates tightening and loosening of the shoe.

[0008] According to this invention, a shoe includes a shoe body and a shoe lace device. The shoe body has a top opening, and includes a vamp, a tongue, and a pair of eyelet tabs. The tongue has a front portion connected to the vamp, and a rear portion extending to the top opening. The tongue further has an opposite pair of lateral sides that extend from the vamp to the top opening. Each of the eyelet tabs is connected to the vamp and is disposed adjacent to one of the lateral sides of the tongue. Each of the eyelet tabs is formed with a plurality of eyelets that are aligned with each other in a direction from the front portion of the tongue to the top opening.

[0009] The shoe lace device includes a pair of shoe lace units, a male fastener, and a female fastener.

[0010] Each of the shoe lace units has a front end portion, a rear end portion, and an intermediate portion between the front and rear end portions. The intermediate portions of the shoe lace units are strung through the eyelets to form a criss-cross pattern on the eyelet tabs. The front end portions of the shoe lace units are disposed proximate to the vamp. The rear end portions of the shoe lace units are disposed proximate to the top opening.

[0011] The male fastener has a lace engaging section for engaging the front end portion of one of the shoe lace units, and a fastener engaging section that extends from the lace engaging section.

[0012] The female fastener has a lace engaging section for engaging the front end portion of the other of the shoe lace units, and a fastener engaging section that extends from the lace engaging section of the female fastener.

[0013] The fastener engaging sections of the male and female fasteners are capable of engaging removably each other so as to enable the front end portions of the shoe lace units to pull the eyelet tabs toward each other for tightening the shoe body when the fastener engaging sections engage each other, and so as to inhibit the front end portions of the shoe lace units from pulling the eyelet tabs toward each other for loosening the shoe body when the fastener engaging sections are disengaged from each other.

[0014] The male and female fasteners are disposed to abut against the eyelet tabs so as to anchor the front end portions of the shoe lace units on the eyelet tabs when the fastener engaging sections are disengaged from each other.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:

[0016]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional shoe;

[0017]FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of the preferred embodiment of a shoe lace device of a shoe according to this invention;

[0018]FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the shoe according to this invention, in which the male and female fasteners are shown to engage each other;

[0019]FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view of the preferred embodiment of the shoe lace device of the shoe according to this invention, in which the male and female fasteners are shown to be in an engaging state;

[0020]FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view of the preferred embodiment of the shoe lace device of the shoe according to this invention, in which the male and female fasteners are shown to be in a disengaging state;

[0021]FIG. 6 is a fragmentary schematic view of the preferred embodiment of the shoe according to this invention, in which the male and female fasteners of the shoe lace device are extended through the frontmost eyelets of the eyelet tabs and disengage from each other;

[0022]FIG. 7 is a fragmentary schematic view of the preferred embodiment of the shoe according to this invention, in which the male and female fasteners of the shoe lace device are extended through the frontmost eyelets of the eyelet tabs and engage each other;

[0023]FIG. 8 is a fragmentary schematic view of the preferred embodiment of the shoe according to this invention, in which the male and female fasteners of the shoe lace device are extended through another set of eyelets proximate to the frontmost eyelets and engage each other;

[0024]FIG. 9 is a fragmentary schematic view of the preferred embodiment of the shoe according to this invention, in which the male and female fasteners of the shoe lace device are extended through said another set of eyelets and disengage from each other;

[0025]FIG. 10 is a perspective view of another preferred embodiment of the shoe according to this invention; and

[0026]FIG. 11 is a fragmentary sectional view of yet another preferred embodiment of the shoe according to this invention, in which a pair of auxiliary eyelets are provided in the eyelet tabs.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0027] Before the present invention is described in greater detail with reference to the preferred embodiments, it should be noted that like elements are denoted by the same reference numbers in the following description.

[0028] Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the preferred embodiment of a shoe according to this invention is shown to comprise a shoe lace device 100 and a shoe body 200. The shoe body 200 has a top opening 210, and includes a vamp 230, a tongue 270, and a pair of eyelet tabs 220. The tongue 270 has a front portion connected to the vamp 230, and a rear portion extending to the top opening 210. The tongue 270 further has an opposite pair of lateral sides that extend from the vamp 230 to the top opening 210. Each of the eyelet tabs 220 is connected to the vamp 230 and is disposed adjacent to one of the lateral sides of the tongue 270. Each of the eyelet tabs 220 is formed with a plurality of eyelets 240, 250, 260 that are aligned with each other in a direction from the front portion of the tongue 270 to the top opening 210. The shoe lace device 100 includes a pair of shoe lace units 10, a male fastener 20, and a female fastener 30.

[0029] Each of the shoe lace units 10 has a front end portion 11, a rear end portion 12, and an intermediate portion 13 between the front end portion 11 and the rear end portion 12. The intermediate portions 13 of the shoe lace units 10 are strung through the eyelets 240, 250, 260 to form a criss-cross pattern on the eyelet tabs 220. The front end portions 11 of the shoe lace units 10 are disposed proximate to the vamp 230. The rear end portions 12 of the shoe lace units 10 are disposed proximate to the top opening 210 and can be tied together in a conventional manner to form a double-bow knot.

[0030] The male fastener 20 has a lace engaging section 21 for engaging the front end portion 11 of one of the shoe lace units 10, and a fastener engaging section 22 that extends from the lace engaging section 21. The female fastener 30 has a lace engaging section 31 for engaging the front end portion 11 of the other of the shoe lace units 10, and a fastener engaging section 32 that extends from the lace engaging section 31 of the female fastener 30 and that is capable of engaging the fastener engaging section 22 of the male fastener 20.

[0031] Furthermore, each of the male and female fasteners 20, 30 has a length and a largest cross-sectional area transverse to the length. The length is larger than a diameter of the eyelets 240, 150, 260. The largest cross-sectional area is smaller than a cross-sectional area of the eyelets 240, 250, 260.

[0032] The lace engaging section 21, 31 of each of the male and female fasteners 20, 30 is tubular in shape and is sleeved tightly on the front end portion 11 of the respective one of the shoe lace units 10. The lace engaging section 21, 31 of each of the male and female fasteners 20, 30 is formed with an axially extending slit 211, 311 that permits extension of the respective one of the shoe lace units 10 thereinto when the respective one of the shoe lace units 10 is bent relative to the lace engaging section 21, 31.

[0033] In addition, the fastener engaging section 22 of the male fastener 20 is formed as a hook. The fastener engaging section 32 of the female fastener 30 is formed with a hole for engaging removably the hook.

[0034] Referring to FIG. 4, when the male fastener 20 on the front end portion 11 of one of the shoe lace units 10 and the female fastener 30 on the front end portion 11 of the other of the shoe lace units 10 are extended through the corresponding eyelets (for example, 240 or 250) of the eyelet tabs 220 respectively, the fastener engaging sections 22, 32 of the male and female fasteners 20, 30 can engage each other to be disposed in an engaging state.

[0035] Referring to FIG. 5, when the fastener engaging sections 22, 32 of the male and female fasteners 20, 30 are disengaged from each other, the male and female fasteners 20, 30 are disposed to abut against the eyelet tabs 220 so as to anchor the front end portions 11 of the shoe lace units 10 on the eyelet tabs 220.

[0036]FIG. 6 shows the shoe of the preferred embodiment when the male fastener 20 on the front end portion 11 of one of the shoe lace units 10 and the female fastener 30 on the front end portion 11 of the other of the shoe lace units 10 are extended through the corresponding frontmost eyelets 240 of the eyelet tabs 220 and are disengaged from each other. A width (W1) is defined between the two eyelet tabs 220 in this state.

[0037] Referring to FIG. 7, unlike the state shown in FIG. 6, the male and female fasteners 20, 30 engage each other so as to tighten the shoe body as compared to the state shown in FIG. 6. A width (W) is defined between the two eyelet tabs 220 in this state, which is smaller than the width (W1) in FIG. 6.

[0038] Referring to FIG. 8, unlike the state shown in FIG. 7, the male and female fasteners 20, 30 are extended through another set of eyelets 250 proximate to the frontmost eyelets 240 of the eyelet tabs 220. A width (W2) is defined between the two eyelet tabs 220 in this state, which is larger than the width (W1) in FIG. 6.

[0039] Referring to FIG. 9, unlike the state shown in FIG. 8, the male and female fasteners 20, 30 are disengaged from each other so as to loosen the shoe body as compared to the state shown in FIG. 8. A width (W3) is defined between the two eyelet tabs 220 in this state, which is larger than the width (W2) in FIG. 8.

[0040] It has thus been shown that the shoe lace device 100 of the shoe according to this invention can be operated to adjust the tightness of the shoe body 200 by simply changing the state of the male and female fasteners 20, 30 as described hereinabove. Additionally, the rear end portions 12 of the shoe lace units 10 can be maintained at a constant length after being tied together.

[0041] Referring to FIG. 10, in another embodiment, the rear end portions 12 of the shoe lace units 10 can be connected to each other to form a simple loop. A clamp member 40 can then be sleeved slidably on the rear end portions 12 of the shoe lace units 10 for maintaining and releasing a tightened state of the shoe.

[0042] As shown in FIG. 11, each of the eyelet tabs 220 can be further formed with an auxiliary eyelet 240′ proximate to the front portion of the tongue 270. The auxiliary eyelets 240′ are disposed adjacent to the frontmost pair of the eyelets 240. The frontmost pair of the eyelets 240 in the eyelet tabs 220 form a first distance therebetween, whereas the auxiliary eyelets 240′ form a second distance therebetween. The second distance is larger than the first distance. The male and female fasteners 20, 30 on the front end portions 11 of the shoe lace units 10 can be extended through a sleeve member 270′ on the tongue 270 and the auxiliary eyelets 240′ and then engage each other so as to further tighten the shoe.

[0043] While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent arrangements.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6941683 *Oct 21, 2003Sep 13, 2005Anna B FreedLacing system
US7082701Jan 23, 2004Aug 1, 2006Vans, Inc.Footwear variable tension lacing systems
US20120117819 *Nov 16, 2010May 17, 2012Atamian John MReleasable fastening system for footwear
US20120117820 *Nov 16, 2011May 17, 2012Atamian John MReleasable fastener system for footwear
US20130097887 *Jan 4, 2011Apr 25, 2013Steven RobinsonShoe closure system
Classifications
U.S. Classification36/50.1
International ClassificationA43C1/00, A43C7/00
Cooperative ClassificationA43C1/00, A43C7/00
European ClassificationA43C7/00, A43C1/00