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Publication numberUS20060053661 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/942,271
Publication dateMar 16, 2006
Filing dateSep 16, 2004
Priority dateSep 16, 2004
Also published asWO2006036273A1
Publication number10942271, 942271, US 2006/0053661 A1, US 2006/053661 A1, US 20060053661 A1, US 20060053661A1, US 2006053661 A1, US 2006053661A1, US-A1-20060053661, US-A1-2006053661, US2006/0053661A1, US2006/053661A1, US20060053661 A1, US20060053661A1, US2006053661 A1, US2006053661A1
InventorsArthine van Duyne
Original AssigneeVan Duyne Arthine C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Modular design for a utility shoe component system for women's classical and casual shoes
US 20060053661 A1
Abstract
A woman's modular utility shoe is disclosed. In one embodiment, a convertible base mule-style shoe may be made of an insole, an outsole, a sash, a vamp or upper, and a heel attached to the outsole or to a heel mount. Various attachment mounts fastened to the base mule may allow structural embellishments to be attached to the base mule. These structural embellishments may include a sling strap, a heel strap, an ankle strap, ankle lace-up straps, a T-strap, a heel cup, a demi heel cup, or a booting. The structural embellishments may be attached to the mule-style base through many combinations of fastenings such as but not limited to a hook and eye, a double hook and eye, a clasp, a buckle, a stud, a loop a decorative snap, or like system.
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Claims(20)
1. A base mule-style shoe, comprising:
an insole to support the sole of a woman's foot;
an outsole to provide a ground contact surface;
a sash to join the insole to the outsole;
a vamp to bear a forward weight of the woman's foot; and
an attachment mount fastener to allow a structural embellishment to be coupled to the base mule.
2. The base mule-style shoe of claim 1, wherein the attachment mount fastener is coupled to the sash.
3. The base mule-style shoe of claim 1, wherein the attachment mount fastener is coupled to the outsole.
4. The base mule-style shoe of claim 1, wherein the attachment mount fastener is coupled to a heel mount on the outsole.
5. The base mule-style shoe of claim 1, wherein the attachment mount fastener is coupled to the insole.
6. The base mule-style shoe of claim 1, wherein the attachment mount fastener is one of a group consisting of a hook and eye, a clasp, a buckle, a stud, a loop, or a snap.
7. The base mule-style shoe of claim 1, wherein the structural embellishment is one of a group consisting of a sling strap, a heel strap, an ankle strap, ankle lace up straps, a T-strap, a heel cup, a demi heel cup, or a booting.
8. A woman's modular utility shoe, comprising:
a base mule including:
an insole to support the sole of a woman's foot;
an outsole to provide a ground contact surface;
a sash to join the insole to the outsole; and
a vamp to bear a forward weight of the woman's foot; and
a structural embellishment coupled to an attachment mount fastener coupled to the base mule.
9. The woman's modular utility shoe of claim 8, wherein the attachment mount fastener is coupled to the sash.
10. The woman's modular utility shoe of claim 8, wherein the attachment mount fastener is coupled to the outsole.
11. The woman's modular utility shoe of claim 8, wherein the attachment mount fastener is coupled to a heel mount on the outsole.
12. The woman's modular utility shoe of claim 8, wherein the attachment mount fastener is coupled to the insole.
13. The woman's modular utility shoe of claim 8, wherein the attachment mount fastener is one of a group consisting of a hook and eye, a clasp, a buckle, a stud, a loop, or a snap.
14. The woman's modular utility shoe of claim 8, wherein the structural embellishment is one of a group consisting of a sling strap, a heel strap, an ankle strap, ankle lace up straps, a T-strap, a heel cup, a demi heel cup, or a booting.
15. A method, comprising:
coupling an attachment mount fastener to a base mule, the base mule having an insole, an outsole, a sash, and a vamp; and
coupling a structural embellishment to the attachment mount fastener.
16. The method of claim 15, wherein the attachment mount fastener is coupled to the sash.
17. The method of claim 15, wherein the attachment mount fastener is coupled to the outsole.
18. The method of claim 15, wherein the attachment mount fastener is coupled to a heel mount on the outsole.
19. The method of claim 15, wherein the attachment mount fastener is one of a group consisting of a hook and eye, a clasp, a buckle, a stud, a loop, or a snap.
20. The method of claim 15, wherein the structural embellishment is one of a group consisting of a sling strap, a heel strap, an ankle strap, ankle lace up straps, a T-strap, a heel cup, a demi heel cup, or a booting.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to components used in the construction of women's dress and casual shoes. More specifically, the present invention relates to women's modular dress and casual shoes that may be fitted with structural embellishments depending on the occasion.

Throughout history, women and men have attached functional or stylish embellishments to their footwear. For example, spats are a stylish embellishment worn by men and women to add a ‘black-tie’ effect to the standard black boot. Gaiters are an example of a functional embellishment to change an oxford or low boot to a knee high or thigh high boot for special events or protection in foul weather. Spats and gaiters can continue be used with any type of enclosed shoe, as they do not attach to the shoe itself.

In modern times, a woman's shoe wardrobe has become a stylish as well as functional collection. In some case the shoe wardrobe can grow to 50 or more pair of shoes, which leads to closet clutter. More women are traveling for business as well as pleasure, and may need multiple pairs of shoes to ensure proper dress for each event or outing. These women need a pair of shoes that can transition easily to meet their multiple fashion needs, while honoring their budgets, their closets, and their carry-on bags.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A woman's modular utility shoe is disclosed. In one embodiment, a convertible base mule-style shoe may be made of an insole, an outsole, a sash, a vamp or upper, and a heel attached to the outsole or to a heel mount. Various attachment mounts fastened to the base mule may allow structural embellishments to be attached to the base mule. These structural embellishments may include a sling strap, a heel strap, an ankle strap, ankle lace-up straps, a T-strap, a heel cup, a demi heel cup, or a booting. The structural embellishments may be attached to the mule-style base through many combinations of fastenings such as but not limited to a hook and eye, a double hook and eye, a clasp, a buckle, a stud, a loop a decorative snap, or like system.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates one embodiment of a convertible base mule-style shoe as used in the present invention.

FIGS. 2 a-b illustrate a top view of one embodiment of an insole and a bottom view of one embodiment of an outsole according to the present invention.

FIGS. 3 a-h illustrate embodiments of the various structural embellishments that may be added to the base mule according to the present invention.

FIGS. 4 a-d illustrate one embodiment of a method for attaching a heel cup to the convertible base mule according to the present invention.

FIGS. 5 a-f illustrate multiple embodiments of various attachment mount fasteners that may be used with the modular shoes according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A woman's modular utility shoe is disclosed. In one embodiment, a convertible base mule-style shoe may be made of an insole, an outsole, a sash, a vamp or upper, and a heel attached to the outsole or to a heel mount. Various attachment mounts fastened to the base mule may allow structural embellishments to be attached to the base mule. These structural embellishments may include a sling strap, a heel strap, an ankle strap, ankle lace-up straps, a T-strap, a heel cup, a demi heel cup, or a booting. The structural embellishments may be attached to the mule-style base through many combinations of fastenings such as but not limited to a hook and eye, a double hook and eye, a clasp, a buckle, a stud, a loop a decorative snap, or like system.

FIG. 1 illustrates one embodiment of a convertible base mule as used in the present invention. The base mule 100 is a modified standard mule shoe to which a variety of structural embellishments may be attached. The structural embellishments are attachments that change the fundamental nature of the shoe, such as changing a mule to a D'Orsay pump, as opposed to merely decorative embellishments such as beads, bows, charms, or jewelry. The base mule 100 has an insole 110 to provide arch support to a woman's foot. An outsole 120 may have a tread and may be the primary contact with the ground. The outsole 120 may be connected to the insole 110 by the sash 130. The base mule 100 may have a heel mount 140, upon which heels of varying size, shape, and height may be attached. If the insole 110, outsole 120, and sash 130 are adjustable so as to continue to provide arch support for the foot, the heel mount 140 may be mounted with different sized heels depending on the style desired. The base mule 100 may have a vamp 150 to provide support to the foot at the toe. The vamp or upper 150 may also be made to be interchangeable with, for example, a strap to create a different style, such as a sandal. The interchangeable vamp 150 should remain firmly in place when attached to avoid the vamp breaking away and causing injury to the wearer. One or more attachment mount fasteners 160 are coupled to the base mule 100 to provide an attachment point where structural embellishments may be coupled to the base mule 100. In the illustrated embodiment, the sash that connects the insole to the heel and the outer sole may have multiple functional yet decorative studs that act as attachment mount fasteners 160.

FIG. 2 a illustrates a top view of one embodiment of an insole 110. The convertible base mule's insole may have a flap 210 in the small of the instep. This flap 210 may be attached by a hook and loop closure such as Velcro®. Below the flap 210, an attachment mount fastener 220 may be embedded in the core of the insole. This attachment mount fastener 220 may be used as an attachment for ankle or sling straps. The corresponding straps may have a corresponding connector. For example, if the attachment mount fastener 220 on the insole is a female sided snap, the connector on the corresponding strap would be a male sided snap. To prevent instep irritation, the top of the flap 210 may be slightly padded for arch support and comfort.

FIG. 2 b illustrates a bottom view of one embodiment of an outsole 120. The outsole 120 may have an embedded attachment mount fastener 230 to attach various structural embellishments in a position that offers a more structured support than the attachment mount fastener 220 on the insole. A series of attachment mount fasteners 240 may be arranged around the heel mount 140.

FIGS. 3 a-h illustrate embodiments of the various structural embellishments that may be added to the base mule 100. FIG. 3 a illustrates one embodiment of a convertible base mule 100 without any structural embellishments. FIG. 3 b illustrates one embodiment of a sling style pump. In this embodiment, the structural embellishment may be a sling strap 302 coupled to the base mule 100 to create a shoe known as a sling pump. The sling strap 302 may be coupled to attachment mount fasteners 160 on the sash 130, the embedded attachment mount fastener 220 on the insole 110, the embedded attachment mount fastener 230 on the outsole 120, or to a different part of the base mule.

FIG. 3 c illustrates one embodiment of an ankle strap shoe. In this embodiment, the structural embellishment may be a demi heel cup 304 coupled to the base mule 100. The demi heel cup 304 may be coupled to attachment mount fasteners 160 on the sash 130, the heel attachment mount fasteners 240 on the outsole 120, or to a different part of the base mule. An ankle strap 306 may then be coupled to the demi heel cup 304. The demi heel cup 304 and ankle strap 306 may all be of one piece, the ankle strap 306 may be placed through a loop in the demi heel cup 304, or an alternative method of fastening may be used. FIG. 3 d illustrates an alternate embodiment of an ankle strap shoe. In this embodiment, a T-strap 308 may join the ankle strap 306 as either one or more strap pieces to the base mule 100. FIG. 3 e illustrates another embodiment of an ankle strap shoe. In this embodiment, the structural embellishment may be a heel strap 310 coupled to the base mule 100. The heel strap 310 may be coupled to attachment mount fasteners 160 on the sash 130, the embedded attachment mount fastener 220 on the insole 110, the embedded attachment mount fastener 230 on the outsole 120, or to a different part of the base mule. An ankle strap 306 may then be coupled to the heel strap 310. The heel strap 310 and ankle strap 306 may all be of one piece, the ankle strap 306 may be placed through a detachable loop through a hole on the heel strap 310, or an alternative method of fastening may be used.

FIG. 3 f illustrates one embodiment of a D'Orsay style pump. In this embodiment, the structural embellishment may be a full heel cup 312 coupled to the base mule 100. The heel cup 312 may be coupled to attachment mount fasteners 160 on the sash 130, the heel attachment mount fasteners 240 on the outsole 120, or to a different part of the base mule. FIG. 3 g illustrates one embodiment of what is commonly referred to as a “Mary-Jane” shoe. In this embodiment, the lace up (tie or buckle) strap 314 may be coupled to the top of the heel cup 312. The heel cup 312 and lace up strap 314 may all be of one piece, the lace up straps 314 may be looped through a hole in the heel cup 312, or an alternative joining method may be used. FIG. 3 h illustrates one embodiment of a boot. In this embodiment, the structural embellishment may be a booting 316 attached to the base mule 100. The booting may resemble a low rise spat, a high rise gaiter, or any height in between. The booting 316 may be coupled to attachment mount fasteners 160 on the sash 130, the embedded attachment mount fastener 230 and heel attachment mount fasteners 240 on the outsole 120, attachment mount fasteners located on the vamp 150, or to a different part of the base mule. The booting 316 may also have a zipper, buckles, Velcro®, laces, or other device along the sleeve of the booting 316 to allow easier removal.

FIGS. 4 a-d illustrate in greater detail one embodiment of a method for attaching a structural embellishment to the convertible base mule 100. FIG. 4 a shows a bottom view of a base mule pump 100 that may be converted with a heel cup. The heel cups may have either a loose shape or molded forms with complementary attachments for the outer sole 120 and the sash 130. FIG. 4 b shows in a side view one embodiment of a heel cup 312. In this embodiment, the heel cup 312 may have a series of connectors 410. These connectors 410 may be male-sided snaps or loops for connection to the decorative studs. Each connector 410 may be attached to the heel cup 312 by a tab 420. The tab 420 wraps around the outsole 120 to allow the connector 410 to be coupled to the heel attachment mount fastener 240. Note that the heel cup may have an eyelet 430 towards the top to allow attachment of lace up straps. FIG. 4 c shows a bottom view of an alternate embodiment for a heel cup 312. In this embodiment, the molded form heel cup 312 may resemble an armless teacup with a hole 440 in the bottom. The heel cup 312 is open on one side to accommodate structural sole elements 110 inner sole, 120 outer sole, and sash 130. The heel 140 of the mule may fit snuggly through the hole 440 in the bottom of the heel cup 312. The open side of the heel cup 312 may be fitted with any number of male-sided fasteners 450 for connection to the corresponding female-sided fasteners 240 or other secure fastening device on the outer sole 120 and heel mount 140. FIG. 4 d shows the resulting D'Orsay pump. While the heel cup 312 and D'Orsay pump are shown, other structural embellishments may be used in a similar fashion.

The modular shoe design may accommodate a variety of male/female connecting fasteners. Female connectors may be embedded into the insole 110, outsole 120, sash 130, the heel mount 140 or vamp 150 of the mule. The connectors may be inexpensive studs, more costly decorative clasps or key-notched fasteners for greater security. The designer and manufacturer of the final shoe can determine which embodiment of structural embellishment, its fastening device and the fabrications for each particular shoe design. Further, the designers and manufacturers may protect and secure their particular shoe design based on the number of connectors used to mount the heel cups, straps, and bootings. The structural embellishments may be attached to the base mule 100 in multiple ways, such as forming or wrapping.

FIGS. 5 a-f illustrate multiple embodiments of various attachment mount fasteners that may be used with the modular utility shoes. FIG. 5 a shows one embodiment of a buckle 505. FIG. 5 b shows one embodiment of a snap. A male snap 510 may lock into a female snap 515. For added design security, the structural embellishments may have notched connectors 520 on the male snap 510 for a specific fit like a key. The corresponding female snap will also be notched 520 to accommodate the notched connector 520. FIG. 5 c shows one embodiment of a clasp. In this embodiment, a tab 525 has a spring latch 530. When the tab 525 is slid into a housing 535, the spring latch 530 is depressed, then springs outward, locking the tab 525 into place. To remove the tab 525, the spring latch 530 may be depressed, allowing the tab 525 to slide free from the housing 535. FIG. 5 d shows one embodiment of a loop 540 and stud 545. In this embodiment, the loop 540 may be made of an elastic material that expands to allow the head 550 of the stud 545 to pass through. The loop 540 then contracts around the neck 555 of the stud 550, thereby fastening the structural embellishment to the base mule. FIG. 5 e shows one embodiment of a hook 560 and eye 565. FIG. 5 f shows one embodiment of a jewelry clasp 570 and loop 575, as is often used in necklaces. This list is not exhaustive, and other types of attachment mount fasteners not listed here may be used in the context of this invention.

Although several embodiments are specifically illustrated and described herein, it will be appreciated that modifications and variations of the present invention are covered by the above teachings and within the purview of the appended claims without departing from the spirit and intended scope of the invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7479584Jul 27, 2005Jan 20, 2009Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.Methods and compositions for modulating flowering and maturity in plants
US7614126Nov 22, 2005Nov 10, 2009China Cat, Inc.Footwear accessory
US8173867Nov 24, 2008May 8, 2012Pioneer Hi Bred International IncMethods and compositions for modulating flowering and maturity in plants
US8272072 *Dec 2, 2010Sep 25, 2012Mary Lee FowlerSystem for reversible garments absent sewn seams
US8539653Nov 6, 2009Sep 24, 2013China Cat, Inc.Footwear accessory
DE102013105971A1 *Jun 10, 2013Dec 24, 2014Marko BussatSchuh und Schuhset
Classifications
U.S. Classification36/100, 36/101
International ClassificationA43B3/24
Cooperative ClassificationA43B3/24, A43B3/242
European ClassificationA43B3/24B, A43B3/24