US 2928191 A
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March 15, 1960 .1. MELTZER SHOE PROVIDED WITH TOE THONG Filed Aug. 1. 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTORI d/lcl( MEL rzf@ March 15, 1960 J, MELTZER 2,928,191
SHOE PROVIDED WITH TOE THONG Filed Aug. l, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. 1/,4 el( M61. rzt-.Q
United States lPatent O 2,928,191 j Y f sHoE PROVIDED WITH :ron THONG Jack Meltzer, Hollywood, Calif. t Application August 1, 195s, serial No. 152,499 s claims. (ci. ss-ss) This invention relates generally to articles of footwear. and has particular reference to shoes (sometimes called thong sandals) in which the sole is provided with an upwardly extending element adapted to lie between .the toes of the wearer. n
A general object of the invention is to provide a toe thong of improved structure character, and thereby provide a thong sandal or equivalent article of footwear having enhanced attractiveness, comfort and usefulness.
The term toe thong as used herein and in the appended claims is intended tov include within its scope any element or thong which extends upwardly between a pair of toes,rwhether it terminates at a level above the toes or whether it is bent back to form a loop which overlies one or more of the toes.
Toe thongs heretofore proposed have numerous shortcomings. When they are thin enough to t comfortably between the toes they are often insuiciently sturdy to withstand the stresses to which they are subjected in use.
When they are made staunch and wear-resistant they are often too bulky for comfort and unattractive in appearance. Similarly, some toe thongs are insufciently yieldable in dimensions, others yield too much. If a thong does not stretch or give to an adequate extent, there is a problem of fit, since the thong may be so short as to be uncomfortably tight or so long as to be too loose for proper toe engagement. On the other hand, if a thong yields too readily, the shoe may not properly cling to the foot. Moreover, most thongs heretofore proposed are so ylimp that they cannot standl by themselves, especiallyunder the weight of ornaments carried thereby. lThis presents a problem in displaying the shoes to best advantage, since relatively expensive and unattractive forms must be employed to afford adequate support for the thongs; and limp thongs are also disadvantageous in that special fingering is required each time the toes of the wearer are to be brought into engagement.
It is an object of this invention to obviate these andV other problems heretofore encountered, and to achieve new benefits. A toe thong constructed in the improved manner is soft and comfortable, attractive in appearance, 4easy to step into by feel and without special fingering, .and adjustable to the normal movements of the foot. It. is suiciently narrow to lfit easily between the toes, yet sturdy enough to resist stress; and it is yeldably elastic to assure proper fit for a large range of foot and toe sizes, yet limited in a controllable manner to a predetermined degree of stretch so that undesired looseness can be avoided. Moreover, the improved thong is readily flexible yet self-supporting, whereby shoes maybe displayed without recourse to dummy supporting forms or other thong props.
A particularifeature of the tion lies in the assembly of its constituent elements in such a way that the degree of stretchability can be controlled with considerable accuracy during manufacture.
This contributes to Vuniformity of prod ucts and reliabilityin `designating shoes in terms of thong size and tit. The
improved thong construc- 2,928,191 Patented Mar. 15, '1960 ICC ornament adjacent to the toe, thereby fulfilling a dualy purpose heretofore achieved only by a separate toe loop and a separate adjacent ornament-bearing thong.
In its simplest form, the improved thong consists of a length of woven fabric tubing, and a coil spring coaxially within it. The tube has a limited stretchability that can be carefully regulated during manufacture of the thong, and the interior spring is freely extensible and resilient, and imparts the desired self-supporting characteristics to the thong. The woven tube is preferably of opaque material, so that the spring is entirely invisible at all times. In associating the thong with the sole of the shoe, a hole is formed in the sole, and one end of the thong extends downwardly through this hole, there being an anchoring means on the under side of the sole for engagement with the end of the spring.
Several ways of achieving the foregoing general objectives and advantages, and such other objects and benefits as may hereinafter be pointed out, are illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which:
Fig. l is a perspective view of a sandal with which an upstanding to thong of the improved charactery is associated; t
Fig. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view substantially along the line 2--2 of Fig. l;
Fig. 3 is a view similar to Fig. 2 showing the limited elastic stretchability of the thong;
Fig. 4 is an exploded view of the parts entering into the assembly shown in Figs. 1-3;
Fig. 5 is afragmentary enlarged perspective view, partly in section, illustrating a modification;
Fig. 6 is a fragmentary perspective view of the front end of a sandal with which a toe thong of modified nature is associated;
Fig. 7 is a fragmentary enlarged cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 7--7 of Fig. 6;
Fig. 8 is a view similar to Fig. 7 showing the relationship of the parts when the toe thong is in engagement with the foot of the wearer;
Fig. 9 is .a partially exploded View illustrating the manner of assembling the parts shown in Figs. 6-8; and
Fig. l0 is a view similar to Fig. 1, illustrating a further modification.
The shoe chosen for illustration in Fig. l is provided with an inner sole 20, an outer sole 21, a heel 22, a simple strap 23 adapted to extend around the foot, and an upstanding toe thong 24.
The elements of which the thong are composed, and by means of which it is attached to the sole, are best indicated in Fig. 4. A length 25 of woven fabric tubing is enveloped around a coil spring 26 which is caused to extend coaxially through it. At itsV upper end, the hooked end 27 of the spring is engagedV with the attachment loop 28 formed on the under side of the ornamental disc-like button 29. The upper end of the tube 25 is pushed over this connection, to conceal it, and the upper margin of the tube is somewhat ared out as shown in Figs. 2 and 3, and adhesively bonded to the under surface of the ornament 29. At its lower end, the thong assembly is passed downwardly through an opening 30 formed in the inner sole 20, and on the under side of the latter an anchoring is caused to penetrate through the tube 25 and to engage accenni w with the hook or loop 3,2 at the lower end ofthe spring 26. When the outer sole 21 is adhesively secured in position, it conceals the anchoring means 31 and attens out the lower loose end of the fabric tube 25.
The thong normally assumes the npstanding position shown in Figs. 1 and 2, even without any external sup- PGrt, since the spring 25 imparts sufficient rigidity to malte it self-supporting. This is of great advantage, since the shoe maybe displayed in a store Window or on a counter without any extraneous support for the thong. shows off the shoe and the ornament on the thong to maximum advantage.
The self-sustained upstanding nature ofthe thong has the added advantage that the toes can be engaged with it by feel, and it is therefore not necessary for` the user to bend over and perform any specialnsering to brins the shoe into` proper engagement with the foot,
'.lhe fabric tubing 2.5 is a well-known product, readily availableon the market. Because of the. diagonal inter Weaving of the threads of which it is e'@imposedJ the. tube is stretchable in a longitudinal direction `for a limited en tent. stretchability is taken advantage ofV in the presentv thong construction, and it can be carefully` regulated during the manufacture of the shoe. For example, if the length of tubing 25 is stroked upwardly toward the ornamental button prior to its engagement by the anchoring pin 31, it will have a minute inherent Wrinkle which will permit it to stretch to a slightly greater degree than would otherwise be the case. Similarly, if the tube 2,5 is stroked in a downward direction prior to the engagement of theY thong end by the anchoring means 31, the degree of stretchability will'be correspondingly reduced. With a tubing length of a given size, it is possible, therefore, to form thongs having a normal stretchability, a lessthan-normal stretchability, and a greater-than-normal stretchability.
The manner in which the thong extends itself, resiliently, is indicated in Fig. 3, in which the dotted lines represent the normal position of the thong ornament, and the full lines represent the position it assumes when the toes 33 are engaged with the stem of the thong.
lIn Fig. I have shown a modified shoe assembly in which an upstanding thong. of the character described is indicated at 34, and in which a length of the basic thong material (i.e., woven fabric tubing. and enclosed coil spring) is turned back in the form of an inverted-U loop 35. One end of this toe-enveloping loop is anchored by means of a pin or equivalent anchoring element 36 which engages the end of the spring at that end of the loop;v the opposite end of the spring 37 may be anchored by the same pin 38 which engages the lower end of the spring within the stem of the. thong 34. The anchoringmeans, 36 and 38 are located on the under side of the inner sole 39, as hereinbefore described, and the application of the outersole 40 serves to conceal these anchors and also to compress and secure the loose ends of theV fabric tubing.
iItV will be understood that the thong 35 of Fig. 5 is stretchable toa limited degree, as a result of theinherent nature of the outer woven fabric, and that the degree of stretchability mayv be regulated during the' course of manufacture, as hereinbefore described. The coaxial spring imparts aY desirable degree of'support to the. loop, which enhances its appearance, simplifies the. display of the shoe, and facilitates the act of stepping into theshoe or sandal by feel.
`In Figs. 6 9 I have shown aunitary toe thong assembly in whichthe ornamental effect ofthe. double-thong arrangement OfzFig, 5`Y can' be achieved.` In this. case an elastic cord 41 isextended: coaxially through. the` coil Spring 4,2; to serve as: a. special' anchoring means for the ornamentalbutton 43. On. its under face', this'. button is provided with anattachment hook 44,. and inY assembling the parts this` hook,4 is inserted through the fabricA tube 45, then between a. pain. of adjacent. coils ofl the' spring'42,
Vinto engagement with the elastic cord 41.. 'The penetraion said ornamentextending tion of the attachment part 44 through the woven tube 45 can be readily achieved by forcing adjacent threads aside, but if desired a special perforation 46 may be preliminarily formed for this purpose.
The thong unit, consisting of the outer woven fabric tube 45, the coaxially arranged coil spring 42, the coaxially arranged elastic cord 41, and the engaged ornament 43, is secured to the sole of the shoe in the manner hereinbefore described. That is to say, each end of the loop is passed downwardly through openings in the inner sole 47, and the opposite ends of the spring 42 are engaged on the under side of the. sole byr anchoring pins 48 and 49. The application of the outer sole 50 conceals these anchors, and also engages and holds in locked condition the loose end of the fabric tube and the loose ends ofthe elastic cord 41.
When the device is in use, the toes 51 ofA the wearer press upwardly against the ornament 43, causing the attachment hoolt.Y 44 tov move out ofthe enveloping tube 45V, as indicated in Fig. 8. The elasticit of thefcord di allows this adjustability to occur, andV greatly enhances the comfort and attractive appearance of the thong when the shoe is worn.
The shoe depicted in Fig. l() has an upper'S with a forward portion 53 through which the thong 54 extends, the button or ornament 55. lying on the upper surface of the part 53. This is a conventional mode of associating a toe thong with an upper, andv this arrangement may be resorted to with a. thong constructed in accordance with this invention. The self-supporting upstanding nature of the thong 5d keeps the upper 52 in an elevated position, and maintains the ornament 55V in position, thereby enhancing the attractive appearance of the shoe even during periods when it is off the foot.
It will be readily apparent that the improved thong construction may be utilized to advantage in various ways other than those shown in the accompanying drawings. Also, the construction may be modifiedl in a number of respects to suit different requirements. For example, the upper end of the tubing (Fig. 3) need not necessarily be ilared outwardly as shown, and under certain circumstances it-may be turned in to lie within thc tube; the bottom end of the tube may be similarly finished oi'if desired, by turning its edge inv/ard. Also, the attachment hook on the ornament of Fig. 8y need-'not under all circumstances pull the cord 41 out of the tube; the cord may remain Within thetube if the upward pressure upon the ornament is of a moderate degree. Sometimes itl may he desirable merely to cement the ornament in position on the tubing, and of course in such Yacaso the inner cord 4l may be omitted.
The` depiction of toes in Figs and 8 isV intended to be explanatory in, nature, andtsomcwhatl exaggerated.
y In general, it willV be understoodthatthe details herein described and illustrated may be modified'ink numerous respects without necessarily departing from the spirit and scopeof the invention as expressed in theappendedclaims.
What is claimed is: l
l. An ornament-bearing toe thongcomprising a woven fabric tube, a coil spring coaxially within said` tube, a longitudinally elastic cord coaxially within said'spring, an ornament extendingv laterally beyond said tube for overlying engagement with a wearers toe, and an attaching means on said ornament extending into the woven tube and coil ,spring and intoV engagement with said cord, said ornament thus being resiliently yieldable` away from said tube.
2. An ornament-bearing'toe thong' comprisinga wovenV fabric tube, a coil spring coaxially within' said'V tube, a" longitudinally elastic cord coaxially within said spring-an ornament extending laterally beyondv4 said tube'fo'r over. lying engagement with `a wearers toe, anattachment-loop spring, and said cordl extending-through said loopwherelY into the woven tubeandicoil in a resiliently yieldable manner. through it, a toe by said ornament is held 3. In a shoe, a sole having an opening thong comprising a tube of woven coaxially within it, one end of the thong extending downwardly through said opening, and a thong anchoring means engaging the end of said spring on the under side of said sole.
4. In a shoe, a sole having an opening through it, a toe thong comprising a tube of woven fabric anda coil spring coaxially within it, one endrof the thong extending downwardly through said opening, thong-anchoring means engaging the end of said spring on the underside of said sole, and an ornament secured to the upper end of said p thong and including means on the lower face of said ornament in engagement with the upper end of said spring, the upper end of said fabric tubekbeing flared outwardly to lie against Said face and being adhesively secured thereto'.
5. ln a shoe, a toe thong and an ornament carried thereby, said thong comprising a ltube of woven fabric and a coil spring coaxially within it, an elastic cord coaxially within said spring, and an attachment loop on the ornament extending into the woven tube and between adjacent coils of the spring into encircling engagement with said cord.
6. In a shoe, a sole, a toe thong carried by said sole and projecting upwardly therefrom in the form of an inverted L3, said thong comprising a tube'of woven fabric anda coil spring 4coaxially within said tube, an elastic cord coaxially within said spring, and an ornament carried by said thong and provided with an attachment loop that extends into the woven tube and between Vadjacent coils of the spring into encircling engagement with said cord.
fabric and a coil spring 7. In a shoe, a sole having a pair of openings through it, atoe thong comprising a tube of Woven fabric and a coil spring coaxially withinit, said thong being bent into inverted-U-shape to dene a loop, the ends of the thong extending downwardly through said openings, and anchoring means engaging the ends of said spring on the under side of said sole.
8. In a shoe, a sole having a pair of openings through it, a toe thong comprising a tube of woven fabric and a coil spring coaxially within it, said thong being bent into inverted-U-shape to dene a loop, the ends of the thong extending downwardly through said openings, an elastiecord coaxially within said spring,anchoring means von the under side of said 'sole and engaging the ends of said spring, an outer sole concealing said anchoring means, the ends of said woven tube and the ends of said cord. being held in sandwiched relation between said first-named sole and said outer sole, and an ornament carried by said thong yand provided with an attachment loop that extends into the woven tube and between adjacent coils of the spring into encircling engagement with said cord.
References Cited in the le of this patent