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Publication numberUS3279015 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 18, 1966
Filing dateAug 24, 1964
Priority dateAug 24, 1964
Publication numberUS 3279015 A, US 3279015A, US-A-3279015, US3279015 A, US3279015A
InventorsHenning Lawrence M
Original AssigneeCurry Byron V, Norma S Henning, William Jacquet Gribble
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shoelace apparatus
US 3279015 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 18,1966 L. M. HENNING 3,279,015


LAWRENCE M. HENNING T TORNE V United States Patent O Wife Filed Aug. 24, 1964, Ser. No. 391,688 8 Claims. (Cl. 24-117) The invention relates to shoelace apparatus for conventional laced shoes, and more particularly to such apparatus for 4relaxing the tension of a conventional laced and tied shoelace.

Many different ways exist for tightening shoes across the instep of a wearer along the opening which is normally covered by a shoe tongue. The most common way is criss-cross lacing. The laces are normally tied in a bow knot after being pulled tight. The bow knot is a slip knot and can fbe untied readily. However, for small childrenl and those with muscle and joint stiffness, frequent tying of the bow knot is a burden. Particularly burdensome is the frequent retying imposed upon parents of small children.

I have invented shoelace appparatus useable with conventional laced shoes whereby the tension of the laces may be relaxed to give slack for removal of the shoe without disturbing the lace knot and refastened with the original tension without retying. The invention contemplates shoelace apparatus that comprises a shoelace release tab having a finger grip and one or more lace apertures through the tab and a tab holder. The tab holder preferably has a base from which extend securing means forxing the base to a shoe. The release tab has attachment means adapting the tab for repetitive detachment from and attachment to the tab holder. Preferably, the tab holder and the tab attachment means are comprised of the male and female elements, respectively, of a conventional snap fastener such as those made by United- Carr Fastener Corporation. Alternatively, conventional hooks and eyes may be used in place of the snap fasteners. Other quick release devices obviously can be combined with the tab and tab holder -of the invention, if desired.

The apparatus of the invention is used by securing the tab to the tab holder so that the lace apertures in the tab align substantially with the conventional lace holes or eyelets of the shoe on one side of the instepopening. The apparatus is attached to the outer side of each shoe to -obviate contact between the tabs as the wearer walks. The tab holder may be secured to the shoe by bendable prongs on the holder base which pass through eyelets in the shoe and flatten below the base to secure the holder with respect to the shoe. Once the release tab is positioned and secured by the holder, the shoe is laced in conventional fashion, with the lace ends passing through the apertures of the release tab instead of through the nal holes of the shoe. The lace ends are then tied in conventional fashion with the desired tension. To remove the shoe it is only necessary to detach the release tab from the tab holder. The restraint across the instep opening is thus removed from the laces and the laces become slack so that the opposite edges of the instep opening spread apart. When the shoes are again donned, the finger grip portion of the release tab is pulled transversely of the opening until the laces are taut and the engaging means on the tab is in position for attachment to the tab holder.

The preferredembodiment of the invention comprises a tab holder having malleable prongs that fit through the lace holes or lace eyelets of the shoe, and are secured to the shoe by being bent under the edge of the opening.


However, the scope of the invention extends to apparatus wherein one conventional element of a snap fastener is secured directly to the shoe through the shoe leather or canvas adjacent the shoelace holes.

The apparatus of the invention, whether a basic part of the shoe or an attachment releasably secured thereto, enables the wearer to put on and take off shoes quickly without releasing or retying the laces. Fast knots rather than the slip knot conventionally used may be employed, as on childrens shoes, since they need be tied only once during the life of the laces.

These and other advantages of the invention are apparent in the following detailed description and drawing in which:

FIG. l is an exploded perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective View of a tab holder and a conventional shoe;

FIGS. 3 and 4 are plan perspective views of the apparatus of the invention combined with a conventional shoe;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional elevation taken along line 5--5 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a bottom plan View, partly in section, of a release tab in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional elevation of an alternate embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 8 is an elevational view of an alternate embodiment of a tab holder; and

FIG. 9 is a plan view of a further alternate embodiment of the invention.

In FIG. 1 a release tab 10l and a tab holder assembly 11 are shown in detached relationship. Release tab 10 has an upper layer 14 and a lower layer 14. Preferably, the layers have the same configuration and are formed from one doubled piece of leather or other sheet material which may be colored to match the particular shoe with which the tab is to be used. Apertures 16 land 17 extend through eboth layers of the tab near a folded edge 18. If desired, the apertures may have metal grommets or eyelets (not shown). A female snap element 21 is fixed to lower layer 14 and covered by upperV layer 13. The release tab tapers to a finger grip 22 remote from apertures 16 and 17.

Tab holder assembly 11 has a base 24 to which a tab holder 25 is fixed. The tab holder is preferably a' snap fastener male element adapted to engage releasably with snap fastener element 21 on the tab. Malleable prongs 27, 2S extend oppositely from the edges of base 24. The distance A between the roots of the prongs is preferably slightly less than the conventional center-to-center spacing of shoelace holes.

FIG. 2 shows a tab holder assembly 11 being applied to a fragmentarily shown shoe 31. A shoe top 32 has spacedapart doubled portions 33 or placket edges each with shoelace holes 34, 35, 36. The doubled portions have edges 37 that define an instep opening 38 (see FIG. 3). Prongs 27 and 28 of the holder base are bent downwardly a short distance beyond the root of each prong. The

point of bending depends upon the center-to-center hole` spacing of the shoe. Except for the shoes of children and babies, this spacing is standard. The distance between bent prongs is therefore equal to the center-to-center distance of the shoelace holes. The holder assembly is pressed down against the top of the last holes in the position shown in FIG. 3 such that the snap element 25 is lodged generally near edge 37 of the instep opening and intermediate the two top holes 34, 35. As shown in FIG. 5, prongs 27, 28 are then bent unwardly beneath base 24 under the doubled portion 33 of the shoe top below theA base such that a shoe tongue 39 intervenes between theflattened prongs :and the instep of a wearer. As shownv in FIG. 3, shoe 31 has a shoelace 41 with conventional' tipped ends 42, 43. The laces are threaded through the shoelace holes in the opposed portions 33 in conventional fashion up to the holes 34, 35. Release tab is then attached to the tab holder in the fashion shown in FIG. 4, such that lace apertures 16, 17 of the tab overlie the upper holes 34, 35 of the shoe. In FIG. 4 lace 41 has been threaded through lace apertures 16 and 17 on one side of instep opening 38 and through lace holes 34A, 35A of the shoe. Ends 42 and 43 of the lace are tied in the conventional bow knot.

Thus the shoe is secured to the foot of a wearer in conventional fashion, except that the lace is held by the release tab instead of by the final two holes of the shoe. Correct tension is then applied to the lace for the proper fit, as in a conventionally laced shoe. As is shown in FIG. 6, there is substantial alignment of apertures 16 and 17 and the center of snap fastener 21. Although the general instep transverse configuration is convex, the snap fastening is subjected to a lateral pull with a very small upward component. Very little of the tension force of the lace acts to pull the snap elements apart. However, finger grip 22 is slightly elevated from the top 32 of the shoe so that the fingers m-ay grip the tab easily and lift the tab upwardly out of engagement with the tab holder. Once the holder and release tab are disengaged, the tab is displaced toward the holes 44A, 45A opposite the tab holder and the laces move through the shoelace holes, widening opening 38. The shoe is then removed while the knot remains tight.

The shoe is quickly fastened -after it is put on by applying transverse force on the tab, pulling it toward holder 11. Once the position of fastening element 21 coincides with the tab holder the two snaps are engaged by downward pressure to restore the shoe to wearing condition.

While a conventional snap fastener has -been shown in combination with the prevously described embodiments of the invention, other fasteners may be utilized. FIG. 7 illustrates an alternate embodiment of the invention where in a release tab 51, having one or more lace eyelets 52, has on its underside a conventional eye element 53. The eye element is engaged with a hook element 55 fixed by convenient means, such as stitching 57, to a semi-rigid plastic base 58. The base has a U-shaped cross-sectional configuration and is secured to a shoe top 59. The base has an upper arm 60 and a lower arm 61. Hook 55 is fixed to arm 60. Arm 61 has one or more punched tangs 63 that bend upwardly into a proximate eyelet 64 in shoe top 59.

Release tab 51 may be of a heavy cloth, such as canvas, and the eye 53 secured thereto by stitching. The cloth may harmonize with various sports shoes and be unobtrusive when fixed thereto. Alternatively, the tab may be colored or textured to contrast with the shoe with which it is combined.

The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 7 is used as described previously with respect to the embodiments of FIGS. 1-6. Either of the described embodiments is easily attached to Conventional laced shoes using common household tools, such as pliers. The first described embodiment is kept in registry by the prongs passing through the shoelace holes. The embodiment of FIG. 7 wraps about the doubled portion of the shoe top at edge 37 and is kept in position along the line of shoelace holes by the tangs 63. Finger grip 66 of release tab 51 must be .pulled away from shoe opening 38 sufiiciently to disengage hook 55 and eye 53. Once again, this can be accomplished without disturbing the knot with which the shoelace is fastened.

Each of the embodiments previously described may be transferred between shoes, if desired, since the prongs 27, 28 and the tangs 63 may be disengaged from the shoelace holes of the shoe. The tab holder shown in FIG. 8 is similarly detachable, if desired. Tab holder 71 comprises a male snap fastener element 72 rising from a base 73. Preferably ythe `base is wide enough to give good bearing surface upon the shoe top. A malleable bifur- Y thereof, and attachment holder-gripping means on the 1 cated pin projects from base 73 opposite snap element 72.

The pin may be inserted through a shoelace hole from the outside of a shoe in either the last or next to last lace hole. The pin is then split so that the bifurcated legs 75, 76 impinge lagainst the underside of the doubled top portion 33. Once again, application of the tab holder can be done with common household tools. A tabk (not shown) having one or more lace apertures may then be removably engaged with the tab holder 71, as previously described with respect to other embodiments.

FIG. 9 illustrates an embodiment of the invention adapted to greater lace slack when detached. A pair of snap fastener elements 81, 82 are fixed in spaced relationship to the upper portion of a high shoe 83.` A release tab 85 has mating snap fastener elements 86, 87 adjacent three lace apertures 88, 89, that are opposite a finger` grip 91 of the tab. A conventional shoelace 93 is engaged It also passes through the tab apertures 88, 89, 90 and the upper with the lower shoelace holes 95 of the shoe.

lace holes opposite holes 97, 98, 99 of the shoe. The lace ends are tied in a knot 101.

As shown in FIG. 9, the release tab has been detached from tab holders 81, 82. Note that the tab holders are permanently fixed to the shoe top. Such fixation can be accomplished at the factory or in a shoe repair shop by utilizing conventional snap fasteners and assembly tools.

With the release tab detached, the lace length engaged with the top three lace holes of the shoe is available for slack. The opening edges` 103, 104 of the instep opening g may therefore be spread apart to a greater degree than if the laces engaged with'only one or two holes were se-1 l cured to the tab. Greater slack is particularly beneficialA in the shoes of infants and toddlers where a larger shoe opening may compensate for the lack of coordination and cooperation in donning and removing the shoe.

The foregoing embodiments are illustrative. Many other embodiments within the scope of the invention will` Therefore,`

successive detachment from and attachment to the tab` holder.

2. Shoelace apparatus in accordance with claim 1 Wherein the holder-securing means comprises a base to which the holder is fixed, prongs extending from opposite edges of the base, each prong being of malleable material and adapted to pass through an aperture and be bent over beneath the base.

3. Apparatus in accordance with claim 2 wherein the -tab holder comprises a snap fastener male element secured to the base.

4. Shoelace apparatus in accordance withl claim,1`

wherein tab holder comprises a snap fastener element secured to the base.

5. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein the tab holder comprises a conventional wire hook fastener and whereinthe attachment means on the release tab comprises a conventional fastener eyelet.

6. Shoelace apparatus for relaxing lace tension on a laced and tied shoe having lace holes comprising a re-` lease tab, a finger grip on the tab, a shoelace aperture in,`

the tab for each lace and remote from the finger grip, a tab holder aflixed to the shoe adjacent the lace holes release tab adapted for successive detachment from and attachment to the holder, said lace aperture being posi- 5 tioned on the tab substantially to coincide with the location of :a final lace hole in the shoe so that the tension of a lace passed through the tab lace aperture in normal fashion in released by detachment of the tab from the holder.

'7. Shoelace apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein the shoelace release tab comprises a tlat sheet folded to define a two-layered wafer, and a plurality of shoelace apertures adjacent the folded side of the wafer; said apertures extending through both layers of the doubled sheet; and wherein the attachment means comprises 1a conventional snap fastener element fixed in the under layer of the wafer and is concealed by the upper layer.

8. Shoelace apparatus for use with a shoe having a lace engaged in shoelace holes and comprising a shoelace release tab, a linger grip on the release tab, a lace aperture in the tab for each end of the lace, a female snap fastener element on the release tab, a male snap fastener element, a base for the male element, and malleable prongs on the base adapted to pass through adjacent lace holes and be doubled under the base with the shoe placket interven- References Cited by the Eriaminer UNITED STATES PATENTS FOREIGN PATENTS Great Britain. Italy. Sweden.

BERNARD A. GELAK, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US332787 *Jan 12, 1885Dec 22, 1885 Double-clinching carriage-knob
US1137381 *Jun 30, 1911Apr 27, 1915Elmer BurketShoe-lace holder.
US1608214 *Jan 23, 1926Nov 23, 1926Jayem Mfg CompanyFastening means for boots
US1879475 *Aug 22, 1930Sep 27, 1932Poon Tom KShoe fastening device
US2790222 *Dec 14, 1954Apr 30, 1957United Carr Fastener CorpResilient socket buckle
US3196512 *Oct 15, 1963Jul 27, 1965Herman KoehlProng snap fasteners
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IT457933B * Title not available
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4414761 *Nov 2, 1981Nov 15, 1983Mahood Douglas SFootwear article with adjustable closure
US5027482 *Jan 24, 1990Jul 2, 1991Central Dupage Pedorthics, Inc.Securing device for shoes
US5148614 *Aug 15, 1991Sep 22, 1992Kelly Michael NShoe closure strap apparatus
US5353483 *Jul 6, 1993Oct 11, 1994Louviere Donald LMethod and apparatus for quickly securing a laced shoe
US5357691 *Feb 15, 1994Oct 25, 1994The Keds CorporationEasily fastened shoe
US5469640 *Apr 18, 1995Nov 28, 1995K-Swiss Inc.Quick adjusting shoe lacing system
US5526585 *Oct 19, 1994Jun 18, 1996Brown; Edward G.Attachment device for use with a lace-substitute hand-actuable shoe-closure system
US5947916 *Jun 6, 1997Sep 7, 1999Plasco, Inc.Fastening arrangement for a limb support device
US5996256 *Feb 26, 1998Dec 7, 1999Zebe, Jr.; Charles W.Footwear construction with improved closure means
US6568104 *Aug 28, 2001May 27, 2003Kun-Chung LiuEasy-to-wear shoe
US6675503 *May 2, 2002Jan 13, 2004Kun-Chung LiuEasy-to-wear footwear
US6941683 *Oct 21, 2003Sep 13, 2005Anna B FreedLacing system
US7287304Dec 20, 2005Oct 30, 2007Zebe Jr Charles WCam cleat construction
US8438774Aug 4, 2011May 14, 2013Lawrence C. SharpPistol cocking assistive device
US8533978Aug 2, 2010Sep 17, 2013Dee VolinMethod and system for fastening footwear having releasably locking device(s)
US8549785Apr 10, 2013Oct 8, 2013Lawrence C. SharpPistol cocking assistive device
US20030204970 *May 2, 2002Nov 6, 2003Kun-Chung LiuEasy-to-wear footwear
US20040078999 *Oct 21, 2003Apr 29, 2004Freed Anna B.Lacing system
US20070137003 *Dec 20, 2005Jun 21, 2007Zebe Charles W JrCam cleat construction
US20070180669 *Apr 22, 2004Aug 9, 2007Magnus AplerLacing device
US20090100649 *Oct 22, 2007Apr 23, 2009Aharon BarApparatus and method for fastening a shoe
US20090100707 *Jan 15, 2008Apr 23, 2009Aharon BarApparatus for fastening a shoe
US20110035961 *Feb 17, 2011Dee VolinUnique method and system for fastening footwear having releasably locking device(s) for quick lock and quick release and loop-tension-adjusting capability
US20140047739 *Aug 19, 2013Feb 20, 2014Reginald SenegalFootwear Securing systems
EP1360910A1 *May 8, 2002Nov 12, 2003Kun-Chung LiuEasy-to-wear footwear
U.S. Classification24/712.2, 24/712.4, 24/713, 36/50.1
International ClassificationA43C1/00
Cooperative ClassificationA43C1/00
European ClassificationA43C1/00