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Publication numberUS3336683 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 22, 1967
Filing dateFeb 3, 1965
Priority dateFeb 3, 1965
Publication numberUS 3336683 A, US 3336683A, US-A-3336683, US3336683 A, US3336683A
InventorsSchellkopf Arthur J
Original AssigneeSchellkopf Arthur J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Strap construction for footwear
US 3336683 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 2, 1967 A. J. SCHELLKOPF 3,336,683


United States Patent 3,336,683 STRAP CONSTRUCTION FOR FOOTWEAR Arthur .I. Schellkopf, 1112 Hazel St., Fremont, Ohio 43420 Filed Feb. 3, 1965, Ser. No. 430,080 4 Claims. (Cl. 36-115) The present invention relates generally to footwear and more particularly to a novel convertible strap construction applied to footwear such as sandals, slippers and the like, wherein the footwear may be Worn either with an open back or with the support of a heel strap or sling.

Sandals and thongs having various forms of straps for securing the device, to the foot of the wearer are well known in the prior art. Some of these prior art' devices have straps extending over only the forward part of the foot and with no heel support so that the foot can be readily slipped into and out thereof, while others have, in addition to such forward straps, a strap or sling extending behind the rear portion of the foot and engaging the heel of the wearer. The former type, while it has the feature of being easily slipped on and oif the foot of the wearer, which is desirable in many instances, has a distinct disadvantage in that it fits somewhat loosely on the foot and permits slippage and heel slapping during normal walking. As a result, the foot of the wearer may be irritated and the device may even be accidentally lost from the foot. The latter type, generally having a loose-fitting sling or strap surrounding the heel of the wearer, reduces but does not eliminate the slippage and heel slapping, and is not readily slipped on and oif the foot should it be desirable to have the step-in step-out convenience for use such as in shower or beach wear.

The novel footwear according to the invention combines the desirable features of both types by including a convertible strap device adapted to function as a heel sling which minimizes slippage and heel slapping in its rearward position, and to become a part of the uppers in its alternate, forward position. Thus, the footwear may, at the discretion of the user, he slipped into and worn with an open back as a so-called thong, or may be placed upon the foot with the sling engaging the heel in the manner of a sandal.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide footwear having a dual function wherein the footwear can be worn either with an open back or with a heel engaging strap to suit a particular occasion at the discretion of the wearer.

Another object of the invention is to provide footwear having a convertible strap device which in one position allows the foot to be readily slipped into and out of the footwear and in another position minimizes slippage and heel slapping of the footwear during normal walking.

Another object of the invention is to provide, in an article of footwear, a convertible strap device which in one position creates an open back in the footwear and in another position causes the foot of the wearer to be engaged in a gentle clamping action so as to maintain the footwear in position.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become more apparent during the course of the following description when taken in connection with the accompanyin-g drawings.

In the drawings, wherein like numerals are employed to designate like parts throughout the same:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a sandal constructed in accordance with the present invention, showing the convertible heel sling in the storage position and the strap members spread slightly at the rear to better illustrate the construction;

3,336,683 Patented Aug. 22, 1967 ice FIG. 2 is a side elevational view, partially in section along line 2-2 of FIG. 1, and with parts broken away showing the sandal on the foot of a wearer with the sling in the heel engaging position;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of still another embodiment of the invention.

Turning now to the drawings and in particular to FIGS. 1 and 2 thereof, one form of footwear constructed according to the invention is shown generally at 10. The footwear includes a sole 11 adapted to support the foot 12 of a wearer in the manner indicated in broken lines in FIG. 2, and a strap assembly 13 afiixed to the sole for maintaining the device upon the foot. It will be readily appreciated that the sole 11 may be formed of any of a number of suitable materials commonly employed for a similar purpose in the construction of footwear. As will be hereinafter more fully described, the strap assembly is generally, although not necessarily, formed of a resilient material.

The strap assembly 13 comprises a thin vertical web 14 secured to the sole in the forward medial portion thereof, the web being oriented with its narrow dimension extending longitudinally of the sole so as to be comfortably received between adjacent toes of the wearer. At its upper end 15, the vertical web branches into a pair of flat, oppositely disposed side straps 16 and 17 adapted to diverge over the top of the foot 12 and down along the sides thereof. The rear extremities 18 and 19 of the side straps 16 and 17, respectively, are secured to the sole along the rear edge portions thereof. At their junction with the upper end 15 of the vertical web 14, the side straps 16 and 17 lie substantially horizontal along the upper surface of the foot. As they extend outwardly and rearwardly, the straps twist along their longitudinal axis to follow the surf-ace of the foot so that in their intermediate portion they are substantially vertical. The straps continue to twist about their longitudinal axis until at the rear extremities 18 and 19, respectively, they have twisted approximately to lie in an inverted position beneath the foot 12 at their juncture with the sole. By thus twisting through approximately 180, the broad interior surfaces of the straps will continually lie against the surface of the wearers foot to assure a comfortable fit.

It will be appreciated that the strap assembly 13 may be secured to the sole in any suitable manner, such as by bonding with adhesives, vulcanizing, stitching, or even by being formed integrally with the sole. One preferred means for securing the straps is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, wherein the straps are formed at their ends with enlarged circular shoulders 20 which bear against bosses 21 {of apertures 22 in the sole.

Attached to the side straps 16 and 17 a short distance forwardly from their respective extremities 18 and 19 is a convertible or cross strap 23. The convertible strap has flexible bendable portions 24 at its ends which merge into reinforced segments 25 of the side straps 16 and 17. The entire strap assembly, including the convertible strap 23, is preferably formed of a resilient but somewhat stiff material such as rubber, for example, so that the-convertible strap will normally assume the so-called storage position shown in FIG. 1, wherein it projects forwardly in an arc across the central portion of the device, and the side straps bulge outwardly. The wearer will thus be enabled to slip his foot between and beneath the side straps 16 and 17 and cross strap 23 with ease. The flexible bendable portions 24, and reinforced segments 25 are molded or otherwise formed so as to normally cause the cross strap to assume this position, in which it may rest against the intermediate portions of the opposite side straps. The

flexible bendable portions 24 permit the convertible strap to be swung from the storage position of FIG. 1 to the alternate or heel engaging position of FIG. 2. The cross strap is mounted on the side straps so that in the storage position, it lies flat across the instep of the wearer, while in the alternate position its interior surface lies flat against his heel.

The flexible bendable portions 24 are generally molded and affixed to the side straps 16 and 17 by the reinforced segments 25 so that the convertible or cross strap 23 assumes the storage position shown in FIG. 1. It is, of course, within the contemplation of the invention that the convertible strap may be affixed so as to normally assurne the heel engaging position shown in FIG. 2 or any intermediate position.

With the convertible strap assuming the storage position shown in FIG. 1, when a prospective wearer desires to use the device as an open-backed sandal he merely slips his toes forwardly beneath the side straps 16 and 17 and convertible strap 23 until the vertical web 14 is in position between the large toe and second toe as in conventional footwear of this type. The convertible strap then lies across the instep of the wearer. When it is desired to wear the footwear with the convertible strap in the heel engaging position of FIG. 2, the strap is pulled backwardly and downwardly and the toes are slipped forwardly under the side straps 16 and 17 until the vertical web 14 is in position between the toes. The convertible strap 23 is then moved up behind the heel as shown in FIG. 2. The strap is of such length that when in heel engaging position it tugs gently on the side straps 16 and 17 to create a slight clamping effect on the foot of the wearer. Thus, even should the device be slightly large for the wearer, it will nevertheless be securely maintained on his foot. Due to the resiliency of the material employed in forming the strap assembly, the clamping effect maintains the device securely on the foot of the wearer without creating discomfort on his part.

In FIG. 3 there is shown an alternate embodiment wherein the inventive concept is applied to a ladys pump indicated generally at 26. As shown therein, the pump 26 includes a sole 27 having affixed thereto in the conventional manner a heel 28 and a toe portion 29. A convertible or cross strap 30 is attached at its ends 31 through clevis devices 32 or other suitable pivotal means to projections 33 along the sides of the sole. The convertible strap may, when desired, engage the heel of the wearer or, in the alternative, be placed in the storage position wherein it is hooked over or attached to a suitable restrainer indicated generally at 34 on the toe portion 29. When in the heel engaging position, the strap will create a clamping effect upon the foot while in the storage position it produces lateral stability of the foot in the shoe. The strap 30 may be formed of a resilient material or may be adjustable in length, as by a buckle arrangement 35, so as to accommodate feet of different sizes. It will be understood that the restrainer 34 may take a wide variety of decorative forms.

Still another embodiment is shown in FIG. 4 wherein the inventive concept is applied to footwear of the slipper type. The slipper, illustrated generally at 36, is comprised of a sole 37 having a heel 38 afiixed to the rear thereof and uppers 39 extending from the forward tip 40 rearwardly approximately to the heel 38. A convertible strap 41, shown in FIG. 4 in the rearward, heel engaging position, is pivotally attached at 42 to the uppers 39 through reinforced webs 43 thereon. In this position, the strap tugs gently on the uppers to create a clamping effect on the foot of the wearer. When swung forwardly into the storage position, the strap 41 is hooked beneath the catch 44 of a restrainer 45 on the uppers 39, in which position it becomes part of, and provides a decorative effect for, the uppers. The foot can thus be readily slipped into the slipper in conventional fashion.

It is to be understood that the forms of the invention herewith shown and described are to be taken as illustrative embodiments only of the same, and that various changes in the shape, size and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of the invention.

I claim:

1. An article of footwear comprising a sole adapted to support the foot of a wearer, and an upper secured to said sole for receiving said foot, said upper including a strap assembly having a pair of side straps secured to said sole at their forward end and adapted to extend over the top of the forward portion of said foot and rearwardly along the opposite sides thereof, with the rear of said side straps being secured to said sole, a cross strap extending transversely of said sole, and a flexible bendable portion at each end of said cross strap merging into a reinforced segment of the adjacent one of said side straps, said flexible bendable portions being afiixed to said reinforced segments and said side straps so as to in their normal attitude cause said cross strap to assume a forward storage position over the instep of said foot while permitting it to be swung rearwardly into a heel engaging position around the rear thereof.

2. An article of footwear as claimed in claim 1, including a web member secured to and extending upwardly from the forward medial portion of said sole for insertion between adjacent toes of the wearer, said side straps being secured at their forward end to the upper extremity of said web member and diverging over the top of the forward portion of said foot from said web member.

3. An article of footwear as claimed in claim 1, wherein said side straps and cross strap are resilient, said cross strap in the heel engaging position exerting a pulling force on said side straps to secure said footwear on said foot.

4. An article.of footwear as claimed in claim 3, said side straps and cross straps being relatively broad and thin in cross section, said side straps lying flat along the top of said foot and twisting rearwardly about their longitudinal axis through an angle of substantially so as to lie flat along the side and bottom of said foot.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,062,909 12/1936 Kenagy et al 36-58.5 X 2,505,672 4/1950 Hickey 36-11.5 2,595,643 5/1952 Daugherty 36-1 1.5 2,947,095 8/1960 Miyachi 36-11.5

FOREIGN PATENTS 1,057,913 4/ 1957 Germany.

550,620 11/1956 Italy.

92,884 9/1958 Norway.

JORDAN FRANKLIN, Primary Examiner. A. GUEST, Assistant Examiner,

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
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US3468040 *Dec 13, 1967Sep 23, 1969Tatuo FukuokaSandals
US3577662 *Jan 14, 1970May 4, 1971Fukuoka TatsuoFootwear
US3930322 *Apr 14, 1975Jan 6, 1976Ichitaro EndoClog
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US4051610 *May 4, 1976Oct 4, 1977Yoshihiro ShigejiSandal
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US8230621Sep 4, 2009Jul 31, 2012Stylsh, LlcShoe with removable and reconfigurable uppers
US8429836 *Feb 5, 2010Apr 30, 2013Veronica TomorCollapsible athletic shoe
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US20100011623 *Jul 16, 2009Jan 21, 2010Tracy Kramer SecklerReplaceable ornament for flip-flop sandal
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U.S. Classification36/11.5, 36/58.6
International ClassificationA43B3/10, A43B3/12
Cooperative ClassificationA43B3/126, A43B3/102
European ClassificationA43B3/12L, A43B3/10B1