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Publication numberUS3731350 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 8, 1973
Filing dateAug 18, 1971
Priority dateAug 19, 1970
Publication numberUS 3731350 A, US 3731350A, US-A-3731350, US3731350 A, US3731350A
InventorsDiebold F
Original AssigneeDiebold F
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lace tensioning device for shoes, boots and the like
US 3731350 A
Abstract
A device for tensioning a lace joining pairs of eyelets on facing flaps of a shoe comprises a member which, in the loose position, passes under a first section of lace joining a pair of eyelets on one flap and over a second section of lace joining a pair of eyelets on the other flap. By lifting a grip piece adjacent said first section, the first section is brought close to the other side and under the member, while the second section is brought close to the one side and over the member, the flaps being pulled together and the member locked in this position by engagement with said one flap.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Q United States Patent 11 1 1111 3,731,350

Diebold 1 1 May 8, 1973 54 LACE TENSIONING DEVICE FOR 2,266,083 12/1941 Rzepa ..24 140 SHOES BOOTS AND HE LI 2,871,537 2/1959 Hickerson..... 3,193,950 7/1965 Liou ..36/50 [76] Inventor: Fritz Diebold, Asylstrasse 92, Zu-

rich, Switzerland Primary ExaminerDonald A. Griffin [22] Filed: Aug. 18 1971 Attorney-Raymond A. Rob1c [21] Appl. No.: 172,859

[57] ABSTRACT [30] Foreign Application Priority Data A device for tensioning a lace joining pairs of eyelets on facing flaps of a shoe comprises a member which, Aug. 19,1970 Switzerland ..l244l/70 in the loose position, passes under a first Section of lace joining a pair of eyelets on one flap and over a [52] US. Cl ..24/14(), 36/50 Second Section of l j g a p of eyelets on the [51] Int. Cl. ..A43b 11/00 other flap By lifti a grip piece adjacent said first [58] Field of Search ..24/73 GC, 68 SK, section, the fir t Section is brought Close to the other 24/71 68 68 117 A, 129 side and under the member, while the second section 129 36/50 is brought close to the one side and over the member, the flaps being pulled together and the member locked [56] References Cited in this position by engagement with said one flap.

UNITED STATES PATENTS 571,341 11/1896 Cumine ..24/140 9 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures LACE TENSIONING DEVICE FOR SHOES, BOOTS AND THE LIKE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This inventionrelates to shoes, boots and similar arti cles which comprise a pair of flaps which can be pulled together or spaced apart by tightening or loosening a lace joining the flaps.

Conventional shoe and boot laces have the disadvantage of requiring the use of both hands to tighten and secure the lace and such an operation takes an appreciable time. Moreover, the lace can easily become undone and hinder walking. The various types of buckle fasteners employed, for example, on ski boots enable rapid adjustment using only one hand, but are expensive and rather bulky so that their use on other types of shoes is practically excluded.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the invention to provide a simple lace tensioning device for boots, shoes and similar articles which can be operated rapidly-with only one hand, and which is of a relatively simple and inexpensive construction and can therefore find a wide application in various types of boots and shoes.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention is applicable to shoes, boots and similar articles which comprise a first flap and-a second flap, at least one pair of first eyelets on the first flap being joined to at least one pair of corresponding second eyelets on the second flap by a closed loop forming a lace, said lace having at least one first section passing over an outer surface of the first flap between each first eyelet of a pair of first eyeletsand at least one corresponding second section passing over an outer surface of the second flap between each second eyelet of a pair of corresponding second eyelets.

A lace tensioning device according to the invention comprises a member having a grip piece and a rigid elongated part extending from the grip piece. This member is movable between a first position (referred to in the description of embodiments as the loose position) in which the first and second flaps are spaced apart with the lace relatively loose, in which first posi-. tion the elongated part adjacent the grip piece passes over the surface of the first flap and under at least one first section while the elongatedpart removed from the grip piece passes over the surface of the second flap 1 and over at least one corresponding second section,

and a second posit-ion in which the first and second flaps are drawn together with the lace relatively taut (referred to in the description of embodiments as the tautposition), in which second position said member is inverted with the grip piece over the surface of the second flap, each first section passes under said elongated part and adjacent to the second flap, and each corresponding second section passes over said elongated part and adjacent to thefirst flap.

Said tensioning device also comprises means for holding said member in the second position, and said member also having means for holding the lace sections in place in thesaid loose position and means for engaging with the second sections of lace during movement of the'niemberbetween the first and second positions.

DESIGNATION or THE DRAWINGS Several embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic plan view of a first embodiment in a loose position;

FIGS. 2 to 6 are diagrammatic central cross-sectional views through the first embodiment in various positions;

FIG. 7 is a schematic plan view of a slightly modified form of the first embodiment in a taut position; and

FIGS. 8 to 13 are schematic plan views of further embodiments of the invention, all shown in loose position.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to FIG. 1, a shoe comprises a pair of flaps l and 2 joined by a lace 4 passing through a pair of eyelets 3 on each flap. The lace 4 consists of a substantially non-extensible cord of natural or synthetic material joined at 5 to form a loop. The lace comprises sections 6 and 7 passing over the outer, upper surfaces of the flaps 1 and 2 respectively. The lace tensioning device comprises a buckle member 13 formed of an elongate lamina in which a pair of elongate substantially parallel slots 14 define a grip 9, an elongated central'part 8 extending from the grip piece 9 and terminating with a transverse end 10 somewhat similar to grip piece 9 but of smaller dimensions, and two side pieces 1 l joining the grip piece 9 and end 10. As shown in FIG. 2, the end of the central part 8 adjacent the grip piece 9 is bent to form an indent 12 in the underside thereof. This buckle member is made in one piece from a tough relatively rigid material such as metal advantageously coated with a synthetic plastic material to reduce wear on the lace 4 due to rubbing.

In the loose position of the device shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the lace section 6 passes under the side pieces 11, through the slots 14, and over the central part 8 adjacent to the grip piece 9 which lies over the upper surface of flap 1. The lace section 7, however, passes over the side pieces 11, through the slots 14, and under the central part8 adjacent the end 10. In this position, the lace 4 is relatively loose and the flaps l and 2 are spaced apart from one another to allow a wearer to put on or'remove the shoe.

In order to move the device to the taut position so as to comfortably hold the shoe on the wearers foot, the user grips and raises the grip piece 9 as shown in FIGS. 3 and4, the buckle member 13 pivoting'about the lace section 7 and/or by contact of the end 10 on flap 2, and the lace section 6 slips down the central part 8, this action drawing the flaps l and 2 together. When the grip piece'9 has been fully turned over to touch or lay close to the flap 2, the lace sections are inverted with respect to their original position, section 6 passing under the central part8 and laying adjacent the flap 2 while section 7 passes over the 'central part 8 and lays adjacent the flap 1. In this position, the sections 6 and 7 cross one another in the manner shown in FIG. 7, the lace 4 being taut and the flaps I and 2 being drawn close together.

To hold the buckle member in this taut position, the grip member 9 is pushed towards the flap 1 so that the end 10 and major portion of the buckle member 13 passes under the flap 1, as shown in FIG. 6, until the section 6 comes into engagement with the indent 12. This indent 12 serves to lock the buckle member transversly, i.e. from moving to the left of FIG. 6, while angular movement of the buckle member 13 is prevented either by the wearers foot pressing it up against the flap 1 or, preferably, by bearing against an inner part of the shoe, not shown.

When the wearer wishes to loosen the lace, for example to remove the shoe, it suffices to pull the grip piece out to the FIG. 5 position and gently pivot it back to the loose position of FIG. 1. Obviously both operations of tightening and loosening the lace can be carried out rapidly using a single hand.

In the modified embodiment shown'in FIG. 2, the buckle member has substantially the same construction as before, except that the indent 12 is placed mid-way along the elongated central part 8. Also, the end is slightly downcurved, looking at FIG. 1, so that when the buckle member is pushed to the right from the FIG. 5 position it engages above the flap 1. When the lace section 6 engages in the indent 12, in the position shown in FIG. 7, the buckle member is thus firmly locked in the taut position.

In the devices of FIGS. 1 and 7, the side pieces 11, cooperating with the gripping piece 9 and the end 10, form safety means for holding the lace section in place in the loose position and for engaging with the second section 7 during movement between the loose and taut positions to prevent escape of the lace sections from the tensioning device.

FIGS. 8 and 9 show two embodiments of lace tensioning device for a lace arranged to join four eyelets 3 in a similar manner to the first embodiment. In FIG. 8, the previous buckle member 13 is replaced by a member comprising a grip disc 19, an elongated rigid rod 18 extending from the grip disc 19 and having a bent around end 21. The member is made of resilient material so that the end 21 grips against the rod 18 to normally hold the lace section 7 in place, but sufficiently deformable to allow easy insertion and removal, if desired, of the member. The sequence of movement of this member from the loose to the taut position is the same as before.

In the embodimentof FIG. 9, the tensioning member is formed from a single piece of strong wire having two laterally pointing ends 29 forming a grip piece and two elongate parts 28 and 28' extending substantially parallel to one another. Both elongate parts 28, 28' pass under the section 7 in the loose position while part 28 passes over the section 6 and part 28' under the section 6. When the tensioning member is moved to the taut position, the lace sections 6 and 7 pass respectively under and over the part 28.

Referring to FIG. 10, the lace tensioning device shown is adapted for use with a single lace joining two pars of eyelets 3 on each of the flaps 1 and 2. The tensioning member comprises a rigid substantially U- shaped part 38 having gripping discs 39 at its ends, the part 38 being sufficiently resilent to allow easy insertion of the tensioning member through the laces to locate it as shown. Movement to the taut position takes place exactly as for the previous embodiments, the lace sections 6 and 7 interlocking on the two anns of U- shaped part 38.

FIG. 11 shows a particularly simple and robust construction of tensioning member for linking two pairs of each lace sections 6 and 7. It consists of a simple ring 48 having a gripping sector 49 passing through and under lace sections 7 and an opposite sector 50 passing through and over lace sections 6. The ring" can be turned over to the taut position either by lifting sector 49 or by lifting sector 50. If desired, one or both of sectors 49 and 50 can be' provided with additional gripping means.

The FIG. 12 device is analogous to that for FIG. 10, but the tensioning member has three arms 58 each with a gripping disc 39 to enable tensioning of a lace joining three pairs of each lace sections 6 and 7. This device is thus suitable for tensioning relatively long flaps l and 2 with a single movement.

The embodiment shown in FIG. 13 is also similar to that of FIG. 10, except that the discs 39 are replaced by a gripping piece 69 removably fitted on a resilient substantially U-shaped part 68 having laterally protruding ends 64 spring fitted into ends of a recess 63 where they are held by bent-over portions 61. This embodiment combines the I advantages of a relatively robust construction with ease of gripping and replacement of the tensioning member.

All of the embodiments of FIGS. 8 to 13 can be provided with indents similar to 12 (FIG. 2) to improve securing of the device in the taut position, such an indent in the FIG. 8 and FIG. 9 embodiments being provided respectively on the parts 18 and 28.

The joint 5 in the lace 4 can be a permanent joint, advantageous for the embodiments of FIGS. 8, 9, 10, 12 and 13 where replacement of the tensioning member is possible without breaking the lace. Alternatively, and especially for the embodiments of FIGS. 1, 7 and 1 1, an easily disengageable joint 5 could be provided, for example comprising cooperating hooking pieces on the ends of the lace. The loop of lace could also be of variable length to allow adjustment of the tension, or could alternatively be of a slightly elastically extensible material.

The device of the invention can also be used on boots and shoes to provide an easily changeable doubleadjustrnent, the loose position allowing walking with the foot relatively relaxed while in the taut position the boot is held very firmly on the foot.

What is claimed is:

1. A lace tensioning device for shoes, boots and similar articles which comprise a first flap and a second flap, at least one pair of first eyelets on the first flap being joined to at least one pair of corresponding second eyelets on the second flap by a closed loop forming a lace, said lace having at least one first section passing over an outer surface of the first flap between each first eyelet of a pair of first eyelets and at least one corresponding second section passing over an outer surface of the second flap between each second eyelet of a pair of corresponding second eyelets; the tensioning device comprising a member having a grip piece and a rigid elongated part extending from the grip piece; said member being movable between a first positionin which the first and second flaps are spaced apart with the lace relatively loose, in which first position the elongated part adjacent the grip piece passes over the surface of the first flap and under at least one first section while the elongated part removed from the grip piece passes over the surface of the second flap and over at least one corresponding second section, and a second position in which the first and second flaps are drawn together with the lace relatively taut, in which second position said member is inverted with the grip piece over the surface of the second flap, each first section passes under said elongated part and adjacent to the second flap, and each corresponding second section passes over said elongated part and adjacent to the first flap; said tensioning device also comprising means for holding said member in the second position, and said member also having means for holding thelace section in place in the said loose position and means for engaging with the second sections of lace during movement of the member between the first and second positions.

2, A device as claimed in claim 1, in which said member comprises an elongated rigid lamina having first and second ends, a pair of substantially parallel elongate slots in said lamina defining a central elongated part, a grip piece at said first end of the lamina, a transverse end part at said second end of the lamina, and side parts joining the grip piece and transverse part, and in which in said first position a first lace sec tion passes through said slots and over the central elongated part adjacent said grip piece, and a second lace section passes through said slotsand under said central elongated part adjacent said transverse end part.

3. A device as claimed in claim 2, in which said central elongated part comprises an indent facing downwardly in said second position to receive said first lace section.

4. A device as claimed in claim 3, in which said indent is substantially mid-way along said central elongated part, said end piece forming means for facilitating engagement of said lamina over said first flap when said lamina is in said second position.

5. A device as claimed in claim 1, in which said member comprises a wire extending from a grip piece and having a bent around part removed from said grip piece and an end extending substantially parallel back towards said grip piece, said wire, in the first position, passing under a first lace section and over a corresponding second lace section, and said end passing back under said corresponding second lace section.

6. A device as claimed in claim 1, in which said member comprises a substantially U-shaped wire having a pair of branches and a grip piece at an end of each branch, said grip pieces being resiliently held together, said branches, in said first position, passing under a pair of first lace sections and over and through a pair of corresponding second lace sections.

7. A device as claimed in claim 1, in which said member comprises a rigid ring, said ring, in said first position, passing through and under a pair of first lace sections and over and through a pair of corresponding second lace sections.

8. A device as claimed in claim 1, in which said member comprises a central arm and two lateral arms of a wire joined together at a point in a substantially W configuration, each arm having a free end with a grip piece, said grip pieces being resiliently held together, said lateral arms, in the said first position, each passing under a respective first lace section and over and through a respective second lace section and under another second lace section corresponding to said central arm, said central arm passing over said another corresponding second lace section.

9. A device as claimed in claim 1, in which said member comprises a substantially V-shaped wire having a pair of branches each with an outwardly protruding free end, said free ends resiliently gripping in a recess in a grip piece, said branches, in said first position, passing under a pair of first lace sections and over and through a pair of corresponding second lace sections.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US571341 *Nov 17, 1896 George l
US2266083 *Dec 28, 1940Dec 16, 1941Bruno RzepaSecuring means for shoes or the like
US2871537 *Jan 9, 1957Feb 3, 1959Frederick R HickersonFastener for laced closures
US3193950 *Mar 26, 1963Jul 13, 1965Shu-Lien LiouFastening means for shoe laces
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5557864 *Feb 6, 1995Sep 24, 1996Marks; Lloyd A.Footwear fastening system and method of using the same
US5640785 *Dec 1, 1994Jun 24, 1997Items International, Inc.Resilient loops and mating hooks for securing footwear to a foot
US6701589May 5, 2003Mar 9, 2004Marie J. KliewerShoe fastening devices and methods of use
US7281341Dec 10, 2003Oct 16, 2007The Burton CorporationLace system for footwear
US7293373Nov 23, 2005Nov 13, 2007The Burton CorporationLace system for footwear
US7392602Nov 23, 2005Jul 1, 2008The Burton CorporationLace system for footwear
US7401423Nov 23, 2005Jul 22, 2008The Burton CorporationLace system for footwear
US7506420Sep 21, 2005Mar 24, 2009Gaston FrydlewskiFootwear and clothes fastening and transforming system
US7658019Jun 5, 2008Feb 9, 2010The Burton CorporationLace system for footwear
US7958654Jan 5, 2010Jun 14, 2011The Burton CorporationLace system for footwear
US8418381Jun 7, 2011Apr 16, 2013The Burton CorporationLace system for footwear
US8474157Aug 7, 2009Jul 2, 2013Pierre-Andre SenizerguesFootwear lacing system
US8850675Feb 6, 2012Oct 7, 2014Hickies, Inc.Fastening devices and systems and methods thereof
US20050126043 *Dec 10, 2003Jun 16, 2005The Burton CorporationLace system for footwear
USD734605Jun 24, 2014Jul 21, 2015Potsible B.V.Shoestring shoeps
Classifications
U.S. Classification24/712, 36/50.5, 36/50.1
International ClassificationA43C11/00
Cooperative ClassificationA43C11/00
European ClassificationA43C11/00