Patent application title: SHOE STRAP
Adan Alvarez (Los Angeles, CA, US)
IPC8 Class: AA43C1122FI
Class name: Buckles, buttons, clasps, etc. slit closing means including guides on opposite edges of slit and slidable bridging component having separate, independently movable, bridging components
Publication date: 2016-05-26
Patent application number: 20160143397
An elastic or fabric strap having a footed U-shaped hooks at each end,
that replaces conventional shoelaces by spanning across opposite shoe
lace holes as a means to fasten shoes firmly, comfortably, simply and
1. An elastic or fabric strap for spanning across opposite shoe lace
holes as a means to fasten shoes firmly, comprising: an elastic or fabric
strap of an appropriate length to span across opposite holes of a shoe;
two rectangular tabs, wherein one rectangular tab is mounted to each
short end of the strap; a footed U-shaped hook mounted to the rectangular
tab opposite to the strap, wherein the footed U-shaped hook is capable of
being inserted into a shoe lace hole.
2. The strap of claim 1, wherein the elastic strap has a circular cross-section.
3. The strap of claim 1 wherein the footed U-shaped hook is mounted near the center of the rectangular tab along its length.
4. The strap of claim 1, further comprising a second footed U-shaped hook mounted to the rectangular tab, and the first footed U-shaped hook and the second footed U-shaped hook are mounted equidistant from each other on the rectangular tab along its length.
5. The strap of claim 1, wherein the rectangular tab comprises upper jaw and lower jaw hingedly connected to each other, wherein the jaws receive an end of an elastic strip, and the jaws are capable of closing on the end of the elastic strap securing the elastic strap into the rectangular tab.
6. The strap of claim 5, further comprising a hooked ridge on each end of the upper jaw, and a grooved ridge on the end of the bottom jaw, so that when the upper jaw and lower jaw are pressed together, the hooked ridge engages the grooved ridge and create a snap.
7. The strap of claim 5, wherein the elastic strap has a circular cross-section.
8. The strap of claim 5, wherein the footed U-shaped hook is mounted near the center of the rectangular tab along its length.
9. The strap of claim 5, further comprising a second footed U-shaped hook mounted to the rectangular tab, and the first footed U-shaped hook and the second footed U-shaped hook are mounted equidistant from each other on the rectangular tab along its length.
CLAIM OF PRIORITY
 This patent application claims priority under 35 USC 119 (e) (1) from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 62/008,978 filed Jun. 6, 2014, of common inventorship herewith entitled, "Shoe Strap," which is incorporated herein by reference as though the same were set forth in its entirety.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention pertains to the field of footwear accessories, and more specifically to the field of foot laces.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 The prior art has put forth several designs for foot laces. Among these are:
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,822,844 to Daniel F. Mento describes a fastener replacing the laces in a shoe. The fastener consists of an elastic substance having an intersection, with a plurality of appendages protruding outward, and with a gusset and a half semicircle located at the end of the appendages.
 U.S. Pat. No. 4,777,705 to Oran D. Ingram describes a fastener replacing the laces in a shoe. The fastener is comprised of a strip of soft, elastomeric plastic material having openings near its ends for receiving posts on button members which also pass through shoe lace holes. The distal ends of the button posts have enlargements which are received in retainer members which are snapped onto the posts after the latter are in place in the shoe. The buttons and retainer members are preferably molded of elastomeric plastic material.
 U.S. Pat. No. 1,898,225 to George Szabo Lewis describes an important component in the provision of a shoe lace, preferably of a resilient nature. Using this shoe lace precludes tying the ends of the lace together subsequent to a complete lacing of the shoe as is now required by shoe laces of either the resilient or non resilient type.
 None of these prior art references describe the present invention.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 It is an object of the present invention to provide a set of elasticized fabric or elastic straps that replace conventional shoelaces with fabric or elastic straps for spanning across the shoe lace holes as a means to fasten shoes firmly, comfortably, simply and securely.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a prototypical diagonal side view of a sneaker type shoe containing the present invention as a means of securing the shoe on a wearer's foot.
 FIG. 2 is an illustrative close up diagonal view of the present invention showing a double strap style made with a flattened elastic material.
 FIG. 3 is an illustrative close up diagonal view of the present invention showing a single strap style made with a flattened elastic material.
 FIG. 4 is an illustrative close up diagonal view of the present invention showing a single strap style made with a rounded elastic material.
 FIG. 5 is a side view of the clip useful in an embodiment of the present invention.
 FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a clip useful for attaching the elastic strap to the hook.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 Inventions are always a product of vision and creativity whether they are world changing inventions like cars and computers or everyday conveniences like pump hairsprays, cordless tools and resealable soda bottles. New inventions like a cell phone change a person's life style, making communication more convenient and accessible virtually anywhere. Other inventions such as a snow scraper and brush combine two already existing inventions into an improved embodiment, reducing clutter in our lives and making a daily winter chores much easier. Often necessity combined with a little creativity is the underlying motivator for an invention. Most inventions fill a relatively small need or perform a specialized limited function. If that need is shared by a sufficient number of consumers, an invention has a great potential for success.
 Virtually every individual wears shoes, boots or sneakers. A commonly chosen shoe is one with tie up shoe laces that secure the shoe on one's foot and leg. A downside for people wearing these type of shoes is that they usually stop several times each day, to bend down and tie a loose shoelace.
 The present invention, hereinafter referred to as the Shoe Strap, is a trouble free shoe fastening system configured to replace conventional shoelaces for any style of tie up shoe, sneaker, or boot. Clean and neat in appearance, the Shoe Strap effectively stays fastened, looks good, and eliminates having to stop constantly and tie one's shoelaces. Shoe Strap replaces conventional shoelaces as a means to fasten shoes firmly, comfortably, simply and securely. Shoe Strap eliminates problems of broken laces or laces coming untied due to one's movement over the course of the day.
 Shoe Strap is a set of elastic or fabric straps that have a slim plastic or metal rectangular tab 12 on each end, this tab having a rounded, footed U shaped hook 32 on its underside.
 The rectangular tab 12 is shown in FIG. 6. The rectangular tab 12 receives the elastic or fabric strap 18 at one end and is connected to a footed U-shaped hook 32 a the opposite end. The end of the elastic strap is inserted into opening 2 created by open upper jaw 14 and open lower jaw 16. When the end of the strap is inserted into the opening 22, upper jaw 14 and lower jaw 16 are snapped together, thereby securing the elastic strap. Footed U-shaped hook 32 is securely inserted into rectangular tab 12 opposite to the elastic strap. Upper jaw 14 and lower jaw 16 are hingedly attached by hinge 34. Jaws snap together by means of a hooked ridge 36 on the end of the upper jaw 14 meeting a corresponding grooved ridge 38, when the two jaws are pressed together, the hooked ridge on the upper jaw engages the grooved ridge on the lower jaw, creating a snap. This snap, once closed cannot easily be opened, thereby securing the elastic or fabric strap to the rectangular tab.
 In an embodiment, the upper jaw strap engaging edge 26 is serrated and corresponds to the serrated lower jaw strap engaging edge 28. These serrated edges help to secure the strap in the rectangular tab. The Shoe Strap takes the place of a shoelace with these hooks connected into corresponding lacing eyes of shoes, sneakers or boots. One Shoe Strap crosses over a shoe's tongue of the shoe to connect each pair of eyes. The rectangular tabs that secure the Shoe Strap are hinged on the outer edge and have a serrated jaw on the inner border, so they adjust to accommodate a desired length of the elasticized strap. Once the desired length is attained, a wearer clamps the tab down on the strap.
 In an embodiment a clip, shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, is useful to secure the elasticized strap in place.
 The elasticized strap is manufactured in a wide range of colors from basic primary colors to bright neon tones, even glow in the dark materials. One embodiment, of the Shoe Strap shown in FIG. 2, is flat, slightly wide and rectangular in shape, and comprises a pair of hooks. A second embodiment, shown in FIG. 4, is round and narrow in shape, simulating a standard shoe lace. A third embodiment, shown in FIG. 2, is a double and broad Shoe Strap for boots, in which the Shoe Strap contains four hooks to accommodate four lacing eyes. Shoe Straps vary in length from approximately one to three inches in length, one eighth of an inch to two inches in width, and one sixteenth to one eighth of an inch in thickness or depth. The metal or plastic hooks and end tabs are sturdy and durable. These hooks are configured to slide easily into the shoe's lacing eyes and provide a secure but comfortable anchor for the strap style Shoe Strap.
 Easy to fit and use, Shoe Strap simplifies the process of lacing up and tying one's shoes and also makes one's shoes far more secure than traditional shoelaces. Shoe Straps stay tied and are impervious to knotting. Because Shoe Straps are durable and strong, it is very difficult to break them. Fashionable, functional and durable, the present invention will find a wide and enthusiastic reception in the consumer footwear markets.
 Although this invention has been described with respect to specific embodiments, it is not intended to be limited thereto and various modifications which will become apparent to the person of ordinary skill in the art are intended to fall within the spirit and scope of the invention as described herein taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings and the appended claims.