Convertible thong beach shoe
A shoe sole which is convertible into a shoe. More particularly,
a shoe sole is constituted of a flexible material wherein predetermined
notch-like cut-outs and incisions may be provided in the shoe sole,
with the latter being in a generally planar condition while not
in use or when adapted to be stored and/or carried, and whereby
the shoe sole may then be bent along the predetermined incision
lines so as to cause deformed or bent portions thereof to engage
into respective of the cut-outs or notches so as to form a foot-receiving
shoe structure; for example, in the nature of a beach shoe, thong,
sandal or the like.
What is claimed is:
1. A convertible shoe construction constituted of a unitary component,
said component comprising an initially flexible planar member having
the configuration of a shoe sole; including elongate slits in respectively
the heel portion and toe portions of said shoe sole forming a strip
element at said heel portion and a strip element at said toe portion
each having the ends thereof connected to said shoe sole, said strip
element at the heel portion having cutouts formed at opposite edges,
whereby upon said heel strip element being bent upwardly and forwardly
above said shoe sole, said toe strip element is bent upwardly and
engages into said cutouts to form a thong-like shoe.
2. A convertible shoe construction as claimed in claim 1, wherein
said heel strip element is wider than said toe strip element so
as to form a shoe upper when engaged therewith.
3. A convertible shoe construction as claimed in claim 1, wherein
said elongate slits are curvilinear in correlation with the curvatures
of the shoe sole heel and tow and extend through the thickness of
said shoe sole.
4. A convertible show construction as claimed in claim 1, wherein
said shoe sole has a bottom surface having a texture inhibiting
slipping of a wearer of said shoe construction.
5. A convertible shoe construction as claimed in claim 1, wherein
said shoe sole is selected from the group of materials consisting
of natural rubber, synthetic rubber, neoprene, and elastomeric natural
materials and plastics.
6. A convertible shoe construction as claimed in claim 1, wherein
said sole material includes at least one coloring agent.
7. A convertible shoe construction as claimed in claim 1, wherein
said sole includes surface portions selectively imparted with decorative
patterns, indicia, designs, logos and decals.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
This Application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional application
Ser. No. 60/010,659 filed Jan. 26, 1996. The present invention relates
to a shoe sole which is convertible into a shoe. More particularly,
the invention is directed to a shoe sole which is constituted of
a flexible material wherein predetermined notch-like cut-outs and
incisions may be provided in the shoe sole, with the latter being
in a generally planar condition while not in use or when adapted
to be stored and/or carried, and whereby the shoe sole may then
be bent along the predetermined incision lines so as to cause deformed
or bent portions thereof to engage into respective of the cut-outs
or notches so as to form a foot-receiving shoe structure; for example,
in the nature of a beach shoe, thong, sandal or the like.
In general, the utilization and wearing of so-called beach shoes,
thongs, and sandals has found widespread application and public
approval inasmuch as such wear is generally comfortable when worn
on a beach or similar casual setting, while being inexpensive to
manufacture and readily made from colorful and decorative materials.
2. Discussion of the Prior Art
Although numerous types and kinds of such beach shoes, sandals
or shoe thongs are currently known and widely worn, most of these
are constituted of a plurality of assembled constituents, such as
the shoe sole and an upper shoe structure which is attached thereto
in order to form the entire shoe, thong or sandal construction.
This renders the manufacture of such shoe wear complicated in nature
and, resultingly, relatively expensive.
Reverting to the prior art in greater particularity, Stein U.S.
Pat. No. 5,438,767 discloses a sandal which includes adjustable
straps which are fastened to a flexible sole construction. In this
particular instance, the sandal is constructed of a multiplicity
of components which renders the sandal expensive to construct and
unable to be compactly stored and packaged.
Smith U.S. Pat. No. 4,267,649 discloses a shoe having a plurality
of strap members patchable to a sole structure. This also is of
a complex multicomponent construction and fails to provide the versatility
and flexibility of the present unitarily constructed thong beach
Smith U.S. Pat. No. 4,114,296 also includes a shoe which has detachable
upper portions which are constituted of separate components from
a sole. This is also a relatively complex arrangement.
Kennedy U.S. Pat. No. 3,798,803 discloses a beach sandal which
includes a plurality of strap mountable on a sole, and requires
various components including closures and straps, rendering the
construction complex and expensive.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
According to the present invention, the shoe construction which
is disclosed herein is produced from a single piece or unitary shoe
sole which is constituted of a generally flexible material, preferably
such as a natural or synthetic rubber or similar resiliently flexible
synthetic material, which may be suitably imparted with various
decorative colorings and/or designs so as to render the entire appearance
thereof aesthetically pleasing to a potential customer, and whereby
the shoe sole, which is initially of a planar or flat construction,
includes a plurality of through-extending incisions and notches
enabling it to be easily deformed into a shoe configuration ready
to be worn on the foot of a wearer, while eliminating the need for
the provision of additional shoe components in the formation of
In view of the foregoing it is an object of the present invention
to provide a convertible thong beach shoe which is constituted from
a single piece construction.
A more specific object of the invention resides in the provision
of a flexible shoe sole which incorporates incisions and cut-outs
enabling the sole to be bent into a configuration consistent with
a thong beach shoe, thereby rendering the structure simple and inexpensive.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Referring to a preferred embodiment of the invention, particular
reference may now be had to the accompanying drawings; in which:
FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a thong-like shoe formed
by the unitarily-constructed shoe sole;
FIG. 2 illustrates a plan view of the generally planar shoe sole
prior to being formed into the shoe of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 illustrates a side view of the shoe sole of FIG. 2.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Having specific reference to FIGS. 2 and 3 of the drawings, there
is illustrated a generally flat shoe sole construction 10, which
may be made in various sizes so as to be selectively fittable to
the foot sizes of a wide range of adult male or female, or children's
feet, as desired. In this case, in plan view the shoe sole 10 is
of a generally standard foot configuration and may be adapted to
either the left or right foot of a prospective wearer by simply
being molded or cut to the appropriate configuration, in this instance,
only a single shoe sole being illustrated in the drawing with the
sole for the other foot being essentially a mirror-image thereof.
The material for the shoe sole 10, as indicated hereinabove, may
be of any expediently flexible or elastomeric material, such as
natural or synthetic rubber, neoprene, or suitable flexible natural,
synthetic or plastic material. The shoe sole 10 may be of a nature
so as to have a bottom surface 11 of a texture providing non-skid
gripping engagement or contact with a potentially slippery floor
or ground in order to inhibit any slipping of the wearer of the
shoe, for example, when walking on a wet surface. The shoe sole
10 may be imparted suitable coloring agents and/or decorative patterns,
indicia, designs, logos and decals, during manufacture so as to
render the shoe structure aesthetically attractive to a potential
As shown in the plan view of FIG. 2, a pair of curvilinear slits
12, 14 are cut into the sole 10 so as to extend through the full
thickness thereof, with the slit 12 extending curvilinearly proximate
the heel portion 16 of the sole, so as to leave a relatively wide
strip 18 extending inwardly therealong; and with the slit 14 which
is also of a generally curvilinear configuration extending through
the thickness of the sole and being proximate the toe portion 20
of the shoe sole 10 so as to leave a somewhat narrower strip 22
extending along the toe edge portion thereof.
Formed proximate the heel end 24 of the planar shoe sole 10, and
at opposite sides thereof in the heel strip 18 are a pair of generally
rectangular cut-outs or notches 26, 28, the cross-section of each
being generally in conformance with the cross-section dimensions
of strip 22.
In order to form a complete shoe of thong configuration from the
initially flat or planar shoe sole 10, as illustrated in FIG. 1
of the drawings, it is merely necessary to pull up the heel strip
18 of the heel portion 16 defined by the ends 12a, 12b of slit 12
and to bend that heel portion upwardly and forwardly over the sole,
in the direction of arrow A. Thereupon, the toe strip 22 at the
toe portion 20 is bent upwardly over the forwardly bent heel strip
18 in the direction of arrow B so as to engage into the notches
26, 28 initially formed in the strip 18 of heel portion 16, and
which are now superimposed above the toe portion 20 of the sole
10 so as to form in conjunction therewith and engagement with the
portion of the sole 10 extending therebeneath the upper 30 of a
flexible shoe or thong, into which resulting space therebetween
the toes and front part of a wearer's foot may be readily inserted.
The foregoing, in a simple formative manner, by merely bending
the sole strip portion 18 containing the notches 26, 28 upwardly
and forwardly and engaging in the latter the other or toe strip
portion 22 of the sole, enables the unitary shoe sole 10 to be deformed
into a wearable shoe configuration.
The inventive structure completely eliminates the need for additional
shoe components and enables the entire construction to be inexpensively
formed from a unitary or single-piece initially flat shoe sole.
In the disengaged nature of the components, the entire shoe sole
is essentially a simple flat element which, in conjunction with
a mating similarly formed shoe sole for the other foot of a wearer,
may be compactly arranged in a suitable travel case or other storage
area, while taking up a minimum amount of space.
While there has been shown and described what are considered to
be preferred embodiments of the invention, it will, of course, be
understood that various modifications and changes in form or detail
could readily be made without departing from the spirit of the invention.
It is, therefore, intended that the invention be not limited to
the exact form and detail herein shown and described, nor to anything
less than the whole of the invention herein disclosed as hereinafter