(19)
(11)EP 3 653 072 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
20.05.2020 Bulletin 2020/21

(21)Application number: 19153750.5

(22)Date of filing:  25.01.2019
(51)Int. Cl.: 
A43C 9/04  (2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 16.11.2018 TW 107140722

(71)Applicant: Taiwan Paiho Limited
Chang Hwa Hsien (TW)

(72)Inventor:
  • CHENG, Allen
    Chang Hwa Hsien (TW)

(74)Representative: Prinz & Partner mbB 
Patent- und Rechtsanwälte Rundfunkplatz 2
80335 München
80335 München (DE)

  


(54)METAL CAP FOR SHOELACE TIP AND SHOELACE INCLUDING SAME


(57) One aspect of the present invention provides a metal cap (10) for a shoelace tip of a shoelace. The metal cap (10) includes a substantially cylindrical hollow body (11) having a length substantially equal to a length of a shoelace tip portion. The body (11) has a substantially closed first end (111), an open second end (112) opposite to the first end, and a peripheral wall (113) extending between the first and the second ends, wherein the peripheral wall includes a longitudinal slot (120) extending from the first end to the second end and a plurality of dents (130) aligned longitudinally from the first end to the second end at locations opposite to the longitudinal slot. The longitudinal slot is defined by a first side edge (121) and a second side edge (122) of the peripheral wall, wherein a protrusion (123) is formed at the first side edge and a notch (124) is formed in the second side edge at a position corresponding to the protrusion. A number of radially inwardly protruding teeth (140) are provided at a periphery of the open second end. Another aspect of the present invention provides a shoelace (40) including this metal cap (10).




Description

Field of the Invention



[0001] The present invention relates generally to a metal caps for shoelace tips and a shoelace including the metal caps.

Background of the Invention



[0002] Shoelaces are one of the most commonly used fastening devices to fasten shoes onto feet of a human. Generally, before wearing a shoe, a shoelace needs to be pierced sequentially through eyelets formed in the shoe and then a slipknot (such as, a bow-knot) is tied with the two end portions of the shoelace at a position close to a top line of the shoe so as to fasten the shoe to a foot.

[0003] Normally, a shoelace 1 is a string of woven fabrics with two hardened and downsized tips 2 for facilitating the piercing operation of the shoelace 1 through the eyelets formed in the shoe, as illustrated in Fig. 1. Additionally, a plastic hoop 3 is provided around the tip 2 to prevent the tip from being loosened due to wearing and the like during the use of the shoelace.

[0004] However, the tips of the shoelaces for heave duty shoes, such as hiking shoes, combat boots, etc., require extra protections to prevent the plastic hoops 3 from being wear-out or destroyed because of the harsh environment in which these heavy duty shoes work. Therefore, a protective metal cap 4 is provided to surround the plastic hoop 3 to provide additional protections that the tips of the shoelaces for heave duty shoes need. A traditional metal cap 4, as illustrated in FIG. 2, is a hollow cylindrical metal cap that has a longitudinal slot 5 formed in a peripheral wall and a number of dents 6 formed in the peripheral wall at positions opposite to the longitudinal slot 5. In use, the metal cap 4 is fit outside the plastic hoop 3 and then the metal cap 4 is squeezed with a clamping tool (not shown) to radially and circumferentially compress the metal cap 4 and to clamp the metal cap 4 onto the plastic hoop 3 with the dents 6 abutting the plastic hoop's peripheral wall.

[0005] Although the traditional metal cap may provide a certain degree of protection to the plastic hoop and to the tip portion of the shoelace, yet a main drawback of the traditional metal cap is that it is easy to separate from the plastic hoop because the bounding between the metal cap and the plastic hoop is not strong enough because it is provided merely by the compression force exerted onto the plastic hoop by the dents of the metal cap, and thus the protection provided by the metal cap no longer exists once it came off from the plastic hoop/tip portion of the shoelace.

[0006] Therefore, there exists a need in a shoelace industry for a metal cap that is able to be firmly attached to the plastic hoop/tip of a shoelace and will not easily come off from the plastic hoop/tip during the service life of the shoelace.

Summary of the Invention



[0007] In view of the above-mentioned drawback/problem associated with the existing metal cap used in a shoelace, one object of the present invention is to provide a reliable metal cap that can be firmly attached to the plastic hoop/tip of a shoelace and will not easily come off from the plastic hoop/tip during the service life of the shoelace. Another object of the present invention is to provide a shoelace that has this novel metal cap attached thereon.

[0008] According to a first aspect of the present invention, a metal cap for a shoelace is provided. The metal cap includes a substantially hollow cylindrical body having an inner space and a length in a longitudinal direction that is substantially equal to a length of a tip portion of the shoelace. The cylindrical body includes a substantially closed first end, an open second end opposite to the first end, and a peripheral wall extending from the first end to the second end. The metal cap further includes a fastening mechanism configured to allow the peripheral wall of the body to be circumferentially displaced with respect to the tip portion of the shoelace when subjected to a radial clamping force so as to permit the inner space of the body to be reduced; a first attaching mechanism provided in the peripheral wall of the body and configured to radially engage with a plastic hoop fit on the tip potion of the shoelace when the inner space of the body is reduced; and a second attaching mechanism configured to bit into the shoelace and abut an end edge of the plastic hoop when the inner space of the body is reduced.

[0009] According to an embodiment of the present invention, the fastening mechanism includes a longitudinal slot in the peripheral wall extending substantially from the first end to the second end of the body and defined by a first side edge and a second side edge of the peripheral wall and having a width between the first and second side edges. Preferably, the peripheral wall further includes a protrusion circumferentially protruding from the first side edge and a notch circumferentially recessed in the second side edge at a position corresponding to the protrusion.

[0010] According to the embodiment of the present invention, the first attachment mechanism includes a number of dents radially inwardly recessed in the peripheral wall. Preferably, the dents are formed at longitudinally aligned positions opposite to the longitudinal slot. The second attaching mechanism includes a number of teeth radially inwardly protruding from the open second end of the body. Preferably, the teeth are circumferentially evenly spaced apart from each other at the second end of the body.

[0011] According to a second aspect of the present invention, a shoelace is provided. The shoelace includes: a woven fabrics shoelace body; two tip portions each formed at an end of the shoelace body and having a length; two plastic hoops each fit and secured to one of the tip portions and has a length substantially equal to the length of the tip portion; and two metal caps according to above-mentioned first aspect of the present application each fit and secured to one of the tip portions by means of the engagement between the first attachment mechanism and the plastic hoop and the abutment/engagement between the second attachment mechanism and the plastic hoop/the shoelace body.

[0012] Other features and advantages of the present invention will become clear from reading the description of the present specification with reference to the accompanying drawings.

Brief Description of the Drawings



[0013] 

Fig. 1 is a schematic perspective view illustrating a prior art shoelace.

Fig. 2 is a schematic perspective view illustrating a prior art metal cap for a shoelace tip.

Fig. 3 is a schematic perspective view showing a metal cap for a tip portion of a shoelace according to an embodiment of a first aspect of the present invention.

Fig. 4A is a schematic exploded perspective view showing a shoelace according to a second aspect of the present invention.

Fig.4B is a schematic assembled perspective view of the shoelace shown in Fig. 4A.


Detailed Description of the Invention



[0014] Referring now to Fig. 3 in which a metal cap 10 for a shoelace according to a preferred embodiment of the first aspect of the present invention is illustrated to describe the present invention.

[0015] As shown in Fig. 3, the metal cap 10 for a shoelace includes a substantially hollow cylindrical body 11 having an inner space and a length in a longitudinal direction that is substantially equal to a length of a tip portion of the shoelace. The cylindrical body 11 includes a substantially closed first end 111, an open second end 112 opposite to the first end, and a peripheral wall 113 extending from the first end 111 to the second end 112. The metal cap 10 further includes a fastening mechanism configured to allow the peripheral wall 113 of the body 11 to be circumferentially displaced with respect to the tip portion of the shoelace when subjected to a radial clamping force so as to permit the inner space of the body to be reduced. According to the embodiment shown in Fig. 3, the fastening mechanism includes a longitudinal slot 120 in the peripheral wall 113 extending substantially from the first end 111 to the second end 112 of the body 11 and defined by a first side edge 121 and a second side edge 122 of the peripheral wall 113 and having a width H between the first and second side edges. Preferably, a protrusion 123 circumferentially protrudes from the first side edge 121 and a notch 124 is circumferentially recessed in the second side edge 122 at a position corresponding to the protrusion 123.

[0016] The metal cap 10 for a shoelace further includes a first attaching mechanism provided in the peripheral wall 113 of the body 11 and configured to radially engage with a plastic hoop fit on the tip potion of the shoelace when the inner space of the body is reduced (see Figs. 4A and 4B). According to the embodiment shown in Fig. 3, the first attachment mechanism includes a number of dents 130 radially inwardly recessed in the peripheral wall 113 of the body 11. Preferably, the dents 130 are formed at longitudinally aligned positions opposite the longitudinal slot 120. In other embodiments, the dents may be formed at positions randomly scattered on the peripheral wall 113.

[0017] Additionally, the metal cap 10 for a shoelace further includes a second attaching mechanism provided at the open second end 112 of the body 11 and configured to radially bit into the shoelace and abut an end edge 47 of a plastic hoop 46 fit on a tip portion 44 of the shoelace (see Figs. 4A and B) when the inner space of the body 11 is reduced. According to the embodiment shown in Fig. 3, the second attaching mechanism includes four teeth 140 radially inwardly protruding from the open second end 112 of the body 11. Preferably, the second attaching mechanism includes at least three teeth 140 which are circumferentially evenly spaced apart from each other at the second end 112 of the body 11. Although there are four semi-circle shaped teeth 140 shown in the embodiment illustrated in Fig. 3, yet the number and the shape of the teeth 140 are not limited to those illustrated in Fig. 3. For instance, there may be two or more teeth 140 provided at the second end 112 and the shape of the teeth 140 may be substantially triangle shape.

[0018] In use, the metal cap 10 of the present invention may be fit onto a plastic hoop 46 attached to a tip end portion 44 of a shoelace through the open second end 112 and secured to the shoelace by means of using a clamping tool (not shown) to apply a compression force onto the peripheral wall 113 of the body 11 to cause the peripheral wall 113 being circumferentially displaced, the slot 120 being closed and the internal of the body 11 being reduced, and thereby the dents 130 on the peripheral wall 113 engage with the plastic hoop 46 and the teeth 140 bite into the shoelace and abut the end edge 47 of the plastic hoop 46, as shown in Figs. 4A and 4B.

[0019] A shoelace 40 according to a second aspect of the present invention is illustrated in Figs. 4A and 4B. As shown, the shoelace 40 includes a shoelace body 42 formed of a woven fabrics; two tip portions 44 each formed at one end of the shoelace body 42 and having a length L; two plastic hoops 46 each fit and secured to one of the tip portions 44 and having a length substantially equal to the length L of the tip portion 44; and two metal caps 10 according to above-mentioned first aspect of the present application each fit and secured to one of the tip portions 44 by means of the engagement between the first attachment mechanism (e.g., the dents 130) and the plastic hoop 46 and the abutment/engagement between the second attachment mechanism (e.g., the teeth 140) and the end edge 47 of plastic hoop 46/the shoelace body 42.

[0020] Because the metal cap 10 of the present invention comprises the unique structural features described above, the metal cap 10 of the present invention can provide a much stronger bonding between the metal cap and the shoelace. Specifically, for a shoelace having traditional metal caps attached to its tip portions, it usually only requires a force approximately 15kg to detach the traditional metal cap from the shoelace tip potion. For the metal cap 10 of the present invention on the other hand, according to results obtained from the tests performed by the inventor, it takes up to a force of approximately 25kg to separate metal cap 10 for the shoelace. That is, the metal cap of the present invention can provide at least 60% higher bonding capability than the traditional metal caps can, and this in turn can provide the shoelace a even longer effective service life. Therefore, the metal cap and the shoelace having the metal cap of the present invention are creations that have a great industrial applicability.

[0021] Although the metal cap for a shoelace and the shoelace having the metal cap of present invention have been described above according to the preferred embodiments thereof, it is not intend to limit the scope of the present invention to specific structural features described above. In fact, there exist various modifications and variations under the principle and spirit disclosed above. It will be apparent to people skilled in this art that many modifications can be made to the disclosed structures without departing from the scope of the invention. Therefore, it is the intent of the appended claims to cover all such variations and modifications as come within the sprit and scope of this invention.


Claims

1. A metal cap (10) for a shoelace, comprising:

a substantially hollow cylindrical body (11) having an inner space and a length in a longitudinal direction that is substantially equal to a length of a tip portion of the shoelace, wherein the cylindrical body (11) has a substantially closed first end (111), an open second end (112) opposite to the first end (111), and a peripheral wall (113) extending from the first end (111) to the second end (112);

a fastening mechanism configured to allow the peripheral wall (113) of the body (11) to be circumferentially displaced with respect to the tip portion of the shoelace when subjected to a radial compression force so as to permit the inner space of the body (11) to be reduced;

a first attaching mechanism provided in the peripheral wall (113) of the body (11) and configured to radially engage with a plastic hoop fit on the tip potion of the shoelace when the inner space of the body (11) is reduced; and

a second attaching mechanism configured to bit into the shoelace and abut an end edge of the plastic hoop when the inner space of the body (11) is reduced.


 
2. A metal cap (10) for a shoelace according to claim 1, wherein the second attaching mechanism includes a number of teeth (140) radially inwardly protruding from the open second end (112) of the body (11).
 
3. A metal cap (10) for a shoelace according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the fastening mechanism includes a longitudinal slot (120) in the peripheral wall (113) extending substantially from the first end (111) to the second end (112) of the body (11) and defined by a first side edge (121) and a second side edge (122) of the peripheral wall (113) and having a width (H) between the first and second side edges.
 
4. A metal cap (10) for a shoelace according to claim 3, wherein the peripheral wall (113) further has a protrusion (123) circumferentially protruding from the first side edge (121) and a notch (124) circumferentially recessed in the second side edge (122) at a position corresponding to the protrusion (123).
 
5. A metal cap (10) for a shoelace according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the first attachment mechanism includes a number of dents (130) radially inwardly recessed in the peripheral wall (113).
 
6. A metal cap for a shoelace according to claim 5, wherein the dents (130) are formed at longitudinally aligned positions opposite the longitudinal slot (120).
 
7. A shoelace (40), comprising:

a woven fabrics shoelace body (42);

two tip portions (44) each formed at one end of the shoelace body (42) and having a length (L);

two plastic hoops (46) each fit and secured to one of the tip portions (44) and has a length substantially equal to the length (L) of the tip portion (44); and

two metal caps (10) according to any one of claims 1-6 each fit and secured to one of the tip portions (44) by means of the engagement between the first attachment mechanism and the plastic hoop (46) and the abutment/engagement between the second attachment mechanism and the plastic hoop (46) /the shoelace body (42).


 




Drawing