Patent application title: Shoes with Replaceable Design Pieces and Illumination
Luis Yohan Velez-Cruz (Juncos, PR, US)
IPC8 Class: AA43B2324FI
Class name: Boots and shoes shoe attachment (e.g., ornament, pocket, etc.) light-reflecting or illuminating means
Publication date: 2012-12-27
Patent application number: 20120324764
The invention describes a safety replaceable heel mechanism that is used
to adjust the height of women's shoes. The mechanism comprises a shoe
sole, a removable heel comprising a heel connector and an interchangeable
heel, and a locking key to securely connect the removable heel to the
shoe sole. The heel is detached and the shoe can be worn without the
heel, providing a pair of shoes suitable for different occasions. The
invention is provides a stable structure avoiding unwanted movement of
the removable heel for adjusting the comfort of a particular pair of
shoes during the course of a day.
1. A customizable shoe, comprising: a footwear having a hollow structure
having an outer surface and an inner surface, a plurality of pockets
formed across the footwear structure's inner surface, wherein each pocket
comprises an opening; a plurality of removable pieces, wherein said
removable pieces are configured to fit inside of at least one of said
pockets; and attaching means, wherein each attaching mean mechanically
connects at least adjacent replaceable pieces.
2. A customizable shoe, as in claim 1, wherein the footwear comprises: a first lateral side having a inner first pocket, a second lateral side having a second inner pocket, a toe cap having a third inner pocket and a back part having a fourth inner pocket.
3. A customizable shoe, as in claim 2, comprising an illumination circuit.
4. A customizable shoe, as in claim 3, wherein the illumination circuit comprises a power source, illumination means, a switch and a light generator.
5. A customizable shoe comprising: a footwear comprising a hollow structure including a first lateral side, a second lateral side, a toe cap and a back part; a plurality of pockets formed at the a hollow structure's inner surface comprising a inner first pocket, a second inner pocket, a third inner pocket and a fourth inner pocket; wherein each pocket comprises an opening; a plurality of removable pieces, wherein said removable pieces are configured to fit inside of at least one of said pockets; and attaching means, wherein each attaching mean mechanically connects at least adjacent replaceable pieces.
6. A customizable shoe, as in claim 5, further comprising an illumination circuit.
7. A customizable shoe, as in claim 6, wherein the illumination circuit comprises a power source, illumination means, a switch and a light generator.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 1. Field of the Invention
 The invention relates to shoes, more specifically to an innovative tennis shoe comprising a low heat illumination system with removable pieces that can be customized and replaced in order to personalize the design of the shoes.
 2. Discussion of the Background
 For ages clothing and apparel have been, aside from necessary, a form of expression for many individuals. Generations are defined by the fashions of the moment. People of all ages enjoy the use of stylish outfits and ensembles.
 However, most pieces of apparel reflect the ideas and taste of the individual that designs the article, and not necessarily the ones of the individual that purchase and use the piece. Furthermore, individuals tend to express his or her personality and style by combining the article purchased, such as shoes, with other wearing articles, such as matching clothing and accessories.
 Currently, most pieces of apparel are not easily capable of being customized or personalized. For example, some shoes, are made of a particular fabric or material, of a particular color, and are meant to be worn in a particular way. Although shoes can be combined with a plurality of other wearing articles, as mentioned above, it is likely that the piece will only be suitable for a particular type of occasion. For instance, an individual may choose a different style depending on a particular event he or she may be attending. However, the shoes suitable for social outings will most likely not be suitable as work attire. Therefore, an individual will probably select a different pair of shoes for a day of work at a hospital than for a concert.
 Individuals, therefore, invest a great amount of money in creating a varied wardrobe with pieces suitable for different types of occasions and the different styles that he or she prefers. Shoes, for example, involve a great investment, as they tend to be expensive.
 Several suggestions have been made which relate to the visual display of a picture or the like on a shoe. These displays are frequently in the form of a separate outwardly accessible side pocket disposed on the upper side portion of the shoe into which the picture is inserted. The pocket is provided with a plastic piece secured by stitching to the outside surface of the sneaker or to some other portion thereof. The top edge of the pocket is open thereby providing an opening slit into which the picture or other visual display is inserted.
 U.S. Pat. No. 2,801,477 issued to James Doe Adams, et al, discloses a shoe which can be customized with ornamental attachments. The ornamental attachments shown in Doe are placed as an overlay on the shoe and are therefore easily exposed to environmental elements. The ornamental attachments for shoes provide a distinctive and decorative character, limited to be located only at the shoe sides, which has interchangeable parts for use in accordance with one's individual preference in taste or dress. Doe shoe ornamental attachments are limited to images that are vertically fitted into a pocket, and therefore does not assists the structure's rigidity, more particularly the shoe structure in close contact with the foot. The pocket has an opening at the outer part of the shoe surface wherein said pocket is easily exposed to environmental elements, such as water or dust. Furthermore, no illumination is provided wherein the interchangeable parts are illuminated to create a more noticeable shoe or simply to locate a person in dark places.
 U.S. Pat. No. 4,516,337 issued to Jaroslav Aramik discloses a method for displaying a picture in a shoe. The picture is inserted in a pocket like compartment located at the shoe sides, wherein the entrance of the pocket is closed by shoelaces apparently avoiding the exposure of the picture to environmental elements. However, the use of shoelaces at the entrance of the pocket does not provide a complete protection due to the outer exposure of the pocket. Further, the picture or ornamental attachment does not assist with the shoe structure, more particularly the shoe structure in close contact with the foot.
 There is a demand for noticeable pieces of apparel, particularly shoes, that can be customized to represent the individual taste and personality of the individual that uses them and at the same time be adaptable for multiple occasions.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 In light of the above shortcomings of the methods available to adjust the style of a particular pair of tennis shoes, the present invention discloses a customizable shoe comprising a shoe's first lateral side having an inner first pocket, shoe's second lateral side having a second inner pocket, a shoe's toe cap having a third inner pocket and a shoe's back part having a fourth inner pocket; several replaceable pieces that can be removed or interchanged to alter the style of the shoe; and an illumination circuit. The present invention provides a customized shoe with replaceable pieces for adjusting the shoe structure and style of a particular pair of shoes for multiple occasions.
 Another object of the present invention is to provide a shoe structure that can be adjusted by removable pieces. Removable pieces are configured to fit inside inner pockets, wherein an attaching means connects the removable pieces together assisting with the shoe structure, more particularity the shoe rigidity. For example, in case a person has a foot injury that needs more space at a particular area of the foot, a particular removable piece is removed in order to provide a more comfortable area for the injury while covering the foot.
 Another object of the present invention is to provide removable pieces protected from environmental elements. The customized removable pieces are inserted in a pocket with an opening at the inner surface of the shoe; therefore the interaction with environmental elements is reduced.
 Another object of the invention is to provide a mechanism wherein the removable pieces can be designed by each individual. The removable pieces are made of a material that can be painted or altered in order to provide a customized removable piece.
 Another object of the invention is to provide removable pieces that will provide stability to the shoe. The use of removable pieces adjusted by attaching means provide a more stable shoe since each removable piece assists with the shoe rigidity.
 Another object of the present invention is to provide a more noticeable shoe with an illumination system incorporated into the shoe design. The shoe structure incorporates an electric circuit with illuminating means. The illumination means are controlled by an actuator or controlling mechanism that manages the illumination.
 To enable a better understanding of the objectives and features of the present invention, a brief description of the drawing below will be followed with a detailed description of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the preferred embodiment of the invention.
 FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the preferred embodiment of the invention while the removable piece is inserted into the pocket.
 FIG. 3 is an isometric view of a removable piece.
 FIG. 4 is an isometric view of a second embodiment of the removable pieces comprising springs.
 FIG. 5 is a side view of another embodiment of the invention comprising a fiber optic system.
 FIG. 6 is a side view of the fiber optic system.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention discloses the preferred embodiment of the invention wherein the embodiment can be made of different materials fitting a particular purpose as defined in the present invention, wherein the part of the material selection depends on the type of shoes, the weather in which the shoes will most likely be used in, the style and size of the shoes and the cost.
 FIG. 1 shows the preferred embodiment of the invention which comprises a customizable item of foot wear 1 that may resemble a tennis shoe comprising a shoe's first lateral side having an inner first pocket 8, shoe's lateral side having a second inner pocket 10, a shoe's toe cap 3 having a third inner pocket 7 and a shoe's back part having a fourth inner pocket 9. Further, the shoe 1 comprises a rubber sole 2, interior padding 4 for comfort and stability, a tongue 5 and laces 6 in order to properly adjust the fit.
 FIG. 2, is directed to the footwear 1 including the pocket structure. As mentioned, a shoe's first lateral side having a inner first pocket 8, a shoe's second lateral side having a second inner pocket 10, a shoe's toe cap 3 having a third inner pocket 7 and a shoe's back part having a fourth inner pocket 9. The preferred embodiment comprises pockets 7, 8, 9, 10 that can be accessed from the interior of the customizable shoe 1. The material use for the footwear 1 is a flexible or expandable material, such as synthetic fiber. The outer surface of the footwear pockets 7, 8, 9, 10 comprises a transparent overlay on the exterior of the shoe and an opening 11 wherein a removable piece 12 can be inserted. For the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the transparent overlay may be made from transparent plastic vinyl, a material widely available on the market. The transparent quality of the plastic vinyl will allow the design on the removable piece 12 to be visible towards the exterior of the shoes, while the waterproof quality of the material will protect the removable pieces 12 from wear, dirt, and weather.
 The opening 11, located at the inner surface of the shoe, is aligned with one of the edges of the pocket 7, 8, 9, 10, and will be as wide as the widest part of the removable piece 12. Each pocket is configured to fit at least a removable piece 12, wherein each removable piece is made of a rigid material, such as plastic. The use of a flexible material assists with the insertion of the rigid removable piece 12, wherein after the assembling of each removable piece 12 a more rigid side is achieved.
 The removable pieces 12, as shown in FIG. 3, comprise a piece of a rigid material capable of withstand torsion without deformation. The removable pieces 12 may be produced in a variety of colors, designs and textures, or can be left blank for the user's individual designs. In a separate embodiment of the invention, the removable pieces 12 may also include additional padding for the comfort and stability of the customizable shoe 1. The shape of the removable pieces 12 is selected from a preferred configuration that fits better the contour of the footwear 1 for a particular section or part. For example, the removable pieces 12 for the first pocket 8 may have a planar shape while the removable pieces 12 for the third pocket 7 may have a curved shape. Further each removable piece 12 matches the shape of the pockets 7, 8, 9, 10 in which they will be inserted, for example, in a rectangular or oval shape with uniform width, or continuously increasing width.
 The removable pieces, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, also are configured to include fabric hooks 13 and attaching means 14. The fabric hook 13 is located at the widest end of the removable piece 12 for easy removal after the removable piece 12 has been inserted into the pocket 7, 8, 9, 10. The attaching means 14 are configured to attach the removable pieces 12 to one another. Attaching the removable pieces provides a more rigid structure where the displacement of the removable pieces 12 is reduced.
 The attaching means 14 comprise an elastic structure, such as a spring 14, wherein said elastic structure is located at a distal end of the removable pieces 12. After inserting the removable pieces 12 into the pockets 7, 8, 9, 10, the removable pieces 12 are attached to one another by the springs 14, as shown in FIG. 4. When properly attached, the removable pieces 12 will not bend or slide within the pockets 7, 8, 9, 10. Therefore, the customizable shoe 1 will acquire added stability. The attaching means 14 may be made of an elastic or stretchable material which can be made integrally with the removable pieces 12. The elasticity of the attaching means 14 may be selected by the user, depending on the particular needs and the support desired. Further, the user may choose to adjust or connect some of the removable pieces 12 in order to provide a more flexible surface at a selected side of the footwear 1. Having a more flexible surface is useful in case the person using the footwear 1 need foot protection but less rigidity at the injured part of the foot.
 Further, in order to customize a particular customizable shoe 1, the user selects the desired combination of removable pieces 12. To insert the removable pieces 12 into the pockets 7, 8, 9, 10, the edge of the removable piece 12 opposite to the opening 11 will be inserted into the opening 11. The removable piece 12 is pushed into the pocket 7, 8, 9, until the edges of the removable piece 12 come into contact with the inner edges of the pocket 7, 8, 9, 10.
 Each removable piece 12 may be different in shape than the rest of the removable pieces 12 that are used in a singular pair of customizable shoes 1. The number of removable pieces 12 may vary depending on the number of pockets 7, 8, 9, 10 however is preferred that the numbers of removable pieces 12 be similar to number of pockets 7, 8, 9, 10. For example, the user must select a total of eight removable pieces 12 in order to fully customize the customizable shoes 1 with eight pockets.
 For example, an individual may purchase a gray pair of customizable shoes 1 and wear the shoes to work during the day without inserting any removable pieces 12 into the pockets 7, 8, 9, 10. After work, the user may adapt the same pair of customizable shoes 1 for a social gathering by inserting a set of colored removable pieces 12 into the pockets 7, 8, 9, 10, adding style to the wardrobe. Later at night, the user may use the same pair of customizable shoes 1 for a separate event with yet another set of removable pieces 12. Although the user will use a single pair of customizable shoes 1, it will appear as though the individual has used three different pairs of shoes.
 Yet another embodiment of the invention comprises an illumination system. The illumination system comprises an illumination means such as fiber optic 15, as shown in FIG. 5. The fiber optic 15 comprises a fiber optic rope 16 positioned along the edges of the pockets 7, 8, 9, 10 and along other sections of the customizable shoe 1. The fiber optic ropes 16 will be attached to one another by means of connecting ropes 17 that are located within the customizable shoe 1, and are not visible on the exterior of the customizable shoe 1. The web of fiber optic ropes 16 will be connected to a circuit 18, which comprises a casing, a light source, a battery and a switch. The light source emits light which is reflected through the fiber optic ropes 17. The light source will, in turn, be connected to a battery which will provide power to the light source. The switch will turn the fiber optic illumination on or off.
 The battery and the switch to control the circuit 18 may be located in several convenient locations on the customizable shoe 1. However, the location of the battery must be accessible for easy replacement and the location of the switch must be at reach in order for the individual to be able to easily turn the fiber optic 15 on or off. For this embodiment of the invention, the battery and the switch are placed inside the casing 18 on the tongue 5 of the customizable shoe 1, where both parts will be accessible.
 Aside from adding style the shoes, the added illumination of the customizable shoes 1 by the fiber optic 15 provides safety for those who perform nighttime activities. With the fiber optic 15 turned on, an individual walking or running on the street will be visible to oncoming vehicles, which may avoid accidents. The fiber optic 15 could prove to be very useful for police officers and other individuals directing traffic, jogging, or performing any other activities on the streets after dark. The removable pieces 12 could be used to further identify the individual as "Police", "Security", or any other label.
 The fiber optic system 15 offers illumination that is available in a variety of colors. Athletic teams may select a particular color as the color for their team. During games and other activities the color of the fiber optic system 15 on the customizable shoes 1 may be a key element to identify the members of a team. The replaceable pieces 12 could be used to further identify the colors of the team and portray the name of the team, the team mascot, or any other indicia.
 In summary of the previous sections, the invention presented here is structurally innovative, presents advantages not available at the moment with existing shoes, and complies with all patent application requirements submitted.
 While the invention has been described as having a preferred design, it is understood that many changes, modifications, variations and other uses and applications of the subject invention will, however, become apparent to those skilled in the art without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of this invention after considering this specification together with the accompanying drawings. Accordingly, all such changes, modifications, variations and other uses and applications which do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention are deemed to be covered by this invention as defined in the following claims and their legal equivalents. In the claims, means-plus-function clauses, if any, are intended to cover the structures described herein as performing the recited function and not only structural equivalents but also equivalent structures.
 All of the patents, patent applications, and publications recited herein, and in the Declaration attached hereto, if any, are hereby incorporated by reference as if set forth in their entirety herein. All, or substantially all, the components disclosed in such patents may be used in the embodiments of the present invention, as well as equivalents thereof. The details in the patents, patent applications, and publications incorporated by reference herein may be considered to be incorporable at applicant's option, into the claims during prosecution as further limitations in the claims to patentable distinguish any amended claims from any applied prior art.
Patent applications in class Light-reflecting or illuminating means
Patent applications in all subclasses Light-reflecting or illuminating means