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Title:
LACING SYSTEM FOR CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/197932
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A lacing system for clothing or footwear is disclosed, comprising one or more laces (1; 5, 7; 10, 11; 10F, 11F), characterised in that said laces have at least part of at least one non-smooth surface and which are rotated in the path between a closing flap (23; 39; 48; 59; 64) and the other (24; 40; 49; 60; 65) of the garment or of the upper of the shoe, so as to maintain parallel and adherent to each other. The present invention also relates to a kit for obtaining a lacing system to be applied to a garment or to a shoe, as disclosed above.

Inventors:
ROMAGNOLI, Alberto (Via Santa Maria Goretti 37, Milano, 60010, IT)
Application Number:
IB2019/052536
Publication Date:
October 17, 2019
Filing Date:
March 28, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ENERGY SEEKERS S.R.L. (Via Santa Maria Goretti 37, Ostra, 60010, IT)
International Classes:
A43C1/00; A41F1/00; A43C1/04; A43C7/00; A43C9/00
Foreign References:
US20170231325A12017-08-17
GB2394165A2004-04-21
US20130199006A12013-08-08
EP2622979A22013-08-07
US5016327A1991-05-21
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VATTI, Francesco Paolo et al. (Fumero S.r.l, Via S. Agnese 12, Milano, 20123, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1) Lacing system for clothing or footwear, comprising one or more laces (1; 5, 7; 10, 11; 10F, 11F) , characterised in that said laces are overlapped, coupled and rotated around the axis of the coupling surface in at least one path between one closing flap (23; 39) and the other (24; 40) of the garment or of the upper of the shoe or in at least one path between the eyelets (15, 20) of the components (12W, 17W) anchored to the closing flaps (49, 48; 60, 59) of the garment or of the upper of the shoe or in at least one path between the eyelets (14, 19) of the components (12, 17) or of the end (12F, 17F) anchored to the closing flaps (49, 48; 60, 59; 65, 64) of the garment or of the upper of the shoe.

2) Lacing system as claimed in claim 1), characterised in that the laces (1 or 5, 7 or 10, 11 or 10F, 11F) overlapped and coupled perform at least a winding path around the closing flaps (23, 24 or 39, 40) of the garment or of the upper of the shoe or at least a winding path around the components (12W, 17W) or the components (12, 17) or the ends (12F, 17F) anchored to the closing flaps (49, 48; 60, 59; 65, 64) of the garment or of the upper of the shoe.

3) Lacing system as claimed in claim 2), characterised in that the ends (2, 3) of the laces (1 or 5, 7 or 10, 11) are first inserted alternatively from inside to outside and from outside to inside into the eyelets (32, 31 and 26, 25; 45, 44 and 42, 41) which are present on closing flaps (respectively 24, 23; 40, 39) of the garment or the upper of the shoe, and in that the ends (3, 2) of the laces (1 or 5, 7 or 10, 11), are then inserted alternatively from inside to outside and from outside to inside into the eyelets (31, 32 and 25, 26; 44, 45 and 41, 42) which are present on the closing flaps (24, 23; 40, 39, respectively) of the garment or of the upper of the shoe, overlapping and thereby coupling the respective half-bodies (4T, 9T) of the lace (1) or the bodies (4, 9; 4M, 9M) of the laces (5, 7; 10, 11), and in that, furthermore, the end (2; 3), alone, is inserted in the eyelet on the side (27; 33 or 43; 46) of the closing flap (23; 24 or 39, 40) of the garment or of the upper of the shoe.

4) Lacing system as claimed in claim 2), characterised in that the ends (2, 3) of the laces (1 or 5, 7 or 10, 11) are inserted first into the slots (16, 15; 21, 20), alternatively from the intrados to the extrados, from the extrados towards the intrados of the components (12W, 17W) , anchored to the closing flaps (49, 48; 60, 59) of the garment or of the upper of the shoe, and in that the ends (3, 2) are inserted, in turn, into the slots (15, 16; 20, 21) , alternatively from the intrados towards the extrados and from the extrados to the intrados of the components (12W, 17W) anchored to the closing flaps (49, 48; 60, 59) of the garment or of the upper of the shoe, overlapping and thereby coupling, in the path comprised between the slots (15, 16; 20, 21), the half-bodies (4T, 9T) of the lace (1) or the bodies (4, 9; 4M, 9M) of the laces (5, 7 or 10, 11) .

5) Lacing system as claimed in claim 2), characterised in that the ends (2, 3) of the laces (1 or 5, 7 or 10, 11 or 10F,

11F) are inserted first into the slots (16, 15, 14; 21, 20, 19), alternatively from the intrados to the extrados, from the extrados to the intrados and from the intrados to the extrados of the components (12, 17) or of the ends (12F, 17F) , anchored to the closing flaps (49, 48; 60, 59; 65, 64) of the garment or of the upper of the shoe, and in that the ends (3, 2) are threaded, in turn, into the slots (14, 15, 16; 19, 20, 21), alternatively from the extrados to the intrados, from the intrados towards the extrados and from the extrados to the intrados of the components (12, 17) or of the ends (12F, 17F) , anchored to the closing flaps (49, 48; 60, 59; 65, 64) of the garment or of the upper of the shoe, overlapping and thereby coupling, in the path between the slots (14, 15, 16; 19, 20,

21), the half-bodies (4T, 9T) of the lace (1) or bodies (4, 9;

4M, 9M; 4F, 9F) of the laces (5, 7 or 10, 11 or 10F, 11F) .

6) Lacing system as claimed in any one of the previous claims, characterised in that a lace (1) is used comprising two ends (2, 3) and a single body, ideally divided by a left portion (4T) and a right portion (9T) .

7) Lacing system as claimed in any one of claims 1) to 5), characterised in that it provides two laces (5 and 7; 10 and 11) which have, respectively, one end (2 and 3), a body (4, 9; 4M, 9M) and a crossmember ( 6T and 8T; 6M and 8M) apt to engage with the eyelets which are present in the flaps of the garment or of the shoe (30, 36; 42, 45; 53, 57; 61, 62) .

8) Lacing system as claimed in any one of claims 1) to 5), characterised in that it provides two components (12W, 17W) which have on their surface a series of eyelets, among which the slots (15, 16; 20, 21) sized to allow at least the simultaneous passage of both the half-bodies (4T e 9T) of the lace (1) or of both bodies (4, 9; 4M, 9M) of the laces (5, 7 or 10, 11) or sized to allow at least the double passage of any lace available on the market .

9) Lacing system as claimed in any one of claims 1) to 5), characterised in that it provides two components (12, 17) which have on their surface a series of slots, among which the slots (14, 15, 16; 19, 20, 21) sized to allow at least the simultaneous passage of both the half-bodies (4T e 9T) of the lace (1) or of both bodies (4, 9; 4M, 9M) of the laces (5, 7 or 10, 11) or sized to allow at least the double passage of any lace which is available on the market and the slots (13; 18) sized to allow at least the single passage of a single lace (1; 5, 7; 10, 11) or sized to allow at least the single passage of any lace available on the market.

10) Lacing system as claimed in any one of claims 1) to 5), characterised in that it provides two laces (10F and 11F) which have, respectively, a narrower end (2 and 3) , a body (4F e 9F) and a broader end (12F and 17F) , which comprises at least three slots (14, 15, 16 and 19, 20, 21) through which the body (4F) of the same lace and the body (9F) of the other lace can simultaneously pass.

11) Lacing system, as claimed in any one of claims 1) to 6) and 9), which provides a lace (1) which has two ends (2 and 3), characterised in that each end (2; 3) is passed through the eyelets (57, 52, 55, 54; 53, 56, 51, 50) arranged in pairs and in a line on the opposite closing flaps (49; 48) of the garment or of the upper and in that said ends (2; 3) of the lace (1) are inserted, respectively, into slots (16, 15) which are present on the component (12W) and into slots (21, 20) which are present on the component (17W), and in that in the path between the slots (15, 20) of the components (12W, 17W) , the half-bodies (4T and 9T) of the lace (1) are overlapped, coupled and rotated, and in that, furthermore, said ends (2; 3) are inserted, overlapping and coupling the half-bodies (4T and 9T) , into slots (20, 21) which are respectively present on component (17W) and into slots (15, 16) which are present on component (12W) .

12) Lacing system, as claimed in any one of claims 1) to 5) and 8), 9), which provides two laces (5 and 7) which have, respectively, one end (2 and 3), a body (4, 9) and a crossmember (6T and 8T) , characterised in that the crossmembers ( 6T and 8T) are apt to anchor in the eyelets (53 and 57) found on the flaps of the garment or of the upper, and in that each end (2; 3) is passed through the eyelets (57, 52, 55, 54; 53, 56, 51, 50) arranged in pairs and in line on the opposite closing flaps (49; 48) of the garment or of the upper and in that said ends (2; 3) of the laces (5, 7) are inserted, respectively, into slots (16, 15) which are present on component (12W) and into slots (21, 20) which are present on component (17W) , and in that, in the path between the slots (15, 20) of the components (12W, 17W) , the bodies (4, 9) of the lace (5, 7) are overlapped, coupled and rotated, and in that said ends (2; 3) are inserted, overlapping and coupling the bodies (4 and 9), into slots (20, 21) which are respectively present on component (17W) and into slots (15, 16) which are present on component (12W) .

13) Lacing method, comprising a system as claimed in any one of claims 1) to 6) and 9), which provides a lace (1) which has two ends (2 and 3), characterised in that each end (2; 3) is passed through the eyelets (57, 52, 55, 54; 53, 56, 51, 50) arranged in pairs and in a line on the opposite closing flaps (49; 48) of the garment or of the upper and in that said ends (2; 3) of the lace (1) are inserted, respectively, into slots

(13, 16, 15, 14) which are present on the component (12) and into slots (18, 21, 20, 19) which are present on the component (17), and in that in the path between the slots (14, 19) of the components (12, 17), the half-bodies (4T and 9T) of the lace (1) are overlapped, coupled and rotated, and in that, furthermore, said ends (2; 3) are inserted, overlapping and coupling the half-bodies (4T and 9T) , into slots (19, 20, 21) which are respectively present on component (17) and into slots (14, 15,

16) which are present on component (12) .

14) Lacing method, comprising a system as claimed in any one of claims 1) to 5) and 8), 9), which provides two laces (5 and 7) which have, respectively, one end (2 and 3), a body (4, 9) and a crossmember (6T and 8T) , characterised in that the crossmembers ( 6T and 8T) are apt to anchor in the eyelets (53 and 57) found on the flaps of the garment or of the upper, and in that each end (2; 3) is passed through the eyelets (57, 52,

55, 54; 53, 56, 51, 50) arranged in pairs and in line on the opposite closing flaps (49; 48) of the garment or of the upper and in that said ends (2; 3) of the laces (5, 7) are inserted, respectively, into slots (13, 16, 15, 14) which are present on component (12) and into slots (18, 21, 20, 19) which are present on component (17), and in that, in the path between the slots (14, 19) of the components (12, 17), the bodies (4, 9) of the lace (5, 7) are overlapped, coupled and rotated, and in that said ends (2; 3) are inserted, overlapping and coupling the bodies (4 and 9), into slots (19, 20, 21) which are respectively present on component (17) and into slots (14, 15, 16) which are present on component (12) .

15) Lacing system, as claimed in any one of claims 1) to 5) and 8), 9) which provides two laces (10 and 11) which have, respectively, one end (2 and 3), a body (4M, 9M) and a crossmember ( 6M and 8M) , characterised in that the crossmembers (6M and 8M) are apt to engage with the eyelets of the flap of the garment or of the upper of the shoe, and in that each narrower end (2; 3) is passed, in sequence, from the inside of the garment or shoe, towards the outside through at least one eyelet (62; 61) which is present on a closing flap (60; 59) of the garment or of the upper of the shoe, into a first slot (16; 21) which is present in the component (12W; 17W) , into a second slot (15; 20) of the same component (12W; 17W) , and in that the bodies (4M, 9M) of laces (10, 11) are overlapped, coupled and rotated in the path between the slots (15, 20) of components (12W, 17W) , hence the end (2; 3) is inserted, overlapping and coupling the bodies (4M and 9M) , into the second slot (20; 15) of the other component (17W; 12W) , hence into the first slot (21; 16) of the other component (17W; 12W) .

16) Lacing method, comprising a system as claimed in any one of claims 1) to 5) and 8), 9) which provides two laces (10 and 11) having, respectively, one end (2 and 3), a body (4M, 9M) and a crossmember ( 6M and 8M) , characterised in that the crossmembers (6M and 8M) are apt to join with the eyelets (13, 18) of the components (12 and 17), crossmembers of the same or different material of the bodies (4M and 9M) , and in that each narrower end (2; 3) is passed, in sequence, from the inside of the garment or of the shoe, towards the outside through at least one eyelet (62; 61) which is present on a closing flap (60; 59) of the garment or of the upper of the shoe, into a first slot (16; 21) which is present in the component (12; 17), into a second slot (15; 20) of the same component (12; 17), and into a third slot (14; 19) of the same component (12; 17), and in that the bodies (4M, 9M) of the laces (10, 11) are overlapped, coupled and rotated in the path between the slots (14, 19) of the components (12, 17), the end (2, 3) is then inserted, overlapping and coupling the bodies (4M and 9M) , into the third slot (19; 14) of the other component (17; 12), hence into the second slot (20; 15) and finally again into the first slot (21; 16) of the other component (17; 12) .

17) Lacing system as claimed in any one of claims 1) to 5) and 10) characterised in that each narrower end (2; 3) of the two laces (10F; 11F) is passed, in sequence, from the inside of the garment or of the shoe, towards the outside through at least one eyelet (62; 61) which is present on a closing flap (60; 59) of the garment or of the upper of the shoe, into a first slot (16; 21) which is present in the broader part (12F; 17F) of the same lace (10F; 11F) , into a second slot (15; 20) of the same lace, and into a third slot (14; 19) of the same lace, and in that in the path between the slots (14, 19) which are present in the broader part (12F; 17F) of the same lace (10F; 11F) , the bodies (4F, 9F) of the lace (10F; 11F) are overlapped, coupled and rotated, and in that said end (2, 3) is then inserted, overlapping and coupling the bodies (4F and 9F) , into the third slot (19; 14) of the other lace (11F; 10F) , hence into the second slot (20; 15) and finally again into the first slot (21; 16) of the other lace (11F; 10F) .

18) Lacing system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that the laces (1; 5, 7; 10, 11; 10F, 11F) and components (12W, 17W; 12, 17) are made of a material which has a value of the shore ranging between 60 and 100.

19) Lacing system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that the laces (1; 5, 7; 10, 11; 10F, 11F) and components (12W, 17W, 12, 17) are made of a material chosen among natural polymers (such as rubber) or synthetic polymers (for example PVC, silicone, rubbers, polyurethane, TPU) , of natural or synthetic leather or of a coupling thereof or in combination with a film of non-stretching material which limits the deformability thereof or they can be manufactured by weaving natural materials (for example cotton) or synthetic materials (for example nylon, polyester, polypropylene).

20) Lacing system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that it comprises also one or more systems for locking the laces (1; 5, 7; 10, 11; 10F, 11F) .

21) Lacing system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that said rotation of said laces (1; 5, 7; 10, 11; 10F, 11F) in the path between the eyelets (25, 31) of the flaps (23, 24) or between the eyelets (41, 44) of the flaps (39, 40) of the garment or of the upper of the shoe or between the slots (15, 20) of components (12W, 17W) or between the slots (14, 19) of components (12, 17) or between the ends (12F, 17F) of the laces (10F, 11F) anchored to the flaps (48, 49; 59, 60; 64, 65) of the garment or of the upper of the shoe, occurs rotating the ends (2, 3) both in a clockwise direction or both in an anticlockwise direction with respect to the flap of origin .

22) Lacing system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that it is applied to formal footwear, to sports footwear and to technical footwear (hiking boots, safety shoes) .

23) Lacing system as claimed in any one of claims 1) to 21) , characterised in that it is applied to trousers, skirts, evening dresses and aprons or for the adjustment of hats, gloves, bags and backpacks.

24) Kit for obtaining a lacing system to be applied to an existing garment, accessory or shoe as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that it comprises at least one lace (1) or at least one pair of laces (5, 7; 10, 11) together with a pair of components (12W, 17W; 12, 17) or at least one pair of laces (10F, 11F) and instructions apt to indicate to the user how to apply the laces and the components to an item of clothing, to an accessory or to a shoe.

25) Shoe or accessory, characterised in that it comprises a lacing system as claimed in any one of claims 1) to 23) .

26) Item of clothing or accessory, characterised in that it comprises a lacing system as claimed in any one of claims 1) to 23) .

Description:
LACING SYSTEM FOR CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR

DESCRIPTION

The present invention relates to a lacing system for clothing and footwear, which allows a garment or a shoe to be tied and untied very quickly, simply and safely, also correctly adjusting the extent of a closure and the desired tension to be applied to the part of the body affected by the garment or to the foot.

Footwear is part of clothing from unmemorable time. Since ancient times, indeed, foot protection while walking, especially against obstacles, sharp objects, stinging plants, puddles, dirt, ice and heat, has been extremely important.

Generally, a shoe looks like a set of parts, normally present in each item. Therefore, each shoe has a sole, usually a heel (even if there are ones not having it at all or having a simple protrusion of the sole itself) and an upper. The foot rests on the sole and is covered and protected against the outside by the upper. The word "upper" herein covers a very broad meaning, since, for example in sandals, it is widely open or completely replaced by a certain number of stripes and does not give the foot a complete covering.

A critical point in footwear is precisely the upper. Indeed, it must be sufficiently open to allow the foot to be inserted therein. However, the opening required to insert the foot is per se such as to allow the latter to escape from the upper itself, thus losing the shoe. For this reason, all known footwear, even the oldest ones, provide means for keeping the shoe anchored to the foot during walking, normally narrowing the opening for the insertion of the foot. Such anchoring means (closure) must, however, be able to allow the desired exit of the foot for the removal of the shoe at the end of its use.

The means for keeping the shoe anchored to the foot are the most diverse. In sandals (which are perhaps the oldest type of footwear) , there is a belt that is normally passed through a special buckle. Usually, the belt has a series of through holes, normally equidistant, within which a barb can be inserted, which is present in the buckle: the belt is inserted into the buckle, pulling it until the foot is as tight as desired, then the barb of the buckle is inserted into the desired through hole - the closest to the optimal tension - so as to firmly lock the belt, tightening it approximately as desired. Normally, the tension remains stable throughout the walk. A system of this type, suitable for sandals, is however rather unsightly in other types of shoe and is quite rare to be seen. Moreover, it is not excluded the case of particularly thin or, on the contrary, large or wide feet, for which the through holes are normally arranged in unsuitable positions, so as to make the shoe excessively wide (with the risk of a wrong walk or even to lose the shoe anyway) or excessively tight (with the risk of obstructing blood circulation and making the feet sore) .

The most common type of closure for footwear is still nowadays represented by laces. These are ropes of different materials (usually textiles or leather/hide leather) that are inserted in through holes on the two sides of the opening of the upper, protected by special eyelets made of rigid material (metal or plastic) , sending each end of the lace on two sides alternatively and leaving the two ends free at the instep. Pulling the ends of the lace, the opening of the upper narrows, tightening the upper around the foot, to the desired size. At this point, the laces are tied together, normally to form a bow, which blocks the laces at the desired tension. This system, simpler than the previous one, present a first drawback in that, with the tension exerted by the walk, the two ends of the lace tend to move with respect to each other and to the parts to which they are tied, thus tending to enlarge the opening, often until it opens completely, so that those who wear shoes, during a walk, often have to bend down to retie them. Furthermore, the bow is not easy to do and it can even be prohibitive, for example, for children, but sometimes also for the elderly.

Thoughts similar to those made so far apply, mutatis mutandis, to the lacing of clothing, such as trousers, skirts, evening dresses, aprons or for the adjustment of hats and gloves, in which sometimes also the position of the lacing system increases the difficulties. For the sake of brevity, the state of the art related to the lacing of trousers and hats is briefly discussed.

In trousers, the most widespread closure system at the sides of the body consists of a button placed on a flap that engages in a correspondingly sized slot, placed on the opposite flap, performing the closure and keeping the two flaps together. Although conceptually simple, inserting the button in the slot can be rather uncomfortable, if the slot is tight, or it may not be sufficiently stable, if the slot is wide. However, a certain strength is needed, which can result in a problem for the elderly and for children. Sometimes, then, the position of at least one of the two flaps is such as to make the button and/or the slot almost inaccessible (or in any way difficult to access) . It should also be noted that this lacing system absolutely does not allow the adjustment of the tension, since for a button and a slot only one tension is possible, which could adapt in a non-optimal way to the wearer of the trousers. Thus, it is common for trousers, once buttoned up, to be too wide or too tight, making them uncomfortable in both cases. In general, if they are too wide, an attempt is made to work with a belt, but the results are not optimal, while the braces are now mostly perceived as anachronistic.

The lacing of hats is different. There are systems that allow also the adjustment of tension, so as to adapt to the circumference of the head that carries the hat. The most widespread system is the one using Velcro or similar. There is also a system with a pierced tongue, the holes of which can be adapted to a pin present on an opposite tongue. However, it is not possible to lock the desired tension state, since Velcro does not allow the two flaps to be brought closer together and the pin-hole system allows only moderate tension states.

In footwear, a solution to the drawbacks of the laces has been proposed by the manufacturers of children's shoes, which have created the straps: a rather wide strip, carried on one side of the upper, which is inserted in a slot on the other side of the upper, then turning it over on itself; the strip is then closed with a Velcro type system. This system, which is usually quite functional, is however not very aesthetic (completely unsuitable for elegant footwear) and does not allow a uniform closing of the opening on the upper.

The applicant, with the application W02016/020 898 had proposed a lacing system for footwear, comprising a shoe, with an upper with right and left edges and a pair of laces. The laces are characterised by the presence of at least one hole and at least one slit on its surface. The shoe has at least one pair of eyelets, one on the right edge and one on the left edge. The closure of said upper is obtained by passing one end of each of said laces first through an eyelet, then through the groove present on the same lace, then sending the other end towards the other side. Each of the laces has a second slit, apt to allow the end of the other string to pass through its inside, while the other end enters the first slit. In this way, to move the left and right edges towards each other to close the upper, the ends of the laces are simultaneously pulled outwards. Although this system is very simple to be used, it still exhibits some drawbacks. In particular, it is in any case necessary to provide stop devices, preferably consisting of pins, fixed to the upper, which must be inserted in one of the through holes provided on each of the laces. In this way, it can be a bit complicated to reopen the shoe after walking and it may be required to use some force, both to lock and to unlock the lace in the pin; on the other hand, although conceptually this system must function even without these stopping devices, in fact the walk, in a relatively short time, leads to the reopening of the shoe, with problems that are thus again created.

GB 2 394 165 relates to a shoe lace, comprising a cord, stiffened with a metal wire core and having a stop on one end, manufactured as a plate with two holes on its surface. The other end is manufactured as in normal laces. The cord is passed between two holes of the upper and fixed, twisting the stop. And by causing the end of a normal lace to go through the two holes of the stop.

The underlying problem of the invention is to propose a lacing system for clothing or footwear that overcomes the aforementioned drawbacks and allows to easily fasten and unfasten the clothing or footwear to which it is applied, when the garment or shoe is fastened, the closure remaining stable and with the desired degree of tension which remains stable and which can be chosen in a substantially exact manner. This object is achieved through a lacing system for clothing or footwear, comprising one or more laces, characterised in that said laces are overlapped, coupled and rotated around the axis of the coupling surface in at least one path between one closing flap and the other of the garment or of the upper of the shoe or in at least one path between the slots of the components anchored to the closing flaps of the garment or of the upper of the shoe or in at least one path between the slots of the components or of the end anchored to the closing flaps of the garment or of the upper of the shoe. The dependent claims disclose preferred features of the invention.

Further features and advantages of the invention will anyhow be more apparent from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment, given by mere way of non-limiting example and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein:

Fig. 1 is a plan view of a lace to be employed in the lacing system according to the present invention, based on a preferred embodiment;

Figs. 2A, 2B are plan views of a pair of laces, to be employed in the lacing system according to the present invention, based on an alternative embodiment;

Figs. 3A, 3B are plan views of a pair of laces, to be employed in the lacing system according to the present invention, based on a further alternative embodiment;

Figs. 4A, 4B are plan views of a pair of components to be employed in combination with the lace 1 of Fig. 1 and in combination with laces 5, 7; 10, 11, of Figs. 2A, 2B; 3A, 3B, identifying different embodiments of the lacing system according to the present invention, respectively shown in Figs. 16, 17, 19; in Fig. 4A, the extrados face of component 12 is shown in plan view and, in Fig. 4B, the extrados face of the component 17 is shown in plan view;

Figs. 4C, 4D are plan views of a pair of components to be used in combination with lace 1 of Fig. 1 and in combination with laces 5, 7; 10, 11, of Figs. 2A, 2B; 3A, 3B, identifying different embodiments of the lacing system according to the present invention, respectively shown in Figs. 15A, 15B, 18A; in Fig. 4C, the extrados face of component 12W is shown in plan view and, in Fig. 4D, the extrados face of component 17W is shown in plan view;

Figs. 5A, 5B are plan views of a pair of laces, obtained by combining components 12, 17 of Figs. 4A, 4B with laces 10, 11 of Figs. 3A, 3B, to be employed in the lacing system according to the present invention, in a further alternative embodiment;

Figs. 6A, 6B are plan views of a pair of laces of the lacing system, object of the present invention, in a further alternative embodiment;

Figs. 7, 8, 9 show an embodiment with the use of lace 1 of Fig. 1 in the shoe 22; the latter is provided with sole, upper, right flap 24 and left flap 23 and pairs of eyelets 36, 30; 35, 29; 34, 28; 33,32,31 and 25,26,27. Fig. 7 shows an axonometric view of a shoe 22 wherein the graphic section of the shoe is indicated, placed in correspondence with the eyelets 33, 32, 31, 25, 26, 27, carried out with a view direction from the instep to the tip of the shoe. Fig. 8 shows the graphic section of the shoe 22. Fig. 9 shows the graphic section of the mode of implementation of the lacing system that is object of the present invention;

Fig. 10 is a sectional view of an alternative embodiment of the lacing system according to the present invention, with the use of the pair of laces 5, 7 of Figs. 2A, 2B, applied to the shoe 22;

Figs. 11, 12 show an embodiment with the use of the pair of laces 10, 11 referred to in Figs. 3A, 3B applied to the shoe 37; this one is equipped with sole, upper, right flap 40 and left flap 39 and pairs of three eyelets per flap i.e. 46, 45, 44 and 41, 42, 43. Fig. 11 shows an axonometric view of a shoe 37, wherein the graphic section of the shoe is indicated, placed in correspondence with the eyelets carried out with a view direction from the instep to the tip of the shoe. Fig. 12 shows the graphic section of the mode of implementation of the lacing system that is object of the present invention;

Fig. 12A shows the embodiment of the previous Fig. 12, of which flap components 12W, 17W have been applied, referred to in Figs. 4C, 4D .

Fig. 13 represents the embodiment of the previous fig. 12, to which, on each flap, components 12, 17 referred to in Figs. 4A, 4B have been applied;

Figs. 14, 15, 15A show an alternative embodiment with the use of lace 1 of Fig. 1 and of the pair of components 12W, 17W, of Figs. 4C, 4D, in shoe 47; the latter is equipped with sole, upper, right flap 49 and left flap 48 and 4 rows of pairs of eyelets on opposite flaps 57, 53; 56, 52; 55, 51; 54, 50. Fig. 14 shows an axonometric view of a shoe 47 wherein the graphic section of the shoe is indicated, placed in correspondence of the eyelets 54, 50, carried out with a view direction from the instep to the tip of the shoe. Fig. 15 shows the graphic section of the shoe 47. Fig. 15A shows the graphic section of the mode of implementation of the lacing system that is object of the present invention;

Fig. 15B is a sectional view of an alternative embodiment of the lacing system according to the present invention, applied to the shoe 47, with the use of the pair of laces 5 and 7 of Figs. 2A, 2B, combined with the pair of components 12W, 17W of Figs. 4C, 4D;

Fig. 16 is a sectional view of an alternative embodiment of the lacing system according to the present invention, applied to shoe 47, with the use of lace 1 of Fig. 1 and of the pair of components 12, 17, of Figs. 4A, 4B; Fig. 17 is a sectional view of an alternative embodiment of the lacing system according to the present invention, applied to shoe 47, with the use of the pair of laces 5 and 7 of Figs. 2A, 2B, combined to the pair of components 12, 17 of Figs. 4A, 4B; Figs. 18, 18A show an alternative embodiment with the use of the pair of laces 10, 11 of Figs. 3A, 3B, in shoe 58; the latter is equipped with sole, upper, right flap 60 and left flap 59 and a single pair of eyelets 62, 61. Fig. 18 shows an axonometric view of a shoe 58, wherein the graphic section of the shoe is indicated, placed in correspondence with the eyelets 62, 61, carried out with a view direction from the instep to the tip of the shoe. Fig. 18A shows the graphic section of the mode of implementation of the lacing system that is object of the present invention;

Fig. 19 shows an alternative embodiment with the employment of the pair of laces of Figs. 5A, 5B, in the shoe 58;

Figs. 20, 21 show an alternative embodiment with the employment of the pair of laces 10F, 11F of Figs. 6A, 6B applied in the shoe 58; Fig. 20 shows the graphic section of the shoe

58, the mode of implementation of the lacing system which is object of the present invention; Fig. 21 shows a plan view of the same system;

Figs. 22, 23, 24, 25 show three alternative embodiments with the use of the pair of laces 10F, 11F of Figs. 6A, 6B, applied to shoe 63; the latter is equipped with sole, upper, right flap 65 and left flap 64 and pairs of eyelets placed side by side 69, 68; 67, 66. Fig. 22 shows an axonometric view of a shoe 63, wherein the graphic section of the shoe is indicated, placed in correspondence with the eyelets 69, 68, 67, 66, carried out with a view direction from the instep to the tip of the shoe. Fig. 23 shows, in the graphic section, the mode of implementation of the lacing system which is object of the present invention; Fig. 24 shows a variant of Fig. 23; Fig. 25 shows a further variant of Fig. 23.

The present invention is described in relation to a shoe, but it is apparent that the same concepts apply -mutatis mutandis- to any item of clothing.

According to a first embodiment, Fig. 1 shows, in plan, a lace 1, comprising two ends, 2 and 3 and a single body ideally divided by a left portion 4T and a right portion 9T, respectively depicted as not filled in the background and filled in the background. The embodiment shown in Figs. 2A, 2B provides two laces 5 and 7 which have, respectively, one end 2 and 3, a body 4 and 9 and a crossmember 6T and 8T . The embodiment shown in Figs. 3A, 3B provides two laces 10 and 11, which have, respectively, a body 4M and 9M, an end 2 and 3 and a crossmember 6M and 8M.

Components 12W and 17W, as shown in Figs. 4C, 4D comprise, respectively, slots 15, 16, and 20, 21. The eyelets 15, 16; 20, 21 are sized so as to allow simultaneously crossing of the portions of body 4T and 9T, of the lace 1, as in Fig. 15A, or simultaneously crossing of the body 4 of the lace 5 and of the body 9 of the lace 7, as in Fig. 15B, or simultaneously crossing of the body 4M of the lace 10 and of the body 9M of the lace 11, as in Fig. 12A or 18A - possibly without any gap.

Components 12 and 17, as shown in Figs. 4A, 4B comprise, respectively, slots 13, 14, 15, 16, and 18, 19, 20, 21. Slots 14, 15, 16; 19, 20, 21 are sized in such a way as to allow simultaneously crossing of the portions of body 4T and 9T, of the lace 1, as in Fig. 16, or simultaneously crossing of the body 4 of the lace 5 and of the body 9 of the lace 7, as in Fig. 17, or simultaneously crossing the body 4M of the lace 10 and of the body 9M of the lace 11, as in Fig. 13 or 19 - possibly without any gap-. Said crossmembers 6M and 8M of Figs. 3A, 3B, are apt to be inserted and engaged in said slots, respectively 13 and 18, defining the alternative embodiments of Figs. 5A, 5B. On the other hand, it should be noted that the crossmembers 6T and 8T are apt to be inserted and engaged into the eyelets of the shoe, as shown, for example, in Figs. 10 and 17.

Figs. 6A, 6B show, in plan, two laces 10F and 11F. The lace 10F has a point end 2, so as to facilitate its insertion into holes and slots, and a body 4F that, after a slight tapering, joins an enlarged end 12F. The end 12F carries on its surface slots 14, 15 and 16, sized so as to allow the simultaneous passage of the body 4F of the same lace 10F and of the body 9F of the other lace 11F -possibly without any gap-. Similarly, the lace 11F has a point end 3 and a body 9F which joins, after a slight tapering, on an enlarged end 17F. The end 17F carries on its surface slots 19, 20 and 21, sized so as to allow the simultaneous crossing of the body 9F of the same lace 11F and of the body 4F of the other lace 10F.

The laces 1; 5, 7; 10, 11; 10F, 11F of Figs. 1; 2A, 2B; 3A, 3B; 5A, 5B; 6A, 6B, according to all the embodiments made object of the present invention, have at least part of at least one non smooth surface.

Advantageously the laces 1; 5, 7; 10, 11; 10F, 11F are manufactured flat, so as to increase mutual adherence when they are coupled.

Advantageously also the components 12, 17 are manufactured flat, so as to facilitate their interaction with the laces 1; 5, 7; 10, 11, and to facilitate their anchoring to the closing flaps of the garment or of the upper of the shoe.

According to the present invention, the lace 1, or the laces 5 and 7, or 10 and 11, and the components 12, 17, or the laces 10F, 11F, can be made of a material characterised by reversible deformations, such as natural polymers (such as rubber) or synthetic (e.g. PVC, silicone, rubbers, polyurethane, TPU) which preferably have a shore value ranging between 60 and 100 or a coupling of said materials, which improves the closing properties of the clothing or of the upper. Furthermore, according to the present invention, the same laces and components can be made of natural or synthetic leather or a coupling thereof, or in combination with a film of non stretching material that limits the deformability of the leather; moreover, according to the present invention, the same laces and components can be made by weaving natural material (for example cotton) or synthetic material (for example nylon, polyester, polypropylene) . Furthermore, the components 12W, 17W of Figs. 4C, 4D and the components 12, 17 of Figs. 4A, 4B can be made of rigid material, such as metal, plastic, wood, etc...

It can be noted that the crossmembers 6T and 8T of the laces 5, 7 can be made in the same or different material as the bodies 4 and 9, and the crossmembers 6M and 8M of the laces 10, 11 can be formed in the same or different material as the bodies 4M and 9M.

Fig. 9 shows an embodiment which uses a lace 1 as in Fig. 1. The lace 1 has two ends, indicated as 2 and 3, respectively. The shoe 22, of Fig. 7, on which this shape is applied, has on top of each of the flaps 23, 24 of the upper a group of three aligned eyelets, 25, 26, 27 and 31, 32, 33, respectively, then two eyelets coupled in the rows below 28, 34 and 29, 35 and 30, 36. Then, the lace 1 is placed on the outer part of the shoe, over the flaps of the upper 23, 24, along the ideal axis which joins the pair of eyelets 30, 36, so that the half-body 4T and the end 2 are placed on the side of the flap 24 and the half body 9T and the end 3 are placed on the side of the flap 23. The end 2 of the lace 1 is first caused to go through from the shoe outside the into shoe inside into the eyelet 36, then into the eyelet 29, then into the eyelet 34 inside the shoe, then outwards, through the eyelet 32, then entering the eyelet 31; then it proceeds with the other end 3 of the lace 1 which is first caused to go through from the shoe outside to the inside into the eyelet 30, then into the eyelet 35, then into the eyelet 28 inside the shoe, then towards the outside into the eyelet 26, then entering the eyelet 25. From here, it is caused to go through the space between the flaps 23 and 24 and is twisted with at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, most preferably way by at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the source flap, to then enter, overlapping and coupling its half-body 9T to the half-body 4T, into the eyelet 31 of the flap 24. From here, it then passes into the eyelet 32, towards the inside of the shoe, finally, alone, towards the outside of the shoe, through the eyelet 33, from which it comes out for use. The end 2 of the lace 1 placed in the direction of the flap 23 is then grabbed again, is therefore twisted by at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, most preferably by at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the flap of origin, then overlapping and coupling its half-body 4T to the half-body 9T, it is first made to enter the eyelet 25, coming out of the shoe, then into the eyelet 26, towards the inside of the shoe, finally, alone, not coupled with the other half-body, towards the outside of the shoe through the eyelet 27, from which it comes out for use. It is pointed out that the eyelets 25, 26 and 31, 32 of the respective flaps 23, 24 must be sized in such a way as to allow the simultaneous double passage of the half-bodies 4T and 9T of the lace 1.

The embodiment of Fig. 10, instead of using a single lace 1, uses a pair of laces 5 and 7, with lace bodies 4 and 9, as illustrated in Figs. 2A, 2B. The end 2 of the lace 5 is first caused to go through from the shoe inside to the outside into the eyelet 36, pulling until abutting the crossmember 6T on the eyelet 36, then into the eyelet 29, then inside through the eyelet 34, then outwards through the eyelet 32, then entering the eyelet 31; then it is proceeded with the other end 3 of the lace 7 which is first caused to go through from the shoe inside to the outside into the eyelet 30, pulling until abutting the crossmember 8T into the eyelet 30, then into the eyelet 35, then inside through the eyelet 28, towards the outside through the eyelet 26, then entering the eyelet 25. From here, it is caused to go through the space between the flaps 23 and 24 and is twisted with at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, most preferably way by at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the source flap, to then enter, overlapping and coupling its body 9 to the body 4 of the lace 5, into the slot 31 of the flap 24. From here it then passes into the eyelet 32 towards the inside of the shoe, finally, alone, not coupled to the other lace, towards the outside of the shoe through the eyelet 33, from which it comes out for use. The end 2 of the lace 5 placed in the direction of the flap 23 is then grabbed again, is therefore twisted by at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, most preferably by at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the flap of origin, then coupling and overlapping its body 4 to the body 9 of the lace 7, it is first caused to enter the eyelet 25, coming out of the shoe, then into the eyelet 26 towards the inside of the shoe, finally, alone, not coupled with the other lace, towards the outside of the shoe, through the eyelet 27, from which it comes out for use. It should be noted that the eyelets 25, 26 and 31, 32 of the respective flaps 23, 24, must be sized in such a way as to allow the simultaneous passage of the body 4 of lace 5 and of the body 9 of lace 7.

An alternative embodiment using the laces 10, 11 of Figs. 3A, 3B is shown in Figs. 11, 12; the end 2 of the lace 10 is caused to pass from the inside of the shoe outwards through the eyelet 45, located on the flap 40, pulling until abutting the crossmember 6M against the eyelet 45. Then, the end 2 is inserted into the eyelet 44, towards the inside of the shoe. Similarly, the end 3 of the lace 11 is caused to pass, from the inside to the outside of the shoe, through the eyelet 42 located on the flap 39, pulling until abutting the crossmember 8M against the eyelet 42. Then, the end 3 is inserted into the eyelet 41. From here, it is caused to go through the space between the flaps 39 and 40 and is twisted with at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, most preferably by at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the source flap, to then enter, overlapping and coupling its body 9M to the body 4M of the lace 10, into the eyelet 44 of the flap 40, then through the eyelet 45, then, alone not coupled to the other lace, through the eyelet 46 coming out on the side of the flap 40. The end 2 of the lace 10 placed in the direction of the flap 39 is then grabbed again, is therefore twisted by at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, most preferably by at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the flap of origin, then overlapping and coupling its body 4M to the body 9M of the lace 11, it is first made to enter the eyelet 41, coming out of the shoe, then into the eyelet 42 towards the inside of the shoe, finally, alone, not coupled with the other lace, towards the outside of the shoe through the eyelet 43, from which it comes out for use.

It is pointed out that the eyelets 41, 42 and 44, 45 of the respective flaps 39, 40, must be sized in such a way as to allow the simultaneous passage of the body 4M of lace 10 and of the body 9M of lace 11.

The embodiment shown in Fig. 12A provides, before the mode of execution described in Fig. 12, the use and arrangement of components 12W, 17W of Figs. 4C, 4D which are applied respectively to the flaps 39, 40, paying attention that component 17W applied to the flap 39 has the slot 20 centred with the eyelet 41, and the slot 21 centred with the eyelet 42 and component 12W applied to the flap 40 has the slot 15 centred in the eyelet 44, and the slot 16 centred with the eyelet 45. Then, what follows is the mode of execution described in Fig. 12. It is noted that components 12W, 17W, in the manner described above, are firmly anchored to the respective flaps 40, 39 due to the path made by the laces 10, 11 through the slots of components 12W, 17W and the eyelets of the flaps of the shoe. It is apparent that in this application components 12W, 17W perform the function of gripping for the opening for the shoe; there are many possible variants for such an application, including sewing or gluing suitable gripping elements.

The embodiment shown in Fig. 13 provides, before the mode of execution described in Fig. 12, the use and arrangement of components 12, 17 of Figs. 4A, 4B which are applied respectively to the flaps 39, 40, paying attention that component 17 applied to the flap 39 has the slots 20, 19 centred with the eyelet 41, and the slots 18, 21 centred with the eyelet 42 and component 12 applied to the flap 40 has the slots 14, 15 centred with the eyelet 44, and the slots 13, 16 centred with the eyelet 45. Then, what follows is the mode of execution described in Fig. 12. It is noted that components 12, 17, in the above described mode, are stably anchored to the respective flaps 40, 39 due to the path travelled by the laces 10, 11 through the slots of components 12, 17 and the eyelets of the flaps of the shoe. It is apparent that in this application components 12, 17 perform the function of gripping for the opening of the shoe; there are many possible variants for this application, including sewing or gluing suitable gripping elements.

It has surprisingly been verified that the twisting activated in the path between one flap (23; 39) and the other

(24; 40), together with the use of laces 1; 5, 7; 10, 11, characterised by at least part of at least one non-smooth surface, and together with the winding path made by the overlapped and coupled laces in the path between the eyelets 25 and 26; 31 and 32 or 41 and 42; 44 and 45 of the flaps 23, 24 or 39, 40, in the above described mode, as in Figs. 9, 10, 12, eliminates the possibility of mutual sliding between the half bodies 4T, 9T of the lace 1 or between the bodies 4, 9; 4M, 9M of the laces 5, 7; 10, 11, if stressed orthogonally to the longitudinal axis of the laces (action produced by the foot during walking) , while maintaining the possibility of reciprocal sliding unchanged if forces acting directly along the longitudinal axis of the laces are used (manual pulling action of the ends 2, 3 of the laces generated by the user) ; thus making manual opening simple and easy and impossible the opening with the sole action of the foot during walking. Actually the twisting of the coupled laces identifies a conformation with apparent greater flexural stiffness, able to absorb most of the action of the foot on the laces themselves which would tend to open the shoe; furthermore, by binding the strings coupled in correspondence of the edges with a winding path and using strings that have at least part of at least one non-smooth surface, complete absorption of the action of the foot is obtained during walking, making it possible to open it only by acting manually on the lacing system.

Figs. 14, 15, 15A show an embodiment with the use of the lace 1, applicable to all common existing shoes that have pairs of eyelets placed on horizontal rows on opposite flaps.

In Fig. 14, the shoe 47 has, on opposite flaps 49, 48, four rows of paired eyelets, 54, 50; 55, 51; 56, 52; 57, 53. In this embodiment, the components 12W and 17W associate to the lace 1, shown in Figs. 4C, 4D. Around the ends of the flaps 48 and 49 the ends 17W and 12W are wound, respectively, making sure that component 17W applied to the flap 48 has the slot 21 centred with the eyelet 50 and the component 12W applied to the flap 49 has the slot 16 centred with eyelet 54. Then the lace 1 is placed on the outer part of the shoe, over the flaps of the upper 48, 49, along the ideal axis which joins the pair of eyelets 53, 57, so that the half-body 4T and the end 2 are placed on the side of the flap 49 and the half-body 9T and the end 3 are placed on the side of the flap 48.

The end 2 of the lace 1 is first passed through the shoe outside into the eyelet 57, then into the eyelet 52, then into the shoe inside, through the eyelet 55, then towards the outside, through the eyelet 54 and the slot 16 of the component 12W, respectively, then into the slot 15 of the same component 12W; then it is proceeded with the other end 3 of the lace 1 which is first passed through the shoe outside to the inside of the eyelet 53, then into the eyelet 56, then towards the shoe inside, through the eyelet 51, then towards the outside, through the eyelet 50 and the slot 21, then into the slot 20 of the same component 17W. From here, it is caused to go through the space between the flaps 48 and 49 and is twisted with at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, most preferably by at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the source flap, to then enter, in turn, overlapping and coupling its half-body 9T with the half-body 4T, into the eyelets of the component 12W, in the order 15 and 16 respectively, coming out on the side of the flap 49. Then, the end 2 of the lace 1 placed in the direction of the flap 48 is grabbed again and is twisted with at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, most preferably by at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the source flap, and overlapping and coupling its half-body 4T with its half-body 9T, is caused to enter, in turn, into the slots of component 17W respectively, in order, 20 and 21, coming out on the side of the flap 48. It is apparent that in this application the components 12W, 17W, further than performing the function of opening for the shoe, extend each flap of the upper, configuring a sort of additional eyelet, identified by the slot 20, beside the eyelet 50 and from the slot 15, beside the eyelet 54; in substance, the components 12W, 17W are configured as a same appendix of the flaps to which they are applied. It is noted that the winding path of the coupled laces crossing the slots of components 12W, 17W, introduces an increase in resistance to sliding between the half-bodies or between the bodies of the laces, which allows the opening of the garment or of the upper of the shoe exclusively by manually operating the ends of the components 12W and 17W.

In this embodiment, the end 2; 3 of the lace 1 is passed through the eyelets 57, 52, 55, 54; 53, 56, 51, 50 arranged in pairs and in a line on the opposite closing flaps 48; 49 of the garment or of the upper and said ends 2; 3 of the lace 1 are inserted, respectively, into eyelets 16 and 15 which are present on the component 12W and into eyelets 21 and 20 which are present on the component 17W, then, is the path between the eyelets 15, 20 of the components 12W, 17W, the half-bodies 4T and 9T of the lace 1 are overlapped, coupled and rotated, then, said ends 2; 3 are inserted, overlapping and coupling the half bodies 4T and 9T, respectively, into eyelets 20, 21 found on component 17W and into eyelets 15, 16 found on component 12W.

Fig. 15B shows an embodiment with the use of the laces 5 and 7 of Figs. 2A, 2B, applied respectively to components 12W and 17W of Figs. 4C, 4D; such embodiment is applicable to all common existing footwear that have coupled rows of eyelets placed on opposite flaps. In Fig. 14, the shoe 47 has, on opposite flaps 49, 48, four rows of paired eyelets, 54, 50; 55, 51; 56, 52; 57, 53. In this embodiment, the components 12W and 17W associate to the laces 5 and 7, shown in Figs. 4C, 4D . Around the ends of the flaps 48 and 49 components 17W and 12W are wound, respectively, making sure that component 17W applied to the flap 48 has the slot 21 centred with the eyelet 50 and the component 12W applied to the flap 49 has the slot 16 centred with eyelet 54. The end 2 of the lace 5 is first passed from the shoe inside to the outside into the eyelet 57, pulling until abutting the crossmember 6T against the eyelet 57, then into the eyelet 52, then towards the shoe inside through the eyelet 55, then outwards, respectively, passing, in turn, through the eyelet 54 and the slot 16 of the component 12W, then in the slot 15 of the component 12W; one then proceeds with the end 3 of the lace 7 which is first passed from the shoe inside to the outside into the eyelet 53, pulling until abutting

the crossmember 8T on the eyelet 53, then into the eyelet 56, then towards the inside of the shoe through the eyelet 51, then towards the outside, respectively crossing, in order, the eyelet 50, the slots 21 and 20 of the component 17W. From here, it is caused to go through the space between the flaps 48 and 49 and is twisted with at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, in the most preferred way by at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the source flap, to then enter, overlapping and coupling its body 9 to the body 4 of the lace 5, into the eyelets of component 12W, 15 and 16 respectively, coming out on the side of the flap 49. Then, the end 2 of the lace 5 placed in the direction of the flap 48 is grabbed again and is twisted with at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, in the most preferred way by at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the source and overlapping and coupling its body 4 to the body 9 of lace 7, caused to enter the eyelets 20 and 21, respectively, of component 17W, coming out on the side of the flap 48. It should be noted that the slots 20, 21 of component 17W and the slots 15, 16 of component 12W, must be sized in such a way as to allow the simultaneous passage of the body 4 of lace 5 and of the body 9 of lace 7.

In this embodiment, the crossmembers 6T and 8T of the laces 5, 7 are apt to anchor into the eyelets 57 and 53 present on the flaps of the upper, and the end 2; 3 of the laces 5, 7 is caused to go through the eyelets 57, 52, 55, 54; 53, 56, 51, 50 arranged in pairs and in a line on the opposite closing flaps 48; 49 of the garment or of the upper and said ends 2; 3 of the lace 5, 7 are inserted, respectively, into eyelets 16, 15 which are present on the component 12W and into eyelets 21, 20 which are present on the component 17W, then, the path between the eyelets 15, 20 of the components 12W, 17W, the bodies 4 and 9 of the lace 5, 7 are overlapped, coupled and rotated, then said ends 2; 3 are inserted, overlapping and coupling the bodies 4 and 9, respectively, into eyelets 20, 21 found on component 17W and into eyelets 15, 16 found on component 12W.

Fig. 16 shows an embodiment with the use of the lace 1 applicable to all the common existing shoes that have pairs of eyelets arranged on horizontal rows on opposite flaps of a shoe of the type illustrated in Fig. 14. In this embodiment, the lace 1 associate to the components 12 and 17, shown in Figs. 4A, 4B.

Around the ends of the flaps 48 and 49 the ends 17 and 12 are wound, respectively, making sure that component 17 applied to the flap 48 has the eyelets 18, 21 centred with the eyelet 50 and the component 12 applied to the flap 49 has the eyelets 13, 16 centred with the eyelet 54. Then, the lace 1 is placed on the outer part of the shoe, over the flaps of the upper 48, 49, along the ideal axis which joins the pair of eyelets 53, 57, so that the half-body 4T and the end 2 are placed on the side of the flap 49 and the half-body 9T and the end 3 are placed on the side of the flap 48. The end 2 of the lace 1 is first passed through the shoe outside into the eyelet 57, then into the eyelet 52, then into the shoe inside, through the eyelet 55, then towards the outside, respectively through the slot 13 of the component 12, the eyelet 54 and the slot 16 of the component 12, then into the slots 15 and 14 of the same component 12; proceeded with the other end 3 of the lace 1 which is first passed from the shoe outside to the inside of the eyelet 53, then into the eyelet 56, then towards the shoe inside through the eyelet 51, then towards the outside, through the slot 18 of the component 17, the eyelet 50 and the slot 21, then into the slots 20 and 19 of the same component 17. From here, it is passed through the space between the flaps 48 and 49 and is twisted with at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, most preferably by at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the source flap, to then enter, in turn, overlapping and coupling its half-body 9T with the half-body 4T, into the eyelets of the component 12, in the order 14, 15 and 16 respectively, coming out on the side of the flap 49. Then, the end 2 of the lace 1 placed in the direction of the flap 48 is grabbed again and is twisted with at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, most preferably by at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the source flap, and overlapping and coupling its half-body 4T with its half-body 9T, which is caused to enter, in turn, into the slots of component 17 in the order respectively 19, 20 and 21, coming out on the side of the flap 48.

It is apparent that, in this application, components 12, 17, in addition to perform the function of opening for the shoe, extend each flap of the upper, configuring a sort of additional eyelet identified by the path between the two slots 19 and 20, beside the eyelet 50 and by the path between the two slots 14 and 15, beside the eyelet 54; substantially, the components 12, 17 are configured as a same appendix of the flaps to which they are applied. It is noted that the winding path made by the coupled laces crossing the slots of components 12, 17, introduces an increase in resistance to sliding between the half-bodies or between the bodies of the laces, which allows the opening of the garment or of the upper of the shoe exclusively by manually operating the ends of the components 12 and 17.

In this embodiment, the end 2; 3 of the lace 1 is passed through the eyelets 57, 52, 55, 54; 53, 56, 51, 50 arranged in pairs and in a line on the opposite closing flaps 48; 49 of the garment or of the upper and said ends 2; 3 of the lace 1 are inserted, respectively, into eyelets 13, 16, 15, 14 which are present on the component 12 and into eyelets 18, 21, 20, 19 which are present on the component 17, then, in the path between the eyelets 14, 19 of the components 12, 17, the half-bodies 4T and 9T of the lace 1 are overlapped, coupled and rotated, furthermore said ends 2; 3 are inserted, overlapping and coupling the half-bodies 4T and 9T, respectively, into eyelets 19, 20, 21 found on component 17 and into eyelets 14, 15, 16 found on component 12.

Fig. 17 shows an embodiment with the use of the laces 5 and 7 of Figs. 2A, 2B applied respectively to components 12 and 17 of Figs. 4A, 4B; such embodiment is applicable to all common existing footwear that have paired rows of eyelets placed on opposite flaps of a shoe of the type shown in Fig. 14. In this embodiment, the laces 5 and 7 associate with components 12 and 17 of Figs. 4A, 4B. Around the ends of the flaps 48 and 49 the components 17 and 12 are wound, respectively, making sure that component 17 applied to the flap 48 has the eyelets 18, 21 centred with the eyelet 50 and the component 12 applied to the flap 49 has the eyelets 13, 16 centred with the eyelet 54.

The end 2 of the lace 5 is first passed through the shoe inside to the outside into the eyelet 57, pulling until abutting the crossmember 6T against the eyelet 57, then into the eyelet 52, then into the shoe inside through the eyelet 55, then towards the outside, respectively through, in turn, the slot 13 of the component 12, the eyelet 54 and the slot 16 of the component 12, then into the slots 15 and 14 of the component 12; it is continued with the end 3 of the lace 7 which is first passed from the shoe inside to the outside into the eyelet 53, pulling until abutting the crossmember 8T on the eyelet 53, then into the eyelet 56, then towards the shoe inside, through the eyelet 51, then towards the outside, respectively through, in turn, the slot 18 of the component 17, the eyelet 50 the slot 21, 20 and 19 of the component 17. From here, it is caused to go through the space between the flaps 48 and 49 and is twisted with at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, in the most preferred way by at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the source flap, to then enter, overlapping and coupling its body 9 to the body 4 of the lace 5, into the eyelets of component 12, respectively 14, 15 and 16, coming out on the side of the flap 49. Then, the end 2 of the lace 5 placed in the direction of the flap 48 is grabbed again and is twisted with at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, most preferably way by at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the source flap, and overlapping and coupling its body 4 to the body 9 of lace 7, caused to enter the eyelets 19, 20 and 21, respectively, of component 17, coming out on the side of the flap 48. It is noted that the eyelets 19, 20, 21 of component 17, and the eyelets 14, 15, 16 of component 12, must be sized in such a way as to allow the simultaneous passage of the body 4 of lace 5 and of the body 9 of lace 7.

In this embodiment, the crossmembers 6T and 8T of the laces 5, 7 are apt to anchor into the eyelets 57 and 53 present on the flaps of the upper, and the end 2; 3 of the laces 5, 7 is passed through the eyelets 57, 52, 55, 54; 53, 56, 51, 50 arranged in pairs and in a line on the opposite closing flaps 48; 49 of the garment or of the upper and said ends 2; 3 of the laces 5, 7 are inserted, respectively, into eyelets 13, 16, 15, 14 which are present on the component 12 and into eyelets 18, 21, 20, 19 which are present on the component 17, then, in the path between the eyelets 14, 19 of the components 12, 17, the bodies 4 and 9 of the lace 5, 7 are overlapped, coupled and rotated, furthermore, said ends 2; 3 are inserted, overlapping and coupling the bodies 4 and 9, respectively, into eyelets 19, 20, 21, found on component 17, and into eyelets 14, 15, 16, found on component 12.

Figs. 18, 18A show an alternative embodiment, for which the laces 10, 11 of Figs. 3A, 3B can be used, together with components 12W and 17W of Fig. 4C, 4D. Such embodiment can be applied to all the common existing footwear that have at least a single row of paired eyelets. In Fig. 18, the shoe 58 has a single row of coupled eyelets 62, 61. Around the ends of the flaps 59 and 60 components 17W and 12W are wound, respectively, making sure that component 17W applied to the flap 59 has the slot 21 centred with the eyelet 61 and the component 12W applied to the flap 60 has the slot 16 centred with eyelet 62. The end 2 of the lace 10 is first passed from the inside of the shoe to the outside in the eyelet 62, then, in order, into the slots 16, 15 of component 12W, pulling until abutting the crossmember 6M against the eyelet 62; then it is proceeded with the end 3 of the lace 11, which is first passed through from the inside of the shoe to the outside into the eyelet 61, then, in order, in the slots 21 and 20 of component 17W, pulling until abutting the crossmember 8M against the eyelet 61. From here, the end 3 is caused to go through the space between the flaps 59 and 60 and is twisted with at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, most preferably by at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the source flap, and overlapping and coupling its body 9M to the body 4M of lace 10, caused to enter the eyelets 15 and 16, respectively, of component 12W, coming out on the side of the flap 60. Then, the end 2 of the lace 10 placed in the direction of the flap 59 is grabbed again and is twisted with at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, most preferably by at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the source flap and overlapping and coupling its body 4M to the body 9M of lace 11, caused to enter the eyelets 20 and 21, respectively, of component 17W, coming out on the side of the flap 59.

It has been observed that the slots 15, 16; 20, 21 present on said components 12W; 17W, are sized to allow the simultaneous passage of the body 4M of the same lace with the body 9M of the other lace. Each narrower end 2; 3 of the lace 2, 3, is passed, in order, from the inside of the shoe, towards the outside through at least one eyelet 62; 61 present on a closing flap 60; 59 of the garment or the upper of the shoe, in a first slot 16; 21 present in component 12W; 17W, in a second slot 15; 20 of the same component 12W; 17W, then, in the path between the slots 15, 20 of components 12W, 17W, the bodies 4M and 9M of the laces 10, 11 are overlapped, coupled and rotated, then each of said end 2, 3, coupling and overlapping a body on the other, is inserted into the second slot 20; 15 of the other component 17W; 12W, and finally again into the first 21; 16 slot of the other component 17W; 12W.

Also in such cases, it occurred that the twisting activated in the path between the slots 20, 15 of components 17W, 12W anchored to the flaps 48, 49; 59, 60, together with the employment of laces characterised by at least part of at least one non-smooth surface, and with the winding path made by the overlapped and coupled laces in the path between the slots 15,

16 and 20, 21 of components 12W, 17W anchored to the flaps 48, 49; 59, 60, in the modes described above in Figs. 16, 17, 18A, it eliminates the possibility of mutual sliding between the half-bodies 4T, 9T of the lace 1 or the bodies 4, 9; 4M, 9M of the laces 5, 7; 10, 11, if stressed orthogonally to the longitudinal axis of the laces (action produced by the foot during walking) , while maintaining the possibility of reciprocal sliding unchanged if forces acting directly along the longitudinal axis of the laces are used (manual pulling action of the ends 2, 3 of the laces generated by the user) ; thus making manual opening simple and easy and the opening with the sole action of the foot during walking impossible.

Fig. 19 shows an alternative embodiment, for which the laces 10, 11 of Figs. 3A, 3B can be used together with components 12 and 17 of Figs. 4A, 4B. Such embodiment can be applied to all the common existing footwear that have at least a single row of paired eyelets, as indicated in the shoe 58 of Fig. 18. Around the ends of the flaps 59 and 60 the components

17 and 12 are wound, respectively, making sure that component 17 applied to the flap 59 has the eyelets 18, 21 centred with the eyelet 61 and the component 12 applied to the flap 60 has the eyelets 13, 16 centred with the eyelet 62. The end 2 of the lace 10 is first passed from the inside of the shoe to the outside into the slot 13 of component 12, then into the eyelet 62, then, in order, into the slots 16, 15 and 14 of component 12, pulling until abutting the crossmember 6M against the slot 13; then it is proceeded with the end 3 of the lace 11, which is first passed from the inside of the shoe to the outside into the slot

18 of component 17, then into the eyelet 61, then, in order, into the slots 21, 20 and 19 of component 17, pulling until abutting the crossmember 8M against the slot 18. From here, the end 3, it is caused to go through the space between the flaps 59 and 60 and is twisted with at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, most preferably by at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the source flap, and overlapping and coupling its body 9M to the body 4M of lace 10, caused to enter the eyelets 14, 15 and 16, respectively, of component 12, coming out on the side of the flap 60. Then, the end 2 of the lace 10 placed in the direction of the flap 59 is grabbed again and is twisted with at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, most preferably by at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the source flap and overlapping and coupling its body 4M to the body 9M of lace 11, caused to enter the eyelets 19, 20 and 21, respectively, of component 17, coming out on the side of the flap 59. The same result is obtained by using the laces and components already assembled and joined, as shown in Figs. 5A, 5B, wherein respectively the bodies 4M, 9M of the laces 10, 11 have been previously inserted in the slots 13, 18 respectively of components 12, 17, until abutting the crossmembers 6M and 8M against said slots.

In this embodiment, the crossmembers 6M and 8M of the laces 10, 11 are anchored in the slots 13, 18 present in the components 12 and 17, while the slots 14, 15, 16; 19, 20, 21 present on said components 12; 17, are sized to allow the simultaneous passage of the body 4M of the same lace with the body 9M of the other lace, and each narrower end 2; 3 is passed, in order, from the inside of the shoe towards the outside through at least one eyelet 62; 61 present on a closing flap 60; 59 of the garment or the upper of the shoe, in a first slot 16; 21 present in component 12; 17, in a second slot 15; 20 of the same component 12; 17, and in a third slot 14; 19 of the same component 12; 17, then, in the path between the slots 14, 19 of components 12, 17, the bodies 4M and 9M of the laces 10, 11 are overlapped, coupled and rotated, then each end 2, 3, coupling and overlapping a body on the other, is inserted in the third slot 19; 14 of the other component 17; 12, then in the second slot 20; 15 and finally again in the first slot 21; 16 of the other component 17; 12.

Also in such cases, it occurred that the twisting activated in the path between the slots 19, 14 of components 17, 12 anchored to the flaps 48, 49; 59, 60, together with the use of laces characterised by at least part of at least one non-smooth surface, and with the winding path made by the overlapped and coupled laces in the path between the slots 14, 15, 16 and 19, 20, 21 of components 12, 17 anchored to the flaps 48, 49; 59, 60, in the modes described above in Figs. 16, 17, 19 eliminates the possibility of mutual sliding between the half-bodies 4T, 9T of the lace 1 or between the bodies 4, 9; 4M, 9M of the laces 5, 7; 10, 11, if stressed orthogonally to the longitudinal axis of the laces (action produced by the foot during walking) , while maintaining the possibility of reciprocal sliding unchanged if forces acting directly along the longitudinal axis of the laces are used (manual pulling action of the ends 2, 3 of the laces generated by the user) , thus making manual opening simple and easy and the opening with the sole action of the foot during walking impossible.

Figs. 20, 21 show sectional and plan views of an embodiment of the present invention for which it is possible to use the laces 10F and 11F of Figs. 6A, 6B, which embodiment being applicable to all common existing shoes which have at least one single row of paired eyelets. In Fig. 18, the shoe 58 has a single row of paired eyelets 62, 61. The end 12F of the lace 10F is first placed over the flap 60, so that the slot 16 is centred on the eyelet 62 and the end 2 faces the flap 59; the end 2 is then folded towards the inside of the flap 60 and passed from the inside of the shoe to the outside, firstly into the eyelet 62, then, in order, into the slots 16, 15 and 14 of the end 12F, then the end 2 is placed facing the flap 59. The end 17F of the lace 11F is then placed over the flap 59, so that the slot 21 is centred on the eyelet 61 and the end 3 faces the flap 60; the end 3 is then folded towards the inside of the flap 59 and passed from the shoe inside to the outside, at first into the eyelet 61, then, in order, into the slots 21, 20 and 19 of the end 17F; from here, it is passed through the space between the flaps 59 and 60 and is twisted with at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, most preferably at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the source flap, to then enter, overlapping and coupling its body 9F with the body 4F of the lace 10F, into the slots, respectively 14, 15 and 16, of the end 12F, exiting to the side of the flap 60. Then, the end 2 of the lace 10F placed in the direction of the flap 59 is grabbed again, is twisted with at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, most preferably at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the source flap and overlapping and coupling its body 4F with the body 9F of the lace 11F, inserted at first into the slot 19, then in order into the slots 20, 21 of the end 17F, coming out on the side of the flap 59.

According to this embodiment, the two laces 10F and 11F have a body 4F or, respectively, 9F, a narrower end 2 or, respectively, 3 and a broader end 12F or, respectively, 17F which comprises at least three slots 14, 15, 16; 19, 20, 21 within which the body 4F of the same lace and the body 9F of the other lace can simultaneously pass and each narrower end 2; 3 is passed, in order, from the inside of the garment or of the shoe, outwards, through at least one eyelet 62; 61 present on a closing flap 60; 59 of the garment or of the upper of the shoe, in a first slot 16; 21 present in the broader part 12F; 17F of the same lace 10F; 11F, in a second slot 15; 20 of the same lace and in a third slot 14; 19 of the same lace, then in the path between the slots 19, 14 present in the broader part 17F; 12F; the bodies 4F and 9F of the lace 10F, 11F are overlapped, coupled and rotated, then said end 2, 3 is inserted, always overlapping and coupling the respective bodies 4F and 9F, in the third slot 19; 14 of the other lace 11F; 10F, then in the second slot 20; 15 and finally again in the first slot 21; 16 of the other lace 11F; 10F.

Figs. 22, 23, 24, 25 show three variants of the embodiment of the present invention, by applying the laces 10F, 11F to a shoe 63, characterised by the presence of a pair of two aligned eyelets, respectively 69, 68 and 67, 66 for flaps 65 and 64. In Fig. 23, the end 12F of the lace 10F is first placed over the flap 65, so that the slots 15, 16 are centred respectively on the eyelets 68, 69 and the end 2 faces the flap 64; the end 2 is then folded towards the inside of the flap 65 in such way as to make the slot 14 coincide with the eyelet 68, and is passed from shoe inside to the outside, at first into the eyelet 69, then, in order, into the slots 16, 15 of the end 12F, then into the eyelet 68 and then into the slot 14 of the end 12F, then the end 2 is placed facing the flap 64. The end 17F of lace 11F is then placed over the flap 64, so that the slots 21, 20 are centred respectively on the eyelets 66, 67 and the end 3 faces the flap 65; the end 3 is then folded towards the inside of the flap 64 in such way as to make the slot 19 coincide with the eyelet 67, and is passed from shoe inside to the outside, at first into the eyelet 66, then, in order, into the slots 21, 20 of the end 17F, then into the eyelet 67 and then into the slot 19 of the end 17F, then the end 3 is placed facing the flap 65. From here, it is caused to go through the space between the flaps 64 and 65 and is twisted with at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, most preferably by at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the source flap, to then enter, overlapping and coupling its body 9F with the body 4F of the lace 10F, into the slot 14 of the end 12F, then into the eyelet 68, then respectively into the slots 15 and 16 of the end 12F, coming out on the side of the flap 65. Then, the end 2 of the lace 10F placed in the direction of the flap 64 is grabbed again, is twisted with at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, most preferably at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the source flap and overlapping and coupling its body 4F with the body 9F of the lace 11F, then inserted at first into the slot 19 of the end 17F then into the eyelet 67, then into the slots, in the order, 20, 21, of the end 17F, coming out on the side of the flap 64. In Fig. 24, the end 12F of the lace 10F is first arranged over the flap 65, so that the slot 16 is centred on the eyelet 69 and the end 2 faces the flap 64; the end 2 is then folded and inserted from the shoe outside to the inside, at first into the eyelet 68, paying attention to keep the slots 14, 15 of the end 12F on the outer part of the shoe, then the end 2 is inserted into the eyelet 69, then, in order, into the slots 16, 15, 14 of the end 12F, therefore the end 2 is turned towards the flap 64.

The end 17F of the lace 11F is then placed over the flap 64, so that the slot 21 is centred on the eyelet 66 and the end 3 faces the flap 65; the end 3 is then folded and inserted from the shoe outside to the inside, at first into the eyelet 67, paying attention to keep the slots 19, 20 of the end 17F on the outside part of the shoe, then the end 3 is inserted into the eyelet 66, then, in order, into the slots 21, 20 and 19 of the end 17F, then the end 3 is placed facing the flap 65.

From here, it is caused to go through the space between the flaps 64 and 65 and is twisted with at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, most preferably at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the source flap, to then enter, overlapping and coupling its body 9F with the body 4F of the lace 10F, into the slots of the end, in the order 14, 15 and 16 of the end 12F, coming out on the side of the flap 65. Then, the end 2 of the lace 10F, placed in the direction of the flap 64, is grasped again, is then twisted with at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, most preferably at least 180° with respect to the source flap, preferably clockwise with respect to the source flap and overlapping and coupling its body 4F with the body 9F of the lace 11F, then inserted into the slots 19, 20, 21 of the end 17F, coming out on the side of the flap 64.

In Fig. 25, the end 12F of the lace 10F is first placed over the flap 65, so that the slot 16 is centred on the eyelet 68 and the end 2 faces the flap 64; the end 2 is then folded towards the inside of the flap 65 and passed from the inside of the shoe to the outside, firstly into the eyelet 68, then, in order, into the slots 16, 15 and 14 of the end 12F, then the end 2 is placed facing the flap 64. The end 17F of the lace 11F is then placed over the flap 64, so that the slot 21 is centred on the eyelet 67 and the end 3 faces the flap 65; the end 3 is then folded towards the inside of the flap 64 and passed from the inside of the shoe to the outside, firstly into the eyelet 67, then, in order, into the slots 21, 20 and 19 of the end 17F, then the end 3 is placed facing the flap 65. From here, it is caused to go through the space between the flaps 64 and 65 and is twisted with at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, most preferably at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the source flap, to then enter, overlapping and coupling its body 9F to the body 4F of the lace 10F, into the slots of the end 12F, respectively 14, 15 and 16, then caused to re-enter, into the shoe inside through the eyelet 68 then, alone, in the eyelet 69, coming out from the side of the flap 65. Then, the end 2 of the lace 10F, placed in the direction of the flap 64, is grabbed again, is twisted with at least 120°, preferably at least 150°, most preferably at least 180°, preferably clockwise with respect to the source flap and overlapping and coupling its body 4F with the body 9F of the lace 11F, then inserted at first into the slot 19, then into the slots, in the order 20, 21, of the end 17F, then caused to re-enter into the shoe inside through the eyelet 67, then, alone, into the eyelet 66, coming out on the side of the flap 64.

Also in such last cases, it has been observed that the twisting activated in the path between the slots 19, 14 of the ends 17F, 12F anchored to the flaps 59, 60; 64, 65, together with the use of laces characterised by at least part of at least one non-smooth surface, and with the winding path made by the overlapped and coupled laces then inserted into the slots 14, 15, 16; 19, 20, 21 of the ends 12F, 17F anchored to the flaps 59, 60; 64, 65, in the modes described above in Figs. 20, 23, 24, 25 eliminates the possibility of mutual sliding between the bodies 4F, 9F of the laces 10F, 11F, if stressed orthogonally to the longitudinal axis of the laces (action produced by the foot during walking) , while maintaining the possibility of reciprocal sliding unchanged if forces acting directly along the longitudinal axis of the laces are used (manual pulling action of the ends 2, 3 of the laces generated by the user) ; thus making manual opening simple and easy and the opening with the sole action of the foot during walking impossible.

The lacing system shown in the embodiments of Figs. 14 to 25 can also be adapted to footwear existing on the market.

The shoe can be worn when the lacing system according to the present invention is open. The foot is inserted into the shoe and, in order to close it, the ends 2 and 3 are pulled outwards, in the direction of moving away from one another. In this way, the half-bodies 4T, 9T and the bodies 4, 9; 4M, 9M; 4F, 9F will slide with respect to one another, so as to bring the two flaps 23, 24; 39, 40; 48, 49; 59, 60; 64, 65 closer each other. Once the closure has reached the required tension, the pulling stops. In this way, the shoe is closed and allows optimal walking, without the risk of losing the shoe and without undesirable gaps of the shoe with respect to the foot. A synergy is developed between the surface finish of the laces 1; 5, 7; 10, 11; 10F, 11F, each characterised by at least part of at least one non-smooth surface, with the activated twisting between the coupled half-bodies 4T, 9T or between the coupled bodies 4, 9; 4M, 9M; 4F, 9F in the path between the flaps 23, 24; 39, 40 of the garment or of the upper of the shoe or in the path between the slots 15, 20 of the components 12W, 17W or in the path between the slots 14, 19 of the components 12, 17 or of the end 12F, 17F anchored to the flaps 48, 49; 59, 60; 64, 65, together with the use of a winding path between the slots 25, 26 and 31, 32; 41, 42 and 44, 45 of the flaps 23, 24; 39, 40 or between the slots 15, 16 and 20, 21 of components 12W, 17W or between the slots 14, 15, 16 and 19, 20, 21 of components 12, 17 or of the ends 12F, 17F anchored to the flaps 48, 49; 59, 60; 64, 65, when the laces are in position, allowing to give up to any further locking system of the lacing in position. Of course, it is also possible to insert one or more systems for locking of the laces, so as to maximise the resistance to the opening of the shoe, but this addition is not per se necessary and could be considered completely redundant and superfluous. The use of laces 1; 5, 7; 10, 11; 10F, 11F also in the non-smooth materials used as preferred according to the present invention, without activating the coupling and the twisting, results in the opening of the shoe in rather short times. Therefore, only the combination according to the present invention allows to achieve the desired result. The twisting in pairs of the half-bodies or the bodies of the laces 1; 5, 7; 10, 11; 10F, 11F, in fact, on the one hand, compresses the same on one another, increasing the friction for their mutual sliding and, on the other hand, creates a conformation with greater flexural stiffness, which absorbs the action of the foot on the laces themselves, that would tend to open the shoe.

Preferably, the laces 1 or 5, 7 or 10, 11 perform a winding path around the flaps 23, 24 and 39, 40, as shown in Figs. 9, 10, 12, 12A and 13. In particular, the ends 2, 3 of the laces 1 or 5, 7 or 10, 11 are inserted alternatively from inside to outside, into the eyelets 32, 31 and 26, 25; 45, 44 and 42, 41, which are present on closing flaps, respectively 24, 23 and 40, 39, and the ends 3, 2 of the laces 1 or 5, 7 or 10, 11 are then inserted alternatively from inside to outside and from outside to inside into the eyelets 31, 32 and 25, 26; 44, 45 and 41, 42 which are present on the closing flaps 24, 23; 40, 39, respectively, overlapping and coupling, in the path between each pair of said eyelets, the half-bodies 4T, 9T of the lace 1 or the bodies 4, 9; 4M, 9M of the laces 5, 7; 10, 11; hence the end 2; 3, alone, executes a further passage, being inserted into the eyelet 27; 33 or 43; 46 on the side of the closing flap 23; 24 or 39, 40 of the garment or of the upper of the shoe.

In the mode of execution of Figs. 15A, 15B, 18A, a winding path is accomplished around the components 12W, 17W by the laces 1 or 5, 7 or 10, 11. In particular, the ends 2, 3 of the laces 1 or 5, 7 or 10, 11, are inserted, first into the slots 16, 15; 21, 20, alternatively from the intrados to the extrados, from the extrados towards the extrados of the components 12W, 17W, anchored to the closing flaps 49, 48; 60, 59, of the garment or of the upper of the shoe, and the ends 3, 2 are threaded, in turn, into the slots 15, 16; 20, 21, alternatively from the intrados to the extrados and from the extrados towards the intrados of the components 12W, 17W anchored to the closing flaps 49, 48; 60, 59, of the garment or of the upper of the shoe, overlapping and coupling, in the path between each of said eyelets, the half-bodies 4T, 9T of the lace 1 or bodies 4, 9; 4M, 9M, of laces 5, 7 or 10, 11.

In the mode of execution of Figs. 16, 17, 19, a winding path around the components 12, 17 is accomplished by the laces 1 or 5, 7 or 10, 11. In particular, the ends 2, 3 of the laces 1 or 5, 7 or 10, 11, are inserted, first into the slots 16, 15, 14; 21, 20, 19, alternatively from the intrados to the extrados, from the extrados towards the intrados and from the intrados to the extrados of the components 12, 17, anchored to the closing flaps 49, 48; 60, 59, of the garment or of the upper of the shoe, and the ends 3, 2 are threaded, in turn, into the slots 14, 15, 16; 19, 20, 21, alternatively from the extrados to the intrados, from the intrados towards the extrados and from the extrados to the intrados of the components 12, 17, anchored to the closing flaps 49, 48; 60, 59, of the garment or of the upper of the shoe, overlapping and thereby coupling, in the path between each of said eyelets, the half-bodies 4T, 9T of the lace 1 or bodies 4, 9; 4M, 9M, of laces 5, 7 or 10, 11.

In the mode of execution of fig. 20, a winding path around components 12F, 17F is performed by laces 10F, 11F. In particular, the ends 2, 3 of the laces 10F, 11F are inserted first into the slots 16, 15, 14; 21, 20, 19, alternatively from the intrados to the extrados, from the extrados towards the intrados and from the intrados to the extrados of the ends 12F, 17F, anchored to the closing flaps 60, 59, of the garment or of the upper of the shoe, and the ends 3, 2 are threaded, in turn, into the slots 14, 15, 16; 19, 20, 21, alternatively from the extrados to the intrados, from the intrados towards the extrados and from the extrados to the intrados of the ends 12F, 17F, anchored to the closing flaps 60, 59 of the garment or of the upper of the shoe, overlapping and coupling, in the path between each of said eyelets, the bodies 4F, 9F of the laces 10F, 11F.

A similar winding path is present in the mode of execution shown in figs. 23, 24, 25, wherein the ends 12F, 17F are anchored to the flaps 64, 65 of the upper of the shoe 63.

In each of the above modes, the windingness produced by the overlapping and coupling of the laces 1 or 5, 7 or 10, 11 or 10F, 11F, in the path between the eyelets 25, 26 and 31, 32, or 41, 42 and 44, 45, or between the slots 15 and 20 of the components 12W or 17W or between the slots 16, 15, 14 and 21, 20, 19 of the components 12, 17 or of the ends 12F, 17F, therefore determines a further synergistic action (further friction) which avoids in an even more complete manner the unwanted sliding able to open the flaps 23, 24 or 39, 40 or 48, 49 or 59, 60 or 64, 65 with respect to one another if the laces are stressed orthogonally with respect to the longitudinal axis of the laces (action produced by the foot during walking) , while maintaining the possibilities of reciprocal sliding when forces are used directly along the longitudinal axis of the laces (action of manual traction of the ends 2, 3 of the laces produced by the user) ; thus making manual opening simple and easy and impossible to open with the sole action of the foot during walking.

When it is desired to remove the shoes, there are two possibilities, depending on the type of embodiment used. In the cases illustrated in Figs. 12A, 15A, 15B, 18A, the ends 12W and 17W are grasped and pulled outwards, moving them apart from each other and in the cases illustrated in Figs. 13, 16, 17, 19 the ends 12 and 17 are grasped and pulled towards the outside, moving them apart from one another. In such ways, the half bodies 4T, 9T or the bodies 4, 9; 4M, 9M will slide in the direction opposite to that which occurs during the closing manoeuvre, so that the two flaps 39, 40; 48, 49; 59, 60, move away from each other. In this way, the shoe is opened sufficiently to remove the foot from it. Similarly to what reported above, in the cases illustrated in Figs. 20, 23, 24, 25 the ends 12F and 17F are grasped and pulled outwards, moving them apart from one another. In such way, the bodies 4F and 9F will slide in the direction opposite to that which occurs during the closing manoeuvre, so that the two flaps 59, 60 and 64, 65, move away from each other. In this way, the shoe is opened sufficiently to remove the foot from it.

In the case of the embodiments shown in Figs. 9, 10 and 12 the components 12 and 17 are absent, instead. For this reason, the opening is carried out by grasping each of the flaps 23, 24 or 39, 40 with two fingers of one hand (normally thumb and forefinger) and pulling in the opposite directions.

It is also possible to provide grasping points, for example by sewing them to the flaps 23, 24 or 39, 40, with which to pull the flaps 23 and 24 or 39 and 40 in the direction of widening, to obtain the opening of the shoe without the need for components 12W and 17W or 12 and 17. However, such grasping points can be the same components 12W and 17W or 12 and 17, respectively, according to the configuration of Figs. 12A and 13, applied to the respective flaps or sewn, glued or bolted to the flaps.

Tension adjustment can also be done by pulling the ends 2 and 3 outwards. Then, if an excessive tension were to be reached, components 12W and 17W or 12 and 17 could be pulled outwards. If the tension is released beyond the desired point, it is possible to pull again the ends 2 and 3 until reaching the desired tension, and so on, until the tension that is considered optimal for the user needs is reached.

The lacing system according to the present invention allows to fasten the footwear in an extremely simple manner, entrusting to the same movement (the traction towards the outside) both the opening and the closure of the shoe, the opening not being able to take place with the sole action of the foot, but only by exerting traction on components 12W, 17W or 12, 17 or on the ends 12F, 17F. Furthermore, the adjustment takes place in a stable manner, able to withstand the stress created by normal walking and even intense sports activity.

In practice, the twisting activated in the path between one flap and the other or between the slots of components 12W, 17W or of components 12, 17 or the ends 12F, 17F, together with the use of laces 1; 5, 7; 10, 11; 10F, 11F, characterised by at least part of at least a non-smooth surface, and together with the winding path made by the overlapped and coupled laces in the path between eyelets of the same flap, or in the path between slots on the same component 12W, 17W or 12, 17 or on the ends 12F, 17F eliminates the possibility of mutual sliding between the half-bodies 4T, 9T of the lace 1 or between the bodies 4, 9; 4M, 9M of the laces 5, 7; 10, 11, if stressed orthogonally to the longitudinal axis of the laces (action produced by the foot during walking) , while maintaining the possibility of mutual sliding unchanged if forces acting directly along the longitudinal axis of the laces are used (manual pulling action of the ends 2, 3 of the laces generated by the user) ; thus making manual opening simple and easy and impossible the opening with the sole action of the foot during walking.

Lacing is optimal for those who follow the fashion of keeping shoes without strings or with strings unfastened, while still allowing the comfort normally ensured by the lace. Moreover, with the lacing system according to the present invention the block is obtained at the desired tension in a much simpler and more precise manner than with traditional laces or with buckles, which makes the system particularly suitable for children, the elderly and people with reduced motion capacity.

The lacing system according to the present invention can be carried directly by a shoe, being sold already mounted on the shoe. However, it can also be applied to any existing shoe, provided it has eyelets for laces; for this reason, the present invention comprises a kit for obtaining a lacing system to be applied to a shoe, characterised in that it comprises at least one lace 1 or at least two laces 5, 7; 10, 11 together with the components 12W, 17W or the components 12, 17, or at least two laces 10F, 11F and instructions designed to indicate to the user how to apply the laces and the components to a shoe.

The lacing system according to the present invention is suitable for both formal and sports footwear and even for some of the technical ones (hiking boots, safety shoes and the like) .

Furthermore, the lacing system according to the present invention can be applied to trousers, skirts, evening dresses and aprons or for the adjustment of hats, gloves or for the adjustment of the closure of bags and backpacks.

The present invention also relates to a kit for obtaining a lacing system to be applied to a garment, an accessory or a shoe as previously described, characterised in that it comprises one or more laces 1; 5, 7; 10, 11; together with components 12W, 17W or components 12, 17 or at least two laces 10F, 11F and instructions apt to indicate to the user how to apply the laces to an item of clothing, accessory or shoe.

The present invention also relates to a shoe, characterised in that it comprises a lacing system as described above.

Finally, the present invention also refers to an item of clothing, characterised in that it comprises a lacing system as described above.

It is understood, however, that the invention is not to be considered as limited by the particular arrangement illustrated above, which represents only an exemplary embodiment of the same, but different variants are possible, all within the reach of a person skilled in the art, without departing from the scope of the invention itself, as defined by the following claims.

LIST OF REFERENCE SIGNS

1 Lace

2 Point end (of 1 or of 5 or of 10 or of 10F)

3 Point end (of 1 or of 7 or of 11 or of 11F)

4T half-body (of 1)

9T half-body (of 1)

4 Body (of 5)

4M Body (of 10)

4F Body (of 10F)

5 Lace 6T Crossmember ( of 5)

6M Crossmember ( of 10)

7 Lace

8T Crossmember ( of 7)

8M Crossmember ( of 11)

9 Body (of 7)

9M Body (of 11)

9F Body (of 11F)

10 Lace

10F Lace

11 Lace

11F Lace

12 Component (of 1 or of 5 or of 10) 12F End of Lace 1 OF

12W Component (of 1 or of 5 or of 10)

13 Slot (of 12)

14 Slot (of 12 or of 12F )

15 Slot (of 12, of 12W or of 12F)

16 Slot (of 12, of 12W or of 12F) 17 Component (of 1 or of 7 or of 11)

17F End of Lace 1 IF

17W Component (of 1, of 7 or of 11) 18 Slot (of 17)

19 Slot (of 17 or of 17F)

20 Slot (of 17, of 17W or of 17F)

21 Slot (of 17, of 17W or of 17F) 22 Shoe

23 Left flap of upper (of 22)

24 Right flap of upper (of 22) 25 Eyelet (of 22)

26 Eyelet (of 22)

27 Eyelet (of 22)

28 Eyelet (of 22)

29 Eyelet (of 22)

30 Eyelet (of 22)

31 Eyelet (of 22) 32 Eyelet (of 22)

33 Eyelet (of 22)

34 Eyelet (of 22)

35 Eyelet (of 22)

36 Eyelet (of 22)

37 Shoe

39 Left flap of upper (of 37)

40 Right flap of upper (of 37)

41 Eyelet (of 37)

42 Eyelet (of 37)

43 Eyelet (of 37)

44 Eyelet (of 37)

45 Eyelet (of 37)

46 Eyelet (of 37)

47 Shoe

48 Left flap of upper (of 47)

49 Right flap of upper (of 47)

50 Eyelet (of 47)

51 Eyelet (of 47)

52 Eyelet (of 47)

53 Eyelet (of 47)

54 Eyelet (of 47)

55 Eyelet (of 47)

56 Eyelet (of 47)

57 Eyelet (of 47)

58 Shoe

59 Left flap of upper (of 58)

60 Right flap of upper (of 58) 61 Eyelet (of 58)

62 Eyelet (of 58)

63 Shoe

64 Left flap of upper (of 63)

65 Right flap of upper (of 63)

66 Eyelet (of 63)

67 Eyelet (of 63)

68 Eyelet (of 63) 69 Eyelet (of 63)