US 20020043008 A1
The invention relates to an outer layer of a shoe, which is adapted to receive a variety of outsoles or portions thereof. The outer layer includes a base having a bottom surface, at least one cleat and at least one receptacle provided in the base. The at least one receptacle is adapted to receive at least one cleat. The outsole or outsole portion is positioned over the base and held in position with at least one cleat and receptacle.
1. An outer layer of a shoe, adapted to receive a variety of outsoles or portions thereof, said outer layer comprising:
a base having a bottom surface, at least one cleat;
at least one receptacle provided in said base, said at least one receptacle adapted to receive the at least one cleat;
an outsole or outsole portion, wherein said outsole or portion thereof is positioned over said base and held in position with said at least one cleat and receptacle.
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8. The alternative technological devices may include mountain bike bindings, puncture proof plates, river wading pads, parachute or jump pads.
 There are many different types of shoes worn, including running shoes, hiking boots, golf shoes, soccer, baseball and football cleats, etc. Each type of shoe has a bottom sole with an array of tread designs. Some shoes also have cleats. Depending on the chosen activity to participate in, a person would wear appropriate footwear. However many of these types of footwear would not be practical to wear on indoor flooring such as hardwood floors, tile etc as they may scratch the surfaces. Also one would not want to wear one of these types of footwear while driving a car. Often it is even unsafe to wear footwear intended for another activity on smooth floors, while driving etc. However, many people don't like to change footwear and will often drive with cleats or walk on inappropriate flooring. It is also difficult and bulky to carry an additional pair of footwear.
 A base portion of a shoe which is adapted to receive a variety of outsoles in entirety or in portions. Alternate technologies may also be attached to the base using the same system. The outsole or portions thereof are changeable based on the activity during which the shoe is to be worn. Thus one would simply have to change the outsole or portion thereof rather than changing the entire pair of shoes. This would also take up less storage space.
 The outsole or portion thereof is held in place with a cleat of a receptacle locking system. As in the outsole, the cleats are also exchangeable based on the activity in which the shoe wearer is going to participate. The cleats are locked into receptacles, which are part of the base of the shoe. The cleats secure the outsole or outsole portions or alternate technologies in place.
 It is an object of the invention to provide a shoe base having inter-exchangeable outsoles or outsole portion and cleats.
 It is another object of the invention to provide a shoe base having receptacles built therein.
 It is still another object of the invention to provide outsoles, outsole portions and cleats having a variety of treads and cleat shapes dependent upon the activity/environment.
 Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent as the description proceeds with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a bottom view of a shoe base;
FIG. 2 is a bottom view of outsole portions;
FIG. 3 is a bottom view of an outsole held in place with cleats;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a receptacle; and
FIGS. 5A and 5B are perspective views of two different cleats.
 With reference to the drawings, a shoe base is shown at 10. The base is prepared as a normal shoe base except that receptacles 12 are formed therein. Typically the receptacles 12 will be molded into the base 10 when the base is formed. The receptacles 12 are adapted to receive cleats 14 therein. The cleats 14 may include a variety of different designs based on the activity the footwear will be worn, i.e. hunting, hiking, ice fishing, etc. The combination of the receptacles and the cleats are designed to hold an inter-changeable outsole or portions thereof 16 on the shoe base 10. As in the cleats 14, the outsole design will be different based on the intended use of the shoes.
 The shoe base 10 will typically have a polymeric outer surface such as rubber or may be of a similar type of material. The receptacle 12 will typically be made from a polymeric material like nylon or other similar materials that may be molded into the base 10. The combination of the receptacles 12 and the cleats 14 form a locking system to hold an outsole or portion or alternate technology thereof in position on the shoe base 10. One type of receptacle that may be utilized is the “Q-LOK” by MacNeill Engineering Worldwide Inc. of Laconia, N.H. or may be manufactured according to the design in a pending design application or may use a similar type of receptacle.
 The receptacles 12 may be coated with an adhesive for a better chemical bond. A typical adhesive is Chemlok 459X Premier, by Orion Industries of Indiana. The receptacles 12 may also have an interlocking device 18 around at least a portion thereof to mechanically lock the receptacle in the shoe base 10. The receptacle may be manually loaded into a tool. Thereafter a polymeric material such as rubber or similar polymeric material preform is loaded into the tool causing the material to flow around and through the interlocking device, thus both chemically and mechanically bonding the two together.
 The outsole/inserts 16 may be made of a polymeric material such as rubber or a material such as felt. They are specifically engineered for this application. The specific insert will depend on the application or environment that the shoe is to be working in. The inserts are designed for the particular application.
 The cleats are made from a polymeric material nylon. The cleats serve several purposes in the system. The cleats serve as one half of the locking mechanism to secure the outsole or portions to the shoe base. The cleats also enhance the properties of the outsole design for each specific application or environment that the shoes will be worn, such as improving traction on an icy surface. The cleats may also be used to attach separate pieces of new or existing technology to the outsole system to further enhance the system for specialty applications. In addition to securing alternative outsoles or portions, the receptacles/cleats can be used to secure bicycle toe-clip mechanisms, mountain bike bindings, snow-shoe binding mechanisms, cross-country-ski binding mechanism, snow boarding bindings, ice-climbing binding mechanisms, puncture-proof plate systems for military, police, fire or other industrial applications, parachute jump pads, river wading pads, etc.
 Depending on the specific receptacle and cleat system chosen, a tool or wrench may be required to lock and unlock the cleats into and out of the receptacles.
 Alternative outsoles and cleats can be used for functions such as military special forces, fire and police departments, postal services, assorted hunting, river wading, ice walking, hiking snow boarding, mountain biking, parachuting, factory/construction workers, and any other application where multi-function outsoles would be desired.
 Although the present invention has been shown and described with respect to several preferred embodiments thereof, various changes, omissions and additions to the form and detail thereof, may be made therein, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Therefore, it is the object of the claims to cover all such variations and modifications as come within the true spirit and scope of the invention.