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Publication numberUS20030121181 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/032,544
Publication dateJul 3, 2003
Filing dateJan 2, 2002
Priority dateJan 2, 2002
Publication number032544, 10032544, US 2003/0121181 A1, US 2003/121181 A1, US 20030121181 A1, US 20030121181A1, US 2003121181 A1, US 2003121181A1, US-A1-20030121181, US-A1-2003121181, US2003/0121181A1, US2003/121181A1, US20030121181 A1, US20030121181A1, US2003121181 A1, US2003121181A1
InventorsPhil Chang
Original AssigneePhil Chang
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shoe upper made of a light-weight waterproof laminate
US 20030121181 A1
Abstract
A shoe upper has at least one part thereof made of a waterproof laminate which includes an inner foamed layer made of a pliable semi-flexible foam material, an intermediate layer of woven fabric material bonded to the inner foamed layer, an outer film layer made of a material which is waterproof and which has high wear-resistance, and a layer of adhesive applied to the intermediate layer to bond the intermediate layer to the inner foamed layer and the outer film layer. The adhesive is flexible and penetrates through the intermediate layer to render the latter water-impervious. The laminate is light-weight and possesses excellent wear-resistance and tear strength. The margins of the laminate are provided with stitch seams.
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Claims(8)
I claim:
1. A shoe comprising
an upper that includes a plurality of parts assembled and stitched together, at least one of said parts being made of a waterproof laminate which includes:
a light-weight inner foamed layer made of a pliable, semi-flexible foam material;
an intermediate layer of woven fabric material bonded to said inner foamed layer;
an outer film layer made of a material which is waterproof and which has high wear-resistance; and
a layer of adhesive applied to said intermediate layer to bond said intermediate layer to said inner foamed layer and said outer film layer, said adhesive being flexible and penetrating through said intermediate layer to render said intermediate layer water-impervious,
wherein said part made of said laminate has margins provided with stitch seams.
2. The shoe as claimed in claim 1, wherein said outer film layer is transparent.
3. The shoe as claimed in claim 1, wherein said pliable, semi-flexible foam material of said inner foamed layer is selected from the group consisting of ethylene vinyl acetate, expandable polyethylene, and neoprene.
4. The shoe as claimed in claim 1, wherein said material of said outer film layer is selected from the group consisting of a polyurethane film and a polyvinyl chloride film.
5. The shoe as claimed in claim 1, wherein said parts of said upper includes a toe cap section and a counter section, each of said toe cap section and said counter section being made of said laminate.
6. The shoe as claimed in claim 1, wherein said laminate is formed with stitch grooves at said margins, said stitch seams being disposed along said stitch grooves.
7. The shoe as claimed in claim 1, wherein said laminate is embossed to present an embossed pattern at said outer film layer.
8. The shoe as claimed in claim 1, wherein said inner foamed layer is made of ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer, said outer film layer is a polyurethane film, and said adhesive is a polyurethane-based adhesive.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The invention relates to a shoe, more particularly to a shoe having an upper made of a soft and light-weight waterproof laminate.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] Common materials available for making shoe uppers include leather, textile materials, vulcanizable rubber sheets, and various plastic materials. Among these go materials, leather, vulcanizable rubber and injection-moldable plastic materials are usually used in making toe caps and counter sections of shoes for mountain climbing, hiking and hunting. However, while leather is soft, it is not waterproof and is prone to wear and destruction. Vulcanizable rubber is heavy despite of its waterproof and high abrasion-resistant characteristics. Injection moldable plastic materials may be waterproof but do not have sufficient wear-resistance and softness. In addition, leather and vulcanizable rubber are typically monotonous and are difficult to be treated for surface modifications to improve the appearance and color thereof. If they are to be patterned, it is necessary to employ an expensive patterning process, such as transfer printing, which is also time-consuming.

[0005] Foams, such as EVA foams, are widely used in making midsoles for their soft and light-weight properties. It is known in the art to make a midsole from a laminate which includes an EVA foam, a fabric layer covering the EVA foam and a waterproof PU film overlying the fabric Layer. Since the laminate in the midsole is generally formed as a thick pad cushion rather than a sheet and since foams are considered to be easily tearable when being sewn, the prior art never suggests that the laminate be sewn and lasted to form a shoe upper.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] An object of the present invention is to provide an upper with a waterproof laminate which can be easily patterned and colored and which is light-weight but still possesses excellent wear-resistance and is durable enough to bear against stitching stress.

[0007] Accordingly, a shoe according to the present invention comprises an upper which includes a plurality of parts assembled and stitched together, at least one of the parts being made of a waterproof laminate. The laminate includes: a light-weight inner foamed layer made of a pliable semi-flexible foam material; an intermediate layer of woven fabric material bonded to the inner foamed layer; an outer film layer made of a material which is waterproof and which has high wear-resistance; and a layer of adhesive applied to the intermediate layer to bond the intermediate layer to the inner foamed layer and the outer film layer, the adhesive being flexible and penetrating through the intermediate layer to render the intermediate layer water-impervious, wherein the part made of the laminate has margins provided with stitch seams.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:

[0009]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a shoe incorporating a laminate according to the present invention;

[0010]FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the laminate according to the present invention;

[0011]FIG. 3 is a toe cap blank formed from the laminate of FIG. 2; and

[0012]FIG. 4 is a counter blank formed from the laminate of FIG. 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0013] Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a shoe 1 incorporating the present invention is shown. The shoe 1 includes a toe cap 11, a counter 12 and a vamp section 13 connected between the toe cap 11 and the counter 12. The toe cap 11 and the counter 12 are made of a laminate 3 which embodies the present invention.

[0014] As best shown in FIG. 2, the laminate 3 includes a soft and light-weight inner foamed layer 31, an intermediate layer 32 of woven fabric material, and an outer film layer 33. The laminate 3 may additionally include a fabric lining (not shown) to cover the inner foamed layer 31. The fabric lining may be fabricated from a woven or nonwoven fabric material. The laminate 3 is waterproof and can be stitched and formed into a desired shape in a mold.

[0015] During the production of the laminate 3, an adhesive 34 is applied to the intermediate layer 32. The intermediate layer 32 together with the adhesive 34 is first attached to the outer film layer 33 and then adhered to the inner foamed layer 31. Upon application of a laminating pressure, the adhesive 34 penetrates through the intermediate layer 32, thus saturating the woven fabric material of the intermediate layer 32. The adhesive 34 not only renders the woven fabric material water-impervious but also bonds the intermediate layer 32 to the outer film layer 33 and the inner foamed layer 31. The adhesive 34 is a flexible adhesive, such as, a two-component polyurethane-based adhesive.

[0016] The woven fabric material of the intermediate layer 32 is entirely covered by the inner foamed layer 31 and the outer film layer 33 so that the woven fabric material is prevented from coming into contact with external water or moisture. If the laminate 3 is provided with a fabric lining at the inner side of the inner foamed layer 31, the fabric lining will be embedded in an inner surface of the inner foamed layer 31 due to the pressure and heat applied during the laminating process.

[0017] The inner foamed layer 31 is made of a pliable semi-flexible foam material which is preferably selected from the group consisting of ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA), expandable polyethylene (EPE), and neoprene. The foamed layer 31 is of light-weight, pliable and inexpensive and can provide warmth and a feeling of comfort to the wearer. The thickness of the inner foamed layer 31 is preferably 1-10 mm.

[0018] The outer film layer 33 is made of a material which is waterproof and has good wear-resistance. Preferably, the outer film layer 33 is made of a material which is selected from the group of consisting of a polyurethane film and a polyvinyl chloride film. In addition, the outer film layer 33 is preferably transparent so as to present the texture of the woven fabric material of the intermediate layer 32 through the outer film layer 33. The thickness of the outer film layer 33 is preferably 0.3 mm-1 mm, more preferably, 0.5 mm. If the outer film layer 33 is excessively thick, the flexibility of the laminate 3 will be reduced, and the formability and the stitching characteristics of the laminate 3 will be affected adversely. If the thickness of the outer film layer 33 is not thick enough, the wear-resistance of the laminate 3 will be reduced.

[0019]FIGS. 3 and 4 show a toe cap blank 41 and a counter blank 42 which are formed by tailoring the laminate 3. The toe cap blank 41 is provided with embossed patterns 411, a stitch groove 412 of substantially L-shaped cross-section, and a stitch groove 413 of substantially U-shaped cross-section. Similarly, the counter blank 42 is formed with embossed patterns 421, stitch grooves 422 having a substantially L-shaped cross-section, and a stitch groove 423 of substantially U-shaped cross-section. The toe cap 11 and the counter 12 of the shoe 1 are obtained by lasting the toe cap blank 41 and the counter blank 42. The stitch grooves 412, 413, 422 and 423 are provided to receive and protect stitch seams 15 (see FIG. 1).

[0020] In an example of the laminate 3, the inner foamed layer is made of ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer, and the outer film layer is a polyurethane film. Despite of the light-weight property, the laminate 3 possesses excellent wear-resistance and tear strength and is strong enough to bear stress arising from sewing stitches.

[0021] Since the laminate 3 can be patterned via an embossing process which is easy and inexpensive, the patterning of the laminate 3 does not require an expensive process, such as transfer printing. The laminate 3 can be formed with stitch grooves to receive and protect sewing stitches. In addition to the use of the laminate 3 as a material for a shoe upper, the laminate 3 may also be used in making parts of garments where wear-resistance is necessary.

[0022] While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiment but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent arrangements.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7029552 *Jul 12, 2004Apr 18, 2006Thats Cool Inc.Method of manufacturing self-adhering footwear
US7513064Jul 22, 2004Apr 7, 2009Keen, Inc.Footwear having an enclosed and articulated toe
US8359772 *Oct 20, 2009Jan 29, 2013Simon La RochelleSafety footwear
US20100095549 *Oct 20, 2009Apr 22, 2010Simon La RochelleSafety footwear
US20110225845 *Sep 28, 2009Sep 22, 2011Nike, Inc.Shoe With A Flat Formed Shoe Upper
US20120073164 *Sep 26, 2011Mar 29, 2012Linth Andrew JWaterproof footwear and method of making the same
Classifications
U.S. Classification36/45, 36/69, 36/77.00R, 36/84
International ClassificationA43B9/02, A43B23/08, A43B7/12, A43B1/00, A43D11/00, A43B23/07, A43B23/06
Cooperative ClassificationA43B7/12, A43D11/003, A43B1/00, A43B23/07, A43B9/02, A43B23/087, A43B23/06
European ClassificationA43B7/12, A43D11/00A, A43B23/06, A43B9/02, A43B23/08T8P, A43B1/00, A43B23/07
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 13, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: CHEN, EDDIE, TAIWAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CHANG, PHIL;REEL/FRAME:012887/0333
Effective date: 20011220