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Publication numberUS20050034332 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/638,654
Publication dateFeb 17, 2005
Filing dateAug 11, 2003
Priority dateAug 11, 2003
Publication number10638654, 638654, US 2005/0034332 A1, US 2005/034332 A1, US 20050034332 A1, US 20050034332A1, US 2005034332 A1, US 2005034332A1, US-A1-20050034332, US-A1-2005034332, US2005/0034332A1, US2005/034332A1, US20050034332 A1, US20050034332A1, US2005034332 A1, US2005034332A1
InventorsMarilynn Moschel, Marissa Moschel
Original AssigneeMoschel Marilynn C., Moschel Marissa M.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Interchangeable shoe assembly
US 20050034332 A1
Abstract
An improved shoe having interchangeable soles and uppers. The upper is composed of a footbed and mid-sole with an attached last that inserts into the molded interior of the sole base in such a manner that the upper can be removed and replaced with another upper and such that the connection is secure while wearing the shoe. Shoes produced in this manner allow the consumer to personalize and customize their foot apparel by creating unique combination of uppers and soles.
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Claims(20)
1. A shoe having a replaceable sole and a replaceable upper, comprising:
a shoe upper having a lower surface; and
a shoe sole having an upper surface which is releasably connected to the shoe upper around the periphery of the shoe and wherein at least a portion of the lower surface of the shoe upper away from the shoe periphery is releasably connected to the upper surface of the shoe sole.
2. The shoe as set forth in claim 1 wherein the shoe upper is releasably connected to the shoe sole by means of a plurality of extensions extending from the lower surface of the shoe upper and a plurality of openings in the upper surface of the shoe sole which accept the extensions.
3. The shoe as set forth in claim 2 wherein the plurality of extensions include flanges which are forced through the plurality of openings in the upper surface of the shoe sole.
4. The shoe as set forth in claim 2 wherein the plurality of extensions are made from a flexible material.
5. The shoe as set forth in claim 2 wherein the plurality of extensions are made from rubber.
6. The shoe as set forth in claim 1 wherein the shoe upper comprises:
a footbed having an upper surface and a lower surface;
a support layer having an upper surface and a lower surface, the upper surface of the support layer being attached to the lower surface of the footbed;
an overlayment having an upper surface and a lower surface, the upper surface of the pliable layer being attached to the lower surface of the support layer;
an underlayment having an upper surface and a lower surface; and
a last, the lateral edges of which are attached to the lower surface of the overlayment and the upper surface of the underlayment.
7. The shoe as set forth in claim 6 wherein the support layer, the overlayment and the underlayment are made from a pliable material.
8. The shoe as set forth in claim 6 wherein the support layer is made from foam.
9. The shoe as set forth in claim 6 wherein the overlayment and underlayment are made from rubber.
10. The shoe as set forth in claim 1 wherein the shoe sole is made from a durable material.
11. The shoe as set forth in claim 1 wherein the shoe sole is made from a material selected from the group consisting of polyurethane, metal, wood, plastic, and composite materials.
12. The shoe as set forth in claim 1 wherein the shoe sole includes at least one support area.
13. The shoe as set forth in claim 1 wherein the shoe sole includes a ridge surrounding the periphery of the shoe sole.
14. A shoe having a replaceable sole and a replaceable upper, comprising:
a shoe upper having a lower surface; and
a shoe sole having an upper surface which is releasably connected to the shoe upper around the periphery of the shoe by means of a plurality of extensions extending from the lower surface of the shoe upper and a plurality of openings in the upper surface of the shoe sole which accept the extensions and wherein at least a portion of the lower surface of the shoe upper away from the shoe periphery is releasably connected to the upper surface of the shoe sole by means of a plurality of extensions extending from the lower surface of the shoe upper and a plurality of openings in the upper surface of the shoe sole which accept the extensions.
15. The shoe as set forth in claim 14 wherein the plurality of extensions include flanges which are forced through the plurality of openings in the upper surface of the shoe sole.
16. The shoe as set forth in claim 14 wherein the shoe upper comprises:
a footbed having an upper surface and a lower surface;
a support layer having an upper surface and a lower surface, the upper surface of the support layer being attached to the lower surface of the footbed;
an overlayment having an upper surface and a lower surface, the upper surface of the pliable layer being attached to the lower surface of the support layer;
an underlayment having an upper surface and a lower surface; and
a last, the lateral edges of which are attached to the lower surface of the overlayment and the upper surface of the underlayment.
17. The shoe as set forth in claim 16 wherein the overlayment and underlayment are made from rubber and the lateral edges of the last are thermally fused between the underlayment and the overlayment.
18. The shoe as set forth in claim 16 wherein the support layer is made from foam and the shoe sole is made from a material selected from the group consisting of polyurethane, metal, wood, plastic, and composite materials.
19. The shoe as set forth in claim 14 wherein the shoe sole includes a ridge surrounding the periphery of the shoe sole.
20. A shoe having a replaceable sole and a replaceable upper, comprising:
a shoe upper having a lower surface; and
a shoe sole having an upper surface which is releasably connected to the shoe upper around the periphery of the shoe by means of a plurality of extensions extending from the upper surface of the shoe sole and a plurality of openings in the lower surface of the shoe upper which accept the extensions and wherein at least a portion of the lower surface of the shoe upper away from the shoe periphery is releasably connected to the upper surface of the shoe sole by means of a plurality of extensions extending from the upper surface of the shoe sole and a plurality of openings in the lower surface of the shoe upper which accept the extensions.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to shoes. In particular, the present invention relates to shoes having interchangeable uppers and soles.

2. Description of the Related Art

The shoe, as a durable covering that provides protection for the foot and aids natural human mobility, has changed little through the centuries. Modifications have focused primarily on materials used in shoe manufacture, on methods to manufacture shoes, on footbed inserts to aid in the comfort of the shoe, and even on “bladders” that enable the internal part of the shoe to mold to the individual foot.

Several previous devices exist which allow modification of the appearance of shoes.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,153,968 shows a shoe which allows for the replacement of straps by means of snaps. This invention is limited to shoes having straps as uppers, includes snaps which would interfere with the comfort of the wearer and does not provide a continuous connection between the upper and the sole.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,367,232 shows a method for attaching an upper to a shoe. Again, this method is for strap shoes only. Further, this method is to simplify the manufacturing process, resulting in an upper which is “locked in position” rather than replaceable.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,607,133 shows a shoe having a detachable upper. This design is intended to simplify the manufacture of different sized shoes. The upper connection means is quite complex, relying on bolts to connect the upper to the sole of the shoe.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,761,224 shows a shoe having a detachable upper. The upper is held in place by a channel in the sole. This design does not provide a secure attachment method.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,983,642 shows a shoe having a detachable upper which uses buckles to hold straps in place. U.S. Pat. No. 4,450,633 is similar in design.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,103,440 shows a shoe having a detachable upper which uses a zipper to attach the upper to the sole.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,974,344 shows a shoe which uses an inflatable tube to hold a shoe upper to a specially designed sole.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,083,385 shows a shoe which uses an adhesive layer to hold a shoe upper to its sole. The upper fits within the sole to provide additional connection between the upper and the sole.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,727,334 shows a high traction shoe for use by roofers or other personnel on a high incline surface. The design allows for replacement of the soles which are subject to excessive wear due to the extreme stress under which they are placed. The soles are held in place by hood and loop fasteners to allow replacement of the quickly worn soles.

Several patents show shoes which have reconfigurable straps: U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,669,036; 2,680,309; and 5,992,058. None of these devices are designed to provide a shoe having an interchangeable upper and sole, regardless of the shoe type.

Therefore, there has been and continues to be a need for a shoe having interchangeable uppers and soles for any type of shoe which relies on a simple, secure connection method.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a shoe which has an interchangeable upper and sole.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a shoe which has a simple connection between the upper and the sole.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a shoe in which the connection means between the upper and the sole is not visible during wear.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a shoe which has a connection between the upper and the sole that is secure and safe for the wearer.

It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a shoe in which the connection between the upper and the sole is comfortable.

Finally, it is an object of the present invention to accomplish the foregoing objectives in a simple and cost effective manner.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

A shoe having interchangeable uppers and soles is described which includes a shoe upper and a shoe sole. The sole and upper are releasably connected about their peripheries and along an area which is not at their peripheries. The connection means is preferably flanged or winged extensions which extend into holes. The wings or flanges are forced through the holes and hold the sole and upper together. The extensions are preferably made from a flexible material such as rubber. The upper is preferably formed from a footbed, a support layer attached to the lower surface of the footbed, an overlayment attached to the lower surface of the support layer, an underlayment and a last which is attached at its lateral edges to the lower surface of the overlayment and the upper surface of the underlayment. The support layer, the overlayment and the underlayment are made from a pliable material with the support layer preferably mad from foam and the overlayment and underlayment preferably made from rubber. The sole is made from a durable material such as polyurethane, metal, wood, plastic or composite materials. In addition to connection means, the sole preferably includes at least one support area and a ridge surrounding the periphery of the shoe sole.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an upper of a preferred embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a sole of a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

ELEMENT LIST

  • 12 upper
  • 14 footbed
  • 16 support layer
  • 18 overlayment
  • 20 last
  • 22 underlayment
  • 24 male component
  • 26 female grid
  • 28 sole
  • 30 molded ridge
  • 32 reinforcement elements
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The following detailed description is of the best presently contemplated modes of carrying out the invention. This description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of illustrating general principles of embodiments of the invention.

In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, a shoe having interchangeable uppers and soles is described. First, a mold is selected for the sole that externally provides the height, shape, and heel design of the shoe, that internally and dorsally supports side-to-side and front to back integrity; and that houses a grid to support attachment of the upper. Second, an upper is selected that includes an external covering fused to a footbed that may or may not be contoured; fused to a thin piece of rubber overlayment which is fused to the last, and additionally creates a rubber male component, shaped and molded to fit securely into the sole grid.

A preferred embodiment of the interchangeable shoe is shown in the accompanying figures. FIG. 1 shows the preferred embodiment of the present invention. The topmost layer of the upper 12 is a footbed 14, an external covering of natural or manmade material onto which the sole of the foot rests. It is typically about {fraction (1/32)} of an inch thick. It is layered and fused to a support layer 16, preferably made from foam or other pliable material, that is often contoured for arch or heel support and comfort. The thickness of this support layer 16 preferably varies from {fraction (1/16)} to ⅛ inch thick. A thin, {fraction (1/16)} inch overlayment 18, preferably made of rubber, provides a flexible surface beneath the foam layer 16 and the upper surface to which the last 20 is fused by heat or other appropriate bonding process. This is followed by an underlayment 22 which is preferably a one-piece molded construction made from rubber. Its upper surface provides the second and lower surface for fusion of the last 20. Its lower surface creates a plurality of rubber male components 24 that are compatible with and fit into the female grid 26 of the sole 28. This rubber underlayment is approximately ⅓ inch thick and its male components 24 with wings or flanges fit flexibly through and extend under the base of the female grid 26 and hold the upper 12 in place, with effectively a rubber stitch. These components, the footbed 14, support layer 16, overlayment 18, last 20 and underlayment 22, are fused or bonded together to create the whole of the upper 12 shoe.

Attachment of the last 20, at the point of the arch requires particular attention due to the upward pressure at the arch during walking—especially in a sandal when the arch of the foot pushes against the last 20. The preferred method is to provide additional reinforcement at this area without creating a bulky seam that might cause discomfort. This is provided using two-layer construction with pliable layer 18 above and underlayment 22 below, both layers preferably being made from rubber, and fuse the last 20 between them using compression bonding with an adhesive. This bonding operation can be performed simultaneously with other needed bonding operations that result in the upper 12. Bonding would involve an elevated temperature which is dependent on the adhesive being used and allows the rubber and last material to undergo cure, drying and melt flow. Bonding also augments toughness of the material and decreases the tendency of material to stretch at the point of arch stress.

The upper shoe 12, as a separate and interchangeable component, fits onto the selected sole 28 of the shoe. The shape of the sole 28 is dictated, in part, by fashion and generally covered with a natural or man-made material. On its topmost, peripheral surface there is a molded ridge 30 that sits approximately ⅛ of an inch above the footbed 14, typically covered in the material that used on the external surface of the sole 28. This ridge 30 helps prevent the upper 12 from shifting out of position and also serves as a water barrier. The female grid 26 that accepts the male components 24 courses along the entire periphery of the shoe in addition to reinforced areas at the toe, arch, and heel. This female grid 26 is preferably made of polyurethane and has an airgap on the ventral surface to accept the male components 24 providing a secure but removable connection between the sole 28 and the upper 12. The grid can be made from a sawdust and glue mixture that would harden to form grid walls, metal or wood. The sole 28 is preferably reinforced front to back, top to bottom, and side to side with reinforcement elements 32 which are preferably additional polyurethane grids. These reinforcement elements 32 do not accept any male components and provide support for the underlayment 22. The bottom surface of the sole 28 is in contact with the ground surface and is typical in its construction, either molded waffle style, or covered with natural or man-made material. FIG. 3 shows the upper surface of the sole 28 in greater detail.

FIG. 2 shows the upper 12 in the bonded or fused configuration. The elements which comprise the upper, namely, the footbed 14, inner layer 16, overlayment 18, last 20 and underlayment 22, are fused or bonded together with the male components 24 extending from the lower surface of the upper to create the whole of the upper 12 shoe.

Use of the Invention

An upper 12 and sole 28 are selected by the prospective wearer. Any combination of upper 12 and sole 28 can be selected, allowing many combinations. The lower surface of the upper 12 for the left foot, i.e., the surface which includes the male components 24 extending therefrom, is placed in contact with the upper surface of the sole for the left foot, i.e., the surface which includes the female grid 26. The male components 24 are guided into the female grid 26, forcing the winged or flanged edges of the male components through the holes in the female grid 26. Once through the holes in the female grid 26, the wings or flanges of the male components expand to effect a connection between the upper 12 and the sole 28. The same process is followed for the right shoe.

The upper 12 and sole 28 are released by pulling up on an edge of the upper 12 and releasing the connection between the male components 24 and the female grid 26 thus removing the upper 12 from the sole 28.

While the description above refers to particular embodiments of the present invention, it will be understood that many modifications may be made without departing from the spirit thereof. The accompanying claims are intended to cover such modifications as would fall within the true scope and spirit of the present invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7171768Oct 10, 2003Feb 6, 2007Skins Footwear, Inc.Modular shoe system
US7614165Apr 22, 2005Nov 10, 2009Podi, L.L.C.Interchangeable footwear component
US7661206Jul 31, 2006Feb 16, 2010Holly H. OsbornMethod and apparatus for fashion adaptable footwear
US7669352Mar 30, 2007Mar 2, 2010Jerry StefaniInterchangeable component shoe system
US7765722 *Sep 17, 2007Aug 3, 2010Marlene BerrinsSandal with adjustable straps and interchangeable mix and match straps and insoles
US8020318 *Jan 11, 2008Sep 20, 2011Gamila CompanyQuick-Assembly Footwear
US8028441Mar 1, 2010Oct 4, 2011Jerry StefaniInterchangeable component shoe system
US8353116 *Jun 16, 2010Jan 15, 2013Marlene BerrinsSandal with adjustable straps and interchangeable mix and match straps and insoles
US20090044426 *Aug 12, 2008Feb 19, 2009Stephen Michael LevineShoe with custom molded foot plate and method of making
US20100251570 *Jun 16, 2010Oct 7, 2010Marlene BerrinsSandal with adjustable straps and interchangeable mix and match straps and insoles
EP2387899A1 *May 18, 2011Nov 23, 2011Jack Wolfskin Ausrüstung für Draussen Gmbh & Co. KGAASandals with removable footbed
Classifications
U.S. Classification36/101, 36/100, 36/15, 36/24
International ClassificationA43B13/36, A43B3/10
Cooperative ClassificationA43B3/103, A43B3/108, A43B13/36
European ClassificationA43B3/10S, A43B3/10B1A, A43B13/36