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Publication numberUS20060026862 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/912,013
Publication dateFeb 9, 2006
Filing dateAug 5, 2004
Priority dateAug 5, 2004
Publication number10912013, 912013, US 2006/0026862 A1, US 2006/026862 A1, US 20060026862 A1, US 20060026862A1, US 2006026862 A1, US 2006026862A1, US-A1-20060026862, US-A1-2006026862, US2006/0026862A1, US2006/026862A1, US20060026862 A1, US20060026862A1, US2006026862 A1, US2006026862A1
InventorsBruce Cagner
Original AssigneeBcny International
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Article of footwear and associated of manufacture
US 20060026862 A1
Abstract
A method for manufacturing an article of footwear utilizes an insole body. A mask is attached to a lower surface of the insole body so as to cover a substantial portion of the lower surface. A coating is applied to the insole body with the mask attached thereto to cover exposed surfaces of the insole body. Thereafter the mask is removed from the insole body to expose the substantial portion of the lower surface. The insole body is adhesively attached along the lower surface to an upper surface of an outsole. Preferably at least part of the exposed lower surface of the insole body is adhesively attached to the upper surface of the outsole.
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Claims(20)
1. A method for manufacturing an article of footwear, comprising:
providing an insole body;
attaching a mask to a lower surface of said insole body so as to cover a substantial portion of said lower surface with said mask;
applying a coating to said insole body with said mask attached thereto to cover exposed surfaces of said insole body;
thereafter removing said mask from said insole body, thereby exposing said substantial portion of said lower surface; and
thereafter adhesively attaching said insole body along said lower surface to an upper surface of an outsole.
2. The method defined in claim 1 wherein the applying of said coating includes dipping at least a portion of said insole body with said mask attached thereto in a reservoir of liquid coating material.
3. The method defined in claim 2 wherein said liquid coating material is a polymeric material.
4. The method defined in claim 3 wherein said polymeric material is polyvinyl chloride.
5. The method defined in claim 2, further comprising cutting at least one hole in said insole body after the dipping of said insole body in said liquid coating material, said hole extending from an upper surface of said insole body to said lower surface, and inserting an end portion of a shoe upper through said hole prior to the adhesive attaching of the exposed substantial portion of said lower surface to said upper surface of said outsole.
6. The method defined in claim 2 wherein the dipping of said insole body with said mask attached thereto in said liquid coating material includes inserting at least a portion of said insole body multiple times in said liquid coating material.
7. The method of claim 1 wherein said insole body is made of of compressible material.
8. The method defined in claim 7 wherein said compressible material is a rubber or polymeric foam material.
9. The method defined in claim 7 wherein said insole body is cut from a sheet of the compressible material.
10. The method defined in claim 1 wherein said mask is attached to said lower surface via a releasable adhesive layer.
11. The method defined in claim 1 wherein the attaching of said mask to said lower surface of said insole body includes spacing said mask on all sides from an edge of said lower surface.
12. The method defined in claim 1 wherein the removing of said mask from said insole body includes cutting through said coating along an edge of said mask and thereafter removing said mask from said lower surface of said insole body.
13. The method defined in claim 1 wherein the applying of said coating includes applying a layer of coating to at least a portion of said mask, the removing of said mask from said insole body includes cutting through said coating along an edge of said mask and thereafter removing said mask and said layer from said lower surface of said insole body.
14. The method defined in claim 1 wherein the attaching of said insole body to said upper surface of said outsole includes adhesively attaching an exposed part of said lower surface to said upper surface of said outsole.
15. An article of footwear comprising:
an insole body of compressible material, said insole body having an upper surface, a lower surface and a perimetrically extending side surface connecting said upper surface and said lower surface, said upper surface and said side surface being provided with a coating of water impervious polymer, said lower surface being mostly free of said polymer;
an outsole, said lower surface of said insole body being adhered to a top surface of said outsole; and
an upper member attached at least to said outsole.
16. The article of footwear defined in claim 15, wherein said insole body is provided with at least one hole extending from said upper surface of said insole body to said lower surface, an end portion said upper member extending through said hole.
17. The article of footwear defined in claim 15 wherein said compressible material is a rubber or polymeric foam material.
18. The article of footwear defined in claim 15 wherein said lower surface is provided along an edge region with a layer of said polymer.
19. The article of footwear defined in claim 15 wherein said insole body is cut from a sheet of the compressible material.
20. The article of footwear defined in claim 15 wherein said polymer is polyvinyl chloride.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to footwear and a method of manufacture therefor.

Certain types of sandals include an insole bonded to an outsole where the insole and outsole are made of different materials. Typically, the insole is made of a soft or spongy material for purposes of enhancing the comfort of the wearer. The insole functions in part as a shock absorber and in part as a means of instantaneously molding the shoe to the wearer's foot. The outsole is typically made of a harder material for purposes of wear resistance. The outsole protects the wearer and the insole from potential damage caused by irregular ground features.

The material of the insole is typically a porous compressible material. In some sandals of this type, the insole may be provided with a coating of a nonporous material such as polyvinyl chloride exemplarily for aesthetic reasons. A shiny vinyl topcoat provides a visual impact and a smooth textural feel markedly different from that of a spongy porous rubber or thermoplastic resin material.

To apply the coating to the insole, it is cusomtary to dip the entire insole in a vat of liquid vinyl. Thus, the bottom of the insole is coated as well as the top and sides of the insole. The vinyl coating on the bottom surface of the insole body is then cemented to an upper surface of an outsole.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a new method of manufacturing a shoe of the above-described type.

Another object of the present invention is to provide such a method of manufacture that reduces the amount of coating material needed on the insole.

A further object of the present invention is to provide such a method of manufacture that enables a direct bond between the main material of the insole and the upper surface of the outsole.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a shoe of novel construction.

These and other objects of the present invention will be apparent from the drawings and descriptions herein. Although every object of the invention is believed to be attained by at least one embodiment of the invention, there is not necessarily any one embodiment that achieves all of the objects of the invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A method for manufacturing an article of footwear comprises, in accordance with the present invention, providing an insole body, attaching a mask to a lower surface of the insole body so as to cover a substantial portion of the lower surface with the mask, applying a coating to the insole body with the mask attached thereto to cover exposed surfaces of the insole body, thereafter removing the mask from the insole body to expose the substantial portion of the lower surface, and adhesively attaching the insole body along the lower surface to an upper surface of an outsole. Preferably at least part of the exposed lower surface of the insole body is adhesively attached to the upper surface of the outsole.

Pursuant to another feature of the present invention, the coating is applied by dipping at least a portion of the insole body with the mask attached thereto in a reservoir of liquid coating material. The liquid coating material is preferably a polymeric material such as polyvinyl chloride.

The insole may be dipped in a vertical or a horizontal orientation. In the vertical orientation, the mask on the lower surface of the insole is covered with layer of the coating material. This layer of coating is susbequently removed, either before or simultaneously with the mask.

Where the insole has a horizontal orientation during the dipping process, the mask faces upwardly. Although the mask may be completely covered with a coating layer, it is possible using the horizontal orientation to largely limit the coating to the upper and side surfaces of the insole. Some of the liquid coating material may drift onto the mask. Howwever, the amount of coating material utilized can be reduced, resulting in materials cost savings.

Pursuant to a further feature of the present invention, the manufacturing method additionally comprises cutting at least one hole in the insole body after the dipping of the insole body in the liquid coating material. The hole extends from an upper surface of the insole body to the lower surface. An end portion of a shoe upper is inserted through the hole prior to the adhesive attaching of the exposed substantial portion of the lower insole surface to the upper surface of the outsole.

The dipping of the insole body with the mask attached thereto in the liquid coating material may include inserting at least a portion of the insole body multiple times in the liquid coating material. This technique results in a shiny, even appearance of the polymeric coating.

The insole body is preferably made of a soft or spongy foam material that compresses under pressure of the user's foot. The compressible material may be a rubber or polymeric foam material. In addition, the insole body is cut from a sheet of the compressible material.

Peferably, the mask is attached to the lower surface of the insole via a releasable adhesive layer. Thus, the mask may be removed simply by peeling the mask away from the lower insole surface. The mask may be made of paper or polymeric material.

Preferably, the mask is spaced on all sides from an edge of the lower insole surface. This procedure results in a shoe having an even appearance of coating about the lower periphery of the side surfaces. The aesthetic appeal of the shoe is thereby maintained.

To remove the mask from the insole body, one typically cuts through the coating along an edge of the mask. Thereafter the mask is removed from the lower surface of the insole body. Where the coating extends over the mask, the coating on the mask may be removed from the insole together with the mask or separately prior to removal of the mask.

An article of footwear comprises, in accordance with the present invention, an insole body of compressible material. The insole body has an upper surface, a lower surface, and a perimetrically extending side surface connecting the upper surface and the lower surface. The upper surface and the side surface are provided with a coating of water impervious polymer, while the lower surface being mostly free of the polymer. The lower surface of the insole body is adhered to a top surface of an outsole, while an upper member is attached at least to the outsole.

The insole body is provided with at least one hole extending from the upper surface of the insole body to the lower surface, an end portion the upper member extending through the hole.

The compressible material of the insole is a rubber or polymeric foam material. The lower surface of the insole is preferabluy provided along an edge region with a layer of the polymer.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view of a sheet of polymeric foam material, showing a step in cutting an insole blank from the sheet.

FIG. 2 is a schematic perspective view of an insole blank made by the process shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a schematic perspective view of of the insole of FIG. 2, showing a mask attached to a lower surface thereof.

FIG. 4 is a schematic perspective view showing a dipping of the insole of FIG. 3, with the mask attached thereto, in a reservoir of a liquid polymer material.

FIG. 5 is a schematic perspective view of the insole of FIG. 3, after receiving a coating via the dipping process as shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a schematic perspective view of the coated insole of FIG. 5, showing partial removal of the mask and a layer of coating thereon from the coated insole.

FIG. 7 is a schematic perspective view of the coated insole of FIG. 5 with the mask completely removed by a peeling away process shown in FIG. 6, showing holes for the attachment of an upper.

FIG. 8 is a partial crossectional view taken along line VIII-VIII in FIG. 7, showing a grommet and a tubular upper strap inserted into one of the holes depicted in FIG. 7.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, a method for manufacturing an article of footwear includes providing an insole body 12 by moving a blade 14 along a path 16 in a sheet 18 of polymeric foam material, as indicated by an arrow 20. The insole body 12 has an upper surface 22, a lower surface 24, and a perimetral side surface 26 that connects the upper and lower surfaces.

The polymeric foam material of sheet 18 may be any suitable material such as polyvinyl chloride, polyurethane, ethylene vinyl acetate, or a rubber composition. The polymeric foam material of insole body 12 is compressible or deformable under the weight that an individual shoe wearer might place on the insole.

As depicted in FIG. 3, a paper or polymeric-film mask 28 is adhered to lower surface 24 of insole body 12 so as to cover a substantial portion of the lower surface. Typically, the mask covers between 60% and 80% of the area of lower surface 24. In some cases, the mask may cover less than 60% or more than 80% of the area of lower surface 24. Mask 28 is preferably attached to lower surface 24 via a layer (not shown) of releasable adhesive.

A coating is then applied to insole body 12 with mask 28 attached thereto. As indicated by an arrow 30 in FIG. 4, insole body 12 is dipped multiple times in a reservoir or vat 32 of a liquid polymeric coating composition 34. Insole body 12 may have a vertical orientation during the dipping process, as shown in FIG. 4, or virtually any other orientation. Where a horizontal orientation is used, with mask 28 facing upwardly, care may be taken to minimize the extent to which the liquid coating composition 34 flows onto mask 28.

Liquid coating composition 34 preferably takes the form of a liquid vinyl composition. The polymeric coating may be alternatively applied by other methods such as painting or spraying.

The dipping process of FIG. 4 results in covering exposed the surfaces of insole body 12, namely, upper surface 22, side surface 26, and an edge region 36 of lower surface 24. After a polymerization and drying of the applied liquid coating, a blade 38 may be used to cut through the coating on lower insole surface 24, along the edge 40 of mask 28 (FIG. 5). Thereafter mask 28 is removed from insole body 12, for example, by peeling the mask and any vinyl coating layer thereon away from insole surface 24, as illustrated in FIG. 6. This removal exposes the substantial portion of lower surface 24, specifically all of the lower surface except edge region 36, as shown in FIG. 7.

In an alternative procedure, after the cutting of the coating layer on lower surface 24 by blade 38, it is possible to remove any layer of coating on mask 28 prior to the peeling of the mask away from lower surface 24.

As shown in FIG. 7, holes 42, 44, 46 are formed in the coated insole body 12. Holes 42, 44, 46 extend perpendicularly to and connect surfaces 22 and 24. Grommets 48 (FIG. 8) are then inserted into holes 42, 44, 46. Grommets 48 are tubular sleeves 50 provided at one end with an annular flange 52. Flange 52 is adhesively attached to a layer of vinyl coating 54 on upper insole surface 22. Sleeve 50 may also be adhered to the surface of the respective hole 42, 44, 46.

After the placement of grommets 48, strap ends 56 of an upper member 58 are inserted through resepctive grommets and respective holes 42, 44, 46. Fabric tensile elements 60 and 62 extending through upper member 58 have free ends 64 and 66 that are attached to the lower surface 24 of insole body 12. Fabric reinforcement patches 68 may be first glued to the lower surface 24, fabric ends 64 and 66 being stitched to the fabric patches 68.

After the attachment of fabric ends 64 and 66, insole body 12 is adhesively coupled to an upper surface 70 of an outsole 72, as indicated by an arrow 74. Specifically, exposed parts of lower surface 24 may be cemented directly to upper surface 70.

FIG. 9 shows an article of footwear 76 that may be formed by the method discussed above with reference to FIGS. 1-8. Footwear or shoe 76 comprises insole body 12, outsole 72, and upper member 58. Upper surface 22 and side surface 26 of insole body 12 are provided with a coating of vinyl which is inherently a water impervious polymer, while lower surface 24 is mostly free of the polymer. Lower surface 24 of the insole body 12 is adhered directly or indirectly to top or upper surface 70 of outsole 72. Upper member 58 is attached at least indirectly to outsole 72.

Although the invention has been described in terms of particular embodiments and applications, one of ordinary skill in the art, in light of this teaching, can generate additional embodiments and modifications without departing from the spirit of or exceeding the scope of the claimed invention. Accordingly, it is to be understood that the drawings and descriptions herein are proffered by way of example to facilitate comprehension of the invention and should not be construed to limit the scope thereof.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7694436 *Oct 13, 2006Apr 13, 2010Scott MullenFootwear repair
US20130318823 *May 30, 2012Dec 5, 2013Great Hill Textile Co., Ltd.Areca palm made footwear
WO2014201184A1 *Jun 11, 2014Dec 18, 2014OluKai, LLCFlexible footwear with puncture resistant sole and reinforced strap mounting
Classifications
U.S. Classification36/11.5, 12/142.00S
International ClassificationA43B3/12
Cooperative ClassificationA43B3/103
European ClassificationA43B3/10B1A