US 2954617 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 4, 1 960 HIDEO YAMAGUCHI FOOTWEAR Filed May 23, 1957 FlG.4.
INVENTOR. W050 )2444 05/ FOOTWEAR Hideo Yamaguchi, Kurume, Japan, assignor to Nikka Rubber Co., Ltd., Kurume, Japan Filed May 23, 1957, Ser. No. 661,214
'1 Claim. (Cl. '36--11.5)
The present invention relates to articles of footwear.
More particularly the present invention relates to an article of footwear which is adapted to be worn in water, mud, sand or the like.
Beach shoes which are worn under these conditions have several disadvantages. Thus, when shoes are worn in water, sand, or the like, pebbles, sand, or similar parti'cles easily flow into the shoes to become lodged in the same so as to irritate the foot of the wearer. Moreover, such shoes render it very difficult for the wearer to walk easily in water, mud, sand or the like. On the other hand, protection for the feet cannot be eliminated because the soles of the feet, in particular, are sensitive andcan easily become scratched and irritated.
One of the objects of the present invention is to provide means protecting the foot under the above adverse conditions while at the same time preventing irritation of the foot and permitting easy, comfortable walking.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an article of footwear capable of fitting feet of different sizes. I A further object of the present invention is to provide means of relatively simple and inexpensive construction capable of accomplishing the above objects.
The above and other objects of the invention will become further apparent from the following detailed description, reference being made to the accompanying drawing, showing preferred embodiments of the invention.
In the drawing:
Fig. 1 shows foot wear which terminates short of the toe and heel of the wearer.
Fig. 2 shows footwear which will contain the big toe but terminates short of the other toes and the heel of the wearer.
Fig. 3 shows footwear which terminates short of the toe and the heel but will support the arch of the wearer.
Fig. 4 shows footwear which exposes some of the toes and terminates short of the heel of the wearer.
Referning to Fig. 1, the article of footwear illustrated therein includes a flexible sole 2a, made of any suitable material such as rubber, vinyl plastic or the like. The sole 2a has an irregular, rough bottomsurface to increase the frictional contact between the sole and the surface which it engages.
The article of footwear, in addition, includes an upper 1a made of a flexible, resilient, elastic material such as rubber or the like. Because of the elasticity of the upper la the article of footwear is capable of being comfortably worn by feet of widely different sizes.
As is apparent from Fig. l the upper 1a is formed with a plurality of openings 3a.
The sole 2a shown in Fig. 1 extends along only part of the bottom surface of the foot of the wearer. In particular, the sole 2a terminates short of the toes and heel of the wearer so that the front end of the sole 2a exposes the toes of the wearer While the rear end of the sole exposes the heel of the wearer.
As is apparent from Fig. l, the upper 1a has a front edge which cooperates with the front end of the sole'2a 2,954,617 Patented Oct. 4, 1960 to form a front opening through and beyond which the toes of the wearer extend. The upper 1a has a pair of opposite bottom side edge portions 12a which are respectively fixed to the sole 2a. In the particular example illustrated, a flexible insole 13a is substantially coextensive with outsole 2a and is attached to and covers the top surface thereof. The opposite side edge portions 12a of the upper 1a extend between the sole 2a and the insole 13a and are fixed to the sole 2a and insole 13a, as by'being glued or vulcanized thereto.
The upper 1a terminates in a rear edge 5a which cooperates with the rear end of the outsole- 2a to form an opening beyond which the foot of the wearer extends and through Whichthe foot of the wearer is inserted into the article of footwear.
A reinforcing strip 4a is joined, as by gluing or the like, to the rear edge portion of the upper 1a at the outer surface of the latter which is directed away from the sole 2a. This reinforcing strip 4a may also be made of rubber.
The article of footwear shown in Fig. 1 is completed I by a flexible, ankle-engaging means or strap 6a which is fixed to and extends rearwardly from the rear portion of the upper 1a and which passes around the wearers ankle to cooperate with the upper la for retaining the article on the wearers foot.
The ankle-engaging means shown in Fig. 1 is in the form of a flexible strap separate from the upper 1a and fixedthereto as by having opposite ends of the strap 6;: folded back and extending between the reinforcing strip 4a-and the upper 1a, these ends of the strap 6a being joined to the upper 1a and the reinforcing strip 4a by gluing, vulcanizingor the like.
It will thus be seen that with the above-described article shown in Fig. 1 the ball of the wearers foot, which is applied with the greatest force against the ground during walking, is protected by the sole 2a, while the toes and heels are exposed so that the wearer can easily negotiate muddy, sandy, wet terrain, or the like. Becauseof the front and rear openings 7a, 8a of the article shown in Fig. 1 any sand, pebbles or the like which should enter the article will immediately be washed out and cannot remain therein to irritate the foot of the wearer.
The article of footwear shown in Fig. 1 is very easily placed on the foot simply by placing the strap 6a beneath the heel and inserting the foot into the article through the rear opening formed by rear edge 5a of the upper and the rear end of sole 2a, after which the strap 60. is drawn up over the heel so as to extend from the upper around the rear of the ankle. The resiliency of the upper 1a as well as of the strap 6a, when the latter is made of elastic material, serve to maintain the article of'footwear on the wearers foot snugly, comfortably and securely.
The embodiment of the invention which is shown in Fig. 2 is similar to that of Fig. l, and all parts or" the embodiment of Fig. 2 which correspond to parts described above in connection with Fig. 1 are designated by the same numerals followed by the letter b.
The upper 1b of Fig. 2 is made of a pair of sections of elastic sheet material which are joined together along the line 8.
The muscle 25 as well as the insole 13!: covering the same have a forwardly extending portion 14 which extends beneath the big toe of the foot of the wearer, and with this embodiment only the remaining toes are exposed. The upper lb has a forwardly extending portion 15 located over the sole portion 14, and a section of sheet material 16 is joinedto the forwardly extending portion 15 alongthe line 7, this sheet portion 16 having its bottom edge fixed to the forwardly extending portion 14 by extending between the sole portion 14 and the part of the insole 13b located over this sole portion, this edge of the sheet 16 being glued or joined in any other suitable way to the sole and insole 13b. Thus, the upper of Fig. 2 cooperates with the sole to provide a tubular extension which accommodates the big toe of the wearer. The opposite bottom side edges of the upper of Fig. 2 are joined to the sole 2b in the same way as in the embodiment of Fig. 1. It will be noted, however, that the upper 1b has besides openings 317 (similar to openings 3a in Fig. 1) additional openings 17 at the lower side portions of the upper. Such openings serve as additional outlets for particles which may enter into the article of footwear.
A reinforcing member 9, which may be made of rubber or the like, is fixed by gluing, vulcanizing or the like to the upper 1b at the junction between the big toe enclosing tubular portion 15 and the opening 13b through which the remaining toes extend.
Thus, the embodiment of Fig. 2 provides at the front end of the article of footwear a pair of openings 7b, 7b one of which accommodates the big toe, and through the other of which the remaining toes extend.
The rear portion of the sole and upper of Fig. 2 are identical with the rear portion of the sole and upper of Fig. 1. Also, the strap 6b is joined in the same way to the rear portion of the upper. It will be noted that the strap 6b is narrower at the intermediate portion thereof located at the rear of the ankle than at the ends thereof joined to the upper. In this way a very secure connection of the ankle strap to the upper is provided.
In the embodiment of the invention which is illustrated in Fig. 3 those elements which correspond to the abovedescribed elements are indicated with the same numerals followed by the letter 0.
Thus, it will be seen that the upper 1c made of the same material as the above-described uppers is joined at its opposite bottom side edges to the outsole 20 also made of the same material as the above described soles. An insole 13c being joined to the upper face of the sole 2c and the opposite side portions 12c of the upper extending between and being glued or otherwise fixed to the outsole 2c and the insole 130.
With the embodiment of the invention which is shown in Fig. 3 the opposite bottom side portions 120 are shorter than the total length of the upper, and the sole 20 as well as the insole 13c extend rearwardly beyond the bottom side portions 120 to provide a tongue-like portion which will protect the arch of the wearers foot. As may be seen from Fig. 3, the front edge of the upper 10 cooperates with the front end of the sole 20 to provide an opening 70 through and beyond which the toes of the wearer extend. Also, it will be noted that with this embodiment the openings 3c extend completely across the top portion of the upper 10.
In the embodiment of Fig. 3 the ankle-engaging means 6c is integral with the, upper and extends rearwardly therefrom in the manner indicated in Fig. 3. Thus,
there is no problem of connecting an ankle strap to the upper. It should, also, be noted that the structureof Fig. 3 as well as the structures of the remaining embodiments of the invention are very simple and inexpensive to manufacture.
Reinforcing strips 18 may be located along the edges of the upper, these reinforcing strips 18 being made of any suitable material such as rubber and the like and being joined to the upper 1c as by being glued or vulcanized thereto.
It is believed to be "apparent that the article of footwear shown in Fig. 3 is placed on the foot of the wearer by having the wearer insert his foot through the opening defined by the ankle strap 66 and the top rear portion of the upper 10. The article of footwear of Fig. 3 is placed on the foot of the wearer in the same manner as the article of Fig. 1.
If desired, the sole and upper of Fig. 2, for example, may be extended forwardly so as to cover all of the toes of the wearer. Fig. 4 shows an embodiment of the invention where the parts which correspond to the abovedescribed elements are designated by the same numerals followed by the letter e. The outsole 2e extends forwardly wtih respect to the foot of the wearer to an ex tent greater than that of other embodiments of the invention, and in fact the sole 2e may extend beneath the toes of the foot of the wearer. still has a front edge which cooperates with the sole 2e to provide an opening 7e exposing at least some of the toes of the wearer and providing a passage for particles of matter to flow out of the article of footwear. The rear end of the outsole 2a exposes the heel of the wearer in a manner similar to the embodiment of Fig. 1.
The upper ie is formed integrally with the ankle-engaging means 6e as in the case of the embodiments of Fig. 3 and the sole 2e exposes the heel of the wearer. Furthermore, theupper 1e has a top portion formed by a network of elongated flexible elastic elements, such as rubber cords 19 or the like, and the sides of this network are joined in any suitable way as by gluing, vulcanizing or the like to the side edge portions 122 which are made of sheet material which is flexible and elastic, theseside edge portions 12c extending between the sole 2e and the insole 13c which covers the same and being joined to the sole and insole as by gluing, vulcanizing or the like.
It is believed to be apparent that any one of the abovedescribed articles of footwear, because of the elasticity of the upper thereof, is capable of accommodating feet of widely different sizes. The embodiment of Fig. 4 is placed on the foot of the wearer in the same way as the. embodiment of Fig. 3.
With all embodiments of the invention any particles of matter which happen to enter the article of footwear will easily flow or fall out of the same. Moreover, with the articles of footwear described above the wearer can walk easily and naturally and there will be no undesirable irritation of the foot. The articles of footwear described above are suitable for use at beaches, for farm work, or for any conditions where mud, sand, or dampness or the like are present.
It is apparent from the above description that all of the above-described articles of footwear include a flexible sole exposing at one end part of the bottom of the wearers foot when the article is worn. A flexible, resilient, elastic upper has opposite bottom side edge portions respectively fixed to the outsole, and this upper has at one end an edge cooperating with the above-mentioned end of the sole to form at least one opening through which part of the wearers foot extends when the article is worn.
.A flexible ankle-engaging means is fixed to and extends rearwardly from a rear portion of the upper for passing around the wearers ankle to cooperate with the upper for retaining the article on the wearers foot.
Various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention and it is intended that such obvious changes and modifications be embraced by the annexed claim.
. Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent, is:
An article of footwear adapted to be worn in water, mud, sand or the like; comprising a flexible sole having an irregular bottom surface terminating short of the toe end of the wearers foot when the article is worn and exposing the bottom of the toes of the wearers foot at the front end of said sole and terminating short of the heel end of a wearers foot to expose the bottom of the heel while underlying the ball of the wearers foot, a flexible, resilient, elastic upper having opposite bottom side edge portions respectively fixed to the front portion of said sole, said sole extending rearwardly to a substantial extent of said bottom side edge portions, said upper having a front edge cooperating with and conforming in contour with However, the upper -1e said front end of said sole to form only one front opening through and beyond which the toes of the wearers foot extend when the article is worn, the major portion of said front edge lying substantially parallel with said front end of said sole, and a flexible, ankle-engaging strap extending rearwardly from a rear part of said upper for passing around the wearers ankle to cooperate with said upper for retaining the article on the wearers foot, an insole attached to and covering said sole at the upper surface thereof, said opposite side edge portions of said upper being located between said sole and insole, said strap having opposite ends integrally formed with said upper and having an intermediate portion adapted to pass around the rear of the wearers ankle, said intermediate portion of said strap being narrower than said opposite ends thereof, said upper having a plurality of spaced openings therein forwardly disposed of said strap.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 346,776 Rodenberger Aug. 3, 1886 975,379 Ashbaugh Nov. 8, 1910 1,902,521 Rice Mar. 21, 1933 2,185,762 Cox Jan. 2, 1940 2,237,652 Capezio Apr. 8, 1941 2,530,004 Guglielmo Nov. 14, 1950 2,734,285 Levitt Feb. 14, 1956