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Publication numberUS3890725 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 24, 1975
Filing dateSep 14, 1973
Priority dateSep 14, 1973
Publication numberUS 3890725 A, US 3890725A, US-A-3890725, US3890725 A, US3890725A
InventorsKlein Laszlo, Lea Darrell Bernard
Original AssigneeLea Darrel Bernard
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shoe construction
US 3890725 A
Abstract
A shoe construction comprising a unitary, molded sole unit having a plurality of female connectors spaced along the periphery of the upper portion thereof, and an upper and an insole permanently or removably attached to the sole unit to form a finished shoe. In one embodiment, male connectors are secured to the peripheral portion of the insole and are positioned to mate with the female connectors in the upper portion of the sole unit. The edge portions of the upper are turned in under the insole and are provided with a plurality of holes which are positioned to enable the male connectors on the insole to extend therethrough. In this manner, the upper and the insole can be removably or permanently attached to the sole unit. In another embodiment, the male connectors are secured to the turned-in edge portions of the upper, and additional male connectors are secured to the insole for the purpose of removably or permanently securing the insole and the upper to the sole unit.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

I Ulll L ted States Patent 1 [111 3,890,725

ea et al.

[ June 24, 1975 54 l SHOE CONSTRUCTION Primary Exammer-Patrick D. Lawson [75] Inventors: Darrell Bernard Lea, Kogarah, Attorney Agent or Firm Lming & Siege] Sydney, Australia; Laszlo Klein, Hendon, London, England [57] ABSTRACT [73] A ignees; Dan-e] Bernard Lea; Rpb t Philli A shoe construction comprising a unitary, molded sole Marcus; Howard Lee Gilman, all unit having a plurality of female connectors spaced OfNew Y k NX. along the periphery of the upper portion thereof, and Filed: Sept. 1973 an Epgfir alrlld an 1118016 permanently or removably attac e to t e sole unit to form a finished shoe. In one [21] Appl. No.: 397,344 embodiment, male connectors are secured to the peripheral portion of the insole and are positioned to [52] US. Cl. 36/1l.5 mate wlth the female connectors in the upper portion 51 Int. Cl A43b 3/14 of the edge the upper are [58] Field of Search 36/25 R, 2.5 c, 2.5 w m under the Insole and are provided with a 1 5 rality of holes which are positioned to enable the male connectors on t e insole to extend therethrough. In References Cited tllijils manner, the upper and the insole can be remova y or permanent y attached to the sole unit. In an- 2183 277 $3 11? PATENTS 36/ other embodiment, the male connectors are secured er ec er..... 2.5 W to the turned-in edge portions of the u d d 246 i pper, an a di tlonal male connectors are secured to the insole for 2,773,317 12/1956 Hene -56 l 5 the purpose of removably or permanently securing the 3,742,625 7 1973 Famolare I: 36/] 1:5 Insole and the upper to the sole unit 50 Claims, 18 Drawing Figures PATENTEUJUN 24 I975 SHEET PATENTEDJUH24 m5 90,725 SHEET 7 5 1 SHOE CONSTRUCTION BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to a new and improved shoe construction and, more particularly, to such a shoe construction wherein the insole and the upper may be permanently or removably attached to the sole unit.

I-Ieretofore, shoes have been relatively difficult and costly to manufacture owing to the complicated lasting and assembly operations required to form shoes of conventional construction. In conventional shoes, the lasting and assembly operations require, in many instances, skilled labor, expensive materials and a large number of time consuming steps before final completion of a shoe. Also, the assembly operations require the use of different types of adhesive, depending on the types of materials used for the shoe, and, in many cases, time consuming and difficult stitching operations. As new and more durable materials are being developed for shoes, there results the difficult problem of finding suitable adhesives for such new materials. In some cases, the use of such new materials is delayed owing to the lack of a suitable adhesive for such materials.

Another problem with conventional shoes is the expense involved in changing from one particular style or color to another. At present, in order to change the style or color of a shoe, it is necessary to purchase a completely new pair of shoes. In most cases, it is not possible to remove the upper or insole of a shoe and replace them with an upper or insole of a different style or color. Also, womens shoes normally can only be worn with one or two outfits, with the result that women are required to own a large number of pairs of shoes of different styles and colors for the purpose of coordinating them with various outfits.

It will be readily seen, therefore, that a need has arisen for a practical and attractive shoe that is so constructed as to be readily and cheaply manufactured and to enable the upper and insole to be removed from the sole unit of the shoe, when desired, for the purpose of replacing the upper and/or insole with an upper and/or insole of a different style or color. The shoe construction of the present invention serves to fulfil this need.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The shoe construction of the present invention generally comprises a sole unit, preferably molded from a suitable plastic material and having a plurality of female connectors molded in place along the peripheral upper portion thereof; 'an insole of any suitable configuration and materials; an upper of any suitable configuration and material having its edge portions turned in so as to be positioned between the insole and the upper portion of the sole unit; and a plurality of male fasteners secured to the insole and/or the upper for the purpose of permanently or removably attaching the insole and the upper to the sole unit.

In one embodiment of the present invention, the male fasteners are secured to the peripheral portion of the insole and are arranged so as to mate with the female fasteners in the upper portion of the sole unit. The turned-in edge portions of the upper are provided with a plurality of holeswhich are adapted to receive the male fasteners therethrough when the insole and upper are attached to the sole unit.

In a second embodiment of the present invention, the male fasteners are secured to the turned-in edge portions of the upper, and additional male fasteners may be secured to selected portions of the insole for the purpose of permanently or removably attaching the upper and the insole to the sole unit.

In a third embodiment, where the female fasteners molded in place in the sole unit are of the permanent type, the male portions of adaptor fasteners, having male and female portions, are inserted into the female fasteners so as to be permanently connected to them. The upper female portions of the adaptor fasteners are constructed to removably receive the male connectors secured to the insole and/or the upper. In this manner, a sole unit having permanent-type female fasteners molded in place therein can be converted to a sole unit with removable-type female fasteners so as to provide for the removable attachment of the insole and the upper.

As a further alternative, certain areas of the upper portion of the molded sole unit may be recessed to accommodate the turned-in edge portions of the upper when it is secured to the sole unit, and also to accommodate the head portions of the male fasteners when they are secured to the turned-in edge portions of the upper. In this manner, the head portions of the male fasteners do not extend above the upper supporting surface of the sole unit, thereby effectively preventing any discomfort to the wearer of the shoe which might result from an uneven support surface caused by the turned-in edge portions of the upper or the heads of the male connectors being disposed above the upper surface of the sole unit.

Other features of the present invention include the specific construction and configuration of the male and female connectors for permanently connecting the insole and the upper to the sole unit; the particular construction and configuration of the male and female connectors for removably connecting the insole and upper to the sole unit; and the specific construction and configuration of the sole unit. These and other features of the present invention will be fully described hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS substantially along line 4-4 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged, partial sectional view taken substantially along line 55 in FIG..1;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view, with parts broken away and parts shown in exploded form, of a portion of one of the parts of the mold for forming the molded sole unit of the shoe of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged partial sectional view taken substantially along line 7-7 in FIG. 6, and showing both mold halves in the closed or molding position and the material for the sole unit being molded therein;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of a shoe constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective view of the shoe shown in FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged, exploded perspective view of the male and female connectors used for removably attaching the insole and upper to the sole unit of the shoe shown in FIGS. 8 and 9;

FIG. 11 is an enlarged, partial sectional view taken substantially along llll in FIG. 8;

FIG. 12 is an enlarged, partial sectional view taken substantially along line 12l2 in FIG. 8;

FIG. 13 is an exploded, partial perspective view showing a modified embodiment of the sole unit shown in FIG. 9;

FIG. 14 is an enlarged, partial sectional view taken substantially along lines 14-14 of the combined elements of FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of an adaptor fastener constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 16 is a partial side elevational view, with parts shown in section, showing the male portion of the adaptor connector of FIG. 15 permanently secured to a female connector in the upper portion of a sole unit, and showing a male connector secured to an upper and removably received within the female portion of the adaptor connector;

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of a modified female connector constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention; and

FIG. 18 is a side elevational view, with parts shown in section, showing the female connector of FIG. 17 secured within the upper portion of a sole unit and positioned to laterally receive therein a male connector secured to an upper.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIGS. 1 through 5 illustrate a first embodiment of a shoe l0 constructed in accordance with the present invention. The shoe 10 generally comprises: a unitary sole unit 12, preferably molded from a suitable flexible and resilient plastic material, such as polyvinyl chloride, or ethylene vinyl acetate (such as GUPLAFLEX No. 103, a product of KRF, Italy) combined with PARUS (a trademark of KRF), a polyurethane or thermal plastic rubber (such as KRETON, a product of the Shell Co.); an insole 14 comprising a base portion 16 formed of fiberboard or any other suitable material, and an upper portion having a pad or cushion member 17 formed ofa flexible and resilient material, a support member 19, and a flexible cover 18 surrounding the cushion member 17 and the peripheral portion of the support member 19; and an upper 20 formed of any suitable material and having turned-in edge portions 22 at the lower portion thereof. The base portion 16, cushion member 17, support member 19 and cover 18 preferably are adhesively secured together in any suitable manner.

The sole unit 12 comprises a tread portion 24 and a heel portion 26. For the purpose of reducing its weight and minimizing the amount of plastic material used, the upper portion of the sole unit 12 is formed in a honeycomb configuration with longitudinal and transverse ribs 28. The upper surface 29 of the sole unit 12 is shaped so as to provide the proper support for the foot of the wearer of the shoe l0, and is recessed to provide an upstanding peripheral rim 30. Optionally, for the purpose of maintaining the desired rigidity of the upper portion of the sole unit 12 when the portion between the heel portion 26 and toe portion 24 is relatively thin, an elongated reinforcing member 32 may be molded in place in the upper portion of the sole unit or otherwise secured thereto. Preferably, the reinforcing member 32 extends from the heel portion of the sole unit forwardly to approximately the portion on which the ball of the wearers foot would rest when the shoe 10 is being worn.

A plurality of female connectors 34 are molded in place or otherwise mounted within the upper portion of the sole unit 12 in any desired spaced relation along the periphery thereof. The female connectors 34 are disposed at the upper surface 29 of the sole unit 12 and are adapted to receive male connectors 36 that are mounted on the insole l4 and extend downwardly through apertures in the base portion 16 thereof. The male connectors 36 are spaced along the periphery of the insole in a manner that is complementary with the position and spacing of the female connectors 34 in the upper portion of the sole unit 12. Both the female connectors 34 and the male connectors 36 preferably are stamped or otherwise formed of metal or an other suitable material and are so constructed that the male connectors will be substantially permanently retained within the female connectors when inserted therein.

In this manner, insole 14 and the upper 20 may be permanently secured to the sole unit 12 by passing the male connectors 36 mounted on the insole 14 through complementary holes 38 in the turned-in portions 22 of the upper 20, and then inserting the male connectors 36 into the female connectors 34 that are mounted within the upper portion of the sole unit 12.

It will be appreciated that a variety of patterns, styles, sizes and shapes may be assumed for the upper 20 and that not all of the female connectors need necessarily be utilized in all instances. The spacing and number of female connectors may be selected to accomodate such variety. 4

The turned-in edge portions 22 of the upper 20 may be provided with one or more slits or cut-out portions 40 for the purpose of springing the pattern of the upper 20 and to facilitate its assembly to the insole 14 and the sole unit 12 in such manner that the upper assumes a lasted look and shape and presents a smooth and natural appearance without undue gathering of its material. The positioning of the holes 38 in the turned-in edge portions 22 of the upper 20, and the positioning of the male and female connectors 36 and 34, respectively, also serve to ensure the proper shape and last of the upper 20 to enhance its appearance in the assembled shoe 10. The peripheral rim 30 on the upper portion of the sole unit 12 serves to closely engage the adjacent portion of the assembled upper to enhanceits appearance and to provide a uniform transition from the sole unit to the upper.

As shown in FIGS. 3 through 5, each of the male connectors 36 comprises a downwardly and inwardly tapered pin portion 42 and a downwardly and outwardly inclined annular flange portion 44 at the upper end thereof. Each of the female connectors 34 comprises a generally cylindrical body portion 46 having a plurality of downwardly and inwardly extending curved tabs 48 at the upper end thereof, and an outwardly extending annular portion 50 terminating in an upstanding rim 52 at the lower end thereof.

Owing to the construction of the male and female connectors 36 and 34, respectively. it will be readily appreciated that the tabs 48 on each female connector 34 will deform downwardly and outwardly when the pin 42 of a male connector 36 is inserted in the central opening defined by the tabs so to allow the pin to be fully inserted within the body portion 46 of the female connector 34, as seen in FIGS. 4 and 5. The tabs 48 will prevent upward or outward movement of the pin 42 of the male connector 36 by tightly engaging the pin 42 in the event of upward or outward movement thereof. Preferably, the female connector may be made of spring steel thus providing a tighter gripping of the pin 42 by the tabs 48.

The lower annular portion 50 and upstanding rim 52 of each female connector 34 serve to anchor the female connector within the molded sole unit 12 and also facilitate handling of the female connectors 34 and positioning thereofin the mold for the sole unit 12 by pneumatic inserting or positioning apparatus, or any other suitable type of feeding and positioning apparatus.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, it will be seen that the male connectors 36 at the front of the toe portion and at the rear of the heel portion of the insole 14 do not pass through the upper 20, since the upper is shaped as to form an open toe and open heel shoe 10. Within the scope of the present invention, the upper may have any suitable configuration and may-have a closed toe and/or a closed heel, in which event the male fasteners 36 would pass through appropriate apertures in the adjacent portions of the upper 20 to be secured to the sole unit 12. As also shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the upper surface 29 of the sole unit 12 may merge into the upstanding annular rim in a gradually curved corner 54 so as to facilitate the uniform support for the upper and to provide a wrinkle-free tight margin of the upper at the sole line.

FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate a portion of one of the halves or parts 60 of the mold in which the sole unit 12 is molded. The mold half 60 is provided with a plurality of upstanding pins 62 which are adapted to slidably receive the female connectors 34 thereon for the purpose of properly positioning the female connectors in the mold. The mold half 60 also comprises a plurality of upstanding members 64 which are spaced and shaped so as to define the honeycomb arrangement in the upper portion of the sole unit 12 including the longitudinal and transverse ribs 28. Each of the pins 62 is positioned to properly locate the female fasteners 34 in the upper portion of the molded sole unit 12, and is tapered upwardly and inwardly to facilitate the mounting of the female connectors 34 thereon. The maximum diameter of each pin is slightly less than the diameter of the circular space defined by the flexible and resilient fingers 48 of the female connectors, thereby assuring that a female connector 34 may be mounted on each pin 62, and the pin 62 withdrawn therefrom after the molding operation has been completed. without interference with the flexible tabs 48.

As shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, the female connectors 34 are positioned on the pins 62 in an inverted manner. that is, with the end comprising the tabs 48 being the lower end which engages the, base portion 63 of the mold half 60. For the purposeof preventing plastic material from entering the interior portion of the female connectors 34, each female connector may be provided with a cap member 66 press-fitted within the end of the body portion 46 thereof remote from the flexible tabs 48. Plastic material entering the mold may be prevented from entering the lower end of each female fastener 34 by providing an upstanding annular wall 68 surrounding each pin 62 on the mold half 60. The upstanding annular wall 68 serves to engage the outer surface of the adjacent end portions of the female connector to prevent plastic material from flowing into the lower end thereof. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the upstanding annular wall 68 on the mold half 60 forms a shallow annular recess 71 surrounding the upper end of each female connector in a molded sole unit 12.

In order to assure the proper mating and permanent attachment of each male connector 36 and female connector -34, it is important to prevent plastic material from entering the inner portion of the female connectors 34 positioned on the mold half 60. If excessive plastic material flows into the interior of the female connectors 34 in the mold, it could prevent proper flexing of the flexible and resilient tabs 48 and proper metal-to-metal contact between the tabs 48 of the female connectors 34 and the pins 42 of the male connectors 36.

FIGS. 8 through 12 illustrate a modified embodiment ofa shoe constructed in accordance with the present invention. The shoe 110 is very similar in construction to the shoe 10 shown in FIGS. 1 through 5, except that the upper and the insole 114 of the shoe 110 are removably attached to the sole unit 112 thereof, rather than being permanently attached thereto.

The sole unit 112 of the shoe 110 preferably is molded of plastic material and is substantially identical in construction to the sole unit 12 of the shoe 10, with the exception of the structure of the female fasteners 134 molded in place within the upper portion of the sole unit 112. Also, the upper portion of the sole unit 112 shown in FIG. 9 may be provided with a reinforcing member such as the reinforcing member 32 for the sole unit 12 shown in FIG. 2. The sole unit 112 comprises a tread portion 124, a heel portion 126, longitudinal and transverse ribs 128, a recessed upper surface 129, an upstanding peripheral rim and a plurality of female fasteners 134 molded in place in the upper portion of the sole unit 112.

The upper 120 of the shoe 110 may be of any suitable configuration and of any suitable material. As shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, the upper 120 is substantially the same in configuration and construction as the upper 20 shown in FIG. 2 in that it comprises inwardly turned bottom edge portions 122 having a plurality of holes therein and slits to facilitate the forming of the upper 120 and its positioning and attachment in the assembled shoe 110. Extending through the holes in the turned'in edge portions 122 of the upper 120 are male connectors 136 which are secured to the turned-in edge portions 122 in a manner to be described hereinafter.

The insole 114 comprises an outer layer 118 formed of any suitable material, such as a material that is the same as or complementary with the material for the upper 120'. a cushion or padded portion 117 of any suitable material; a base portion 119 of any suitable material such as fiberboard; and a reinforcing or stiffening portion 121 of any suitable material such as fiberboard which is disposed beneath the base portion 119 and is of a length so as to extend from the heel of the base portion to the portion thereof corresponding to the ball of the foot of the person wearing the shoe 110. The base portion 119 has a pair of male connectors 136 secured thereto, one at the toe end and the other at the heel end, which are adapted to be positioned within the female connectors 134 at the toe and heel ends of the sole unit 112 in a manner to be described hereinafter. Preferably, the peripheral area of the base portion 119 is provided with a plurality of slits 123 extending through a substantial portion of the length thereof for the purpose of enabling the base portion and assembled insole 114 to be readily deformed and fit into uniform and tight engagement with the upper portion of the sole unit 112. The reinforcing portion 121 is provided with an aperture 125 through the rear of the heel portion thereof for the purpose of receiving therethrough the adjacent male connector 136 mounted on the base portion 119.

In assembling the insole 114, the padded or cushion portion 117, the base portion 119 and the reinforcing portion 121 are secured together in any suitable manner, such as by a suitable adhesive, and the outer cover member 118 is wrapped around the peripheral areas of these attached portions and turned under and adhesively or otherwise secured to the lower surface of the reinforcing portion 121 and the base portion 119, as shown in FIGS. 11 and 12.

When it is desired to assemble the sole unit 112, the upper 120 and the insole 114, the male connectors 136 on the turned-in edge portions 122 of the upper 120 are first positioned within the corresponding female connectors 134 in the upper portion of the sole unit 112, and the assembled inner sole 114 is then positioned within the upper 120 and over the turned-in edge portions 122 and male connectors 136 thereof. The insole 114 is secured to the upper portion of the sole unit 112 by the male connectors 136 and female connectors 134 at the toe and heel portions of the insole and the upper portion of the sole unit to form the assembled shoe 110 shown in FIGS. 8, 11 and 12.

Each of the male connectors 136 comprises an upper part 170 and a lower part 172. The upper part comprises a head portion 174 and a pin portion 176 extending downwardly therefrom. The lower part 172 comprises a downwardly and outwardly tapered head or body portion 178, an upper annular flange portion 180 and an inner, substantially frustoconical portion 182 defining an interior opening 184 therein. The diameter of the interior opening 184 in the lower part 172 preferably is slightly smaller than the maximum outer diameter of the pin 176 of the upper part 170. In this manner, when the pin 176 is inserted into the interior opening 184 of the lower part 172, it is substantially permanently retained therein. Preferably, both the upper part 170 and the lower part 172 of the male connector 136 are formed of metal so as to provide for a tight locking engagement between the pin 176 of the upper part and the frustoconical portion 182 of the lower part of the male connector.

It will be readily seen that each male connector 136 is secured to the turned-in edge portions 122 of the upper 120 and to the insole portion 119 by positioning the upper part 170 of the male connector with its pin 176 extending through the corresponding aperture in the upper 120 or the insole portion 119, and thereafter positioning the lower part 172 of the male connector in locking engagement with the pin 176. Each male connector 136 is positively retained in position on the upper or the insole portion 119 by engagement of the head portion 174 of the upper part with the adjacent surface of the upper 120 or insole portion 119, and by the engagement of the annular flange portion of the lower part 172 with the opposite surface of the upper 120 or insole portion 119, as shown in FIGS. 11 and 12.

Each of the female connectors 134 preferably is formed of a suitable plastic material which will resist the molding temperatures in the mold for the sole unit 112. An example of such a material is Nylon 66. Such a material is necessary because the female connectors 134 are positioned on pins in the mold for the sole unit 112 so as to be molded in place within the upper surface of the sole unit, as hereinbefore explained with respect to the positioning of the female connectors 34 in the sole unit 12.

As shown in FIGS. 10, 11 and 12, the female connector 134 comprises a generally cylindrical upper portion 186 having an outer diameter that is substantially the same as the outer diameter of the annular flange 180 of the male connector 136. The cylindrical portion 186 of the female connector 134 is provided with an inwardly extending annular bead 188 which defines an interior opening that is somewhat smaller in diameter than the maximum diameter of the body or head portion 178 of the lower part 172 of the male connector 136, thereby enabling the head portion 178 of the male connector to be snap-fitted past the bead 188 and within the cylindrical portion 186. The lower portion of the female connector 134 is closed by a disc portion 190 formed integrally with the cylindrical portion 186 and having an outer diameter greater than that of the cylindrical portion. The disc portion 190 serves to anchor the female connector within the molded sole unit 112 and also facilitates the handling of the female connectors 134 and the positioning thereof on pins within the mold for the sole unit 112.

As an alternate embodiment, the female connector 134 may be formed of metal. and the male connector 136 may be formed of a suitable plastic material to provide for the snap-fitting, removable engagement therebetween. Also, alternatively, conventional type snap fasteners, where both connectors are formed of metal, may be utilized. The only requirement is that either the male or the female connector be formed of a flexible and resilient material or be provided with flexible and resilient means so as to allow for the snap-fitting engagement therebetween.

It will be appreciated that the insole 114 is generally flat when initially fabricated and that, therefore, sometimes it will not conform smoothly to the contour of the upper portion of the sole unit 112; particularly if it is to be affixed only by the connectors at the heel and toe portions thereof. Accordingly, as an alternate embodiment, the insole 114 may. after fabrication, be pressed into a shape so as to conform to the contour of the upper portion of the sole unit and thus provide a better fit which will preclude any wrinkling or buckling when in the assembled condition.

Since the male connectors 136 are removably attachable to the female connectors 134, it will be readily seen that the upper I20 and insole 114 can be readily removed from the sole unit 112 for the purpose of changing the color and style thereof. Accordingly, if desired, the upper could be provided with a closed toe and/or closed heel or with an entirely different shape or construction. In this manner, the style of the shoe may be readily changed to conform with the different styles of clothing worn by the wearer, thereby obviating the necessity of owning many pairs of shoes to go with various styles of clothes.

FIGS. 13 and 14 disclose a modified embodiment of the sole unit 112 shown in FIGS. 8 through 12. In this embodiment, the upper surface 129 and lateral ribs 128 of the upper portion of the sole unit 112 are recessed at 190 between the toe and heel portions thereof and on both sides of the longitudinal rib 128 thereof, for the purpose of accommodating the turned-in edge portions 122 of the upper 120 and the head portions 174 of the male fasteners 136 secured to the edge portion 122. By providing the recessed portions 190 in the upper surface and ribs of the sole unit 112, the turned-in edge portions 122 of the upper 120 and the head portions of the male connectors 136 may be positioned beneath the upper surface of the central rib portions 128, with the upper end of the head portions 174 being disposed at approximately the same height as the central rib portions 128. In this manner, a substantially uniform support surface is provided at the upper surface of the sole unit 112, thereby providing uniform support and assuring comfort for the foot of the wearer.

The recessed portions 190 in the upper surface of the sole unit 112 may be of any suitable depth or configuration, depending on the configuration and thickness or height of the turned-in edge portions 122 of the upper 120 and the head portions 174 of the male connectors 136.

FIG. 15 illustrates an adaptor connector 200 comprising a central panel 202 which merges into an upstanding side panel portion 204 and a pair of laterally extending, substantially parallel arms 206 that are disposed in substantially parallel relation to the central panel 202. A downwardly and inwardly tapered pin 208 is connected to the undersurface of the panel 292 and extends downwardly therefrom.

As shown in FIG. 16, the purpose of the adaptor connector 200 is to convert the sole unit 12 having the permanent-type female connectors 34 molded in place therein, as shown in FIGS. 1 through 7, to the sole unit having female connectors that will enable the upper and insole to be removably connected thereto. In this manner, the upper 120 and insole 114 having the male connectors 136 shown in FIGS. 8 through 12 may be removably mounted on the sole unit 12 having the permanent-type female connectors 34 molded in place in the upper surface thereof.

This is accomplished by first inserting the pin 208 of each adaptor connector 200 into the female connectors 34 such that the flexible tabs 48 of the female connectors lockingly engage the pin 208 of each adaptor connector to permanently retain it within the female connector. preferably, the adaptor connectors 200 are formed of metal so that the pins 208 thereof will be in metal-to-metal engagement with the tabs 48 of the female connectors. Each adaptor connector 200 is permanently mounted on the sole unit 12 with the upstanding panel portion 204 disposed adjacent the outer periphery of the sole unit and with the laterally extending arms 206 extending inwardly towards the center of the sole unit.

To removably connect the upper to the sole unit 12, the head or body portion 178 of each male connector 136 is moved into position between the laterally extending arms 206 of the adaptor connector 200, as shown in FIG. 16. Since the distance between the arms 206 of the adaptor connector 200 is substantially the same as the minimum diameter at the upper end of the body portion 178 of the male connector 136, the body portion 178 will be prevented from being removed upwardly from the adaptor connector 200, owing to the downward and outward tapering of the body portion 178. Preferably, the distance between the upper surface of the arms 206 and the upper surface of the panel 202 is substantially equal to the height of the body portion 178 of the male connector 136. With these dimensions, the lower end of the body portion 178 rests on the upper surface of the panel 202 and the annular flange 180 on the male connector 136 rests on the upper surface of the arms 206 when the body portion 178 is positioned in locking relation between the arms 206, as shown in FIG. 16.

When it is desired to remove the upper 120 from the sole unit 12, the body portion 178 of each male connector 136 is merely moved laterally inwardly out of engagement with the arms 206 of each adaptor connector, thereby enabling the upper 120 to be conveniently replaced.

FIGS. 17 and 18 disclose a modified form of female connector 300 which is adapted to be molded in place within the upper portion of a molded sole unit 312 and to removably receive a male connector such as the connectors 136 secured to the upper 120 shown in FIGS. 8 through 12. The female connector 300 comprises a central panel 302 merging at one side with an upstanding panel portion 304 which, in turn, merges upwardly with a pair of laterally extending arms 306 that are disposed in substantially parallel relation with the panel 302. The arms 306 define therebetween a generally circular opening having a narrow entrance portion defined by the enlarged curved end portions 307 the arms. A cylindrical portion 308 extends downwardly from the panel 302 and merges at its lower end with an annular flange portion 310. The female connector 300 preferably is formed of a plastic material that is capable of withstanding the heat generated during the molding of the sole unit 312. An example of such a material is Nylon 66.

As shown in FIG. 18, the body portion 178 of the male connector 136 secured to the upper 120 is adapted to be snapfitted into the circular opening between the arms 306 of the female connector 300, for the purpose of removably securing the upper 120 to the sole unit 312. To accomplish this, the circular opening defined by the arms 306 is of substantially the same diameter as the minimum outside diameter of the body portion 178 of the male connector 136 adjacent the upper end thereof, and the distance from the upper surface of the panel 302 to the upper surface of the arms 306 is approximately the same as the height of the body portion 178 of the male connector 136.

The connector 200 shown in FIGS. 15 and 16 and the connector 300 shown in FIGS. 17 and 18 are both advantageous in that the male connector can only be removed therefrom by inward lateral movement of the male connector. Accordingly, upward forces on the male connector, caused by tension applied to the upper 120 by the foot of the wearer of the shoe cannot inadvertently cause removal of the male connectors from the connectors 200 or 300. Accordingly, the male connectors can only be removed from the connectors 200 or 300 by intentional inward lateral movement of the male connectors which causes the body portion 178 thereof to be removed from between the arms 206 of the connectors 200, or the arms 306 of the connectors 300.

It will be appreciated that the parts or elements of any one embodiment of this invention may be substituted by a like element of another embodiment or interchangeable therewith. For example, the insole 114 of the embodiment of FIGS. 8 through 12 may be substituted for or interchangeable with the insole 14 of the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 5. Further, in both embodiments, the insole 14 or 114 may comprise a single thickness of fibreboard with or without a sock liner. In addition, the insole, however it may be constructed. and in any embodiment hereof, may alternatively be adhesively secured, to the upper portion of the unit sole.

Also, the modified embodiment of FIGS. 13 and 14, for the recessing of the upper surface 129 and the lateral ribs 128 of the embodiment of FIGS. 8 through 12, is equally applicable to the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through in like manner and for like purpose.

It will be further appreciated that the position of the male and female connectors in all embodiments may be reversed, so that the female connector is affixed to the insole or the upper, as the case may be, and the male connector is affixed to the sole unit. In such case the female connector, in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 5 may comprise a flat washer having flexible tabs like those shown at 48 in FIG. 3.

We wish also to point out that, although the upper portion of the sole unit 12, 112 or 312 may be formed in a honeycomb configuration with longitudinal and transverse ribs 28 or 128 for the purpose of reducing its weight and minimizing the amount of plastic material used, the sole unit 12, 112 or 312, if desired, may be of solid configuration or enclosed at the upper portion or the honeycombed portions filled in with any suitable material.

In addition, one must also realize that While we have shown the female connectors 34 of FIGS. 3 through 7 as being located in the upper surface of the sole unit 12, it would be within the scope of this invention to locate the female connectors 34 in the side surface thereof. In such embodiment the male connectors 36 would be affixed to the upper in a manner analogous to that illustrated for the upper 120 in FIG. 9. Of course, because the upper 20 would thus be attached to the outside of the sole unit 12, the edge portions 22 of the upper would not be turned-in. Further, in this embodiment, the insole 14 may be cemented in center in the upper portion of the sole unit 12 or attached by male and female connectors 36 and 34, respectively, as shown in FIG. 2.

Thus, while we have shown the preferred embodiments of our invention, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that there are many other modifications, changes and improvements which may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of 6s portion and a depending pin portion, and said lower the invention as defined in the appended claims.

We claim: 1. A shoe construction comprising:

a sole unit having a plurality of first connectors spaced along the peripheral portion of the upper surface thereof;

an insole positioned on the upper surface of said sole unit;

an upper having edge portions positioned between said insole and the upper surface of said sole unit, said edge portions of said upper having a plurality of holes therethrough; and

a plurality of second connectors mounted on said insole, said second connectors extending through said holes in said edge portions of said upper into substantially permanent engagement with said first connectors to connect said insole and the edge portions of said upper to the upper surface of said sole unit;

each of said first connectors comprising a body portion having a plurality of downwardly and inwardly extending, flexible and resilient tabs defining a central opening therebetween, and each of said second connectors comprising a flange portion and a pin portion being adapted to be received within said central opening defined by said tabs of said first connector and being ofa size greater than said central opening so as to be engaged by said tabs when inserted in said central opening.

2. The shoe construction of claim 1 wherein said sole unit is of unitary molded construction, and said first connectors are molded in place in said sole unit.

3. The shoe construction of claim 1 wherein said body portion of each of said first connectors is hollow, said tabs are positioned at the upper end thereof, and said body portion merges at its lower end with an outwardly extending annular portion terminating in an upstanding annural rim.

4. A shoe construction comprising:

a sole unit having a plurality of first connectors spaced along the peripheral portion of the upper surface thereof;

an insole positioned on the upper surface of said sole unit;

an upper edge having edge portions positioned between said insole and the upper surface of said sole unit, said edge portions of said upper having a plurality of holes therethrough', and

a plurality of second connectors mounted on said insole, said second connectors extending through said holes in said edge portions of said upper into releasable engagement with said first connectors to connect said insole and the edge portions of said upper to the upper surface of said sole unit;

each of said first connectors being formed of a material more rigid than that of said sole unit, being molded in place in said sole unit and comprising a hollow body portion having an internal annular bead near its upper end and terminating at its lower end in a flange portion; and each of said second connectors comprising means adapted to be snapfitted past said annular bead of said first connector to releasably secure said second connector to said first connector.

5. The shoe construction of claim 4 wherein each of said second connectors comprises an upper part and a lower part. said upper part having an enlarged head part having a downwardly and outwardly tapered body portion having an interior opening therein and terminating upwardly in an annular flange portion, said pin portion being receivable within said interior opening of said body portion of said lower part to secure said second connector to said insole, and said body portion of said lower part being adapted to be snap-fitted past said annular head of said first connector to releasably secure said second connector to said first connector.

6. A shoe construction comprising:

a sole unit having a plurality of first connectors spaced along the peripheral portion of the upper surface thereof;

an insole positioned on the upper surface of said sole unit;

an upper having edge portions positioned between said insole and the upper surface of said sole unit, said edge portions of said upper having a plurality of holes therethrough; and

a plurality of second connectors mounted on said insole, said second connectors extending through said holes in said edge portions of said upper into releasable engagement with said first connectors to connect said insole and the edge portions of said upper to the upper surface of said sole unit;

each of said first connectors comprising a panel positioned adjacent the upper surface of said sole unit and merging at one side with an upstanding panel portion having at its upper end a pair of laterally extending arms that are disposed in substantially parallel relation with said panel, and an elongated portion extending downwardly from said panel and terminating at its lower end in an annular flange portion; and each of said second connectors comprising means removably engageable between said arms of said first connector.

7. The shoe construction of claim 6 wherein each of said second connectors comprises an upper part and a lower part, said upper part having an enlarged head portion and a depending pin portion, and said lower part having a body portion with an internal opening and outwardly extending annular flange at the upper end thereof, said pin portion being receivable within said internal opening of said body portion of said lower part to secure said upper and lower parts to said insole, and said body portion of said lower part of said second connector being removably engageable between said arms of said first connector.

8. A shoe construction comprising:

a sole unit having a plurality of first connectors spaced along the peripheral portion of the upper surface thereof;

an insole positioned on the upper surface of said sole unit;

an upper having edge portions positioned between said insole and the upper surface of said sole unit; and

a plurality of second connectors mounted on said edge portions of said upper, said second connectors being substantially permanently engageable with said first connectors to connect said upper to the upper surface of said sole unit;

each of said first connectors comprising a body portion having a plurality of downwardly and inwardly extending, flexible and resilient tabs defining a central opening therebetween, and each of said second connectors comprising a flange portion and a pin portion depending from said flange portion, said pin portion being adapted to be received within said central opening defined by said tabs of said first connector and being of a size greater than said central opening so as to be engaged by said tabs when inserted in said central opening.

9. The shoe construction of claim 8 wherein said body portion of each of said first connectors is hollow, said tabs are positioned at the upper end thereof, and said body portion merges at its lower end with an outwardly extending annular portion terminating in an upstanding annular rim.

l0. A shoe construction comprising:

a sole unit having a plurality of first connectors spaced along the peripheral portion of the upper surface thereof;

an insole positioned on the upper surface of said sole unit;

an upper having edge portions positioned between said insole and the upper surface of said sole unit; and

a plurality of second connectors mounted on said edge portions of said upper, said second connectors being releasably engageable with said first connectors to connect said upper to the upper surface of said sole unit;

each of said first connectors being formed of a material more rigid than that of said sole unit, being molded in place in said sole unit and comprising a hollow body portion having an internal annular bead near its upper end and terminating at its lower end in a flange portion; and each of said second connectors comprising means adapted to be snapfitted past said annular head of said first connector to releasably secure said second connector to said first connector.

11. The shoe construction of claim 10 wherein each of said second connectors comprises an upper part and a lower part, said upper part having an enlarged head portion and a depending pin portion, said lower part having a downwardly and outwardly tapered body portion having an interior opening therein and terminating upwardly in an annular flange portion, said pin portion being receivable within said interior opening of said body portion of said lower part to secure said second connector to said upper and said insole, and said body portion of said lower part being adapted to be snapfitted past said annular bead of said first connector to releasably secure said second connector to said first connector.

12. A shoe construction comprising:

a sole unit having a plurality of first connectors spaced along the peripheral portion of the upper surface thereof;

an insole positioned on the upper surface of said sole unit;

an upper having edge portions positioned between said insole and the upper surface of said sole unit; and

a plurality of second connectors mounted on said edge portions of said upper, said second connectors being releasably engageable with said first connectors to connect said upper to the upper surface of said sole unit;

each of said first connectors comprising a panel positioned adjacent the upper surface of said sole unit and merging at one side with an upstanding panel portion having at its upper end a pair of laterally extending arms that are disposed in substantially parallel relation with said panel, and an elongated portion extending downwardly from said panel and terminating at its lower end in an annular flange portion; and each of said second connectors comprising means removably engageable between said arms of said first connector.

13. The shoe construction of claim 12 wherein each of said second connectors comprises an upper part and a lower part, said upper part having an enlarged head portion and a depending pin portion, and said lower part having a body portion with an internal opening and outwardly extending annular flange at the upper end thereof, said pin portion being receivable within said internal opening of said body portion of said lower part to secure said upper and lower parts to said upper and said insole, and said body portion of said lower part of said second connector being removably engageable between said arms of said first connector.

14. A shoe construction comprising:

a sole unit having a plurality of first connectors spaced along the peripheral portion of the upper surface thereof;

an insole positioned on the upper surface of said sole unit;

an upper having edge portions positioned between said insole and the upper surface of said sole unit; and

second connector means engageable with said first connectors to connect said insole and the edge portions of said upper to the upper surface of said sole unit;

the upper surface of said sole unit being recessed to provide a substantially continuous upstanding rim in which said insole is adapted to be positioned, said rim being adapted to firmly engage the adjacent portion of said upper to provide uniform support for said upper and to enhance the appearance thereof.

15. The shoe construction of claim 14 wherein the internal corner between said upper surface and said rim of said sole unit is curved to provide a smooth round surface against which said upper is pressed by said insole to present a wrinkle-free, tight margin of said upper adjacent the upper portion of said sole unit.

16. The shoe construction of claim 14 wherein the upper surface of said sole unit is further recessed in areas corresponding to said edge portions of said upper to provide a uniform support surface at the upper portion of said sole unit.

17. The shoe construction of claim 14 wherein said insole is a cushioned insole.

18. A shoe construction comprising:

a sole unit having first connector means in the upper surface. thereof, said first connector means comprising a plurality of upwardly facing female connectors;

an insole positioned on the upper surface of said sole unit;

an upper having edge portions positioned between said insole and the upper surface of said sole unit;

adaptor connectors engaged with said female connectors, each of said adaptor connectors having a lower male portion engaged with the adjacent female connector and an upper female portion facing laterally inwardly; and

second connector means receivable within said upper female portions of said adaptor connectors to connect said insole and the edge portions of said upper to the upper surface of said sole unit. I 19. The shoe construction of claim 18 wherein the male portions of said adaptor connectors are substan- 5 tially permanently engaged with said female connectors, and the female portions of said adaptor connectors are adaptedto releasably receive said second connector means.

20. A shoe construction comprising:

a unitary molded sole unit having a plurality of first connectors molded in place along the peripheral portion of the upper surface thereof;

an insole positioned on the upper surface of said sole unit;

an upper having edge portions positioned between said insole and the upper surface of said sole unit; and

a plurality of second connectors engageable with said first connectors to connect said insole and the edge portions of said upper to the upper surface of said sole unit;

said edge portions of said upper being provided with a plurality of slits to facilitate the securing of said upper to said sole unit and to enhance the appearance of said upper.

21. The shoe construction of claim 20 wherein said sole unit is molded ofa flexible and resilient plastic material.

22. The shoe construction of claim 20 wherein said sole unit is provided with reinforcing means to rigidify said sole unit in the area thereof extending from the heel portion to the portion thereof corresponding to the ball of the foot of the wearer.

23. The shoe construction of claim 20 wherein said insole comprises a base portion, a cushion portion disposed above said base portion, and a cover surrounding said cushion portion and a part of said base portion, said cushion portion being secured to said base portion and said cover being secured to the underside of said base portion.

24. The shoe construction of claim 20 wherein said first connectors are female connectors and said second connectors are male connectors.

25. A shoe construction comprising:

a unitary molded sole unit having a -plurality of first connectors molded in place along the peripheral portion of the upper surface thereof;

an insole positioned on the upper surface of said sole unit;

an upper having edge portions positioned between said insole and the upper surface of said sole unit, said edge portions of said upper having a plurality of holes therethrough; and

a plurality of second connectors mounted on said insole, said second connectors extending through said holes in said edge portions of said upper into engagement with said first connectors to connect said insole and the edge portions of said upper to the upper surfaces of said sole unit;

each of said first connectors comprising a body portion having a plurality of downwardly and inwardly extending, flexible and resilient tabs defining a central opening therebetween, and each of said second connectors comprising a flange portion and a pin portion depending from said flange portion, said pin portion being adapted to be received within said central opening defined by said tabs of said first connector and being of a size greater than said central opening so as to be engaged by said tabs when inserted in said central opening.

26. The shoe construction of claim 25 wherein said body portion of each of said first connectors is hollow and has at the upper end thereof said plurality of downwardly and inwardly extending, flexible and resilient tabs defining said central opening therebetween, said body portion merging at its lower end with an outwardly extending annular portion terminating in an upstanding annular rim.

27. A shoe construction comprising:

a unitary molded sole unit having a plurality of first connectors molded in place along the peripheral portion of the upper surface thereof;

an insole positioned on the upper surface of said sole unit;

an upper having edge portions positioned between said insole and the upper surface of said sole unit, said edge portions of said upper having a plurality of holes therethrough; and

a plurality of second connectors mounted on said insole, said second connectors extending through said holes in said edge portions of said upper into engagement with said first connectors to connect said insole and the edge portions of said upper to the upper surface of said sole unit;

each of said first connectors being formed of a material more rigid than that of said sole unit, being molded in place in said sole unit and comprising a hollow body portion having an internal annular bead near its upper end and terminating at its lower end in a flange portion; and each of said second connectors comprising means adapted to be snapfitted past said annular bead of said first connector to releasably secure said second connector to said first connector.

28. The shoe construction of claim 27 wherein each of said second connectors comprises an upper part and a lower part, said upper part having an enlarged head portion and a depending pin portion, and said lower part having a downwardly and outwardly tapered body portion having an interior opening therein and terminating upwardly in an annular flange portion, said pin portion being receivable within said interior opening of said body portion of said lower part to secure said second connector to said insole, and said body portion of said lower part being adapted to be snap-fitted past said annular bead of said first connector to releasably secure said second connector to said first connector.

29. A shoe construction comprising:

a unitary molded sole unit having a plurality of first connectors molded in place along the peripheral portion of the upper surface thereof;

an insole positioned on the upper surface of said sole unit;

an upper having edge portions positioned between said insole and the upper surface of said sole unit; and

a plurality of second connectors mounted on said edge portions of said upper and being engageable with said first connectors to connect said upper to the upper surface of said sole unit;

each of said first connectors comprising a body portion having a plurality of downwardly and inwardly extending, flexible and resilient tabs defining a central opening therebetween, and each of said second connectors comprising a flange portion and a pin portion depending from said flange portion, said pin portion being adapted to be received within said central opening defined by said tabs of said first connector and being ofa size greater than said central opening so as to be engaged by said tabs when inserted in said central opening.

30. The shoe construction of claim 29 wherein said body portion of each of said first connectors is hollow and has at the upper end thereof said plurality of downwardly and inwardly extending, flexible and resilient tabs defining said central opening therebetween, said body portion merging at its lower end with an outwardly extending annular portion terminating in an upstanding annular rim.

31. A shoe construction comprising:

a unitary molded sole unit having a plurality of first connectors molded in place along the peripheral portion of the upper surface thereof;

an insole positioned on the upper surface of said sole unit;

an upper having edge portions positioned between said insole and the upper surface of said sole unit; and

a plurality of second connectors mounted on said edge portions of said upper and being engageable with said first connectors to connect said upper to the upper surface of said sole unit;

each of said first connectors being formed of a material more rigid than that of said sole unit, being molded in place in said sole unit and comprising a hollow body portion having an internal annular bead near its upper end and terminating at its lower end in a flange portion; and each of said second connectors comprising means adapted to be snapfitted past said annular bead of said first connector to releasably secure said second connector to said first connector.

32. The shoe construction of claim 31 wherein each of said second connectors comprises an upper part and a lower part, said upper part having an enlarged head portion and a depending pin portion, and said lower part having a downwardly and outwardly tapered body portion having an interior opening therein and terminating upwardly in an annular flange portion, said pin portion being receivable within said interior opening of said body portion of said lower part to secure said second connector to said upper and said insole, and said body portion of said lower part being adapted to be snap-fitted past said annular bead of said first connector to releasably secure said second connector to said first connector.

33. A shoe construction comprising:

a unitary molded sole unit having a plurality of first connectors molded in place along the peripheral portion of the upper surface thereof, said first connectors being upwardly facing female connectors;

an insole positioned on the upper surface of said sole unit;

an upper having edge portions positioned between said insole and the upper surface of said sole unit;

adaptor connectors engaged with said female connectors, each of said adaptor connectors having a lower male portion engaged with the adjacent female connector and an upper female portion facing laterally inwardly; and

a plurality of second connectors receivable within the upper female portions of said adaptor connectors to connect said insole and the edge portions of said upper to the upper surface of said sole unit.

34. A shoe construction comprising:

a unitary molded sole unit having a plurality of first connectors molded in place along the peripheral portion of the upper surface therof;

an insole positioned on the upper surface of said sole unit;

an upper having edge portions positioned between said insole and the upper surface of said sole unit, said edge portions of said upper having a plurality of holes therethrough; and

a plurality of second connectors mounted on said insole;

said first connectors extending through said holes in said edge portions of said upper into engagement with said second connectors to connect said insole and the edge portions of said upper to the upper surface of said sole unit;

each of said second connectors comprising a body portion having a plurality of downwardly and inwardly extending, flexible and resilient tabs defining a central opening therebetween, and each of said first connectors comprising a flange portion and a pin portion upstanding from said flange portion, said pin portion being adapted to be received within said central opening defined by said tabs of said second connector and being of a size greater than said central opening so as to be engaged by said tabs when inserted in said central opening.

35. A shoe construction comprising:

a unitary molded sole unit having a plurality of first connectors molded in place along the peripheral portion of the upper surface thereof;

an insole positioned on the upper surface of said sole unit;

an upper having edge portions positioned between said insole and the upper surface of said sole unit; and

a plurality of second connectors mounted on said upsaid first connectors being engageable with said second connectors to connect said upper to the upper surface of said sole unit;

each of said second connectors comprising a body portion having a plurality of downwardly and inwardly extending, flexible and resilient tabs defining a central opening therebetween, and each of said first connectors comprising a flange portion and a pin portion upstanding from said flange portion, said pin portion being adapted to be received within said central opening defined by said tabs of said second connector and being of a size greater than said central opening so as to be engaged by said tabs when inserted in said central opening.

36. A shoe construction comprising:

a unitary molded sole unit having a plurality of first connectors molded in place along the peripheral portion of the upper surface thereof;

an insole positioned on the upper surface of said sole unit;

an upper having edge portions positioned between said insole and the upper surface of said sole unit;

and

a plurality ,of second connectors mounted on said edge portions of said upper and said insole, said second connectors being releasably engageable with first connectors to connect said insole and the edge portions of said upper to the upper surface of said sole unit;

each of said second connectors comprising a hollow body portion having an internal annular bead near one end thereof, and each of said first connectors being formed of a material more rigid than that of said sole unit and comprising means adapted to be snap-fitted past said annular bead of said second connector to releasably secure said second connector to said first connector.

37. A shoe construction comprising:

a unitary molded sole unit having a plurality of first connectors molded in place therein;

an insole positioned on the upper surface of said sole unit and having a plurality of second connectors mounted thereon;

an upper having edge portions positioned between said insole and the upper surface of said sole unit, said edge portions of said upper having a plurality of holes therethrough;

said second connectors extending through said holes in said edge portions of said upper into engagement with said first connectors to substantially permanently connect said insole and the edge portions of said upper to said sole unit;

said first connectors comprising a body portion having a plurality of downwardly and inwardly extending, flexible and resilient tabs defining a central opening therebetween; and

each of said second connectors comprising a flange portion and a pin portion depending from said flange portion, said pin portion being adapted to be received within said central opening defined by said tabs of said first connector and being of a size greater than said central opening so as to be engaged by said tabs when inserted in said central opening.

38. A unitary molded sole unit for a shoe construction, said sole unit comprising:

a plurality of first connectors spaced along the peripheral portion of the upper surface thereof and molded in place therein;

each of said first connectors comprising a body portion having a plurality of downwardly and inwardly extending, flexible and resilient tabs defining a central opening therebetween adapted to frictionally receive a second connector for securing an upper to the sole unit.

39. The sole unit of claim 38 wherein each of said first connectors comprises a hollow body portion having said tabs at one end thereof, said body portion merging at its other end with an outwardly extending annular portion terminating in an upstanding annular rim.

40. The sole unit of claim 38 wherein the upper surface of said sole unit is recessed to provide a substantially continuous upstanding rim adapted to receive an insole, said rim being adapted to firmly engage the adjacent portion of an upper to provide uniform support for the upper and to enhance the appearance thereof.

41. The sole unit of claim 40 wherein the internal corner between said upper surface and said rim of said sole unit is curved to provide a smooth round surface against which an upper may be pressed by an insole to present a wrinkle-free, tight margin of said upper adjacent the upper portion of said sole unit.

42. The sole unit of claim 38 wherein said sole unit is molded of a flexible and resilient plastic material.

43. The sole unit of claim 38 wherein said sole unit is provided with reinforcing-means to rigidify said sole unit in the area thereof extending from the heel portion to the portion thereof corresponding to the ball of the foot of the wearer.

44. A unitary molded sole unit for a shoe construction, said sole unit comprising:

a plurality of first connectors spaced along the peripheral portion of the upper surface thereof and molded in place therein;

each of said first connectors being formed of a material more rigid than that of said sole unit and comprising a hollow body portion having an internal annular bead near its upper end and terminating at its lower-end in a flange portion, said bead being adapted to releasably engage a second connector for securing an upper to the sole unit.

45. A shoe construction comprising:

a unitary molded sole unit having a plurality of first connectors molded in place;

an insole positioned on the upper surface of said sole unit;

an upper having a plurality of second connectors mounted at edge portions thereof;

said first connectors engageable with said second connectors to substantially permanently connect the said edge portions of said upper to said sole 22 unit;

said first connectors comprising a body portion having a plurality of downwardly and inwardly extending, flexible and resilient tabs defining a central opening therebetween and each of said second connectors comprising a flange portion and a pin portion depending from said flange portion;

said pin portion being adapted to be received within said central opening defined by said tabs ofsaid first connector and being ofa size greater than said central opening so as to be engaged by said tabs when inserted in said central opening.

46. The shoe construction of claim 45 wherein the body portion of said first connectors comprises a flat plate.

47. The shoe construction of claim 45 'wherein each of said first connectors comprises a hollow body portion having at one end thereof said plurality of downwardly and inwardly extending, flexible and resilient tabs defining said central opening therebetween.

48. The shoe construction of claim 47 wherein said body portion of each of said first connectors merges at its other end with an outwardly extending annular portion terminating in an upstanding annular rim.

49. The shoe construction of claim 45 wherein said first connectors are molded in place along the peripheral portion of the upper surface of said molded sole unit.

50. The shoe construction of claim 45 wherein said first connectors are molded in place along the side surface of said molded sole unit.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification36/11.5
International ClassificationA43B3/00, A43B3/24
Cooperative ClassificationA43B3/24
European ClassificationA43B3/24