Title:
FOOTWEAR HAVING SELECTIVELY ATTACHABLE SOCKLINER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Footwear includes a sole, an upper attached to the sole to define a volume for receiving a foot therein, and a sockliner received in the volume and overlying the sole. The sole includes at least one first fastener element formed therein, and the sockliner includes at least one second fastener element formed therein. The second fastener element is adapted for snap-together fastening with the first fastener element for securing the sockliner to the sole.



Inventors:
Ludemann, John F. (Southport, ME, US)
Application Number:
11/551300
Publication Date:
04/24/2008
Filing Date:
10/20/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B13/38
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KAVANAUGH, JOHN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STINSON LLP (ST LOUIS, MO, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. Footwear comprising a sole, an upper attached to the sole to define a volume for receiving a foot therein, and a sockliner received in the volume and overlying the sole, the sole including at least one first fastener element formed therein, and the sockliner including at least one second fastener element formed therein, the second fastener element being adapted for snap-together fastening with the first fastener element for securing the sockliner to the sole.

2. Footwear as set forth in claim 1 wherein the sockliner has a perimeter and the second fastener element is located inward of the perimeter.

3. Footwear as set forth in claim 2 wherein there are plural first and second fastener elements, the second fastener elements being located inward of the periphery of the sockliner.

4. Footwear as set forth in claim 3 wherein each second fastener element comprises a shaft and a head, the head having a width, each first fastener element including a cavity and an opening allowing access to the cavity, the opening having a width less than the width of the head.

5. Footwear as set forth in claim 4 wherein each head is resiliently deformable for allowing the head to pass a corresponding opening and into the cavity.

6. Footwear as set forth in claim 1 wherein the second fastener element is selectively unfastenable from the first fastener element to thereby allow the sockliner to be removed from the sole.

7. Footwear as set forth in claim 1 wherein the sole is made of EVA.

8. Footwear as set forth in claim 7 wherein the sockliner is made of EVA.

9. Footwear as set forth in claim 8 wherein the EVA of the sole has a hardness greater than a hardness of the EVA of the sockliner.

10. Footwear as set forth in claim 1 wherein the upper and sole are configured to define a clog.

11. Footwear as set forth in claim 1 wherein the sockliner has a surface area that is less than the surface area of the sole.

12. Footwear as set forth in claim 11 wherein the sole includes a recess sized and shaped for receiving the sockliner.

13. Footwear comprising: an upper shaped to define a volume for receiving a foot therein and having an opening for passage of the foot into the volume; a sole having the upper attached thereto, the sole having a top surface and a bottom surface, the top surface including a plurality of cavities and openings allowing access to the cavities; and a sockliner for overlying the top surface of the sole and underlying the foot of the wearer, the sockliner including a plurality of tabs selectively insertable into the cavities of the sole to thereby secure the sockliner to the sole.

14. Footwear as set forth in claim 13 wherein the tabs each comprise a shaft and a head attached to the shaft.

15. Footwear as set forth in claim 14 wherein the openings in the sole have diameters less than diameters of the heads of the tabs.

16. Footwear as set forth in claim 15 wherein the heads of the tabs are resiliently deformable for allowing the heads to snap into the cavities through the openings.

17. Footwear as set forth in claim 13 wherein the tabs are formed as one-piece with the sockliner.

18. Footwear as set forth in claim 17 wherein the cavities and openings are formed as one-piece with the sole.

19. Footwear as set forth in claim 13 wherein the sole includes a forward portion and rearward portion, each of the forward and rearward portions of the sole including at least one cavity and corresponding opening, the sockliner including a forward portion and rearward portion, each of the forward and rearward portions of the sockliner including at least one tab.

20. Footwear as set forth in claim 13 wherein the sole is made of EVA and has a hardness, and the sockliner is made of EVA and has a hardness less than the hardness of the sole.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to footwear and more particularly, to footwear having a selectively attachable sockliner.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Conventional footwear includes an upper, a sole underlying and attached to the upper, and a sockliner overlying the sole. The sockliner is the portion of the footwear upon which a wearer places their foot. Often, the sockliner is glued and/or stitched to the sole. However, the gluing and/or stitching process is typically conducted at a manufacturing facility different than the one at which the sole and sockliner were produced. As a result, production delays and added costs are incurred in handling, packing, and shipping the sole and sockliner from one manufacturing facility to another.

Moreover, permanently attached sockliners, such as by gluing and/or stitching, prohibit the sockliner from being removed from the footwear for cleaning or replacement. It is also known to place the sockliner on the sole without any type of connection. However, the sockliner can bunch or gather within the footwear thereby causing discomfort to the wearer.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect, the present invention is directed to footwear generally comprising a sole, an upper attached to the sole to define a volume for receiving a foot therein, and a sockliner received in the volume and overlying the sole. The sole includes at least one first fastener element formed therein, and the sockliner includes at least one second fastener element formed therein. The second fastener element is adapted for snap-together fastening with the first fastener element for securing the sockliner to the sole.

In another aspect, the present invention is directed to footwear generally comprising an upper shaped to define a volume for receiving a foot therein and having an opening for passage of the foot into the volume. The upper is attached to a sole having a top surface and a bottom surface. The top surface includes a plurality of cavities and openings allowing access to the cavities. A sockliner is for overlying the top surface of the sole and underlying the foot of the wearer. The sockliner includes a plurality of tabs selectively insertable into the cavities of the sole to thereby secure the sockliner to the sole.

Other objects and features will be in part apparent and in part pointed out hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a right side elevation of a sneaker clog of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a left side elevation of the sneaker clog;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the sneaker clog;

FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view of the sneaker clog showing a bottom surface of a sole of the clog;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the sole of the clog showing a top surface of the sole;

FIG. 6 is a section taken on line 6-6 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a top plan view of a sockliner adapted to overlie the top surface of the sole;

FIG. 8 is a bottom plan view of the sockliner;

FIG. 9 is a side elevation of the sockliner;

FIG. 10 is a section taken on line 10-10 of FIG. 8; and

FIG. 11 is a section taken on line 11-11 of FIG. 3.

Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 1-3, footwear of the present invention in the form of a woman's sneaker clog is designated in its entirety by the reference numeral 10. The illustrated sneaker clog 10 is configured to be worn on the right foot of a wearer. Of course, a pair of sneaker clogs (one right and one left) would be provided to the wearer. Since both of the sneaker clogs of the pair are substantially the same, only one of the sneaker clogs will be illustrated and described herein. Although a woman's sneaker clog is shown and described with respect to the illustrated embodiment, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the present invention may be employed in other types of footwear for women, men, and children.

The clog 10 includes an upper 12, a sockliner 14, and a sole 16. The upper 12 is attached to the sole 16 using techniques know in the art. In one configuration, the upper is affixed to sole such as by gluing and/or sewing. In another configuration (not shown), the upper is formed (e.g., molded) as one-piece with the sole. The upper 12 is shaped to define a volume for receiving a foot of the wearer therein and has an opening 18 for passage of the foot into the volume. As is typical with clog footwear, the upper 12 includes a very low heel for allowing the wearer to easily slide her foot into and out of the clog 10. It is understood that the clog could be heelless. The upper 12 may be made of leather or other material (including synthetic and natural materials) conventionally used in uppers and may be lined or unlined. As shown, the exterior surface of the upper 12 can have various patterns, indicia, or stitch lines for aesthetic purposes. Because the construction of the upper 12 can be conventional and well known in the art, it will not be described in further detail.

As illustrated in FIGS. 4-6, the sole 16 generally comprises a top surface, indicated generally at 20, and a bottom surface 22 opposite the top surface forming a bottom of the clog 10. In the illustrated embodiment, the bottom surface 22 includes treads for increasing traction with the ground. The sole 16 can be made of any suitable material such as ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), PVC, polyurethane, TPR, rubber or a combination thereof. In one embodiment, the sole is formed from EVA having a relatively high hardness so that sole wear is inhibited. For example, the hardness of the sole can be between about 45 and about 75 Shore C durometer. In one embodiment, the hardness of the sole is approximately 55 Shore C durometer. The EVA from which the sole if formed may have a relatively low specific gravity (e.g., between about 0.08 and 0.50), and in one embodiment is about 0.10. It is understood that the sole can be formed with different specific gravities in different regions of the sole. It is also understood that the sole 16 can be formed from more than one-piece. The sole 16 shown in the illustrated embodiment is one-piece.

Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, the sole 16 includes a periphery ledge 24 and an interior recess 26 located inward of the periphery ledge. The periphery ledge 24 includes a bevel 28 adjacent the interior recess 26. The interior recess 26 has a rearward portion and a forward portion that is wider than the rearward portion. A plurality of cavities 32 (broadly, “a first fastener element”) is located throughout the sole 16 within the recess 26. In the illustrated embodiment, the recess 26 in the sole 16 includes eight cavities 32 (five in a forefoot part and three in a heel part of the sole), but it is understood that more or fewer cavities can be provided.

The sole 16 further includes a plurality of circular openings 34 for allowing assess to each of the cavities 32 therein. The openings 34 have a diameter that is less than a maximum diameter of the cavities. It is understood that the openings and cavities can have other configurations without departing from the scope of this invention. The use of the openings and cavities will be described in detail below. Although the construction of the sole of one embodiment is described above, it is envisioned that the sole may have other constructions without departing from the scope of the present invention.

Referring now to FIGS. 7-11, the sockliner 14 is sized and shaped for overlying the top surface 20 of the sole 16 and underlying the foot of the wearer. More specifically, the sockliner 14 includes the rearward portion sized and shaped for underlying the tarsus of the foot and a forward portion for underlying the metatarsal heads and phalanges of the foot of the wearer. The sockliner 14 is compressively resilient to cushion the foot of the wearer during the various stages of the gait cycle. As a result, the sockliner 14 has a relatively low hardness to provide suitable cushion. For example, the hardness of the sockliner can be between about 35 and about 55 Shore C durometer. In one embodiment, the sockliner has a hardness of about 45 Shore C durometer. The sockliner 14 can be made of any suitable material such as ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), PVC, polyurethane, TPR, rubber or a combination thereof. In one embodiment, the sockliner is formed from EVA having a relatively low specific gravity (e.g., between about 0.08 and 0.50), and in one embodiment is about 0.10. It is understood that the sockliner can be formed with different densities in different regions of the sockliner. It is also understood that the sockliner can be formed from more than one-piece as is illustrated and described herein.

The sockliner 14 has a surface area that is less than the surface area of the sole 16. More specifically, the surface area of the sockliner 14 is approximately equal to the surface area of the recess 26 in the sole 16, and the sockliner can be received in the recess so that the upper surface of the sockliner is generally flush with the periphery ledge 24 of the sole (FIG. 11). It is understood that the sockliner can be formed with a surface area at least equal to the surface area of the sole.

As shown in FIGS. 3 and 11, the sockliner 14 is affixed to the sole 16 using a plurality of tabs 40 (broadly, “second fastener elements”), which extend outwardly from an underside of the sockliner 14 and into the cavities 32 formed in the sole 16. The tabs 40 are preferably located inward of a perimeter of the sockliner 14. Each of the tabs 40 includes a shaft 42 and a head 44 attached to the shaft (FIG. 10). In the illustrated embodiment, the tabs 40 are generally shaped like a frustum of a cone. An outwardly facing surface 46 of the heads 44 of the tabs 40 are generally rounded so that when the sockliner 14 is affixed to the sole 16 the surface engages the sole adjacent the openings to facilitate the heads insertion into the cavities 32 in the sole 16. Eight tabs 40 and cavities 32 are shown in the illustrated configuration but more or fewer tabs and cavities can be used.

When the tabs 40 are being pushed through the openings 34 in the sole 16, the heads 44 of the tabs deform to thereby allow the wider heads to pass through the opening and into the cavities 32. Once the tabs 40 on the sockliner 14 are inserted into the cavities 32 of the sole 16, the large diameter heads 44 rebound to substantially their original shapes to inhibit removal or slippage of the sockliner with respect to the sole. The sockliner 14 can be disengaged from the sole 16 by pulling upward on the sockliner in a direction away from the sole. Thus, the sockliner 14 can be removed, cleaned and reattached or removed and replaced.

As shown in FIG. 11, the sockliner 14 can include a cover 52 made of a suitable material such as calfskin leather, synthetic material, or fabric for underlying the wearer's foot to provide softness and absorbency. Although the construction of the sockliner 14 of one embodiment is described above, it is envisioned that the sockliner may have other constructions without departing from the scope of the present invention.

As will apparent to those skilled in the art, the clog sneaker 10 of the present invention may be assembled using various conventional and well-known methods. The sockliner and sole of the present invention, however, can both be manufactured (e.g., molded) and assembled at the same manufacturing location thereby reducing production time and costs. It is not necessary to use adhesive or stitching that would be carried out at a different location.

In view of the above, it will be seen that the several objects of the invention are achieved and other advantageous results obtained.

When introducing elements of the present invention or the preferred embodiment(s) thereof, the articles “a”, “an”, “the” and “said” are intended to mean that there are one or more of the elements. The terms “comprising”, “including” and “having” are intended to be inclusive and mean that there may be additional elements other than the listed elements.

As various changes could be made in the above without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description and shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.