Girthwise adjustable laced shoe construction
A laced shoe construction providing improved means for adjusting the effective girth of a shoe to the foot therein, particularly along lower side edges thereof.
This invention comprises a shoe construction providing improved means for adjusting the effective girthwise fit of a shoe to that of a foot therein, including at both upper and lower side portions adjacent to at least one of the ball, waist, and instep areas of the foot.
It is well-known that for a comfortable fit, a shoe should not only be of suitable length but also be of suitable girth to provide a comfortably close fit to the foot of the wearer. In the past, this had been approached by custom-made shoes, and by factory-made shoes being offered in multiple so-called widths (i.e. girths). However, neither approach provided proper girth adjustment along the lower sides of the foot to be able to match the usual diurnal foot girth variations of up to 2 full widths due to the normal accumulation of body fluids in the extremities over each day. This invention provides such adjustment while holding the foot securely transversely centered in the shoe at all such adjustments. This is a feature that has long been especially needed in athletic and other active shoe footwear.
This invention further provides the low store inventories of conventional single width shoe approaches, but with means to adjust these shoes over a multiple successive girth range to properly fit most wearers, including over typical diurnal foot girth ranges.
As for relevant prior art, none seems to have been able to fully satisfy the foregoing criteria. Such prior art includes, but is not limited to the following U.S. Pat. Nos.: 2,691,227; 3,404,468; 3,442,031; 3,541,708; 3,618,235; 3,686,777; 4,279,083; 4,559,811; 4,858,341; 4,967,492; 4,969,277; 5,060,402; 5,123,181; 5,163,237; 5,203,096; 5,241,762; 5,325,614; 5;584,970; 5,404,658; 6,725,575 and 6,883,254. Shortcomings in the above and other prior art related to the aforenoted shoe girthwise fitting problems have necessitated the improved shoe girth adjustment means of the present invention.SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
This invention is directed to a shoe construction having a loose lining means, preferably of a relatively inelastic but flexible woven fabric material, said construction comprising (a) a means to manually adjust the girth of a shoe, such as by shoe lacing means, in combination with (b) a loose, preferably inelastic woven fabric lining, manually girth adjustable by said lacing means to adjust the effective girth of a shoe, providing thereby improved fit of the shoe, in both upper and lower sides thereof, particularly in areas adjacent to said lacing means.
The following definitions will be used in reference to terms and phrases used in this disclosure:
“Direct sole molding”—The process by which a rubber or other polymeric unitsole is both molded and attached to the upper assembly of a shoe in the same process.
“Effective girth”—The transverse inner circumferential dimensions of foot-adjacent elements of a shoe.
“Insole”—Inside bottom element of a shoe, located above its sole element. “Loose Lining”—Shoe lining element, having less than continuous attachment to other shoe elements located adjacent thereto.
“Lower side”—The lower side portions of a foot or shoe extending about 1-3 cm upwards from the bottom portion of the foot.
“Topline”—The topmost edge portion of a foot encasing opening in the upper assembly of a shoe.
“Unitsole”—The typical molded rubber or similar polymeric single bottom-most element of a shoe.
“Upper side”—The side portions of a foot or shoe, located above their lower side portions.DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Referring to the drawings, a typical so-called athletic shoe style is shown, in a construction embodying principles of the present invention, applicable to other similarly adjusted shoe designs as well.
In the present invention, full girthwise adjustment of a shoe, preferably spanning at least four standard successively adjacent widths (or ‘girths’), is provided by the manual lacing adjustment of a relatively inelastically flexible, preferably woven fabric loose lining element attached to the topline of the outer vamp element of the upper assembly, rather than by the vamp element alone, as in the conventional lacing adjustment of similar shoe styles.
More particularly, the present invention is directed to a manually operable girthwise adjustable shoe construction, including (i) a shoe upper assembly having an outer component and an inner component, (ii) a shoe bottom assembly having a sole and insole, and (iii) manually operable means to adjust the effective girthwise dimensions of the inner components of the shoe, said inner components of the upper assembly comprising a loose lining means located inwardly adjacent to the laced portions of the upper assembly. The loose lining is attached, as by stitching means, to both the topline of the outer vamp of the shoe 20, and to a fixed insole, optionally of similar fabric, along a line corresponding to that of the perimeter of the bottom of a shoe last having the least girth of the particular girthwise adjustment range for which the shoe is designed. This provides a closely comfortable girthwise fit of both the upper and lower laced side portions of the shoe 20 to a foot therewithin.
It will be noted that manually operable shoe girth adjustment means equivalent to the preferred lacing means disclosed above will include other conventional means such as girth adjustable straps, buckles, hook and loop closures, and like means.
The shoe construction of the present invention is designed to provide an infinitely variable manually operable shoe girth adjustment within its designed girth ranges. Generally this will provide an appropriate girthwise fit to most of the wearers of each length size thereof.
Optionally the shoe may be designed to cover multiple separate girth ranges, if desired. For example, one shoe can be designed for a men's girth range of B-C-D-E, while a second similar design can be designed for a range of greater girths, as D, E, EE and EEE. The specific girth ranges are open to the preferences of the shoe manufacturer. The specific girth ranges can differ according to the size ranges applicable and the specific customer category, i.e. men, women, or children.
As for materials and sources, uppers may include leather from Prime Tanning, Inc., of Berwick, Me. and others. Simulated leather and other fabrics and materials can be supplied by Geo. C. Moore, Inc., of Westerly, R.I. and others. Shoe laces will be from Textile Tapes, Inc., of Gonic, N.H. Eyelets, washers and similar fastenings will be supplied by Trendware/Goldberg Footwear Components, Inc., of Salem, Mass.
It should be understood that the present invention is readily applicable to a wide range of shoe designs, including those with other girth adjustment means considered equivalent to the preferred lacing means shown in the figures and disclosures herewith and including adjustable straps, hook and loop closures, buckles, and like means.
1. A manually operable girthwise adjustable shoe construction, comprising (i) an upper assembly having least one outer element and at least one inner element, said inner element being located at least about one of the ball, waist, and instep of the shoe, (ii) a bottom assembly which includes a sole and a fixed insole, and (iii) a manual means to adjust the effective girthwise dimensions of the shoe therewith, wherein (a) the inner element comprises a loose lining means, and (b) the loose lining means is attached to the fixed insole at about the perimeter of a shoe last of about the least girth for which the shoe is designed, and the loose lining means provides a comfortably close fit of the shoe to the foot of the wearer, including along both upper and lower side portions thereof.
2. The shoe of claim 1, wherein the adjustment is by a lacing means.
3. The shoe construction of claim 1, wherein the shoe is adjustable to a wearer's preferred level of snugness.
4. The shoe construction of claim 1, wherein the shoe girth is infinitely incrementally adjustable within the designed adjustment range of the shoe.
5. The shoe construction of claim 1, wherein a foot located therein is securely held transversely centered in the shoe at all girth adjustments thereof.
6. A manually operable girthwise adjustable laced shoe construction comprising a loose lining means which is adjustable by tightening or loosening a shoe adjusting means selected from the group consisting of shoelaces, buckles, straps, and hook and loop closures, to provide girthwise adjustment of the effective girth of the shoe so that it fits along the lower side edges of a foot therein.
7. A manually operable girthwise adjustable shoe construction, comprising an upper assembly of outer and inner elements, including inner loose lining means and bottom elements therewith, and also comprising a manual means to adjust the effective girthwise dimension of the shoe therewith, so arranged as to provide a comfortably close or contacting fit of the shoe to the foot and preference of the wearer, including in both upper and lower side portions thereof.
8. The shoe construction of claim 7, wherein the adjustment is made by a lacing means.
9. The shoe construction of claim 7, wherein the adjustment is made by a means selected from the group consisting of buckles, straps, and hook and loop closures.
Filed: Aug 25, 2009
Publication Date: Mar 3, 2011
Inventor: Henri E. Rosen (Watertown, MA)
Application Number: 12/583,672
International Classification: A43C 11/00 (20060101);