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Title:
SPACER ELEMENT FOR FOOTWEAR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/002116
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A footwear, including an outsole, an upper disposed on the outsole which delimits a cavity configured to receive a foot of a wearer, and a spacer disposed within the cavity proximate to the outsole such the foot rests upon the spacer when disposed in the cavity, where the upper includes first ventilated area configured to allow passage of moisture therethrough, where the spacer includes a second ventilated area configured to allow passage of moisture therethrough, where the first and second ventilated areas are disposed in communication such that a moisture pathway is created from the cavity to an exterior of the footwear.

Inventors:
JENSEN, Frank (Sct Hansvej 24, 6261 Bredebro, 6261, DK)
Application Number:
EP2017/065959
Publication Date:
January 04, 2018
Filing Date:
June 28, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ECCO SKO A/S (Industrivej 5, 6261 Bredebro, 6261, DK)
International Classes:
A43B7/06; A43B7/12; A43B23/02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VALEA AB (Anna Lindhs Plats 4, Malmö, 211 19, SE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . A footwear, comprising: an outsole;

an upper disposed on the outsole which delimits a cavity configured to receive a foot of a wearer; and

a spacer disposed within the cavity proximate to the outsole such the foot rests upon the spacer when disposed in the cavity;

wherein the upper includes a first ventilated area configured to allow passage of moisture therethrough;

wherein the spacer includes a second ventilated area configured to allow passage of moisture therethrough;

wherein the first and second ventilated areas are disposed in communication such that a moisture pathway is created from the cavity to an exterior of the footwear. 2. The footwear of claim 1 , wherein the upper is composed of a breathable material and wherein the spacer is composed of a breathable structured mesh material.

3. The footwear according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the upper extends beneath the spacer, between the spacer and the outsole, so as to encircle the foot of the wearer. 4. The footwear according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the spacer is in direct contact with an interior side of the upper and the outsole is in direct contact with an exterior side of the upper.

5. The footwear according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the upper further comprises a waterproof membrane configured to impede passage of a liquid. 6. The footwear according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the footwear further comprises an insole which is air and vapour permeable, which may be layered on top of the spacer.

7. The footwear according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the spacer is constructed of a hydrophobic material, preventing moisture inside the cavity to be absorbed in the material.

8. The footwear according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the spacer extends from an area of the upper and towards a forefoot area of the upper.

9. The footwear according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the upper comprises side walls that are formed as a layered construction provided with at least a first layer and

5 a second layer.

10. The footwear according to claim 9, wherein a first layer is the outermost layer of the shoe, and/or the second layer is a water-proof vapour permeable layer that faces the cavity of the upper (preventing water to penetrate the cavity of the upper from the side walls).

10 1 1 . The footwear according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the outsole is

attached to the bottom area of the upper, and where the outsole extends upwards towards the sides of the upper.

12. The footwear according to claim 1 1 , wherein the highest point of the outsole along the sides of the upper is positioned in a vertical direction (definition) lower than a top surface

15 of the spacer.

13. The footwear according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the upper is provided with at least one opening in the side wall, where the openings are adjacent in the vertical direction to a side wall of the spacer.

14. The footwear according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the spacer has a

20 vertical dimension that is in the range of between 3 and 10 mm, more specifically between 4 and 9 mm, more specifically between 5 and 8 mm, even more specifically around 6 mm. [thickness]

15. The footwear according to any of the preceding claims, wherein second ventilated area of the spacer extends towards and to a peripheral the peripheral wall of the spacer

25 allowing moisture to escape from the second ventilated area along at least part of the peripheral wall of the spacer, and optionally the entire peripheral wall of the spacer.

16. The footwear according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the spacer material may be seen as a mesh like scaffolding, allowing air to penetrate and exit the second ventilated area from any side of the spacer.

17. The footwear according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the spacer material is adapted to provide a fluid communication from at least one side of the spacer towards another side of the spacer and/or the peripheral wall of the spacer.

18. The footwear according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the upper is provided with at least one layer having at least one area providing a fluid communication, in particular air and/or vapour communication, from one side of the layer to the opposite side of the layer.

Description:
SPACER ELEMENT FOR FOOTWEAR

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention generally concerns footwear, and more particularly pertains to a footwear configuration which allows ventilation from all sides of the foot of a wearer, and particularly from an area beneath the foot.

BACKGROUND

Ventilated or breathable footwear are known in the industry for allowing air and/or moisture to flow from an inside of the footwear, near the inserted foot of a wearer, to the outside of the footwear for the purposes of cooling and drying the foot. In such known constructions, the material used to form the upper includes an area through which air and/or moisture can pass. Such an area may include perforations or the like to allow this flow. As such, the top and lateral and medial sides of the foot may be subject to ventilation. However, traditionally, the sole of the foot engages an insole or the like which is mounted atop a midsole and an outsole. The traditional way of obtaining breathable footwear, such as a shoe, where the footwear is adapted to allow breathability from the bottom of the foot, has been to provide the shoe with a sole having ventilation openings which extend from the inner sole of the shoe and towards the bottom of the sole, or to the sides of the sole, such as is known from e.g. EP1201 143 or WO2012028208 respectively. The construction of shoes having ventilation openings means that the construction of the soles may become relatively complicated, as the openings have to be moulded into the soles, which means that the manufacturing process of the shoes may become complicated and time consuming.

Alternative methods of obtaining a footwear, where the bottom of the foot may be ventilated, may e.g. be seen from US 201 1/167677, where a ventilated shoe is provided with a water impermeable membrane that surrounds the entire foot inside the upper, and a spacer material is provided on lower side of the membrane, between the upper and the outsole, allowing ventilation from the bottom of the foot towards the sides of the shoe towards the side areas of the outsole. The outsole, is provided with areas that are open towards the sides to allow the air to escape from the spacer element. The above ways of obtaining a ventilating shoe require a highly complex construction of the upper, and the functional layers (water proof-vapour permeable) as well as the outsoles of the shoes, which increase the time consumption during manufacturing as well as expensive materials in form of the functional layers. Thus, these elements do not traditionally allow for air and moisture removal and, if they do, they require added material layers resulting in a complex and expensive construction.

What is needed is a footwear which provides for whole-foot ventilation and breathability, where such footwear is simple in construction and economical to manufacture.

SUMMARY

In accordance with the invention there is provided a footwear, including an outsole, an upper disposed on the outsole which delimits a cavity configured to receive a foot of a wearer, and a spacer disposed within the cavity proximate to the outsole such the foot rests upon the spacer when disposed in the cavity, where the upper includes first ventilated area configured to allow passage of moisture therethrough, where the spacer includes a second ventilated area configured to allow passage of moisture therethrough, where the first and second ventilated areas are disposed in communication such that a moisture pathway is created from the cavity to an exterior of the footwear. By providing a footwear in accordance with the above, it is possible to simplify the process of providing a breathable shoe, where the sole of the foot may be ventilated via the spacer. This means that a normal type of shoe, that has an air and/or vapour permeable upper may be provided with a spacer, where the spacer ensures that the area of the shoe that is normally non-breathable, i.e. the area of the upper where the outsole is attached to the upper may become breathable by providing an air passage from the area and towards the sides of the upper.

Thus, it is possible to design shoes that have optimal dampening properties in the outsole, midsole or other parts of the sole, that does not need to be altered in any way to accommodate openings to allow air and/or moisture to escape from the shoe. Thus, a breathable shoe may be manufactured using normal methods for manufacturing a traditional shoe.

In one embodiment the upper may be composed of a breathable material and/or wherein the spacer is composed of a breathable structured mesh material. The breathable material may be provided as the side walls of the upper, i.e. the walls of the upper that extend in a vertical direction from the outsole. By providing the upper in a breathable material, it is possible to allow air to be transported from inside the cavity of the upper (the cavity to which a foot is to be positioned) and out of the shoe via the walls of the upper.

In one embodiment the upper may extend beneath the spacer, between the spacer and the outsole, so as to encircle the foot of the wearer. Thus, the spacer is adapted to be positioned inside the cavity of the upper, in an area that is above the lowest part of the upper. Thus, when the user inserts its foot inside the footwear, the sole of the foot is positioned on top of the spacer, where the spacer extends between the sole of the foot and the bottom of the upper (lowest part of the upper) and/or the outsole/midsole of the footwear. In one embodiment the spacer may be in direct contact with an interior side of the upper and the outsole is in direct contact with an exterior side of the upper. Thus, the upper will be positioned between the outsole of the footwear and the spacer. This means that the outsole may be directly attached to the upper by adhesive, injection moulding or other types of attachment means, as is known in the art by the person skilled in the art. The area of the upper, where the outsole is attached to the upper may therefore be an area of the upper where there is a highly reduced permeability to fluids, where the permeability is practically not present. Thus, this area will effectively have no permeability to air and vapours, which means that this part of the shoe will not be capable of allowing air, moisture and/or vapours to exit the footwear. Thus, the positioning of a spacer inside the cavity of the upper, in parts of the area where the outsole is attached to the upper, allows air and moisture to be wicked and/or transferred via the spacer to an area where there is permeability between the cavity of the upper and the outside of the shoe, via the walls of the upper.

In one embodiment wherein the upper may further comprise a waterproof membrane configured to impede passage of a liquid. The waterproof membrane may be an air and vapour permeable membrane, which means that the area of the upper having the membrane, may allow air and vapour to pass, while preventing water to pass through the membrane. Such membranes are known in the art, such as Gore-Tex tm which is a waterproof, breathable fabric membrane and registered trademark of W. L. Gore and Associates. Such a membrane may have about 9 billion pores per square inch (around 1 .4 billion pores per square centimeter), where each pore is approximately 1/20,000 the size of a water droplet, making it impenetrable to liquid water while still allowing the more volatile water vapour molecules to pass through. Other types of membranes, having more or less pores per square inch may be utilized, and the membranes may be single or multi layered membranes that have different characteristics, while the main purpose is to impede water droplets to pass, while allowing air and water molecules in gaseous form to pass.

In one embodiment the footwear may further comprise an insole which is air and vapour permeable, which may be layered on top of the spacer. In order to improve comfort of the footwear, an insole may be positioned on top of the spacer, between the foot of the wearer and the spacer. This means that the insole may provide an increase

softness/hardness and change the level of comfort. However, when using an insole with the spacer, it is important that the insole is capable of allowing fluid communication between the cavity and the spacer, as the insole may be seen as providing a barrier between the open cavity and the spacer. The insole may be made of hydrophobic material, thereby effectively preventing any water molecules to be trapped inside the insole, and ensuring that they may freely pass, without absorbing these.

In one embodiment the spacer (spacer element) may be constructed of a hydrophobic material, preventing moisture inside the cavity to be absorbed in the material. The spacer element may have a three-dimensional structure that permits air passage in at least the horizontal direction. This structure has a low flow resistance for air. The air-permeable layer permits the absorption and transport of heat and water vapor from the shoe interior by means of convection, for example. The spacer element may have a structure with a stiffness such that it is not significantly permanently compressed by the foot of the user during walking.

A spacer structure as known from US 2014/0036355 may be utilized as the spacer element.

An alternative spacer element may be found in WO 2006/056398, or may be found as the Air-permeable layer shown in US 201 1/167677, where it is stated that the air-permeable layer can be a shaped structure from polymers, a 3D spacer structure, or a textile structure reinforced with polymer resins, for example. The air-permeable layer can also be produced by an injection-molding method. In one variant, it can have a channel- or tubelike configuration or can be formed from polymer or metal foams.

Shaped structures from polymers are based on polymer monofilaments, woven fabrics, nonwoven fabrics or lays, which are formed by deformation and fixation of the materials to a rib, knob, or zigzag structure. The structure can also be a three-dimensional structure, for example, from polypropylene, in the form of a wave-like or other shape of filament lay brought to a 3D structure. Deformation and fixation can be carried out, for example, by means of a heated structuring roll or as a thermoforming process. The shaped structures can additionally be laminated with a woven or nonwoven fabric in order to improve dimensional stability. One possible method for producing such shaped structures is described, for example, in patent application WO 2006/056398 A1.

The air-permeable layer can also be formed from a 3D spacer structure. Such spacer structures can generally consist of polyester multi- or monofilaments. Spacer structures can be spacer knits, spacer warp-knits, spacer nonwoven fabrics or spacer woven fabrics. Knitting technology makes it possible to vary the top and bottom of the product surfaces and the spacer threads (pole threads) independently of each other. Thus the surfaces and the hardness, including the spring characteristic, can be adjusted according to the individual application. Spacer structures are characterized by very high air circulation in all directions, even under stress.

The spacer structure, for example, in the form of a spacer knit, can also be produced by impregnating textile fabrics that are impregnated before or after deformation to a three- dimensional structure with synthetic resin and thus acquire the desired rigidity.

Inorganic fibers, such as glass fibers or carbon fibers, can also be chosen as the fiber material for the spacer structure.

Examples of materials that may be utilized as a spacer element may be the following as shown in the following Table 1.

Table 1

Sample Manufacturer Characteristic Product Thickness Basis Polymer

Name (mm) weight

in g/m 2 " Colbond BV 3D mat ~ 1 A t2 Ϊ6Ί Pol ester

structure from spacer: 2000 Polyamides monofilaments, 8006H Polyolefins thermally 5006C

deformed to a zigzag 7004H

structure

Colbond BV 3D mat ENKA 3-12 100- Polyester structure from spacer 2000 Polyamides monofilaments Polyolefins

7008

that are

welded to one

another on

their inner

section points

Muller 3D Spacer 3-mesh 3-12 100- Polyester Textile structure 2000 monofilament or

multifilament

Tylex 3D Spacer Tyi- 3-12 100- Polyester

Letovice A.S structure space 2000 monofilament or

multifilament

To summarize, the air-permeable layer should maintain a spacing between the foot and the outsole and form a number of passages that produce the least possible resistance to air flow and therefore contribute to the transport of water vapor and heat without adsorbing the water vapor. The air-permeable layer has no or at least essentially no capillary effect. The air-permeable layer is closed on the bottom by the inlay sole and/or a filler layer and/or the outsole, and is open at least on its periphery in a manner that permits air permeability. The air-permeable layer is preferably also open on its upper surface in a manner that permits air permeability. The upper surface of the air-permeable layer directed toward the shoe interior in one variant is directed toward a waterproof and optionally also water vapor-permeable functional layer.

The air permeability of the spacer structures is determined according to DIN EN ISO 9237 "Determination of Air Permeability of Textile Fabrics." In contrast to DIN EN ISO 9237, the flow rate and pressure difference are not measured perpendicular to the surface, but along the surface. For this purpose, a defined spacer channel bounded by closed cover surfaces is constructed, in which an air stream is supplied from one side. The pressure difference between the inlet and outlet from the channel and the flow rate at the air outlet are measured. At pressure differences between 0 and 100 Pa at the end of a channel between 300 mm and 1300 mm long, flow rates between 0 and 1 m/s were measured. This means that a spacer structure that no longer generates a measurable flow at the outlet at a static pressure up to 100 Pa and a flow channel length of 300 mm would not be suitable for the present invention.

In one embodiment the spacer may extend from a heel area of the upper and towards a forefoot area of the upper. Thus by providing a spacer that extends from the front of the footwear to the back of the footwear, it is possible to provide a spacer that is capable of providing breathability along the entire longitudinal length of the shoe.

In one embodiment the upper may comprise side walls that are formed as a layered construction provided with at least a first layer and a second layer. The layered construction may be in the form of an outer layer (first layer), which is the outer surface of the footwear, while the second layer may be a layer that is positioned between the cavity of the footwear and the first layer. The upper may comprise further layers, where the further layers may be positioned in between the first and the second layers. The first and/or the second layers may furthermore be multi-layered films, that are sandwiched or adhered to each other, creating e.g. a functional layer.

In one embodiment a first layer may be the outermost layer of the shoe, and/or the second layer may be a water-proof vapour permeable layer that faces the cavity of the upper. Thus, the second layer may be utilized to prevent water from penetrating the cavity from outside the shoe. The second layer may be in its lower end attached to the bottom of the upper so that water in an area that is below the outsole of the shoe, so that water cannot penetrate the shoe between the outsole and the second layer. I.e. the outsole may create a barrier for water. The upper end of the second layer may extend to a height where there is a reduced risk that the upper will come into contact with water. Alternatively the second layer may extend towards the top of the upper. The second layer may extend completely around the cavity of the upper, ensuring that it encircles the entire periphery of the foot when it is arranged inside the cavity.

In one embodiment the outsole may be attached to the bottom area of the upper, and where the outsole extends upwards towards the sides of the upper. The outsole, creates a comfort layer and a surface on which the footwear comes into contact with the ground, during use. In order to ensure low parts of the upper are protected, the upper may extend upwards along the side walls (outer surface) of the upper. The outsole may extend upwards between 0, 1 and 20% of the total height or the highest point of the upper, more specifically between 0,5 and 10% of the total height or the highest point of the upper, Thus, the outsole may create a protection to the lower parts of the upper, so that there is a reduced risk that the lower parts of the upper comes into direct contact with the ground during use.

In one embodiment the highest point of the outsole along the sides of the upper may be positioned in a vertical direction (definition) lower than a top surface of the spacer. If the outsole extends upwards along the side walls of the upper, it may be important that the outsole does not completely overlap the side walls of the upper which is in the same height as the spacer inside the cavity. If the outsole extends above the highest point of the spacer, there is a significant loss of breathability between the walls of the upper and the spacer, as the outsole may create a barrier in this area. Thus, it may be advantageous to reduce the height of the outsole to a level that is lower at least part of the top surface of the spacer, so that the outsole and the spacer are not entirely overlapping in the vertical direction of the footwear.

In one embodiment the upper may be provided with at least one opening in the side wall, where the openings are adjacent in the vertical direction to a side wall of the spacer. The openings in the side walls of the upper may be utilized to provide an increased breathability in the side wall of the upper. Thus, the upper may be provided in a material that has a low breathability when the material is uninterrupted, where the opening may provide an increase in breathability in the area of the opening. Thus, the breathability of the upper may be controlled by providing openings. The openings may be of any shape and size. In one embodiment the area of the opening may be provided with a waterproof gas-permeable film between the cavity and the upper, so that water cannot penetrate the cavity of the upper via the openings.

In one embodiment the spacer may have a vertical dimension that is in the range of between 3 and 10 mm, more specifically between 4 and 9 mm, more specifically between 5 and 8 mm, even more specifically around 6 mm. The vertical dimension may be seen as the thickness of the spacer, i.e. the distance that is between the inner lower part of the upper and where the foot is adapted to rest (or and insole is positioned). Advantageous thicknesses of the spacer are discussed in earlier in this application, and examples thereof are e.g. shown in Table 1.

In one embodiment the second ventilated area of the spacer may extend towards and to a peripheral wall of the spacer allowing moisture to escape from the second ventilated area along at least part of the peripheral wall of the spacer, and optionally the entire peripheral wall of the spacer. Thus, the peripheral wall of the spacer, which may be arranged in a direction that may be seen as vertical, or at least partly vertical (in opposite to the horizontal surface of the spacer, where the foot is positioned or the spacer is in contact with the lower part (bottom part) of the upper) may provide a fluid communication pathway, which extends through the spacer and towards the upper horizontal surface of the spacer. Thus, moisture may be transferred from the horizontal surface, through the spacer and out of the spacer via the peripheral wall of the spacer.

In one embodiment the spacer material may be seen as a mesh like scaffolding, allowing air to penetrate and exit the second ventilated area from any side of the spacer. Specific types of the spacer material are discussed earlier in this disclosure.

In one embodiment the spacer material may be adapted to provide a fluid communication from at least one side of the spacer towards another side of the spacer and/or the peripheral wall of the spacer. The spacer may be seen as a 3D structure that is provided with open areas having air, during use. The air volume of the spacer may be a completely open structure, so that it is possible to transfer air or other types of fluids directly from one part of the spacer to another part of the spacer, without the fluid becoming trapped inside the spacer. Thus the inner volume of the spacer may be seen as barrier free, allowing fluids to pass in any direction.

In one embodiment the upper may be provided with at least one layer having at least one area providing a fluid communication, in particular air and/or vapour communication, from one side of the layer to the opposite side of the layer. Thus, upper may be provided with a layer that allows fluids to travel from one side of the layer, through the layer and to the opposite side of the layer (via the layer). Thus, by selecting the correct layer, the particle sizes of the fluids may be selectively prevented from entering, exiting the layer and thereby the upper.

Details of these and other aspects of the subject matter of this application will be apparent from the detailed description and drawings included below. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Fig. 1 shows a partial cross-sectional view of a footwear in accordance with one exemplary embodiment of the invention, and

Fig. 2 shows a partial cross sectional vie of a footwear in accordance with a second exemplary embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Fig. 1 shows a footwear 10 having an upper 12 and an outsole 14. The upper 12 is affixed to a top of the outsole 14 by any sufficient means, for example, by adhesive. An inlay sole 16 is disposed within at a bottom of a cavity 18 formed by the upper 12. A structured mesh material 20 is disposed beneath the inlay sole 16. Together, the inlay sole 16 and the structured mesh material 20 forms a layer or spacer disposed within the footwear 12 at a bottom of the cavity 18, such that when a foot of a wearer is inserted into the cavity 18, it rests upon the inlay sole 16 and structured mesh material 18.

In the illustrated exemplary embodiment, the upper 12 essentially encircles the foot of a wearer and extends continuously beneath the inlay sole 16 and structured mesh material 20 such that the upper 12 is sandwiched on the top by these elements on the bottom by the outsole 14. In an alternate embodiment, the upper may terminate at the outsole and be lasted thereto or otherwise affixed thereto.

The upper 12 may comprise a breathable textile material 22 which is configured to allow air and or moisture to pass from the cavity 18 to an exterior of the footwear 10.

Additionally, the upper 12 may further comprise a waterproof membrane 24 configured to inhibit passage of liquids such as water. The waterproof membrane 24 follows the breathable material 22 so as to fully encircle the foot of a wearer. That is, the waterproof membrane 24 extends under the structured mesh material 20 and atop the outsole 14. In this location, beneath the foot of the wearer, the waterproof membrane 24 may comprise a water resistant strobel material. In an alternate embodiment, the water resistant strobel material may be disposed beneath the structured mesh material 20 and above both the outsole 14 and the portion of the breathable material 22 which is disposed on the outsole 14, as shown in the Fig. 1 . However, in this alternate embodiment, the remainder of the membrane 24 which extends contiguously from the strobel material within the external breathable material 22 may be a non-waterproof lining. In the described footwear 10, the inlay sole 16 and the underlying structured mesh material 20 form a ventilated, breathable foot bed or spacer to the bottom inside surface of the upper 12. When the footwear 10 is worn, the foot of the wearer rests upon this spacer. As such, moisture and airflow is permitted to move from an area within the cavity 18, for example proximate to the sole of the foot, through the inlay sole 16, through the structured mesh material 20, and finally through the breathable material 22 forming the upper 12. This pathway is illustrated by arrows in the drawing. Meanwhile, airflow and moisture are able to move from the interior of the cavity 18 through the breathable material 22 of the upper 12 at all other areas, for example, at the lateral and medial sides of the footwear, on a top thereof, front, back, etc. The result is that the foot inserted into the cavity 18 is subjected to three-hundred and sixty degree, whole-foot breathability, yet the construction of the footwear is extremely simple and easy and inexpensive to manufacture.

As shown in the drawing, the outsole 14 is disposed on an exterior side of the upper 12 while the inlay sole and structured mesh configuration 16, 20 is disposed on an interior side of the upper 12. That is, the upper 12 is affixed directly to both the outsole 14 and the inlay sole structured mesh configuration 16, 20 without any intervening layers of material or other structure. This provides a simple construction which is easy and economical to manufacture. The inlay sole 16 is constructed of any relevant material suitable for being disposed atop the structured material 20 and for optionally contacting the foot.

The structured material 20 is constructed of an open cell material where the material itself does not absorb heat and moisture of any kind, having performance characteristics of leading heat and moisture away from the foot towards the construction of the shoe which further leads the heat and moisture away from the shoe. The material 20 may be a mesh material or may possess any other suitable configuration and construction. The inlay sole 16 may be affixed to or integral with the material 20 or may be independent therefrom.

The upper 12 of the drawing is described herein as being formed of a breathable material 22 such that airflow is permitted through the upper 12 across its entire surface. Of course this is exemplary and the broad scope of the invention contemplates any desired ventilation configuration. For example, the upper 12 may include ventilation and non- ventilation areas disposed adjacent to and/or away from the structured mesh material. A ventilation area may comprise, for example, a portion of the upper 12 having perforations through which air and/or moisture can pass. Non-ventilation areas may be devoid of such perforations. Alternatively, the upper 12 may be composed of a plurality of contiguous and/or non-contiguous materials, some ventilating, others non-ventilating.

The footwear 10 described herein may be any type of footwear such as shoes, boots, athletic footwear, aquatic footwear, etc.

Fig. 2 shows a footwear 1 10, such as a shoe, similar to that shown in Fig. 1 , where the footwear 1 10 comprises an upper 1 12 and an outsole 1 14. The embodiment shown in Fig. 2 may be seen as having a first outer layer 122 and a second inner layer 124, where the outer layer 122 may be a breathable material, while the inner layer 124 may be a water- proof breathable film. The spacer 1 16 is positioned at the bottom of the cavity 1 18, where the bottom surface 134 is in contact with the lowest part of the upper 140, while the upper surface 132 faces the cavity 1 18 and is adapted to receive a foot of a wearer. The upper surface 132 may be seen as being porous, or breathable, so that air travelling in the direction shown by arrow A, can enter the spacer material, and due to the fact that the spacer material 1 16 is an open structure, the air can continue in the direction shown by arrow B, until it reaches the second layer 124, which it will penetrate, as well as penetrate the first layer 122, so that the air can continue to the ambient space surrounding the shoe, as shown with arrow C.

The bottom of the upper may be provided with a connecting material 126, such as a strobel material, where the connecting material 126 is further provided with a ribbon or second connecting material 128 which is used to attach the first 122 and/or second layers 124 of the upper 1 12 to the connecting material, to close the upper, and allow the upper to be attached to a last (not shown) for e.g. injection moulding of the outsole 1 14 to the upper 1 12. The upper 1 12 is provided with an upper end 136 and a lower end 138, in the vertical direction. The outsole is attached to the upper at an area 130 which is close to the lower end 138 of the upper 1 12, where the side walls 142 of the outsole extend upwards from the bottom part of the upper 1 12, and along the side walls, towards to a top end 130 of the outsole 1 14. The top end 130 of the outsole extends in a vertical direction to a point, as shown with axis X, where the height of the top end 130 is adapted to be lower than the top surface 132 of the spacer 1 16. Thus, the height difference allows air to pass in the area of the upper, which is vertically placed between the top end of the outsole and the top surface of the spacer 1 16. The height of the top end 130 of the outsole may be varied, but it is advantageous that this top end 130 is lower than the top surface 132 of the spacer, and if the height difference is increased, the area having a height difference is increased, and the breathability of the area of the upper will be increased.

The descriptions of the various embodiments of the present invention have been presented for purposes of illustration, but are not intended to be exhaustive or limited to the embodiments disclosed. Many modifications and variations will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art without departing from the scope and spirit of the described embodiments. The terminology used herein was chosen to best explain the principles of the embodiments, the practical application or technical improvement over technologies found in the marketplace, or to enable others of ordinary skill in the art to understand the embodiments disclosed herein.