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Title:
ASSEMBLABLE MODULAR FOOTWEAR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2011/080779
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to assemblable modular footwear which is characterized by the interchangeability of its constituent components. The footwear according to the present invention thus has the advantage of being customizable by the user by combining different sizes and shapes of sole, uppershoe, heel and so on, as desired. Furthermore, the modular shoe according to the present invention is completely recyclable.

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Inventors:
POLIDORI ALESSANDRO (IT)
Application Number:
IT2009/000598
Publication Date:
July 07, 2011
Filing Date:
December 30, 2009
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
POLIDORI ALESSANDRO (IT)
QUATELA AZZURRA (IT)
International Classes:
A43B3/24; A43B9/00; A43B13/28; A43B13/36
Foreign References:
BE1017907A62009-11-03
US4420894A1983-12-20
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BORSANO, Corrado et al. (Corso di Porta Vittoria 9, Milan, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A modular footwear item (1 ) of the type comprising at least one sole (3) and one uppershoe (2), characterized in that said sole (3) and said uppershoe (2) may be stably associated with each other by means of reversible coupling and uncoupling means (12, 12a, 11 , 22, 13).

2. A modular footwear item (1 ) according to the preceding claim, characterized that said reversible coupling and uncoupling means comprise an upper element (12) adapted to be inserted into said uppershoe (2) and comprising a plurality of pins (12a), an intermediate element (1 ) adapted to accommodate and stably hold or release said pins (12a), and one or more locking means (22, 11c) to lock said intermediate element (11 ) in the locking or releasing configuration of said pins (12a).

3. A modular footwear item (1) according to the preceding claim, characterized in that said pins (12a) have a substantially cylindrical body (12b) having a diameter (di), and a head (12c) being also substantially cylindrical, having a diameter (d2) which is larger than the diameter (d-i) of said body (12b).

4. A modular footwear item (1 ) according to the preceding claim, characterized in that said locking means comprise a plurality of through holes (22) shaped with a part having a larger diameter (d3) adapted to accommodate said heads (12c) of said pins (12a), which tapers off with a part having a smaller diameter (d ) adapted to accommodate said bodies (12b) of said pins (12a).

5. A modular footwear item (1) according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that said intermediate element (11 ) comprises a front part (11a) and a rear part (11 b) which may be associated with each other by means of an interconnection carried out by sliding connection means (11c), which allow to move the two front (11a) and rear (11b) parts reciprocally towards and away from each other.

6. A modular footwear item (1 ) according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that the dimensions (di, d2, d3, d4) of said holes (22) and said pins (12a) are such to allow the heads (12c) of the pins (12a) to be inserted into said holes (22) from the part of said holes having the larger diameter (d3), and said pins -(12a) to be held by means of the part having the smaller diameter (d4) when, by moving the two parts (11a) and (11 b) of said intermediate element (11 ) close to each other, the pins (12a) slide within the holes (22) thus positioning themselves at the hole parts having the smaller diameter (d4).

7. A modular footwear item (1) according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that said sliding connection means comprise an automatic or snap-fit buckle coupling (11c).

8. A modular footwear item (1 ) according to the preceding claim, characterized in that said buckle is integrally obtained with said front part (11a) of said intermediate element (11 ) and is adapted to be inserted and stably held in a corresponding opening obtained in the rear part (11 b) of said intermediate element (11).

9. A modular footwear item (1) according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that the intermediate element (11 ) has a mushroom-shaped profile (14) adapted to be inserted into a corresponding cavity obtained on the inner edge of said welt (5), so that said welt (5) is simply held by means of an interconnection carried out by said profile (14).

Description:
ASSEMBLABLE MODULAR FOOTWEAR

Field of the invention

The present invention relates to assemblage modular footwear.

Prior art

It is universally known that footwear consists of several parts: sole, heel, insole, uppershoe and welt. The uppershoe is the upper part of the footwear, the materials most commonly used for making it are leather, plastic, hide or fabric. It consists of a shaped part which is joined to the sole by sewing or gluing. The sole is the lower part of the footwear in direct contact with the ground, intended to protect the plantar surface. In shoes and boots, the sole is connected to the uppershoe by gluing or sewing, by hand for the most expensive shoes. The heel is then applied to the rear part. The insole is an inner part which forms a gap between the sole and the uppershoe, while the welt, which is a reinforcing strip of leather, is sewn between the sole and the uppershoe.

These are the structural elements forming the footwear, and it is known that shoe manufacturers make shoes of different size in series, in which the dimensional parameters of the uppershoe vary according to the size of the sole. On the other hand, handmade shoe manufacturing allows to make a customized uppershoe according to the real foot morphology, and not simply according to the size of the sole. It is however understandable that shoes made by hand are very expensive and craftsmen cannot satisfy a high number of requests.

A main drawback found in shoes made in series of the type known in the prior art is thus the impossibility of choosing a model of uppershoe on the basis of the foot morphology, and associating it with a sole substantially identified on the basis of the length of the foot itself.

Another drawback left unsolved by the know footwear of the prior art is related to the wear of the various components. In particular, the wear of sole, heel and welt is not generally proportional to the wear of the uppershoe, whereby the user is often forced to discard a pair of shoes with an intact uppershoe because the sole is worn beyond repair. A further drawback again related to the fact that some parts, typically sole and heel, are more subjected to wear than others is related to the need to have repairs carried out by a specialized craftsman who manually replaces the heel, for example, or renews the sole by applying other layers of material thereon, e.g. a layer of rubber. The craftsman's intervention (in addition to the fact that these craftsmen are increasingly rarer) is also costly and implies that users deprive themselves of their pair of shoes for several days.

Not lastly, another drawback concerning known shoes of the prior art consists in that if the user needs to insert a medical device inside the shoe, such as for example a customized medical insole, said insole would be difficult to be inserted in some models of user's shoes due to its excessive width, for example, and on the contrary it would be too small, thus being unstable, when inserted in other models, because in known shoes made in series according to the prior art, as mentioned, uppershoes of even very different shoe-width may correspond to the same number identifying the sole length.

A further drawback of the shoes made in series currently known and marketed is that they are poorly recyclable because of at least two reasons. First, the shoes of known type are assembled by using glues, and therefore solvents, which hinder recycling. Moreover, in all cases, the various shoe components need to be separated before being recycled because the joined uppershoe and sole, for example, may not be sent to recycling as they are made of different materials.

It is a main task of the present invention to provide a new type of footwear capable of solving the aforesaid drawbacks left unsolved by the footwear of the known type.

Summary of the invention

In the scope of this task, it is the object of the present invention to provide modular footwear, the components of which are interchangeable so as to be easily replaced.

A further object of the present invention is to provide completely customizable footwear adaptable to the various user's needs while being adapted to be manufactured in series. A not last object of the present invention is to provide completely or at least highly recyclable footwear.

This task and these and other objects, which will become more apparent below, are achieved by modular footwear of the type comprising at least one sole 5 and one uppershoe, characterized in that said sole and said uppershoe are stably associated with each other by reversible coupling and uncoupling means.

The modular footwear according to the present invention is further characterized in that said coupling and uncoupling means comprise an upper element comprising a plurality of pins, an intermediate element adapted to 0 accommodate and stably either hold or release said pins, and one or more locking means for locking said intermediate element in the locking or releasing configuration of said pins.

Brief description of the drawings

Further features and advantages of the present invention will be more 5 apparent in the following detailed description provided by way of non-limitative example and shown in the accompanying drawings, in which:

figure 1 is an exploded perspective view of a first embodiment of the modular footwear according to the present invention;

figures 2A and 2B are plan views of a detail of the intermediate element :0 belonging to the modular footwear according to the present invention;

figure 3 is a section view with longitudinal plane of a detail of the locking system of the modular footwear according to the present invention;

figure 4 is an exploded perspective view of a second embodiment of the modular footwear according to the present invention;

!5 figure 5 is a side view of the upper element belonging to the modular footwear according to the present invention;

figure 6 is a plan view of the upper element in figure 5.

Detailed description of the invention

According to a preferred embodiment of the object of the present invention, SO shown in the mentioned figures by way of non-limitative example, the modular footwear 1 according to the present invention comprises a plurality of elements. Some of these elements are in common to traditional shoes, other elements are specific to the footwear according to the present invention.

Among the elements in common to footwear of known type, the footwear according to the present invention comprises at least one uppershoe 2, a sole 3, an insole 4, and a welt 5.

The modular footwear according to the present invention further comprises reversible coupling and uncoupling means so as to be able to stably associate or easily disassemble the elements forming the footwear with/from one another. In particular, said reversible coupling and uncoupling means comprise at least one upper insole-shaped element 12 adapted to be inserted into said uppershoe 2 with a lower face facing the sole 3. In the preferred embodiment shown by way of example in the accompanying drawings, said upper element 12 has a plurality of pins 12a which protrude perpendicularly from the lower face of said upper insolelike element 12. Said upper insole-like element 12 is adapted to be inserted into said uppershoe, with the pins 12a finding corresponding holes at the inner bottom surface of said uppershoe 2, so that said pins 12a may protrude from the lower surface of the uppershoe for facing the sole 3. Said pins conveniently have a body 12b having a diameter di and a head 12c having a diameter d 2 larger than di.

Said reversible coupling and uncoupling means further comprise an intermediate element 11, also having the same profile as the sole and preferably made of two parts 11a and 11b, front and rear parts respectively. Said intermediate element has a plurality of shaped holes 22 on its surface which are positioned on the surface so as to accommodate said pins 12a of said upper element 12.

The holes 22 are shaped with a part having a larger diameter d 3 which tapers off with a part having a smaller diameter d 4 , as shown in better detail in the plan views of figures 2A and 2B. In particular, on the front part 11a, said holes have the part with the larger diameter d 3 facing the heel of the shoe and a part with the smaller diameter d 4 facing the tip of the shoe. In similar, but opposite manner, the holes 22 on the rear part 11 b are arranged so as to have the part with the larger diameter facing the tip of the shoe and the part with the smaller diameter facing the heel.

The front part 11a and the rear par 11b of said intermediate element 11 are slidingly associated with each other by means of sliding connection means generally indicated by reference numeral 11c. In the example shown in the accompanying drawings, said connection means consist of an automatic or snap- fit buckle coupling, for example, in which said buckle is integrally obtained with said front part 11a of said intermediate element 11 and is adapted to be inserted and stably held in a corresponding opening obtained in the rear part 11b of said intermediate element 11.

This shape of the intermediate element 11 thus allows the pins 12a to be inserted into the holes 22 and the two parts 11a and 11b to be subsequently closed, so that the heads 12c of pins 12a may enter in said holes 22 from the part with the larger diameter d 3 and are then held by the part with the smaller diameter d 4 when, by moving the two parts 11a and 11b of said intermediate element 11 close to each other, the pins 12a slide within the holes thus positioning themselves at the hole parts having the smaller diameter d 4 .

Thereby, a stable but reversible connection of the upper element 12 with the intermediate element 11 is obtained, with the uppershoe being stably held between these two parts. It is indeed sufficient to release the connection means 11c for separating the two elements 11 and 12 again and free the uppershoe 2. Mechanical locators 11d and 11e may be included to lock the buckle connection 11c so as to make the coupling between the two parts 11a and 11b of the intermediate element 11 even more stable.

Once the two upper and intermediate elements 11 and 12 have been joined together, the pins 12a still protrude with their heads 12c underneath the lower surface of the intermediate element 11, thus facing the upper surface of sole 3. The latter will be advantageously provided with a plurality of seats 13 adapted to accommodate the head 12c of said pins 12a. Said seats 13 may advantageously be obtained, in particular, at appropriate thickness increases of said sole 3, so that said thickness increases are in contact with the lower surface of said intermediate element 11, thus closing the zone of pins 12a and holes 22 from the outside. Furthermore, the seats 13 obtained on the upper surface of said sole 3 have the same profile as the holes 22.

Once the sole has been joined to the uppershoe, welt 5 may be assembled to further reinforce the sole-uppershoe connection.

In order to make the connection more stable, the periphery of the intermediate element 11 has a profile 14 having a mushroom-shaped section adapted to be inserted into a corresponding cavity obtained on the inner edge of said welt 5, so that said welt 5 is simply held by means of an interconnection carried out by said profile 14, as shown in figure 3.

At this point, the footwear is completely assembled and the insertion of insole 4 in the uppershoe makes the shoe comfortably wearable.

Figure 4 shows an alternative embodiment of the footwear according to the present invention, in particular ladies' footwear is shown, in which said rear part 11b of said lower element 11 may be associated with a heel 15 by means of a foil 15a, preferably made of metal material. By virtue of this foil, the deformability of the sole may be optimized according to the height of the heel itself. Also men's models, one particularly shown in figure 1 , may naturally comprise a heel, however in the ladies' model shown in figure 4 it is appreciated that sole 3 does not extend to the heel of the shoe, which heel is instead directly connected to the rear part 11 b of said lower element 1.

Thereby, the easy replacement of the heel only may be carried out, not only in case of wear but also for simply satisfying ladies' need to wear shoes with a higher or lower heel according to the chosen clothing, to meet overall aesthetic criteria or for a greater comfort or elegance.

We have thus shown that the assemblage footwear according to the present invention achieves the suggested objects.

In particular, we have shown that the assemblage footwear according to the present invention consists of a plurality of interchangeable elements which are substantially assembled together by means of an interconnection, without requiring glue or laborious, and thus costly, manual sewing operations. By virtue of the interchangeability of the footwear components, for example, a user may decide to completely replace the sole now worn with a new sole, without needing to discard the entire footwear when the uppershoe is still good. Furthermore, the sole may be manually replaced by the user because no particular tools or products are needed for disassembling and reassembling the footwear.

Furthermore, we have shown that the footwear according to the present invention is thus completely recyclable, as it may be easily disassembled by separating the various materials intended for recycling. Moreover, the fact that glues are not used for assembling the footwear is also an advantage which reflects on recyclability of the footwear, and this due to the greater ease in disassembling the footwear and to the fact that solvents which really prevent the materials from being recycled, are not used.

Many changes may be made by a person skilled in the art without departing from the scope of protection of the present invention.

Therefore, the scope of protection of the claims should not be limited by illustrations or preferred embodiments shown by way of example in the description of the present invention, but rather all the different embodiments of the invention which implement the same inventive concept are within the scope of the present model.