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Title:
FOOTWEAR ARTICLE INCLUDING CIRCULAR KNIT STRUCTURES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/097094
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An aspect of the disclosure is a footwear article. The footwear article includes a double layer knitted upper having a foot bed, an upper portion continuous with the foot bed, an ankle opening, and an inner void for receiving a foot of a wearer. The double layer knitted upper has an outer knit layer defining an exterior surface of the double layer knitted upper. The double layer knitted upper also has an inner knit layer monolithically knit to the outer knit layer. The inner knit layer has a plurality of inner knit regions that spatially correspond to the plurality of outer knit regions of the outer knit layer. The outer knit layer and the inner knit layer substantially define the foot bed and the upper portion of the double layer knitted upper.

Inventors:
DARDINSKI ALEXANDER (US)
HASS DAVID (US)
SCHNACKENBERG KURTIS (US)
LY JOHN (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2020/060243
Publication Date:
May 20, 2021
Filing Date:
November 12, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
NORTH FACE APPAREL CORP (US)
International Classes:
A43B1/04; A43B23/02; D03D11/02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAPUMA, Indhira A. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A footwear article, comprising: a first circular-knit layer; a second layer coupled to the first circular-knit layer, the second layer configured to be disposed adjacent at least a portion of the first circular-knit layer when folded into or around the first circular-knit layer; and a functional layer interposed between the first circular-knit layer and the second layer when the second layer is folded into or around the first circular-knit layer.

2. The footwear article of claim 1, wherein the functional layer comprises one or more of a waterproof membrane, a breathable waterproof membrane, or a spray application.

3. The footwear article of any one of claims 1-2, wherein the first circular-knit layer defines at least a portion of an exterior surface, and wherein the second layer comprises a second circular-knit layer.

4. The footwear article of claim 3, wherein the second layer extends from the first circular- knit layer as a unitary body.

5. The footwear article of any one of claims 1-4, wherein the first circular-knit layer comprises a generally tubular shape.

6. The footwear article of any one of claims 1-5, wherein the second layer comprises a generally tubular shape.

7. The footwear article of any one of claims 1-6, wherein the first circular-knit layer comprises waterproof breathable material and wherein the second layer comprises a comfort liner.

8. The footwear article of any one of claims 1-7, further comprising a lacing system disposed adjacent at least a portion of the second layer such that at least a portion of the lacing system is interposed between the second layer and the first circular-knit layer when the second layer is folded into the first circular-knit layer.

9. The footwear article of any one of claims 1-8, wherein the first circular-knit layer comprises a generally tubular shape and wherein the second layer comprises a planar shape, wherein the second layer is configured for flat operations prior to being folded into or around the first circular-knit layer.

10. The footwear article of claim 9, wherein the second layer comprises one or more welded reinforcement regions.

11. The footwear article of any one of claims 9-10, wherein the first circular-knit layer comprises an collar and wherein the second layer is configured to be disposed at least partially circumferentially around an exterior surface of the first circular-knit layer.

12. The footwear article of any one of claims 1-11, wherein the first circular knit layer comprises one or more venting regions and wherein the second layer is configured to be folded into or around the first circular-knit layer the first circular-knit layer to be adjacent at least a portion of the venting regions.

13. The footwear article of any one of claims 1-12, wherein the second layer comprises one or more features configured to be disposed adjacent the first circular-knit layer when the second layer is folded into or around the first circular-knit layer, and wherein the one or more features comprises an aperture, lace holes, or a heel cup, or a combination of the same.

14. The footwear article of any one of claims 1-13, wherein the second layer comprises one or more features configured to be disposed adjacent first circular-knit layer when the second layer is folded into or around the first circular-knit layer, wherein the one or more features comprises a pull through configured to extend through a portion of the first circular-knit layer.

15. The footwear article of any one of claims 1-14, further comprising a functional layer interposed between the first circular-knit layer and the second layer when the second layer is folded into or around the first circular-knit layer, wherein the functional layer comprises a footbed, a midsole, insulation, or a collar.

Description:
FOOTWEAR ARTICLE INCLUDING CIRCULAR KNIT STRUCTURES

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present disclosure relates to a footwear article that includes circular knit structures and a method of making such footwear articles.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Conventional footwear articles have a sole and an upper attached to the sole. Footwear manufacturing has historically been a cut-sew-assembly operation that is labor intensive. Panels of upper materials are cut to size and sewn together to create the upper. The sole is attached to the upper using a number of different techniques to create the finished footwear article. Recent developments in footwear design employ knitting technology to form portions of footwear and the upper in particular. In some instances, flat bed knitting is used to form a planar knitted fabric blank. The planar knitted fabric blank is formed into a specific shape so that it can be folded or wrapped into a near completed shoe upper. Once the upper is formed, the sole component or other durable structures are attached to the knitted shoe upper consistent with conventional footwear manufacturing techniques. While some sewing is required to create the shoe upper using flat-bed knitting, fewer sewing steps are required compared to conventional shoe manufacturing. Although flat knitting may result in increased material utilization, because fabric cutting in minimized, there are design limits and production inefficiencies inherent in flat knitting.

SUMMARY

[0003] An embodiment of the present disclosure is a footwear article, knitted blank, and a method for making a footwear article and a knitted blank. The footwear article includes a double layer knitted upper having a foot bed, an upper portion continuous with the foot bed, an ankle opening, and an inner void for receiving a foot of a wearer. The double layer knitted upper has an outer knit layer defining an exterior surface of the double layer knitted upper. The double layer knitted upper also has an inner knit layer monolithically knit to the outer knit layer. The inner knit layer has a plurality of inner knit regions that spatially correspond to the plurality of outer knit regions of the outer knit layer. The outer knit layer and the inner knit layer substantially define the foot bed and the upper portion of the double layer knitted upper.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0004] Figure l is a side elevation view of a footwear article according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0005] Figure 2 is an exploded view of the footwear article shown in Figure 1;

[0006] Figure 3 is a cross-sectional view of the footwear article taken along line 3-3 in Figure 1;

[0007] Figure 4 is a side view of a knitted blank used to form a component of the footwear article illustrated in Figures 1-3;

[0008] Figure 5 is a side view of an interior of the knitted blank used to form the component of the footwear article illustrated in Figures 1 and 2, showing portion of the knitted blank removed to create an ankle portion of the footwear article; and

[0009] Figure 6 is a side elevation view of a double layer knitted footwear component formed from the knitted blank shown in Figure 4.

[0010] Figure 7 illustrates a footwear article according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0011] Figure 8 illustrates a footwear article comprising a lacing system according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0012] Figure 9 illustrates a footwear article comprising a collar according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0013] Figure 10 illustrates a footwear article comprising a plurality of features according to an embodiment of the present disclosure; [0014] Figure 11 illustrates a footwear article comprising a plurality of features according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0015] Figure 12 illustrates a footwear article comprising a lacing system according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0016] Figure 13 illustrates a footwear article comprising a lacing system according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0017] Figure 14 illustrates example footwear articles comprising functional layers according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0018] Embodiments of the present disclosure include a footwear article that includes a circular knitted fabric formed into a double-layer knitted upper of a footwear article 10. The footwear article 10 is disclosed as having a configuration suitable for walking or running. Concepts associated with the footwear may also be applied to a variety of other athletic footwear types, including baseball shoes, basketball shoes, cross-training shoes, cycling shoes, football shoes, tennis shoes, soccer shoes, sprinting shoes, and hiking boots, for example. The concepts may also be applied to footwear types that are generally considered to be non-athletic, including dress shoes, loafers, sandals, and work boots. The concepts disclosed in this application apply to a wide variety of footwear types.

[0019] Referring to Figures 1-3, a footwear article 10 includes a sole component 20 and an upper knitted component 30. For reference purposes, footwear article 10 may be divided into three general regions: a forefoot region 11, a midfoot region 12 rearward of the forefoot region, and a heel region 13. The forefoot region 11 generally includes portions of footwear article 10 corresponding with the toes and the joints connecting the metatarsals with the phalanges. The midfoot region 12 generally includes portions of footwear article 10 corresponding with an arch area of the foot. The heel region 13 generally corresponds with rear portions of the foot. The footwear article 10 also includes a medial side 14 and a lateral side 15, which extend through each of the regions 11-13 and correspond with opposite sides of footwear article 10. The lateral side 15 corresponds with an outside area of the foot, i.e. the surface that faces away from the other foot, and the medial side 14 corresponds with an inside area of the foot, i.e., the surface that faces toward the other foot. Regions 11-13 and sides 14-15 are intended to represent general areas of footwear article 10. In addition to footwear article 10, regions 11-13 and sides 14-15 may also be applied to sole component 20 and/or the upper knitted component 30.

[0020] Continuing with Figures 1-3, the sole component 20 is secured to the upper knitted component 30 and extends between the foot and the ground when footwear article 10 is worn. The sole component 20 may include a midsole, an outsole, and a liner (not shown). The midsole is secured to the upper knitted component 30, as further explained below. The mid-sole may be formed from a compressible polymer foam element, e.g,, a polyurethane or ethylvinyi acetate foam, that attenuates ground reaction forces and provides cushioning when compressed between the foot and the ground during walking, running, or other ambulatory activities. The outsole is secured to a lower surface of midsole and may be formed from a wear- resistant rubber material that is textured to impart traction. The structure and features of sole component 20 or any sole component utilized with upper knitted component 30 may vary considerably.

[0021] The footwear article 10 includes a plurality of tabs 22a-22d that extend upwardly from the sole component 20 along a medial side 14 and a lateral side 15 of the footwear article 10. The plurality of tabs 22a-22d include securing members 24a-24d in the form of openings, slots, and/or hooks that receive a cord 18.

[0022] Continuing with Figures 1-3, the upper knitted component 30 forms an internal void 31 within footwear article 10 for receiving and securing a foot relative to sole component 20. The void 31 is shaped to accommodate the foot and extends along the lateral side of the foot, along the medial side of the foot, over the foot, around the heel, and under the foot. Access to the void is provided by an ankle opening 32 located in at least heel region 13. A cord 18 extends through portions of upper knitted component 30, as described above, and permits the wearer to modify dimensions of the upper knitted component 30 to accommodate the proportions of the foot. The cord 18 permits the wearer to tighten the upper knitted component 30 around the foot, and cord 18 permits the wearer to loosen the upper knitted component 30 to facilitate entry and removal of the foot from the void 31 through ankle opening 32.

[0023] Continuing with Figures 1-3, the upper knitted component 30 is a double layer knitted upper having a substantially monolithic, circular knit, fabric construction. The double layer knitted upper has a foot bed 41, a toe portion 42, a mid-foot portion 44 (sometimes called an upper portion 44) continuous with the toe portion 42, a heel portion 46 adjacent and continuous with the mid-foot portion 44 and an ankle portion 48 that defines the ankle opening 32. The foot bed 41 extends from the toe portion 42 along the mid-foot portion 44 to the heel portion 46. The sole component 20 is attached to the foot bed 41. In an alternative embodiment, a liner (not shown) is positioned within the double layer knitted upper along the foot bed 41. The toe portion 42, midfoot portion 44, heel portion 46, and ankle portion 48, and foot bed 41 refer to generally areas of the upper knitted component 30.

[0024] Referring to Figures 2 and 3, the double layer knitted upper has an outer knit layer 60 and an inner knit layer 80. The outer knit layer 60 and the inner knit layer 80 together form the toe portion 42, the mid-foot portion 44, the heel portion 46, and the ankle portion 48 of the double layer knitted upper. The outer knit layer 60, however, defines an exterior surface 50 of the double layer knitted upper and the inner knit layer defines an inner surface 52 of the double-layer knitted upper. Thus, it can be said that the outer knit layer 60 forms the exterior facing surfaces (not numbered) of the toe portion 42, the mid-foot portion 44, the heel portion 46, and the ankle portion 48. Conversely, the inner knit layer 80 defines the inward facing surfaces (not numbered) of the toe portion 42, the mid-foot portion 44, the heel portion 46, and the ankle portion 48. Furthermore, both the outer knit layer 60 and the inner knit layer 80 substantially define the foot bed 41 of the double-layer knitted upper. The outer knit layer 60 and the inner knit layer 80 may define an edge 51 along the ankle opening 32. An optional binding 54 may be disposed along the edge 51 of the ankle opening 32.

[0025] The double layer knitter upper include at least one attachment member that consolidates the outer knit layer 60 to the inner knit layer 80, thereby forming the double layer knitted upper. The attachment member may be any material that fuses the outer knit layer 60 and the inner knit layer 80 together. Because the outer and inner knit layers are circular knit structure, each layer has float yarns on side due to the different knit constructions formed in the knitted regions described below. When the double layer knitter upper is formed the floats from the outer knit layer 60 face the floats from the inner knit layer 80. The floats can create snags and deform the knit construction when the floats are pulled or the layers or otherwise deformed. The attachment members address this problem by consolidating the outer knit layer and the inner knit layer together. In particular, the attachment member bonds the yarns from the outer knit layer 60 to the yams from the inner knit layer 80. This bonding minimizes distortion in the knit structure created in use. The attachment members also bind the outer and inner knit layers together so that the two layers do not slide relative to one another. The attachment member provides stability to the double layer knitted upper. In one example, the attachment member may comprise binding yarns. The binding yarns may comprise part of the knit stitches, may be laid-in, or plated in during knitting. When the binding yams exposed to a desired temperature (at above glass transition temperature), the binding yarns melt, thereby consolidating the outer and inner knit layers 60, 80 together. The binding yams may be thermoplastic polyurethane yams. In another example, the binding yams are low-melt thermoplastic yams that have a lower melt temperature than the yams used to form the outer and inner knit layers 60, 80. In an alternative embodiment, the attachment member may be a low-melt adhesive film, a low melt adhesive nonwoven web, or an adhesive coating. In still another alternative embodiment, the attachment member could be binding yams that tack the outer layer and inner layer together.

[0026] The outer knit layer 60 has plurality of outer knit regions 62a-62f and the inner knit layer 80 has a plurality of inner knit regions 82a-82g. The outer and inner knit regions comprise selected textile structural elements. The selected textile structural elements may include specific knit stiches and/or presence of certain yarns. Furthermore, the selected textile structural elements may include the absence of certain knit stiches and/or yarns. One or more of the plurality of outer knit regions 62a-62f of the outer knit layer 60 may spatially correspond to one or more of the plurality of inner knit regions 82a-82g. In embodiments where the inner knit regions spatially correspond to the outer knit regions, the inner knit regions completely or partially underlie the outer knit regions. For example, each one of the inner knit regions 82a-82e underlie the respective outer knit regions 62a-62d. However, the outer knit layer 60 and the inner knit layer 80 may comprise different knit regions in different locations from the other.

[0027] Figure 2 illustrates the plurality of outer knit regions 62a-62f. As illustrated, the plurality of outer knit regions comprise a first outer knit region 62a along the toe portion 42 and a portion of the foot bed 41. The first outer knit region 62a may be called a forward toe knit region. A second outer knit region 62b extends across the top of the toe portion 42. The second outer knit region 62b may be called an upper toe knit region. A third outer knit region 62c extends across the top part of the mid-foot portion 44 and rearward of the toe portion 42. The third outer knit region 62c may be called an upper mid-sole knit region. A fourth outer knit region 62d extends across heel portion 46. The fourth region 62d is referred to as an outer heel region. A fifth outer knit region 62e forms the remaining areas of the outer knit layer. A sixth outer knit region 62f is located along the ankle portion 48 above the outer heel portion 46. Each outer knit region 62a through 62f may have different textile structural elements, in terms of knit structure and/or yarns. Alternatively, each outer knit regions 62a-62f may have similar knit constructions, in terms of knit structure and/or yarns. In one example, the upper mid-sole knit region 62c may comprise binding yarns. Binding yarns may be, for example, thermoplastic polyurethane yams. The binding yams may facilitate consolidating the outer and inner knit layers 60, 80 together.

[0028] As best shown in Figures 2 and 4, the inner knit layer 80 includes a plurality of inner knit regions 82a-82g that comprise selected textile structural elements. Regions 82a-82g are not shown in Figure 2 but are illustrated in Figure 4 as part of the knitted blank 130. As illustrated, the plurality of inner knit regions include a first inner knit region 82a along the toe portion and a portion of the foot bed. The first inner knit region 82a may be called a forward toe knit region. A second inner knit region 82b extends across the top of the toe portion. The second inner knit region 82b may be called an upper toe knit region. A third inner knit region 82c extends across the top part of the mid-sole portion and rearward of the toe portion. The third inner knit region 82c may be called an upper mid-sole knit region. A fourth inner knit region 82d extends across the heel portion. The fourth region 82d is referred to as an inner heel region. A fifth inner knit region 82e forms the remaining areas of the inner knit layer 80. A sixth inner knit region 82g extends across the bottom part of the mid-sole portion and rearward of the toe portion. The sixth inner knit region 82g may be called a lower mid-sole knit region 82g. A seventh inner knit region 82f is located along the ankle portion. Each inner knit region 82a through 82g may have different textile structural elements, in terms of knit structure and/or yarns. Alternatively, each inner knit regions 82a-82g may have similar knit constructions, in terms of knit structure and/or yams. In one example, the upper mid-sole knit region 82c and/or the lower mid-sole knit region 82g may comprise binding yarns. Binding yarns may be thermoplastic polyurethane yarns, as described above. Binding yarns may facilitate consolidating the outer and inner knit layers 60, 80 together.

[0029] The double layer knitted upper can have a variety of circular knit constructions. For instance, the double layer knitted upper may have include a single jersey knit construction, a double knit construction, rib knit construction, a terry knit construction, or other types of weft knit constructions. Furthermore, the different regions of the double layer knitted upper may comprise different knit stitches, such as float stiches, held stiches, missed stiches, and other knit stiches known to a person of skill in the art. In one example, the outer knit toe regions 62a, 82a of the outer and/or inner layer may comprise a cushioned knit construction. Likewise, the heel regions 62d, 82d of the outer and/or inner layer can have cushioned knit construction. A cushioned knit construction includes knitted terry loops.

[0030] The double layer knitted upper can be formed from any number of yam types, such as spun yarns or continuous filament yams. Spun yams may include natural fibers, synthetic fibers, or blends of natural and synthetic fibers. Natural fibers include cotton, wool, bamboo, flax, hemp, or others. Synthetic fibers may include polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyolefin, polyamide 6, polyamide 6,6, polylactic acid (PLA) fibers, viscose rayon, acrylic, or other fiber types. Suitable thermoplastic synthetic staple fibers may be mono-component or bi-component type fibers. A variety of yarn spinning types can be used, such as ring spun, open end, air-jet, compact spinning, and the like. Continuous filament yams may include either or both mono component or bicomponent filaments types. Continuous filament yarns can be polyethylene terephthalate, polyolefin, and/or polyamide 6, polyamide 6,6, polylactic acid filaments. Yarns used in the knit fabric can have a range of yarn counts. For instance, in one example, the knit yarn can have a count in a range between about 50 denier to about 250 denier (or higher). The yams are not limited to the stated range of deniers. Binding yarns are used in selected regions of the outer knitted layer 60 and the inner knitted layer 80 to help consolidate the outer layer and the inner layers together. Binding yams may be low melt thermoplastic yams, or yarns such as thermoplastic polyurethane yarns.

[0031] Another embodiment of the present disclosure is a method for forming a footwear article 10. The method may include a knitting phase form forming a circular knitted blank 130. Following the knitting phase, the method may include an assembling phase where the circular knitted blank 130 is formed into an upper knitted component 30 and the sole component 20 is attached to foot bed 41 of the upper knitted component 30. Referring to Figures 4-6, the circular knitted blank 130 has a first knit section 160 defining the outer knit layer 60 and the second knit section 180 defining the inner knit layer 80. The circular knitted blank 130 is folded into to itself to define the double layer knitted upper so that the inner knit layer 80 forms the inner void 31 of the footwear article 10.

[0032] The knitting phase utilizes a circular knitting machine (not shown) familiar to a person of skill in the art. The circular knitting machine may be a double needle machine that includes two cylinders. Alternatively, a circular knitting machine with a cylinder and a dial may be used. The knitting process is described below using a knitting machine with two cylinders for purposes of illustration and clarity. It should be appreciated that other types of knitting machines could be used. Each cylinder has a plurality of needles disposed around the circumference of the cylinder with each needle housed in moveable tracks. A cam assembly engages the needles along each cylinder. Rotational movement of the cam assembly (or relative movement of the cylinders) causes the needles to move up and down the tracks through what is known in the art as the knitting cycle to create courses of interconnected knitted loops of yarns. The courses of knitted loops define the circular knitted fabric blank 130. By altering the knitting cycles and/or holding certain needles in place during knitting, specific knit stitches and/or patterns can be formed into the circular knitted blank 130. The circular knitting machines and the basic circular knitting process is familiar to a person of skill in the art. Various circular knit processes may be used, such as tube circular knitting, narrow tube circular knit jacquard, single knit circular knit jacquard, double knit circular knit jacquard knitting.

[0033] Referring to Figure 4, the circular knitted blank 130 has a first terminal end 132 and a second terminal end 134. The circular knitted blank 130 is formed to have a first knit section 160 that defines the first terminal end 132 and a second knit sectionl80 that defines the second terminal end 134. The circular knitted blank 130 is comprised of interconnected rows of knitted loops, called courses, as described above. The first “course” of the knitted blank 130 is located at the first terminal end 132. The circular knitted blank 130 is formed course-by-course, in the direction K shown in Figure 4 until the circular knitted blank 130 is complete, as shown in Figure 4. Accordingly, during the knitting phase, the first knit section 160 is knitted first, then the second knit section 180 is formed in a single monolithic fabric with the first knit section 160.

[0034] Circular knitting of the knitted blank 130 initiates with the cylinder needles knitting the first toe portion 142 of the first knit section 160. Next, the circular knitting machine knits the mid-sole portion, which includes a first upper portion 144a and the first lower portion 144b. Then, the first heel portion 146 the first knit section 160 is knit adjacent to the first lower portion 144b. During the knitting the first heel portion 146, the knitting machine can selectively drop needles to alter the direction of knitting to form the desired curve of the first heel portion 146. After the first heel portion 148 is formed, the circular knitting machine knits the first ankle portion 148 of the first knit section adjacent 160 to the first heel portion 148 and the first upper portion 144a. At this point, the first knit section 160 is substantially complete. The first knit section 160 comprises the outer knit layer 60 of the double layer knitted upper, as explained below. Accordingly, as the knitting machine forms the first knit section 160, the different knit regions 62a-62f are created in the circular knitted blank 130, as shown.

[0035] The knitting process continues to form the second knit section 180. During this phase of knitting, the second ankle portion 248 of the second knit section 180 is formed adjacent to the first heel portion 148. The circular knitting machines knits a second heal portion 246 adjacent to and continuous with the second ankle portion 248. The circular knitting machine knits a second upper portion 244a and a second lower portion 244b of the second knit section 180. The knitting process continues and forms the second toe portion 242 of the second knit section 180 adjacent to the second upper portion 244a and the second lower portion 244b. The second toe portion 242 is formed to the terminal end 134 to complete the circular knitted blank 130. As the knitting machines forms the second knit section 180, the different knit regions 82a-82g are created in respective areas of the circular knitted blank 130. As illustrated, the formed circular knitted blank 130 is substantially a tubular structure having the shape of two crew-cut socks connected as the ankle portion.

[0036] Additional courses of yams may be added to facilitate transition to the next knitted blank formed by the circular knitting machine. Optional cutting devices are used to cut the completed circular knitted blank 130 from the knitting machine. The circular knitted blank 130 is the ejected out of the knitting machines for later processing.

[0037] The completed circular knitted blank 130 may have toe openings 152 and 252 at toe portion 142 and toe portion 242, respectively. The toe openings 152 and 252 can be closed with seams 154 and 254 as illustrated in Figure 5. In an alternative embodiment, the circular knitted blank 103 can be formed to automatically close the toe openings 152 and 252 using bridge stiches or inlayed yams and the like.

[0038] The circular knitted blank 130 may be cut to form the ankle opening 32 by removing a panel 156 from the circular knitted blank 130. In an alternative embodiment, the circular knitted blank 103 can be formed to define the ankle opening 32 during knitting. In such an embodiment, the circular knitted blank 130 may form a welted edges along the border of the ankle opening 32 to prevent fraying and provide a place to attach a binding 54 (Figures 1 and 6).

[0039] When the circular knitted blank 130 is completed, the second knit section 180 is folded into the first knit section 160 to form a double layer knitted upper of the footwear article. At this stage, the double layer knitted upper comprises the outer knit layer 60 defined by the first knit section 160 and the inner knit layer 80 defined by the second knit section 180. In this state, at least two of the plurality of the outer knit regions 62a-62d of the outer knit layer 60 spatially correspond to at least two of the plurality of inner knit regions. In accordance with the illustrated embodiment, the inner knit regions 82a-82e underlie the outer knit regions 62a-62e.

[0040] The method may comprise, before folding, positioning a liner component along a lower portion of the first knit section. The liner component is therefore disposed between the outer knit layer and the inner knit layer.

[0041] The method may include attaching a sole directly to the outer knit layer of the double layer knitted upper. Attaching the sole to the outer knit layer comprises positioning the double layer knitted upper over a positioning member of an injection-molding device (not shown). Then, the sole component is injection molded onto the outer knit layer of the double layer knitted upper. In addition, the method may include injection molding a plurality of tabs 22a-22d along medial and lateral sides of the double layered knitted upper. The injection molding process may melt the TPU yarns in the specific knitted regions thereby bonding the outer knit layer to the inner knit layer to form a monolithic, double layer knitted upper.

[0042] Double layer knitted uppers that are circular knit as described herein have several advantages. A wide range of knit constructions across different regions of the upper is possible while using a single fabric construction. Specific knit structures can be designed into different regions of the footwear article as needed. In addition, complex three-dimensional shapes that better conform to the anatomy of the foot of the wearer may be formed during the knitting process. Because circular knitted uppers are made to conform to the foot of the wearer, fewer assembly steps are required prior to attaching the upper to the sole to create the finished footwear article. Fewer total components in the finished footwear article decreases supply chain complexity and increases production efficiency and output. Furthermore, circular knitted double layer uppers can be manufactured at relatively fast production rates further increasing production efficiency.

[0043] A footwear article 300 may comprise a plurality of layers or may be continuous so as to form a unitary body. The footwear article 300 may comprise a first layer 301 and a second layer 302. The first layer 301 and the second layer 302 may comprise soft materials such as fabric. The first layer 301 and the second layer 302 may be generally tubular or may comprise other shapes. The second layer 302 may comprise rigid material such as leather or plastic. The first layer 301 and the second layer 302 may be circular-knit, flat-knit or formed by other manufacturing methods or from other materials. The second layer 302 may be folded or inverted to be disposed adjacent at least a portion of the first layer 301. The second layer 302 may comprise at least a portion of the interior or the exterior of the footwear article 300. The footwear article 300 may comprise additional layers which may provide additional functionalities.

[0044] As shown in FIG. 7, the footwear article 300 may comprise the first layer 301 and the second layer 302. The first layer 301 and the second layer 302 may comprise generally tubular shapes. The first layer 301 may comprise waterproof breathable material suitable for forming at least a portion of the exterior of the footwear article 300. The first layer 301 may be coated with a spray application to provide waterproofing and may also be breathable. The second layer 302 may comprise soft material suitable for conforming to a wearer’s foot and providing comfort. The second layer 302 may be or comprise a comfort liner. When the second layer 302 is folded into the first layer 301, the second layer 302 defines the interior of the footwear article 300 and the first layer 301 defines the exterior of the footwear article 300. Although reference is made to the first and second layers 301, 302 other arrangements may be used. For example, the features of each layer may be switched or combined between the layers.

[0045] One problem in conventional circular knit applications is the difficulty in sewing or bonding other materials to a circular knit upper because it has a finished 3D shape.

[0046] As an example, most heat presses and sewing machines are optimized to work with roll goods in the flat. When a circular knit upper has a 3D shape, the typical flat operations may not be suitable.

[0047] As a further example, 3D direct inj ection may be used to apply additive structures, cushioning, lace details, etc. to a circular knit upper. The process may be implemented on a lasted upper, which may be finished in a 3D shape.

[0048] As illustrated in FIG. 8, a footwear article 400 may comprise a plurality of layers or may be continuous so as to form a unitary body. The footwear article 400 may comprise a first layer 401 and a second layer 402. The first layer 401 and the second layer 402 may comprise soft materials such as fabric. The first layer 401 and the second layer 402 may be generally tubular or may comprise other shapes. The second layer 402 may comprise a rigid material such as leather or plastic. The first layer 401 and the second layer 402 may be circular-knit, flat-knit or formed by other manufacturing methods or from other materials. The second layer 402 may be folded or inverted to be disposed adjacent at least a portion of the first layer 401. The second layer 402 may comprise at least a portion of the interior or the exterior of the footwear article 400. The footwear article 400 may comprise additional layers which may provide additional functionalities.

[0049] As shown in FIG. 8, the footwear article 400 may comprise a first layer 401, a second layer 402 and a lacing system 403. The lacing system 403 may comprise laces, eyelets, straps, hook and loop or other types of fasteners. The lacing system 403 may be disposed adjacent a portion of the first layer 401, a portion of the second layer 402 or a portion of both layers 401, 402. The first layer 401 and the second layer 402 may comprise generally tubular shapes which may be circular-knit. The second layer 402 may be folded into the first layer 401. The second layer 402 may define the interior portion of the footwear article 400 and the first layer may define the exterior portion of the footwear article 400. As shown, the lacing system 403 may be circumferentially disposed around the second layer 402. When the second layer 402 is folded into the first layer 401, the lacing system 403 may be disposed in-between the first and second circular- knit layers 401, 402 of the footwear article 400.

[0050] As illustrated in FIG. 9, a footwear article 500 may comprise a plurality of layers or may be continuous so as a form a unitary body. The footwear article 500 may comprise a first layer 501 and a second layer 502. The first layer 501 and the second layer 502 may comprise soft materials such as fabric. The first layer 501 and the second layer 502 may be generally tubular or may comprise other shapes. The second layer 502 may comprise a rigid material such as leather or plastic. The first layer 501 and the second layer 502 may be circular-knit, flat-knit or formed by other manufacturing methods or from other materials. The second layer 502 may be folded or inverted to be disposed adjacent at least a portion of the first layer 501. The second layer 502 may comprise at least a portion of the interior or the exterior of the footwear article 500. The footwear article 500 may comprise additional layers which may provide additional functionalities. [0051] As shown in FIG. 9, the footwear article 500 may comprise a first layer 501, a second layer 502 and a collar portion 504. As shown, the first layer 501 may comprise a generally tubular shape. The first layer 501 may be circular-knit. The second layer 502 may comprise a planar rectangular shape. The second layer 502 may be flat knit. The second layer 502 may comprise one or more welded reinforcements 505 for securing the second layer 502 to the first layer 501. The second layer 502 may be configured for flat sewing operations 506 such as flat sewing, molding or screen printing. The second layer 502 may be configured to be folded into or around the first layer 501 to define the collar portion 504. The second layer 502 may be configured to be disposed partially circumferentially around an exterior portion of the first layer 501 to define the collar portion 504. The second layer 502 may also be disposed adjacent a midfoot, an ankle or another portion of the first layer 501 to define other features.

[0052] FIG. 10 illustrates a footwear article 600 may comprise a plurality of layers or may be continuous so as to form a unitary body. The footwear article 600 may comprise a first layer 601 and a second layer 602. The first layer 601 and the second layer 602 may comprise soft materials such as fabric. The first layer 601 and the second layer 602 may be generally tubular or may comprise other shapes. The second layer 602 may comprise a rigid material such as leather or plastic. The first layer 601 and the second layer 602 may be circular-knit, flat-knit or formed by other manufacturing methods or from other materials. The second layer 602 may be folded or inverted to be disposed adjacent at least a portion of the first layer 601. The second layer 602 may comprise at least a portion of the interior or the exterior of the footwear article 600. The footwear article 600 may comprise additional layers or features which may provide additional functionalities.

[0053] As shown in FIG. 10, the footwear article 600 may comprise a first layer 601 and a second layer 602. The first layer 601 may be generally tubular. The first layer 601 may be circular-knit. The second layer 602 may comprise hard or rigid material such as leather, rubber or plastic which are suitable for defining at least a portion of the exterior of the footwear article 600. The second layer 602 may be flat-knit. The second layer 602 may be configured to be disposed adjacent at least an exterior portion of the first layer 601. The second layer 602 may comprise reinforcement regions 610. For example, as shown, the reinforcement regions 610 may define a heel cup 610a and a toe cup 610b. The second layer 602 may comprise apertures 608 that define a lacing system 603 or other functions. The apertures 608 may comprise lace holes or eyelets configured to receive shoe laces or straps.

[0054] The footwear article 600 may further comprise one or more venting regions 607 which provide ventilation. The venting regions 607 may be generally triangular or planar or may have other shapes. As shown, the first layer 601 and the second layer 602 may comprise a plurality of venting regions 607. The venting regions 607 of the first layer 601 may correspond with and be configured to be disposed adjacent the venting regions 607 of the second layer 607 when inverted to form the footwear article 600.

[0055] A footwear article 700 may comprise a plurality of layers or may be continuous so as to form a unitary body. The footwear article 700 may comprise a first layer 701 and a second layer 702. The first layer 701 and the second layer 702 may comprise soft materials such as fabric. The first layer 701 and the second layer 702 may be generally tubular or may comprise other shapes. The second layer 702 may comprise a rigid material such as leather or plastic. The first layer 701 and the second layer 702 may be circular-knit, flat-knit or formed by other manufacturing methods or from other materials. The second layer 702 may be folded or inverted to be disposed adjacent at least a portion of the first layer 701. The second layer 702 may comprise at least a portion of the interior or the exterior of the footwear article 700. The footwear article 700 may comprise additional layers which may provide additional functionalities.

[0056] As illustrated in FIG. 11, the footwear article 700 may comprise a first layer 701 and second layer 702. The first layer 701 and the second layer 702 may be continuous so as to define a unitary body. The second layer 702 may be configured to be inverted adjacent an exterior surface of the first layer 701. The first layer 701 and the second layer 702 may comprise one or more features. As shown, the second layer 702 may comprise a plurality of strips 709a, 709b, 709c. The strips 709a, 709b, 709c may comprise knit material, rigid material or a combination of knit and rigid materials to define different features. As shown, the first strip 709a may comprise a reinforcement region 710 which may define a heel cup 710a. The second strip 709b may comprise apertures 708 that may define a lacing system 703.

[0057] A footwear article 800 may comprise a plurality of layers or may be continuous so as to form a unitary body. The footwear article 800 may comprise a first layer 801 and a second layer 802. The first layer 801 and the second layer 802 may comprise soft materials such as fabric. The first layer 801 and the second layer 802 may be generally tubular or may comprise other shapes. The second layer 802 may comprise a rigid material such as leather or plastic. The first layer 801 and the second layer 802 may be circular-knit, flat-knit or formed by other manufacturing methods or from other materials. The second layer 802 may be folded or inverted to be disposed adjacent at least a portion of the first layer 801. The second layer 802 may comprise at least a portion of the interior or the exterior of the footwear article 800. The footwear article 800 may comprise additional layers which may provide additional functionalities.

[0058] As illustrated in FIG. 12, the footwear article 800 may comprise a first layer 801 and a second layer 802. The first layer 801 may be generally tubular. The first layer 801 may be circular knit. The second layer 802 may comprise an irregular planar shape. The second layer 802 may be flat-knit. The footwear article 800 may further comprise a lacing system 803. As shown, the second layer 802 may comprise members 811 configured to extend through at least a portion of the first layer 801. The members 811 may be configured to be removably received in apertures 808 within the first layer 801. The members 811 may comprise loops and hooks to define a footwear article 800 with a pull through feature.

[0059] A footwear article 900 may comprise a plurality of layers or may be continuous so as to a form a unitary body. The footwear article 900 may comprise a first layer 901 and a second layer 902. The first layer 901 and the second layer 902 may comprise soft materials such as fabric. The first layer 901 and the second layer 902 may be generally tubular or may comprise other shapes. The second layer 902 may comprise a rigid material such as leather or plastic. The first layer 901 and the second layer 902 may be circular-knit, flat-knit or formed by other manufacturing methods or from other materials. The second layer 902 may be folded or inverted to be disposed adjacent at least a portion of the first layer 901. The second layer 902 may comprise at least a portion of the interior or the exterior of the footwear article 900. The footwear article 900 may comprise additional layers which may provide additional functionalities.

[0060] As illustrated in FIG. 13, the footwear article 900 may comprise a first layer 901 and a second layer 902. The first layer 901 may comprise a generally tubular shape. The first layer 901 may be circular-knit. The second layer 902 may comprise a planar irregular shape. The second layer 902 may be flat knit. The second layer 902 may be inverted adjacent an exterior surface of the first layer 901. The second layer 902 may comprise a lacing system 903. As shown, the second layer 902 may comprise apertures 908 (e.g. lace holes) which define the lacing system 903. The second layer 902 may comprise reinforcement regions 910 which may define a heel cup 910a and a toe cup 910b that provide structure and integrity to the exterior of the footwear article 900.

[0061] FIG 14. illustrates example footwear articles 950 - 954 which may comprise functional layers 960 - 965. Functional layers 960 - 965 may comprise footbeds, midsoles, insulation, socks, collars and other functional features within the footwear articles 950 - 954. As described and shown, one or more functional layers may be interposed between two knit layers (e.g., circular knit layers) such as using a fold over technique or other technique. The functional layer may comprise a waterproof material or membrane or a breathable waterproof membrane. The functional layer may be a pre-formed laminate or composite. The functional layer may be a spray application. The function layer may be a 3D direct injection. The functional layer may be applied in other configurations or on other surfaces. As a non-limiting example, one problem that is being addressed by the present disclosure is that circular knit, while fast, it may be hard to sew or bond things to a circular knit upper because it is a finished 3D shape. Most heat presses and sewing machines in the state of the art are optimized to work with roll goods in the flat. As an illustrative example, 3D direct injection is one method of applying additive structures, cushioning, lace details, etc. that is optimized to work in 3D shaping. This process may be implemented on a lasted upper, as fully finished and 3D shape.

[0062] As shown, the functional layer 960 may comprise a built in footbed in the midsole of the footwear article 950. The functional layer 961 may comprise a knit footbed (e.g. padding knit) within the footwear article 951. The functional layer 962 may comprise captured insulation within the footwear article 952. The functional layer 963a may comprise a trapped midsole within the footwear article 953. The midsole may comprise features such as outsole lugs that may extend through the first and/or the second layers. The lugs may be configured to engage the ground. As an example, one or more of the first layer or the second layer may comprise apertures to allow the lugs from the trapped midsole to extend therethrough. Various configurations of lugs may be used such as an arrangement at the heel and an arrangement at the forefoot. The functional layer 963b may comprise a trapped foam collar within the footwear article 953. The functional layer 964 may comprise a generic upper and outsole within the footwear article 954. The functional layer 965 may comprise a custom inner sock within the footwear article 954.

ASPECTS

[0063] The present disclosure includes at least the following aspects:

[0064] Aspect 1: A footwear article, comprising: a double layer knitted upper having a foot bed, an upper portion continuous with the foot bed, an ankle opening, and an inner void for receiving a foot of a wearer, the double layer knitted upper having: a) an outer knit layer defining an exterior surface of the double layer knitted upper, the outer knit layer having a plurality of outer knit regions; and b) an inner knit layer monolithically knit to the outer knit layer, the inner knit layer forming the inner void, wherein the inner knit layer has a plurality of inner knit regions that spatially correspond to the plurality of outer knit regions of the outer knit layer, wherein the outer knit layer and the inner knit layer substantially define the foot bed and the upper portion of the double layer knitted upper; and a sole attached to at least the foot bed of the double layer knitted upper.

[0065] Aspect 2. The footwear article of aspect 1, further comprising a mid-sole positioned between the outer knit layer and the inner knit layer along the foot bed.

[0066] Aspect 3. The footwear article of aspect 1 , wherein the outer knit layer and the inner knit layer is a monolithic circular knitted fabric. [0067] Aspect 4. The footwear article of aspect 1 , wherein the outer knit layer and the inner knit layer each define a tubular knitted shape.

[0068] Aspect 5. The footwear article of aspect 1, wherein the inner knit layer is monolithically knit to the outer knit layer around at least a portion of the ankle opening.

[0069] Aspect 6. The footwear article of aspect 5, wherein the outer knit layer and the inner knit layer define a welted edge along at least a portion of the ankle opening.

[0070] Aspect 7. The footwear article of aspect 1 , wherein the outer knit layer and the inner knit layer include a binding along at least a portion of the ankle opening.

[0071] Aspect 8. The footwear article of aspect 1, further comprising at least one attachment member that consolidates the outer knit layer and the inner knit layer together.

[0072] Aspect 9. The footwear article of aspect 8, wherein at least one attachment member bonds yams of the outer knit layer to yarns of the inner knit layer.

[0073] Aspect 10. The footwear article of aspect 8, wherein the at least one attachment member are binding yarns.

[0074] Aspect 11. The footwear article of aspect 10, wherein the binding yams are thermoplastic polyurethane yarns.

[0075] Aspect 12. The footwear article of aspect 10, wherein the binding yarns are low- melt thermoplastic yarns.

[0076] Aspect 13. The footwear article of aspect 10, wherein the outer knit layer comprises first yarns, the inner knit layer comprises second yarns, and wherein the binding yams have a lower melting temperature than the first yarns and the second yarns.

[0077] Aspect 14. The footwear article of aspect 8, wherein the at least one attachment member is an adhesive film.

[0078] Aspect 15. The footwear article of aspect 8, wherein the at least one attachment member is a low melt adhesive web.

[0079] Aspect 16. The footwear article of aspect 8, wherein at least one of the plurality of outer knit regions comprise the at least one attachment member. [0080] Aspect 17. The footwear article of aspect 16, wherein the double layer knitted upper has a toe portion, wherein a first outer knit region of the plurality of outer knit regions in the outer knit layer extends across the upper portion rearward of the toe portion, wherein the first outer knit region comprises the at least one attachment member.

[0081] Aspect 18. The footwear article of aspect 8, wherein at least one of the plurality of inner knit regions comprise the at least one attachment member.

[0082] Aspect 19. The footwear article of aspect 18, wherein a second outer knit region of the plurality of outer knit regions extends across the toe portion, wherein a second inner knit region of the plurality of inner knit regions underlies the second outer knit region, wherein at least one of the second outer knit region and the second inner knit region comprises the at least one attachment member.

[0083] Aspect 20. The footwear article of aspect 18, wherein the plurality of inner knit regions includes an inner mid region along the foot bed that includes the at least one attachment member.

[0084] Aspect 21. The footwear article of aspect 1, wherein the double layer knitted upper has a heel portion that joins the foot bed to the ankle portion, wherein the heel portion has a cushioned knit construction.

[0085] Aspect 22. The footwear article of aspect 1, wherein the double layer knitted upper has a toe portion, wherein the toe portion has a cushioned knit construction.

[0086] Aspect 23. The footwear article of aspect 1, further comprising a plurality of tabs extending upwardly from the sole along a medial side and a lateral side of the footwear article.

[0087] Aspect 24. The footwear article of aspect 23, wherein the plurality of tabs include securing members that are configured to receive a cord.

[0088] Aspect 25. A circular knitted blank used to form an article of footwear and having a first terminal end and a second terminal end, the circular knitted blank comprising: a first circular knit section having a first toe portion defining the first terminal end of the circular knitted blank, a first upper portion, a first lower portion coupled to the first upper portion, a first heel portion, and a first ankle portion coupled to the first heel portion, wherein the first circular knit section has a first plurality of knit regions each having a different knit construction; and a second circular knit section having a second ankle portion that is monolithically knit to the first ankle portion, a second heel portion coupled to the second ankle portion, a second upper portion coupled to the second ankle portion, a second lower portion coupled to the second upper portion and the second heel portion, and a second toe portion defining the second terminal end of the circular knitted blank that is opposite to the first end of the circular knitted blank, wherein the second circular knit section includes a second plurality of knit regions each having a different knit construction; wherein the first plurality of knit regions correspond to the second plurality of knit regions, such that, when the first circular knit section is folded into the second circular knit section, the first plurality of knit regions and the second plurality of knit regions overly.

[0089] Aspect 26. The circular knitted blank of aspect 25, further comprising an opening located where the first ankle portion and the second ankle portion are joined.

[0090] Aspect 27. The circular knitted blank of aspect 25, further comprising at least one attachment member that is configured to bond the first circular knit section and the second circular knit section together.

[0091] Aspect 28. A method for forming a footwear article, comprising: circular knitting a tubular knitted blank having a first knit section and a second knit section, wherein a) the first knit section includes a first toe portion, a first lower portion, a first upper portion, a first heel portion adjacent to the first lower portion, and a first ankle portion adjacent to the first heel portion and the first upper portion, and b) the second knit section includes a second toe portion, a second lower portion, a second upper portion, a second heel portion adjacent to the second lower portion, and a second ankle portion adjacent to the second heel portion and the second upper portion; folding the first knit section into the second knit section to form a double layer knitted upper of the footwear article, the double layer knitted upper comprising an outer knit layer defined by the second knit section and an inner knit layer defined by the first knit section, wherein the inner knit layer defines an inner void of the double layer knitted upper; and attaching a sole directly to the outer knit layer of the double layer knitted upper. [0092] Aspect 29. The method of aspect 28, wherein circular knitting includes, in sequence: a. knitting the first toe portion of the first knit section; b. knitting the first upper portion and the first lower portion of the first knit section; c. knitting the first heel portion the first knit section adjacent to the first lower portion; d. knitting the first ankle portion of the first knit section adjacent to the first heel portion and the first upper portion; e. knitting the second ankle portion of the second knit section adjacent to the first heel portion; f. knitting the second heel portion adjacent to the second ankle portion of the second knit section; g. knitting the second upper portion and the second lower portion of the second knit section; and h. knitting the second toe portion of the second knit section adjacent to the second upper portion and the second lower portion.

[0093] Aspect 30. The method of aspect 28, wherein attaching to sole to the outer knit layer comprises: positioning the double layer knitted upper over a positioning member of an injection molding device; injection molding the sole to the outer knit layer of the double layer knitted upper; and injection molding a plurality of tabs along medial and lateral sides of the double layered knitted upper, wherein the plurality of tabs are configured to receive a cord.

[0094] Aspect 31. A footwear article, comprising: a first circular-knit layer defining at least a portion of an exterior surface; and a second circular-knit layer coupled to the first circular- knit layer, the second circular-knit layer configured to be disposed adjacent at least a portion of the first circular-knit layer when folded into or around the first circular-knit layer.

[0095] Aspect 32. The footwear article of aspect 31, wherein the second circular-knit layer extends from the first circular-knit layer as a unitary body. [0096] Aspect 33. The footwear article of aspect 31, wherein the first circular-knit layer comprises a generally tubular shape.

[0097] Aspect 34. The footwear article of aspect 31, wherein the second circular-knit layer comprises a generally tubular shape.

[0098] Aspect 35. The footwear article of aspect 31, wherein the second circular-knit layer comprises a planar shape.

[0099] Aspect 36. The footwear article of aspect 31, wherein the first circular-knit layer comprises waterproof breathable material and wherein the second circular-knit layer comprises a comfort liner.

[00100] Aspect 37. The footwear article of aspect 31, further comprising a lacing system disposed adjacent at least a portion of the second circular-knit layer such that at least a portion of the lacing system is interposed between the second circular-knit layers and the first circular-knit layer when the second circular-knit layer is folded into the first circular-knit layer.

[00101] Aspect 38. The footwear article of aspect 37, wherein at least a portion of the lacing system is circumferentially disposed around the second circular knit layer.

[00102] Aspect 39. The footwear article of aspect 31, wherein the first circular-knit layer comprises a generally tubular shape and wherein the second circular-knit layer comprises a planar shape, wherein the planar second circular-knit layer is configured for flat operations prior to being folded into or around the first circular-knit layer.

[00103] Aspect 40. The footwear article of aspect 39, wherein the flat operations comprise one or more of flat sewing, fusing, molding, or screen printing.

[00104] Aspect 41. The footwear article aspect 39, wherein the planar second circular- knit layer comprises one or more welded reinforcement regions.

[00105] Aspect 42. The footwear article of aspect 31, wherein the first circular-knit layer comprises an collar and wherein the planar second circular-knit layer is configured to be disposed at least partially circumferentially around an exterior surface of the first circular-knit layer.

[00106] Aspect 43. The footwear article of aspect 31 , wherein the first circular-knit layer comprises a generally tubular shape and wherein the second circular-knit layer is configured to be folded to be disposed adjacent an exterior surface of the first circular-knit layer adjacent one or more of an ankle portion or midfoot portion of the first circular-knit layer.

[00107] Aspect 44. The footwear of aspect 43, wherein the first circular knit layer comprise one or more venting regions and wherein the second circular-knit layer is configured to be folded upon the first circular-knit layer to be adjacent at least a portion of the venting regions.

[00108] Aspect 45. The footwear of aspect 44, wherein the second circular-knit layer comprises one or more features configured to be disposed adjacent the portion of the venting regions.

[00109] Aspect 46. The footwear of aspect 45, wherein the one or more features comprise an aperture.

[00110] Aspect 47. The footwear of aspect 43, wherein the second circular-knit layer comprises one or more features configured to be disposed adjacent first circular-knit layer.

[00111] Aspect 48. The footwear of aspect 47, wherein the one or more features comprise an aperture, lace holes, or a heel cup, or a combination of the same.

[00112] Aspect 49. The footwear of aspect 47, wherein the one or more features comprise a pull through configured to extend through a portion of the first circular-knit layer.

[00113] Aspect 50. The footwear article of aspect 31, wherein the first circular-knit layer comprises a generally tubular shape and wherein the second circular-knit layer is configured to be folded to be disposed adjacent an exterior surface or an interior surface of the first circular-knit layer.

[00114] Aspect 51. The footwear of aspect 50, further comprising a functional layer interposed between the first circular-knit layer and the second circular-knit layer when the second circular-knit layer is folded in or folded upon the first circular-knit layer.

[00115] Aspect 52. The footwear article of aspect 51, wherein the functional layer comprises a footbed.

[00116] Aspect 53. The footwear article of aspect 51, wherein the functional layer comprises a midsole. [00117] Aspect 54. The footwear article of aspect 51, wherein the functional layer comprises insulation.

[00118] Aspect 55. The footwear article of aspect 51, wherein the functional layer comprises a collar.

[00119] Aspect 56. The footwear article of aspect 50, wherein the second circular-knit layer comprises an aperture such the second circular-knit layer is configured to be rolled.

[00120] Aspect 57. A footwear article, comprising: a first circular-knit layer defining at least a portion of an exterior surface; and a second layer coupled to the first circular-knit layer, the second layer configured to be disposed adjacent at least a portion of the first circular-knit layer when folded into or around the first circular-knit layer.

[00121] Aspect 58. The footwear article of aspect 57, wherein the second layer comprises a planar shape.

[00122] Aspect 59. The footwear article of aspect 58, wherein the planar shape is configured for flat operations prior to being folded into or around the first circular-knit layer.

[00123] Aspect 60. The footwear article of aspect 57, wherein the second layer is flat- knit.

[00124] Aspect 61. The footwear article of aspect 57, wherein the second layer comprises one or more welded reinforcement regions.

[00125] Aspect 62. The footwear article of aspect 57, wherein the first circular-knit layer comprises a generally tubular shape and wherein the second layer is configured to be folded to be disposed adjacent an exterior surface of the first circular-knit layer.

[00126] Aspect 63. The footwear article of aspect 57, wherein the first circular-knit layer comprises a collar and wherein the second layer is configured to be disposed at least partially circumferentially around an exterior surface of the collar of the first circular-knit layer.

[00127] Aspect 64. The footwear article of aspect 57, wherein the first circular knit layer comprises one or more venting regions and wherein the second layer is configured to be folded upon the first layer to be adjacent at least a portion of the venting regions. [00128] Aspect 65. The footwear article of aspect 57, wherein the second layer comprises one or more features configured to be disposed adjacent the first circular-knit layer.

[00129] Aspect 66. The footwear article of aspect 65, wherein the one or more features comprise an aperture, a lacing system, lace holes, or a heel cup, a toe cup, or a combination of the same.

[00130] Aspect 67. The footwear article of aspect 65, wherein the one or more features comprise a pull through configured to extend through at least a portion of the first circular-knit layer.

[00131] Aspect 68. The footwear article of aspect 57, further comprising a functional layer interposed between the first circular-knit layer and the second layer when the second layer is folded in or folded upon the first circular-knit layer.

[00132] Aspect 69. The footwear article of aspect 68, wherein the functional layer comprises a footbed.

[00133] Aspect 70. The footwear article of claim 68, wherein the functional layer comprises a midsole.

[00134] Aspect 71. The footwear article of claim 68, wherein the functional layer comprises insulation.

[00135] Aspect 71. The footwear article of claim 68, wherein the functional layer comprises a collar.

[00136] The present disclosure describes particular embodiments and their detailed construction and operation. The embodiments described herein are set forth by way of illustration only and not limitation. Those skilled in the art will recognize, in light of the teachings herein, that there may be a range of equivalents to the exemplary embodiments described herein. Most notably, other embodiments are possible. Variations can be made to the embodiments described herein, and there may be equivalents to the components, parts, or steps that make up the described embodiments. For the sake of clarity and conciseness, certain aspects of components or steps of certain embodiments are presented without undue detail where such detail would be apparent to those skilled in the art in light of the teachings herein and/or where such detail would obfuscate an understanding of more pertinent aspects of the embodiments.