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Title:
NON-SLIP FOOTWEAR FOR PROLONGED USE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/205631
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Systems, devices, and methods for a footwear (100, 200, 300, 400) including: a cushioned heel cup (102); a wide toe box (104), wherein the wide toe box (104) accommodates swollen feet from prolonged standing; a water-resistant upper (106), wherein stains (402) are removable from the water-resistant upper via application of a liquid to the water-resistant upper; and a slip-resistant sole (108), wherein the slip-resistant sole (108) comprises a durable and supportive midsole.

Inventors:
SHEMTOB DANIEL (US)
ZADOYAN HAIK (US)
SNIBBE JASON (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2020/025476
Publication Date:
October 08, 2020
Filing Date:
March 27, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
SWEET SHOES INC (US)
International Classes:
A43B23/02; A43B1/10; A43B1/14; A43B7/12; A43C1/04; A43C1/06
Foreign References:
US20160058126A12016-03-03
US5692319A1997-12-02
US6128835A2000-10-10
US5184378A1993-02-09
US20160000176A12016-01-07
US20100154252A12010-06-24
US20040181972A12004-09-23
US2147197A1939-02-14
US5564203A1996-10-15
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ZARRABIAN, Michael et al. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A footwear (100, 200, 300, 400) comprising:

a cushioned heel cup (102);

a wide toe box (104), wherein the wide toe box (104) accommodates swollen feet from prolonged standing;

a water-resistant upper (106), wherein stains (402) are removable from the water- resistant upper via application of a liquid to the water-resistant upper; and a slip-resistant sole (108), wherein the slip-resistant sole (108) comprises a durable and supportive midsole.

2. The footwear of claim 1 further comprising:

a padded collar (214) disposed about an opening (212) sized to receive a foot of a user, wherein the padded collar (214) is disposed proximate a heel.

3. The footwear of claim 1, further comprising:

a first and second adjustable tensioner (110), wherein the first and second adjustable tensioner (110) comprise one or more apertures (202) disposed on a side distal from the sole to receive laces (204).

4. The footwear of claim 3, wherein each edge of the first and second adjustable

tensioner (110) comprise an attached portion (206) and an unattached portion (208).

5. The footwear of claim 4, further comprising:

a flexible portion (210) disposed on either side of a tongue, wherein the flexible portion (210) reduces a chance of buckling of the footwear as the first and second adjustable tensioner (110) are adjusted.

6. The footwear of claim 5, wherein the first and second adjustable tensioner (110) create a smaller space between the first and second adjustable tensioner (110) to accommodate a narrower foot of a user as the laces are tightened, and wherein the first and second adjustable tensioners (110) create a larger space between the first and second adjustable tensioners (110) to accommodate a wider foot of a user as the laces are loosened.

7. The footwear of claim 1, further comprising:

a pull strap (218) disposed proximate the cushioned heel cup.

8. The footwear of claim 7, wherein the pull strap comprises an extended strap section (220) secured against a heel of the footwear, wherein the extended strap section increases a strength of the pull strap and resists separation of the pull strap from the footwear.

9. The footwear of claim 1, wherein the wide toe box is made of thermoplastic

polyurethane.

10. The footwear of claim 1, wherein the water-resistant upper comprises two or more layers of material combined via heating and pressing in a pattern such that the water- resistant upper is breathable and water resistant.

11. The footwear of claim 10, wherein the water-resistant upper is coated with a

hydrophobic formula.

12. The footwear of claim 1, wherein the slip-resistant sole is made of treaded rubber.

13. The footwear of claim 1, wherein the midsole comprises 2mm of foam.

14. The footwear of claim 1, further comprising:

a thick insole (112), wherein the insole is about 13mm thick.

15. The footwear of claim 14, wherein the insole is harder on a top surface of the insole and becomes softer toward a bottom surface of the insole.

16. A footwear (100, 200, 300, 400) comprising:

a first adjustable tensioner (110) disposed proximate an arch area of the footwear, wherein the first adjustable tensioner (110) is disposed on a lateral side of the footwear, and wherein the first adjustable tensioner (110) comprises one or more eyelets (202) for receiving laces (204);

a second adjustable tensioner (110) disposed proximate the arch area of the footwear, wherein the first adjustable tensioner (110) is disposed on a medial side of the footwear, and wherein the second adjustable tensioner (110) comprises one or more eyelets (202) for receiving laces (204);

a sole (108), wherein the first adjustable tensioner (110) is attached proximate the sole (108), wherein the second adjustable tensioner (110) is attached proximate the sole (108);

wherein tightening the laces (204) connected between the eyelets (202) of the first adjustable tensioner (110) and the eyelets (202) of the second adjustable tensioner (110) reduces an internal volume of the footwear proximate the arch area of the footwear at a greater rate than an internal volume of the footwear proximate a toe and heel of the footwear; and

wherein loosening the laces (204) connected between the eyelets (202) of the first adjustable tensioner (110) and the eyelets (202) of the second adjustable tensioner (110) reduces an internal volume of the footwear proximate the arch area of the footwear at a greater rate than an internal volume of the footwear proximate a toe and heel of the footwear.

17. The footwear of claim 16, further comprising:

a tongue, wherein at least a portion of the tongue is disposed between the first

adjustable tensioner (110) and the second adjustable tensioner (110);

a first flexible portion (210) disposed on a side of the tongue proximate the lateral side of the footwear; and

a second flexible portion (210) disposed on a side of the tongue proximate the medial side of the footwear.

18. The footwear of claim 17, wherein the first flexible portion and the second flexible portion allow the internal volume of the footwear to be adjusted without buckling of the footwear.

19. A footwear (100, 200, 300, 400) comprising:

a heel cup (102);

a toe box (104);

a water-resistant upper (106), wherein stains (402) are removable from the water- resistant upper via application of a liquid to the water-resistant upper; a slip-resistant sole (108), wherein the slip-resistant sole (108) comprises a midsole; and

a pull strap (218) disposed proximate the cushioned heel cup, wherein the pull strap comprises an extended strap section (220) secured against a heel of the footwear, wherein the extended strap section increases a strength of the pull strap and resists separation of the pull strap from the footwear.

20. The footwear of claim 19, further comprising:

a first adjustable tensioner (110) disposed proximate an arch area of the footwear, wherein the first adjustable tensioner (110) is disposed on a lateral side of the footwear, and wherein the first adjustable tensioner (110) comprises one or more eyelets (202) for receiving laces (204); and

a second adjustable tensioner (110) disposed proximate the arch area of the footwear, wherein the first adjustable tensioner (110) is disposed on a medial side of the footwear, and wherein the second adjustable tensioner (110) comprises one or more eyelets (202) for receiving laces (204).

Description:
NON-SLIP FOOTWEAR FOR PROLONGED USE

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the priority benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent

Application Serial Number 62/826,881 filed March 29, 2019, incorporated herein by reference in its entirety

FIELD OF ENDEAVOR

[0002] The invention relates to footwear, and more particularly to footwear for prolonged use while standing.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Orthotic footwear may provide users with increased comfort, minimize the effects of plantar fasciitis, provide arch support, reduce foot and joint pain, and the like. Orthotic footwear often requires custom fitting for users. Existing orthotic footwear can result in a high cost, low accuracy for custom fitting, and/or low effectiveness. Orthotic footwear often has a readily apparent design that may discourage users from wearing the footwear when possible.

SUMMARY

[0004] A footwear embodiment may include: a cushioned heel cup; a wide toe box, where the wide toe box accommodates swollen feet from prolonged standing; a water- resistant upper, where stains are removable from the water-resistant upper via application of a liquid to the water-resistant upper; and a slip-resistant sole, where the slip-resistant sole comprises a durable and supportive midsole.

[0005] Additional footwear embodiments may include: a padded collar disposed about an opening sized to receive a foot of a user, where the padded collar may be disposed proximate a heel. Additional footwear embodiments may include: a first and second adjustable tensioner, where the first and second adjustable tensioner comprise one or more apertures disposed on a side distal from the sole to receive laces. In additional footwear embodiments, each edge of the first and second adjustable tensioner may have an attached portion and an unattached portion.

[0006] Additional footwear embodiments may include: a flexible portion disposed on either side of a tongue, where the flexible portion reduces a chance of buckling of the footwear as the first and second adjustable tensioner are adjusted. In additional footwear embodiments, the first and second adjustable tensioner create a smaller space between the first and second adjustable tensioner to accommodate a narrower foot of a user as the laces are tightened, and where the first and second adjustable tensioners create a larger space between the first and second adjustable tensioners to accommodate a wider foot of a user as the laces are loosened.

[0007] Additional footwear embodiments may include: a pull strap disposed proximate the cushioned heel cup. In additional footwear embodiments, the pull strap may have an extended strap section secured against a heel of the footwear, where the extended strap section may increase a strength of the pull strap and resist separation of the pull strap from the footwear.

[0008] In additional footwear embodiments, the wide toe box may be made of thermoplastic polyurethane. In additional footwear embodiments, the water-resistant upper may have two or more of material combined via heating and pressing in a pattern such that the water-resistant upper may be breathable and water resistant. In additional footwear embodiments, the water-resistant upper may have two or more of material combined via heating, pressing, and cooling in a pattern such that the water-resistant upper may be breathable and water resistant. In additional footwear embodiments, the water-resistant upper may be coated with a hydrophobic formula.

[0009] In additional footwear embodiments, the slip-resistant sole may be made of treaded rubber. In additional footwear embodiments, the midsole may have 2mm of foam. Additional footwear embodiments may include: a thick insole, where the insole may be about 13mm thick. In additional footwear embodiments, the insole may be harder on a top surface of the insole and become softer toward a bottom surface of the insole.

[0010] Another footwear embodiment may include: a first adjustable tensioner disposed proximate an arch area of the footwear, where the first adjustable tensioner may be disposed on a lateral side of the footwear, and where the first adjustable tensioner comprises one or more eyelets for receiving laces; a second adjustable tensioner disposed proximate the arch area of the footwear, where the first adjustable tensioner may be disposed on a medial side of the footwear, and where the second adjustable tensioner comprises one or more eyelets for receiving laces; a sole, where the first adjustable tensioner may be attached proximate the sole, where the second adjustable tensioner may be attached proximate the sole; where tightening the laces connected between the eyelets of the first adjustable tensioner and the eyelets of the second adjustable tensioner reduces an internal volume of the footwear proximate the arch area of the footwear at a greater rate than an internal volume of the footwear proximate a toe and heel of the footwear; and where loosening the laces connected between the eyelets of the first adjustable tensioner and the eyelets of the second adjustable tensioner reduces an internal volume of the footwear proximate the arch area of the footwear at a greater rate than an internal volume of the footwear proximate a toe and heel of the footwear.

[0011] Additional footwear embodiments may include: a tongue, where at least a portion of the tongue may be disposed between the first adjustable tensioner and the second adjustable tensioner; a first flexible portion disposed on a side of the tongue proximate the lateral side of the footwear; and a second flexible portion disposed on a side of the tongue proximate the medial side of the footwear. In additional footwear embodiments, the first flexible portion and the second flexible portion allow the internal volume of the footwear to be adjusted without buckling of the footwear.

[0012] Another footwear embodiment may include: a heel cup; a toe box; a water- resistant upper, where stains are removable from the water-resistant upper via application of a liquid to the water-resistant upper; a slip-resistant sole, where the slip-resistant sole comprises a midsole; and a pull strap disposed proximate the cushioned heel cup, where the pull strap comprises an extended strap section secured against a heel of the footwear, where the extended strap section increases a strength of the pull strap and resists separation of the pull strap from the footwear.

[0013] Additional footwear embodiments may include: a first adjustable tensioner disposed proximate an arch area of the footwear, where the first adjustable tensioner may be disposed on a lateral side of the footwear, and where the first adjustable tensioner comprises one or more eyelets for receiving laces; and a second adjustable tensioner disposed proximate the arch area of the footwear, where the first adjustable tensioner may be disposed on a medial side of the footwear, and where the second adjustable tensioner comprises one or more eyelets for receiving laces.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] The components in the figures are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating the principals of the invention. Like reference numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the different views. Embodiments are illustrated by way of example and not limitation in the figures of the accompanying drawings, in which: [0015] FIG. 1 A depicts a side perspective view of a footwear, according to one embodiment;

[0016] FIG. IB depicts a partial cutaway side perspective view of the footwear of FIG. 1 A, according to one embodiment;

[0017] FIG. 2A depicts a side perspective view of an alternate footwear, according to one embodiment;

[0018] FIG. 2B depicts a rear perspective view of the footwear of FIG. 2A, according to one embodiment;

[0019] FIG. 2C depicts a front perspective view of the footwear of FIG. 2A, according to one embodiment;

[0020] FIG. 3 depicts a top view of an alternate footwear, according to one embodiment;

[0021] FIG. 4 depicts a perspective view of stain removal from a water-resistant upper of footwear, according to one embodiment;

[0022] FIG. 5 depicts a cross-sectional view of a portion of the upper of the footwear of FIG. 1, according to one embodiment;

[0023] FIG. 6 depicts a cross-sectional view of a portion of the upper of the heel portion of the footwear of FIG. 1, according to one embodiment; and

[0024] FIG. 7 illustrates a high-level flowchart of a method embodiment of assembling the upper, according to one embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0025] The following description is made for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the embodiments disclosed herein and is not meant to limit the concepts disclosed herein. Further, particular features described herein can be used in combination with other described features in each of the various possible combinations and permutations. Unless otherwise specifically defined herein, all terms are to be given their broadest possible interpretation including meanings implied from the description as well as meanings understood by those skilled in the art and/or as defined in dictionaries, treatises, etc.

[0026] The present system allows for footwear that provides superior fit, stain resistant, grip, breathability, and comfort. The footwear has adjustable elements to account for varying foot widths, an expanded toe box to account for foot swelling and minimize discomfort as well to accommodate the natural shape of the forefoot, a non-slip sole for use in multiple environments, and a wear-resistant sole that provides extended support for the wearer. The visual appearance of the footwear increases a likelihood that the wearer will choose to wear the footwear over orthotic footwear that discourages use or general athletic footwear that provides inadequate support for extended use.

[0027] FIG. 1 A depicts a side perspective view of a footwear 100, according to one embodiment. FIG. IB depicts a partial cutaway side perspective view of the footwear 100 of FIG. 1 A, according to one embodiment. The footwear 100 may include an assembly or upper 114 and an outsole 116. The upper 114 may include a vamp 118, a lining as shown in FIGS. 5-6, a heel counter or heel portion 120, a lateral side quarter 124, and a medial side quarter 122. The water-resistant upper 106 may be a part of the vamp 118, lateral side quarter 124, and/or medial side quarter 122. The outsole 116 may include the slip-resistant sole 108. A midsole 126 is disposed between the upper 114 and the outsole 116 to provide cushioning, fit, comfort, and support. The vamp 118 is the top portion of the footwear 100 extending from the toe to the top of the foot of a user. The heel counter or heel portion 120 wraps around the heel of the user.

[0028] The footwear 100 may include a cushioned heel cup 102, a wide toe box 104, a water-resistant upper 106, a slip-resistant sole 108, adjustable tensioners 110, and an insole 112. The cushioned heel cup 102 and wide toe box 104 may allow for expansion due to swelling feet of a user. In one embodiment, the toe box 104 may be made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). In other embodiments, the toe box 104 may be made of perforated TPU. The wide toe box 104 accommodates the natural splay of the toes and the general shape of the forefoot. The wide toe box 104 may accommodate swelling and natural splay of the forefoot due at least in part to the soft upper material in the toe area of the footwear 100. Over a prolonged period of time standing, the foot of a user may tend to swell. Traditional footwear may not accommodate this swelling, which can cause discomfort and/or additional swelling. The cushioned heel cup 102 and wide toe box 104 are designed to accommodate swelling of the feet during prolonged use so as to reduce discomfort, increase comfort, and inhibit additional swelling from the constriction of the feet. In one embodiment, the cushioned heel cup 102 provides stability and longevity for the feet. While a user’s front and toe areas tend to swell, the user’s heel is generally limited in swelling. The cushioned heel cup 102 supports the heel while the wide toe box 104 accommodates for swelling of the toe areas of a user.

[0029] The water-resistant upper 106 may be made from a water-resistant material. In some embodiments, the water-resistant upper 106 may be waterproof. In one embodiment, the water-resistant upper 106 may include multiple layers, such as two or more layers. Each layer of the water-resistant upper 106 may be combined with adhesive in a pattern that allows it to be breathable and water resistant. In other embodiments, each layer of the water-resistant upper 106 may be combined via heating, pressing, and cooling in a pattern that allows it to be breathable and water resistant. In some embodiments, the water-resistant upper may have a water-resistant coating, such as a hydrophobic formula, applied to the water-resistant upper 106, such as by spraying on a water-resistant coating. In some embodiments, each layer of the water resistant upper may be glued in a pattern that allows the water-resistant upper 106 to be both breathable and water resistant. In one embodiment, the water-resistant upper 106 may be sprayed with a water-resistant coating, Due to the shape of the footwear 100, the water- resistant upper 106 extends out from a user and is more likely to be stained from dropped objects or materials than other portions of the footwear 100. The water-resistant upper 106 having multiple layers may inhibit stains from generally seeping into the material.

Accordingly, any stains on the water-resistant upper 106 may be limited to a first of two or more layers and may be easily removable, such as by washing with a sponge and water. Any stain and/or discoloration on the water-resistant upper 106 is also more likely to be seen by the wearer and/or others. The water-resistant upper 106 allows for quick and easy removal of any stains with cleansers, liquid, and/or water, such as shown in FIG. 4. The water-resistant upper 106 also reduces or eliminates any absorption of cleansers, liquid, and/or water into the shoe interior, which may cause discomfort, chafing, mold growth, undesired smells, or the like. Traditional footwear may absorb water used for cleaning, which can cause these undesired effects and/or necessitate removal of the footwear during the drying process. By contrast, the water-resistant upper 106 allows for cleaning and drying without a drying time and/or without the need to remove the footwear 100 from the user’s foot. While the layers and features of the water resistant upper 106 are described, these layers and features may also be applicable to the upper 114, the vamp 118, the heel counter or heel portion 120, the lateral side quarter 124, and/or the medial side quarter 122.

[0030] The sole 108 may be non-slip. The sole 108 may include a texture and/or material on the bottom surface of the sole to increase the grip of the footwear 100 with a surface. In one embodiment, the sole 108 is made of treaded rubber. In one embodiment, the texture on the sole 108 is approximately 3mm thick. The surface area of the sole 108 may increase the non-slip effectiveness of the footwear 100. The sole 108 may also include a durable and supportive midsole 126. The sole 108 may have a low resilience to resist wearing out in a short timeframe. Many individuals in the medical profession use running shoes for footwear and after a few months the resilience of the cushioning in the midsole wears out. By contrast, the sole 108 in the disclosed footwear 100 resists wearing out while providing cushioning to the wearer. The thickness of the sole 108 may be thin as compared to the thickness of the midsole 126. The sole 108 is attached to the midsole 126, such as by an adhesive. The durability of the sole 108 combined with the thin thickness allows for increased durability without a decrease in comfort. The durable sole 108 prevents abrasion of the midsole 126 and provides slip resistant characteristics to the footwear 100. In one embodiment, the resilience of the footwear 100 may be due to a combination of the robust and durable midsole 126, a thicker than normal insole 112, and an additional 2mm of foam provided in the midsole 126. The midsole 126 may be made from polyurethane in some embodiments. The cushioning may be provided by the thick, durable foam of the midsole and the thick insole 112. The midsole may comprise about 2mm of foam in some embodiments. Medical shoes for prolonged support are designed for a user to stand in one place for a prolonged period of time. This design with a focus on stationary support makes it

uncomfortable for the wearer to walk even short distances. By contrast, the disclosed footwear 100 includes the sole 108 and midsole 126 that provides comfort to the wearer to both stand still for prolonged periods of time as well as walking and other movements. The footwear 100 is lightweight and contours to the natural shape of the foot, providing comfort and durability. Existing padded shoes may be clunky to a user and makes it difficult for a user when moving. Existing athletic shoes tend to break down quicker as they are not meant for standing.

[0031] The adjustable tensioners 110 may be disposed on either side of the footwear 100. The adjustable tensioners 110 may be disposed proximate a middle of the footwear 100 proximate a tongue of the footwear 100. The adjustable tensioners 110 allow the wearer to tension the shoe appropriately to capture and stabilize the foot regardless of the foot width. In one embodiment, the adjustable tensioners 110 shrink the volume of the footwear 100 in the midfoot, while allowing the wide toe box 104 and the heel cup 102 to maintain their size. In another embodiment, the adjustable tensioners 110 shrink the volume of the footwear 100 in the midfoot, while also decreasing the volume of the wide toe box 104 and the heel cup 102. In another embodiment, the adjustable tensioners 110 shrink the volume of the footwear 100 according to standard shoe scaling. For example, a shoe may come in a size based on a length of the foot. While some shoe manufacturers provide a wide size, these offerings are incapable of adequately accounting for variations in the width of a user’s feet. The adjustable tensioners 110 allow the foot to be properly secured at a greater variety of widths. Furthermore, while some shoe manufacturers provide a wide size, this does not necessarily mean that the midfoot region has a larger volume. The adjustable tensioners 110 may provide for increased volume in the midfoot to accommodate swelling of the feet, while maintaining comfort for the user.

[0032] The insole 112 may provide support to the user’s foot. The insole 112 may be used to provide additional cushioning, correct for pronation, or the like. In one embodiment, the insole 112 may be removed. In one embodiment, the insole 112 may have odor-fighting properties. In one embodiment, the insole 112 is approximately 13mm thick. In one embodiment, the insole 112 is harder on the top surface and becomes softer toward the bottom of the insole 112, providing comfort and resiliency. The insole is resilient yet provides comfort to a user. Existing insoles may have a soft top surface material and a harder bottom surface material so as to provide a softer feeling to a foot of a user. In one

embodiment, the insole 112 may comprise two materials have varying hardness. In one embodiment, the insole 112 comprises a harder top material and a softer bottom material. The midsole 126 may comprise a 2mm foam layer in contact with the insole 112 in some embodiments.

[0033] FIG. 2A depicts a side perspective view of an alternate footwear 200, according to one embodiment. FIG. 2B depicts a rear perspective view of the footwear 200 of FIG. 2A, according to one embodiment. FIG. 2C depicts a front perspective view of the footwear 200 of FIG. 2 A, according to one embodiment.

[0034] The adjustable tensioners 110 may include a plurality of apertures or eyelets 202 disposed along an edge of each adjustable tensioner 110 distal from the sole 108. In one embodiment, the adjustable tensioner 110 is a semi-rigid plastic. Shoelaces or laces 204, or another securing device, may be threaded through these apertures to adjust the width between the adjustable tensioners 110. Looser laces 204 may allow for a greater width foot while tighter laces 204 may allow for a smaller foot width as the adjustable tensioners 110 are pulled towards each other creating a smaller gap between the adjustable tensioners 110. In one embodiment, the laces 204 may not provide any significant tension to the footwear 200 such that a user can put on or remove the footwear 200 without needing to tie or untie the laces 204.

[0035] Each adjustable tensioner 110 may include an attached portion 206 and an unattached portion 208 along the sides of the adjustable tensioner 110. The attached portion 206 may be fixedly attached to an outer portion of the footwear 200, such as by stitches, adhesive, or the like. In one embodiment, an additional attached portion 206 may be located at the portion of the adjustable tensioner 110 closest to the toe box 104. The unattached portion 208 may be unattached to the outer portion of the footwear 200 and allow the adjustable tensioner 100 to expand or contract a width between the respective adjustable tensioners 110 without causing buckling of the footwear 200. In some embodiments, the unattached portion 208 may partially elevate the laces 204 above the upper so as to provide ease of removing or putting on the footwear 200 without needing to adjust the laces 204. A pair of flexible portions or elastic braces 210 of the footwear may be disposed on either side of a tongue of the footwear 200 to further reduce the chance of buckling of the footwear 200.

[0036] In some embodiments, the elastic braces 210 may expand or contract to allow the footwear 200 to fit a user. In some embodiments, the footwear 200 may be put on or removed without needing to tie or untie the laces 204 due to the elasticity of the elastic braces 210. The elastic braces 210 may be made from a stretchable nylon material such as elastic in some embodiments. The elastic braces 210 may allow the footwear 200 to accommodate a larger variety of foot widths in a same shoe size as the elastic braces 210 expand to accommodate a wider foot and contract to accommodate a narrower foot. In one embodiment, the elastic braces 210 shrink or expand the volume of the footwear 200 in the midfoot, while allowing the wide toe box 104 and the heel cup 102 to maintain their size. In another embodiment, the elastic braces 210 shrink or expand the volume of the footwear 200 in the midfoot, while also decreasing or increasing the volume of the wide toe box 104 and the heel cup 102. In another embodiment, the elastic braces 210 shrink or expand the volume of the footwear 200 according to standard shoe scaling.

[0037] A padded collar 214 may be disposed about an opening 212 of the footwear 200 proximate a heel of the footwear 200. The padded collar 214 may provide protection to the outer surface of the footwear 200 when a user inserts their foot into the opening 212 of the footwear 200. The padded collar 214 may also provide support to an ankle of a user when the user’s foot is inserted into the footwear 200. A padded rear collar 216 may be disposed proximate the heel of the footwear 200 and provide support to an ankle of the user when the user’s foot is inserted into the footwear 200. The padded rear collar may also prevent buckling of the heel of the footwear 200 when a user inserts their foot into the footwear 200. In one embodiment, the padded collar 216 may be made of foam. In one embodiment, the padded collar 216 may have a V-shape cut-out to relieve tension on the Achilles heel of a user. The padded collar 216 is a soft material due to contact with the heel of the user.

[0038] A pull strap 218 may be disposed proximate the heel of the footwear 200 and be used to assist in inserting the foot of a user into the footwear. The pull strap may have an extended strap section 220 secured against the heel of the footwear 200 to increase the strength of the pull strap 218 and resist tearing or other separation of the pull strap 218 from the footwear 200. The extended strap section 220 may be secured to the heel of the footwear 200 via stitching, an adhesive, or the like.

[0039] FIG. 3 depicts a top view of an alternate footwear 300, according to one embodiment. In some embodiments, the adjustable tensioners 110 may create a smaller space to accommodate a narrower foot as the laces 204 are tightened. The adjustable tensioners 110 create a larger space to accommodate a wider foot as the laces 204 are loosened. In one embodiment, the adjustable tensioners 110 shrink the volume of the footwear 100 in the midfoot, while also generally decreasing the volume of the overall footwear 100 due to the soft material of the water-resistant upper 106. In other embodiments, the elastic braces, as shown in FIGS. 2A-2C, shrink or expand the volume of the footwear 300 in the midfoot, while also generally decreasing or increasing the volume of the overall footwear 300 due to the soft material of the upper.

[0040] FIG. 4 depicts a perspective view of stain 402 removal from a water-resistant upper 106 of footwear 400, according to one embodiment. A stain 402, such as food, liquid, food, or the like may be removed via a liquid 404, such as water. By creating a water- resistant upper 106, the stain may be quickly removed via the liquid 404 while the stain has not yet had a chance to set on the surface of the footwear 400. By contrast, other footwear may be saturated by a liquid, which may cause the wearer to have to use a new pair of shoes while the saturated shoes dry or avoid removing the stain until it has set on the footwear if another pair of shoes is not available. As individuals do not generally carry multiple pairs of footwear with them, many users may opt to allow a stain to set rather than risk having damp shoes.

[0041] FIG. 5 depicts a cross-sectional view of a portion of the upper 114 of the footwear of FIG. 1 A, according to one embodiment. The upper 114 may include the vamp 118 and a lining 522. The vamp 118 and the lining 522 are connected. The vamp 118 is the top part of the footwear. The lining 522 is attached to the vamp 118 and the lining 522 forms the inside portion of the footwear. The vamp 118 and the lining 522 together form the upper 114 of the footwear.

[0042] The vamp 118 may include two or more layers 502, 504, 506, 508, 510. The layers 502, 504, 506, 508, 510 of the vamp 118 are shown for the purposes of illustration and are not to scale. In one embodiment, the vamp 118 may comprise five layers 502, 504, 506, 508, 510. A first layer 502 of the vamp 118 may comprise a waterproof spandex or elastane, such as Lycra from Invista of Wichita, Kansas. The first layer 502 of the vamp 118 may be made from a waterproof polyether-polyurea copolymer. In one embodiment, the first layer 502 of the vamp 118 may have a thickness of 0.8mm. In one embodiment, the first layer 502 of the vamp 118 may have a weight of 320g, such that the weight of 1 Y of material is 320g. The second layer 504 of the vamp 118 may be made from a waterproof foil. In one embodiment, the second layer 504 of the vamp 118 may be made from a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) waterproof foil. In one embodiment, the second layer 504 of the vamp 118 may have a thickness of 0.015mm. The third layer 506 of the vamp 118 may be made from a honeycomb mesh. In one embodiment, the third layer 506 of the vamp 118 may be made from a mesh and/or a material having a repeating pattern. In one embodiment, the third layer 506 of the vamp 118 may be made from a synthetic material, such as Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). In one embodiment, the third layer 506 of the vamp 118 may have a thickness of 0.8mm. In one embodiment, the third layer 506 of the vamp 118 may have a weight of 330g, such that the weight of 1 Y of material is 330g. The fourth layer 508 of the vamp 118 may be made from a foam. In one embodiment, the fourth layer 508 of the vamp 118 may be made from an open cell foam. In another embodiment, the fourth layer 508 of the vamp 118 may be made from a closed cell foam. The fourth layer 508 of the vamp may have a thickness of 2mm. The fifth layer 510 of the vamp 118 may be made from tricot. In one embodiment, the tricot may be made from a synthetic material. The fifth layer 510 of the vamp 118 may have a thickness of 0.385mm. The fifth layer 510 of the vamp 118 may have a weight of 42g, such that the weight of 1 Y of material is 42g. The overall thickness of the vamp 118 may be 4mm. The order, arrangement, thickness, density, and materials of the layers 502, 504, 506, 508, 510 of the vamp 118 provide a vamp 118 that is both breathable and water-resistant.

[0043] The lining 522 of the upper 114 may include one or more layers 512, 514, 516. The layers 512, 514, 516 of the lining 522 are shown for the purposes of illustration and are not to scale. In one embodiment, the lining 522 may comprise three layers 512, 514, 516. A first layer 512 of the lining 522 may comprise a waterproof spandex or elastane, such as Lycra from Invista of Wichita, Kansas. The first layer 512 of the lining 522 may be made from a waterproof polyether-polyurea copolymer. In one embodiment, the first layer 512 of the vamp 118 may have a thickness of 0.615mm. In one embodiment, the first layer 512 of the lining 522 may have a weight of 200g, such that the weight of 1 Y of material is 200g. The second layer 514 of the lining 522 may be made from a foam. In one embodiment, the second layer 514 of the lining 522 may be made from an open cell foam. In another embodiment, the second layer 514 of the lining 522 may be made from a closed cell foam. The second layer 514 of the lining 522 may have a thickness of 2mm. The third layer 516 of the lining 522 may be made from tricot. In one embodiment, the tricot may be made from a synthetic material. The third layer 516 of the lining 522 may have a thickness of 0.385mm. The third layer 516 of the lining 522 may have a weight of 42g, such that the weight of 1 Y of material is 42g.

The overall thickness of the lining 522 may be 3mm. The order, arrangement, thickness, density, and materials of the layers 512, 514, 516 of the lining 522 provide a lining 522 that is both breathable and water-resistant. The order, arrangement, thickness, density, and materials of the layers 502, 504, 506, 508, 510, 512, 514, 516 of the vamp 118 and the lining 522 provide an upper 114 that is breathable, water-resistant, low in weight, and high in flexibility.

[0044] FIG. 6 depicts a cross-sectional view of a portion of the upper of the heel portion 120 of the footwear of FIG. 1A, according to one embodiment. In one embodiment, the heel portion 120 of the footwear may contain an additional layer of material as compared to the layers of the upper, as shown in FIG. 5. The heel portion 120 may include a top portion 622 and a lining 624. The top portion 622 and the lining 624 are connected. The lining 624 is attached to the top portion 622 and the lining 624 forms the inside portion of the footwear.

[0045] The top portion 622 may include two or more layers 602, 604, 606, 608, 610. The layers 602, 604, 606, 608, 610 of the top portion 622 are shown for the purposes of illustration and are not to scale. In one embodiment, the top portion 622 may comprise five layers 602, 604, 606, 608, 610. A first layer 602 of the top portion 622 may comprise a waterproof spandex or elastane, such as Lycra from Invista of Wichita, Kansas. The first layer 602 of the top portion 622 may be made from a waterproof polyether-polyurea copolymer. In one embodiment, the first layer 602 of the top portion 622 may have a thickness of 0.8mm. In one embodiment, the first layer 602 of the top portion 622 may have a weight of 320g, such that the weight of 1 Y of material is 320g. The second layer 604 of the top portion 622 may be made from a waterproof foil. In one embodiment, the second layer 604 of the top portion 622 may be made from a thermoplastic polyurethane waterproof foil.

In one embodiment, the second layer 604 of the top portion 622 may have a thickness of 0.015mm. The third layer 606 of the top portion 622 may be made from a honeycomb mesh. In one embodiment, the third layer 606 of the top portion 622 may be made from a synthetic material, such as Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). In one embodiment, the third layer 606 of the top portion 622 may have a thickness of 0.8mm. In one embodiment, the third layer 606 of the top portion 622 may have a weight of 330g, such that the weight of 1 Y of material is 330g. The fourth layer 608 of the top portion 622 may be made from a foam. In one embodiment, the fourth layer 608 of the top portion 622 may be made from an open cell foam. In another embodiment, the fourth layer 608 of the top portion 622 may be made from a closed cell foam. The fourth layer 608 of the vamp may have a thickness of 2mm. The fifth layer 610 of the top portion 622 may be made from tricot. In one embodiment, the tricot may be made from a synthetic material. The fifth layer 610 of the top portion 622 may have a thickness of 0.385mm. The fifth layer 610 of the top portion 622 may have a weight of 42g, such that the weight of 1 Y of material is 42g. The overall thickness of the top portion 622 may be 4mm. The order, arrangement, thickness, density, and materials of the layers 602, 604, 606, 608, 610 of the top portion 622 provide a top portion 622 that is both breathable and water-resistant.

[0046] The lining 624 of the heel portion 120 may include one or more layers 612, 614, 616, 618. The layers 612, 614, 616, 618 of the lining 624 are shown for the purposes of illustration and are not to scale. In one embodiment, the lining 624 may comprise four layers 612, 614, 616, 618. A first layer 612 of the lining 624 may comprise a waterproof spandex or elastane, such as Lycra from Invista of Wichita, Kansas. The first layer 612 of the lining 624 may be made from a waterproof polyether-polyurea copolymer. In one embodiment, the first layer 612 of the top portion 622 may have a thickness of 0.615mm. In one embodiment, the first layer 612 of the lining 624 may have a weight of 200g, such that the weight of 1 Y of material is 200g. The second layer 614 of the lining 624 may be made from a foam. In one embodiment, the second layer 614 of the lining 624 may be made from an open cell foam. In another embodiment, the second layer 614 of the lining 624 may be made from a closed cell foam. The second layer 614 of the lining 624 may have a thickness of 2mm. The third layer 616 of the lining 624 may be made from tricot. In one embodiment, the tricot may be made from a synthetic material. The third layer 616 of the lining 624 may have a thickness of 0.385mm. The third layer 616 of the lining 624 may have a weight of 42g, such that the weight of 1Y of material is 42g. The fourth layer 618 of the lining 624 may be made from tricot. In some embodiments, the dimensions of the fourth layer 618 of the lining 624 may be the same as the third layer 616 of the lining 624. The overall thickness of the lining 624 may be greater than 3mm. The order, arrangement, thickness, density, and materials of the layers 612, 614, 616 of the lining 624 provide a lining 624 that is both breathable and water- resistant. In some embodiments, the fourth layer 618 of the lining 624 may not be directly adhered to the remaining layers 602, 604, 606, 608, 610, 612, 614 and may instead by sewn to an inside of the heel of the footwear. The order, arrangement, thickness, density, and materials of the layers 602, 604, 606, 608, 610, 612, 614, 616 of the top portion 622 and the lining 624 provide a heel portion 120 that is breathable, water-resistant, low in weight, and high in flexibility. [0047] FIG. 7 illustrates a high4evel flowchart of a method 700 embodiment of assembling the upper, according to one embodiment. The method 700 may include heating two or more layers of an upper, where at least one of the two or more layers may be partially melted by the heat (step 702). In some embodiments, at least one the two or more layers of the upper may be made from a foam and the foam may be heated to a temperature sufficient to cause a partial melting of the foam. The upper may include a vamp or top portion and a lining. The method 700 may then include pressing the heated two or more layers of the upper to combine the heated two or more layers (step 704). At least one layer of the upper may be partially melted by the heating and may combine together when pressed. The method 700 may then include cooling the pressed two or more layers of the upper (step 706). The cooled upper may be breathable and water-resistant once cooled. The method 700 may then include spraying a water-resistant agent on the cooled upper to further enhance water-resistance of the upper (step 708). In some embodiments, the water-resistant agent may only be applied to the top layer of the upper. In some embodiments, the water-resistant agent may only be applied once the footwear is assembled.

[0048] It is contemplated that various combinations and/or sub-combinations of the specific features and aspects of the above embodiments may be made and still fall within the scope of the invention. Accordingly, it should be understood that various features and aspects of the disclosed embodiments may be combined with or substituted for one another in order to form varying modes of the disclosed invention. Further, it is intended that the scope of the present invention is herein disclosed by way of examples and should not be limited by the particular disclosed embodiments described above.