The present invention relates to a shoe and to the associated
The term "shoe" is used to reference any item which is
designed to be worn on the foot and follows its shape.
The main function of a shoe is to provide protection against
direct contact with the ground and to cover the foot, retaining heat in winter.
It also has an aesthetic function, which in recent years has become preponderant
in determining sales volumes.
A shoe is formed by a part which is in contact with the
ground, known as sole, which is made of leather (hide), rubber or plastics, and
by an upper part, which covers the foot and is known as upper. At the level of the
heel, below the sole, there is often a raised portion known as heel.
In traditional shoes, the sole is fixed (by stitching and/or
adhesive bonding) to the upper and any plantar inserts and other similar elements
are inserted subsequently inside the shoe thus formed.
This "traditional" constructive solution produces shoes
which are substantially similar: in practice, any aesthetic differences are due
exclusively to treatments for decorative purposes which are fully independent of
the structural characteristics of the shoe itself.
The traditional constructive solution can have levels of
comfort which are insufficient for the needs of certain users: people who wear shoes
for many hours while standing to work, or more simply users with particular needs
who choose only very expensive products, from which they demand maximum quality
Moreover, the traditional construction technology described
above entails the need for considerable labor and the execution of a sequence of
operations which is rather complicated and, even if it is possible to automate the
production cycle completely, entails substantially high production costs.
The aim of the present invention is to provide a shoe which
has an original aesthetic appearance and structure.
Within this aim, an object of the present invention is
to provide a shoe which is particularly comfortable with excellent plantar support.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a
method for manufacturing shoes which is easy to perform and inexpensive and entails
a minimal number of steps.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a
shoe which has low costs, is relatively simple to provide in practice and is safe
This aim and these and other objects which will become
better apparent hereinafter are achieved by the present shoe, of the type which
comprises a sole and an upper, characterized in that said sole comprises a plantar
insert, at least one layer for covering the lower surface of said plantar insert
with perimetric edges which substantially protrude outward with respect to the contour
of said plantar insert, at least one flap for covering the upper surface of said
plantar insert which also has a perimetric border which substantially protrudes
outward with respect to the contour of said plantar insert, said edge and said border
being rigidly coupled to each other and to said upper, said covering layer of the
lower surface of the plantar insert being coverable with a base of wear-resistant
Further characteristics and advantages of the invention
will become better apparent from the following detailed description of a preferred
but not exclusive embodiment of a shoe and of the corresponding production method,
illustrated by way of non-limiting example in the accompanying drawings, wherein:
- Figure 1 is a schematic side view of a sole of a shoe according to the invention;
- Figure 2 is a schematic transverse view of a first die and a first plug for
preforming a layer for covering the sole of a shoe according to the invention;
- Figure 3 is a schematic transverse view of a second die and of a second plug
for providing the sole of a shoe according to the invention;
- Figure 4 is a partially sectional schematic top view of the upper portion of
the sole of a shoe according to the invention;
- Figure 5 is an exploded side view of a shoe according to the invention;
- Figure 6 is a side view of the shoe according to the invention;
- Figure 7 is a schematic exploded side view of the components of the lower portion
of the shoe according to the invention;
- Figure 8 is a top view of the lower portion of the sole of the shoe according
to the invention.
With reference to the figures, the reference numeral 1
generally designates a shoe according to the invention.
The shoe 1 comprises a sole 3 and an upper 2.
The sole 3 comprises a plantar insert 4, below which there
is at least one covering layer 5, which is arranged so that it has perimetric edges
6 which protrude substantially outward with respect to the contour of the plantar
The plantar insert 4 is anatomically contoured and reproduces
a correct physiological curvature in order to maximize the comfort of the shoe 1.
In order to ensure this result, the plantar insert 4 is
made of elastically deformable material (for example latex), which may also have
an elastic deformability which can vary along its surface: particularly suitable
materials for this embodiment are expanded materials, in which elastic deformability
is ensured by the presence of the air bubbles which are trapped therein, which form
a plurality of shock-absorbing micro-cushions.
Above the plantar insert 4, the sole 3 also comprises one
or more superimposed covering flaps 7, 8, which also have a respective perimetric
border 7a, 8a which protrudes substantially outward with respect to the contour
of the plantar insert 4.
The flap 7 is instead constituted by a structural reinforcement
sheet made of fibrous composite material (for example based on fiberglass and/or
carbon fiber and/or other structural fibers), which has a high mechanical strength
and substantially lies below the flap 8: the purpose of the flap 7 is to increase
the structural strength of the sole 3 of the shoe 1.
In particular, the flap 8 is a base in close contact with
the upper surface of the flap 7 and is intended to constitute an actual physical
separation between the flap 7 and the foot of the user. The plantar insert 4 made
of expanded material can in fact absorb perspiration, causing rapid degradation
of the characteristics of the shoe 1: the presence of the flap 8 prevents the transfer
of perspiration from the foot to the plantar insert 4, preserving for a long time
the elastic deformability of the plantar insert 4.
Optionally, according to embodiments which are alternative
to the one shown in the figures and are of particular practical interest, it would
also be possible to apply a third flap which is simply an upper lining made of material
which is adapted for contact with the foot of the user: in practice, it must be
a comfortable material, which is pleasant to the touch and substantially compatible
from a physiological standpoint (a particularly important characteristic if the
shoe 1 is used without socks).
The edge 6 and the border 7a, 8a are mutually rigidly coupled
to the upper (for example by adhesive bonding and/or stitching and/or thermal bonding).
The sole 3, in its final version ready for use, has a lower
covering of the covering layer 5 which is obtained with a base 10 made of wear-resistant
According to a preferred but not exclusive embodiment,
the covering layer 5 of the lower surface of the plantar insert 4 is made of a material
such as leather: this gives the sole 3 (and therefore the entire shoe 1) excellent
aesthetic qualities and, depending on the type of leather that is chosen, also a
potential good resistance to abrasion and water-repellency characteristics.
As an alternative to the embodiment described above, the
layer 5 and the flap 8 (even just one of them) might also be made of a material
such as a fabric: in this case, by selecting among natural fabrics and synthetic
fabrics it is practically possible to obtain any characteristic from a mechanical
and aesthetic standpoint, as well as in terms of water-repellency and thermal insulation.
It is obvious that the layer 5 and the flap 8 may also
be provided by combining (superimposing) leather and fabrics (but also materials
such as so-called "non-woven fabrics") to obtain the advantages of each of the components.
Conveniently, the layer 5 is shaped like a valve, so as
to accommodate the material that will constitute the plantar insert 4 (depending
on the shoe size, the dimensions will be different). The plantar insert 4 is not
an already-shaped body, but forms by filling with latex in the liquid state the
layer 5 which is preformed inside the mold of Figure 3.
The method for providing the shoe 1 according to the invention
consists first of all in arranging the material that constitutes the covering layer
5 within an appropriately provided first die 11 that has a first receptacle 12,
while retaining the edges 6 so that they protrude from the first receptacle 12.
At this point, it is necessary to apply a hot compression
force with an appropriately provided first plug 13, which is shaped substantially
complementarily to the first receptacle 12.
Subsequently, the covering layer 5 that has already been
preformed is accommodated in a second receptacle 15 of a second die 14 which is
shaped identically to the preceding first die 11. This is followed by the filling
of said second receptacle with elastically deformable material (latex) in liquid
form, and in a prior-to-expansion state, which will constitute the plantar insert
The previously coupled covering flaps 7, 8 must then be
arranged above the plantar insert 4 so that their lateral borders 7a, 8a protrude
from the contour of the plantar insert 4. In this case, it is necessary to impart
a new cold compression force with a second plug 16, which gives the chosen anatomical
shape to the upper part of the plantar insert, making the edge 6 and the borders
7a, 8a adhere to each other.
Once compression has been applied, the assembly constituted
by the layer 5, the plantar insert 4 and the flaps 7, 8 is extracted from the die
At this point, in all cases in which the dies comprise
both soles 3 (i.e., both the left sole and the right sole), it is necessary to cut
the portion that joins them, mutually disengaging them.
The lower portion of the appropriately provided upper 2
(provided in accordance with the dimensions and aesthetic characteristics of the
shoe 1 to be obtained) is joined to the perimetric outline of the assembly constituted
by the coupling of the edge 6 and of the borders 7a and 8a, generally by stitching.
Below this assembly, it is convenient to rigidly couple
the base 10 made of wear-resistant material: this may be preferably a base 10 made
of substantially polymeric material (for example such as rubber), but it is also
possible to use leather (or other natural materials) and/or composite materials.
According to a preferred but not exclusive embodiment,
the coupling between the edge 6 and the borders 7a, 8a is obtained by stitching.
As an alternative, the same coupling can be obtained by
Likewise, the coupling between the covering layer 5, the
plantar insert 4 and the covering flaps 7, 8 can be obtained by interposing between
them adhesive of various kinds.
Positively, the coupling between the upper 2 and the sole
3 is obtained by stitching: this can be exposed and/or hidden, depending on the
aesthetic requirements of the shoe 1 being provided.
At the end of the fixing of the upper 2 to the sole 3,
a so-called finishing operation is performed which consists in inserting appropriate
hot aluminum lasts for preforming the upper 2.
It has thus been shown that the invention achieves the
proposed aim and objects.
The invention thus conceived is susceptible of numerous
modifications and variations, all of which are within the scope of the appended
All the details may further be replaced with other technically
In the exemplary embodiments shown, individual characteristics,
given in relation to specific examples, may actually be interchanged with other
different characteristics that exist in other exemplary embodiments.
Moreover, it is noted that anything found to be already
known during the patenting process is understood not to be claimed and to be the
subject of a disclaimer.
In practice, the materials used, as well as the shapes
and dimensions, may be any according to requirements without thereby abandoning
the scope of the protection of the appended claims.
The disclosures in
Italian Patent Application No. BO2006A00028
from which this application claims priority are incorporated herein by
Where technical features mentioned in any claim are followed
by reference signs, those reference signs have been included for the sole purpose
of increasing the intelligibility of the claims and accordingly such reference signs
do not have any limiting effect on the interpretation of each element identified
by way of example by such reference signs.