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United States Patent Application 20030200679
Kind Code A1
Wilson, Frederic T. ;   et al. October 30, 2003

Shoe construction utilizing a bootie with an impervious sole and method of production

Abstract

A shoe construction that includes a sole and an upper, wherein the sole and the upper together define a volume for receiving and protecting a wearer"s foot against external elements. There is a liquid impermeable bootie that includes an inner, upper liner that is attached to a sole liner. The inner, upper liner is preferably air permeable, moisture vapor transmissive and liquid impermeable and is located inside the upper. The sole liner is air impermeable, moisture vapor impermeable and liquid impermeable and is located above the sole. The sole liner is preferably, but not necessarily, inelastic. Materials that may be utilized for the inner, upper liner can include microporous membranes. Some of the types of materials that may be used for the sole liner can include inelastic, thermoplastic materials, fiber reinforced polymeric materials and nonthermoplastic materials. An alternative embodiment of the inner, upper liner is air impermeable, moisture vapor transmissive and liquid impermeable.


Inventors: Wilson, Frederic T.; (Kansas City, MO) ; King, Clare; (Providence, RI) ; Bastianelli, Peter; (Fife, GB)
Correspondence Address:
    BLACKWELL SANDERS PEPER MARTIN LLP
    TWO PERSHING SQUARE
    2300 MAIN STREET, SUITE 1000
    KANSAS CITY
    MO
    64108
    US
Serial No.: 063458
Series Code: 10
Filed: April 24, 2002

Current U.S. Class: 36/55; 36/10
Class at Publication: 36/55; 36/10
International Class: A43B 023/07; A43B 003/10


Claims



1. A liquid impermeable bootie adapted to be incorporated into footwear which comprises: an inner, upper liner that is moisture vapor transmissive and liquid impermeable; and a sole liner that is air impermeable, moisture vapor impermeable and liquid impermeable, wherein the inner, upper liner is attached to the sole liner.

2. The liquid impermeable bootie according to claim 1, wherein the inner, upper liner is air impermeable.

3. The liquid impermeable bootie according to claim 2, wherein the inner, upper liner includes a nonporous, bicomponent membrane.

4. The liquid impermeable bootie according to claim 3, wherein the nonporous, bicomponent membrane includes expanded polytetrafluoroethylene and a layer of polyurethane.

5. The liquid impermeable bootie according to claim 3, wherein the nonporous, bicomponent membrane includes a layer of coagulated polyurethane and a seal coating.

6. The liquid impermeable bootie according to claim 2, wherein the inner, upper liner includes a nonporous, monolithic membrane.

7. The liquid impermeable bootie according to claim 6, wherein the nonporous, monolithic membrane includes polyurethane.

8. The liquid impermeable bootie according to claim 2, wherein the inner, upper liner allows for air flow of less than 0.03 cubic centimeter per minute per square centimeter at a pressure of a 1.27 centimeter water column (0.05 cubic feet per minute per square foot at a pressure of a 0.5 inch water column) and the inner, upper liner allows for moisture vapor transmission of at least 500 grams per square meter (14.85 ounces per square yard) of water (H.sub.2O) vapor in a twenty-four (24) hour period.

9. The liquid impermeable bootie according to claim 2, wherein the sole liner allows for air flow of less than 0.03 cubic centimeter per minute per square centimeter at a pressure of a 1.27 centimeter water column (0.05 cubic feet per minute per square foot at a pressure of a 0.5 inch water column) and the sole liner allows for moisture vapor transmission of less than 500 grams per square meter (14.85 ounces per square yard) of water (H.sub.2O) vapor in a twenty-four (24) hour period.

10. A liquid impermeable bootie adapted to be incorporated into footwear which comprises: an inner, upper liner that is air permeable, moisture vapor transmissive and liquid impermeable; and a sole liner that is air impermeable, moisture vapor impermeable and liquid impermeable, wherein the inner, upper liner is attached to the sole liner.

11. The liquid impermeable bootie according to claim 10, wherein the liquid impermeable bootie does not leak as indicated by detectable water on the liquid impermeable bootie's exterior when applied with water having a maximum pressure of 36 milibar (0.5 p.s.i.g.) for one (1) minute.

12. The liquid impermeable bootie according to claim 10, wherein the inner, upper liner allows for air flow of at least 0.03 cubic centimeter per minute per square centimeter at a pressure of a 1.27 centimeter water column (0.05 cubic feet per minute per square foot at a pressure of a 0.5 inch water column) and the inner, upper liner allows for moisture vapor transmission of at least 500 grams per square meter (14.85 ounces per square yard) or more of water (H.sub.2O) vapor in a twenty-four (24) hour period.

13. The liquid impermeable bootie according to claim 10, wherein the inner, upper liner allows for air flow of at least 0.05 cubic centimeter per minute per square centimeter at a pressure of a 1.27 centimeter water column (0.1 cubic feet per minute per square foot at a pressure of a 0.5 inch water column) and the inner, upper liner allows for moisture vapor transmission of at least 9,000 grams per square meter (267.20 ounces per square yard) or more of water (H.sub.2O) vapor in a twenty-four (24) hour period.

14. The liquid impermeable bootie according to claim 10, wherein the inner, upper liner allows for air flow of at least 0.15 cubic centimeter per minute per square centimeter at a pressure of a 1.27 centimeter water column (0.3 cubic feet per minute per square foot at a pressure of a 0.5 inch water column) and the inner, upper liner allows for moisture vapor transmission of at least 15,000 grams per square meter (445.33 ounces per square yard) or more of water (H.sub.2O) vapor in a twenty-four (24) hour period.

15. The liquid impermeable bootie according to claim 10, wherein the inner, upper liner allows for air flow of at least 0.51 cubic centimeter per minute per square centimeter at a pressure of a 1.27 centimeter water column (1.0 cubic feet per minute per square foot at a pressure of a 0.5 inch water column) and the inner, upper liner allows for moisture vapor transmission of at least 17,000 grams per square meter (504.71 ounces per square yard) or more of water (H.sub.2O) vapor in a twenty-four (24) hour period.

16. The liquid impermeable bootie according to claim 10, wherein the sole liner allows for air flow of less than 0.03 cubic centimeter per minute per square centimeter at a pressure of a 1.27 centimeter water column (0.05 cubic feet per minute per square foot at a pressure of a 0.5 inch water column) and the sole liner allows for moisture vapor transmission of less than 500 grams per square meter (14.85 ounces per square yard) of water (H.sub.2O) vapor in a twenty-four (24) hour period.

17. The liquid impermeable bootie according to claim 10, wherein the inner, upper liner includes a microporous membrane.

18. The liquid impermeable bootie according to claim 17, wherein the microporous membrane is selected from the group consisting of an expanded polytetrafluoroethylene, a polysulfone membrane, a coagulated polyurethane membrane and a polyvinyl chloride membrane.

19. The liquid impermeable bootie according to claim 10, wherein the sole liner is inelastic.

20. The liquid impermeable bootie according to claim 19, wherein the sole liner will not fully recover when deflected more than ten percent (10 %) from a point of yield.

21. The liquid impermeable bootie according to claim 10, wherein the sole liner includes material selected from the group consisting of an inelastic, thermoplastic material, a fiber reinforced polymeric material and a nonthermoplastic material.

22. The liquid impermeable bootie according to claim 19, wherein the inelastic, thermoplastic material is selected from the group consisting of polypropylene, polyethylene, polyester, inelastic polyurethane, nylons and vinyl and the fiber reinforced polymeric material is selected from the group consisting of fibers of polyester, nylon, polypropylene, polyethylene, rayon, and cotton and the nonthermoplastic material is selected from the group consisting of reactive polyurethane, epoxy, styrene, butadiene, acrylics and vulcanized rubber.

23. A liquid impermeable bootie adapted to be incorporated into footwear which comprises: an inner, upper liner that is air permeable, moisture vapor transmissive and liquid impermeable and includes a microporous membrane; and a sole liner that is air impermeable, moisture vapor impermeable and liquid impermeable and the sole liner is selected from the group consisting of inelastic, thermoplastic material, fiber reinforced polymeric material and nonthermoplastic material, wherein the inner, upper liner is attached to the sole liner.

24. A liquid impermeable bootie adapted to be incorporated into footwear which comprises: an inner, upper liner that is air permeable, moisture vapor transmissive and liquid impermeable and the inner, upper liner allows for air flow of at least 0.03 cubic centimeter per minute per square centimeter at a pressure of a 1.27 centimeter water column (0.05 cubic feet per minute per square foot at a pressure of a 0.5 inch water column) and the inner, upper liner allows for moisture vapor transmission of at least 500 grams per square meter (14.85 ounces per square yard) or more of water (H.sub.2O) vapor in a twenty-four (24) hour period and includes a microporous membrane; and a sole liner that is inelastic, air impermeable, moisture vapor impermeable and liquid impermeable and the sole liner allows for air flow of less than 0.03 cubic centimeter per minute per square centimeter at a pressure of a 1.27 centimeter water column (0.05 cubic feet per minute per square foot at a pressure of a 0.5 inch water column) and the sole liner allows for moisture vapor transmission of less than 500 grams per square meter (14.85 ounces per square yard) of water (H.sub.2O) vapor in a twenty-four (24) hour period and the sole liner is selected from the group consisting of inelastic, thermoplastic material, fiber reinforced polymeric material and nonthermoplastic material, wherein the inner, upper liner is attached to the sole liner.

25. A process for producing a shoe construction comprising: providing a sole; providing an upper that together with the sole define a volume for receiving and protecting a wearer"s foot against external elements; and securing a liquid impermeable bootie, having an inner, upper liner that is attached to a sole liner, within the shoe so that the inner, upper liner that is located underneath the upper and the sole liner is located inside the upper, wherein the inner, upper liner is moisture vapor transmissive and liquid impermeable and the sole liner is air impermeable, moisture vapor impermeable and liquid impermeable.

26. A process for producing a shoe construction comprising: providing a sole; providing an upper that together with the sole define a volume for receiving and protecting a wearer"s foot against external elements; and securing a liquid impermeable bootie, having an inner, upper liner that is attached to a sole liner, within the shoe so that the inner, upper liner that is located underneath the upper and the sole liner is located inside the upper, wherein the inner, upper liner is air permeable, moisture vapor transmissive and liquid impermeable and the sole liner is air impermeable, moisture vapor impermeable and liquid impermeable.

27. The process for producing a shoe construction according to claim 26, further comprising: securing at least one layer of textile material either outside or inside the inner, upper liner; and securing at least one layer of textile material either outside or inside the sole liner.

28. The process for producing a shoe construction according to claim 26, wherein the inner, upper liner is a microporous membrane and the sole is inelastic.

29. The process for producing a shoe construction according to claim 26, wherein the sole liner is selected from the group consisting of an inelastic, thermoplastic material, a fiber reinforced polymeric material and a nonthermoplastic material.

30. The process for producing a shoe construction according to claim 26, wherein the inner, upper liner allows for air flow of at least 0.03 cubic centimeter per minute per square centimeter at a pressure of a 1.27 centimeter water column (0.05 cubic feet per minute per square foot at a pressure of a 0.5 inch water column) and the inner, upper liner allows for moisture vapor transmission of at least 500 grams per square meter (14.85 ounces per square yard) or more of water (H.sub.2O) vapor in a twenty-four (24) hour period and the sole liner allows for air flow of less than 0.03 cubic centimeter per minute per square centimeter at a pressure of a 1.27 centimeter water column (0.05 cubic feet per minute per square foot at a pressure of a 0.5 inch water column) and the sole liner allows for moisture vapor transmission of less than 500 grams per square meter (14.85 ounces per square yard) of water (H.sub.2O) vapor in a twenty-four (24) hour period.

31. The process for producing a shoe construction according to claim 25, wherein the inner, upper liner is air impermeable and selected from the group consisting of a nonporous, bicomponent membrane and a nonporous, monolithic membrane.
Description



BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

[0001] Footwear that is currently available that is marketed as being "waterproof and breathable" has been found by the user to be excessively hot and uncomfortable. The reason for this discomfort is that although this footwear is waterproof and moisture vapor transmissive, this footwear is not air permeable. Therefore, the human foot is completely sealed and does not have any access to fresh air.

[0002] The present invention is directed to overcoming at least this problem as set forth above.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0003] In one aspect of this invention, a shoe construction is disclosed. This shoe construction includes a sole and an upper, wherein the sole and the upper together define a volume for receiving and protecting a wearer"s foot against external elements. There is a liquid impermeable bootie that includes an inner, upper liner that is attached to a sole liner. The inner, upper liner is moisture vapor transmissive and liquid impermeable and is located inside the upper. In the preferred embodiment, the inner, upper liner is air permeable. The sole liner is air impermeable, moisture vapor impermeable and liquid impermeable and is located above the sole.

[0004] In another aspect of this invention, a process for producing a shoe construction is disclosed. This process includes providing a sole and providing an upper that together define a volume for receiving and protecting a wearer"s foot against external elements. This is followed by securing a liquid impermeable bootie, having an inner, upper liner that is attached to a sole liner, within the shoe so that the inner, upper liner that is located underneath the upper and the sole liner is located inside the upper. The inner, upper liner is moisture vapor transmissive and liquid impermeable.

[0005] In the preferred embodiment, the inner, upper liner is air permeable. The sole liner is air impermeable, moisture vapor impermeable and liquid impermeable.

[0006] These are merely two illustrative aspects of the present invention and should not be deemed an all-inclusive listing of the innumerable aspects associated with the present invention. These and other aspects will become apparent to those skilled in the art in light of the following disclosure and accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0007] For a better understanding of the present invention, reference may be made to the accompanying drawings.

[0008] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an illustrative, but nonlimiting, shoe construction embodying the present invention.

[0009] FIG. 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary, sectional view taken along Line 2-2 of FIG. 1 that illustrates the inner, upper liner of the shoe embodying the present invention.

[0010] FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary, sectional view taken along Line 3-3 of FIG. 1 that illustrates the inner, upper liner of the shoe embodying the present invention.

[0011] FIG. 4 is an enlarged, fragmentary, sectional view taken along Line 4-4 of FIG. 1 that illustrates the inner, upper liner of the shoe embodying the present invention.

[0012] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a bootie of the present invention, including a inner, upper liner and a sole liner, shown apart from the illustrative shoe construction.

[0013] FIG. 6 is an enlarged sectional view taken along Line 6-6 of FIG. 5 that illustrates the bottom of the sole liner for the bootie embodying the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0014] Referring now to FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4, an illustrative shoe is generally indicated by numeral 10, although virtually any type of shoe can be utilized with the present invention. This shoe 10 includes both a sole 12 and a portion for receiving a human foot that is otherwise known as an upper 14. The shoe 10 typically includes a front lacing 26 that is engaged in eyelets 24. Moreover, the shoe 10 typically includes a tongue portion 32 that is preferably secured at the sides to the remainder of the shoe 10 through fold portions 34. This allows for the contraction and expansion of the upper 14 of the shoe 10 so that the user of the shoe 10 can insert and remove his or her foot. Moreover, this also provides room for adjustment so that when the front lacing 26 is secured, the shoe 10 is firmly attached to the foot of the user. For this particular type of shoe 10, in this nonlimiting embodiment, there is a top connecting strip or cap 28 that is doubled over the top of the upper 14 and preferably, but not necessarily, held in position by stitching 22. The upper 14 of the shoe 10 can be manufactured with a wide variety of materials and is preferably leather. The illustrative, but nonlimiting, embodiment can include flexible, lightweight material 20 located in cutout portions on the upper 14 of the shoe 10. The upper 14 can be secured to the sole 12 of the shoe 14 by a wide variety of attachment processes, which preferably includes adhesives. In this illustrative, but nonlimiting example, the upper 14 is secured to the sole 12 of the shoe 14 by the method of stitching 38, as best illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3.

[0015] Optionally and preferably, there is at least one layer of textile material forming an upper layer 42 located underneath the upper 14 of the shoe 10 next to the foot of the wearer of the shoe 10. A wide variety of textile fabrics can be utilized including woven, nonwoven and knit fabrics. An illustrative, but nonlimiting, type of fabric that can be utilized for this upper layer 42 is a warp knit fabric. Examples of warp knit fabrics include the ECLIPSE 100H.TM. (an abrasive resistant polyester and nylon combination fabric), ECLIPSE 200S.TM. (an abrasive resistant polyester and nylon combination fabric) and ECLIPSE 400H.TM. (a lightweight, nylon fabric), all manufactured by Tempo Shain Corporation, having a place of business at 27 Congress Street, Salem, Mass. 01970. Another illustrative, but nonlimiting, fabric that can be utilized for this upper layer 42 includes a three (3) bar knit fabric. Still another illustrative, but nonlimiting, fabric that can be utilized for this upper layer 42 includes a nonwoven fabric that is a combination of nylon 6 and nylon 66, which is point thermally embossed, abrasion resistant and marketed as CAMBRELLE.RTM. fabric, which is manufactured by the Faytex Corp., having a place of business at 185 Libbey Parkway, Weymouth, Mass. 02189.

[0016] Referring now to FIGS. 5 and 6, there is bootie, which defined as being a sock-like internal liner for the shoe 10 and is generally indicated by numeral 100. The bootie 100 is formed by an inner, upper liner 36 that is attached to a sole liner 40.

[0017] Referring to FIGS. 2, 3, 4 and 5, the inner, upper liner 36 that is located inside the upper 14 of the shoe 10 and above the upper layer 42 (if the optional upper layer 42 is present). Optionally, there may be one or more additional layers of textile-type material that are located between the upper 14 and the inner, upper liner 36 or the inner, upper liner 36 and the upper layer 42. However, the inner, upper liner 36 may be directly attached to the upper 14 of the shoe 10. Some of these additional layers of textile material may include virtually any type of textile material including scrims, tricot knits, nonwovens, among numerous other possibilities. Illustrative, but nonlimiting, methods of attaching the inner, upper liner 36 to the upper 14 of the shoe 10 preferably includes lamination, however, adhesives and stitching may be utilized. However, the bootie 100 may even be removable from the shoe 10.

[0018] The sole 12 can preferably include an outsole 16, a midsole 18, an insole 30, and the sole liner 40 located between the insole 30 and the midsole 18. However, the sole 12 may combine one or more of these elements into a single unitary structure that combines one or more of these components and any permutation thereof. The midsole 18 is optional and can be attached to either the outsole 16 or the sole liner 40.

[0019] Referring now to FIGS. 5 and 6, the inner, upper liner 36, of the bootie 100, includes a top opening 54 that conforms to the upper 14 for the shoe 10 and includes a tongue portion 56. The tongue portion 56 of the inner, upper liner 36 conforms to the tongue portion 32 for the upper 14 of the shoe 10 so that the upper 14 can expand and contract when a human foot is either inserted into the shoe 10 or removed from the shoe 10. A preferred method of manufacturing the inner, upper liner 36 is to connect a first portion 58, which is preferably one-half of the inner, upper liner 36, to a second portion 59, which is preferably the other one-half of the inner, upper liner 36, with a back seam 62 of stitching. The back seam 62 of stitching is sealed with a back seam tape 60. The first portion 58 of the inner, upper liner 36 is also connected to the second portion 59 of the inner, upper liner 36 through a front seam 66 that is sealed by a front seam tape 64. In addition, the tongue portion 56 of the inner, upper liner 36 is secured to the first portion 58 of the inner, upper liner 36 by a first tongue seam 70 at a fold portion 57. The first tongue seam 70 is sealed by a first tongue tape 68. The tongue portion 56 of the inner, upper liner 36 is secured to the second portion 59 of the inner, upper liner 36 by a second tongue seam 72 at a fold portion 77. The second tongue seam 72 is sealed by a second tongue tape 74. The sole liner 40 is attached to the inner, upper liner 36 by a bottom seam 82 that completely encircles the bottom periphery of the bootie 100. This bottom seam 82 is sealed by a bottom seam tape 80. The seam tapes 60, 64, 68, 74 and 80 are preferably liquid impermeable.

[0020] The seams 62, 66, 70, 72 and 82 can be made by any of a wide variety of thread-type material in the form of strands or cords and include spun fibers, spun fibers encircling a core filament, bonded fibers and monofiliment-type material that may or may not be coated with a liquid impermeable coating. In addition, adhesives may be utilized as well as electro-die sealing methods. It is also understood that the location and number of the seams 62, 66, 70, 72 and 82 can vary tremendously depending on the type of shoe 10.

[0021] With the seam tapes 60, 64, 68, 74 and 80 positioned over the seams 62, 66, 70, 72 and 82, respectively, heat applied through the application of hot air and pressure through a nip roll is then applied to the top of the seam tapes 60, 64, 68, 74 and 80. The heat from the hot air is preselected to soften the adhesive in the seam tapes 60, 64, 68, 74 and 80 without detrimentally affecting any of the desired qualities found in the bootie 100 of the shoe 10. An application of heat preferably ranges from about 150 degrees Celsius (302 degrees Fahrenheit) to about 250 degrees Celsius (482 degrees Fahrenheit) for most applications. A preferred application of pressure is from about 3 kilograms per square centimeter (42.67 pounds per square inch) gauge to about 5 kilograms per square centimeter (71.12 pounds per square inch) gauge such as that applied by a PFAFF.RTM. seam making machine. PFAFF.RTM. is a registered trademark of Pfaff Industrie Maschinen GmbH, having a place of business at K o nigstr. 154, 67655 Kaiserslautern, Germany. However, the applied temperature and pressure are completely dependent on the type of material used for the inner, upper liner 36, the sole liner 40, the threads used to create the seams 62, 66, 70, 72 and 82 or adhesives and the type of material utilized for the seam tapes 60, 64, 68, 74 and 80. By such a process, a solid structural weld is formed that provides at least a liquid impermeable quality in the seams 62, 66, 70, 72 and 82 to virtually the same extent as the remainder of the inner, upper liner 36 and the sole liner 40 with the seams 62, 66, 70, 72 and 82 covered and sealed.

[0022] An illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of seam tape, utilized as seam tapes 60, 64, 68, 74 and 80, includes a three (3) layer MF-12.TM. manufactured by Nisshinbo Industries, Inc., having a place of business at 31-11 Nihonbashi Ningy-ocho 2-chome Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan. A second illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of seam tape, utilized as seam tapes 60, 64, 68, 74 and 80, includes Model 2000 manufactured by Melco Embroidery Systems, having a place of business at 1575 West 124th Avenue, Denver, Colo. 80234. A third illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of seam tape, utilized as seam tapes 60, 64, 68, 74 and 80, includes Model ST-302 manufactured by Bemis Manufacturing Company, having an address at 1 Bemis Way PO Box 717, Shirley Mass. 53085-0901.

[0023] The inner, upper liner 36, either by itself or in conjunction with a plurality of additional layers of textile-type material is liquid impermeable, which provides protection from liquid for the foot. A preferred definition of liquid impermeable is that the inner, upper liner 36 does not leak as indicated by the presence of detectable liquid on the exterior of the inner, upper liner 36 when applied with water having maximum pressure of 36 milibar (0.5 p.s.i.g.) for one (1) minute. An alternative test method is for the inner, upper liner 36, in the form of fabric only, being able to pass the hydrostatic test for textile fabrics, which is a determination of the resistance to liquid penetration established by the International Organization for Standardization under ISO-811. Another applicable, but less recognized, test method is that designated ASTM D751, by the American Society for Testing and Materials. The hydrostatic resistance of the inner, upper liner 36 in the form of fabric only, while supported, is measured in accordance with Section 41 of this Test.

[0024] Preferably, the inner, upper liner 36 is air permeable, which allows the human foot to breathe. Air permeability of the inner, upper liner 36 is defined by the test method designated ASTM D737-96, by the American Society for Testing and Materials. This is preferably measured by a Frazier Air Permeability Tester, a Textest FX 3300 Air Permeability Tester or an equivalent type of testing device. The air permeability needs to provide for air flow of at least 0.03 cubic centimeter per minute per square centimeter at a pressure of a 1.27 centimeter water column (0.05 cubic feet per minute per square foot at a pressure of a 0.5 inch water column) through the inner, upper liner 36. Preferably, there is air flow of at least 0.05 cubic centimeter per minute per square centimeter at a pressure of a 1.27 centimeter water column (0.1 cubic feet per minute per square foot at a pressure of a 0.5 inch water column) through the inner, upper liner 36. More preferably there is air flow of at least 0.15 cubic centimeter per minute per square centimeter at a pressure of a 1.27 centimeter water column (0.3 cubic feet per minute per square foot at a pressure of a 0.5 inch water column) through the inner, upper liner 36 and most preferably there is air flow of at least 0.51 cubic centimeter per minute per square centimeter at a pressure of a 1.27 centimeter water column (1.0 cubic feet per minute per square foot at a pressure of a 0.5 inch water column) through the inner, upper liner 36. As an alternative embodiment, the inner, upper liner 36 is air impermeable, which means there is air flow of less than 0.03 cubic centimeter per minute per square centimeter at a pressure of a 1.27 centimeter water column (0.05 cubic feet per minute per square foot at a pressure of a 0.5 inch water column) through the inner, upper liner 36.

[0025] In addition, the inner, upper liner 36 is moisture vapor transmissive, which allows perspiration and other vapors to exit the inner, upper liner 36 while still remaining impervious to fluids such as water. Liquid vapor permeability or the moisture vapor transmission rate of the inner, upper liner 36 is preferably defined by the test method designated JIS L 1099:1993 by the Japanese Standards Association, which provides for moisture vapor transmission of at least 500 grams per square meter (14.85 ounces per square yard) or more of water (H.sub.2O) vapor in a twenty-four (24) hour period through the inner, upper liner 36. Preferably, at least 9,000 grams per square meter (267.20 ounces per square yard) or more of water (H.sub.2O) vapor in a twenty-four (24) hour period passes through the inner, upper liner 36. More preferably at least 15,000 grams per square meter (445.33 ounces per square yard) or more of water (H.sub.2O) vapor in a twenty-four (24) hour period and most preferably at least 17,000 grams per square meter (504.71 ounces per square yard) or more of water (H.sub.2O) vapor in a twenty-four (24) hour period.

[0026] There are a number of materials that may be utilized for the inner, upper liner 36. The type of material that can be utilized for the inner, upper liner 36 that is liquid impermeable, air permeable and moisture vapor transmissive includes microporous membranes. A first illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of material is EVENT.RTM. Fabric, which is a chemically treated expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (hereinafter also referred to as ePTFE) membrane manufactured by BHA Technologies, Inc., having a place of business at 8800 East 63rd Street, Kansas City, Mo. 64133. A second illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of material is GORE.RTM. CLASSIC.TM., which is also a chemically treated ePTFE membrane manufactured by W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., having a place of business at 555 Paper Mill Road, Newark, Del. 19711. A third illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of material is TETRATEX.RTM., which is also a ePTFE membrane, which may be chemically treated, and is manufactured by the Donaldson Company, Inc., having a place of business at P.O. Box 1299, 1400 West 94th Street, Minneapolis, Minn. 55440-1299. A fourth and fifth illustrative, but nonlimiting, examples of this type of material include SUPOR.RTM. and VERSAPOR.RTM., which are both polysulfone membranes manufactured by Gelman Instrument Company, having a place of business at 600 S. Wagner Road, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48103. A sixth illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of material is PORELLE.RTM., which is a coagulated polyurethane membrane manufactured by Porvair P. L. C. Company, having a place of business at Estuary Road, King's Lynn, Norfolk England PE30 2HS. A seventh illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of material is sold under the trademark MILLIPORE.RTM., which is also a chemically treated ePTFE membrane manufactured by the Millipore Corporation, having a place of business at 80 Ashby Road, Bedford, Mass. 01730. An eighth illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of material is ENTRANT.RTM., which is a coagulated polyurethane membrane manufactured by Toray Kabushiki Kaisha TA Toray Industries, Inc., having a place of business at 2-1, 2-chome, Nihonbashi-Muromachi Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan. A ninth illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of material is a coagulated polyurethane sold by Graboflex under the trademark FOLIO I.TM.. A tenth illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of material is a polyethylene sold under the trademarks ACE-SIL.RTM., FLEX-SIL.RTM., MICROPOR-SIL.RTM., and CELLFORCE.RTM., which are manufactured by Amerace, Microporous Products L. P. having a place of business at 596 Industrial Park Road, Piney Flats, Tenn. 37686.

[0027] A first category of material that can be utilized for the alternative embodiment of the inner, upper liner 36 that is liquid impermeable, air impermeable and moisture vapor transmissive includes nonporous, bicomponent membranes. A first illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of material is GORE-TEX XCR.RTM., which is a bicomponent membrane with a layer of ePTFE and a layer of polyurethane manufactured by W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., having a place of business at 555 Paper Mill Road, Newark, Del. 19711. A second illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of material is TETRATEX.RTM., which is also a bicomponent membrane with a layer of ePTFE and a layer of polyurethane manufactured by Donaldson Company, Inc., having a place of business at P. O. Box 1299, 1400 West 94th Street, Minneapolis, Minn. 55440-1299. A third illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of material is ENTRANT.RTM., which is a bicomponent membrane that includes coagulated polyurethane membrane and a seal coating manufactured by Toray Kabushiki Kaisha TA Toray Industries, Inc., having a place of business at 2-1, 2-chome, Nihonbashi-Muromachi Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan. A fourth illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of material is sold by Graboflex, under the trademark FOLIO II.TM., which is also a bicomponent membrane that includes coagulated polyurethane with a seal coating. A fifth illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of material is PORELLE.RTM., which is also a bicomponent membrane that includes coagulated polyurethane with a seal coating manufactured by Porvair P. L. C. Company, having a place of business at Estuary Road, King's Lynn, Norfolk, England PE30 2HS.

[0028] A second category of material that can be utilized for the alternative embodiment of the inner, upper liner 36 that is liquid impermeable, air impermeable and moisture vapor transmissive includes nonporous, monolithic membranes. A first illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of material is DERMIZAC.TM., which is a monolithic polyurethane membrane manufactured by Toray Kabushiki Kaisha TA Toray Industries, Inc., having a place of business at 2-1, 2-chome, Nihonbashi-Muromachi Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan. A second illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of material is HYTREL.RTM., which is also a monolithic polyurethane membrane, which is manufactured by E. I. Du Pont de Nemours & Company, having a place of business at 1007 Market Street, Wilmington, Del. 19898. A third illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of material is also a monolithic polyurethane membrane manufactured under the trademark DERMAFLEX.TM.. A fourth illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of material is DIAPLEX.TM., which is also a monolithic polyurethane membrane, manufactured by Mitsubishi Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha Ta Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., having a place of business at Marunochi 2-Chome, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo, Japan.

[0029] The sole liner 40 is impervious to both liquid and air. A preferred definition of liquid impermeable is that the sole liner 40 does not leak as indicated by detectable liquid on the exterior of the sole liner 40 when applied with water having maximum pressure of 36 milibar (0.5 p.s.i.g.) for one (1) minute. An alternative test method is for the sole liner 40, in the form of fabric only, being able to pass the hydrostatic test for textile fabrics, which is a determination of the resistance to liquid penetration established by the International Organization for Standardization under ISO-811. Another applicable, but less recognized, test method is that designated ASTM D751, by the American Society for Testing and Materials. The hydrostatic resistance of the sole liner 40 in the form of fabric only, while supported, is measured in accordance with Section 41 of this Test.

[0030] The absence of air permeability of the sole liner 40 is defined by the test method designated ASTM D737-96, by the American Society for Testing and Materials. This is preferably measured by a Frazier Air Permeability Tester, a Textest FX 3300 Air Permeability Tester or an equivalent type of testing device. The air permeability needs to provide for air flow of less than 0.03 cubic centimeter per minute per square centimeter at a pressure of a 1.27 centimeter water column (0.05 cubic feet per minute per square foot at a pressure of a 0.5 inch water column) through the sole liner 40.

[0031] In addition, the sole liner 40 is impervious to moisture vapor transmission. Liquid vapor permeability or the moisture vapor transmission rate of the sole liner 40 is preferably defined by the test method designated JIS L 1099:1993 by the Japanese Standards Association, which provides for less than 500 grams per square meter (14.85 ounces per square yard) of water (H.sub.2O) vapor in a twenty-four (24) hour period through the sole liner 40.

[0032] In addition, the sole liner 40 is preferably inelastic. "Inelasticity" is defined as material that when subjected to a stress-strain test will not provide 100% recovery when deflected more than 10% from the yield point.

[0033] A first category for the type of materials that can be utilized for the sole liner 40 includes inelastic, thermoplastic material, e.g., sheet goods. This can include, but is not limited to: polypropylene; polyethylene; polyester; inelastic polyurethane; nylon; and vinyl. A second category of material for the sole liner 40, includes fiber reinforced polymeric materials. This can include fibers made of: polyester; nylon; polypropylene; polyethylene; rayon; cotton; and the like, as illustrative, but nonlimiting, examples. A third category of material for the sole liner 40, includes all nonthermoplastic material. This can include as illustrative, but nonlimiting, examples: reactive polyurethane; epoxy; styrene; butadiene; acrylic(s); and vulcanized rubber.

[0034] A first nonlimiting, but illustrative, example of this material utilized in the sole liner 40 includes BONTEX.RTM. manufactured by Bontex, Inc., having a place of One Bontex Drive, Buena Vista, Va.24416. A second illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this material utilized in the sole liner 40 includes that manufactured by Foss, Inc., having a place of 380 Lafayette Road, P.O. Box 5000, Hampton, N.H. 03843-5000. A third illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this material utilized in the sole liner 40 is PORELLE.RTM., which is manufactured by Porvair P. L. C. Company, having a place of business at Estuary Road, King's Lynn, Norfolk, England PE30 2HS. A fourth illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this material utilized in the sole liner 40 is PORON.RTM. manufactured by the Rogers Corporation, having a place of business at One Technology Drive, Rogers, Conn. 06263. A fifth illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this material utilized in the sole liner 40 is TEXON.RTM. manufactured by Texon U.S.A., Inc., having a place of business at 400 Research Drive, Wilmington, Mass. 01887 as well as having a place of business at 100 Ross Walk, Leicester, LE4 5BX, England. A sixth illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this material utilized in the sole liner 40 is UPACO.TM. manufactured by Worthen Industries, Inc., having a place of business at 3 East Spit Brook Road, Nashua, N.H. 03060. A seventh illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this material utilized in the sole liner 40 is SOVERE.TM. manufactured by Sovere s.r.l., having a place of business at Via della Metallurgia, 24 37139, Verona, Italy. An eighth illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this material utilized in the sole liner 40 is MOREL.TM. manufactured by Industria Chemica, having a place of business at Gradisca 18, 20151 Milano, Italy. A ninth nonlimiting, but illustrative, example of this material utilized in the sole liner 40 is ALCANTARA.RTM., manufactured by Alcantara S.p.A., having a place of business at 1 Via Mozart, 20122 Milan, Italy. A tenth illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this material utilized in the sole liner 40 is VITA.TM., manufactured by 2001 Giovanni Crespi S.p.A. having a place of business at Via Pasubio, 38 20025 Legnano, Milan, Italy. An eleventh illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of material utilized in the sole liner 40 is Rhenoflex.RTM. manufactured by Rhenoflex GmbH, having a place of business at P.O. Box 150480, 67029 Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Germany. A twelfth illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of material utilized in the sole liner 40 is manufactured by Quinorgan International, having a place of business at Pol gono Industrial Pla d'en coll C/Fresser, 21-23 08110, Montcada i Reixach Spain. A thirteenth illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of material utilized in the sole liner 40 is manufactured by Forestali, having a place of business at Via--Kennedy, 75 20010 Marcallo con Casone MI, Italy. A fourteenth illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of material utilized in the sole liner 40 is manufactured by Bartoli, having a place of business at Via Traversa di Parezzana 12/14/16-1 55061 Carraia Lucca, Italy. A fifteenth illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of material utilized in the sole liner 40 is FOOTLEVERS.RTM. manufactured by Foot Levelers, Inc., having a place of business at 518 Pocahontas Ave. N. E., Roanoke, Va. 24027-2611. A sixteenth illustrative, but nonlimiting, example of this type of material utilized in the sole liner 40 is manufactured by Polymer Dynamics, Inc., having a place of business at 2200 S. 12th Street, Allentown, Pa. 18103.

[0035] The insole 30 is preferred, but optional, and typically includes a wide variety of different materials including foam such as that made of latex and polyurethane. In addition, cellulosic materials, rubbers, nowovens, and the like, can also be utilized. The insole is merely to provide tactile comfort to the foot of the person wearing the shoe 10.

[0036] Although the preferred embodiment of the present invention and the method of using the same has been described in the foregoing specification with considerable details, it is to be understood that modifications may be made to the invention which do not exceed the scope of the appended claims and modified forms of the present invention done by others skilled in the art to which the invention pertains will be considered infringements of this invention when those modified forms fall within the claimed scope of this invention.

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