Shoe having a removable sole and method of use

Boots – shoes – and leggings – Boots and shoes – Convertible from one style or color to another

Reexamination Certificate

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C036S015000, C036S03600C

Reexamination Certificate




The present invention pertains generally to footwear, and in particular to a shoe in which the sole portion may be selectively removed and replaced with another sole portion.
Shoes having replaceable soles are well known in the art. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,377,042 shows athletic footwear having a removable sole. Each upper is designed to fit an individual foot and ankle of a particular wearer and such upper is provided with a securely and permanently connected insole. Each insole terminates along its peripheral margin with one part of a bead-and-recess mechanically detachable locking member. A removable outsole is provided with a surface contacting tread which is selected to not only best match the surface of a particular sports area, but also the condition of such surface at a particular time of use. U.S. Pat. No. 5,317,822 illustrates an athletic shoe with interchangeable wear sole which can be selected to match a specific sport. An upper portion of the athletic shoe is designed for an individual foot of a particular wearer. This upper portion of the athletic shoe contains an attached upper sole which has molded on the bottom surface a plurality of strategically placed protruding resilient knobs, and a protruding edge rail which engages knob chambers and a rail slot located on the upper surface of the wear sole. Hook and loop fasteners such as sold under the trademark VELCRO on the upper sole and wear sole also are engaged. Interlocking devices on the edge of the upper sole and wear sole are pinned together. U.S. Pat. No. 5,353,522 defines a shoe having a removable sole portion. The shoe includes an upper and a sole, the sole including at least one fixed sole portion which fixed sole portion is fixedly attached to the upper. At least one removable sole portion is movable between a first position substantially adjacent to the fixed sole portion and a second position substantially separated from the fixed portion, the removable sole portion extending across the longitudinal axis of the shoe. A hinge apparatus provides a pivotal movement between the shoe and the removable sole portion, whereby the removable sole portion may be moved to the second position to provide access to the interior of the shoe without removal of the shoe from the foot of the wearer. U.S. Pat. No. 5,410,821 discloses a shoe with interchangeable soles. The invention is a sport shoe having a shoe upper with an interior for receiving a human foot and a bottom surface formed thereon, a removable foresole attached to a forward portion of the bottom surface of the shoe upper and having a toe receptacle for fitting against the toe area of the shoe upper, and a strap fastened to one side of the removable foresole and extending over the toe area of the shoe upper so as to removably fasten the foresole to the bottom side of the shoe upper. U.S. Pat. No. 5,615,497 portrays an improved athletic shoe sole with rotatable and replaceable cleats to provide the user with longer wear. The invention also provides the user with the ability to quickly and easily adapt the sole to different desired performance characteristics depending upon the intended activity and terrain or playing surface. U.S. Pat. No. 5,727,334 comprises a safety shoe with high-traction replaceable sole. A shoe having a replaceable sole pad for use by roofers is provided wherein the shoe has a thin lower flexible portion with a sheet or layer of hook fasteners of the hook-and-loop type fastener system disposed on a bottom surface thereof, and wherein a replaceable sole pad is provided having a sheet or layer of the corresponding loop elements provided on the upper surface thereof. The sole pad is constructed of high density, closed-cell foam that provides greatly improved traction on roofing surfaces, thereby improving worker safety, productivity and efficiency, and provides adequate durability to make the shoe with the replaceable soles cost justifiable.
The present invention is directed to a shoe which has an upper designed to fit the foot of a wearer, and a removable lower sole attached to the bottom of the upper. The upper can be fabricated from any conventional footwear material such as leather or canvas in sports, work shoe, dress shoe, and everyday shoe styles. A plurality of interchangeable removable lower soles can be selectively attached to the upper. The lower soles can be suited for a specific activity or sport such as football, baseball, track, hiking, and golf or for general walking. The lower soles can be fabricated from rubber, leather, or plastic, and can contain different bottom configurations such as cleats, spikes, ridges, and grooves or be flat.
The present invention allows the wearer to quickly and easily change the soles on his or her shoes to meet specific needs. The present shoe is ideally suited for those wearers who participate in a number of different indoor and outdoor activities or sports, allowing the same uppers to be used with a number of different removable lower soles, thereby eliminating the need to purchase multiple pairs of expensive shoes.
The present invention provides for the rapid changing of removable lower soles. Only one connector is used to effect the changing of lower soles.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention, a shoe comprises an upper having an upper sole, a heel portion, and a toe portion. The bottom of the upper sole has a plurality of upwardly opening alignment holes. A lock tab is connected to the toe portion and forwardly projects therefrom. A removable lower sole has a heel portion and a toe portion. A rearwardly opening slot is disposed in the toe portion, and is shaped and dimensioned to receive the lock tab. The removable lower sole has a plurality of upwardly protruding alignment pins that are engageable with the alignment holes in the upper sole. A connector selectively connects the heel portion of the upper to the heel portion of the removable lower sole.
In accordance with an important aspect of the invention, the connector includes a pivotable latch disposed upon the heel portion of the upper, and a cooperating bracket disposed upon the heel portion of the removable lower sole.
In accordance with an important feature of the invention, a plurality of removable lower soles are provided, each of the soles having a different bottom configuration.
Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.

patent: 2878595 (1959-03-01), Auber
patent: 3538628 (1970-11-01), Einstein, Jr.
patent: 4363177 (1982-12-01), Boros
patent: 5317822 (1994-06-01), Johnson
patent: 5615497 (1997-04-01), Meschan
patent: 5644857 (1997-07-01), Ouellette et al.
patent: 5661915 (1997-09-01), Smith


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