1970' M. MAYER-RIECKH 3,545,105
SKI BOOT Filed June 10, 1968 INVENTOR maimed my menu ATTORNEY I 15hr!" United States Patent 3,545,105 SKI BOOT Michael Mayer-Rieckh, 11 Lastenstrasse, A-8021 Graz, Austria Filed June 10, 1968, Ser. No. 735,668 Claims priority, application Austria, June 16, 1967, A 5,655/67; Apr. 16, 1968, A 3,694/68 Int. Cl. A43b 23/00 US. Cl. 36-465 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A ski boot wherein at least the upper consists at least in part of a plurality of precut sections of laminated sheet material comprised of a plurality of alternating layers of fabric and natural or synthetic resin. The sheet material sections are warmed to enhance their deformability, and are then press-formed in warmed condition so as to conform to the contour of that part of the foot with which they are to be associated when the boot is completed. They are subsequently maintained under pressure in their deformed state until they have cooled whereupon they are joined into the form of a ski boot.
BACKGROUND OF INVENTION The present invention relates to footwear in general, and more particularly to ski boots. Still more specifically the invention relates to a ski boot and to a method of making the same.
It is well known that ski boots must withstand particularly severe conditions of use, especially the uppers of such boots which must have high mechanical strength and be water-tight. conventionally, such boots are made of leather and, in view of the aforementioned requirements, heavy cowhide is usually used for this purpose. This, however, is expensive and must be subjected to a special treatment in order to make it watertight. Evidently, these are disadvantages to which must be added the fact that the exterior surfaces of boots made from such leather, that is the grained side of the leather, can be easily damaged by the steel edges of skis, by ski bindings, or in other manner and then become aesthetically displeasmg.
Attempts have been made to overcome these problems by molding all or part of the boot upper from rubber or synthetic plastic material, usually in two or more sections which are subsequently joined to one another. Another approach has been to make the upper of one piece by embedding reinforcing fabric in rubber and vulcanizing the resulting blank so as to produce a seamless onepiece upper. Neither approach has been found practical, however, for various reasons of which one is the fact that separate molds must be kept on hand for each of the many different boot sizes. The investment required for this equipment makes the ski boots thus produced at least as expensive as those which are made from cowhide.
It is thus a general object of the present invention to overcome the aforementioned disadvantages.
A more particular object of the present invention is to provide a shoe, particularly a ski boot, which is lighter,
Patented Dec. 8, 1970 less expensive, more Water-tight and more resistant to damage than those known heretofore.
An additional object of the invention is to provide a method for accomplishing the aforementioned purposes.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In pursuance of these and other objects which will become apparent hereafter, one feature of my invention resides in the provision of a shoe, particularly a ski boot, which consists at least in part of a plurality of pre-cut sections which are joined together along respective seams. At least some of these sections consist of laminar material made up of alternating layers of which at least one is a fabric layer and at least one other is a layer consisting of natural or synthetic resin material, such as natural or synthetic rubber or other suitable lastic materials.
The use of such laminar material, wherein one or more layers of fabric alternate with layers of natural or synthetic resin material having a slight extensibility approximating that of leather, makes it possible to form the sections pre-cut from the resulting sheet material in the same manner in which leather can be formed. This makes it possible to use such pre-cuts for constructing a shoe or boot by joining them along respective seams, which may be either stitched, welded or adhesively bonded, and the resulting shoe or boot has all the advantages set forth above as desirable. In other words, the resulting shoe or boot has the advantages over leather shoes or boots which have heretofore been attained by making shoes or boots from synthetic plastic material or vulcanized rubber, but is significantly less expensive to manufacture because it can be produced by resorting to machines con- Nentionally used in the making of leather shoes or boots and obviates the need for investment in forms or molds such as have heretofore been necessary for the making of rubber or synthetic plastic shoes or boots.
In order to make shoes or boots according to the present invention I pre-cut sections from the laminar material which, as pointed out above, consists of one or more layers of fabric embedded between outer layers of natural or synthetic plastic material. The resulting laminar material is a flat sheet material and the sections which are pre-cut therefrom in the manner in which this is generally known in the shoe-making or boot-making art, are subsequently subjected to the influence of elevated temperatures so as to make the resin material readily deformable. Thereupon, the sections are subjected to pressure in press forms and are deformed into a contour corresponding to the contour of that part of the human foot with which they are to be later associated when assembled into a completed shoe or boot. In other Words, the sections may be given a slightly concave configuration, or be otherwise deformed as necessary. They are then maintained under pressure while they cool and, When they are subsequently removed from the press forms, they retain their new shape or contour either completely or at least substantially so that they are then ready for joining in the same manner in which it is accomplished in the manufacture of leather shoes or boots.
The novel features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with additional objects andadvantages thereof, will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FlIG. 1 is a plan view of a pre-cut section prior to deformation;
FIG. 2 is a schematic detail view of a heating arrangement for heating the pre-cut section of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a schematic vertical section through a press form for giving the section of FIG. 1 a desired contour; and
FIG. 4 is an elevation of the pre-cut shown in FIG. 1 after it has undergone treatment in the devices of FIGS. 2 and 3.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The pre-cut section 1 shown in FIG. 1 has been severed in suitable manner, for instance by cutting, stamping or the like, from a sheet of laminar material consisting, as already pointed out earlier, one or more layers of fabric embedded between respective layers of natural or synthetic rubber or other suitable synthetic material. Evidently, it is preferably to use at least two layers of fabric, although a single layer is conceivable, because two layers will provide the high mechanical strength which is desired. This is particularly advantageous if the pre-cut sections are to be joined by stitching. Also, the fabric of course serves to limit the extendibility of the resin material so as to hold this value to that which is conventionally found in the type of leather used for the making of shoes and/ or ski boots.
As already mentioned, the resin material in which the fabric is embedded may be natural rubber, synthetic rubber, synthetic plastic material on the basis of \Isopren, Igelit, polystyrene, acrylic acid ester, as well as others. It is clear that the layer of resin material which is the outside layer, that is the one which is exposed to view on the completed shoe or boot, may be treated in known manner so as to provide a desired surface appearance. For instance, it may be given a simulated grain so as to simulate leather, it may be provided with a pattern, or it may be treated in other desired ways. Providing a simulated grain or pattern has the additional advantage that any damage to the surface, resulting for instance from contact with portions of the ski binding or the like, will not be as readily evident as if the surface is smooth.
'If it is desired to reinforce a given pre-cut section, as for instance the one shown in FIG. 1, the inner side of the respective section may be further reinforced with a layer of suitable material, for instance rubber in synthetic plastic material. This is shown by way of example in FIG. 1 where the pre-cut section 1 is shown to be provided with a bonding agent 2, here assumed to be a thermoplastic bonding agent such as neoprene, onto which a reinforcing layer 3 is placed.
Once this is accomplished, the thus-produced blank is heated. For this purpose the blank consisting of the layers 1, =2 and 3 is placed between two heated platens 4 and 5 each of which is provided with internal heating coils which have been diagrammatically illustrated. This is conventional, as is the fact that the two platens are movable towards and away from one another, or one platen is movable towards and away from the other. In any case, the blank consisting of the layers 1, 2 and 3 is heated to a requisite elevated temperature, for instance on the order of approximately 150 C., rendering the pre-cut section 1 plastic and activating the bonding agent 2.
In the thus heated state the blank 1, 2, 3 is placed into a pre-form such as that shown in FIG. 3. Such preforms are already known and the one shown in FIG. 3
consists of two sections 6 and 7 which are movable towards and away from one another and which are capafble of deforming the blank 1, 2, 3 into the requisite contour corresponding to that part of the human foot with which the deformed pre-cut section is to be asso ciated when it has been assembled with others into a shoe or boot.
In accordance with the present invention the pre-form 6, 7 is advantageously subjected to continuous cooling because this, in conjunction with the preliminary heat treatment outside of the pre-form, makes it possible to obtain a high speed of production. The cooling, which may be effected by circulatin cooling water through the sections 6 and 7 so as to reduce the temperature to only a few degrees centigrade, serves to depress the temperature of the blank 1, 2 and 3 to room temperature quite quickly, thus accelerating production, and during such cooling of the blank the laminar material of the pre-cut section 1 loses the increased plasticity originally imparted to it by the heating step. At the same time, the bonding agent 2' also hardens and the reinforcing layer 3, which may be rubber, leather or another suitable material as already pointed out, is tightly bonded with the deformed pre-cut section 1. When the cooling is completed the resulting deformed blank is demoved from the press form 6, 7 and will retain its new shape completely or at least substantially completely. The configuration of the thus-obtained deformed blank is shown in FIG. 4 in a view of the exterior of the blank.
The various deformed blanks which together constitute a shoe or boot, or a part thereof, are then joined in conventional manner by means of stitched seams, welded seams, or bonded seams.
It will be appreciated that various modifications are possible from the exemplary embodiments. Thus, it is particularly advantageous if the laminar material from which the pre-cut sections are made, consists of vulcanized fabric and rubber layers. It will also be appreciated thatthe reinforcing layer 3 can be made from the various materials already mentioned, and that it not only serves to reinforce the pre-cut section 1, but also serves to retain the same in the deformed shape thereof by preventing it from returning to planar state.
It will be understood that each of the elements described above, or two or more together, may also find a useful application in other types of constructions diifering from the types described above.
While the invention has been illustrated and described as embodied in a ski boot and a method of making the same, it is not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.
Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention that others can by applying current knowledge readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that, from the standpoint of prior art, fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic or specific aspects of this invention and, therefore, such adaptations should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalence of the following claims.
What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is set forth in the appended claims:
1. In a ski boot, an upper consisting at least in part or a plurality of precut sections joined together along respective seams, at least some of said sections consisting of laminar material comprising at least two fabric layers, at least one layer of resin material intermediate said fabric layers, and at least two outer layers outwardly adjacent to the respective fabric layers with at least one of said outer layers also consisting of resin material.
2. In a ski boot as defined in claim 1, wherein said resin material is natural rubber.
3. In a ski boot as defined in claim 1, wherein said resin material is synthetic rubber.
4. In a ski boot as defined in claim 1, wherein said resin material is a polystyrene-based resin.
5. In a ski boot as defined in claim 1, wherein said resin material is an acrylic-acid-ester-based resin.
6. In a ski boot as defined in claim 1, wherein said resin material is Isopren.
7. In a ski boot as defined in claim 1, wherein said resin material is lgelit.
8. In a shoe as defined in claim 1, wherein the other of said outer layers also consists of resin material.
9. In a shoe as defined in claim 1, wherein at least said outer layer of said resin material is provided with a simulated grain.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,245,466 6/1941 Dawes 36-46.5 5 2,254,228 9/1941 Lovell 3646.5 2,955,366 10/1960 Zuckerman 36-465 3,190,015 6/1965 Binder et al 362.5 3,273,263 9/1966 Klima 36--2.5 3,402,411 9/1968 Hanson l2142 PATRICK D. LAWSON, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.Rt 362.5 1