FIG. 1 shows an embodiment of the article of footwear according to the present invention, particularly a boot; reference numeral 1 denotes an upper comprising a front foot portion 101 and two rear leg portions 20; the three portions 101, 201 of the upper 1 are coupled to each other by means of stitches 3 which are covered with a strip 103 of a waterproof film. Holes 211 are formed on both the leg portions 201 at the open end of the boot, near the outlet edge thereof, and such holes are provided with reinforcement eyelet rings 221.
FIG. 2 shows the boot as shown in FIG. 1, in which like reference numerals refer to like parts; FIG. 2 shows a sole 2 and a ribbon-like member 4 whose ends will be passed through the holes 211 and fixed in position.
FIG. 3 shows cut-shaped waterproof material portions which are used in the process of manufacturing the article of footwear according to the present invention; as already mentioned above, the upper 1 is made up of the cut-shaped foot portion 101 and the two cut-shaped leg portions 201 which will be assembled as described hereinbelow. FIG. 4 shows the first stage of the method according to the invention; the two cut-shaped waterproof material portions 201 are coupled to each other by means of a zigzag stitch 3; FIG. 5 shows the subsequent step, in which the stitch 3 is covered with the waterproof film strip 103. The film is attached to the waterproof material of the upper by hot-welding; alternatively, the film can be provided with a layer of a thermal adhesive material. The waterproof film strip 103 of the embodiment shown in the figure is about three times the stitch of choice in width; strips of different width can be used according to the type of stitch and the material of the upper, and generally the width is preferably at least twice the width of the stitch in order to ensure a more effective waterproofness.
FIGS. 6A to 6C show how the boot of FIG. 1 can be easily folded by wrapping the leg portion 201 around the foot portion 101; in the figures, the ribbon-like member 4 is passed through the holes 211. As seen in FIGS. 7A to 7D, the ribbon-like member can be positioned around the boot wrapped in the manner shown in FIG. 6C, resulting in a greatly decreased volume occupied by the boot, and a stability of such wrapping state.
Therefore, the so-designed article of footwear has several advantages compared to the prior art. Firstly, the manufacture of the article of footwear according to the method of the present invention ensures an increased durability of the stitches without using extremely complicated or expensive procedures. The waterproofing of the stitches allows the article of footwear to be made according to the usual and proven construction rules of the art without denaturalizing the morphological and aesthetic features of the shoe in order to make it waterproof. The upper of the article of footwear of the invention can consist of any number of pieces, starting from one piece and one stitch to connect it, and the adopted stitches can be zigzag, straight or internal pinch stitches. The only important thing is that each stitch is coated with a waterproof film which is applied to the outward face thereof.