Title:
Footwear rack
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rack designed to vertically store footwears over one another and to collect water, sand, mud and/or any other debris falling therefrom while avoiding spillage of footwear stored on lower levels.



Inventors:
Belanger, Patrick (St-Constant, CA)
Belanger, Eric (Legardeur, CA)
Application Number:
11/250522
Publication Date:
05/04/2006
Filing Date:
10/17/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
211/90.03
International Classes:
A47F7/08
View Patent Images:
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20080230409FLORAL STAND, FRAME KIT AND CONTAINER AND METHOD OF USESeptember, 2008Elfezouaty



Primary Examiner:
MAGUIRE, LINDSAY M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT CANADA LLP (MONTREAL, QC, CA)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A footwear rack designed to collect in a container, any liquid, mud, sand and/or impurities that may drip away from a plurality of footwears disposed in said rack, said footwear rack comprising: a container and grid means on top of said container, said grid means being designed to support at least one footwear and allow matter dripping out therefrom to accumulate in said container, a hanger connected to said container, at least one grid shaped footwear shelf on said hanger, and gutter means for each said shelf, said gutter means arranged to receive dripping matter that escapes from at least one additional footwear and transfer same to said container without contacting any footwear disposed below.

2. A footwear rack according to claim 1, wherein said hanger is a substantially vertical hanger.

3. Footwear rack according to claim 2, wherein said container is rectangular.

4. Footwear rack according to claim 3, wherein said hanger is in the form of a substantially vertical rectangular box having an inner space therein defined by a front face and a rear face.

5. Footwear rack according to claim 4, wherein said mounting means comprises: in said front face of said box shaped hanger, at least one pair of hook engaging holes, said holes being formed in said front face; in said at least one shelf, at an inner end thereof, downwardly extending hooks, said hook being removably engageable in said hook engaging holes; and in said gutter means, a stopper for engagement against said front face.

6. Footwear rack according to claim 4, wherein said mounting means comprises: in said front face of said box shaped hanger, at least one pair of hook engaging holes, said holes being formed in said front face; in said at least one shelf, at an inner end thereof, downwardly extending hooks, said hook being removably engageable in said hook engaging holes; and receiving clip provided inside the box shaped hanger for receiving the downwardly extending portion of at least one hook and cooperating with this latter to keep the shelf substantially horizontal.

7. Footwear according to claim 5, wherein said front face of said box shaped hanger is also formed with a substantially horizontal slot that is disposed below each said at least one pair of hook engaging holes, said gutter means comprising a downwardly inclined flat member for each said at least one shelf and disposed below same, said flat member having an upper end connected to an outer end of said shelf and a lower end extending through said slot into said inner space.

8. Footwear according to claim 6, wherein said front face of said box shaped hanger is also formed with a substantially horizontal slot that is disposed below each said at least one pair of hook engaging holes, said gutter means comprising a downwardly inclined flat member for each said at least one shelf and disposed below same, said flat member having an upper end connected to an outer end of said shelf and a lower end extending through said slot into said inner space.

9. Footwear rack according to claim 6, which comprises means allowing communication between said inner space and said container.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

(a) Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a footwear rack. More particularly, the present invention is concerned with a device for cleanly and neatly storing boots or overshoes especially during winter or periods of bad weather, when water, mud salt and all kind of impurities accumulate on the footwear and may dirty the shoe storage area.

(b) Description of Prior Art

Winter and bad weather conditions generally cause footwear to be wet or soiled by mud, salt and the like, which leads to spillage on floors especially in public buildings, and even at home.

To avoid extensive cleaning, public and private buildings often comprise an area where shoes, shoes covers or boots can be left by their users. However, footwear storage areas have generally to be wide since vertical storage of boots, shoes, cover shoes or the like would normally causes spillage on footwears stored on lower levels.

To alleviate this problem, the prior art discloses footwear racks designed to store shoes or boot over one other. For example, racks for storing footwear are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 1,661,098 to Side, U.S. Pat. No. 1,810,308 to Wandeler, U.S. Pat. No. 3,762,573 to Collins and Collins, U.S. Pat. No. 4,200,993 to Blanc and Jorcin, U.S. Pat. No. 3,587,864 to Delisle, U.S. Pat. No. 3,311,242 to Miklya and U.S. Pat. No. 4,997,093. Although solutions have been proposed to alleviate spillage on floors with soiled footwear, none of the solutions proposed in the prior art provides a means for vertically storing shoes or boot, while preventing footwears stored at upper levels to soiled those stored at lower levels, and being easily adaptable to variable shoe dimensions and avoiding any damage to footwears.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One aim of the present invention is to provide a footwear rack designed to collect in a container any liquid, mud, sand and/or impurities that may drip away from a plurality of footwears disposed in the rack.

According to a general aspect of the present invention, there is provided a footwear rack comprising a container and grid means on top of the container, the grid means to support at least one footwear and allow matter dripping out therefrom to accumulate the said container. The rack further comprises a vertical hanger connected to the container, at least one grid shaped footwear shelf on the vertical hanger and gutter means for each shelf, the gutter means being arranged to receive dripping matter that escapes from at least one additional footwear placed on the shelf and transfer same to the container without contacting any footwear disposed below.

More particularly, the invention relates to a footwear rack designed to collect in a container, any liquid, mud, sand and/or impurities that may drip away from a plurality of footwears disposed in said rack, said footwear rack comprising:

    • a container and grid means on top of said container, said grid means being designed to support at least one footwear and allow matter dripping out therefrom to accumulate in said container,
    • a hanger connected to said container,
    • at least one grid shaped footwear shelf on said hanger, and
    • gutter means for each said shelf, said gutter means arranged to receive dripping matter that escapes from at least one additional footwear and transfer same to said container without contacting any footwear disposed below.

Advantageously, said hanger may have various orientations as far as it permits to hang shelf(s) thereon. Preferably, said hanger may be a substantially vertical hanger, and more preferably said hanger may be a substantially vertical rectangular box having an inner space therein defined by a front face and a rear face.

Advantageously, said container may have any appropriate geometric shape. Preferably, said container may be rectangular.

Advantageously, said mounting means may consist of any appropriate means to mount a shelf on a support (i.e. hanger). Preferably, said mounting means may comprise:

    • in said front face of said box shaped hanger, at least one pair of hook engaging holes, said holes being formed in said front face;
    • in said at least one shelf, at an inner end thereof, downwardly extending hooks, said hook being removably engageable in said hook engaging holes; and
    • in said gutter means, a stopper for engagement against said front face.

Alternatively, said mounting means may comprise:

    • in said front face of said box shaped hanger, at least one pair of hook engaging holes, said holes being formed in said front face;
    • in said at least one shelf, at an inner end thereof, downwardly extending hooks, said hook being removably engageable in said hook engaging holes; and
    • in said gutter means, a stopper for engagement against said front face.

Advantageously, said front face of said box shaped hanger may be also formed with a substantially horizontal slot that is disposed below each said at least one pair of hook engaging holes, said gutter means comprising a downwardly inclined flat member for each said at least one shelf and disposed below same, said flat member having an upper end connected to an outer end of said shelf and a lower end extending through said slot into said inner space.

Advantageously, said means allowing communication between said inner space and said container may be of any appropriate kind.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings, showing by way of illustration, preferred embodiments thereof, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a footwear rack according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of a shelving device according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a top perspective view of the shelving device shown in FIG. 2; and in FIG. 1,

FIG. 4 is a side view of the footwear rack according to line IV-IV of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a top perspective view of a variation of the shelving device shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 6 is a side view of the footwear rack according to line IV-IV in FIG. 2 with a shelf of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a top perspective view of another variation of the shelving device shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 8 is a side view of the footwear rack according to line IV-IV in FIG. 2 with a shelf of FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is a front view of the shelving device of FIG. 2.

FIG. 10 is a partial view of an alternative means for mounting a shelf of FIG. 2 without the stopper 48.

It will be noted that throughout the appended drawings, like features are identified by like reference numerals.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to the drawings, more particularly FIGS. 1 to 3, a footwear rack 1 designed to collect liquid mud, sand, dust or any impurity found on shoes, boots, ski boots or any footwear will be described. Rack 1 generally comprises a hollow rear wall 3, a base 5, at least one shelving device 7 and a container 9.

Hollow rear wall 3 has the general shape of a rectangular box vertically positioned and comprising a front face 11, a rear face 13 and a top face 15 (FIG. 1). Base 5 generally defines a rectangular box horizontally positioned and adopted for resting on the floor or any other horizontal surface. Base 5 comprises a bottom face 17 and a top face 19 and is connected by its rear extremity 21 to the lower extremity 23 of rear face 13 of wall 3, in a manner that the base 5 and wall 3 assembly defines a L-shaped member. Wall 3 and base 5 are connected by L-shaped side panels 25a, 25b that constitute simultaneously the side faces of the wall and base assembly. Front face 11 and rear face 13 of wall 3 extend from top face 15 until reaching top face 19 and bottom face 17, respectively, so that the wall and base assembly create a L-shaped hollow box. Front face 11 of rear wall 3 comprises hook-anchoring holes 41a, 41b and longitudinal slot 43 horizontally disposed under hook-anchoring holes 41a, 41b, the longitudinal slot 43 and holes 41a,41b being designed to accommodate shelving means 7. As shown any number if hook-anchoring holes and slots may be provided depending on the intent of the designer.

Shelving device 7 comprises a shelf 29 and a gutter 31, angularly adjoined by their respective front edges 33 and 35 (FIGS. 2 and 3). Shelving device 7 may optionally comprise end panels 51 or 53 (shown in FIGS. 5 and 7), to help avoiding water and falling debris from escaping at the side extremities of gutter 31, as it will be described in details hereinafter. Rear edge 37 of shelf 29 comprises downwardly extending anchoring hooks 39a,39b designed to be inserted into anchoring holes 41a, 41b and maintain shelf 29 in a generally horizontal position while rear edge 45 of gutter 31 is inserted into longitudinal slot 43 (FIG. 4) and at least one stopper 48 (see FIGS. 2 to 4 and 9) engages the front face 11 as shown. A skilled artisan will understand that multiple shelving device 7 may be mounted on a same footwear rack 1. Shelf 29 accommodates shoes, boots or other footwear 46 and preferably consists of a grid material, such as metal grid, plastic grid, fiberglass grid or any perforated panel allowing the passage of water or debris falling from footwear onto gutter 31 (FIG. 3). The same grid material may also be used to fabricate top face 19 of base 5 to provide additional storage space on footwear rack 1 (FIG. 1).

Optionally, the stopper 48 may be replaced by end panels 51 or 53. Alternatively, a clip 55 may provided with fixing means allowing to fix it (by any appropriate means including for example a layer of glue 56 and/or fastener(s) such as for example screw(s) 57) inside hollow near wall 3 to removably receive anchoring hooks 39a, 39b. In that case, stopper 48 may be present or not, depending on the charge to be applied on the shelf. Cavity 61 may be defined by a portion of wall 11 and clip 55. An anchoring hook 39a or 39b can removably engages the cavity 61 or can be removed therefrom according to arrow appearing in FIG. 10. Preferably, the clip may make an integral part of the wall 11 and then no fixing means are required.

Container 9 has preferably the shape of a drawer that is slidably mounted in base 5 through opening 27. Container 9 preferably extends from opening 27 to rear face 13 of rear wall 3, to ensure that matter falling within cavity 47 of rear wall 3 will end into container 9, as it will be described in more details hereinafter. A person skilled in the art will however understand that any container, removable or not, that may serve the purpose of the present invention can be used.

In use (see FIG. 4), footwear 46 are stored on shelf 29. Water sand or the like fall from footwear onto gutter 31 through grid 29 or panel's perforations provided in the defined by top face 19, where gravity causes them to naturally fall along angled gutter 31, through longitudinal slot 43, into cavity 47 of rear wall 3 and to finally end into container 9. Debris falling from shoes or boots stored on perforated or grid face 19 of base 5 fall directly into container 9. To avoid water, sand, mud or the like to escape from the sides of gutter 31, panels or flanges may be provided on both side of gutter 31. Alternatively, gutter 31 can be angled so that fluids and solid particles migrate to the center of gutter 31 while falling thereon.

While the invention has been described with particular reference to the illustrated embodiment, it will be understood that numerous modifications thereto will appear to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, the above description and accompanying drawings should be taken as illustrative of the invention and not in a limiting sense.