Title:
Hanger for footwear
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hanger for a pair of sandals includes a pair of substantially rigid, foldable, planar wings, each wing having a support hook integrally formed with an elongate body member and a fold line extending between lateral sides of the body member for separating the support hook from the body member. An end portion of the body member remote from the support hook has a slot formed in one of its lateral sides for defining a laterally opening sandals engaging hook. The wings have substantially identical support hooks, which are arranged in overlapping registry and connected to each other. The wings fold outwardly along the fold lines for defining a cavity therebetween for accommodating a pair of sandals in sole-to-sole facing relationship therewithin, each sandal being supported by its thongs or straps from one of the sandals engaging hooks.



Inventors:
Barker, Gary (Oakland, CA, US)
Low, Michael (Pinole, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/291807
Publication Date:
04/08/2010
Filing Date:
11/13/2008
Assignee:
GreenHeart Global, Inc. (Oakland, CA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F7/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DURHAM, NATHAN E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAW OFFICES OF STUART J. FRIEDMAN (MT. AIRY, MD, US)
Claims:
1. A hanger for a pair of sandals having a sole held to the wearer's foot by straps or thongs, comprising a pair of substantially rigid, foldable, planar wings, each wing comprising a support hook integrally formed with an elongate body member having opposite lateral sides and an end portion remote from said support hook, a first fold line extending between said lateral sides of said body member for separating said support hook from the body member, said remote end portion having a slot formed in one of said lateral sides for defining a laterally opening sandals engaging hook, said sandals engaging hook being adapted for engaging the thongs or straps of one of said pair of sandals, said wings having substantially identical support hooks, said support hooks of said wings being arranged in overlapping registry and connected to each other for forming a double thickness support hook adapted for engaging a suitable clothes or display rod or rack, whereby said wings fold outwardly along said first fold lines for defining a cavity therebetween for accommodating a pair of sandals therewithin, each sandal of the pair of sandals being supported by its thongs or straps from one of the sandals engaging hooks with the sandals in sole-to-sole facing relationship.

2. A hanger, as claimed in claim 1, wherein said support hook is laterally opening.

3. A hanger, as claimed in claim 1, wherein said support hook opens in the same lateral direction as said sandals engaging hook.

4. A hanger, as claimed in claim 1, wherein said support hooks of said wings are adhesively adhered to each other.

5. A hanger, as claimed in claim 1, wherein said wings are formed of paperboard or cardboard.

6. A hanger, as claimed in claim 1, wherein said body member of each said wing includes a second transverse fold line extending between said lateral sides, said second fold line being positioned between said first fold line and said slot, whereby said body members are foldable inwardly toward said cavity along said second fold line for increasing the width of said cavity.

7. A hanger, as claimed in claim 6, wherein said second fold line is substantially parallel to said first fold line.

8. A hanger, as claimed in claim 6, wherein said wings are formed of paperboard or cardboard.

9. A hanger, as claimed in claim 1, wherein said wings are substantially identical.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of pending U.S. application Ser. No. 29/312,245, filed Oct. 8, 2008.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to hangers for footwear and, more particularly, to one hundred percent recyclable hangers formed of paper for hanging sandal-type footwear in sole-to-sole facing relationship.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Sandals are an open type of footwear consisting of a sole held to the wearer's foot by straps or thongs (or other forms of open webbing, herein encompassed by the terms “straps or thongs”) typically passing between the toes, over the arch of the foot and/or around the ankle. Most sandals leave most or all of the foot exposed. Sandals may or may not have a heel, although sandals which are intended to be hung in sole-to-sole facing relationship should have either no heel whatever or only a very low heel. As used herein, the term “sandal” or “sandals” means a type of footwear having a sole which is held to the wearer's foot by straps or thongs and which either has no heel or a very low heel.

Historically shoe retail areas displayed a representative model of each shoe and the inventory of all models and sizes was maintained in a separate storeroom accessible only to store employees. When a customer expressed interest in a particular shoe, a store employee would check the inventory for size and model and deliver the shoe to the customer for fitting. More recently this model of shoe retailing has undergone significant change, in large part to reduce the number of employees needed and to eliminate the time consuming task of retrieving shoes from and returning unsold shoes to a storeroom. In most stores now, the entire inventory of sizes and models are available on the showroom floor and customers help themselves to the model and size of their choice. Shoe retailing via this warehouse style places a premium on shoe display and, in particular, on accessibility and space conservation. Sandals, for example, are frequently displayed in side by side relationship using conventional clip hangers, or other forms of shoe display, which are relatively expensive, and which do not contribute to space efficiency.

Hangers are typically made of wood, metal, paper and/or plastic. Hangers made of wood, metal and/or plastic are often strong but are relatively expensive and difficult to dispose of when broken or otherwise unusable. One advantage of paper hangers is that they can be relatively inexpensively mass produced, as by die cutting, and if formed of semi-rigid sheet paper products, such as paperboard or cardboard, are serviceably durable. Another advantage is that they are easily disposed of and are one hundred percent recyclable.

Hangers which are capable of displaying sandals in a space efficient, sole-to-sole facing relationship, yet which are inexpensive to manufacture and easy to dispose of or recycle when no longer usable would be ideal for use in a warehouse-type shoe retailing environment. However, no such hangers are currently available, although the need for them is well known.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is, therefore, a primary object of the present invention to provide a hanger for a pair of sandals which support the members of the pair in sole-to-sole relationship.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a hanger for a pair of sandals which is inexpensive to manufacture

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a hanger for a pair of sandals which is easy to dispose of and is one hundred percent recyclable.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a hanger for a pair of sandals which is formed of paper products and is, therefore, inexpensive to manufacture and one hundred percent recyclable.

The foregoing and other objects are achieved in accordance with the present invention by providing a hanger for a pair of sandals having a sole held to the wearer's foot by straps or thongs, comprising a pair of substantially rigid, foldable, planar wings, each wing comprising a support hook integrally formed with an elongate body member having opposite lateral sides and an end portion remote from the support hook, a first fold line extending between the lateral sides of the body member for separating the support hook from the body member, the remote end portion having a slot formed in one of the lateral sides for defining a laterally opening sandals engaging hook, the sandals engaging hook being adapted for engaging the thongs or straps of one of the pair of sandals, the wings having substantially identical support hooks, the support hook of the wings being arranged in overlapping registry and connected to each other for forming a double thickness support hook adapted for engaging a suitable clothes or display rod or rack, whereby the wings fold outwardly along the fold lines for defining a cavity therebetween for accommodating a pair of sandals therewithin, each sandal of the pair of sandals being supported by its thongs or straps from one of the sandals engaging hooks with the sandals in sole-to-sole facing relationship.

In another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a hanger for a pair of sandals wherein the body member of each wing includes a second transverse fold line extending between its lateral sides, the second fold line being positioned between the first fold line and the slot, whereby the body members are foldable inwardly toward the cavity along the second fold line for increasing the width of the cavity.

In still another embodiment of the present invention, the wings of the hanger for a pair of sandals is advantageously formed, e.g., by die cutting, from a sheet of semi-rigid, lightweight, durable sheet material, such as paperboard or cardboard, which is one hundred percent recyclable.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an enlarged perspective view of the footwear hanger of the present invention showing the wings of the hanger folded along a first fold line.

FIG. 2 is a right side elevational view of the footwear hanger of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of the footwear hanger of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a left side elevational view of the footwear hanger of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a rear elevational view of the footwear hanger of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the footwear hanger of FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is a bottom plan view of the footwear hanger of FIG. 1.

FIG. 8 is an enlarged perspective view of the footwear hanger of FIG. 1 showing the wings of the hanger also folded along a second fold line.

FIG. 9 is a front elevational view of the footwear hanger of FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is an enlarged perspective view of the footwear hanger of FIG. 1 supporting a pair of sandals in sole-to-sole facing relationship.

FIG. 11 is an enlarged perspective view of the footwear hanger of FIG. 1 supporting a pair of sandals having thick soles in sole-to-sole facing relationship.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIGS. 1-7 there is shown a hanger 10 comprising first and second substantially identical wings 12, 14, each wing having a support hook 16 integrally formed with an elongate body member 18 to form a single planar member. A transverse fold line 20 extending between lateral sides 24, 26 of body member 18 separates the upper end 18a of body member 18 and the lower end of support hook 16. The lower end portion of body member 18 includes a slot 22 formed in one of its lateral sides 24 for defining a laterally opening hook 28 which is engageable with the thongs or straps of sandals. Desirably, hook 28 opens in the same lateral direction as support hook 16, although slot 22 may be formed in the opposite lateral side 26, in which case hook 28 will open in the opposite lateral direction from support hook 16. Hanger 10 is formed by placing the support hooks 16 of the respective first and second wings 12, 14 adjacent and in overlapping registry and connecting them above fold line 20 to create a double thickness, extra strong, support hook 16. Ideally, the double thickness support hook 16 is formed by adhesively adhering the respective support hooks 16 to each other, although other forms of connection, such as stapling, are acceptable. It will be appreciated that only support hooks 16 at and above fold line 20 of each of wings 12, 14 need be substantially identical, although from a manufacturing standpoint, expense is minimized by making wings 12, 14 substantially identical.

Wings 12, 14 may be advantageously formed, e.g., by die cutting, from a sheet of semi-rigid, lightweight, durable sheet material, such as paperboard or cardboard, which is readily recyclable. A semi-rigid cardboard is preferred because it is easily cut into the desired shape, can be readily folded and is easily joined to another piece of cardboard by adhesive or other forms of connection. The hanger 10 formed from this type of material is inexpensive to manufacture yet suitably strong for its intended task. These hangers can be repeatedly used and, when unusable, are readily disposed of by recycling. It will be appreciated that the sheet material may be any semi-rigid, lightweight, durable, readily formed, foldable sheet-like material. Paper products, such as cardboard and paperboard, are preferred because they are readily disposed of by recycling. However, other types of paper products and some plastic sheet materials may be used as well.

Referring to FIGS. 8-11, and initially to FIG. 10, it can be seen that hooks 28 at the free ends of each of wings 12, 14 readily engage with the straps or thongs 52 of each member of the pair of sandals 50 and that as the body members 18 of each wing 12, 14 are folded outwardly, i.e., away from each other, along fold lines 20, a cavity 54 is formed between them for accommodating the sandals in sole-to-sole facing relationship. With the sandals 50 supported from hooks 28, hanger 10 may be readily suspended, using double thickness support hook 16, from a suitable clothes or display rod or rack. Inasmuch as some types of sandals have very thick soles, an additional fold line 30 is formed in each body member substantially parallel to fold line 20 and spaced a short distance downwardly, i.e., towards hook 28, therefrom. As can be seen in FIGS. 8 and 11, each of the body members is able to fold along fold line 30 to increase the width of cavity 54, allowing hanger 10 to accommodate sandals having extra thick soles as well.

While the present invention has been described in terms of specific embodiments thereof, it will be understood that no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design other than as defined in the appended claims.