Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Definitive Guide: 15 Ways to Store the Shoes

pile of shoes

Shoes piled up in the entranceway? Mudroom? Bedroom? Here's a pretty comprehensive list of the many ways of dealing with shoe storage - for those with just a few pairs, or quite a lot. In each category, I'm showing just some of the many options.

walnut shoe rack

1. Shoe racks

Here are a few alternatives to give you an idea of the range of options:
- Woodlore modular shoe rack
- Walnut wooden shoe rack (shown above)
- Cedar shoe racks
- Metro shoe racks
- Skohyllor (Swedish for shoe racks) from Mio in Sweden
- Shoe rack from Side by Side in Germany

shoe cubbies

2. Shoe Cubbies

These can be built into a closet system, or they can be freestanding. The picture above comes from Cubbies Unlimited; Organize-It sells seven different cubbies.

Update on Nov. 25, 2008: You can also get acrylic shoe divider cubbies from Custom Inserts.

stacked shoe boxes, one pulled out

3. Shoe boxes on a shelf (or the closet floor)

You could use the boxes your shoes came in, or in boxes from:
- Shoe Stör [via Mighty Goods]
- Shoebby
- KangaRoom / Great Useful Stuff
- Closet Fetish [via organizer Geralin Thomas]
- Gracienne (Cleary Glam boxes) [via OrganizingLA]
- The Container Store

NeatContainers sort of fits into this category, too.

Nov. 24 update: I should make this category shoe boxes and shoe drawers. As organizer Ilene Drexler said: "I think you missed my hands-down favorite: the men's size shoe drawers from The Container Store. They slide in & out with the greatest of ease, are crystal clear plastic & are roomy enough for all types of women's shoes. Expensive but worth every penny!"

Jan 2, 2014 update: The Closet Fetish website has disappeared.

shoes on slanted shelves in closet

4. Shelves, without the boxes

To see how one person used shelves for shoes, take a look at Apartment Therapy. (And here are more Apartment Therapy pictures.) Or you could use a bookcase, as shown in Domino. Charles & Marie point us to a shoe shelf from 659 Design. And shelves for shoes are a common option used in closet systems - such as the one from Econize Closets, shown above. Update on Jan. 20, 2012: 659 Design seems to have disappeared, as has Domino magazine.

paisley over door shoe tidy

5. Over-the-door shoe bags (or pocket organizers) - which could be hung other places, too.

The Container Store and Organize-It have a number of options. Room It Up has some for those who prefer patterns. In the UK, Cath Kidston has a pretty hanging shoe tidy, shown above. Update on May 23, 2011: The Cath Kidston web site is no longer showing this style of shoe tidy.

over door shoe rack

6. Over-the-door shoe racks

Organizer Ilene Drexler pointed me to the over-the-door shoe rack at, shown above.

shoe bag hanging from closet rod

7. Shoe bags (or racks) that hang from a closet rod

The Container Store has a number of these, including some made from bamboo or recycled materials. Lorie Greiner has a couple options, one for just shoes and one for shoes and sweaters. Tiny Living and Room It Up have colorful options. John Lewis is one source in the U.K. And the picture above shows a product sold by Hold N Storage.

Organize-It has a shorter version that works with double-hanging closet rods. [via Real Simple]

And Perfect Curve has a shoe rack that hangs from the rod - available at Organize-It and a number of other places. [via Harriet Schechter in the San Diego Union-Tribune]

Updates on Sept. 28, 2009, May 23, 2011, Jan. 29, 2012 and Sept. 13, 2012: Room It Up has disappeared. Lorie Greiner no longer sells this type of organizer, either. And, unfortunately, Tiny Living has closedThe Perfect Curve shoe rack is no longer available at Organize-It, but it can be found other places, such as hereYou can also find this style of shoe tidy at Cath Kidston.

under bed shoe storage

8. Under-bed shoe storage

Get Organized sells the under-bed shoe organizer shown above, as well as an under-bed shoe trolley. has an under-bed shoe storage bag. Update on Feb. 13, 2012: Get Organized no longer sells either of these products. However, you can find the pictured under-bed shoe organizer here

revolving shoe tree

9. Revolving shoe trees

The 4-tier revolving shoe tree above is made by Whitney Designs. Polder has 3-tier and 2-tier options. Update on Sept 29, 2009 and May 23, 2011: Products once sold by Whitney Designs are now sold by Household Essentials. Search for shoe to find these products on the Polder site.

tilt out shoe storage cabinet

10. Shoe cabinets, chests, cupboards and tansu

Tilt-out shoe storage cabinets like the one shown above are a space-saving option. But there are plenty of other options, including the Team7 hallway shoe cabinet, the many options from Homebase, the ottoman shoe chest, the shoe chest from Horchow, and the shoe storage tansu from Berkeley Mills.

shoe bench

11. Shoe benches

The lovely shoe bench above comes from NHWoodworking. Tilt-out shoe benches are another option. And other shoe benches have cubbies, like this bamboo bench. Update on Sept. 28, 2009: That bamboo bench (which was sold by Design Public) is no longer available. But I see I neglected to point to the beautiful shoe benches by Woodistry, which I've mentioned before.

elfa shoe rack

12. Elfa

If you're using an elfa system, you can include the Easy Hang shoe rack shown above, which is meant for shoes with heels. [via Apartment Therapy]

There's also the Hangmate shoe rack, which hangs on the side of any elfa drawer system.

13. Repurposed items: coat hooks, magazine racks and roll-out shelves

Apartment Therapy shows how a coat rack could be used for shoes. A wall-mounted magazine rack could also be used for shoes. And roll-out shelves like you often see in kitchens can store shoes, too.

14. Baskets and Trays

For some people (like Nancy Sabina and Mamacita), a simple basket works just fine. And for some, a tray works just fine.

shoe stacker

15. One-of-a-kind products

And then there are the products that defy classification. I've mentioned some of these before: the Rakku shoe wheel, the Hotel Box, the shoe storage built into a staircase, the flip-flop storage (and the stilettos hanging from a picture rail), the wall-mounted shoe racks from j-me and Charlotte Tangye Design and the Brookstone cubbies.

But the shoe stacker shown above is a new one for me - thanks to John Trosko at OrganizingLA. Update on Jan. 29, 2012: I'm no longer finding this product being sold.

OK, folks - did I miss anything?

Update: For more shoe storage ideas, see these later posts:
But How Do I Store the Boots?
Stashing the Shoes: Yet More Options
Fancy-Schmancy Shoe Storage for Your Closet
Storing Shoes of All Shapes and Sizes

[shoe pile photo from Dan Dickinson]


Anonymous said...

I don't think you missed anything - your posts are always so comprehensive! Thanks Jeri! You certainly keep the bar high for us bloggers (can you please write that book?!)

While we're talking shoe storage, or by the front door storage, thought I'd briefly mention this IKEA hacker concept I've been desperately in love with for a looooong time ... ooooooooooooohhhhhh love everything about this!

Jeri Dansky said...


Thanks for the pointer to the IKEA hack.

And thank you for pushing me on the book. The idea is still very much alive, but I need to make it come to fruition in 2009.

Cynthia Friedlob said...

Major league comprehensive info about shoe storage!

But I've never figured out why some people (especially us females) seem to want so many shoes. I must not have the shoe gene.

Also, you have another vote here to write a book. Heaven help the poor person who has to clear rights for all the photos, but what a fabulous book it would be!

Jeri Dansky said...

Cynthia, Lissanne gave me a great idea for how I might structure a book; now I just need to make the time to do it!

Miina said...

Wow! Plenty of options to choose from :)
Do you have some advice how to manage combat boots, specially knee-high ones? Me and lot of my friends have those, so when they come to visit, my hallway looks like some boot-factory exploded there, and in winter it gets really messy with all the snow melting. Normal shoe racks are simply not high enough :S

Jeri Dansky said...

Miina, here's the post on boots - I should have shown it as a Related Post. I'll go back and do that.

Miina said...

Thanks, this wall-mounted boot rack for wellies is probably that I need :D

Theresa said...

Thanks Jerri for your extremely helpful post. Probably the biggest issue us women have are storing our heels. I really want to try those "Space Savers" to organize your shoes one on top of the other. Simple yet brilliant idea!

Jeri Dansky said...

I'm glad you found this useful, Theresa. If you try the shoe stackers, please let me know how they work!

Beverley in Rockridge said...

I store shoes in cartons that were once used for wine. The "cubbies"? you show look like a more elegant alternative. I place the boxes on the shelf above my closet rod.

Those closet organizers show so few garments! I use six-garment hangers and have a rodful of them, mostly t-shirts, turtle necks, blouses. Then some pants hangers, some two-piece items and a few dresses. I have yet to see an "organized closet" that could hold so much. (But I have a friend with a new house in which she has a walk in closet with a clothes rack that moves electrically in an oval, rather like what some dry cleaners have.

Anyway, I mainly wanted to share the "wine carton" idea.

Jeri Dansky said...

Thanks for sharing, Beverley; it's good to remember there are low-cost (and green) alternatives to buying specialty storage products.

goldfine said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and I have to say that I have recently discovered the magic that is the shoe organizer. My shoes used to be a chaotic mess on the floor of my clost which worked okay...until our new dog came along and decided to pare down my collection with his sharp little teeth. Actually, having him has made me be tidier because anything left out gets shredded! And I'm finding that I really like the over-the-door model that I have because I can see all my shoes and I never lose them!