Shoes are an essential part of a wardrobe and often become clutter near the entryway or at the bottom of a closet. In addition to those who solely own practical footwear, shoe lovers and sneakerheads are frequently on the hunt for the latest styles and colors to complete their collections or pair with favorite outfits. After a while, finding a place to store or display all those shoes can become a challenge.
While some collectors display shoes in a way that rivals a work of art, many turn to closets to store shoes. Most closets are relatively small—the standard size is 8 feet high, 6 feet wide, and just 2 feet deep. When factoring in clothing, bedding, and everything else that goes in a closet, that doesn’t leave much room for shoes. The solution to maxing out space and keeping footwear tidy? A shoe organizer.
The best shoe organizer will fit neatly into the space available in a closet or bedroom or serve as a display case. It may offer cubbies, pockets, or slots to store shoes. Ahead, learn more about what’s available in today’s shoe organizers, and find out why the following options are well suited to solving the shoe storage dilemma.
- BEST OVERALL: Blissun 7 Tier Shoe Rack Storage Organizer, 36 Pairs
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Whitmor Hanging Shoe Shelves – 8 Section – Closet
- BEST STACKABLE: Seseno 10 Pack Shoe Storage Boxes, Clear Plastic
- BEST OPEN RACK: Seville Classics 3-Tier Expandable 24-Pair Shoe Rack
- BEST OVER-THE-DOOR: KEETDY Fabric Over The Door Shoe Rack for Closets
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Shoe Organizer
Rooms and closets vary in style, size, and contents, so the best shoe organizer for one person may not be adequate for another. In general, the organizer should feature ample room to hold all of the user’s shoes without taking up an excessive amount of space. Many may desire to keep shoes neatly tucked away in closets, under beds, or on the backs of doors, while some want to put prized shoes prominently on display. Sometimes this means combining different types or styles of organizers.
Not only do shoes organizers vary by size, but they also vary by type and style. Some are designed to look good, while others are strictly functional.
- Freestanding: This type of shoe rack has been around for decades and resembles a wire rack with two, three, or more tiers. Typically, each tier is a slightly sloped shelf with a drop-down ledge at the back where the heel of a shoe fits to keep it from sliding off the shelf.
- Cubbies: Available in a wide range of sizes, shoe cubbies are cabinets made with several open boxes that allow users to insert a single pair of shoes into each box or cubby.
- Cabinets: This type of shoe organizer can feature interior shelves or cubbies. The difference is that the storage area is concealed behind a set of cabinet doors, making the unit seem more like furniture.
- Benches: Often positioned in an entryway or mudroom, a shoe organizer bench features two or three rows of low cubbies and a flat surface on top for sitting. Combining both a bench and cubbies makes it easy to take shoes off and slip them in a cubby rather than leave them on the floor as a tripping hazard.
- Open: This shoe storage option can be freestanding or built into a closet as a permanent fixture. It may feature cubbies or shelves, but it will not be covered with a cabinet door.
- Closed: For concealing shoes, a closed organizer keeps them out of view. It could take the form of a bench with a fold-down door, a cabinet, opaque storage bins, or any other type of shoe organizer that closes to hide its contents.
- Hanging: Some of the best space-saving organizers are hanging models. They may resemble a narrow column of cubbies that hang from a rod in the closet or panels with multiple pockets that hang over the back of the closet door.
- Built-in: Many shoe connoisseurs may have dreams of a custom built-in shoe organizing solution. Some may want a walk-in closet big enough to hold a multitude of built-in shelves or cubbies for shoes. Unfortunately, most off-the-shelf built-in organizers aren’t very large, but they often can be combined.
- Under-bed: When space is really at a premium, an under-bed shoe organizer might be just the ticket. These low-profile organizers are often made of heavy-duty plastic and come with a lid. They’re well suited to storing out-of-season shoes, leaving room in the closet for the ones being worn right now.
Size and Available Space
Shoes start to take up space quickly—the average cubby is 8 by 8 inches square and typically 12 to 16 inches deep. This size will hold one or more pairs of adult dress shoes or athletic shoes. Compact cubbies may be only 5 inches wide, usually wide enough for dress shoes, but hiking boots may not fit. For storing taller knee-length boots and equestrian boots, the best choice may be cabinet or cubby-type organizers that come with adjustable-height shelves that can be raised or removed to expand the size of individual cubbies.
Before choosing any type of shoe organizer, consider how many shoes need to be stored and how much space is available in a closet or other room. Low shelves and a couple of rows of cubbies will often fit along the bottom of a closet wall under a rack of hanging clothes, and they’re usually no more than 24 inches high. Under-bed organizers are generally no higher than 6 inches tall, so they will slide easily beneath a standard box spring.
Combining Storage Features
Today’s families have multiple storage needs, and several types of shoe storage units are designed to hold other items as well.
- Stackable: Readily available as plastic, wood, or fabric-covered boxes, stackable shoeboxes are typically about 12 inches deep by 15 inches wide and about 7 inches high. They can hold a couple of pairs of adult shoes or multiple pairs of toddler shoes. They stack atop one another for a uniform look.
- Entryway options: In addition to an entry bench with cubbies beneath, multiple styles of entryway furniture are available to organize shoes and offer more storage room. Often based on a traditional hall tree design, they may feature a chair or bench, shelves or cubbies for shoes, an umbrella holder, or a tall back with hooks to hold coats, hats, and scarves.
- Seasonal shoe storage: When summer arrives, there’s no reason to use the entryway or mudroom for snow boots. Seasonal shoe storage units are often made from fabric-covered, fold-up shelving with a zip-up dust cover to store shoes and keep them dust-free until the next time they’re needed.
Our Top Picks
To qualify as a top pick, a shoe organizer is sturdy, durable, and offers ample shoe-holding space. Ultimately, getting the right organizer is a matter of personal taste and depends largely on how many shoes will be stored, whether the user is looking for protection as well as organization, and how much available space is needed to house the organizer. The following picks are organized by category, and one of these may be perfect to suit your specific shoe storage needs.
With seven individual tiers, the Blissun Shoe Rack Organizer will hold up to 36 pairs of shoes, making it well suited to those looking for easy access to multiple pairs of shoes. The storage unit is 45.3 inches wide, stands 43.3 inches high, and is 11 inches deep. The frame features steel tubing with plastic connectors and plastic shelves. The entire organizer is encased in a fabric cover that features two zip-open doors—one on each side, making it possible to see and access stored shoes easily.
The Blissun shoe organizer can be placed along an inside closet wall or along a bedroom wall, if necessary. It comes in a handful of classic hues to suit most any decor. Some easy assembly is required, and full instructions are included.
No floor space to put a shoes organizer? No problem. This Whitmor Hanging Shoe Shelves option features eight individual shoe cubbies, and it hangs directly on a closet bar. It has a lightweight metal frame, stainless steel hooks for hanging, and it comes with breathable fabric shelves so shoes can air out between wearings.
The light gray Whitmor hanging shoe organizer is 44 inches high and 11.5 inches deep. Each cubby is 5.5 inches wide and 5 inches tall, making it well suited to holding small to medium-type shoes, such as heels and sandals. No assembly is required, and users can opt to store various other items in the cubbies, such as scarves, socks, or lingerie.
Keep shoe pairs separate and organized with these see-through stackable shoe storage boxes from Seseno. Each lightweight plastic box is 5.5 inches high, 9 inches wide, and 13 inches deep, giving users ample room for storing dress shoes, sandals, and casual shoes.
Buyers will receive 10 boxes. Each box features clear plastic sides, a perforated white plastic back panel that allows shoes to air out between uses, and a clear front panel that opens to access shoes. The boxes can be arranged in a horizontal row or stacked one on top of another to create a vertical storage organizer. Some easy click-connect assembly is required.
Those looking for a classic shoe rack for the closet need look no further than the Seville Classics Shoe Rack that’s adjustable in width, making it well suited to different-size closets. The frame is made from metal with a chrome finish, and it features three open tiers for storing shoes. It stands 22.75 inches high, is 9 inches deep, and expands from 22.4 to 46.6 inches wide.
This Seville Classics choice can hold from nine to 18 pairs of adult shoes, depending on the width selected, and users can stow another row of shoes on the floor beneath. The rack is sturdy and will have no problem holding heavier shoes. Some easy assembly is necessary, but no tools are required.
Maximize the use of closet space with the KEETDY Over The Door shoe organizer that will hold up to 12 pairs of shoes without taking up any floor space. This lightweight shoe organizer is made of fabric and comes with 24 pockets, each measuring 7.75 inches high and 5.25 inches wide. The entire organizer is 56.7 inches long and 22.4 inches wide. It comes with four metal hanging bars that fit flat over the top of the door without interfering with the door closing.
The KEETDY shoe organizer will hold various low-profile shoes, such as flats and sandals, and can even hold heels—with the heel portion turned to the outside of the pocket. It can also double as storage for other items such as scarves, mittens, or socks.
FAQs About Shoe Organizers
Shoe organizers serve two purposes—storing multiple shoes in an orderly fashion and keeping a closet or room decluttered. For those who have sizable shoe collections and want to find the best organizer to meet their needs, a few questions are to be expected. Below are answers to some popular questions.
Q. How do I organize shoes in a small space?
Small cubbies and shelves call for creative shoe placement. For heels, try placing one upright and turning its mate upside down and backward when inserting the shoes in a tight space. Use hanging shoe columns or stackable boxes to maximize vertical space in the closet.
Q. How long will my shoe organizers last?
Plastic organizers will last 3 to 5 years, while fabric organizers may last for a slightly shorter time. Built-in cubbies, benches, hall trees, and cabinet organizers can last for decades.
Q. Is it better to keep shoes in boxes or not?
If the shoes won’t be worn again for a month, consider storing them in a box or in another closed container to keep dust off. Shoes worn regularly are typically stored in open-air cubbies or on shelves for quick access.