8 Shoe Storage Ideas

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Every shoe needs tender and loving care from its owner. Cleaning and storing them shows how much you highly regard their role in your life. Preserving its day-one-quality can be a daunting task, especially if it’s worn every day. Having the right form of storage plays an essential part in keeping your shoes well organized, but it also makes them last longer.

What kind of shoe storage do you prefer? Cabinet? Hanging? Boxes? There are a lot of shoe storage ideas to explore. It is an issue that each and every one of us encounter, especially after moving to something new. This issue even got me to the point where I tried all sorts of storage options, before I found something I could live with. Because of the extensive research I put myself through, I’ve compiled a list of the best shoe storage ideas I came across – it’s a long read, so grab a cup of coffee or tea, and make yourself comfortable.

Consider These First

Instead of trying everything that the market offers, planning the storage based on overall preference is the best way to go. So before moving forward to the shoe storage ideas, reflect on the following matters first. This will aid in identifying your preference and choosing the optimal solution for your shoe storage.

1. How Many Shoes Do You Have?

The number of your shoes will identify how big your shoe storage should be. After identifying the number of pairs you have, you should also answer the follow-up question of, “How Often Do You Buy Shoes?”. If you consider this carefully, you might need extra storage for your future purchase.

Consider this step well if you are the parent who decides the storage in your house.

2. What Kind of Shoes Do You Mostly Have?

Sneakers? Heels? Boots? The type of shoes that you own will determine the type of storage that will work best in preserving the shoes’ life. If you love collecting sneakers, you might want to have a custom-built closet for your sneaker collection. Heels can be showcased in a cubbyhole or a revolving shoe cabinet. While boots require ample vertical space to be appropriately stored. Once identified, you will be able to narrow down options for shoe storage.  

3. Collection or Daily Wear?

Having a shoe collection can mean that most of the shoes are rarely worn. In this case, you will need to store the shoes in cooler temperature storage that will prevent dust and sunlight from getting to it at the same time. While having everyday shoes mean easy-to-access space will work best.

4. Saving Space versus Aesthetics

Not everyone gets to have a walk-in closet for shoe storage. Choosing to save space over aesthetics is smart for small to average size houses. But this is not much of a big deal nowadays because there are products that will let you store shoes while still maintaining the overall design that you are aiming for.

If you are running out of ideas on where to store shoes, then make sure to consider vertical space. Even a tiny house can be a home for a vast number of shoes by making use of every available space.

5. Purchase It, Do-It-Yourself, or Hire Someone Else To Make It?

This inquiry is accompanied by the question of your allotted budget for shoe storage. Identifying the amount of money you are willing to spend will set your limits for the ideal shoe storage solution.

Purchasing is the option to pick if you prefer to get the job done fast with a simple click. While doing it yourself is the option for those who are creative and confident. This is also an excellent way to reuse materials.

Choose shoe storages that are made of light and breathable materials. This will help your shoe rest when not in use.

Hiring someone to make it for you can either be cheap or expensive. It highly depends on the design of the shoe storage you are aiming for. Most people who choose this path are those who prefer having built-in shoe storage in their house. This is also the best option for people who love collecting shoes.

List of Shoe Storage Ideas

Woman organizing her shoe storage
It doesn’t matter whether you want a large and flashy shoe storage, or if you want to go with something a little more compact–this guide will help you.

Whether you decide to purchase or have it custom-built, having a good grasp of what works best makes you a wise consumer. Here are ideas and guides that will help you make that careful decision.

Shoe Boxes

Most of the time, shoe boxes are placed under the bed. But it can turn into a mess when it’s pushed further. Another problem encountered is the time you might end up spending in looking for a specific pair. This is one of the reasons why see-through shoeboxes were made available in the market.

The best location to store shoe boxes is not under the bed. Consider having a specific space in the house where you can freely stack the shoe boxes without any hassle.

People who keep the original boxes of their shoes are commonly sneaker collectors. It is often seen as an added value in case they decide to sell or trade their kicks. But storing shoes in shoe boxes does not necessarily mean keeping the shoes in their original boxes.

Guide for Purchasing:

Plastic boxes for shoe storage
The Iris Easy Access Shoe Box can be found on Amazon.

Linen and plastic are common materials for shoe boxes. For a durable and chic option, there are two things to keep in mind.

  • Choose clear or transparent shoeboxes to make it easy to look for your shoes.
  • Choose stackable boxes that have a door opening on the side or a drop front to save space.

For a quality product that provides both of these features, you can check the Iris Easy Access Shoe Box or the Aoteng Star Shoe Storage Box.

If you prefer keeping it in the original box as a collection, then consider taking a picture of your shoes and placing the image on the side of the box. This will make it easy for you to search for your shoes.

Shoe Storage Benches

Shoe storage benches are commonly kept near the entryway of the house, living room, or bedroom. Shoe storage that doubles as a piece of furniture is perfect for small homes with limited space, and a wooden storage bench is a great way to keep your shoes and other belongings neatly organized in every room of your house.

Keep your everyday shoes inside a shoe storage bench placed in the entryway to make it convenient. It also works great for organizing a mudroom.

Guide for Purchasing:

Shoe storage bench with a cushioned seat
The K Kelbel Shoe Bench can be found on Amazon.

There are three types of shoe storage benches: Closed, Semi-closed, and Open.

The closed type has doors on it, or sometimes it has drawers. It keeps your shoes enclosed away from the eyes of your visitors. A superb example of this type is the K Kelbel Shoe Bench that even offers space for boots and extra storage for small items other than shoes. This way of storing your shoes is both discrete and stylish, because you don’t actually see the shoes unless you open the doors.

This isn’t just a great option for the entryway, but also for the wardrobe.

There is an option of a hidden storage space made available when the top of the bench can be lifted. This kind is rarely meant for shoes, since it is totally sealed shut, and it doesn’t offer much breathing room. But if you still wish to go for this look, it would be best to check first the storage it provides before making the purchase.

Semi-closed types are akin to cubbyholes. It is usually two-tier storage that encloses on the sides and rear. An excellent example of a semi-closed shoe storage bench is the Vasagle Shoe Storage Bench.

If you are planning on getting a storage bench for the entryway, consider having one that doubles as a coat rack. You can check the Bush Furniture Salinas Hall Tree with Storage Bench to get an idea of how it would look.

Open shoe storage benches are the cheapest option amongst the three types. But this doesn’t mean it has to look mediocre. A chic looking example of this type is the Songmics Shoe Rack Bench.

Wooden material can make an open type look rustic, while metallic materials will give you a modern feel. Considering the overall look of your house, and choose one that best suits it.

Custom-Built Ideas:

You can get custom-built ideas of storage benches from existing products in the market. Check the examples mentioned above. A good reason for building one is to have it customized for extra storage other than shoes. Why not try combing the idea of having a coat rack combined with this bamboo shoe rack? This is just one example out of many, and you might end up producing the ultimate storage solution for your entryway.

Shoe Storage in a Cabinet

Shoe cabinets are one of the most famous shoe storage options because of their versatility. This is a good idea for families to use if they prefer having all the shoes in one location. I grew up with a really sturdy one that is more than a decade old, and my parents still use it to keep their shoes.

In Japanese homes, they typically have shoe cabinets in the entryway. While in their schools, there are cubbyholes or shoe storage lockers where they can store their outdoor and indoor shoes. The entryways of Japanese homes are called “genkan”, and in Japanese culture it’s considered rude to enter another person’s home without taking your shoes off at the genkan.

Guide for Purchasing:

Shoe cabinets are typically made of wooden or synthetic materials. Shoe cabinets with doors are the most ideal for leather shoes, while open-type cabinets are suitable for other kinds of shoes.

As a reference, you can check the Baxton Studio Warren Shoe Storage Cabinet for closed-type, and Prepac’s Shoe Cubbie Cabinet for the open-type.

For shoe storage closets, check out the best way to store shoes in a closet by Alyssa. She introduced the best way to store shoes in a closet (my particular favorite in that one is the space savers). Do check it out and try it for yourself.

Custom-Built Ideas:

Large white shoe storage shelf
While this is just a 3D-rendering, it could very well become reality for those wanting an extra large space to store their shoes!
  • Shoe cabinets are made with simple designs. To make it look more appealing, consider having the shelves form into different sizes that can house flats, heels, and knee-high boots. Or instead of having it lined up in a single row, each shelf space will only accommodate a single pair of shoes.
  • A custom-built shoe cabinet is an ideal option for shoe collectors since it is not that easy to find see-through shoe cabinets in the market.
  • Building shoe shelves for your walk-in closet.
  • Small to medium-sized shoe cabinets can be attached with wheels to make it easy to move from the entryway when there are visitors.
  • Having a shoe drawer instead of shelves or adding doors to the cabinet is also a good idea. Though do make sure that the shoes still have breathing space in the drawers.
  • Using woven or metal baskets as shoe storage drawers for cabinets. This will ensure ample breathing room for the shoes.

Shoe Rack

Shoe racks are usually seen in shoe stores, but this also works well for homes. It is generally made of metal or synthetic materials.

Guide for Purchasing:

Free-standing racks are open most of the time, but it can get shoes dusty when not in use. There are shoe racks that now have covers to keep them from getting dirty and away from view.

Remember to choose a rack that is not easily bent. Low-quality frames are easily turned or twisted, making it unstable to be used further.

The Simple Houseware 4-Tier Shoe Rack is one of the most reliable choices for an open shoe rack. If you prefer having one with a dust cover, check the Songmics 10 Tiers Shoe Rack.

Placing your shoes in opposite directions will provide more space to store shoes.

Custom-Built Ideas:

  • Floating Shoe Rack

This is similar to the concept of floating shelves. Instead of putting books, you will be placing shoes.

  • Tension Rods Shoe Rack

Make use of old tension rods and turn it into a shoe rack. If you are placing heeled shoes, then a single level can be composed of one tension rod. While two tension rods are required per level for sneakers and other flat shoes.

  • Pallet Shoe Rack
Pallets piled up on each other
Pallets can be used for multiple purposes, and are quite decorative.

Check the pallet for splinters and sand it down as needed, then paint it (optional). Stand the pallet on its side with the bottom part of it facing the wall. You can use the gaps to hang heels or place shoes in between.

Hanging Shoe Storage

Hanging shoe storage is an excellent idea, and provides a lot of breathing space for footwear when not in use. This can be placed inside the closet, walls, or doors, depending on its type. The ones which are typically attached on doors are referred to as ‘Over the Door Shoe Storage.’

Over the Door Shoe Storage does not only apply to the doors of a room, but it can also work on the door of a closet as long as it is thick and sturdy enough to support one.

Guide for Purchasing:

Hanging shoe storage is usually fastened using hooks similar to hangers. There is a type where it has holes on top where you can insert a clothing rod and place it in your closet. Both types serve well and are quite sturdy.

There are hanging shoe storages that can only accommodate one to three pairs, then there are those that can carry up to 30 pairs. In hanging shoes in your closet, you might like the Whitmor Hanging Shoe Shelves. This brand offers from eight sections and up to thirty sections. For boot lovers, there is the Boot Butler Storage, where you can hang three boots per hanger.

If you prefer to have an over-the-door shoe storage, Whitmor also offers two valuable types. The first is the Whitmor Over the Door Shoe Rack, which is open and allows up to thirty-six pairs of shoes. The other good option that they offer is the Whitmor Over the Door Shoe Shelves made of durable and breathable fabric and see-though plastic that has twenty-six sections.

There are hanging storage that can double as over the door storage and wall hanging storage depending on where you place it. An example of this is the Storage Maniac 12-Pocket Hanging Organizer.

Custom-Built Ideas:

  • Use wire hangers and mold them to accommodate flip flops and flat shoes.
  • Create hanging racks using wooden boards and pegs.

Under the Bed Shoe Storage

Under the bed is one of the most overlooked spaces in the house. Utilizing the space with shoe storage is always a better option compared to leaving shoes beneath without care. This kind works well amongst teenagers or young adults.

Guide for Purchasing:

Drawer types with deep storage are the trend for under the bed storage. Having deep use of the space will make the most out of the area that is rarely used. Some types come with shoe organizers, while some are pure open storage without any sections.

Shoe storage drawers for under-bed storage
StorageLAB Under the Bed Shoe Organizer is a great way to store shoes under your bed in an organized way.

Open type storage can be a tricky way to store shoes since you can end up trying to fit everything without any care in keeping the shoes in good condition.

StorageLAB Under the Bed Shoe Organizer is a good option for this kind of product. It has a see-through cover with handles on the sides and adjustable dividers. You can easily store any type of shoes in this drawer.

Custom-Built Ideas:

Instead of going for the cloth type that is readily available in the market, you can create a Wooden Floor Shoe Trolley with handle and see-through cover. It is similar to the idea of fabric drawers, but in this case, it will be sturdier, and you can dictate how deep it can go under your bed.

Garage Shoe Storage

Keeping shoes in the garage is similar to the idea of keeping shoes in the entryway of the house. This is perfect for those who always go out by riding their car. It is a convenient solution for gaining easy-access to shoes before going out. The garage is also an excellent place to keep your gardening shoes with your household and gardening tools.

Guide for Purchasing:

For garage shoe storage, the most ideal types are cabinets or shoe racks that have dust-proof covers on it. The main reason for this is because the garage is the most common area in the house that quickly gets dirty.

But if you happen to have free space of shelves already installed in your garage, you can choose to have shoeboxes instead. This is also a good idea if you are only planning to place a few pairs in the garage.

Custom-Built Ideas:

You can choose similar ideas offered for cabinets if you plan to custom-build one for the garage. Consider having a tall cabinet or hanging cabinets. Garage offers ample overhead space, and this is an excellent way to utilize those extra space.

More Custom-Made Shoe Storages

Ladder Shoe Storage

There are three ways to go in creating a ladder shoe storage.

  1. Simply have a ladder rest on a wall and turn it into hanging shoe storage for heels.
  2. Placing boards and attaching it on each step. Then fix the bottom heel to the floor, and the uppermost part to the wall to keep it from wobbling.
  3. Use two ladders or a single foldable ladder. Secure shelves on each step to turn it into open rack shoe storage.

Revolving Shoe Cabinet

Round shoe storage carousel

This one can be built on your own, or you can hire someone to make it to your liking. You will be needing wood and a spinning mechanism to make it rotate. The advantage of having one built is that you can set the height for each level and choose how many pairs it can accommodate.

Under the Stairs Shoe Storage

This idea makes use of the extra space that is beneath the stairs. You can hire professionals to create it for you. Or, if you are well-versed in carpentry, and absolutely sure that you will not accidentally damage a pipe or wiring hidden in the wall, then you can do-it-yourself.

Keeping It Clean and Organized

The idea of shoe storage is not only about keeping your shoes in the right place, but it also means storing them with care. It is the responsibility of the shoe owner to keep them clean and organized so that the shoes don’t quickly deteriorate.

  • Clean the shoes before keeping it for storage.
  • Avoid shoe clutter by storing them after use. Consider storing your shoes by usage or by season to make it more accessible.
  • Downsize your shoe collection every now and then. It will help you make space for new shoes. Here’s a general guideline on what to get rid of:
    • Worn-out shoes
    • Wrong size
    • Rarely worn shoes
    • Shoes that are uncomfortable to wear
  • If you have the guts, use the KonMari method in decluttering and storing. Here’s how you can employ this method to your shoes:
    1. Collect all your shoes. Everything. Don’t let anything get left behind, because anything that you have forgotten to include will go to the Goodbye pile.
    2. Sort through your shoes by holding them and asking yourself, “Does it spark joy?”. If yes, it goes to the Keep pile. If no, say thank you and goodbye to the pair for carrying you to different places.
  • Use a shoe tree or acid-free tissue/cardboard. Shoe trees will help keep shoes in form. The options for shoe trees vary from regular, adjustable, and widening. Some options come with a hook to make it easy to hang in your shoe closet. An example is the Eachway Shoe Trees.

Shoe Trees are not meant for long-term storage. Instead of keeping the shoe form, it can end up disfiguring it if the shoe fabric is stretched for a long time. Shoe Trees are best used for casual footwear that is frequently used.

  • Every time you purchase an item that has silica gel packets on it, do not throw it away. Silica gel packets can minimize dampness. By placing this within the storage space of your shoes, you are ensuring that the quality of your footwear will remain for a longer time.

Give your shoes the love and care it needs. The best thing that we can do is give it a proper home in the house. Choose the best idea that works for you and your shoes. Just remember, you don’t need to limit yourself to one shoe storage solution. If multiple shoe storage works for you, then go ahead, it’ll be your journey to find the optimal solution for you and your family.