How to Store Shoes: 18 Easy Ways to Organize Your Footwear
Last year, we learned that Céline Dion has an entire warehouse dedicated to storing her immense collection of footwear. (Yes, we do think about that fact a lot.) But for those of us who don’t have 10,000 heels, boots and flats to house—seriously, Dion owns ten thousand pairs of shoes—figuring out how to store your kicks can be a challenge. So, whether you’re working with a 300-square-foot apartment or you want to design your dream walk-in closet, here are 18 shoe storage ideas that will make the most of your space.
1. Stack Some Shoe Cubbies
These handy little slots make it easy to see all your shoes at a glance, and even come in two different sizes, to better accommodate heels and booties. Pro tip: Organize each row by style and put the shoes you reach for most often in the top cubbies, for easy access. Special occasion and out of season shoes can then take up the boxes closer to the floor. Stack them vertically if you don’t have a ton of spare floor space, or line them in a low row as a sort of border against a wall.
2. Or Invest in Clear Shoe Boxes
If you’re worried about dust or debris ruining your most precious pairs, you could always invest in these individual cubbies. The translucent plastic allows you to see what’s in each box (unlike regular shoe boxes) and they open from the front, so you won’t have to unstack and restack everything just to get to the bottom pair. That said, you can configure this set in any way you’d like, depending on the space you have available.
3. Hang Your Footwear Inside Your Closet
Not into the idea of having your footwear on display? Install some hanging shelves in your closet. This 10-shoe option is made from linen, making it easy to spot clean (although it’s not recommended that you throw it in the washing machine) but also gentle on your suede flats…and the lace dress your shelves will be hanging next to.
4. Utilize Your Closet Door with a Tiered Rack
Affix this sleek 12-tier rack to the back (or front) of your closet door to make use of an area that’s oft forgotten—without taking up any precious floor space. It can hold approximately 36 pairs of shoes, although boots and taller booties may need a separate storage solution.
5. Look Under the Bed
While we like this option most for out-of-season styles (out of sight, out of mind), you can use it for any and all footwear. The 16 slots are best for flats, sandals or sneakers, but you can easily squeeze an ankle boot or heel in each (meaning there will be room for only eight pairs of boots or heels). Plus, the soft but durable fabric on this organizer won’t scratch your floors, no matter how often you find yourself pulling it out from under the bed.
6. Opt for a Hidden Storage Bench
There’s no rule that says you have to store your shoes in your closet…or even your bedroom, for that matter. Give your front hall some additional responsibility by adding a bench with hidden storage, ideal for housing your most-worn pairs. (This particular West Elm piece is part of a modular set so you can build and expand to fit your exact needs.)
7. Or Go for Some Minimal Shelves
On the other hand, if you don’t mind showing off your collection of brightly-hued kicks but would still prefer keeping your footwear out of the bedroom, go for a simple bench with open shelves. Keep your workout sneakers on the floor under the bottom shelf and keep your taller winter and rain boots in the middle. Now, you also have a convenient place to sit while you lace up those new combat boots.
8. Flip Your Boots Upside Down
This simple rack might look pretty funny, but it’s a great way to keep tall boots from flopping over or losing their shape. Set the rack in a mudroom or at the back of your closet and (just be wary of any dresses, coats or tops that hang low enough to skim the bottoms of your boots) and slip four pairs of tall boots into place. Note: The height is listed at 19 inches, making this a good option for knee-high styles or anything with a shaft shorter than 18 inches (it’s a good idea to leave a little room at the bottom to avoid smooshing the top of the boot).
9. Repurpose Pool Noodles
If your thigh-high boots are too tall for the above rack, we have a rather creative solution for you: pool noodles. That’s right, all you need are some clean foam tubes (we suggest buying new ones, although you can always upcycle last year’s pool toy), a marker and some scissors and you’ll have an easy, inexpensive way to prop up even your tallest thigh-highs. Find our tutorial here.
10. Stuff Tall Boots with Ripped Tights and Old Linens
If you’re really not looking to spend any additional cash, you can always repurpose old bedsheets, pillowcases or ratty T-shirts and stuff them into tights that are behind repair, to provide some structure to your boot’s shaft and help maintain its shape. You don’t need to fill the entire shaft, just go high enough so it will sit upright and stay in place. And don’t over stuff; you don’t want to stretch them out.
11. Or Try Wine Bottles
One last option for supporting your trusty leather or suede boots is to recycle empty wine bottles. We suggest stuffing the toe box with some newspaper or some of those old sheets, to give the bottle a more solid base on which to sit (this is especially helpful for boots with a heel).
12. Hide Them Away In a Shoe Cabinet
This minimalist design can be mounted on your wall or left standing on the floor, depending on what kind of space you’re working with. And while it’s perhaps not the prettiest option on this list, at least it will blend in with the rest of your decor.
13. Opt for a Fancier Enclosed Dresser
If aesthetics are your number one concern, you’ll adore this gorgeous Scandinavian-inspired dresser. Use the inner four shelves to store shoes, winter hats, linens and whatever else you’d like. There’s also a lift-top storage compartment for jewelry…or your shoe cleaning supplies.
14. Display Heels with a Wire Grid
This super simple shoe storage option works best for heels and booties but can also house flats with a more prominent heel. Bonus: It’s incredibly easy to move from place to place, lightweight and requires absolutely no assembly—unless you want to mount it on your wall.
15. Go the Retail-Preferred Route
There’s a reason so many department stores and other retailers utilize metal rolling racks to display shoes: They fit a large number of pairs and make it incredibly easy to see and grab what you need at a glance. And if you don’t plan to roll your footwear from room to room, you could always take the wheels off.
16. Store Workout Shoes in Their Own Space
If it’s bike shoes or your running gear you want to keep organized, why not mount a designated shelving unit on the wall near your Peloton bike or by the back door? That way you can keep all your workout needs—shoes included—in one easy-to-reach place.
17. Use Clear Under-Bed Boxes for Out-of-Season Styles
If you haven’t already, we highly suggest investing in a few long, low under-the-bed storage boxes for your seasonal footwear. Because you probably won’t need easy access to your flip flops in the middle of February. Clear plastic also has the advantage of showing you just what’s inside, so you don’t have to go searching through three identical boxes in order to find your beloved snow boots during the season’s first storm.
18. Transform Your Staircase Into a Storage Haven
OK, so this one involves some serious renovation, but if your home is packed to the brim and can’t possibly fit another shelving unit, storage bench or under-the-bed box, you may want to consider storage stairs, like this beautiful set by interior designer Amanda Webster. Even if you hope/plan to add this innovative storage solution yourself, we highly recommend reaching out to a contractor or interior designer to see if your stairs can accommodate such a design and, if so, how to make it work best for your needs.