Do you love shoes? Do you have a lot of them? If your answer to either of these questions is yes, you could probably benefit from some type of shoe storage system. The best shoe organizers for a large collection of footwear are shelves, shelves, and more shelves.
Footwear Storage Tips for the Shoe Lover
Whether they come in the form of regular shelves built into a shoe tower, slanted shoe shelves, or a rotating shoe closet, shelves are the backbone of all good shoe organization.
If you only have a small collection of shoes you might go with a shoe rack. However, these are best left for everyday footwear. Although convenient, they do not accommodate shoe trees or shoe forms used to preserve the shape of expensive shoes. Use a shelf when you want your shoes to last a long time.
Types of Shoe Organizers
Slanted Shoe Shelves
This type of shelf is adjustable, with the back of the shelf tilted slightly higher than the front. This allows the owner to get a better view of their footwear, exposing the entire shoe rather than just the toe. Use this type of shelf when you have a lot of shoes that look similar when viewing the toe only. Open versus closed backs and different heel heights are more apparent when the shelves are slanted. If you need this type of shelf to properly view your collection, use specially designed shoe fences to keep your shoes from sliding off the shelf.
Rotating Shoe Organizer
Use a rotating closet for your footwear when you need to get a lot of shoe shelves into a relatively small space. The 360 Organizer® Shoe Spinner by Lazy Lee can store up to 200 pairs of shoes in a small 40" x 40" space. The reason it can hold so much is that it eliminates all dead space in corners by using all four sides of the shoe cabinet, allowing each side to be turned into view. Considered to be the ultimate in shoe organizers, the 360 Organizer® is the crème-de-la-crème in shoe storage systems.
A shoe tower consists of a tall, open shelving unit for shoes. In many ways, it is similar to a tall, skinny bookcase. However, it is designed specifically for footwear rather than books. Because it doesn't need to hold as much weight as a bookcase, the unit is sometimes suspended from the wall rather than floor-based. This type of shoe organizer is common in both walk-in and reach-in closets plus mudrooms. The shelves may be straight or slanted, but they are always exposed rather than enclosed behind their own door.
Another option is a separate shoe closet. If the shoe tower has its own door covering just shoe shelves, it is considered to be a dedicated shoe closet. Shoe closets come in all sizes. Size is limited only by your available space. Consider dedicating an entire closet to shoes if you have a lot of them. If you don't have an existing closet you can spare for this purpose, you can add a new wardrobe closet dedicated entirely to shoe storage.
Use shoe cubbies as your shoe organizer strategy if you want to keep each pair of shoes separate and not touching any other shoes. The cubby walls are the strongest dividers you will find anywhere. Therefore, they are good way to store your "special" shoes because they help prevent damage. They also accept shoes in shoe trees and shoes in boxes. Just remember to measure your boxes ahead of time so that the cubbies can be constructed to the right dimensions.
Metal shoe racks don't hold a lot of shoes compared to other types of shoe organizers. Even the largest ones can only accept about 20 pairs. The good news is that 20 pairs is the average number of shoes owned by an adult in the USA. Some shoe racks are designed with slides so that they pull out of the closet like a drawer, adding convenience. The downside is that you cannot use shoe trees to protect your shoes. Therefore, use racks for your everyday footwear where convenience is more important than long-term preservation.
Any shoe organizer system is better than having a pile of shoes next to the door or under the bed. However, overall, the best shoe organizer is some sort of shelf. Different types include slanted shoe shelves with shoe fences, straight shelves made into a shoe tower or shoe cubby, or a rotating shoe closet like the 360 Organizer Shoe Spinner. A separate shoe closet composed of all shelves is best if you have a lot of shoes. Use a shoe rack as a secondary solution when you want to keep everyday shoes convenient and close at hand. But no matter what shoe organizer you choose, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how much easier everything is when you're organized.