Whether you’re a sneakerhead or a Manolo devotee, you’ve likely grappled with the question of how to store all of your precious shoes in a cramped city apartment. Keeping them in their flimsy boxes just won’t do, and a jumble of mismatched pairs cluttering your entryway isn’t a great look, either. To find the best storage solutions that will also keep your shoes in tip-top shape, we asked 18 professional organizers for their recommendations. To help you choose from among the experts’ suggestions, we’ve organized the products based on their consensus but also on how easy they are to incorporate into any closet or shelf you may have. So we’re starting with smaller solutions that can make a big difference in organizing an existing closet, then moving on to larger shoe-storage options like cubbies, over-the-door racks, and even furniture.
Best easy-to-incorporate shoe organizers
These clear plastic shoeboxes from the Container Store are the most recommended shoe-storage solution by our organization experts. They’re easy enough to put in a closet or on a shelf, and they’ll hold up far better than the boxes shoes come in, according to one pro. “We never encourage clients to keep shoes in their original shoeboxes,” says Jamie Hord of Horderly Professional Organizing. “Clear, uniform shoeboxes let you see exactly what you have, maximize your space, and give you an aesthetic look in your closet that makes it impossible to mess up.” The boxes, which come in standard, large, and tall sizes (for heels), work for shoes that are worn regularly as well as ones that need to be stored for the off-season. Plus, they’re stackable, which helps “to mimic creating shelves in some way,” explains Amanda Wiss, the founder of Urban Clarity. They’re easy to label and, as Jeni Aron of Clutter Cowgirl notes, “If you’re done with a pair of shoes, you can use the box for something else not even shoe related (bathroom, kitchen, pet stuff, meds, etc.).”
Also from the Container Store, these boxes that can each hold two pairs of shoes came recommended by three of our experts. “You don’t have to unstack them to get the pair of shoes you want,” Emily Matles of Emagine Simplicity says of their appeal. Hord agrees: “These create an exact home for every shoe with super-easy access and give your closet a beautiful yet functional aesthetic.” Jessica Decker of Become Organized is their third fan, noting that each box’s “closed drawers keep shoes protected from dust, while small ventilation holes allow shoes to breathe.”