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The 20 Very Best Shoe Organizers

Featuring a shoe cabinet that has survived four apartments.

Photo: Marcus McDonald
Photo: Marcus McDonald

In this article

Take it from a shoe obsessive who color-codes her collection: The more pairs you own, the harder it becomes to store them — so much so that you might find limited-edition Stan Smiths in a pile at the bottom of the closet, Prada loafers in the entryway, and buffed-up Docs under the bed. A shoe organizer is the smartest solution, because having all your kicks in one dedicated space means more time wearing them and less time trying to find them. But the best shoe organizer for you depends very much on the size of your collection and space. Then there’s the design element — a plastic underbed container will have a decidedly different vibe than a sleek, minimalist rack.

To find the best shoe organizers, I assembled a panel of professional organizers and asked for their recommendations, which include ones they’ve used on the job and in their own homes. There are a couple of Strategist-staffer picks below, too.

What we’re looking for

Storage space

This might be an obvious point, but most organizers will list how many shoes they can actually accommodate. That’s important for two reasons: You’ll know if your current collection will fit and whether you’ll have any space left over to add to it down the road. The official number is important, but there can be an unofficial number: Some of the experts we spoke to let us in on their tricks to make a rack hold even more shoes, which we’ve detailed whenever possible. If you go for a full-on furniture piece that doubles as an organizer, we’ve included an approximate tally or range instead. Take stock of your collection before buying anything and think about how many pairs a given organizer will hold — a ballet flat takes up decidedly less space than an ankle boot. And there’s a difference between men’s and women’s pairs, as the former usually takes up more room.

Form and functionality

Is an organizer stackable? Does it have shelves? If it’s meant to go over the door, are there plastic partitions between each pair? When it comes to shoe storage, it’s important to consider how an organizer is designed. An open rack won’t be as protective against dust if that’s a top concern. An in-closet option might mean each shoe in a pair is pressed tightly together. We’ve noted any standout design features in each recommendation from our experts.

Ease of incorporation

More storage space is better — sort of. A larger storage solution (a cubby, for example) will fix the problem of shoes everywhere, but it’ll be bulkier in a room or in a U-Haul when it’s time to move. Meanwhile, a smaller solution like a mini–boot rack can make a big difference in a small closet. Dimensions are helpful, but it can be difficult to actually imagine how something will look and function in a room. That’s why we’ve rated the picks below as either easy, medium, or hard to install or incorporate into an existing space, and we’ve noted details about how the organizers are to put together whenever possible.

Best overall shoe organizer

Storage space: 24 pairs | Form and functionality: Clear front pockets and open sides | Ease of incorporation: Easy

By far, our experts were the most enthusiastic about over-the-door organizers, which offer a more out-of-the-way system that won’t overwhelm a closet or take up prime floor real estate, making them practical for spaces big and small.

The Container Store’s 24-pocket organizer comes recommended by three pros. According to Nicole Abramovici of Genius Organizing, while many over-the-door organizers can accommodate only 12 pairs, “this gem has 24 pockets and fits one pair per pocket. Life-changing!” Plus the surprisingly spacious pockets can hold heels and chunkier shoes, says Natalie Schrier, founder of Cut the Clutter. And you can easily zhuzh up the organizer with decorative nails or hooks to mount it to a door, suggests professional organizer Ann Sullivan.

Since deciding it was our best-overall recommendation, I tried it out myself and was impressed its incredibly simple setup. As the pockets were already in place, I only had to slip the included hooks on a door and through the top holes on the organizer. The pockets are big enough for clogs and high-heeled loafers (though some pairs of thick-soled shoes are probably better off being divided into two slots instead of one). The canvas that lines the top, back, and bottom of the organizer feels sturdy enough and there was never a moment when I thought the entire thing would fall. (That has happened with other cheaper organizers I’ve owned.)

Best over-the-door shoe rack

Storage space: 36 pairs | Form and functionality: 12 tiers with angled bars | Ease of incorporation: Medium

If you dream of a Devil Wears Prada–esque shoe closet, this over-the-door solution is a good place to start. Home organizer Caroline Solomon recommends it for those with lots of footwear and nowhere to put it. “The beauty of this setup is that it allows your clothes to be on full display in your closet, while the door becomes a shoe closet in itself,” she says. Former Strategist senior writer Lauren Levy is a Whitmor convert, since the organizer combines the best parts of an over-the-door option with those of a standard shoe rack. “When similarly tilted racks sit on the floor, shoes without heels will often slide off, but here, your door will prop up anything (like ballet flats) that can’t grip onto the coated metal bars,” she says. And unlike other over-the-door solutions, it’s a “rare hanging option that doesn’t involve any pockets.” The organizer does take more assembly, according to Levy, “though not more than ten minutes; no tools required.” And Strategist writer Dominique Pariso actually bought her own Whitmor after Levy evangelized about the rack, praising it for freeing up floor space and making getting dressed in the morning much easier as her shoes are all on display for her to choose from.

Best hanging shoe organizer for closets

Storage space: Ten pairs | Form and functionality: Individual tiers and optional drawers to pull out (sold separately) | Ease of incorporation: Medium

Con: You may have to move a few hangers in your closet to make room for this organizer. Pro: Your shoes will be hidden away, even more so than with an over-the-door option. Sharon Lowenheim, owner of Organizing Goddess, uses two of these in her coat closet — she shares one with her husband, and the other is just for her daughter. It helps her know when it’s time to say goodbye to a pair. “Because there are only ten slots in the hanging shoe organizer, it reminds me that when I get a pair of shoes, another has to leave,” she says. If you’d like your closet to look less cluttered, you can also buy separate “drawers” to pull out from the organizer, which will hide them from view (here’s a photo for reference).

Best stackable shoe organizer

Storage space: Up to 8 pairs | Form and functionality: Stackable, two-tier design | Ease of incorporation: Easy

This two-shelf shoe stacker is decidedly minimalist — and that’s precisely why professional organizer Britnee Tanner thinks so highly of it. You can choose between a white or bamboo-esque “natural” finish, which will help spotlight your shoes rather than the shelf. The utilitarian design makes it ideal for stacking, as you can keep building it up vertically to get the most out of any unused space, Tanner says. And even as you stack, it’s easy to clean. That’s because of the clean lines — the solid, flat surface of each tier can be wiped down effortlessly, she explains, as can the stacker’s “feet,” which are likely to get dusty on the floor. If you don’t have the vertical space to stack, you can place multiples side by side, especially if you’re planning on using this option in a closet, where its relatively low profile can fit under hanging clothes. To maximize the stacker’s storage power, Tanner advises placing each pair of shoes with the toe of the right shoe pointing forward and the toe of the left shoe pointing backward so they can sit closer together and free up space for more.

The Container Store also makes a stackable mesh shoe shelf that’s quite similar to this organizer, which Anna Bauer of Sorted by Anna uses herself. It’s a bit narrower, deeper, taller, and with more vertical space between shelves and comes in two colors — white and platinum. Bauer uses a similar trick to maximize space on the shelves by facing pairs of shoes in the opposite directions and notes that you can even store boots on the topmost shelf — she recommends rolling an old magazine into the shaft of each boot to help them stand upright.

Best shoe organizer for individual pairs

Storage space: One pair per box | Form and functionality: Drop-front to make stacking easier | Ease of incorporation: Easy

This was probably the single most mentioned solution — particularly for passionate sneakerheads. Although it’s not as practical for those with bigger collections — the boxes aren’t especially space-efficient, and you’ll have to buy them in bulk — they are useful for the pairs you do want to show off. “These create an exact home for every shoe with super-easy access and give your closet a beautiful yet functional aesthetic,” explains Jamie Hord of Horderly Professional Organizing.

On the more practical side, each box’s “closed drawers keep shoes protected from dust, while small ventilation holes allow shoes to breathe,” says Jessica Decker of Become Organized. Naeemah Ford Goldson of Restore Order Professional Organizing points out how versatile these boxes are — you can keep them under your bed or stacked on shelves. Emily Matles of Emagine Simplicity appreciates that “you don’t have to unstack them to get the pair of shoes you want.”

The boxes are available in three different sizes, so they can even be high-top friendly. Each size is also available in a set of six (which will save you a little money by bringing down the price of each box). Sara Losonci, founder of Shelfie, likes organizing pairs by color for a coordinated look. Or you could go for this version that’s meant to showcase the side profile of the shoes inside — as professional organizer Carrie Powell says, they will flaunt what you have “whether they’re on your feet or not.”

Best under-the-bed shoe organizer

Storage space: Up to 12 pairs each (set of two) | Form and functionality: Adjustable dividers | Ease of incorporation: Easy

For shoes you’re not reaching for daily, an underbed organizer is a good solution. Professional organizer Rolanda Lokey sums these up best: They’re “simple, practical storage for out-of-season shoes” that “conserve closet space.” Rachel Winkler of tidyspot recommends them for the same reason, pointing out that the dividers can be adjusted for summer-only wedges and taller winter boots. The clear cover will help you find shoes readily while keeping out dust bunnies, she adds.

Best storage box for shoes

$35

Storage space: 12, 16, or 24 pairs (or small, medium, and large sizes) | Form and functionality: Adjustable dividers with side and front handles | Ease of incorporation: Easy

If you have a “dreaded shoe pile,” Lee recommends this storage solution. You can think of it as a smaller version of the under-the-bed organizer. This box includes adjustable dividers that you can customize depending on the size of your shoes and a clear cover that not only guards against dust but lets you see what you have “without having to dig,” Lee explains. It’s helpful if you like to seasonally switch out your shoe collection. But the best part might just be how unassuming it is.

Best shoe rack

Storage space: 12 pairs | Form and functionality: Made from steel, three-tier design | Ease of incorporation: Medium

The Open Spaces Entryway Rack stands out in the realm of shoe-storage solutions for its clean lines and unexpected colors (like baby blue and blush). It’s meant to be displayed and walks the line toward full-on furniture. Elsa Elbert, founder of Composed Living, describes it as “beautiful enough to be out in the open, and the solid shelves ensure your heels won’t fall through the cracks.” Powell likes that it’s low-profile enough for those entries to “shoes-off households.” Losonci mentions that you can use it for more than just shoes. (You can perch a plant on it — no problem!) I’ll add that it surprisingly didn’t take much time to put together. All of the tools are included, and the thoughtful packaging is designed to serve as another set of hands, holding the shelves in place as you build. The piece can get a little dusty, but a wipe down with a dry cloth is an easy fix. Although it’s close to $200, it’s well worth the money. Occasionally, it goes on sale for less than $150, so keep an eye out, deal hunters.

Best (less expensive) shoe rack

Storage space: Up to 12 pairs | Form and functionality: Stackable, three-tier design | Ease of incorporation: Medium

As a more affordable rack, this Seville Classics rack is a favorite of Heidi Lee, founder of home-organization service Prune + Pare. It’s meant to be interlocking — you can connect several racks vertically (though it’s recommended that you stack no more than three on top of one another) or horizontally. If that sounds complicated, don’t fret, as Lee notes how simple it is to assemble the system by “clipping” the shelves into the iron frame. Lee appreciates the rack’s sturdiness and that it can hold up to nine pairs on its three shelves — with extra space beneath the for low-profile shoes such as sandals. The rack is so functional-looking — the slats on the shelves are its lone decor embellishment — that it works for both a dorm room and an entryway, she says.

Best expandable shoe rack

Storage space: Up to 12 pairs | Form and functionality: Expandable, three-tier design | Ease of incorporation: Medium

Japanese homeware company Yamazaki is known for its thoughtful, understated designs — it’s topped our lists of the best laundry baskets and dish racks. This expandable shoe rack — one of only two we heard about — is Strategist senior writer Liza Corsillo’s favorite buy of 2022. You can expand it width-wise to hold between two to four pairs of shoes across, she explains, “giving the illusion that our shoes are kind of elegantly floating in space.” Like we’ve come to expect from the brand, the rack is “calming to look at, like the décor you’d see in a boutique hotel upstate,” Corsillo explains, adding that it’s “surprisingly slim and unobtrusive for how strong it is.” She likes how she can easily pick it up — the rack is currently one of the first things you see when you walk into her apartment — she can clean it up underneath without making a fuss.

Best (less expensive) expandable shoe rack

Storage space: 15 to 21 pairs | Form and functionality: Expandable, three-tier design | Ease of incorporation: Medium

Three of our organizing pros recommended this expandable rack: Schrier, Bauer, and certified KonMari consultant Kelley Jonkoff all swear by it for its grippy bars. “The foam coating is key,” says Schrier. “It keeps the shoes from slipping off the rack.” So if you’re a flats fanatic, this is your best bet. Jonkoff singles out its adjustable width, which she says is nice if you move often. “Moving is expensive enough without having to replace your things to fit your new smaller or larger space,” she says. “I’ve had a similar design to this for over ten years, and it’s still going strong.”

Best-looking expandable shoe rack

Storage space: Up to 12 pairs | Form and functionality: Expandable, with single or double shelves | Ease of incorporation: Medium

Another adjustable rack from Yamazaki is the Line, which has an even cleaner look than the one above. You have a choice between a single-shelf model or a double-decker. Solomon introduced me to it in our guide to the best closet organizers, promising that it holds “more shoes on it than you might think at first glance.” Width-wise, the rack expands from 15 to a little more than 27 inches, with a low-enough profile to sit at the bottom of a closet underneath hanging clothes. Solomon suggests putting shoes like flats and loafers on top and storing heavier sneakers beneath to give the architectural design some visual balance. Her recommendation was so convincing that I now have one sitting in my online cart, and I’m just waiting for a sale to check out. I think it’s an excellent option for an entryway since it practically disappears into the background.

Best shoe rack with wheels

Storage space: 50 pairs | Form and functionality: Ten-tier design, four wheels | Ease of incorporation: Medium

“This rack is ideal for someone with a large shoe collection and a small, multiuse space,” Jonkoff says. It’s tall, so it doesn’t leave a large footprint. But it’s rather bulky, making it not necessarily the easiest to incorporate — unlike our aforementioned picks. The wheels are a big bonus, though, making it “perfect for a closetless room,” because it “can be rolled out of the way when company is over or anytime a space is needed for something else,” according to Jonkoff.

Best shoe cubby

Storage space: 48 pairs | Form and functionality: Detachable dividers, translucent doors | Ease of incorporation: Hard

Freestanding shoe cubbies take up floor space, but they’re probably a better option for those with many shoes. A recommendation from Lokey, this organizer is made up of individual “boxes,” with each holding up to four pairs of shoes. There’s a horizontal divider in each section that can be removed to make space for taller pairs. You could go for translucent or white doors, too. Lokey adds that because every cubby closes, it’s easy to transport. “It’s a great, versatile choice for those who prefer visibility as well as people who may want to keep their shoes mostly out of sight,” she says.

Best shoe cubby for small spaces

Storage space: 12 pairs | Form and functionality: Stackable, Three- or four-tier design | Ease of incorporation: Medium

If you like the look of a cubby but don’t have the space, this is a more minimalist version of the style. Two experts recommend this simple cubby system. Solomon calls it the best shoe-storage solution she’s ever used in a client’s home. She used one of these organizers for an everyday-clothes closet and another for heels in a dressier closet. She credits the grid format for making it especially easy to pick out a pair of shoes. Lisa Tselebidis, a certified KonMari consultant, likes how you can use it to “create as large of a shoe organizer as you need.”

Best shoe-storage bench

Storage space: Up to ten pairs | Form and functionality: Cushion, adjustable side shelves | Ease of incorporation: Hard

For a piece that combines seating with shoe storage, Lokey recommends this cushioned bench with cubbies. She calls it “functional storage that is great for kids, the elderly, or anyone who would like the practicality of having built-in seating adjacent to their most frequently worn shoes.” The bench comes with a removable cushion, and the side shelves can be adjusted for taller boots.

Best (less expensive) shoe-storage bench

Storage space: Starting at up to 6 pairs | Form and functionality: Three or five shelves | Ease of incorporation: Hard

It was almost impossible for Ann Lightfoot, co-founder of Done & Done Home, to name her all-time favorite shoe-storage solution. But the one she always comes back to is this bench. Since shoes are out in the open, there’s no wondering about where a pair is. It’s “a win if everyone can find their shoes at a moment’s notice and no one is tripping over errant footwear when they walk in the door,” she says. Although it’s on the industrial side in appearance, Lightfoot likes that it’s classic enough for almost any entryway. You can choose between a three-tiered design and a five-tiered one with a stepped configuration to hold more pairs. And the top of the bench can act as another shelf for grab-and-go items like keys.

Best wall-mounted shoe storage

$40 for 2

Storage space: Up to four pairs | Form and functionality: Two cabinets, must be wall-mounted | Ease of incorporation: Hard

Ikea’s top-selling Trones are a favorite of Bauer, Matles, and Losonci along with Strategist writer Jeremy Rellosa. Bauer likes the compactness of the mounted cabinets — which can be installed in multiples (like so) — a sentiment seconded by Matles, who adds that they help keep shoes off the floor. Losonci originally bought them for a small Hell’s Kitchen walk-up — and still has them three apartments later. Because these are “super-narrow, you don’t even notice they are there,” she says. (A tip from Losonci: If you lay your shoes on their sides, you can get another pair or two in there.) Rellosa has a set of Trones side by side in a hallway that’s “maybe two to three feet max” width-wise. The running shoes he has in rotation live in one, while the other holds his going-out footwear. He makes sure the bottoms of his shoes aren’t too dirty before putting them in the cabinets, since they are white inside and out. “I wish I didn’t have to drill to hang them up, but for $40, it felt like such a deal for clean, simple, decluttered storage,” he says.

If you prefer something that won’t put holes in your drywall, check out the Swedish store’s bookcases. Elbert recommends the Billy/Oxberg bookcase for shoe storage, as it “offers a glass display to show off shoes on top, and you can leave those ‘less attractive’ options behind the solid door.” Solomon is into the original Billy bookcase, suggesting that more-frequently-worn shoes should be put at eye level, less-frequently-worn pairs up high, and slippers on the lowest shelf for the easiest access.

Best shoe organizer for boots

Storage space: Four pairs | Form and functionality: Oak, steel fasteners, folds flat | Ease of incorporation: Medium

Storing boots — especially tall ones — is trickier because of their high shafts. Powell and Allison Dunn, founder of Neat Rules, approve of this rack, because it helps boots keep their shape without much effort. It has more structure compared to other options (which usually involve clips or hooks), Dunn says. And it doesn’t clutter a closet, Powell adds. Plus the rack can be folded up whenever you need the floor space. (If you have extra room in your closet, Boottique’s The Original Boot Hanger got two thumbs up from both Bauer and apartmentjeanie’s Jeanie Engelbach, who like that the handy hangers don’t mess with the construction of a pair of boots.)

Best shoe-storage add-on

$36 for 10
Photo: Courtesy of Retailer

Storage space: One pair per slot, six-piece set | Form and functionality: Saves space on shelves | Ease of incorporation: Easy

To squeeze even more space out of whatever solution you choose, Decker suggests trying these Shoe Slotz, which “increase storage space and prevent shoes from getting damaged sitting on top of each other.” These are almost identical to the ones Strategist contributor Alison Freer likens to “individual two-story condos for every single pair of footwear.” Schrier uses something similar, agreeing that these “literally double the amount of shoes you can store on a flat rack or on the floor.”

Some more shoe organizers we like

Our experts

• Nicole Abramovici, owner of Genius Organizing
• Anna Bauer, owner of Sorted by Anna
• Liza Corsillo, Strategist senior writer
• Jessica Decker, professional organizer at Become Organized
• Elsa Elbert, founder of Composed Living
• Jeanie Engelbach, founder of apartmentjeanie
• Alison Freer, Strategist contributor
• Naeemah Ford Goldson, owner of Restore Order Professional Organizing
• Jamie Hord, co-founder of Horderly Professional Organizing
Kelley Jonkoff, certified KonMari consultant
• Heidi Lee, founder of home-organization service Prune + Pare
• Lauren Levy, former Strategist senior writer
• Ann Lightfoot, co-founder of Done & Done Home
Rolanda Lokey, professional organizer
• Sara Losonci, founder of Shelfie
• Sharon Lowenheim, owner of Organizing Goddess
• Emily Matles, professional organizer at Emagine Simplicity
• Dominique Pariso, Strategist writer
Carrie Powell, professional organizer
Jeremy Rellosa, Strategist writer
• Natalie Schrier, founder of Cut the Clutter
Caroline Solomon, home organizer
Ann Sullivan, professional organizer
Britnee Tanner, professional organizer
Lisa Tselebidis, certified KonMari consultant
• Rachel Winkler, founder of tidyspot

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The 20 Very Best Shoe Organizers