The shoe container

The shoe container DEFAULT

The Clear Shoeboxes From The Container Store Are Well Worth The Hype — Here's Why

The shoeboxes have a 4.7-star rating on The Container Store's website with over 400 reviews. Here's what some reviewers had to say:

"My boyfriend and I are real shoppers, from clothes to household items and most importantly SNEAKERS! We have run into a problem with shoeboxes breaking from the weight of stacking them and these drop-front shoeboxes...well they are our Best Buy EVER! They stack perfectly, they don't lean, they inner lock with each other so they don't slide off. They are durable, clear fronts make it easy to see our sneakers, and just an amazing product. We have purchased about 100 of these and are ordering more! I am in LOVE with these drop-front shoeboxes and I tell everyone about them." —SneakerheadMinda

"I bought a couple of these to try out and fell in love with them!!! Over time I have purchased enough of them on sale along with the larger ones for my ankle boots, they are perfect for my 80 pairs of shoes. No more struggling to get a box out of the middle of the stack while still protecting my footwear!!" —BSJJS

"Best idea ever! So happy to get rid of old shoeboxes and replace with something sturdy and easily accessible! So much easier to find my shoes and sneakers!" —TalA


The best shoe storage ideas acknowledge the limitations of your space, the size of your feet, and the number of shoes in your possession. They should be easy to make use of, so you don't ignore them completely, and relatively affordable and easy to install, because if you were going for a custom-designed closet, let's face it, you wouldn't be here. Only you know exactly which combination is right for your needs but we'll at least get you started with a few shoe storage ideas—some of which, we will admit, are more practical than others. 

Here's what: this exercise in determining how to store your shoes, then buying the things, and then using them, doesn't sound very fun, sexy, or cool, on paper or in this article, but there is a special, gratifying feeling you will get when your stuff has a logical place to belong, when your shoes stay crease-free, when your entryway isn't a legitimate fire hazard. Stay with us and we promise this feeling will come eventually. It'll be worth it. But first you've got to get your hands dirty and your shoes off the floor. 

Super Storage Furniture 

Before we get into the storage cubes and plastic boxes: have you considered new furniture? Look, we're not saying these pieces were made for shoe storage, or that they'll even hold every single pair you own, but they'd take a little work off your closet's plate, not to mention look incredible in your home. 

Balutto Associati Rialto storage bench

This Italian storage bench will give your bedroom some high-end hotel energy with its textured fabric and curved lines. Plus, it'll fit a dozen or so shoe storage boxes so you can finally declutter your closet.

Cate and Barrel baro wood storage bench

This white-washed wood storage bench works in any home, from cabin to condo. Position it in your entryway to keep your floors clear of Birks and Nikes, or whatever shoes the rest of your family is liable to trip over when they walk in the door after you.

Kartell Componibili bio storage unit

These '60s-era Italian storage units are stackable, come in all kinds of sweet colors, and look great as bedside, entryway, and closet-side furniture. They're also a particularly lavish way to store your vintage Italian loafers, too.

Ikea Mackapar shoe storage

Stack two of these narrow shoe cabinets on top of each other for an interior design upgrade and king-worthy shoe storage system all in one. We'd also recommend swapping out the legs with a custom set.

Bins and Baskets For Semi-Visible Areas

If you plan on stashing shoes under a bench, bed, or other open-bottom piece of furniture, buy a receptacle that does what it needs to do and also, ya know, looks good. Because nothing bricks a nice bed frame or entryway seating like an overstuffed Ikea bag. 

Kolkata azad low leather storage bin

We love the low, wide shape of these storage bins and the fact that they're crafted from black or brown leather, which means they can handle a beating and still look beautiful. (An important detail, considering the price.)

Hay color crate

Hay's wonderfully affordable stacking crates come in a variety of sizes and over a dozen great colors. Mix and match them to your heart's content. There's no wrong combination.

Puebco shoes box

If you prefer something more pared down and simple, stack two or three of these wire baskets on top of each other and let your shoes do all the talking instead.

Texxture Scarborough baskets

We promise you'll find a use for this trio of baskets that includes, and then goes way beyond, shoes. And yes, we're talking about your library of old issues of GQ.

Shoe Racks (for Those With Deep, Spacious Closets)

Look, we're generally not into shoe racks as home decor unless you have a special hand with interiors or happen to be an NBA player with an endorsement deal and then it's like, as you were. But if you've got the closet space to hold a standalone system? Rack it up. 

The Container Store large drop front shoe storage

These plastic cubes can be endlessly stacked to meet your shoe-storing needs, filling an entire wall of your closet if you so desire (and trust, many a sneakerhead already has done just that).

Urban Outfitters stackable bamboo shoe rack

What this shoe rack lacks in capacity, it makes up for in pleasing cubed lines. Plus, you can always stack them up until your collection is served.

Munto quick fold shoe storage box (2 row, 6 tier)

Like the Container Store Ootion, this shoe storage system holds up to size 13 shoes and has individual doors so you don't have to stack and unstack boxes to get the pair you want. This particular one also has sunlight-proof doors and quickly opens and collapses which comes in handy on, say, moving day.

Open Spaces entryway shoe rack

This is the rare open shoe rack we'd argue would work in a bedroom, entryway, or closet equally well. It holds 10 or so pairs, so you can keep the heroes of your collection front and center for your fit-concocting pleasure.

Shoe Storage for Smaller Spaces 

OK, let's roll up our sleeves and get to business here. Handsome benches, delightful baskets, and walk-in closet shoe storage aside, these are the heroes that are going to keep your shoes protected, organized, and crumple-free in even the smallest of spaces. 

StorageLab under bed shoe storage

Use these under-bed drawers for all of your off-season shoes, twice-a-year joints, and performance gear (think: climbing shoes). All of the dividers are removable, so you shouldn't have a problem stashing away pool slides in the summer and snow boots in the winter, for instance.

The Container Store over-the-door shoe bag

Ah, the blessed over-the-door shoe holder. Ugly as all hell, and yet so effective at preventing your closet from triggering an anxiety attack. This eco-fabric version is nicer than most but, still, always keep the shoes on the inside of your closet door.

Misslo 8-shelf hanging shoe system

If your closet is wider than it is deep or has sliding doors, you might prefer a hanging system. Go double-wide to get 16 pairs lined up and ready to duty. P.S. You can find narrower options but if you're into high-tops, boots, or wear a size 11 or up you'll probably need this larger profile option in order to fit both shoes in one compartment.

Iris USA organizer shelf

You don't need to go all California Closets to recognize the opportunity to use up the dead space between where your clothes are hanging and the floor of your closet. These simple, actually attractive risers come in a few different sizes and give you twice the shoe-storage.

Some Helpful Shoe-Storing Accessories 

You've come this far in your shoe-storing journey, you might as well round things out with these helpful extras. Some might say it's overkill, but those people have probably never experienced the strangely gratifying pleasure of an Eagle Creek packing cube. 

MyGift distressed gray wood boot storage rack

This one is dedicated to anyone who has ever retrieved a positively trampled, borderline ruined pair of boots from the back of the closet after a season of not thinking very much about boots. Do your wallet and your sanity a solid and throw them on this boot rack next time, so they remain at attention until you're ready to wear them again.

Eagle Creek pack-it multi-shoe cube

If you care about shoe storage on home court, you care about shoe storage during away games too. Eagle Creek makes our favorite packing cubes, including those expressly designed to store your shoes.

Earth Wise 100% cotton shoe storage bags

Those dust bags that came with your shoes are a good idea to put into use when you aren't wearing them. If you tossed those along with the packaging, or want to protect even the humble pair of Havaianas, you can easily order blanks on Amazon.

Cedar Space cedar shoe tree

Whether you own a single pair of dress shoes or wear a different pair every day, you need some cedar shoe trees. They're an old school favorite for a reason; your shoes won't crease or warp even a little bit when these are tucked inside.

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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. Under the bed 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 also keep your shoes in tip-top shape, we spoke to 16 professional organizers all throughout New York City (and one in Raleigh) for their recommendations. Below, 21 of their favorite boxes, shelves, racks, and more.

Best overall shoe organizers

These clear-plastic shoeboxes from the Container Store were the most recommended storage solution by our organization experts. “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.” They work for both shoes that are worn regularly and ones that need to be stored for the off-season. They’re also stackable. “You want to mimic creating shelves in some way,” says Amanda Wiss, founder of Urban Clarity, while Apartment Jeanie’s Jeanie Engelbach recommends utilizing the height of the closet to store shoes. They’re also easy to label, and Jeni Aron of Clutter Cowgirl says, “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.).” They come in standard, large, and tall sizes (for heels), but can get pricey if you need a bunch of them.

Here’s something similar from the Container Store that three of our experts also highly recommend. “I love these boxes because you don’t have to unstack them to get the pair of shoes you want,” says Emily Matles of Emagine Simplicity. Hord agrees: “These drop-front shoeboxes 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 also likes these because “the closed drawer keeps shoes protected from dust, while small ventilation holes allow shoes to breathe.”

Best over-the-door shoe organizers

For an organization system that’s more out of the way, four of our experts recommend sticking them on the back of a door. “In my opinion, the best place for shoes (in terms of space-saving) is on the back of a door or inside a closet door,” says Tori Cohen of Tori the Organizer. Decker agrees: “An over-the-door shoe organizer is the easiest, simplest way to store shoes. It goes up in a second and can hold 24 pairs of shoes in an otherwise unused space.” Nicole Abramovici of Genius Organizing notes that the average shoe bag accommodates only 12 pairs, but “this gem has 24 pockets [and fits] one pair per pocket, meaning 24 pairs are up in there. Life-changing!” Natalie Schier, president and founder of Cut the Clutter, also recommends this particular style for heels or chunkier shoes. To make this organizer look a little more appealing, professional organizer Ann Sullivan suggests using decorative nails or small hooks to mount it on doors instead of using the over-the-door hooks that comes with it.

This one is even simpler (and less expensive), and it’s Schier’s pick for flats, sandals, and sneakers. “The clear pockets mean you can quickly spot the shoes you want to wear,” she says. “It’s also super easy to mount this rack directly to the inside of a door or even a wall. I use it with my clients not just for shoes, but for winter accessories, too.”

Another over-the-door option is this nifty organizer that Lauren Levy wrote about, and is “the rare hanging option that doesn’t involve any pockets.” While it takes more assembly than one with pouches, “the benefit is that it comfortably carries both heels and flats,” she says, “and it won’t suffocate shoe leather, a material that requires sufficient breathing room to stay fresh.”

$33 at Amazon

Best shoe-cubby systems

For those who prefer to keep shoes contained in their own compartments, try this simple cubby system recommended by Lisa Tselebidis, a KonMari-certified consultant. “This minimalist cubby organizer can be placed anywhere in the home, whether in the entryway or in a closet,” she says. “You can put two or more of these together and create as large of a shoe organizer as you need.” Sullivan also recommends a similar system and notes that it is “great for a mudroom,” and “if you don’t want to do built-ins or have the budget for them.” Amelia Meena of Appleshine is also a fan: “I love using them for flats or sneakers — sometimes heels can be a bit tricky if they’re too high.”

To display all of your shoes in a streamlined manner, Kadi Dulude of Wizard of Homes recommends this tall cubby cabinet that can hold 36 pairs of footwear.

Best shoe racks

Three of our experts — Anna Bauer of Sorted by Anna, Schier, and Kelley Jonkoff, a certified KonMari consultant based in Raleigh — swear by this expanding rack with grippy, offset bars. “The foam coating is KEY,” says Schier. “It keeps the shoes from slipping off the rack.” Jonkoff calls 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.”

Straightforward shoe racks are also great for decluttering spaces like entryways. “They may be basic, but they get the job done,” says Matles. “They’re ideal for adding more shoe storage in your closet or by your entryway.” This one from Homebi is stackable.

Hord’s go-to pick for shoe organization is this stackable mesh rack. “We love this shoe-rack solution for many reasons. One big reason is that it has straight, solid shelves,” she says. Another is the fact that it stacks, which means maximizing vertical space. You can even fit an extra row of shoes on the floor below the bottom shelf.

Jonkoff also likes this one made out of bamboo because it not only provides storage, but also “creates a visually pleasing, calm environment.” She’s partial to storing shoes on a slight slant with the toes facing out, and this three-tier shelf “helps make the shoe more visible, making footwear choices easier,” she adds. “To go full-Kondo for a minute, having the toes facing forward creates a sense of facing the day and the future.”

$31 at Amazon

Barbara Reich of Resourceful Consultants likes the West Elm shoe rack — which is definitely a splurge — for “its simple, clean aesthetic,” she says. “It is a neutral addition to any entryway.” The industrial-looking rack is made from mango wood and steel.

According to Jonkoff, “This rack is ideal for someone with a large shoe collection and a small, multiuse space.” Made from chrome-plated steel with ten tiers and nonslip bars, it can hold up to 50 pairs of women’s shoes of various styles, and because it’s tall, it doesn’t create too large a footprint. It also has wheels, which Jonkoff says is “perfect for a closetless room” because it “can be rolled out of the way when company is over or anytime their usual space is needed for something else.” And the fact that it looks a bit industrial can be plus: “When I’m helping a client organize their clothing, I tell them we’re going to make their closet feel like a boutique.”

Best shoe stackers

To squeeze even more space out of your shelves, Decker suggests trying these Shoe Slotz that “increase storage space and prevent shoes from getting damaged sitting on top of each other.” They’re similar to ones that Strategist contributor Alison Freer recommends, which she says are “like individual two-story condos for every single pair of footwear.” She continues: “As everyone on the island of Manhattan knows, the Golden Rule of creating more space is always to go up rather than out, and because the Shoe Slotz allow me to stack two shoes on top of each other within the same footprint, I essentially halve the amount of space each pair takes up on my shoe racks.” Schier also uses something similar, saying, “They are a game changer for sandals and flats. They literally double the amount of shoes you can store on a flat rack or on the floor.” Schier adds rubber bumpers to the bottoms to keep them from sliding around on the shelf.

Best hanging shoe organizers

Vertical fabric cubbies are another great hanging option for utilizing limited space in a closet. Just attach it to the rod off to the side and you instantly have designated room for your shoes. Dulude recommends this canvas organizer that holds a surprising number of shoes.

$26 at Amazon

Best closed-storage shoe organizers

For those who want their shoes completely out of sight, our experts Bauer and Matles both recommend Ikea’s Trones system, which “is slim and compact and can be used in various areas of your home,” according to Bauer. Matles likes that it “fits perfectly on a wall in a narrow space and keep shoes off the floor.”

Here’s another Ikea solution that keeps shoes concealed behind a sliding door. “This Ikea shoe cabinet is great for a small space and perfect to keep in a hallway by the front door,” says Aron. “If you have the height, you can stack one cabinet on top of the other and store less frequently used shoes and other accessories up top.”

$70 at Ikea

Best seating with shoe storage

“If closet space is an issue and you don’t quite have the space for a shoe cubby, then an ottoman would be a great solution,” says Dulude. This one is made of microfiber and includes interior side pockets for even more storage.

$137 at Amazon

Juli Oliver of OrganizeNY recommends this bench with shelves that makes it easy to put on your shoes — and put them away when you’re done. Perfect for a mudroom or an entryway.

$53 at Amazon

Best storage for boots

Storing boots—especially tall boots—is trickier because of their shafts and how much real estate they take up. And because they’re often made of “supple leather or suedes,” as Engelbach noted, they need a little extra TLC to keep fresh. If you have extra space in your closet, Bauer and Engelbach suggest hanging them with these handy clip hangers.

Schier recommends Voot Boot Shapers to help keep “tall boots from flopping over and ending up in a jumbled mess,” which ultimately makes them easier to store. They’re essentially flexible plastic sheets that you roll up and insert into the shaft. They store flat when you’re not using them.

$13 at Amazon


😍😍😍PabloI love it5

Shoe storageMitzieThese storage containers for shoes are wonderful and are a wonderful way to keep my shoes in good shap. It keeps the dust out. You can see which pair is in there and could be used to store other items5

Great productTinaThey are space saving5

Love these…THERESAI love how organized my shoes look in these. Was also able to get my husband on board with getting his shoes organized instead of sprawled out all over the floor of our walk through closet.5


Great shoe storage.MaritzaGreat shoe storage.5

Great shoe storage simple butShaquanaGreat shoe storage simple but effective.5

Practical storageCHANTELThis simple product line allows visual simplicity to be combined with significant strength and durability.5

Nice ProductJillianI really like these shoe boxes. The material allows airflow, the boxes look really nice and stylish, and you can see what shoes are in each box. Good deal for the price - four in a pack costs $7.99.5

best shoe boxes everBrittnibest shoe boxes ever5

Wish you can have aJocelynWish you can have a bigger size for boots.5

Worth the moneyJoshuaBefore buying these I just had my shoes stacked on top of each other. Now my closet looks more organized5

Great for shoe storageBree L.Great for shoe storage5

OkYeseniaIt was slightly bigger than I wanted. Wish they had atleast two size options!4

Snubbed shoe boxesValerieI just came back for more. I bought I number of these several years ago... but needed more to accommodate new shoes. These are a wonderful storage option as I can still tell what I’m storing and have easy access.5

I LOVE these shoe boxes!ChristinaI’m not the kind of person that buys shoes that need shoe boxes, however wanting to organize my tiny apartment I said ‘what the heck-let’s try this’ and I just love the way they look in my closet. I went back and bought more, some for my niece and some more for me!5

Fits great in a suitcaseAliciaFits great in a suitcase for small items.4

Cute and sturdySafiyaI just got my closet organized and these just add more function to it with space saving solutions5

Impressive boxesMelissaBought online without seeing them. I was impressed in the construction for what they are. Very clever. I bought for shoes but can’t decide whether to put shoes or other accessories in them. Small purses or hats, craft items. I’ll be buying more.5

Love them!!!!PietraHonestly it has totally transformed my closet has given me a lot more space to utilize and I absolutely love the stability, look and feel of these boxes❤️5


Shoe container the

After spending more than 30 hours researching shoe racks, interviewing professional organizers, and assembling 15 racks by hand, we think the Seville Classics 3-Tier Resin Slat Utility Shoe Rack is the best choice for most people who need extra shoe storage in a closet or entryway. Other shoe racks may save you a few bucks, but the Seville Classics is worth the extra cost. It’s the strongest—yet the easiest to assemble—rack we found.

The Seville Classics 3-Tier Resin Slat Utility Shoe Rack stacks vertically or connects horizontally to make the best use of your available space, and also allows you to remove or reposition shelves to accommodate tall shoes and boots that don’t fit on other designs. Tiny toddler sneakers, tall heels, and men’s size 12 shoes stay on this rack equally well, and it offers three generously sized shelves whereas most racks in its price range include only two.

If you’re looking for a modern style, the Oceanstar 2-Tier Bamboo Shoe Rack is a great choice. Easy to assemble (although not as effortless as our main pick), this model is lighter and easier to move around than our top pick. Like the Seville Classics model, this rack stacks vertically to increase storage, but the shelves don’t adjust or configure in any other ways.

Also great

IKEA Bissa

IKEA Bissa

The best way to hide shoes

Cabinets are the only style we tested that store shoes out of sight, and this one costs a fraction of the price of similar models. It’s slimmer and fits a narrow entryway better than any other we tried.

Buying Options

$30* from IKEA

*At the time of publishing, the price was $25.

Unlike most shoe cabinets, which are many times the price, the IKEA Bissa offers hidden shoe storage for a bargain. It was smaller and slimmer than the other cabinet we tested, and it wasted less space on thick cabinet walls. It was also far, far easier for us to assemble. This cabinet will help your shoe storage area look neater than our other picks, but it still takes up more space and stores fewer shoes than most freestanding styles.

If you don’t have the floor space to use freestanding or cabinet-style shoe storage, the Whitmor 36 Pair Over the Door Shoe Rack stores lots of shoes in a small, unused spot. Its unusual design allows you to configure its shelves to fit different-size shoes, and its nonadjustable rubber-lined hooks are more secure than competitors’ hardware. This rack is more visible and looks messier than our other picks, and like most door racks, it can be cumbersome (especially if you need to use the door frequently). But in a category that generally isn't the greatest shoe storage option, the Whitmor model is the best hanging rack we tested.

Everything we recommend

Also great

IKEA Bissa

IKEA Bissa

The best way to hide shoes

Cabinets are the only style we tested that store shoes out of sight, and this one costs a fraction of the price of similar models. It’s slimmer and fits a narrow entryway better than any other we tried.

Buying Options

$30* from IKEA

*At the time of publishing, the price was $25.

Why you should trust us

For this guide I interviewed three professional organizers to help me understand the biggest difficulties most people face when it comes to shoe storage: Beth Penn, author of The Little Book of Tidying and founder of Bneato Bar; Abbey Claire Keusch, owner of Abbey Claire Professional Organizing; and Barbara Reich of Resourceful Consultants and author of Secrets of an Organized Mom. I also spoke to sales associate Bonnie Williams about her nearly 20 years of experience in the shoe department at Prada in New York City.

I’m the home editor for Wirecutter, and I’ve spent the past nine years writing about decor, home organization, and furniture for media companies such as NBC and Apartment Therapy. I also happen to have a large shoe collection, which I’ve had to wrangle into some very small apartments in both Los Angeles and New York City. In other words, I’ve owned a lot of shoe racks.

How to pick the best rack for your home

According to our experts, you probably have more shoes than you need. Professional organizer Barbara Reich laid it out: “People have too many shoes, and they have shoes they don’t wear.” Before beginning your shoe rack search, it’s a good idea to spend some time sorting through your shoe collection and weeding out the excess. You may have fewer shoes to store than you originally thought.

Even if you don’t manage to get rid of a single pair, it’s still smart to take stock. Organizer Abbey Claire Keusch told us, “Count before you buy something! See what type of storage will hold as many [shoes] as possible in your space.”

Before beginning your shoe rack search, it’s a good idea to spend some time sorting through your shoe collection and weeding out the excess. You may have fewer shoes to store than you originally thought.

The right shoe rack will help you store more shoes in less space, and it will keep them visible, easily accessible, and protected from dust, dirt, and interested kids or pets. A shoe rack in the entry or mudroom will keep things organized and eliminate the “shoe parking lot,” as Reich put it.

Every household is different, but when you're beginning your search, consider the following general guidelines regarding rack styles:

A freestanding wooden shoe rack with two shelves.

Freestanding racks are portable and somewhat customizable; most of the models we tested could stack or change in some way. They work best to maximize floor space inside a small closet—most fit under hanging clothes—or by the front door to keep shoes organized.

A white shoe rack with twelve cubbies.

Cubbies are sturdy, and their individual compartments make them a good option if you want each pair of your shoes to have a separate home. Because your shoes must fit within specific dimensions, cubbies are less versatile than other types of storage we considered. You’ll still see your shoes, however, so cubbies let you show off pretty pairs. This style works especially well in a dressing area or a walk-in closet; it tends to take up more space than freestanding racks but also provides a top surface you can use for other storage.

A white shoe cabinet with its door open, revealing four pairs of neatly stacked shoes.

Shoe cabinets keep footwear hidden, so they work well in an open space. They’re usually taller and bigger than other racks and designed with deep drawers that pivot open and closed. A cabinet is perfect for an entryway or if you’d like to store shoes out of sight in the bedroom (but don’t have space in the closet).

A white over-the-door shoe rack holding five pairs of shoes.

Over-the-door racks can be problematic, but if you have limited floor space, a hanging rack may be your best bet. Our experts strongly disliked the flimsiness of over-the-door racks and their tendency to make it difficult to use the door, but we also spoke to several Wirecutter staffers with kids, who praised these racks as a great way to keep shoes up and away from small hands. These racks also tend to be very inexpensive, so if you need a temporary, disposable storage option, a door rack could work just fine.

If you have limited closet space, split up your shoe collection and use extra space where you find it.

You can find lots of other shoe-storage styles, including shoe trees, rolling racks, and under-the-bed storage, but after much research and many conversations with our experts, we concluded that none of those options made sense for our purposes. We also considered adding a section on installed shelving systems, such as the Elfa line at The Container Store or Closetmaid Impressions, but we opted to focus on more portable, flexible shoe-storage options in this guide.

Keep in mind that shoe storage isn’t an all-or-nothing exercise, and the most successful organizers are the ones who realize that shoes don’t all need to be stored in the same place. Organizer Beth Penn told us, “Most people are trying to maximize every inch of storage in their regular closet, so if they do have room elsewhere for fancier shoes or out-of-season shoes—under the bed or in a guest closet—they should take advantage.” This concept came up over and over during conversations with our pros: If you have limited closet space, split up your shoe collection and use extra space where you find it.

This could also mean that you need to buy more than one shoe rack. If you’re planning to store the bulk of your shoes in your closet but want to keep everyday pairs near the front door, you will probably require a rack for each space.

How we picked and tested

Our four picks for best shoe rack.

You can find hundreds of nearly identical shoe racks out there; our goal was to choose a rack that was not only sturdy and simple to assemble but also useful for a wide range of storage needs.

As anyone who has owned a crappy shoe rack can attest, certain factors will quickly turn any rack into more trouble than it’s worth, so we carefully considered the following criteria:

Stability: We wanted to find storage options that could handle the commotion of a regular household and hold up when jostled or bumped. When we scoured reviews, the number one owner complaint we noticed had to do with flimsy, wobbly racks that dumped shoes on the floor.

Capacity: We were looking for a rack that would easily hold a variety of shoe types and provide enough storage space to make it worth the purchase. We learned from reviews that people were often frustrated that a rack they bought online didn’t hold as many shoes as it promised, or that it didn’t hold the specific kind of shoes they needed to store. For men’s shoes, things are a little easier, as those are usually similar in shape, but women’s high heels and boots (even ankle boots) are often too tall or unwieldy for certain racks.

A person placing a pair of shoes into a partially full shoe cabinet.

Ease of assembly: It was important to us that a shoe rack be easy to put together, so we aimed to find models that came with clear directions, needed few or no extra tools to assemble, and included good-quality, well-labeled parts. During testing we especially appreciated extra touches like predrilled guide holes to help us easily find the right place for a screw, and racks that came with the tools we needed for assembly.

Ability to customize: Because everyone owns a different combination of shoe types and not all types fit perfectly on every rack, you’re unlikely to find the perfect, maximize-your-space rack without a little tweaking. That’s why we were especially interested in racks that allowed for some customization. They could be stackable (allowing you to add another unit to increase capacity), modular, or designed with shelves that are adjustable by height. Our experts warned us to avoid “expandable” racks consisting of bars that slide horizontally to create longer shelves. These models usually trade stability for length, and the adjusted shelves often wobble, sag in the center, or pull apart.

Two people examining an instruction manual for assembling a shoe rack. They are surrounded by various disassembled shoe racks, two potted plants, and a large screen TV.

Style: While style wasn’t our top concern, each rack’s styling and finishes did factor into our decision. We think most people use a shoe rack inside a closet, where style isn’t of the utmost importance, but some people also want storage that will look nice out in the open. Even in a closet, racks that were too bulky seemed like they would just waste valuable storage space, and racks without clean lines seemed like they would be difficult to maneuver around in a small area.

We looked at a variety of rack styles and read hundreds of reviews on the sites of Amazon, The Container Store, Home Depot, Overstock, and many others. We then researched more than 50 promising shoe racks before narrowing the field to our testing group of 15.

With a team of two, we began each test by setting a timer to track how long the shoe rack took to assemble. Because of the wide variety in rack styles, that number ranged from three minutes to nearly two hours! We also noted how clear the instructions were, how well the parts were labeled, and what additional tools (or knowledge) we needed. When a rack had the ability to adjust or change, we tested that, too—stacking multiple units, moving shelves, and adding extensions to make sure that when used at full capacity, the rack would still perform.

A person placing a burgundy suede high heel into a clear plastic shoe drawer.

After we set up each rack, I filled it with my own shoes in a variety of styles and heel heights, as well as a range of other sizes—from tiny toddler shoes to a men’s size 12. I noted how many shoes each rack held. I also checked for other variables such as the space between tiers, the height of the first tier (to see if a bonus row of shoes could fit underneath), and where each rack would work best in a home.

Finally, it was time for the “jiggle test,” during which I bumped, shook, and generally put each rack through its paces to see how stable and useful it was.

Our pick: Seville Classics 3-Tier Resin Slat Utility Shoe Rack

Four pairs of shoes sitting on our pick for best shoe rack.

We recommend the Seville Classics 3-Tier Resin Slat Utility Shoe Rack for its winning combination of stability, easy assembly, and versatility. The steel frame is stronger and feels more stable than the structure of any other model we considered, and it’s one of the fastest and easiest racks to set up. This model was the most customizable rack we found, and it can hold a wide variety of shoe sizes and styles.

Right out of the box, the Seville Classics is clearly a good-quality shoe rack. The frame is weighty and substantial, yet its steel bars are slim—about half an inch wide. It’s a combination that we didn’t find in any other rack we tested: Racks with thin frames were wobbly, while racks that were solid and heavy took up more space. We also like the wide, rubber-tipped feet, which allow for leveling on uneven surfaces. This rack will stay steady even on warped floors or lumpy carpet.

Most freestanding racks consist of metal or wood shelving attached to separate vertical leg pieces—the shelves are the only source of horizontal strength. The Seville Classics, however, includes a complete cagelike outer frame in addition to the metal-framed shelves. The combination of those two layers of steel gives this rack much more stability than in any other rack we tried. During our jiggle test, most freestanding racks wobbled enough to let some shoes fall to the floor, but the Seville Classics rack didn’t drop a single shoe.

This model was the only rack we found with a fold-open frame. It doesn’t require screws, extra parts, or tools, in contrast to many of the racks we assembled. Instead, the frame opens like a book and the shelves snap easily and securely in place. And even though the shelves install very securely, they are also easy to adjust or remove. Many shoe racks require you to attach the shelves to the frame with screws—which of course means that any adjustments you want to make later force you to undo that work. The shelves on the Seville Classics model easily snap off the frame for repositioning.

The Seville Classics also offers more customizable storage than other freestanding racks we tried. It comes with three resin slat shelves, but the frame has four levels. We suspect that the very top level is meant to function as a carrying handle, but if you want a little extra room for storing high heels or ankle boots, installing a shelf on that top tier will give you the space for it. If you need even more distance (say, if you want to store tall boots), you also have the option to leave out a shelf altogether.

Several Seville Classics shoe racks stacked on top of one another to create a shoe rack that is six shelves high.

If you need a lot of storage, you can easily stack multiple units vertically with nary a wobble. Other racks we tested grew exponentially precarious as their height increased, whereas the Seville Classics rack was still very solid when it was two units and six shelves high. The shelves are also strong enough on their own to serve as a bridge, connecting the frames of two units if you want to attach several together side by side. Any of the shelves can do this, but if you need extras, Seville Classics sells what it calls an Extra Knock Down Shoe Rack Shelf, which costs about $8 as of this writing and appears to be available only on the company’s website. If you have a lot of shoes to store, this add-on will give you some extra shelf space without your having to buy another complete unit. It also creates a handy space for tall boots, which are notoriously tricky to store.

Several different Seville Classics shoe racks connected together to make a long rack with multiple compartments of different sizes.

We tried many different sizes and styles of shoes on this rack, and it performed well with each one. Depending on the shoe size, the three shelves of the Seville Classics rack hold between nine and 12 pairs of shoes. The shelves are 12 inches deep—roomy enough to accommodate a men’s size 12. In contrast, we found that large shoes often hung over the edge of slimmer shelves. The slats of the Seville Classics model’s shelves were also thick enough to allow our high heels to sit flat, while some competitors let narrow heels fall right through the surface.

As of this writing, this rack has close to 7,000 reviews on Amazon, and nearly all of them are raves. Amazon customer Shawkins sums it up: “You really do get what you pay for. There are a lot of cheap options for shoe racks out there and the cheaper ones are flimsy.… These shoe racks are so incredibly sturdy, easy to assemble (don't require any tools), and if you buy more than one there are a multitude of ways to put them together to make custom shelving.”

If something does go wrong, Seville Classics offers a one-year warranty, one of the only warranties we found among our test group. We always appreciate a warranty, not just because it would replace or refund a damaged rack, but also because we think a company that offers a warranty has real incentive to make something that won’t break in the first place. We tested the Seville Classics warranty by calling customer service to inquire about returning a defective rack, and the representative was receptive and helpful. We don’t doubt that the company would follow through and take care of any problems.

If all this sounds great to you, but you want a slightly different option, we also tested the 2-Tier Iron Stackable Shoe Storage Rack from Bed Bath & Beyond. This rack was a surprise because, until it arrived in a Seville Classics box, we didn’t realize it was made by that company. The steel frame is nearly identical to that of our main pick, and we found it just as solid and easy to assemble. The shelf surface is slightly different, with a teak-colored finish (the teak looks nice from a distance but feels more like plastic), and the frame is missing the top “handle” row that we thought was so versatile on the three-tier version. But if you like the look of lighter wood and don’t mind getting two shelves instead of three (for the same price), this rack is a great option.

Long-term test notes

Several Wirecutter staffers use the Seville Classics in their own homes, and the feedback is overwhelmingly positive. Lead editor Kimber Streams, who has owned this rack since 2016, told us, “It's held up great and it's easy to clean, which is useful for winters in Buffalo when it gets all salty. We bought another one this year because we ran out of room on the first.”

I’ve been using two of these racks since we published this review, and they look brand-new despite my moving them to a new house (which was being renovated) where I used them for all kinds of storage (think belt sanders and heavy moving boxes) before giving them their current place in my closet.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The Seville Classics rack isn’t the most stylish or the sleekest shoe rack in our test group, but neither is it noticeably ugly. It’s simply a plain, nondescript rack that will blend into the background, which, for a shoe rack, may in fact be a perk. If you love high design, other racks looked more stylish in our opinion—we thought The Container Store’s Silver Mesh Stackable Shoe Shelf looked the best overall—but we think a great-looking rack that doesn’t perform is just not worth the hassle.

This model probably isn’t the best rack if you want to move your storage frequently. The units are a bit heavy, and they don’t latch together when stacked. To add a second unit, you simply insert the bottom prongs (where you’d otherwise screw on the rubber feet) into corresponding holes on the other frame. The two frames sit very securely together, but if you pick up the rack by its top handle, the units will separate. Sliding them back together is easy enough, but it can be annoying. We think most people set up a shoe rack and never think about it again, so you probably won’t even notice.

Runner-up: Oceanstar 2-Tier Bamboo Shoe Rack

Four pairs of shoes sitting on our runner-up pick for best shoe rack, the Oceanstar 2-Tier Bamboo Shoe Rack.

If the Seville Classics 3-Tier Shoe Rack isn’t available or you prefer a solid-bamboo option, the Oceanstar 2-Tier Bamboo Shoe Rack is a great alternative. The wood construction makes this rack lighter than the steel-frame Seville Classics, but it’s still very stable. The Oceanstar has less storage—two shelves instead of three—but it still holds many types of shoes well. It stacks easily but is less customizable overall than our main pick.

The Oceanstar model’s lighter weight and built-in handles make it much easier to move around than the Seville Classics rack, especially when loaded up with shoes. If you want to move your shoe storage frequently, you may be better off choosing this model. And despite the lighter frame, this rack was stronger than most of the other freestanding racks we tested, as it resisted wobbling when we bumped it; our shoes, even the heels, stayed put.

Seven pairs of shoes placed across four shelves on our runner-up pick for best shoe rack.

Like the Seville Classics, the Oceanstar can stack vertically, and it does so well—wooden dowels secure the units together, and they don’t easily pull apart. The shelves don’t adjust, but they do have a generous 8 inches of space between them, so most high heels and ankle boots will fit. This rack’s two shelves won’t hold as many pairs as our main pick, but it also costs a little less.

The Oceanstar requires a bit more assembly than our winner. You must attach the two shelves to the end pieces using the included screws and hex key (we appreciated that one comes in the package). Overall, assembly was easy enough and it took us only about eight minutes to get this rack ready to roll, but that hardly compared to the simplicity of unfolding and snapping together the Seville Classics rack.

A close up of the dowels the Oceanstar shoe rack uses to stack vertically.

It’s also not the most elegant design we encountered. On our test unit, the bamboo was sanded smooth, but the squared-off handles had sharp edges that would have been nicer had they been rounded. And since the rack has no stabilizing feet, we imagine it could get rickety on rough terrain. This is a great rack and it definitely does its job well, but in the end it just isn’t quite as impressive as the Seville Classics.

Also great: IKEA Bissa

Our pick for best shoe cabinet, the IKEA Bissa.

Also great

IKEA Bissa

IKEA Bissa

The best way to hide shoes

Cabinets are the only style we tested that store shoes out of sight, and this one costs a fraction of the price of similar models. It’s slimmer and fits a narrow entryway better than any other we tried.

Buying Options

$30* from IKEA

*At the time of publishing, the price was $25.

The shoe cabinet we like best is the IKEA Bissa. It’s just as useful as shoe cabinets more than three times the price, and miles easier to assemble. It doesn’t come with the customization options of our main pick, and it won’t fit as wide a range of shoes, but we think this model is an excellent option for an entryway, or anywhere else you want to store your shoes out of sight.

The Bissa comes with either two or three drawers, and each one holds about four pairs of shoes, fewer than larger cabinets we considered because, at 20 inches wide, the Bissa is one of the narrowest models we found. It can also accommodate taller shoes if you remove the drawer’s adjustable center divider—a feature common to most cabinet styles. The Bissa is also slim, only 11 inches deep, so it’s great for small hallways.

A close up of a laptop displaying a YouTube tutorial for assembling the IKEA Bissa, with two people assembling shoe racks out of focus in the background.

In true IKEA fashion, the instructions consisted of a series of pictures, which were clear and (for the most part) easy to follow. The parts were well-labeled and the technique was mostly intuitive. We ran into a snag when it came time to insert the shoe drawers into our assembled cabinet, as that step was somewhat unclear in the instructions; it took a helpful YouTube video to get us back on track. We finished the entire project in about 45 minutes, which seemed like a miracle after we spent two hours assembling our other shoe-cabinet contender, the Baxton Studio Simms.

A close up of the interior of the IKEA Bissa's shelves.

The Bissa doesn’t have a closed back panel, as it’s meant to stand up against a wall. IKEA recommends attaching it to the wall to make sure it won’t tip over. Although we found the Bissa to be plenty stable, we agree that a heavy cabinet should always be safely secured (particularly if you have kids).

We especially love the bargain price of the Bissa, which was the only shoe cabinet we found in the same price range as freestanding shoe racks. Most cabinets cost many times more. Sitting side by side with the other, more expensive cabinet-style model we tested in person, the Bissa did look cheaper—the cabinet was smaller and the walls were thinner—but in this case we think that’s a pro rather than a con. In addition to being a nightmare to put together, the more expensive Baxton Studio cabinet was just too big and bulky. It wasted so much space. Since the goal with a shoe rack is to save space, it makes sense to use all the available area to actually store shoes rather than sacrifice space to thick cabinet walls.

Because the Bissa’s drawers pivot open and closed, your shoes will move around more than they would if you simply set them on a freestanding rack like our main pick. This could mean that, in order to prevent nicer pairs from touching or scuffing, you may want to give them some breathing room, which in turn could reduce capacity. If you’re worried about your shoes shifting, you may prefer another rack style. However, if you want the ability to pile a drawer full of sneakers and then hide them away, one Wirecutter editor who owns this rack told us this is the perfect way to do it.

Also great: Whitmor 36 Pair Over the Door Shoe Rack

Our pick for best over the door shoe rack hanging over a door holding four pairs of shoes.

In a notoriously bad category, the Whitmor 36 Pair Over the Door Shoe Rack manages to shine. It avoids many of the usual pitfalls that people hate about hanging racks, and it holds more shoes than any of our other picks.

Most over-the-door hanging racks are made from a length of fabric with pockets to hold your shoes. The Whitmor model consists of two end pieces connected by horizontal bars that form shelves. In our tests, assembly was quick (about 10 minutes) and intuitive, but we did need to use some extra muscle when inserting the bars—they were a bit wobbly in the frame until we pounded them together (we used the heel of a boot on the fly, but you can use a mallet).

Other shoe racks we tried had slippery bars that let our shoes fall through the center, but the bars on this rack were textured and gripped our shoes’ soles well. This rack held most of our shoes (even when I slammed the door), but because of the shelf style, it wasn’t as successful with very small or very large sizes. Short toddler shoes reached both bars but felt less stable than larger sizes, and very long soles (men’s size 12) stuck too far off the back of the shelf.

The Whitmor rack is surprisingly stable, thanks to its rigid curved frame and its hooks, which attach securely to the top of a door. Other hanging racks in our test group have loose hooks that cause sag, but the Whitmor’s hooks are constructed of flat, wide, J-shaped molded metal strips. The hooks are strong and lined with rubber so they grip the top of the door well, and they sit flat enough that they should allow you to open and close the door normally. The hooks slip perfectly over a 1⅔-inch-thick door, but they might be too loose on thinner doors and won’t fit over thicker doors.

Finally, we love the ability to customize a shoe rack, and this model was the only hanging rack we tested that let us modify it. It can adjust in two key ways. First, the frame’s three separate sections clip together so you can alter the length of the rack based on the number of shoes you have to store. Second, if you need more clearance than the 5 inches between the shelves, you can fold alternating shelves flat to get them out of the way and make room for taller shoes.

There’s no escaping the fact that having shoes on your door isn’t ideal—the extra weight on the door can stress its hinges, and the hardware may prevent the door from shutting properly, damaging the door trim and making locks and latches too tight. Plus, the racks themselves are bulky and can look messy. But if you need to keep your shoes off the floor, the Whitmor rack is the best way we’ve found to do that.

The competition

Two wooden crates being used as shoe racks.

If you want a very customizable yet unconventional shoe-storage system, the Crates & Pallet Large Wood Crate is a solid, if rustic, option. The divided version is handy for creating more space, but these crates don't stack securely, and they're a bit bulky for the amount of storage they give you. We can see these working well if you want to store outdoor shoes on a porch or in a mudroom, but we don’t think they’re ideal for more delicate styles.

We really liked The Container Store's Silver Mesh Stackable Shoe Shelf, and we came close to making it a pick. This model is a great-looking freestanding rack with a sleek metallic mesh design. Each level is sold individually, but they stack together easily and ingeniously. This rack would be ideal if you have only a few pairs of shoes to store (each tier easily holds four). In our tests, however, as we added more levels, we found the stack to be too wobbly to win our recommendation.

The Langria 5-Tier Metal Shoe Rack Organizer sounds good on paper, as it’s almost endlessly adjustable (you can position the shelves at any height you choose), but in reality the quality just isn’t there. The plastic clips that were meant to keep the shelves secure didn’t install correctly for us, and the rack wasn’t marked with any guidelines, so we were left to guess at where to install them in order to keep the shelves level. The entire frame was a wobbly mess and almost immediately dumped all our shoes on the floor.

The sleek design and narrow width of the Whitmor 20 Pair Shoe Rack make it great for small spaces, but in our tests its shelves—which were slick and consisted of only two horizontal bars—let our shoes slip through the middle and fall.

The Container Store’s 8-Pair Shoe Organizer was the best cubby-style option we found, but it wasn’t good enough to make our final list. The spaces fit a pair of shoes side by side but are too short for heels or ankle boots. In our tests, the white shelving boards seemed to attract dust and lint; this model kept picking up fibers from the carpet in our office, something that didn’t happen with any other rack. Another minor, yet very noticeable, flaw: The body is constructed with black screws that stick out terribly against the all-white surface (this is the same on both Container Store cubby styles we tried). The rack comes with a small bag of white plastic pieces meant to cover up this problem, but it took only about two minutes for them to fall off.

The Container Store’s 12-Pair Shoe Organizer has the same outer dimensions (and proclivity for dust) as the 8-Pair Shoe Organizer but divides the interior area into more, smaller cubbies. This design makes its compartments too small to fit anything except very small and narrow flats or kids shoes.

We had high hopes for the Real Simple Shoe Organizer because it appeared to be a rare cubby-style rack that was also adjustable—removable slats let you customize the height of the cubbies. It’s a great idea, but in our tests the width of the cubbies (which was not adjustable) turned out to be far too narrow to fit a pair of adult shoes side by side. Only one shoe fits per slot, which is a terrible waste of space.

We thought The Container Store's Clear Stackable Shoe Drawers might be a good way to both protect and display beautiful and delicate shoes, and they are. The drawers are made from good-quality plastic, and they stack well, but they also show every fingerprint and wind up looking dingy quickly. We found the women's-size box way too small to store any pair except sandals or flats. The more expensive men's-size box fit some of our heels (on their sides only, which isn’t ideal for display) but not our ankle boots. Overall we concluded that these boxes weren’t a practical option for storing many pairs.

The Baxton Studio Simms Shoe Cabinet was the most expensive model we tested, and we were hoping to find a gem, but this cabinet-style rack was a nightmare to assemble. The directions were unclear, the parts weren't well-labeled, and we had to backtrack and undo work in order to complete certain steps. It took our team of two people nearly two hours to complete the job. The finished product looks very nice and the drawers pivot smoothly, but we expect the flimsy plastic hinges to break quickly.

The Honey-Can-Do 24-Pocket Over-The-Door Closet Organizer had all the problems inherent to the over-the-door style, but it was the best fabric hanging rack we found. The bamboo panel looks nice and helps a bit to keep the panel flat against the door, the hooks fit a standard door securely, and the canvas is good quality. As with most hanging racks, the pockets fit only one shoe each and tend to sag, but if you have lots of kids shoes to get up off the floor (each pocket fits a pair of toddler-sized shoes), this model would be a good budget option.

If you’ve found that most over-the-door racks don’t fit your thicker-than-average door, consider the Misslo Hanging Over the Door Shoe Organizer. The hooks are wider (1¾ inches) than on most other styles. However, if you have a standard door (1⅜ inches), you should skip this model, as loose hooks only increase the sag factor. The pockets are large but still fit only one adult shoe per slot.

More about organizing from our editors


  1. Abbey Claire Keusch, owner, Abbey Claire Professional Organizing, phone interview, August 17, 2017

  2. Beth Penn, founder, Bneato Bar, phone interview, August 15, 2017

  3. Barbara Reich, owner, Resourceful Consultants, phone interview, August 15, 2017

  4. Bonnie Williams, sales associate, Prada, phone interview, August 16, 2017

  5. Lauren Schwartzberg, A Shoe Organizer That Takes Up Practically Zero Space, New York, April 3, 2017

  6. The Invisible, Closet Storage Systems: Elfa vs. Rubbermaid vs. Closetmaid, Real Mod, May 13, 2014

  7. Michelle Ullman, The best shoe racks you can buy, Business Insider, July 18, 2017

  8. Choosing the best closet system, Consumer Reports, January 1, 2014

About your guide

Jennifer Hunter

Jennifer Hunter is a senior editor covering apparel, accessories, and pets, and she was previously editor of Wirecutter’s home-goods coverage. She spent a decade writing and editing for lifestyle brands such as Architectural Digest and Apartment Therapy, which has come in handy for her latest project: restoring her untouched mid-century Los Angeles home.

Step By Step Guidance - Stackable \u0026 Foldable Shoe Box

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