What are the different types of shoe organizers?

Shoes are just inherently hard to store without some type of organizer. Tossing them on the floor of the closet just makes them hard to find and they will likely get damaged. That may be fine for running shoes, but not for dress shoes or leather boots. Stacking shoes doesn’t work very well either because shoes are different shapes and sizes and just tumble off their pile. So what are the options to keep your shoes organized and stored in the smallest possible space? 

There are hundreds of shoe organizers on the market, but their variety is mainly due to type of material used, colors, and the number of shoes they can hold. The main types of shoe organizers can be broken down into just a few categories. As you read through the various types of shoe organizers below keep in mind how many shoes you have, and the amount of space you have (and want to devote) to organizing your shoes.

Different types of shoe organizers

  • Shelves: Simple shelves can be built into the closet wall to store shoes. You can buy pieces of wood (natural or painted) and fix them vertically on the wall spaced every foot or so, or horizontally across the bottom of the closet or above the clothes bar (up high but within reach).

  • Free Standing Shelves/Rack: Freestanding shelves/racks can be metal mesh or plastic, and are typically stackable to accommodate more shoes. Some of these shoe organizers expand horizontally to fit more shoes as needed; others are a fixed width.
  • Hanging Shelves: Hanging shoe organizers hang vertically from a hook or ties with pockets that each hold a pair of shoes. They can be placed over a door or attach to a clothes bar.
  • Standing shoe tree: Shoe trees are rather unique organizers. Smaller shoe trees hold fewer than 10 pairs of shoes, and larger varieties fix to the ceiling and floor and can hold more than 30 pairs. The toe opening of the shoe is hung vertically over metal branches, hence the name tree.
  • Shoe Bins: Shoe bin organizers are basically boxes with lids. Some bins are clear so you can see what’s inside. The problem with these organizers is that shoes don’t tend to breathe, and you may end up with a stinky box. Also, shoe bins actually use much more material than you need to organize your shoes.
  • Drawers: If your closet is short on space, you might try a drawer that can be placed under the bed or dresser to organize your shoes. These drawers don’t typically have lids, and just slide under furniture hidden away.
  • Most unique: While you can’t typically pile shoes on top of each other and have them stay in place, check out this solution to the problem.