Stuck for shoe storage ideas? Here are 15 ideas to store them all – from heels to hiking boots

Whether you’re looking to store a large collection or have limited space, these shoe storage ideas will provide options for every home.

We tend to think carefully about things like clothes storage, but when it comes to shoe storage ideas, it can often feel like an afterthought – a too-small basket in the hall, shoved in the bottom of a wardrobe or worse, a pile of shoe boxes stacked perilously in a cupboard.

But thinking through your shoe storage options means your favourite heels, trainers, and casual flats will not only stay in tip-top shape but are easy to find when you’re getting ready to go to work or on a night out. 

Credit: Sharps

Stylist Bella Hignett, of Bella Hignett Styling, who provides storage solutions for her clients, explains. “Some shoes – if left damp and thrown into a cupboard – can go mouldy and start to smell awful. And in other cases, such as with leather shoes, direct sunlight can cause discolouration, and cracks.”

To help you figure out the best way to stash away yours and your family’s prized shoe collection , here’s what the experts in storage, interiors and organisation recommend.


1. Set up a system of wardrobe boxes

An ideal choice for putting an outfit together effortlessly

Plastic shoe boxes and shoesCredit: A Place For Everything

According to Hignett, one of the best places to store shoes is in your wardrobe. “I suggest this to my clients where possible, so when they get dressed in front of a mirror, they can easily see their whole look from head to toe. And if your shoes are not in front of you in the morning when you’re getting dressed,” she adds, “it’s easy to forget about what you have.”

But for this method to work, it’s essential to store your footwear in the correct way to prevent creating a cluttered mess. “I recommend keeping them in boxes, either their original shoe box or a similar-sized plastic box, with a picture of the shoe on the outside,” she says. Storage boxes are ideal for more formal shoes that you want to keep in good condition.

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2. Fit wardrobe shelves or racks

Go bespoke if you can

Shaker Boot Room cabinet in Willow Green by SharpsCredit: Sharps

If you’re lucky enough to be able to create bespoke shoe storage, Hignett insists that adding pull-out shoe racks within your wardrobe is a must – and even better if they are adjustable.

“Storing shoes on shoe racks in a wardrobe is brilliant, as it will allow them enough room to sit properly,” she says. “I suggest you have racks that can be moved up and down, to support different shoe sizes and shapes.”

If you can’t get racks or shelves designed specifically for your wardrobe, Simon Glanville, managing director at A Place For Everything, suggests the next best thing. “If you’re storing shoes inside a wardrobe, think about doubling up on storage space with in-cupboard shoe racks or using space-saving shoe steps.”

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3. Install tall cabinets with pull-down drawers

This clever solution will save space and keep shoes in good condition

Slimline three door shoe cabinet in greyCredit: Noa and Nani

Tall cabinets are a fantastic space-saving option for storing shoes as they take up less floor area, making them ideal for narrow hallways or smaller bedrooms.

Buying a unit with pull-down drawers can be particularly useful, especially for those who struggle with mobility, as it reduces the need to bend down as far. Cabinets like the one pictured above work by allowing you to fit shoes in neatly before closing the door leaving them positioned upright – thus saving space when not in use!

4. Use a bookcase

They’re not just for books!

Berkfield tall shoe cabinet in whiteCredit: B&Q

It sounds unconventional, but purchasing a piece of furniture not specifically designed for shoe storage, could be an option. “Some of my clients have bought bookshelves for their shoes, which they have kept against the wall in a free space in their bedroom,” Hignett explains.

As bookcases are also an open storage solution, they allow you to pick the pair of shoes you want instantly. Top tipwhen choosing a bookcase, be sure to measure up the shelves to check they will fit your shoe size before buying one.


5. Put a storage bench in the hallway

A multi-functional option with areas for seating, decor and shoe storage

Grey shoe storage bench with cushionsCredit: Vonhaus

Perhaps one of the most popular shoe storage ideas is a storage bench in a hallway, providing you with a handy place to pop your heels, trainers or walking sandals, it also serves for useful purposes. Melissa Denham, interior design expert at Hammonds, says, “Storage benches provide a comfortable space to sit and remove shoes, and at the same time, they offer added storage under the seat, which is great for housing any shoes you want to keep out of view.” 

It can also become a stylish piece of decor, too, Denham explains. “If you choose the colours and fabrics wisely, storage benches can work well to soften the space, making your entrance homelier and more welcoming.’

Another great use for a storage bench is to keep any work or kids’ school bags off the floor in the hallway.

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6. Go big with freestanding units

A boot room-style option for those needing a lot of storage space

Large coat rack and bench in dark greenCredit: Magnet

Many of us would love our own dedicated boot room for stashing our shoes away, but this isn’t always a practical or affordable or even a possible option. If you can’t stretch to an entire boot room, there are still plenty of boot room-esque units available that provide not only a place to sit, but also ample storage for shoes, coats and bags.

Denham says: “Working better in wider spaces, boot room cabinets can feature open shelves or have doors or a mix of both. Fitted boot room cabinets can also be installed perfectly into alcoves.”

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7. Make use of the backs of doors

An under-utilised location that can provide excellent shoe storage

Shoe rack on back of doorCredit: A Place For Everything

The backs of doors are often an unused spot when it comes to storage but can be invaluable if used correctly. They’re particularly good for storing slimline shoes such as flats and flip flops.

“You can get handy over-the-door shoe racks for storing your shoes from pretty much anywhere,” says Zoe Warren, interior design expert at PriceYourJob. “These are usually best placed in a cupboard, spare room, or somewhere else out of sight, as unfortunately, they can be unattractive.”

Remember to also place this type of storage over a door with adequate space behind it, to allow the door to still open fully without obstruction. “It’s also worth remembering that you should avoid placing over-the-door storage on fire doors, as this could compromise them,” says Warren.

8. Suspend wall racks

Keep mucky shoes off your floors

Wall mounted black slatted shelf with shoes on itCredit: Etsy

Utilising wall space for storage is a particularly good idea if you’re a little bit short on floor space, which is where shoe racks fitted to the wall come in handy. You can get bespoke suspended wall racks designed specifically for your home (and fitted by a professional), or there are plenty of units that can be bought and fitted to the wall as a DIY project.

If you’re looking to store bulky outdoor shoes, such as muddy wellies or dirty hiking boots, a unit assembled to the wall can also be helpful for keeping shoes off the ground – especially if you have carpets.

9. Choose cabinets with doors

Tuck away your shoes for a clean, organised look

Grey double door shoe cabinetCredit: The Cotswold Company

You’ll likely have closed-door cabinetry elsewhere in your home, but it can pay to consider its use for shoe storage. “Cabinets with doors are great for storing shoes, as it gives you a way to hide all of your shoe clutter,” Warren says. “Plus, you can have designated cubby areas for each shoe type so you always know where to look for each style.”

In terms of the best closed-door cabinets for your home, Warren suggests matching them with the rest of your furniture to create a cohesive design theme. “Alternatively, if the shoes aren’t especially stylish, you can hide them away, in storage cupboards.”

10. Allocate baskets

Perfect for visiting youngsters

Large woven basket on hallway tableCredit: Neptune

Basket storage is a popular solution for stashing shoes, and it’s got plenty of benefits. Baskets can easily corral the clutter of shoes into one place, and they are one of the lowest maintenance shoe storage ideas around.

Interior designer Nicolene Mausenbaum, owner of Dezyna Interiors, advises that they may be more suitable for smaller children’s shoes, given that they can be a little less delicate.

They can also be a great storage option to get little ones involved with tidying up.

“Organising children’s shoes in a fun, visually appealing way, such as using baskets, can help them get involved in the clean-up process, and learn responsibility in looking after their belongings,” Mausenbaum explains. Ideal if you regularly have younger family members visiting you.

11. Fix floating shelves

Have them out on display or hide them away

Boaxel shoe storage shelves, IkeaCredit: Ikea

They may be more common for displaying decorative items such as framed family photographs, but it’s important not to write off floating shelves when it comes to shoe storage, says Juliette Thomas, founder and director of Juliettes Interiors. “Floating shelves are a great choice for displaying eye-catching, statement pairs of shoes, as well as smaller collections,” she says.

But floating shelves can also be useful if tucked away. “If you have a cupboard in your hallway or underneath your stairs,” says Warren, “this is a great place for storing shoes on floating shelves. It will allow you to place all your shoes on display, meaning you won’t have to go sifting through piles of them.”

12. Store shoes under your bed

The ideal option for storing seasonal shoes

Under bed large shoe storage bagCredit: Dunelm

There’s usually a fair bit of storage space under our beds, whether it’s open, has pull-out drawers, or you have an ottoman-style bed. It’s a space that might work for your shoe collection. Mausenbaum says: “Clear containers designed specifically as under-bed storage are a great way to double up on unused storage real estate and help to keep shoes tucked away neatly.”

However, given this space isn’t as easily accessible, Glanville suggests you might want to think carefully about which shoes you place here. “That precious space under the bed storage is usually best for storing out-of-season shoes – such as summer sandals in winter.”

13. Pick cubby-style storage

Handy for different size shoes

Storage bench with shoe cubbies and hanging rail aboveCredit: Garden Trading

Using dedicated units for your shoes can be excellent for organised and accessible storage, but one issue with many standard cabinets is that they tend to have a standardised shelf space, meaning you may only be able to store one size of shoe.

If you have a larger family with lots of different shoe sizes, make sure you choose a unit with different-sized cubbies to store a variety of footwear in all shapes and sizes. From taller wellies and heels to low ballet flats and mid-size walking boots, each pair needs a home.

Not only will the cubby holes make putting shoes away effortless, but the separation of different-sized shoes will make the space look neater too – especially if the unit is open, rather than closed behind doors.

14. Rely on freestanding racks

Perfect for heels or more delicate shoes

Hambledon Shoe RackCredit: Garden Trading

The classic shoe storage idea, shoe racks provide the perfect spot for all sorts of footwear, whether it’s heels or trainers, as they can also allow damp shoes to air out easily.

Shoe racks are incredibly versatile, and you should be able to find an option at the height and width to suit your home. Similarly, you can buy shoe racks with just one level, or multiple tiers if you’re storing shoes for family members (or you simply have a large collection yourself).

However, Glanville insists that one specific model is better for smaller homes. “Choose a shoe rack that places shoes at an angle, for a smaller footprint in hallways where floor space is at a premium.”

15. Utilise vertical space

Make use of every spare inch

Narrow five tier shoe rack by a place for everything

If you’ve got a small sliver of vertical space, be it in a wardrobe or a hallway cupboard, hanging vertical storage might be the perfect solution to your shoe storage woes.

There are plenty of affordable hanging fabric organisers you can buy to accommodate around 9 to 10 pairs of shoes, and these can be placed almost anywhere you like – for example, hanging in a wardrobe over your clothing rail.

You can also find plenty of vertical shoe racks (as opposed to horizontal), which are ideal in tight corners.


Written by Amy Hunt she/her