The Ultimate Guide to Boot and Shoe Storage

  • 01 of 06

    Store Your Shoes and Boots Like a Pro

    Store your shoes and boots
    Getty

     


    Keeping your shoes and boots stored in an organized fashion is a challenge. That’s because boots vary so widely in size, use and type. Some are used for snow and rain, and some are for fancy occasions. This is amplified if you live in a four-season climate.


    The other challenge is keeping them upright and preserving the fabric--whether leather or rubber. Some storage solutions work better than other for different types of fabric and construction. This is important to keep in mind while trying to...MORE lengthen the usefulness of a boot.


    Here’s how to store your shoes and boots properly so you can lengthen the life of them, keep them clean, and most importantly, find them easily when you need them!


    First, Declutter Your Shoes and Boots


    Before you think about storing your shoes or boots, you've got to get them organized. This includes:


    1. Decluttering (aka, donating the pairs you no longer love and wear)

    2. Grouping similar pairs together: like flip flops, boots, ballet flats, work shoes, etc.

    3. Comparing storage solutions

    4. Maintaining your shoe organization.


    Most people tend to skip directly to step 3, which seems like the most fun, but, by decluttering your shoes first, you'll be free from buying storage solutions for shoes and boots you no longer wear. Why continue to lend storage space to ​items you're not going to use?  


    Get rid of any shoes or boots you no longer need or wear. This will drastically cut  the number of storage solutions you need to buy.


    Think About the Best Shoe Storage Solutions For Your Shoes


    There are 3 key items of information to consider when choosing the right shoe storage:


    1. How many shoes do you need to store?

    2. You simply need to count your pairs you have (after decluttering) and take stock of how many pairs need to fit on that shoe rack or bench.

    3. How much storage space do you have?

    4. Do you need to break your shoes up into different storage spaces? Can you fit them all into one spot?Is that practical? Do you have the room to turn a space into a shoe closet?

    5. How big are your shoes?

    6. Do you collect cowboy boots or ballet flats? Or both? The actual size of your shoes will determine what type of


     


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  • 02 of 06

    Shoe Racks

    Over the Door Shoe Rack
    Over the Door Shoe Rack. Over the Door Shoe Rack

    Shoe racks and surprisingly diverse. They come is several different types of materials and all different shapes and sizes


    • Hanging Shoe Racks

    • Over the Door Shoe Racks

    • Floor shoe racks


    I had no idea the amount of diversity until I started researching, but it makes sense: people have widely varying closet setups and closet storage space. These are the top picks in each style.


    Wooden Shoe Racks


    Wooden shoe racks are sturdier, offer more decor elements, and are typically more expensive than other shoe...MORE racks like those made of wire or plastic. Here are our choices for the best of the bunch from least to most expensive.


    This 10-tier shoe rack not only holds 40+ shoes, it rolls making it easier to move around your closet or entryway.


    This storage cube because it's so much more space-efficient than the lower-styled offerings. You can move this, turn it sideways, stack it with other cubbies, and use it to store small clutches and accessories. It's very versatile and therefore, gets two thumbs up!


    This is a basic, 2-tiered wooden shoe rack. The Woodlore could be used by a man with only a few pairs of dress shoes or anyone who wants to keep their best/most worn pairs front and center in their closet.


    This 3-tiered rack mixed chrome and wood will fit nicely towards the back of any closet and holds 10-12 pairs of shoes.


    4-tiers offer more space for shoes and requires a storage space with more "head room." Luckily, this wooden shoe rack is nice enough to live outside the closet.


    • Can be stackable or side by side

    • Multi-functional uses: to display collections or store shoes

    • Ideal for storing things, such as shoes, towels, etc


    This bench is a very versatile example of storage-as-furniture. Not just a shoe rack, you can use this in an entryway to store shoes, handbags and odds and ends. Clearly, it also offers the added bonus of a spot to sit and remove your shoes.


     


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  • 03 of 06

    Door Shoe Racks

     


    Over the door shoe racks can save you a ton of useful closet space. How? They can store your shoes, boots and even accessories opening up some valuable closet real estate at the bottom of your closet.


    Whether it's on the door, or over the door, door shoe racks are great for smaller closets and are flexible enough to store the following:


    • Shoes

    • Accessories

    • Scarves

    • Jewelry

    • Belts


    Over the door shoe racks are the most space-saving shoe storage racks because you're using a formerly unused space and...MORE asking it functional. If you use the to store your shoes, you can your closet floor free for storage boxes or a short dresser or bureau.


    Tips:


    1. Measure the door! Not all closet doors will fit the same size shoe rack.

    2. Measure space between door and door frame for room to accommodate the over part of "over-the-door." You may need to sand the top of the door.

    3. Choose a rack that is narrow enough to allow you to still close your door!

    4. Choose a rack that accommodates your shoe collection. In other words, choose one that fits high heels is you have a lot of high heels.


    I've chosen my favorites below in in order from least to most expensive.


    This rack will hold your entire shoe collection on the inside of the door on rods. It’s sleek looking and priced well from The Container Store.


    The classic over the door shoe organizer holds 24 pairs and should fit most doors.


    Another option for storage, this organizer can be used for scarves, belts and various accessories, as well as shoes.


    This shoe rack holds 30 pairs that slide in easily from the sides. This is a good space-saving option. But note, this will only hold flat shoes and not high heels. You made need another rack to compliment this choice. A good option for flip flops, slip-on sneakers and ballet flats.


    Hanging Shoe Racks


    Get the shoes off your floor and organize them into a hanging shoe rack. These are recommended for closets with extra hanging space or a small amount of floor space storage.


    Tips:


    • Use a hanging rack store and organize a myriad of closet items like accessories, hosiery and scarves.

    • A hanging rack is especially useful in the entryway closet to store and organize handbag, umbrellas, gloves, hats and mittens.


    I've seen hanging shoe racks used in bathrooms, linen closet and even in kitchens.  There's something about the cubby-style compartments that make sorting easier.  Below are my top picks in hanging shoe racks, and here are some uses for them beside just shoes.


    Hanging shoe racks are a great addition to any closet -- and not just for shoes -- think about all of the potential uses:


    • In kid's closets: T shirts, shorts, onesies, booties, linens etc

    • In women's closets: Handbags, scarves, tights, leggings, bathing suits, and if you choose a hanging bag wide enough, you could store jeans etc.

    • In men's closets: Accessories, sunglasses, umbrellas, etc.

    • In linen closets: Hand towels, toiletries, rolled bath towels, cleaning supplies (Swiffer cloths), sewing kit, etc.

    • In hall + entryway closets: Umbrellas, mail, knit hats, gloves, etc.


    The trick is to store things that are small enough to fit in the compartment without having to jam them in each time.  If it's not convenient to use, that hanging space will quickly become a breeding ground for stuff you forget about -- which means clutter.


    Get creative! Hanging shoe racks: we're not just for shoes anymore.


    Instead of traditional shoe rack, how about a shoefile? This is a real space-saver as it hangs sideways and can hold:


    The basic hanging shoe organizer comes in 3 colors to match the interior of your closet and holds 10 pairs of shoes. I would recommend this for kids shoe storage since they tend to have fewer pairs than their moms, or for a man with a smaller shoe collection.


    For women, I would recommend this option for storing small handbags and clutches and other assorted accessories.


    Flip flops get their own storage space with the hanging flip flop organizer. I store mine in a bucket by the door, but this hanging organizers is sleeker and more organized.


     


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  • 04 of 06

    Shoe Towers, Trees and Bins

    Creative shoe storage from Furnish Burnish.jpg
    Creative shoe storage from Furnish Burnish.jpg

    A shoe tower will take things to another level, literally. Their size and large scale means they can hold an entire shoe collection at once in the same space, rather than shoe shelves, boxes and racks -- all of which are smaller, hold less, and are better options if you want to break up your shoe collection by use. Towers are for the fashionista who has a lot of beautiful shoes they would like to display, or for a large family who stores their shoes in a mudroom.


    Shoe and Handbag Tower


    Shoes and...MORE handbags just go together. They are typically the last things you put on before dashing out the door. Storing them together, outside of your closet, makes a lot of sense.


    This shoe tree holds up to 24 pairs of shoes--both flats and heels-and is sleek looking in brushed nickel.


    Talk about multi-functional, this shoe bin stores 20 pairs of shoes and can also be used for craft supplies, electronic supplies or accessories.


     


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  • 05 of 06

    Think About Boot Storage Solutions

    7 ways to store your boots
    7 ways to store your boots. Photo / getty

    There are different types of storage solutions for boots based on the height, the material of the boot, and the boot's function.


    • Is it a sturdy fabric like a rubber rain boot or a tough leather cowboy boot? Those boots can usually be stored upright on their own.

    • How tall is this boot? Tall or over-the-knee boots constructed of softer or more pliable leather may need a little extra help to keep their shape while in storage and may not fit into traditional storage solutions.

    • Does it often collect...MORE dirt, mud, rain or snow? That will affect your storage space because you'll want to keep dirtier boots from tracking outside elements onto your carpet or hardwood floors.


    • Boots Hooks, Hangers and Holders


      You may be tempted to just line your boots up at the bottom of your closet or, in the came of heavy use rain or hiking boots, in a tray by the front door. That’s exactly what i do. But if you have a custom closet or closet system, or if you like to be a bit fancier, then boot hooks, hangers or shapers will serve you well.


      Boot hooks are a fabulous storage options for those who:


      • Have a large closet with a great deal of hanging space.

      • Have a closet with a double hanging rod.


      Boot hooks can store and shape your boots at the same time, making them multi-functional and an attractive storage option.


      TIP: Hang slouchy, leather or suede boots. Thick leather like that used in cowboy boots will probably not hang as easily.


      Attaches to your closet and holds boots upright.


      A boot stand will hold your boots together as a pair on a shelf or on the closet floor. Bonus: while they are being store, the boot stand will also hold their shape. That means no slouching over.


      A boot holder with clip a pair of boots together, holding them upright for easier organization.


      Boot hangers will store and shape your boots at the same time. Two birds, one stone.


      What you'll need:


      • A hanging rod

      • Enough space in a closet to hang boots side-by-side


      Recommendation: If you're storing boots in your clothes closet, make sure they're clean before you hang them up against clean clothes.


       


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  • 06 of 06

    Boot Trays, Racks and Boxes

    Galvanized Metal Boot Tray
    Galvanized Metal Boot Tray. Photo / Amazon

    A boot tray is your single greatest line of defense against a big old pile of shoes and boots on the floor. Even if there's a mish-mash of boots, a tray will instantly provide symmetry and order. Not too mention, a boot tray will protect your floors from moisture.


    Recommendation: I have a boot tray next to the bench in my entry way. You can also place this outside your door (in the garage?) or in your mudroom to really protect floors.


    Another option? On the floor of your closet to protect rugs or...MORE hardwood floors.


    A step up from the basic boot tray.  This coated steel number will fit in in any entryway, and you can choose your favorite symbol: Circles, Stars, Pine Cones or Squares.


    This all-purpose boot tray is perfect to leave near the back door or in a mudroom for muddy or dusty boots.


    These are great for mudrooms to store messier boots like hiking boots, snow boots and rain boots.


    Boot Boxes


    Boot boxes have two great advantages over other types of boot storage:


    1. A box will fit neatly under your bed or at the top or bottom of yourcloset.

    2. A box will protect boots from dust, pets and temperature changes.


    Below are the best boxes for every type of boot your own. TIP: Make sure to measure the height and width of a boot before purchasing a boot box.


    This is a great choice because it's clear and comes in a set of 5 and open form the front and back so you don't have to remove the entire box to store your boots.


    This boot box is the classic - opens from the top, made of heavy-duty plastic (so you can store it in the basement) and comes in a case of 6 or 1-at-a-time.