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Updated August 2022
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Buying guide for Best shoe storage cabinets

Do you have lots of shoes that you want to organize and store? Whether you’re a shoe aficionado doing some serious “sole searching” for creative storage solutions or a member of a large family with a seemingly endless mountain of shoes to sort and pair, a shoe storage cabinet (or two or three) may be just what you need.

A shoe storage cabinet is the ideal alternative to keeping your shoes hidden in boxes or stuffed in the dark shadows of your closet. These unique storage solutions carve out individual spots for shoes, making them fully visible and easily accessible. They also minimize dust and UV exposure, which are notorious for shortening the lifespan of shoes.

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Shoe storage cabinets should be regularly dusted — especially those without doors or covered compartments. Remove shoes and give the cabinet a thorough dusting every couple of months.

Choosing the right capacity

One of the main features you need to consider when selecting a shoe storage cabinet is capacity. On average, shoe storage cabinets store between 6 and 36 pairs of shoes. Some can hold as many as 60 pairs! As you can imagine, knowing how many shoes you intend to store is critical to choosing the right cabinet. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to select a style that has a few additional compartments to accommodate future shoe purchases.

Shoe storage cabinet styles

Tall cabinets

Tall shoe storage cabinets are popular choices; they optimize space vertically and tend to offer the highest storage capacity. On average, they stand between 48 and 72 inches tall and stretch 24 to 36 inches wide. A tall shoe storage cabinet is ideal if you’d prefer to have at least some of your collection within reach at waist level and higher.

A critical factor to consider when selecting a tall cabinet is how stable it is. Certain styles in this category have the potential to topple over, which is why some consumers affix their cabinets to the wall.

Sideboard styles

If you’d like to make the most of your space along an empty wall or the bottom of a walk-in closet, consider a sideboard shoe storage cabinet. Compact styles measure approximately 24 x 36 inches; extended styles may be as long as 60 inches. Some of these double as seating and include full-length bench cushions.

As sleek as sideboard styles are, keep in mind that you’ll always need to bend over to choose a pair of shoes with this type of cabinet. It’s not a big deal for some people, but if bending and reaching is an issue, you might do better with a taller style.

Shoe racks

The simple shoe rack is as spartan as shoe storage gets. These are often seen in the form of expandable wire racks, though some manufacturers elevate the look with wood composite. The primary design feature is a long dowel at the back of the rack. Shoes are placed upon it, usually tilting at a 45-degree angle for better visibility.

While a shoe rack will definitely display your collection, many of these lower-cost products are flimsy and may become warped over time. They’re usually floor-based, and like sideboard styles, they’re not ideal if you have difficulty bending over.

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Expert Tip
To optimize space, stack certain types of shoes in your cabinet. Several pairs of foam flip flops, for example, can be stored in the same compartment.

Other considerations

Individual compartments vs. shelves

Shoe storage cabinets either have individual compartments or dedicated shelves that hold a few pairs at a time. This feature largely boils down to preference and practicality. If you need a high level of organization or intend to keep your special footwear separate, aim for a shoe storage cabinet with individual compartments. Shelving is ideal for those who aren’t picky about space or the location of their shoes inside the cabinet. Often, shelving is a less-expensive option than a cabinet with individual compartments.

Storing oversized footwear

Generally speaking, shoe storage cabinets are designed to accommodate flat shoes and pumps. If you have oversized footwear, namely boots, you might be hard-pressed to fit them in most cabinets. You could store them separately elsewhere, or you could select a cabinet with adjustable compartments to accommodate your tall footwear.


As mentioned, adjustable shelving is a worthy feature to consider if you have a large boot collection. Some styles, namely cabinets with shelves, are easily adjusted thanks to their interior pegboards. Other styles, such as buildable wire cabinets, need to be disassembled and rebuilt— which comes with its own challenges. You’re relatively limited to only a few layouts with these styles.

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Expert Tip
Early childhood educators can use shoe storage cabinets in their classrooms as alternatives to cubbies or lockers. High-capacity cabinets are also ideal for storing art supplies and learning tools.


Shoe storage cabinets are often made of wood composite, plywood, and/or medium-density fibreboard (MDF). If you’re looking for something lightweight and adjustable, you may find luck with something made of wire and wrapped in a nylon or polyester blend. There are also shoe storage cabinets made of real wood. As you can imagine, this drives the price up into the realm of real furniture pieces.

Shoe storage cabinet prices

Shoe storage cabinets typically cost between $60 and $300. Whether you pay at the low end, the high end, or somewhere in between depends on construction and capacity.


For less than $100, you’ll find shoe storage cabinets that have a modest capacity of fewer than 18 pairs of shoes. These cabinets are typically made of lightweight materials and are collapsible, so they’re not as sturdy as other choices.


Shoe storage cabinets prices between $100 and $180 often hold as many as 36 pairs of shoes. They’re often made of quality wood or composite materials and feature a sturdy design that should last for years.


If you’re looking for a top-notch shoe storage cabinet, expect to spend between $200 and $300. These cabinets are often made of real wood. They may be part of a larger shoe and garment organizational system.

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Expert Tip
If you have spare compartments in your shoe storage cabinet, use them to store footwear accessories like shoe polish kits, insoles, or spare laces.


  • Organize shoes by color. To make your shoes easier to find, you may wish to organize them by color so you can grab and go.
  • Install lighting for better visibility. If it’s hard to see inside your shoe storage cabinet, you might be able to install lighting inside or around it.
  • Opt for light-colored cabinets. If the majority of your shoes are dark colors, you’ll be able to see them better inside a white or otherwise light-colored cabinet.
  • Install a cabinet inside a walk-in closet. If you have the luxury of a walk-in closet, install a shoe storage cabinet inside. Sideboard styles are especially popular for walk-in closets.
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If you want to be able to move your shoe storage cabinet around the room with ease, invest in a model that can accommodate wheels or simply place furniture sliders beneath the corners.


Q. Do I really need a shoe storage cabinet, or can I stick to a closet organizer?

A. Your shoes have adequate space and are more easily visible in a cabinet than in a closet organizer. Closet organizers aren’t always as sturdy or accommodating as cabinets, so there’s a good chance you could end up with crushed or missing shoes. Another thing to keep in mind with closets is that as you continue to get clothing, it becomes harder to access the organizer or close the closet door. Neither of those concerns effect a shoe storage cabinet.

Q. How can I prevent shoes from sliding or falling over inside my shoe storage cabinet? They seem to be easily disturbed when I open and close doors.

A. To keep shoes in place on shelves, you can install a layer of nonslip cabinet liner. This will minimize the movement of your shoes — especially pumps. Simply invest in a roll and cut it to fit; there’s no need to affix it to the shelf, as it stays in place on its own. A nonslip liner also provides a protective layer between shoes and the shelf, making it easier to keep both clean. 

Q. I have so many shoes! Will a shoe storage cabinet really fit my entire collection?

A. While there are high-capacity cabinets that house as many as 36 pairs, your best bet might be to opt for a pair of smaller cabinets to hold between 40 and 50 pairs combined. Each cabinet could feature shoes for different seasons or occasions, which means you’d also end up with a higher level of shoe organization.

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