How to Choose a Shoe Rack

Most of us own more than four or five pairs of shoes and that’s where shoe racks come in. When you consider that your home has more than one person living in it, you may end up with a shoe problem without even knowing it. Keeping your shoes neatly organized is very important.

The last thing you want is to come home after a very long day only to find shoes littering the entire floor. It’s not a pretty sight but don’t worry, you can take care of it with shoe racks. Shoe racks are innovative furniture pieces designed to provide storage and organization for your shoes.

They also bring aesthetic value to your interior space. We are going to show you how to choose the best shoe racks.

What size shoe rack is good for your space?

Size is perhaps one of the most important considerations to make when deciding on furniture. This is because we don’t have unlimited space. If you are going to buy any additional piece of furniture, then there has to be enough room in the house to accommodate it.

Luckily for you, shoe racks come in many different sizes. Even if you have a small bedroom or a compact apartment, you can find an equally small and highly functional shoe rack to take care of your needs.

But how do you get the measurements right? Follow these simple steps:

  • Determine where the rack will be placed. Normally, shoe racks are placed along the wall. It could be in the hallway or even the bedroom.

  • Measure the size of the wall where the rack will sit along. Once you have the measurements, determine the size of the rack that fits.

  • Keep in mind that shoe racks are accent furniture pieces. They are not meant to measure up to the entire length of the walls. Ideally, you want the rack to be at most a third of the entire wall length.

As far as the depth of your shoe rack is concerned, it should correspond to the size of your shoes. As a general rule, a depth of 13"" (33 cm) will work for most people, unless the're a need to store shoes in boxes.

Small Metal Espresso Freestanding Stackable Shoe Rack
Small Manufactured Wood Freestanding Shoe Rack
Plastic Freestanding Organizer Shoe Rack
Manufactured Wood Chipboard Freestanding Shoe Rack
Brown Manufactured Wood Freestanding Shoe Rack
Weathered Brown Manufactured Wood Freestanding Shoe Rack

How Many Shoes Do You Have?

So, as much as you don’t want to clutter your hallway with a large shoe rack, it still makes sense that you would prefer a rack that is big enough to accommodate all your shoes. In that case, figure out how many shoes you have and the amount of space you will need for them.

Remember that shoe racks are not just there for storage. They can also be used as a display platform for your shoe collection. Ideally, you want to place your shoes at least five centimeters apart on the rack.

If you have many shoes, consider picking out a multilayer rack. Such racks utilize the vertical wall space in your room and require very limited floor space. As a rule of thumb, give around 12 inches of space for each pair. Not all shoes are created equal, of course, but this can help you work out the ideal length of the rack. Once you know this measurement, you can estimate how many shelves you need.

You may also consider buying two smaller racks. To make it fun, designate one for casual wear and the other for official shoes.

Manufactured Wood Particle Board MDF Freestanding Shoe Rack
Metal Plastic Stackable Shoe Rack
Natural Bamboo Entryway Freestanding Shoe Rack
Pine Solid Wood Freestanding Shoe Rack

What shoe rack design should you choose?

As we have already hinted above, how the show rack looks also matters. This will become an important part of your furniture ensemble and it should definitely look the part. The design you choose totally depends on where you intend to place the rack.

  • In case you are thinking of positioning it along the hallway, consider a vintage natural wood grain finished rack. The authenticity of wood will complement the plain walls, giving your hallway outstanding character in the process.

  • If are thinking of placing the shoe rack in the bedroom, it may be nice to match it with the rest of the bedroom set. Walnut, in particular, tends to bring an outstanding visual appeal in the bedroom but you can choose any finishing as long as it matches the bed set.

  • If the shoe rack is going to be hidden, sleek metal units seem to be the cheapest and most functional option.

  • Wrought iron racks with delicate scrollwork lean towards vintage or boho aesthetic. Paint it white and you have a perfect shoe rack for a shabby chic interior.

  • Industrial spaces call for a combination of black metal and warm toned wood.

  • A gold-tinted shoe rack bench with thick, tufted padding will add style and comfort to chic and glam interiors.

  • Shoe rack with adjustable shelf height and slant are a convenient solution for organizing your ever-expanding collection of footwear. After all, you never know if you next favorite purchaise will be a pair of knee-high wellies or flats.

Paulownia Solid Wood Freestanding Shoe Rack
Teak Manufactured Wood Freestanding Shoe Rack
Black Iron Metal Freestanding Shoe Rack
Polypropylene And Metal Plastic Stackable Shoe Rack

Should you go for a closed or open shelve rack?

It is important to ensure that your shoe rack is easily accessible. Different designs offer different accessibility options and each come with its pros and cons.

  • Open shelve racks that don’t have any doors provide the best access. You can just step in, see all your shoes, and pick the ones that you want for the day. Besides, an open shelve design offers good ventilation, which is extremely important in case of shoes.

    But there are people who don’t want to display their shoes openly. After all, the last thing you want is for shoes to become part of your interior décor. A collection of familly shoes is not the most attractive thing in the world, so you certainly don't want to show it off in an elegant hallway.

  • Closed racks have limited access because you have to open doors and look in to find the shoes that you want. But it’s a small disturbance considering the decor value you get with such a unit. The only downside is that closed designs offer poor ventilation and smelly shoes combined with non-circulating air is never a good couple.

    Luckily, designs with grille fronts or polka dot-style ventilation holes ventilation not only allow good air circulation, but also look incredibly stylish.

What is the Best Material for a Shoe Rack?

Shoe racks are also made of an array of different materials. However, wood is the most common option. Wood is versatile. It can feature various finishes and will easily blend into any type of décor. In that case, it should be your first choice of material. The only downside is that wood can sometimes be harder to maintain.

You may also find metal-based racks that come with excellent durability. Usually, metal racks tend to feature a black industrial finish. It will be a huge complement for any modern décor or room. Plastic is also used these days to make shoe racks but it’s not nearly as popular as wood and metal.

Black Bamboo Shoe Rack Bench With Stool Entryway Storage Organizer
Cotton White Serene Cherry Laminate Over Engineered Wood Shoe Rack
Black White Yellow Metal Manufactured Wood Stackable Freestanding Shoe Rack
Steel Metal Freestanding Shoe Rack
Plastic Stackable Freestanding Shoe Rack


Height is also an important consideration, especially for people who don’t have a lot of floor space. Although you don’t want the rack to be too tall, if you have a lot of shoes, you can use the vertical space in your home by leveraging a taller rack. However, it still needs to be shorter than you so that you don’t have trouble accessing the shoes.

Shorter racks, on the other hand, may eat up large floor space but there are more aesthetically pleasing compared to taller ones. They may also offer additional countertop space depending on the rack’s design.

Getting a quality shoe rack is the best way to get your shoes organized. We all love our shoes and getting the right storage has to be the first priority.

With the huge variety of shoe rack designs out there, it should be easy to get one that will take care of your storage needs.

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