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How To Choose A Shoe Storage Cabinet

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From those boxes at the bottom of your wardrobe to that mismatched high heel that you keep stumbling on to the sleeper that somehow always ends up in your dog's mouth, shoes can turn into a disorganized mess.

Not only is this highly impractical when you're in a hurry and a bit awkward when you have guests round: leaving them all over the place can actually damage them in the long run.

Choosing a shoe storage cabinet is a fantastic solution to keep your pairs under control, free from dust and moisture, and easy to find.

What Types of Shoe Storage Should I Consider?

Shoe storage cabinets are extremely practical and versatile pieces of furniture: they come in a large variety of sizes, styles and designs that can fulfill different space and storage requirements.

When it comes to the latter, there are three main options:

Cubby holes

  • these square or rectangular storage slots are popular for keeping your shoes organized while allowing you a proper overview of each pair that you own;
  • however, because most cabinets have cubbies of the same size and usually quite small to optimize space, it can be difficult to fit boots or bigger types of shoes unless they come with a row of bigger cubbies;
  • cubbies can be used as storage space for kids' school backpacks
Ten Pair Shoe Storage Cabinet
Cube Twelve Pair Shoe Storage Cabinet
Big Spacoius Double Row 27 Pair Shoe Storage Cabinet
Stackable Fabric Shoe Storage Cabinet
Plastic Cube Style Shoe Storage Cabinet
Vertical Twelve Pair Shoe Storage Cabinet

Shelves

  • often hidden behind cupboard doors, they're basically a more sophisticated version of traditional shoe racks;
  • they can potentially fit more pairs as you're not tied to a limited number of cubby holes and can therefore rearrange them in different ways to maximize space;
  • shelves could be a better option if you have lots of different types of shoes or boots, especially since the lower shelf usually offers more height;
  • they will also be a better choice for chic hallways where a collection of trainers may not be the most desirable decoration.
Twelve Pair Shoe Storage Cabinet
Traditional Style Shoe Storage Bench
Scandinavian Style 21 Pair Shoe Storage Cabinet
Spacious Modern Shoe Storage Cabinet
Stylish Simple Shoe Storage Cabinet
Louvered Door Shoe Storage Cabinet

Drop-down inclined shelves 

  • the true space-saving game-changers! They have very low depth and can easily be placed behind doors to save space;
  • they're also impeccable at fitting different types of shoes.
  • a popular option is to place several smaller drop-down cabinets next to each other and put a long, treated board on top to hide the connection spots and serve as a display surface.
Tall Drop Down Shoe Storage Cabinet
Black Accent Drop Down Shelf Shoe Storage Cabinet
Modern Style Shoe Storage Cabinet
Scandinavian Style Shoe Storage Cabinet
Wooden Twelve Pair Shoe Storage Cabinet
Triple 36 Pair Shoe Storage Cabinet

What Types of Shoe Storage Cabinets Are There?

The tricky thing when it comes to shoe storage is that, in order to avoid mold, discoloration or other types of damage, your shoes should be protected from direct sunlight while also maintaining enough air circulation.

Storage type aside, here's another way to classify shoe storage cabinets and identify the best one for you:

Open 

  • without anything covering their cubby holes or shelves, these cabinets are undoubtedly the most practical and immediate to use, as it only takes a quick look to spot the best pair for your outfit;
  • however, while we can't complain when it comes to ventilation, they're not well-protected from dust and, depending on where you place this cabinet, from sunlight
  • they're more suitable in entryways to store trainers and shoes that you and the rest of your household wear almost everyday;
  • an open cubby design will also be a functional choice if you're going to place your shoe storage cabinet in a walk-in closet;
Small Three Pair Shoe Storage Cabinet
Six Pair Shoe Storage Cabinet
Shoe Storage Organizer
Double Row Shoe Storage Organizer
Stackable 16 Pair Open Shoe Storage Cabinet
Open Shoe Storage Bench And Cabinet

Closed cupboard 

  • Looking just like other traditional pieces of furniture, these cabinets are the most stylish: they keep your shoes out of sight and make your room look tidier; 
  • they certainly protect your shoes from sunlight, but don't really let the air in, meaning that you can end up with moldy shoes if they're not completely dry when you store them away;
Stylish Minimalist Shoe Storage Cabinet
Simple Classic Shoe Storage Cabinet
Minimalist Scandinavian Shoe Storage Cabinet
Ornate Traditional Closed Shoe Storage Cabinet
Shoe Storage Cabinet With Seating Bench
Closed Shoe Cabinet With Bench

Cupboard with louvered doors 

  • if you own a few delicate and expensive pairs of shoes, you shouldn't look any further than this type of cupboard! 
  • their slatted doors create the perfect temperature-controlled and dark storage space for your shoes; 
  • they can hide either cubbies or shelves
  • metal mesh wiring is another see-through alternative that ensures ventilation.

If you were hoping for a type of shoe storage that you can also use to sit down while putting your shoes on, you might want to consider storage benches instead.

Bamboo Louvered Door Shoe Storage Cabinet
14 Pair Louvered Door Shoe Storager Cabinet
Four Shelf Wooden Storage Cabinet
Manufactured Wood Shoe Storage Cabinet
Spacious 30 Pair Shoe Storage Cabinet
Modern Scandinavian Shoe Storage Cabinet

How Big Should a Shoe Storage Cabinet Be?

In order to find the right size for you, consider two things:

  • Where will you place your shoe cabinet? Measure that space to know what you can play with; if it's not very wide, don't forget that shoe storage cabinets come in lots of different shapes, including taller but very thin models! As for depth, cubbies and shelves are usually over 12 inches because they store each shoe horizontally, but cabinets with inclined shelves can be even less than 10.

  • How many pairs of shoes do you own? Are you likely to buy many more? Run an inventory, divide them into different types, and consider how many pairs of expensive shoes and larger boots you have.

To give you an idea, the average cubby is 8 inches tall and wide.

  • If you own around 10 pairs, a small cupboard-style cabinet with two shelves or two rows of cubbies will do (or a thinner and taller one with two pairs per row);

  • Between 10 and 20 pairs, you can start considering inclined shelves, cabinets that optimize space by using a higher number of shelves that are closer together, or cubbies;

  • With 30 or more pairs, cubbies can be a bit cumbersome (unless you keep your shoe storage cabinet inside your walk in closet and don't have to worry about space); you'll need wider cabinets with 5 or more shelves or extra tall models featuring even more space-optimizing inclined shelves (some can fit two layers of shoes per flip-down row!).

What's the Best Material for a Shoe Storage Cabinet?

You should consider practical issues as well as what would work best with the décor of your room:

  • Wood: this is literally the best material you can choose when it comes to shoe storage cabinets! It does a great job of protecting your shoes from moisture and it looks just like any other everyday piece of furniture. Furthermore, wooden cabinets can complement lots of different décor styles, as you can either keep them natural (for a rustic, French-country, vintage, mid-Century modern, or Scandinavian style) or painted (monochrome for minimalist rooms, dark or bright for modern décors, discolored white or pastel for shabby chic styles), or choose a wooden cupboard with metal mesh wire to convey an industrial décor;
  • Metal is popular for modern or industrial styles and especially for fold-down designs;
  • Fabric can be used to cover the sides of metal shelving structures, and does a good job of ensuring ventilation;
  • Plastic is another popular material for fold-down models, but it can look pretty cheap, so we don't recommend it unless price is one of your main concerns. Transparent plastic storage units with multiple drop-front shoe boxes are a popular choice for walk-in closets.
Wide Twelve Pair Shoe Storage Cabinet
Stylish Shoe Storage Cabinet
Manufactured Wood Shoe Storage Cabinet
Cube Modular Plastic 28 Pair Shoe Storage Cabinet
Fabric And Metal Stackable Shoe Storage Cabinet
Ornate Empire Shoe Storage Cabinet

Quick Tips

Let's set you up for a purchase that you won't regret! 

  • Choose cubby holes for an immediate overview of all of your pairs, shelves for more flexible storage, or flip-down inclined shelves to optimize space
  • Cupboards with louvered doors are the best at protecting your shoes from sunlight and dust while allowing enough air ventilation
  • Measure the space where you're planning on placing your shoe storage cabinet and run an inventory of the pairs you own (how many and what type) to figure out the best size
  • Some materials work better with specific décor styles, but traditional wood is still your best option when it comes to creating a temperature-controlled environment.