Top Ten: The Best Shoe Storage Options

Apartment Therapy's Annual Guide 2014

Remember the episode of Sex and the City where Carrie Bradshaw goes to look at apartments, and the only one she can afford has a tiny closet, and she's like, but where do the shoes go?, and her agent is like, you get one of those racks that hang on the door, and Carrie is like, ew, no? Well, if you've ever been a renter, and you have more than two pairs of shoes, you've probably been there. The good news is, shoe storage doesn't have to be ugly. We've searched the internet for ten of the prettiest and most practical solutions.

Pictured above: Universal Expert Shoe Bench, $160 from West Elm. Pretty enough to leave out, and equally nice in an entry as in a bedroom. Admittedly a bit splurgey... so if you're on a budget, read on!

SKADA shoe rack, $19.99 at IKEA. Cheap, stackable, not totally ugly, and will fit underneath hanging clothes in a typical closet.

A super basic, inoffensive style — and you can stack more shoes (or handbags, or what have you) on top. 8 pair shoe organizer, $39.99 from The Container Store.

For the person with a serious shoe collection (and a little spare floor space). 50 pair shoe rack, $38.88 from Amazon.

If over-the-door storage cannot be avoided, this is the least offensive option. it doesn't look terrible (no vinyl pockets here), and you can squeeze a lot of shoes onto this sucker in a little bit of space. 36 pair over-the-door shoe rack, $23.99 from Amazon.

This hanging shoe bag gets the OK from us because it's wide enough for you to place your shoes side by side, instead of jamming them into a narrow cubby. Milano 10-Compartment Hanging Shoe Bag, $24.99 from The Container Store.

Solid shelves mean that delicate heels won't fall through — and you can use the rack for handbags and sweaters, too. 3-tier polycarbonate shoe rack, $29.99 from Wal-Mart.

IKEA's TRONES shoe storage cabinets can be used anywhere in the house — including grouped together in the entry, as in this setup seen on Dekorum. TRONES shoe storage cabinet, $39.99 for 3, from IKEA.

This option from IKEA requires a little bit of commitment — but it's real pretty. STOLMEN adjustable shoe storage, $180 from IKEA.

Here's something that isn't intended to be shoe storage at all, but will still get the job done beautifully: IKEA's BILLY bookcases. (You can see them in action here and here.) Billy comes in lots of different styles and colors to accommodate your needs, and the shelves can be adjusted for different kinds of shoes (like flats and boots). BILLY bookcase, $79.99 from IKEA.

And finally — okay, I know this makes 11. It's a bit of a splurge, but too pretty not to include — the powder coated steel and wood Sko Shoe Rack, $265 from Normann Copenhagen.

Please add your favorites to the comments - let's keep growing the list!

(Image credits: West Elm; IKEA; The Container Store; Amazon; Amazon; The Container Store; Wal-Mart; Dekorum; IKEA; IKEA; Normann Copenhagen)