One Size Does Not Fit All: Shopping for Shoe Racks

I‘m fully aware that most things designed to fit into the lives of the average person is not scaled for my height. I’m not surprised when I can’t reach top shelves, and I’ve sat at plenty of restaurant tables that nearly come up to my chest. But every now and then, I forget about how small I am, and end up a little shocked when I can’t find an item purely because it was not made with someone my size in mind.

I recently decided to reorganize my shoe collection, which meant I needed a shoe rack. I needed something attractive enough to be displayed outside of my closet, so I was giving them a lot of thought. I went to The Container Store and decided I liked the look of this walnut colored expandable shoe rack.

I went to the store to inspect the shoe rack in person, and decided to buy it. Then, I realized the example shoes that were sitting on the display model were on the larger side of average, and it dawned on me that maybe I should try putting my size 5 shoe on there. Sure enough, I took off my heel and tried to put it on the rack, only to not be able to rest my shoe properly. 

The heel is supposed to be slung over the back bar, and the front of the shoe should rest on the front bar. When I slung my heel over the back bar, it couldn’t reach the front bar. The shoe rack bars were too far apart!

The shoe should rest like this on a shoe rack, with the heel slung over the back bar, and the front of the shoe resting on the front bar.

After a little bit of sulking, followed by some creative readjustment, I figured out my shoes could sit on the rack if I rested the very back of my shoe against the back bar. Luckily, the bars are covered in a grippy spongy material that holds the back of my shoe in place, so I was able to buy the shoe rack I wanted after all.

Precarious placement of my shoe on my new shoe rack.

My shoe collection in their new home.

I guess it worked out in the end, but I was still not expecting to run into this problem when I began my shoe rack shopping adventure. One size does not fit all!

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  1. says: stylepint

    I found a cheap rack at Target that has two positions for the bars so my smaller shoes fit perfectly where the bars are closer together when it would otherwise slip though. Not all racks are built the same…but it's nice to know some are trying! =)

  2. says: Liane

    i had a similar shoe rack… without the spongy material, so my shoes were forever falling off… drove me absolutely nuts and i finally got rid of it. i never knew the heel is supposed to go behind the back bar… obviously my shoes were too small for the idea to even occur to me… so THAT'S why they kept falling off!

  3. says: deborah

    I had this problem before. The shoes were just hanging by the heels since it wasn't long enough to rest on the second bar. I ended up going with a flat shoe rack.

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