We Made A TikTok-Viral Shoe Box Tower To Display Our Footwear & It Gave Us The Wobbles

Do your shoes deserve their own display case, even if you don't have the room or the budget to provide it for them? If you're a sneakerhead or you just want a place to keep your shoes where they are visible and accessible, one clever and affordable TikTok trend might be your answer. Those cardboard shoe boxes that usually seem useless after you get them home can serve another purpose: They can be your personal footwear storage tower.

Instead of throwing away the shoe boxes you have lying around, using them as a display case can save you money you would've otherwise spent on purchasing footwear storage. The TikTok hack stacks open boxes on top of one another to produce both a holding space and a vertical tower that keeps shoes off the ground while allowing you to see them in your closet or wherever else you want to keep them.

I tend to hold onto boxes for far too long by nature, but it's usually because I'm not sure if I want to return a pair of shoes or if I love them so much that I want to keep them safe inside their packaging. (Shoeboxes keep dust and other elements from ruining the fabric of your footwear, after all.) In theory, this storage tower hack seems like a creative way to show off your sneaks, but what happened when we put it to the test?

You only need your shoeboxes and shoes

Personally, I am all about affordable shoe storage solutions – or, anything associated with shoes in any way, to be honest – so I was excited to try this. I started by gathering all my shoeboxes and removing any pieces (foot-related or otherwise) from the interiors. I had several boxes containing brand-new pairs of shoes, and my closet had become almost impossible to enter due to the accumulation of boots, heels, flats, and the odd pair of bear paw slippers. Though I didn't know yet if this hack would work for shoe storage at this point, I quickly became certain that it's an effective motivator for reorganizing a closet. I pulled out three boxes in slightly varying sizes to determine if this tower could work without complete uniformity. For lighting purposes, I set everything up in the main part of the bedroom away from the chaos of the closet.

I made sure each box was free of dents and dog hair and pulled out any leftover paper or coverings the shoes came in. Many pairs come with acid-free paper that helps with moisture levels in their environment or plastic shape-holders, but I recommend taking these out unless you absolutely need them since they could lead to a messy-looking storage tower. You can always leave a layer of paper on the bottom of the box, folding it nicely so it isn't as noticeable. I threw my paper away, and once all the detritus was disposed of, I evaluated which box was the biggest to use as my base and set the others aside.

Assembling the tower requires a stable surface and balance

The key to producing a sturdy tower is to use the shoebox lid as a base, so I placed the largest lid flat on my floor facing me horizontally. Next, I stacked the larger and deeper portion of the box standing upright, also horizontally, so the opening was turned toward me with the longer side stuck into the underside of the lid. You can stack as many of these on top of one another as you want: The important part is to maintain stability by using your largest boxes at the bottom of your tower. Load three or four "shelves" then gauge the shakiness of your blocks to decide if more can be added. I found that the tower worked best when the differing boxes were propped up against a wall or other sturdy surface to keep them from toppling. As I adjusted the shoes inside the box displays, I noted that flats couldn't be seen as easily as shoes with a heel or boots and that messing with shoes to make them more visible sometimes resulted in the tower wobbling. I kind of like varying sizes, so the boxes went from large to small, but the stability suffered slightly without uniformly sized boxes.

An easy TikTok trend success that definitely looks DIY

The result resembled how a shoe store might display their newest releases, although my boxes were mismatched and therefore looked a little more DIY than designer. I imagine correlating boxes from one brand would look more cohesive, especially if they feature colors that create uniformity or symmetry. The pros of using this TikTok hack are it got some of my favorite footwear off the floor and out of their hiding spaces, allowing me to see them whenever I go in the closet. The negatives were that flats aren't as visible, and if your boxes are flimsy the tower becomes unstable — if I knocked into the tower or didn't balance everything just right, it would teeter. 

Also, I saved money because the boxes came with the shoes — I didn't need to splash cash on a shoe rack. For closets that lean into a designer aesthetic, or those who prefer minimalistic layouts with succinct organization, this trick might end up looking childish or out of place, so it really depends on your wardrobe. I recommend this for kids and teens who lack space in their closets, as well as anyone with a tendency to hold onto their boxes and wants to display their footwear but isn't too worried about a DIY vibe one way or the other. Besides, TikTok is all about vertical shoe storage, so if this hack isn't for you, there are numerous others in the same spirit.