If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, we may receive an affiliate commission.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. In today’s tech-driven world, it’s often the simplest devices that continue to perform. Case in point — the shoehorn. Shoehorns are a tool that allows footwear to be put on more easily by keeping it open and providing a smooth surface for the foot and heel when entering the shoe.
They were in use as early as the 15th century and continued into the 16th and 17th centuries as more form-fitting shoes were introduced that often required assistance in slipping into. Originally crafted from materials such as bone, horn, animal hooves, and even paper, over time these versions have been replaced with less expensive metal and plastic. While the younger generation may have never used a shoehorn, older consumers continue to appreciate the simple device, which can be a game-changer for the elderly and disabled that tend to be limited in their mobility.
The length of shoehorn you select will depend on your height and agility. If you plan to be seated while putting on your shoes, a shorter version can do the trick. They’re also easier to travel with and store. If standing, which requires little to no bending, a longer shoehorn is more practical. Shorter shoehorns can be as small as 3.5 inches, while longer styles can hit over 30 inches.
Keep in mind the material of the shoehorn matters, too. Wood and metal options are the sturdiest designs. Plastic options typically aren’t as durable as the aforementioned, however they tend to be more lightweight and inexpensive. And according to Shoehorn.com, they’re best for seniors in need of more flexibility. (The site also recommends that seniors look for plastic styles with larger handles that are easy to manage and wide ends for more foot surface).
Below, 11 shoehorns to help preserve your favorite pair of shoes. We included classic styles and novelty options done in bright colors and prints, which can make the process of putting on your shoes slightly more fun.
Velette Metal Shoehorn Set
These metal shoehorns with thousands of five-star ratings are 16.5 inches long and have grippy handles. They come as a pack of two, so you can have one handy in your bedroom and entryway.
Cosmos Plastic Shoehorns Six-Pack
A super affordable option, you get six plastic shoehorns in three colors per pack. Each is 6.3 inches long and features a hole at the end for easy hanging. While these are made of plastic, customers noted that the material is durable enough to handle tightly laced shoes.
Made from sturdy, high-tech plastic, this shoehorn is extra long at 24 inches. The handle is grippy and slightly tilted to create the ideal angle for putting on shoes or boots. It also comes in seven colors to choose from.
Shoehorn ProGuide Set
Another set, this option includes a 6-inch shoehorn and a longer style that’s approximately 12 inches. Both are made of durable metal and printed with pink hearts, flowers and butterflies.
TungSam Long Handle Shoe Horn
A wooden style, this shoehorn measures 15 inches long and comes with a tie at the end for easy hanging. It’s ergonomically designed and has smooth edges to prevent cuts.
Simple Shine. Shoehorn Set
Each shoehorn included in this set is made of stainless steel and features a wide-mouth end for easy use, plus holes for hanging. You get one 12-inch shoehorn and two shorter 7.5-inch styles.
Nova Medical Extra Long Shoehorn
Also 14 inches in length, this blue plastic shoehorn is contoured for easy use while standing and capable of being hung.
Zomake Long-handled Shoehorn
Measuring 16.5 inches long, this sleek black stainless steel shoehorn features a soft leather strap on the handle to make it more comfortable when maneuvering.
Vive Long-Handled Shoehorn
Another long-handled option, this 23-inch plastic shoehorn is able to be separated into two pieces measuring 13 and 10 inches in length to easily fit inside a bag. It also has a large oval handle to promote a comfortable and secure grip.
Great for tall folks, OrthoStep’s solid metal shoehorn is 24 inches long and equipped with a sleek gold finish. The design is curved for optimal ergonomic use.
FootFitter Genuine Bull Horn Shoehorn
Unlike the others on our list, this genuine bull horn shoehorn from FootFitter is offered in two sizes to choose from: a travel-friendly 6.4-inch style or a longer 9-inch option. It’s also designed with an attached string so you can hang it to store.