How to Use a Shoe Horn to Wear Your Shoes Safely

How to Use A Shoe Horn

Many intend to wear a shoe without pain. That’s why they think of using a shoehorn. But they don’t know how to use a shoe horn properly. To solve their trouble, we’ve come up with this article.

Although a stiff heel might become a pleasant thing you have spent in a better leather pair, it may not look the best on your ankle. Fortunately, a shoe horn can aid you in sliding out of your snug shoes except for discomfort or pain.

When you choose a shoe horn, you need to be careful. We will thoroughly discuss how to use a shoe horn in this article, including selecting the right shoehorn. So keep reading.

What is a shoe horn?

A shoe horn refers to a tool that aids your feet in sliding effortlessly into a shoe. Essentially, it delivers a sleek ramp, pulling your shoe back heel. When your foot glides in the shoe, this tool prevents it from pinching your heel.

Shoe horns achieved their moniker ago as they consisted of horns and hooves. Also, shoe horn manufacturers applied glass and paper materials to make it. They utilized bone, silver, ivory, and shell to manufacture this tool for those leading in luxury life.

Nowadays, shoe horns are usually crafted from wood, metal, and plastic.

Why should you use a shoe horn?

So why do you spend on shoe horns? These tools are not just helpful in easing your feet into shoes. While easement becomes a crucial achievement in compact shoes, these are also helpful for preserving your footwear.

While wearing shoes, ignoring the irritation of your shoes causing your heels is impossible. However, similarly, your heels are causing harm to your shoes. Both you and your shoes should make the process more seamless.

What to look for to use a shoe horn perfectly

If the product is of good quality, it is comfortable to use. The same goes for a shoe horn. So before using a shoe horn, you select the best one. That’s why you need to consider the following factors:


Manufacturers essentially used horns and glass to make shoe horns. Later, they used shells, ivory, and silver to make them attractive to those living a more luxurious life. Indeed, the use of horn in its construction has earned the shoe the peculiar name of ‘Horn.’

Today, shoe horns are available in various materials. They are:

i) Wood

Wood Shoe Horn

Wooden horns offer many advantages like other wooden products – eye-catching and durable. These shoehorn types become pleasant to hold, and better quality wood will contain an excellent-looking grain, bringing over into the finished shoehorn.

ii) Metal

Metal shoehorns typically consist of stainless steel and become long-lasting compared to their counterparts. In everyday use, sliding your feet into the shoes gets simple due to the smooth texture and finish of these shoe horns, even if you also think of wearing sockless.

The real negative side of metal or stainless steel shoe horns is that they remain bulky, making them unsuitable for some people. That’s why many opt for keeping metal shoehorns only in the short travel size, giving them a premium feel with a lightweight compared to the tall ones.

iii) Plastics

Plastic Shoe Horn

Plastic shoehorns are inexpensive, making them a good choice if you want to buy multiple shoehorns to keep in your bags and drawers at home or work. Compared to wooden and metal shoehorns, they will be very light. So they are easy to pack and carry. However, excessive force can cause cracks and breaks in the plastic.


Shoe horns are available in various lengths depending on how to use them. Shorter shoehorns allow you to wear your shoes while sitting. On the other hand, longer shoehorns let you wear your shoes while standing. Above all, which ones you will pick depends on your preference and convenience.

i) Long (18″ to 24″)

These sizes let you wear your shoes while standing. They become the most suitable for those unwilling to sit or bend while putting on shoes.

ii) Medium (10″ to 16″)

You may have to sit down to use a medium-sized shoehorn, but you don’t have to bend over to put on your shoes. These become the better option for users who feel inconvenienced in shorter shoe horns but still like to put on their footwear comfortably.

Shoehorns of this size do not become well-suited for travel but are not impossible to carry either. If you have enough space, medium-sized plastic shoe horns can be conveniently packaged in your luggage due to their lightweight.

iii) Short (5″ to 8″)

Transporting these sizes is simple enough due to the lightweight. Touring shoe horns will usually be 4″ to 5″ in length and contain a small scoop-like handle between your toes. It does not imply that slightly longer shoe horns (7-inch to 8-inch) can still be suitable for travel purposes.

While wearing your shoes, you need to sit and bend over to use these little shoe horns. For individuals with back issues, it is advised to avoid smaller shoe sizes that require bending. Instead, it is pointful to keep tall shoe horns in their closets as a helpful alternative.

How to Use a Shoe-Horn

By this time, we’ve covered the fundamentals. This time follow the simple steps on how to use a shoe horn to wear your shoes safely.

For short shoe horns:

  • Take a seat on a chair or stool.
  • Place your shoehorn so that the scoop remains upward and toward your heel.
  • Glide your feet into the shoes.
  • Shift the shoe horn as soon as your foot fully enters the shoe.

For long shoe horns:

  • Keep standing.
  • Place your shoehorn so that the scoop stays upward and toward your heel.
  • Grip the handle and glide your foot under the tool and into your shoe.
  • Shift the shoe horn as soon as your foot entirely goes in the shoe.

If you worry about how to pick short and tall shoe horns, you will find other factors to consider besides your general comfort.

For instance, if it is tough to stand and balance, a small horn suitable to use while sitting will be a better option. Conversely, if you suffer from back pain, a long tool will be better without requiring you to bend over to keep your shoes in place.

Using a Shoe Horn with Boots

Boots might remain ankle length or longer, making them tough to fit, but your feet have to adapt to the heels alongside them. Short shoehorns might become futile in this case. But medium or long shoehorns should get more effective with boots.

So if you have shoes and boots and find a one-size-fits-all solution, mid-sized shoe horns will be a better investment because they’ll function with everything you own.

Using a shoe horn process with boots is the same as the steps mentioned previously, but completely loosening the shoelaces becomes especially necessary.

  • Ankle boots like Chukkas should not substantiate simply wearing entirely undone with laces.
  • Chelsea boots don’t contain laces yet an elastic on the side, so drag it up to create somewhat room for your feet and legs to slip.
  • Most boots tall compared to these two horns will contain some way of side opening – usually a zipper. If it is, untie them and proceed with the remaining instructions.

Alternative to Shoe Horns

Keeping shoehorns with you is a better idea in places where you might need to put off and wear your shoes. But sometimes, you can’t carry a shoe horn with you for various reasons. In this case, you can use the following items as an alternative to shoe horns.

i) Belt: It is the nearest substitute to a tall shoe horn but impossible to use this horn while standing up.

ii) Visiting Card: The convenience of using this card largely depends on its level of hardness or softness. But it is an elegant option for a travel shoe horn.

iii) Folded Paper: Depending on how small the paper piece is, it acts like a visiting card. Multiple folds of Paper make it tough to utilize but also denser – so it will be hard to use in snug shoes.

Final Note

Shoehorns play a crucial role as an effective shoe-care tool to wear your shoes securely. Considering lengths, long, medium, and short, shoe horns all have their specific uses.

If you want to keep your shoes secure while using shoe horns, confirm that the laces are as loose as possible. Besides, ensure that you pull the shoe horn upwards when your foot slides into the shoe to avoid pushing it further inside.

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