Shoe Horn: Types and 4 Benefits of Using One

Shoe Horn types and benefits

A friend once asked, “why do shoe accessories have weird names; the other a shoe ‘tree’ and now a ‘horn’?”

One can simply grin at such questions and present a readable page like this to the inquisitive person.

So, here you will learn about shoehorn and its types as well as the reasons why you should have one.

What is a shoehorn?

It is a device which has either a long or short handle and flares into a spoon-like head, that can aid you to wear a snug-fitting shoe easily.

This tool is also commonly called a shoe spoon, shoe Schlipp, or shoe tongue.

You can use a shoehorn by holding it by the handle and fitting it against the inside back of your shoes. Then slide your heel gently along the furrow of the tool until it relaxes in the shoes.

Types of shoe horn

(Based on Material)

1. Metallic shoe horn

Shoe Horn types and benefits

This type of shoehorn is made from stainless steel, shiny and smooth. Among the other materials, it is the most durable. Nonetheless, it is heavier than others and can be attacked by rust if not taken care of.

Depending on the quality of the stainless steel and size, metal shoehorns could cost between $6 to $30.

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2. Plastic shoe horn

Shoe Horn types and benefits

Just as the name implies, plastic shoe horns are those molded out of plastic materials. It is cheap, lightweight, and cannot be attacked by rust.

Because of its lightweight and easy to work with, it has become a more common choice for travelers.

The price could range from $4 to $15 depending on the length and the quality of the plastic.

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3. Animal Horn

Shoe horn types and benefits

Although “shoehorning” means pressuring someone or something into a certain action. The name “shoehorn” could have also come from the fact that the first shoehorns were carved out of horns and bones.

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Today, you can still find those made from cow horns. They are lightweight, resistant to rust, and are durable. It could also be a travel choice as the plastic ones.

The cost of one varies with size and it could range from $10 to $30.

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4. Wooden shoe horn

Shoe horn types and benefits

The wooden shoe horns are those carved from wood. They are coated with varnish so that they are smooth, stylish, and resistant to attacks.

This type of shoehorn can be heavier than the plastic and cow horn types but can be compared with the stainless steel type in weight.

The price could rise from $7 to $13 depending on your choice of design.

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(Based on Design)

Shoehorns are also classified based on their construction. Some are made to be short while others are made longer.

5. Long handled shoe horn

Shoe Horn types and benefits

As the name implies, the long-handled shoe horns are ones you can use while standing or bending a bit. It could be as long as 31 inches (81 cm approx.).

It is mostly used for wearing boots and used by those who find it difficult to squat.

6. Short handled shoe horn

Shoe Horn types and benefits

On the other hand, short-handled shoe horns are ones that are a few inches in length. They could rise from 7.5 inches to 9 inches (19 – 20 cm approx.).

However, they are used to wear dress shoes. So you would squat or bend to use it.

7. Adjustable horns

Shoe Horn types and benefits

These are the types of shoe horns which you can tweak the length to get what you desire. So, they offer you the benefits of both short and long-handled shoehorns.

Benefits of using shoehorns

This device acts as a lifesaver for shoes but one general benefit is, it helps get the feet to coax into the shoe.

Way back, it was a necessity but in recent times shoe horns are rarely seen or used by most people. This is disheartening.

The first Shoe Horn invented was made out of genuine cow horn (this was so expensive) but in recent times, plastics and metals are used more often. Still, this device hasn’t lost its value.

Benefits of using shoe horn

1. It cuts out the frustration

That lace could take a long time to pull. This triggers urgency and causes uneven formation which results in cracks.

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Voluntarily losing up that shoelace and doing this regularly results in cracked leather. When you force your way into something over time, it wears out.

The same thing happens with a shoe. This is why they are designed in different forms and materials to promote flexibility to help soothe your needs.

2. It is lightweight

No one enjoys carrying a heavy object. Do you?

This is why this device, crafted by the finest hands, is made out of the best product with you at heart. The metal /stainless shoehorn is not an exception.

The plastic forms are handy and flexible for young adults and children. Eventually, everywhere you go, it could sit in your suitcase with ease!

Regularly this device can be slipped in and out. The major reason why it was made with light materials is to reduce pressure when taking off the shoe which may cause damages.

3. Helps the physically challenged

This includes grandparents, patients, pregnant women, handicapped and the list goes on.

When a patient in the hospital wants to try a shoe on for movement it is Used to slide the shoe in.

This aids the patient easily and limits any problem which can be caused by straining. Aged people in this society want to do something for themselves once in a while.

Wearing a shoe is one of them. With a shoehorn, one can slide in. Different shoes in one minute without bending or sliding over.

A woman almost fell off a wheelchair right there in the hospital room. She wanted to fix the shoe pulling out of her legs.

No nurse was by her side so she had to do it herself if I wasn’t there to help she would have had a serious back injury which could have led to death.

4. Keeps the shape of the shoes intact

Shoe trees as well as shoe horns help to keep your shoes in shape. While you use the horns when wearing shoes to prevent it from folding, you use shoe trees while you’re not using the shoe.

A shoe made of suede would need this device to elongate the life span because we all know suede is made of a softer material, unlike leather.

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It preserves shoes like trainers keeping them looking new over time. When you go shopping, invest in a shoehorn to avoid replacing shoes all the time.

Things to look out for when you want to buy a shoe horn

  • The size of the shoehorn must be proper for the type of shoe you want to get it for.
  • Materials should not be left out. Plastics work better than metals and wood when flexibility is required.
  • The cost of the device matters too. Plastics are very affordable and lightweight, but metals are durable, costs more and it is inflexible.
  • Fancy for your taste. Metal is designed with stainless and wood is carved with a knife but plastic comes in different varieties (color, shape, size) to choose from.

All shoes are no exceptions for a shoehorn. A quality shoe needs all the help to stay quality.


What can I use instead of a shoe horn?

If you can’t get your hands on a shoe horn, you can use a long wooden spoon instead. You can also make use of a ruler or any other object that is flat, long and strong (that can’t break easily).

What is the purpose of a shoe horn?

Shoe horn lets you slide your heel easily into a shoe.

How do I use a shoe horn?

  • Insert the shoe horn into the back of your shoe with its basin facing the inner part of the shoe.
  • Gently slide your feet into the shoe while your heel follow along the shoe horn’s basin
  • Gradually pull up the shoe horn as you slide your feet in so that by the time your feet is in the shoe, the shoe horn is entirely out.

Are shoe horns necessary?

Yes, using a shoe horn would preserve the shape and structure of your shoe’s heel. This would help them to last longer.

Besides, shoehorn cuts out the stress of wearing shoes, especially those that are a bit tight. The benefits explained above should help you understand better.

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