The title says it all... I need something to use instead of a shoehorn.

I tried a spoon but this does not work well.

  • 1
    Which end of the spoon did you use? Try using the shaft...
    – holroy
    Sep 13, 2015 at 14:16
  • I've been using my finger, but it occurs to me there must be better ways...
    – Minnow
    Sep 13, 2015 at 23:51
  • 2 fingers in the back of the shoe work for me. It can be painful depending on the foot and shoe xD
    – Pobrecita
    Sep 14, 2015 at 6:03
  • You can't beat a shoe horn - I've always take a small one in my bag if I think I have to remove and put on shoes, can't stand the pain in my fingers using the finger in the back of the shoe method, which is the only other thing that vaguely works...
    – Bamboo
    Sep 14, 2015 at 10:40

11 Answers 11


Inspired by this post, I tried using some cardboard from a box of pasta. It worked pretty well. I don't think it will last forever, but there is plenty more cardboard produced through normal purchases.

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  1. Fold the box flat by open the ends.
  2. Mold the box into a curved shape similar to that of a shoehorn.
  3. Insert into shoe, and your foot should slide in to the shoe.

I think a box of macaroni might work best based on the width; something around 3-4 inches is ideal.

  • Cardboard does it, or a bit of paper folded several times to the right size. For some reason I often need a shoehorn when I haven't got one.
    – RedSonja
    Sep 16, 2015 at 8:47

In general most items which are reasonable flat and narrow can be used as replacements for a shoehorn. Items like rulers, a suitable stick, large wooden spoons, or similar items. If you are in a real pinch, you could use other kitchen utensils, like pie cutter, sausage tongs. Anything long and flat could do.

On an alternative approach, you could try using your belt. It is not as sturdy, but usually they are easily found and accessible. Just insert the belt end into the shoe, and use as normal.


After you finish your yogurt (or pint of ice cream), cut the plastic container vertically into a medium-wide strip and trim off the bottom. Bend the strip lengthwise to fit into the heel of the shoe.

A dollar-bill sized strip of polypropylene (PP) will lay flat on a closet shelf patiently waiting for your next application. It will fit into your hip pocket, wallet, or bag. It works wet or dry, and can be used for other things that a bobby pin can't. It's one of a few great MacGyvers* to have with you.

*MacGyver is a different kind of hero: he doesn't use weapons, he's afraid of heights, and he's an expert at making complicated machines out of ordinary things quickly. http://www.tv.com/shows/macgyver/


I use about 6-8 Business Cards -- right size and shoes slide on. Generally have that many in my wallet...


A plastic bag can be used. Just fold it lengthwise till it's about the inside width of the heel, place it in position while holding one end and slide foot into shoe.

It's easy and it does work.



I would cut a plastic bottle of the correct size / shape


I use a piece of letter paper, fold it in half a couple times to the shape of a shoe horn and it works very well.


B"H Hey, I'm new here and have been using a Credit Card as a shoe-horn for years. I just came online to see where I can share the info... and did a search - and this thread came up. A credit card works like a GEM as a shoe horn. Just make sure to position in on the inside corner of your shoe/foot. In lieu of a CC - for not-so-tight shoes - use a regular business card. Best, - Chayim


I have resorted to pens for this often in the past and found they worked about as well as fingers, minus the pain.

Try carrying a pen or having some pens by your door. You can also try two pens, or add a finger next to the pen if needed.


I can’t believe no one has mentioned using a toilet paper roll. After you finish that next roll of toilet paper, don’t throw away the cardboard roll,;..Just slice it in half and now you have two shoe horns!! Brilliant


As any Boy Scout will tell you, place a corner of a pocket handkerchief into your shoe. Hold the rest of the handkerchief while you slip your foot into the shoe. Then pull the handkerchief out.

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