As I’m waiting at gate number 16 for my flight, I have to ask myself what could I use instead of a shoe horn as I go through security at the airports?
Come to think of it, what is a good shoe horn alternative for every time I visit any of my friends who do not own shoe horns? I think more than half of them do not own one.
As I was struggling through security today I realized that the back of my shoes is actually more scuffed up than the front. At times I will use a credit card, but let’s consider what wiser internet users do.
What to use instead of a shoe horn?
There are three items that most people will find handy to replace a shoe horn: business cards, the pointy end of a shoe tie, or a toilet paper roll. There are many other items that could be shaped to do the job, but any of these items are easily found and shaped to do the job properly. To get the most out of these items, or to create a more permanent solution read on.
How to use business cards or credit cards as shoe horns?
Credit cards and business cards are the one item everyone will have on them at all times, or, at least, whenever they are also wearing shoes. They have just about the perfect size and they are slick enough to be perfect replacements for shoe horns.
2 problems still need to be taken into consideration. Business cards are usually too thin if the shoe fits too tightly, so there is a good chance that you would crumple the card with each use. An easy solution here would be to use several business cards at once, so they would create a stronger structure.
Credit cards, on the other hand, represent an excellent alternative. A single card is strong enough to help put on any type of shoe, and the higher gloss finish will help the foot slide in easier.
However, when you do use a credit card, you will bend it, ever so slightly, in half. It would not be enough to damage it after a single-use, or even several uses, but in time, there is a chance it will start forming creases and break off in half. So be careful which card you decide to use. Membership cards for various stores are usually cheaper to replace.
How to use a toilet paper roll as a shoe horn
The cardboard roll in the center of a toilet paper roll is perhaps the cheapest item you could use that is easily found around the house. The cardboard is stronger than the one found in most boxes, so, even though I have heard from people using pasta boxes to the same effect, I would suggest that the toilet paper core is a better shoe horn alternative.
All you need to do is to fold down the core and then shape it in the semicircular form for shoe horns. If you want to put a bit of flair to the entire design, try using some duct tape to get the role to stay in its new shape. Definitely the cheapest replacement to use instead of a shoe horn
How to make a plastic shoe horn
Although a proper shoe horn is one of the nicer items you could have by your shoe rack, you could argue that it is also one of those items that you do not need to spend money on, and, as a society, we need to really stop wasting our resources on.
So, if you want to go green, one of the best shoehorn alternatives, is an orange juice plastic bottle. They make those bottles from a thicker type of plastic than most other containers so a single layer should be enough for even the most tight-fitting shoes. A perfect solution to use instead of a shoe horn.
All you need to do is to use a box cutter to make a credit card-sized piece out of the sides of the bottles. If you feel like going fancy, you may cut from equal sides of a corner, making sure to remove the bottom completely. That way, your new shoe horn will have the rounded shape you would need.
Runner up solutions
Although the solutions mentioned above should be more than enough for any situation, a few ideas really made me smile for how clever and simple they were. For example, as a single-use solution, you could simply fold a bag, lengthwise, until it is thin enough to fit into the shoe, and use it to slide your feet in.
Alternatively, you could fold a piece of paper a couple of times until it becomes strong enough to really provide support while you are putting your shoes on. Finally, and this is the funnier one, you could use the thin part of a tie to help glide the shoe in.
Related: How to Use a Shoe Horn
How to put on shoes without a shoe horn explained (video)
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