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She may be buying many different styles, including boots, or shoes with high heels that need different size cubbyholes than simple, smaller shoes. I suggest you build a box the size of the space, then put in a set of vertical boards wide enough to hold a typical pair of shoes. Then cut slots *dados in the vertical boards at different intervals so you can slide in a standard size piece of 1/4 inch Masonite. You can adjust the space to the pair in that slot. Do a roundover on the front edge of the boards for appearance sake. Cut lots of dividers, then she can organize her shoes as she wishes.

Paint or finish in natural wood. If you make it of plywood, you'll need to add a strip of woood to the front edge. I'd do that before cutting the dados. Shoes are light enough so the 1/4 inch will hold anything but clodhoppers nicely.

I would cut the dados offset from each other so you don't weaken the verticals. I'd cut the dados about 3/8ths deep so they get a good grip on the masonite spacers. I'd probably make it with a 1/4 back so I could fasten the verticals through it for a little more strength.
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