Find out about the best shoegaze guitar pedals for creating your own fuzzed-up wall of sound.

In this blog we’ll be taking a look at some of the best shoegaze guitar pedals available today - from the budget-friendly bargains to the high-end monsters. Named after the genre's earliest innovators penchant for staring at an array of different stompboxes when performing live, bands who were originally branded with the shoegaze label include My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, and Chapterhouse.

Watch this video for an introduction to some different effects types, or read our Beginner's Guide to Guitar Pedals here!

Taking additional influence from earlier British indie bands such as The Jesus and Mary Chain and Cocteau Twins, the shoegaze style of guitar playing is still popular today with ‘nu-gaze’ artists - but what exactly is a shoegaze guitar tone?

What is a Shoegaze Guitar Tone?

The archetypal shoegaze guitar sound is typified by layers of warm distorted guitars, often drenched in reverb and sometimes played with a unique vibrato technique known as ‘glide guitar’.

Fender Jaguar and Jazzmaster-style guitars are generally the axe of choice for bands aiming to capture this sound, mainly due to their smooth floating bridge and variety of switching options. Rickenbacker guitars are a good choice too, as are other Fender models, but the most important ingredient in any shoegazing setup is always the pedalboard!

Fender Offset Shoegaze Setup

What Pedals Do I Need?

To recreate the sonic textures of your favourite shoegazers, you’ll probably need at least 5 types of effects at your disposal:

  1. Fuzz
  2. Overdrive
  3. Chorus
  4. Delay
  5. Reverb

This blog will look predominantly at stompbox units, but many accomplished players now rely on digital modeling gear and multi-fx to achieve their sound. There are also individual pedals which are capable of producing multiple blended effects, as well as amp settings and channels which can be utilised to attain a fully-realised noise palette without drowning in patch cables.

What Order Should My Pedals Go In?

There is only one rule when it comes to your guitar’s signal path in shoegaze - there are no rules!

We recommend experimenting with your setup and designing your rig so that it best serves your songs and gives you a unique sound - you’ll never see two players with the same shoegaze pedal order. With that being said, there are some general guidelines that you can use to get going in the right direction:
On this pedalboard we can see the flow of signal from the guitar to the amp. At the start of the signal chain are the pedals that produce tone - distortions like fuzz and overdrives usually live here. This is so that they add colour to the clean guitar tone before they reach the modulation pedals which come next.

Here, the only modulation pedal is a chorus, used for a doubling effect. This leads into the delay pedal, which will usually be the last part of a chain before your ‘ambience’ pedals - these tend to be reverb units such as on this rig.

This sort of shoegaze pedal setup ensures that your signal is distorted before it’s modulated and delayed, offering a clarity to the tone that many players enjoy. Shoegaze is all about experimentation though, so try moving your fuzz around when chasing that elusive wall of sound!


Fuzz pedals are paramount for shoegazers, who often stack multiple distortion pedals to create dense textures in their songs. This adds layers that are rich in overtones and harmonics - perfect for making warm, hazy soundscapes.

One of our favourite pedals in this realm is the Keeley Electronics Loomer Fuzz & Reverb Pedal. This is a dual-use pedal that takes its name from the second song on the seminal shoegaze album Loveless by My Bloody Valentine - and it’s not too difficult to see why.

This powerful beast combines a unique blend of fuzz, reverb, and even some extra modulation too. Most importantly, this pedal has a reverse reverb mode - something that we’ll discuss later, but which has been a key component in some iconic ‘gaze guitar moments.

Keeley Electronics Loomer Fuzz Reverb Pedal

For those shopping on a budget, it’s hard to go wrong with the Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi.

Used on countless Alternative Rock recordings, the Nano model cuts the price down whilst preserving valuable pedalboard real estate - something you’ll learn to appreciate as your stompbox collection grows.

This pedal truly is one of the best cheap shoegaze pedals, so don't be fooled by the price tag!

Electro Harmonix Nano Big Muff Pi Fuzz Distortion Pedal

Another notable distortion pedal is the BOSS HM-2W Heavy Metal Waza Craft Distortion Pedal- a reimagined version of the iconic HM-2 that was used extensively by Bilinda Butcher.

A revolutionary BOSS shoegaze pedal that has been highly-sought after since the discontinuation of the original, this pedal offers all of the same tones plus an extra Waza Craft Circuit. This allows for further tone-sculpting and an added element of versatility to the chainsaw sound for which it is renowned.

Another notable distortion pedal is theBOSS HM-2W Heavy Metal Waza Craft Distortion Pedal- a reimagined version of the iconic HM-2 that was used extensively by Bilinda Butcher.

A revolutionary BOSS shoegaze pedal that has been highly-sought after since the discontinuation of the original, this pedal offers all of the same tones plus an extra Waza Craft Circuit. This allows for further tone-sculpting and an added element of versatility to the chainsaw sound for which it is renowned.

BOSS HM-2 Waza Craft Heavy Metal Distortion


The next stompbox effect you might want to consider is an overdrive pedal. These can be used for stacking on top of your fuzz or for searing lead lines that need to be pushed through a mix.

If you have an amp with a second channel - usually called Drive, Lead, Boost, or something similar - then this is also a great way to enhance your tone options without splashing out on an extra pedal. These amps often have footswitches for easily flicking between the channels, so they can be integrated into your pedalboard setup.

Our entry-level overdrive option is the Mooer Mod 1 Green Mile Overdrive. This pedal has switchable ‘Warm’ and ‘Hot’ modes which allow for an outstanding level of flexibility for an effect housed in such a small enclosure, offering anything from subtle saturation to an impressively heavy crunch.

Mooer Mod 1 Green Mile Overdrive Pedal

If you’re looking for something a little more fancy, look no further than the Earthquaker Devices Plumes Small Signal Shredder. This boutique-style pedal features three unique clipping modes and an all-analog signal path to keep audiophiles and pedal aficionados happy.

Flexi-Switch Technology means that you can also benefit from momentary switching in addition to traditional latching. This allows the pedal to operate only for the time that you hold the switch down, disengaging the effect upon release - perfect for quick bursts of noise and when using a large amount of effects at once.

Earthquaker Devices Plumes Small Signal Shredder


Used for dreamy doubling effects, the humble chorus pedal splits your guitar signal into two and is capable of truly thickening up your tone.

The BOSS CE-2W Waza Craft Chorus is our favourite option for its stereo output and classic sound - reminiscent of tones from the Roland Jazz Chorus line of amplifiers which are used heavily by shoegaze giants Slowdive.

BOSS CE-2 Waza Craft Chorus Pedal

Also worth trying out is another pedal from the Electro-Harmonix Nano Range - the Nano Clone. This pedal offers a beautiful shimmering sound on a budget, and with only a simple Rate knob to worry about, it’s perfectly suited for those still getting to grips with using stompbox units.

Electro Harmonix Nano Clone Chorus Pedal


Delay pedals are great for adding depth to your guitar sound, and the best ones are capable of anything from a subtle ‘slapback’ echo to tripped-out feedback loops.

Some delay pedals offer the ability to add modulated repeats and other harmonic aspects that you can utilise to really get a huge soundscape that suits shoegaze-style guitar playing.

Our favourite shoegaze delay pedal is the Strymon Timeline- an undisputed modern classic, this awesome unit features 12 different studio-grade delay models with a plethora of controls for shaping your tone.

Check out the Timeline here to hear some of the awesome tones it’s capable of:

Another outstanding choice is the Fender Mirror Image Delay Pedal. A cost-effective pedalboard solution, this unit can replicate Analog, Digital, and Tape-style effects all whilst offering complete control over Depth, Rate, Feedback, Time, and Level.

It even allows for a dotted ⅛ note to be added with the flick of a switch, allowing for washes of sound that are useful when chasing a dreamy tone.

Fender Mirror Image Delay Pedal


The last part of the shoegaze sound is reverb. The most notable shoegaze guitarists have often used rack-mounted effects for complete control over the shape of the sound, and often incorporate reverse reverb into their effects chain.

Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine often relied on the Alesis Midiverb ii and the Yamaha SPX90 for his reverbs. Both feature a unique reverse algorithm, but are large rack units that are not suited particularly well to the modern gigging guitarists' needs.

The pedal that is best placed to emulate these sounds is the Earthquaker Devices Avalanche Run V2.

This stompbox is another dual-use pedal - as well as featuring Reverse, Swell, and Normal reverb modes, you are also granted with up to 2 seconds of delay time. This delay is controlled with tap tempo, a ratio knob, and a whole host of other switchable parameters for dialling in the right sound.

The Avalanche Run V2 contains updated stereo outputs too, meaning you can send the repeats and reverb tails (all of which are fully tweakable) to different outputs when experimenting.

Earthquaker Devices Avalanche Run V2 Reverb Pedal

If you just need a simple reverb for adding some space to certain guitar parts, your best bet is the Mooer Shim Verb.

This tiny digital piece of kit is capable of 3 separate reverb modes, all of which can be modified with the Level, Colour, and Decay knobs on the front of the pedal.

The room and spring reverb sounds are lush, but the shimmer setting in particular is the ultimate solution for those who want to introduce some harmonic overtones into their reverb sounds - something usually associated with far more expensive pedals.

Mooer Shim Verb Reverb Pedal

Multi-FX Units

If you’re looking for an all-in-one pedalboard solution then a multi-fx unit might be the best bet for you.

The benefit to using a multi-fx shoegaze pedalboard is that you can have access to an almost endless range of tones, each with parameters and presets that can be altered to sculpt your sound.

On the other hand, the tone that you end up with might not be exactly what you would be able to achieve with an all-analog stompbox chain.

Multi-fx pedals are great for experimenting with effects that you mightn’t have tried out before, and there are some impressive options available at PMT that are equally as useful for writing and practicing as they are for live-use.

Whether you need to discover the best budget shoegaze pedals or you're searching for something special, shop a full-range of the best stompbox effects at PMT Online today.

We've even put together a Shoegaze Effects Pedals Starter Pack bundle that even complete beginners to the genre can sink their teeth into!

Still not sure what shoegaze guitar pedals are best for you? Need some extra help with shoegaze bass pedals? Call us on 0151 448 2089 or check out your local store to speak to one of our Experts about your needs.