In the search for rare-earth free permanent magnets, various ideas related to shape anisotropy are being pursued. In this work we assess the limits of shape contributions to the reversal stability using micromagnetic simulations. In a first series of tests we altered the aspect ratio of single phase prolate spheroids from 1 to 16. Starting with a sphere of radius 4.3 times the exchange length Lex we kept the total magnetic volume constant as the aspect ratio was modified. For a ferromagnet with zero magnetocrystalline anisotropy the maximum coercive field reached up to 0.5 times the magnetization Ms. Therefore, in materials with moderate uniaxial magnetocrystalline anisotropy, the addition of shape anisotropy could even double the coercive field. Interestingly due to non-uniform magnetization reversal there is no significant increase of the coercive field for an aspect ratio greater than 5. A similar limit of the maximum aspect ratio was observed in cylinders. The coercive field depends on the wire diameter. By decreasing the wire diameter from 8.7Lex to 2.2Lex the coercive field increased by 40%. In the cylinders nucleation of a reversed domain starts at the corners at the end. Smoothing the edges can improve the coercive field by about 10%. In further simulations we compacted soft magnetic cylinders into a bulk-like arrangement. Misalignment and magnetostatic interactions cause a spread of 0.1Ms in the switching fields of the rods. Comparing the volume averaged hysteresis loops computed for isolated rods and the hysteresis loop computed for interacting rods, we conclude that magnetostatic interactions reduce the coercive field by up to 20%.