People buy a lot of shoes. In the United States alone, shoe store sales add up to over 35 billion dollars annually. That doesn't include online shopping or shoe purchases from non-shoe stores, let alone other countries. You probably have a bunch of shoes yourself! Maybe even too many to keep around all the time. What are you going to do with all of those shoes?
We'll (ahem) walk you through the best way to store your extra shoes. You might be surprised how much there is to storing a shoe! You don’t want to just throw your extra shoes into a box somewhere. Protecting the shoes you store properly will help keep them wearable and fabulous for years to come. This is how to do it:
Clean any shoes that are going into storage.
Since storage is about preservation, you want to make sure the things you're putting away are in their best state. Storing shoes already covered in dirt could cause fabric degradation, especially on leather, suede, and other sensitive materials. Clean canvas and plastic shoes with regular dish soap and water, then leave them to dry. For leather and suede, look into special cleaners and soft brushes.
Decide how you want to organize them.
If you have a large enough shoe collection to warrant long term storage, you're going to want to keep it organized. We have found that the three most popular ways of organizing shoes are by season, style, or color. Decide what works best for you and your needs before moving on.
Prep them for storage.
Before putting your shoes away and after cleaning them, it's time for prep. Stuff them with acid-free paper to help them retain their shape. You want the paper to be acid-free so that it doesn't damage the shoe’s materials. Wrap pairs in acid-free tissue paper to keep them safe.
Decide what you’re going to store them in.
Now that the shoes are cleaned and prepped, you can put them away. The ideal storage container is an airtight plastic bin. You could also store shoes in small boxes, plastic or otherwise before you put them in a bin. Plastic bins keep harmful air particles and humidity away from your shoes, circumventing damage and decay. Boxes will help you keep your shoes organized more easily. There are other shoe storage options out there, but these are the most easily accessible.
Decide where you’re going to store them.
Since most shoes are made of soft materials like canvas, leather, or suede - they tend to be sensitive. Sensitive to temperature, humidity, and light. For storage longer than a month, we recommend keeping them in a climate-controlled storage unit. This is a place where you can guarantee they won’t sustain damage while away due to light, heat, or moisture. If that’s not an option, any dark and dry place will do. Attics, closets, or underneath the bed in bins are all viable back-up options.
Remember the things you should never do to your shoes.
Don't wrap leather shoes in plastic.
Leather needs air to breathe, and plastic cuts off its access to it. It can lead to discoloration and even mold growth.
Don’t put shoes into storage if they’re not 100% dry.
Be patient between washing and storing. Putting shoes away while still even the tiniest bit wet will lead to almost certain mold development. Nobody wants moldy sneakers.
Don't stack your shoes on top of each other.
We know that this makes storage easier and takes up less space. What it also does is potentially affect the shape of your shoes. If you're a serious collector or reseller, having warped pairs in your collection can lead to loss of value.
If you’re interested in the best custom self-storage options for your collections - shoes or otherwise - get in touch with the pros at Storage Direct. We’ll help walk you in the right direction.