How To Store Shoes Properly & Keep Them In Shape (A Guide)

It’s understandable that we would have a collection of shoes because it is very common to dedicate one pair for different occasions. You can’t afford to have your feet exposed on the first date and for a job interview too, right? That’s why we all end up with so many different shoes.

Some people love shoes, but many are left with an abundance of choice. While this may leave some satisfied and content in their shoe collection, it can also lead to storage problems.

What type of shoe you have determines what kind of storage solution is best for them. For example, sneakers and sandals should be stored in a drawer to prevent mildew from forming inside their soles as this can affect their lifespan.

So, the big question here is, what are the best solutions to storing your shoes properly?

There are many different ways to store shoes, and we’ve compiled the best tips from various experts. Check out these awesome tricks for storing your shoe collection!

Storage Solution

You should keep your shoes in a place where they can breathe and not be squished. This will help them stay nice, clean, dry, and ready for wear! Let’s have a look at these storing tips!

Avoid direct contact with humid surface

how to store shoes and avoid humidity

Mold and fungus can be a serious problem for shoes. The number one supporter of mold and fungus growth is humidity, which leads to several damages such as leather becoming frail, fabric weakening, or the glue loosening, all leading to the shoes eventually being completely ruined!

So, the best way to keep them from being exposed to moisture is by avoiding placing your shoes on a humid surface like the floor or wall. Store them properly in an elevated shoe rack which gives you some kind of barrier between the shoes and that damp surface!

So remember, don’t place those babies directly where they can get wet, store them up high so their soles are out of reach when humidity strikes!

Cardboard or plastic boxes?

There are many people who believe that storing their shoes in cardboard or plastic shoe boxes is a safe solution. The truth of the matter, though, it’s only partly true. The shoes are bound to last longer if we also pay attention to the small details such as air circulation. The original packaging that comes with the shoes, for instance, has ventilation holes that allow fresh air to circulate.

A cardboard box may be an easy way to store your shoes, but this method is not the best for long-term use.

After a few months, the cardboard will accumulate some humidity. We all know what high humidity leads to, mold and mildew! To avoid this from happening with your shoes, it’s recommended to opt for a clear plastic box with ventilation holes. Using a plastic box, you can stack one on top of another without any worry about damaging anything below by accident as well.

So, if you’re storing your favorite pair in short-term use or during a move where they need protection from dust while waiting on their new home, then by all means go with a cardboard box.

Consider using a shoe-tree

shoe tree

What is a shoe tree? And why do we need it? A shoe tree is actually an essential item in shoe care. It plays a big role in keeping them in great shape.

Keep in mind, when we take off our shoes, something happens down there on the sole. It’s slightly curved upward and the microscopic leather fibers are bent too. Over time, without a shoe tree, those small damages will be more noticeable and eventually break the shoes.

So, inserting a shoe tree into shoes while they’re stored and unused will prevent irreparable damage. The sole won’t curl and the upper leather will stay straightened. Don’t worry, a shoe tree is different from a shoe stretcher, so it won’t stretch your shoes!

Before you buy a shoe tree, consider these things: 1) the size and shape have to fit your feet, 2) it has several spring-loaded parts for adjustment, 3) the heel of the shoe tree shapes like a human heel, it’s better to avoid the ball-shaped heel, 4) wood or plastic, it depends on what you need. Wood is more recommended, especially cedarwood to give the shoe a nice scent, but plastic is lighter for traveling purposes.

Silica Gel to the rescue!

silica gel

Don’t throw away those little white beads called “silica gel”. These are essential to ensure good quality for the shoes. They’re the ultimate all-purpose drying agent! They have near-infinite uses because they not only dry out anything but also bring down moisture content in the air by absorbing it.

In fact, the manufacturers add silica packets to prevent mold growth and stains on shoes that might happen due to humidity or wetness. For leather shoes, this is especially important because they are made from a material that can be quite porous and facilitates bacteria growth.

No Silica Gel? No Problem

There are several other options to use besides a silica gel pack, a shoe cabinet dehumidifier, and a shoe moisture absorber. They both are also useful to prevent mold and fungus growth and bring down the humidity level.

A shoe rack or cabinet dehumidifier is most suitable for those who opt for an open rack or cabinet concept because it absorbs water content from the air. It also comes in various sizes from big to small which allows you to pick one that fits your space.

While the shoe moisture absorber comes in various shapes, for example, a ball shape. This allows you to easily place one inside the shoe and let it absorbs the humidity and unpleasant odor!

So, after learning some great ways for storing our footwear so they last longer, stay in shape, and smell nice, there are some more questions to cover, do you still need to maintain the cleanliness when the shoes are being stored? how do you take care of different shoe materials? Is it correct to clean your leather shoes the same way as fabric or canvas shoes? Here are some quick tips!

Shoe Maintenance Tips

Even though they are stored and protected well, you need to occasionally check on them. For shoes that’ll be stored long-term, a simple wipe-down will suffice. But for shoes that you wear on daily basis, there needs to be thorough cleaning before the shoes are placed back into storage.

But, every shoe has a specific surface and material, which means that there are different ways to clean them. So, take a look at how simple shoe cleaning can be with just a few supplies and these easy steps!

Leather shoes

Leather shoe

We all know that leather is a high-quality material, and our shoes are no exception. We have to take care of them well in order for the quality not to fade! This means whether it’s authentic, faux, or patent – we should do what we can in order to keep their texture looking good as new! Then, how do we clean leather shoes? Follow these steps:

  1. Mix cool water with white vinegar equally. Why white vinegar? It is actually an excellent ingredient due to its ability to remove dirt, grease, and grime from surfaces.
  2. Dip a clean cloth into the mixture and wipe it off of your leather surface. After you are done, let them air dry completely so they can be back to their beautiful selves!
  3. Finally, use commercial polish (or simply baking soda and water) on them to add shine!

Fabric shoes

Fabric shoes

Fabric shoes may not be as glamorous as leather ones but that doesn’t mean we should neglect them! As much as fabric shoes are easy to wear and keep clean, they require just as much care of their leather counterparts. Fabric can break down or become stained without the proper cleaning techniques. Here are some tips to keep them in great shape!

  1. Prepare the surface by simply cleaning off noticeable dirt with dry tissue, paper towel, or fabric which will remove the most visible grime from sneakers before giving them some special attention in more detail later.
  2. It’s important to be careful not to overwet the fabric. Use a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid in two cups of water and mix well before using a toothbrush to be dipped into the mixture and then lightly scrub the fabric shoes.
  3. Then, use another clean cloth or towel and wipe away any remaining residue. Once this has been done allow them time to air-dry by leaving them out in an open space.

Rope and Cork shoes

Rope and cork soles may be tough material but that doesn’t mean we can neglect them when taking on the task of cleaning our footwear. We have to take good care because they are prone to cracking with time, so make sure they bear enough love. For clean rope and cork soles, use these simple steps:

  1. Mix 4 cups of warm water with 1⁄4 cup distilled white vinegar and 1 teaspoon dishwashing detergent.
  2. Use the toothbrush or cloth to scrub or wipe away any dirt on the surfaces.
  3. Wipe again with another cloth then let them air dry!

Athletic shoes

Sport shoes

Shoes are a great investment, but if you don’t take care of them seriously they won’t have much longevity. A lot of people think it’s okay to throw their athletic shoes in the washing machine and let the machine do most of the work for them; is that really an ideal solution?

Cleaning athletic shoes in the washing machine may seem convenient, but hand-washing is still recommended for their longevity as many experts believe this will keep them in better condition. These are the steps to hand wash your athletic shoes.

  1. Remove the insoles and laces from your own pair of sneakers by carefully dismantling them.
  2. To wash off the dirt, fill a deep sink or bucket with warm water and just a tiny pinch of detergent if necessary. Submerge all of the parts in the water and clean them thoroughly using an old toothbrush or cloth. Be sure to scrub every inch with extra care!
  3. Air dry the shoe parts in an open space where it’s not humid or wet. Insert paper inside the shoe for faster drying.
  4. After assembling the shoe parts back together, use a shoe disinfectant to remove an unwanted disease-caring organism and neutralize the smell.

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