When it comes to storing shoes, many of us are guilty of simply throwing them in the bottom of the wardrobe until we’re ready to wear them again. But storing your shoes correctly will help to maintain their shape, extend their lifespan and keep them in great condition for longer.
Whether you’ve nailed a capsule shoe wardrobe or have an extensive collection that spans all seasons, read on to find out how to store shoes properly, plus clever shoe storage ideas for small spaces.
How to store shoes to keep them in good condition
1. Use shoe trees to maintain the shoe’s shape
For short-term shoe storage, use a shoe tree to maintain the shape and size of your shoes. Shoe trees also prevent moisture build-up and help to fight odours.
2. Put your shoes on wooden shoehorns for long-term shoe storage
If you’re packing your shoes away longer term, use wooden shoehorns to maintain their shape. It’s essential to use the correct size to avoid stretching the shoes, and before inserting the horns, allow your shoes to rest for at least a day after wearing them so that any excess moisture has a chance to evaporate first.
3. Clean shoes thoroughly before storing them
Leaving dirt, mud or dust on shoes when you store them can cause the shoes’ material to deteriorate, especially if they’re made from leather or suede. To avoid this, clean your shoes thoroughly and leave them to dry before storing them. You could also use a specialist shoe care product designed for the specific material that your shoe is made from.
Find out more about how to clean and store suede shoes.
4. Stuff shoes with acid-free paper
Acid-free paper is absorbent, so it prevents shoes from getting damp while they’re in storage. Stuffing shoes with this paper will help to maintain the shoes’ proper moisture level and prevent them from deteriorating.
5. Use acid-free cardboard to keep boots in shape
Acid-free paper is great for low shoes and ankle boots, but for knee-high boots it’s a good idea to use rolled-up, acid-free cardboard to maintain their shape. Stuff the feet with acid-free paper, then use cardboard to prevent your boots from flopping and creasing while in storage.
6. Store them in a shoe box or a plastic box
Storing shoes in their original boxes or in plastic boxes can help to keep moisture at bay, improving the lifespan of your shoes. Storing them in a box will also prevent your shoes from getting crushed and creased, as they would if they were left loose under your bed or at the bottom of your wardrobe.
7. Keep them in a temperature-controlled environment
Extreme temperatures and levels of humidity can weaken your shoes, so it’s best to store shoes in a cool and dark place, like in your wardrobe or under your bed, out of direct heat and sunlight. Avoid storing shoes in a garage, a basement, and anywhere else that gets very cold in winter or very warm in summer.
Storing leather shoes
The rules for storing leather shoes are no different. Clean them thoroughly and allow them to dry, and you could also apply a leather conditioner, like one from our shoe care range. Stuff your leather shoes with acid-free paper, put them in a shoe box or a plastic equivalent, and store them away from direct heat and sunlight.
Storing shoes in a small space
How to store shoes in a small room
Invest in a shoe rack or shelving - Free up floorspace by storing shoes you wear regularly on a rack or another form of shelving like a ladder-style unit. Try a three, four or even five-tier shoe rack to store all of this season’s shoe collection.
Try a multifunctional piece of furniture - Multifunctional furniture is great if you’re short on space. Invest in a shoe rack bench where you can also sit to put your shoes on, or consider a taller design that doubles up as a console table for storing keys, make-up and other everyday essentials.
Opt for a wall-mounted cabinet - A slimline wall-mounted cabinet won’t take up much space in a small room, and it will free up floorspace too.
Maximise under-bed storage space - There’s often plenty of unused storage space under the bed, so make the most of it by storing your shoes there. Invest in a shoe organiser that slides under the bed for easy access to your shoes.
How to store shoes in a small closet or wardrobe
Use a hanging closet organiser - Make the most of the vertical space in your wardrobe with a hanging closet organiser for storing your shoes. Even the narrowest versions usually store up to 10 pairs.
Try an over-the-door shoe organiser - Like a hanging closet organiser, an over-the-door option will help you to optimise the space in a small wardrobe and keep the bottom free from clutter.
Go for stackable shoe boxes - Start from the bottom up with stackable shoe boxes that fit neatly on top of each other inside your wardrobe. If you don’t have the original shoe boxes, opt for clear styles so that you can see what’s inside.
With a few adjustments to how you store your shoes, you’ll keep your favourite pairs in great condition for years to come. Explore our full shoe care range for products that’ll help to maintain the quality of your shoes while they’re stored away.