If you’re like most people, having a separate walk-in closet just for your shoes is probably not a reality. Luckily, it doesn’t really have to be—storing shoes can be easy and affordable, and doing so correctly can keep your shoes looking and feeling great, and lasting longer.
When you’re looking for ways to store your shoes, two things should be kept in mind before all else: maintaining the integrity of your shoes, and easy accessibility when searching for the right shoes to wear. Shoes kept in the most pristine condition won’t do much good if you have to sift and rummage through piles and stacks of sneakers or heels anytime you need to find a pair, which not only makes for a daily inconvenience, but can actually damage your shoes over time.
Store smart by keeping similar styles together, separating them by season, and finding the most practical storage solution for your living situation and your day-to-day schedule.
Because all shoes are different, certain types will require different storage solutions. Finding the right way to store your shoes starts with the type of shoes you’re working with, be they high-heeled, casual and canvas, expensive sneakers, leather boots, or anything in between.
How to Store Athletic Shoes
If collecting sneakers is your thing, you can extend the shelf life of your shoes by storing them correctly. Many people recommend cleaning off any dirt and wiping away any moisture that’s collected after a wear, then tucking the dry shoes in a shoebox until their next use.
How to Store Heels
The best way to store heels is on a flat surface, so wire racks are ones to steer clear of. Your nicest, least-worn pairs should be kept high up to avoid possible damage, and the rest should be kept upright in a cubby rack, or in the deep drawers of a dresser, which can keep elements like straps from becoming snagged or torn.
How to Store Boots
If you have tall boots that tend to bend or slouch when you set them on the ground, you can help them keep their shape by stuffing filler material inside the boot legs. Rolling up an old magazine can keep low or mid-length boots from bending, and taller designs can stay in place with the help of an inexpensive pool noodle — just measure the noodles to your boot’s height and cut it to size, then slip in inside to keep it propped up.
How to Store Leather Shoes
Much like your nice sneakers, you’ll need to keep your leather shoes clean and dry if you want to store them without damage, so wipe them down, then find a cool, dark temperature-regulated closet or room that won’t get too hot, humid, or cold. Leather shoes will also need to breathe, so keep them in canvas or wrapped in paper rather than sealed in plastic bags or bins. To keep the shape, you can stuff them with bubble wrap, balled up paper, or use a shoe form, which is highly recommended for nice loafers and boots.