How Do You Store Shoes Long-Term? (How Long Do They Last In Storage?)

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Shoes are one of the hardest things to store long-term. It seems that a lot of people have a hard time keeping their shoes in good condition for more than a year or two.

What causes the biggest problem is the leather. The leather absorbs moisture, and so it needs to breathe out moisture. As soon as you put them away, they will start to get musty and moldy.

Storing your shoes long-term is an easy thing to do when done correctly. The process is rather simple and does not require a lot of effort on your part.

Treat your shoes with the respect that they deserve by storing them in a dark, cool area. Do not store them in a damp area as this will cause the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause damage to the shoe’s leather upper.

How Long Do Shoes Last in Storage?

In general, shoes will last for around 6-12 months before signs of deterioration begin to show. Due to the climate and humidity in the air, leather can turn brittle, fabrics stretch, and changes to the glued structure can mean that the shoes begin to fall apart.

By employing proper storage methods, you can extend this time. A shoe tree is ideal for storing shoes in the short term, whereas wooden shoe horns are much more effective for the long-term storage of your footwear.

Additionally, ensuring that you give your shoes a good clean and keeping them in a climate-controlled environment can help to extend their life. In these idealized storage conditions, shoes can last for ten years or more.

How Do You Store Shoes Long-Term?

For long-term shoe storage, keep your shoes off of the ground on hooks, shelves, or a shoe tree. Stuff gym shoes and dress shoes with paper, or use wooden shoe forms to keep their shape intact. We can also stuff boots with paper, or insert a special shoe form to maintain their shape.

Most importantly, keep your shoes off of the floor! Dust, moisture, and dirt can ruin shoes stored on the floor. Boots should never be allowed to lay flat because they will become misshapen with time.

When a shoe dries out, the leather loses its flexibility and softness and can crack. If the shoe dries out too much, it will harden, which can cause permanent damage.

To avoid drying out your shoes too much when you put them away for storage (or if you’re planning on using a shoe tree), stuff a couple of things inside the shoe before putting it in its box or bag.

 

STRATTON MEN’S ADJUSTABLE SPLIT TOE CEDAR SHOE TREE - GROWN IN USA (X-Large / 11.5-13.5 US)

 

Old newspapers work well for this purpose. You can also use cotton balls, tissue paper, or even hand towels. Don’t overstuff the shoe with these items; just fill it enough so that there’s some air coming through the top of the opening. Make sure your items are clean and don’t leave any products on them that could stain or ruin your shoes.

Can You Store Shoes Outside?

You can store shoes outside, but not in direct sunlight. The UV rays from the sun can break down the leather and cause discoloration or dryness. While leather shoes are best kept in a dry environment, suede shoes should be stored in a cool, dry place with good air circulation. However…

It’s better to keep them indoors than outside, as well as away from things like heaters and air conditioners with strong cold or hot blasts. Keeping your shoes boxed will help protect them from the elements and keep them clean and free of dust.

The good news is that shoes will hold up well when they’re stored properly. Shoes should be kept in a cool, dry place where they won’t be exposed to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.

The best way to prevent damage is by using cedar shoe trees, which absorb moisture and keep the shoes’ shape. Storing your shoes in a plastic bag will trap moisture inside, which can cause mold to grow on the suede.

To store your shoes in a plastic bag, first, make sure they’re clean and dry. Then put them in a shoebox or other airtight container before storing them in the bag. This will ensure that they stay clean and dry while they’re being stored.

If you’re storing your shoes for an extended period of time, check on them periodically to make sure they don’t have any unwanted guests (i.e., moths). The airtight container should keep them out, but check for signs of chew marks or droppings just to be safe.

Do Shoes Need Air?

What you really want is for your shoes and boots to be stored in a cool, dry place. If you live in a humid environment, it’s especially important that you don’t store your shoes in plastic containers!

For the most part, shoes do not need too much air. In fact, storing them in a shoebox with a lid, or in other enclosed spaces, is much better for their lifespan than leaving them out to “breathe”.

You should also avoid storing shoes on top of each other as this will cause them to sweat and develop mildew. Instead, make sure that you arrange your shoes neatly and leave ample space between pairs of rows. That way, they’ll get plenty of air circulation and won’t touch each other over the long term.

When it comes to the material of your shoebox, there are two basic types: cardboard boxes and fabric bags. Both are great options but they do come with different pros and cons: cardboard boxes are light, inexpensive, and easy to store while fabric bags are often heavier and more expensive.

There are also some potential downsides to exposing your shoes to too much air. If you leave shoes in an environment that fluctuates in humidity and temperature, it can weaken fabrics and cause them to become brittle.


In summary, Shoes that are stored improperly or for too long can deteriorate. While you may be able to salvage them by cleaning and polishing, you might have to admit defeat if they’re too worn. If you leave shoes out in the open, they can dry out, become brittle and break down over time.

The two main options for storing your shoes are boxes and bags. The main difference between the two is that boxes can be stacked and bags cannot. Shoes can be stacked vertically, which takes up less space than storing them horizontally in rows.

There are also clear plastic shoe boxes available that provide much better air circulation than cardboard boxes, and thus help preserve the “newness” of your shoes longer.

You may also be interested in… How Many Boots is Too Many? and How Do Suede Shoes Hold Up?