Our Top 10 Tips for Storing All Your Favourite Shoe Styles


We expect a lot from our shoes and boots, yet we often fail to prioritise the long-term shoe care that keeps our shoes looking stylish and feeling comfortable. This includes proper shoe storage. Tossing all your footwear into a pile at the back of your closet might be convenient at the moment, but this shoe storage solution certainly will not keep your shoes pristine and wearable for years to come.

So, if you are interested in ensuring your shoes stay looking great, and saving money on repairs and replacements, read on to discover our shoe storage ideas that are perfect for keeping all types of shoes appropriately stored while they are not being used or during the off-season.

Best practice shoe storage tips that apply to all shoe types

The following things should be considered any time you plan to store shoes for a week or more.

1. Clean and condition shoes before storing them

Please do not skip this step! There is no point in tucking away dirty shoes and expecting them to spark anything close to joy when you go to retrieve them. Of course, to prolong the life of your footwear, you should clean your shoes regularly whether you plan to store them or not. It is imperative when saying goodbye for the season, though. So, before storing your shoes, sandals, boots, or other footwear, seek appropriate shoe-cleaning ideas and do a thorough job. This is also the right time to apply a leather conditioner to any leather soles and uppers. Finally, ensure you let the shoes dry thoroughly before storage. You can find our guides for shoe cleaning at home here.

2. Prioritise climate-controlled storage

Climate-controlled shoe storage is essential because significant temperature and humidity changes can cause leather to become brittle, weaken other fabrics, and loosen the glues used during shoe manufacturing. For this reason, attics and basements may not be the best place for shoe storage, especially if the temperature differs from the rest of your home.

If you live in an apartment, try to select space that remains at a cool temperature throughout the year, or look into whether or not your building offers storage units for residents to use. The same logic applies for homes. If the storage area is damp or humid, it is best to steer clear when it comes to shoe storage. On the other hand, if the climate seems fairly stable, you can mitigate some concerns by storing your shoes in plastic quick-seal, see-through containers.

3Avoid exposing your shoes to direct sunlight while stored

Related to the point above, be sure to avoid storing your shoes directly in bright sunlight. This goes for everyday storage of shoes currently in use, too. Especially if you are dealing with bright colours, be aware that direct sunlight could bleach them and noticeably alter their appearance. In general, your shoes will be happiest in a cool, dark, dry place.

Tips for storing your summer shoes

Generally speaking, summer shoes like flip-flops, flats, sandals, and some wedges take up less space and are easier to store than winter shoes. Here are a few ideas for keeping them looking fresh.

4. Invest in a simple over-the-door organiser

To avoid stacking your sandals and flats on top of one another, you can purchase a simple and affordable organiser. Then, you will be able to tuck your slim shoes into the pockets of a storage unit that can hang on the door of a closet or wardrobe. This will keep shoes in better condition than storing them collectively and will also ensure you never have to waste time hunting for the missing shoe!

5. Add silica packets to eliminate moisture

This is a great way to extend the longevity of your favourite summer shoes. Often lightweight and composed of fragile materials, espadrille-style sandals and shoes with cork soles generally don’t adapt well to changes in humidity. For a little extra protection, just add a package of silica gel to your summer shoes’ storage container. This will take care of any dampness and moisture, so that all your summer shoe styles are ready to go when the temperatures rise!

How to Store Winter Shoes

Winter shoes are usually bulkier and require a bit more space. Here are a couple of tips for making your winter shoes fit in storage.

6. Keep winter shoes out of sight with a shoe cabinet, pegged coat rack or under-the-bed organiser

Dedicated shoe cabinets can easily hide more cumbersome boots and winter shoes. They are now available in a variety of colours and designs, making your shoe cabinet a stylish addition to your bedroom, entryway, or even living room. 

If you are working with a smaller space, going vertical can be a great way to solve the issue of storing winter shoes. Try installing a multi-level pegged coat rack in your closet or bedroom wall. Or, if you prefer to keep things horizontal, you can also try sliding winter shoes beneath your bed. You can buy an affordable roll-up shoe organiser, or use the original boxes for an easy shoe box storage solution.

7. Stuff winter shoes with unbleached muslin fabric

When dealing with winter shoes, the paper that works for other styles may not have enough heft to appropriately fill boots and thick leather or felted shoes. Unbleached muslin fabric is an excellent and affordable alternative. Like paper, it will wick away any unwanted moisture and protects your shoes from creasing and scratches.

Tips for long-term shoe storage

Long-term shoe storage looks a bit different from quick storage solutions for footwear you wear regularly.

8. Give your shoes some support

Shoe horns and stretchers are the perfect way to help your shoes keep their shape if they are tucked away in storage for a while. That said, it is necessary to use the correct size to avoid stretching the shoe. Look into adjustable versions that allow you to customise the fit for optimal storage. Additionally, you should let shoes rest for a day or two before inserting wooden or plastic shoe horns. This ensures any residual moisture won't get trapped inside the shoes and cause deterioration.

9. Use acid-free tissue to stuff shoes and prepare them for storage

Another long-term shoe storage solution is stuffing your footwear with acid-free white paper. A highly absorbent material, lightweight paper maintains a shoe’s proper moisture level while guarding against deterioration. Just be sure to opt for acid-free tissue instead of newsprint when stuffing shoes for long-term storage, as ink can cause permanent damage to shoes.

10. Be sure to protect your shoes from pests

If you are storing shoes for a month or more, consider adding an added layer of protection against any pesky household critters. Cedar chips or mothballs will both do the trick. Simply place a few in with your shoes as an effective way to deter pests.

We hope our shoe storage ideas have inspired you to organise and store your shoes. If you have any questions about keeping your shoes looking their best, pop into your local Bata shoe store and ask any of our shoe experts. They are always happy to help!

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