How Long Do Shoes Last In Storage?

How many of us found our shoes crumbling and broken down despite not using them? This makes us wonder how long shoes stay in good condition while in storage. That's what we will talk about today. We asked the experts about how to make our shoes last in storage, and here's what they have to say.

Unused shoes can last two to three years in storage. Shoes that have been used before storage are expected to have a shorter lifespan. But if you take steps to store your footwear properly, they can last longer than their life expectancy.

Keep on reading to know more about what happens to shoes when we don't wear them. We'll also give you tips on how to prepare your shoes for short-term and long-term storage. Let's get down to business!

Man opening black steel shoes storage cabinet for keep her shoes, How Long Do Shoes Last In Storage?

Do shoes get ruined in storage?

organizing tidying shoes

This has happened to most of us. You take your favorite pair of shoes, the one that you've been keeping for special occasions, but just when you're about to wear them, you notice that the sole is loose and the lining on the sides is crumbling.

Of course, you're dismayed since they're your favorite and those shoes cost a lot!

You've been very careful about using and storing your shoes. You don't wear them often so that they won't get scratched and worn out. You keep them inside your shoe cabinet. What could have happened? Do shoes deteriorate even while in storage?

Experts say that shoes break down even if you're not using them and they're just kept inside your shoe cabinet. Their components break down over time due to aging. This includes the glue, rubber, and foam which make up different parts of your shoes.

Unused shoes that have been immediately kept in storage after purchase could last between two and three years only. That is if they have been stored properly. The expected lifespan would be shorter for those shoes that have already been used prior to long-term storage.

Shoe Materials & Craftsmanship

The length of time would depend on how well you store your shoes and the quality of the shoes' materials used by the manufacturers.

In general, pure leather shoes last longer than rubber shoes. Some leather shoes last for more than five years and only show some discoloration but aside from that, they're still good to wear.

Also, shoes that have been stitched have a longer lifespan than those that have just been glued to the soles. This is because the adhesive components of glue break down easily when subjected to higher temperatures.

Meanwhile, shoes that have been stitched eliminate the use of glue that's why they last longer.

While some may not be completely in an unusable condition, they won't be able to offer the same level of support and cushion as they would when they were new.

How do you store shoes so they don't crumble?

White shelving unit with collection of colorful sneakers indoors

For shoe collectors, those who stock up on shoes during sales, or simply for everyone who keeps several pairs of shoes for rotation and different occasions, here are some tips on how to store your shoes properly so that they will stay in great condition.

Keep in mind that there are different ways to store your shoes in the short term and long term.

Short-term Shoe Storage

Here are what you need to consider for storing shoes that you use regularly.

Organize Your Shoes

Collection of different sneakers Indoor Shoe Rack of sneakers lovers, perfect stylish storage place, modern idea for decoration footwear closeup white closet

Choose a shoe rack or organizer that works for you and everyone else in the household. It should be sturdy and big enough to hold the shoes that you all wear regularly. Shoes shouldn't be piled on top of each other as they will damage the materials other shoes are made of.

Your shoe organizer should also be open in front to allow the fabric or materials to breathe so that they'll stay fresh. It also makes it more convenient to get your shoes in and out of the storage area.

Click this link to find this shoe organizer on Amazon.

Shoe Storage Location

It makes so much sense to position your shoe organizer at the entryway or garage since these are the places you'll pass by before you enter the house. Don't give your family members a reason to delay putting their shoes in their rightful place.

Use A Shoe Tree

Shoe trees help your shoes maintain their form and shape. These accessories are adjustable and easy to remove when you have to wear your shoes again.

Check out these shoe trees on Amazon.

Use Shoe Horns

These accessories will help you to put on your shoes while maintaining their shape.

However, some shoe horns aren't adjustable so you need to buy the right size for your shoes. If they are too big, they would extend your shoes and create unnecessary pressure that will cause them not just to lose their shape but damage their components.

Click this link to find these shoe horns on Amazon.

Spot-clean Shoes & Remove Loose Dirt

You can wipe off dirt or do spot cleaning when your shoes get dirty. The key is not to let the dirt settle on any part of your shoes for long as it will be harder for you to remove it.

You can also use cleanser gel, waterproofer spray, odor eliminator spray, and leather conditioners (for leather shoes only) to keep your footwear clean and fresh all the time.

Find this waterproofer spray on Amazon. 

Long-term Shoe Storage

Pair of shoes on shelf

This takes a little more preparation to ensure that your footwear is kept safe and maintains its good condition.

Clean Shoes

Make sure your shoes are clean and dry before you keep them in storage. When dirt, debris, and mud are stuck in your shoes, they will attract unwanted creatures to settle in your shoes and eventually ruin their quality.

You should also make sure the shoes have dried completely so that they won't have a funky smell and don't create an environment where mold and mildew would thrive. 

Stuff Your Shoes

You can also stuff your shoes with paper. Although you can use any kind of paper, expert organizers recommend acid-free paper or tissue to have better moisture absorption and help the shoes last longer.

Check out this acid-free paper on Amazon.

Alternatively, you can also use unbleached muslin cloth if you have some. It is also effective in absorbing excess moisture while offering sufficient protection to your footwear from dirt, scratches, and other external factors.

Use Shoe Storage Boxes

Shoes, storage, plastic, containers

Since we're talking about long-term storage here, you need to protect your footwear from dust, dirt, moisture, heat, UV rays, insects, and other house pests. All of these elements will cause the deterioration of your shoes' quality and condition.

If you've kept their original shoeboxes and they are still in great condition, you can put your shoes inside them. You can also wrap your shoes with tissue or acid-free paper before stuffing them inside the boxes.

You can also buy shoe storage boxes. These are sturdy and ventilated to offer the best protection to your precious pairs of shoes.

Choose the clear ones so you know immediately what's inside. These are also stackable to make organizing more convenient for you.

Check out these shoe storage boxes on Amazon.

Store In A Climate-controlled Environment

You need to be careful in choosing the location where you would store your shoeboxes. Shoes are temperature-sensitive which is why you need to keep them in an area in your house where the temperature is regulated.

Remember, heat can be harsh and will hasten the deterioration of the materials that make up your shoes. High humidity will also weaken the fabrics so it's best to avoid storing your footwear in the attic or basement where it could get really cold or extra hot depending on the season.

You can also add silica packets to your shoes to protect your shoes against moisture damage.

Click this link to find these silica packets on Amazon.

These are just some of the recommendations that you can follow when storing your seasonal shoes.

Final Thoughts

Make sure you store your shoes properly whether it is only for the short term or an extended period. This will mean a lot in guaranteeing that they stay in great condition for a long time.

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