How to Store Your Winter Shoes

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How to Store Your Winter Shoes

Clear away the winter blues with a spring cleaning session! Ok, we know: it’s not spring yet. But it will be here before you know it, and a proper spring cleaning takes some time to plan and execute. Get a jump on your cleaning by starting now: declutter your spaces, clean out your closets, and find a place for everything. When those first warm spring days roll around, all you’ll have to do is throw open the windows and blow away the winter funk.

Not sure where to start? We suggest your winter shoes! Once the snow stops and it’s time for transitional footwear, packing away your winter shoes is a great way to start spring. Make space for your spring wardrobe necessities by stashing your warm and cozy (but bulky and space-consuming) winter gear safely out of the way with these tips!

How to Store Your Winter Shoes

What your shoes could look like if you don't store them properly.

• Assess the situation

Go through your winter shoes. Gather them from all the places they might have wandered off to, like the snow boots in the trunk of your car or the duck boots you kicked off in the garage. Are there any that are damaged beyond repair? Any that you’re not going to wear again because they’re uncomfortable or they just don’t fit your style anymore? Get rid of them! Donate any that are still wearable, and toss any that are destroyed.

Now is also a time to find great deals on winter clearance! If you realize you're going to need some new winter shoes for next year, pick them up now. You'll save some money and be ready for that first unexpected cold snap.

• Clean and repair

If you’re keeping any shoes that need repaired, get that done now. Do some research on local shoe repair to find someone with good reviews and go. It will be so much easier to pull them out of storage ready to wear next winter. Check out your insoles, too. If they're smelly or just worn down, see if they can be replaced.

Give your shoes a thorough cleaning. Grime can cause stains, road salt can cause damage, and any chunks of debris might scratch up your shoes while in storage. We’ve covered shoe care and cleaning here on the blog before, so make sure to check out Shoe Care Basics Part 1 and Part 2 if you need a refresher.

• Let them Dry

This is technically part of the cleaning process, but it’s so important that we’re including it on its own. Damp shoes stored away are a breeding ground for mold and mildew, two things that you definitely don’t want in your shoes. Dampness can even cause your shoes to rot, so it’s seriously important that you make sure your shoes are fully dry. Set them out somewhere room temperature and let them dry naturally.

• Keep the Stink Away

If you’re worried about foot funk or other odors (sometimes stuff sitting around just gets a smell to it) stinking up your shoes while they’re in storage, invest in deodorizing products. There are plenty of inserts designed to absorb odors from shoes, so invest in your favorite option and put them in your shoes. Plenty of people also swear by keeping cedar chips or lavender sachets stored with out of season clothing to keep things smelling fresh, a trick you can also use with your shoes!

• Shape Up

Don’t let your shoes become weird and misshapen while they’re stored. If you have cedar shoe trees, use them. They will not only help the shoes keep their shape but also absorb odors and moisture. You can pick up a pair of shoe trees in one of our stores or from Woodlore, the cedar products division of Allen Edmonds, if you don't live near a store.

If you don’t want to invest in shoe trees, hang on to the original packing material. It was specifically designed to keep the shoes in shape while they’re on the shelf at the store; it will work just as well when they’re stored on your shelf! If you already threw the packing materials away, don’t worry. Newsprint stuffed down in the shoe will help the toes keep their shape, and you can keep the shafts of your boots from creasing or slouching with foam pool noodles! Cut them down to the height of the shaft and stick them in the boots.

• Stash Them

To keep your shoes clean and safe, clear plastic storage boxes are a great option. They close to keep out dust and dirt, but you can still see what’s stashed inside. Plus, they come in a variety of sizes from shoe box to mega tote, meaning you can find one for any type of footwear! We especially like the variety of sizes available from The Container Store. If you’re worried about moisture, add some silica gel packets (those little packets of beads that are labelled "Do Not Eat" and come with basically everything) to absorb any excess moisture. Save them when they come with purchases or purchase a pack of them online from ULINE. Stack the boxes on the top shelf of your closet, under your bed, or out of the way wherever you have space; however, you'll want to avoid placing the boxes in the attic or the basement. These parts of your house can experience extreme temperatures and moisture that will damage your shoes. Try to find space in the climate-controlled parts of your home to stash your boxes and enjoy all your newfound closet space!

Now that you’ve gotten your spring cleaning started and your winter wear stashed safely away, you’ll have plenty of space for all of your new spring faves (like any of the cool new Dansko styles we featured recently!). A little bit of effort will save you a whole lot of hassle next fall when you need to start pulling out your cold weather styles again, and many of these tips are applicable for stashing your spring shoes then. If you ever have any questions about the care and keeping of your footwear, feel free to get in contact with us and ask!