Shoe Storage Guide: How To Store Your Shoes Properly

Shoe Storage Guide: How To Store Your Shoes Properly2018-06-12T22:49:48+00:00

allen edmonds shoe box

Above: A shoe box is the idea place to keep your shoes.

If you’re a shoe fanatic like we are, you’re familiar with the pain point of shoe storage. How exactly are you supposed to store shoes to maximize their longevity?

This article is focused on how to properly store shoes and is part of a guide on overall shoe care. If you’d like to see other aspects of shoe care, take a look at the following articles:

The Best Way To Store Shoes

There’s a three-pronged approach we advise when storing shoes:

  1. Shoe trees go in the shoes.
  2. The shoes go in flannel storage bags.
  3. The bagged shoes go in their box.

It doesn’t seem like much, but this is hands-down the most effective way to store shoes from a longevity standpoint. Let’s dive a little bit deeper into each of the aforementioned steps:

Shoe Trees

allen edmonds shoe treesStore your leather or suede shoes with shoes trees in them, always. This is less important for sneakers.

Shoe trees made from either cedar or alder woods are the single most important thing you can use to increase your shoe’s lifespan. How?

This is perhaps a bit gross, but it’s true: our feet sweat approximately one cup (approximately 1/4 of a liter) every day. This moisture seeps into leather and initially, this is a good thing. It softens shoe uppers and makes them pliable, increasing comfort.

If left to dry, however, the leather curls, gets deep creases, and can crack over time. This damage is irreparable, cobblers are powerless against it. This is where shoe trees come in.

The best shoe trees are made from woods such as cedar and alder. These have wicking properties, meaning that they remove moisture from their surroundings. When you put shoe trees in your shoes after they’ve been worn, you remove this moisture before it can damage the upper. Creasing is minimized and curling barely occurs. In short, your shoes will last much longer than they would otherwise.

Shoe trees should be in your shoes whenever your feet aren’t.

Shoe Bags

allen edmonds flannel shoe bag

Once shoe trees are in your shoes, put those shoes in bags, with flannel being the best option.

Higher-end shoes will often be sold with flannel shoe bags included. If they aren’t, you can head over to Amazon and buy them a la carte quite inexpensively. regardless, why are shoe bags important?

In a nutshell, they protect your shoes from each other. Heels and soles can easily scratch the uppers of a shoe, and that’s not something you want to happen to you. An additional benefit is for travel: not only do shoe bags protect your shoes from each other, but they protect your clothes from your shoes.

This applies to dress shoes and sneakers, especially if they’re suede.

Whenever your shoes aren’t on your feet, they should be in shoe bags.

Shoe Boxes

allen edmonds shoe bags

The box that your shoes came in is akin to their home. High-quality shoes should live in their home when they’re not being worn. Shoe boxes stack easily and offer the best protection for your shoes when they’re not being worn. A cool trick to easily identify your shoes without having to open boxes is to simply take a picture of the shoes and tape it to the outside of the box. Works like a charm!

Shoe Storage Solutions

If you live in a smaller house or have limited closet space, keeping your shoes in boxes may not be ideal. This is understandable. While it’s best to keep as many of your shoes in boxes as possible, there are other options:

  • Hang on the back of a closet door
  • Remove from boxes and organize into shoe racks along a wall

Should you need to go with these options, we still highly recommend using shoe trees and flannel bags to store your shoes.

In Conclusion

Black Cap Toe Shoes On brick

Proper shoe storage is key to maintaining your shoes and extending their lifespan, but it’s not the only thing you can do to keep your footwear looking great. See our other shoe care guides for more tips, trick, and best practices on these topics:


  1. Zia Murphy September 5, 2018 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    You got my attention when you said that you should consider keeping your shoes in their original shoes boxes when you’re not using them to protect them from any damage. My husband and I are planning to shop for 3 western boots. Since we can’t wear all of them at once, we want to know how we can keep them looking new. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Charles-Philippe September 6, 2018 at 2:23 am - Reply

      Hi Zia,

      Yeah, it’s probably the best way forward. On top of that, the boxes are stackable unlike the shoes themselves. It avoids piles of shoes treading on one another in a cupboard somewhere.



  2. Dale November 28, 2018 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    This is good knowledge as I really want to invest in higher quality walking, working, snow and wilderness, outside house cleaning and repair, school, & inside the house shoes. Right now I usually get $15 walking shoes and have a $20 boots for heavy duty, they tend to wear out quickly as I wear them for the wrong purpose and they are cheap. Not sure if storing the shoes this way will help protect cheap shoes, but I defiantly want shoes that cost more than $100 to last years if possible. I like the idea of flannel bags because I am trying to get away from plastic. Question, if its pouring rain or step in a puddle and your shoes get soaked or you wore the wrong type of shoes like suede, is putting the shoes on the mantel above the wood burning insert to dry bad?

    • Charles-Philippe November 29, 2018 at 4:19 am - Reply

      Hi Dale,

      Firstly, we offer a host of buying guides with our recommendations for all types of footwear. From what you’ve described, you might be interested in the following guides:

      Best Hiking Boots For Men
      Best Work Boots For Men
      Best Dress Shoes For Men

      The last two guides are part of an entire series and you’ll be able to explore a number of sub-categories such as the best steel toe work boots or best dress shoes for walking. Similarly, the boots section has a whole host of guides for various uses and occasions, which might interest you too.

      Flannel and cotton shoe bags are highly recommended for shoe storage as they breathe and don’t trap humidity inside like plastic. However, for drying wet shoes, avoid exposing them to direct heat at all costs.

      Leather is a natural material with its own natural moisture and oils. Direct heat will cause the leather to dry, crack and become brittle. In my younger days, I managed to ruin some beautiful shoes by doing this… Instead, fill the shoes with newspaper or cloth to absorb the moisture overnight after wiping them down.

      Afterwards, we like storing our shoes with cedar shoe trees. Not only does this continue to absorb moisture but it removes any smells from inside the shoes too.

      I know that it takes longer but it’s ultimately better for the leather and will ensure that the shoes or boots will last for years to come.

  3. Dale December 17, 2018 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the input, For mulitipurpose lifestyle, How many sets of shoes should one have, If hiking is only once or so a year and formal dress is only one to two times during holidays with possible rain or snow walking from parking lot to building, What type of investment should I start with. My budget for non cheap shoes would be one pair and I am doing around the house winter wood splitting yard work an hour a week or so and in school, most hours and walking around town outside and inside stores. So would it be better to first invest in the shoes that get the most used or are used the heaviest duty. Should a person wear heavy duty hiking shoes when they are in class and its pouring rain and they have to walk a bit between classes.

    • Charles-Philippe December 18, 2018 at 3:04 am - Reply

      Hi Dale,

      Your choice of shoes and the investment you make should generally reflect your lifestyle as well as your wardrobe. I don’t know your style nor the context of you wearing these shoes so it’s hard for me to say. For instance, when you mention classes, are you a student or a teacher?

      If you’re a student, there’s no reason why you can’t wear casual footwear especially if you have to brave poor weather on regular occasions. However, actual hiking boots might not be the most appropriate.

      By the sounds of it, you’re often outdoors so you’ll need something that’s practical. However, I presume that you’re asking these questions because you care about your appearance. Consequently, I would recommend that you invest mostly in your everyday needs.

      Rather than hiking boots, have you considered a dressy yet rugged men’s boot? I don’t know what your budget is but there are a few options in our guide to stylish boots that may suit your needs. For instance, the boots featured by both Allen Edmonds and Wolverine offer a Goodyear welt, which gives you water resistance in poor weather. Meanwhile, the Danner is a work boot that look great as casual wear too.

      They look great in terms of style but also offer the rugged performance that you want for your daily needs. You can wear them to class but also for chopping wood. As they’re high quality, they clean up nicely after being beaten up by the elements.

      Finally, since you only wear them twice a year, maybe spend a little less on dress shoes and more on your boots. I don’t know what you would consider cheap, but the best value for money we’ve seen so far comes from Beckett Simonon.

      Their shoes retail for about $200 but you can get 20% off using our exclusive code, “BU20”. At $160, they’re sensational as they’re handmade with a Blake stitch from Argentinian full-grain calfskin leather.

      I hope this helps!



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