For years, many of us have believed that storing our shoes in cardboard or plastic shoeboxes is a safe storage solution. But, is it? Sure, they keep our shoes organised and 'somewhat protected', but storing them in these types of shoeboxes for long periods can cause irreparable damage and may affect the wearability of your beloved shoes in the long term.
It all comes down to how you take care of your shoes, how often you wear them and, more importantly, how you store your shoes.
I’m an absolute shoe lover! And after years of experience in taking care of my shoes, it was only recently that I shockingly discovered that storing them in airtight plastic and-/or cardboard shoeboxes have seriously jeopardised their integrity and caused permanent damage to a number of my shoes. I know, what?! But it's true. See the picture below.
The damage becomes apparent when you decide to pull out a pair of shoes from way back in the dark recesses of your closet; you then wear them, but as the day goes by, they start to crumble or fall apart.
Has this happened to you? It's annoying. Embarrassing, even. It sure has happened to me on numerous occasions when I'd be walking along, and suddenly I notice I've left a trail of crumbled pieces along the path, only to find myself walking on the framework of the shoe instead of the shoe sole itself.
These damaging effects are exactly what happens when you don't wear your shoes, or you store them for extended periods (6 to 12 months) either in your wardrobe or storage space or, more poignantly, in suffocating cardboard or plastic shoeboxes!
SHOE STORAGE BOXES DO NO FAVOURS FOR SHOE LONGEVITY
When your shoes are not properly cared for or are rarely worn and not exposed to the fresh air, the glue and the soles will eventually dry out and cause your shoes to fall apart and the heels to break away or crumble (see picture). This damage is due to the lack of air circulation, improper storage methods and other environmental factors - more on this below.
It doesn’t matter if you have spent $20 on a pair of shoes or $200 or more. Storing them in these boxes - especially the plastic storage boxes - can cause your shoes to crumble, fall apart, peel, mould, disfigure the material and the framework, which will eventually lead to shoe deterioration.
Bear in mind that repairing your shoes can also be a costly exercise. A minimum of $25 - $150. If you do decide to fix your shoes, it will depend on the extent of the damage caused, the workmanship required, and to the cost to fix your shoes by a reputable shoe repairer.
It gets to (or may get to) a point where I know we love our shoes, particularly our favourites that we can't bear to part with, but you have to be realistic and ask yourself, "Are these shoes worth saving?".
It is better to take preventative action now and find other, safer, more natural alternatives like Kazzi Kovers Shoe Bags to best store and care for your shoes.
FIVE TIPS FOR SHOE STORAGE AND LONGEVITY
1 | DO NOT STORE YOUR SHOES IN PLASTIC OR CARDBOARD SHOE BOXES
- Blocks natural airflow and air circulation
- Creates mould and moisture build-up*
- Dries out the shoe soles, glue, leather, fibres and material when stored long term
- Not always easily accessible, so you end up NOT wearing your shoes.
* Even lovingly wrapping your shoes in acid-free tissue paper and adding silica gel satchels does not guarantee or protect the longevity of your shoes. These 'protective' measures do not always stop moisture from building up when stored in these shoeboxes, especially in hot, humid storage conditions, wardrobes, closets and spaces.
I know. I tried. It didn't work! I had my shoe collection stored in plastic shoe boxes, and I had to discard several pairs of shoes because either the glue dried out, the soles of the shoes crumbled, or they came apart from the shoe lining and were therefore deemed irreparable. It would've cost me a fortune to fix them. Ouch!
2 | ALL SHOES NEED TO BREATHE AND BE AIRED OUT
Fresh air helps nourish the material, dry out any odours (cedar wood also helps with this), and keeps your shoes supple and fresh after each wear.
- Air out your shoes after each wear for at least 24 hours
- Never wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row
- Alternate pairs to give your shoes time to breathe
- Avoid direct sunlight when airing out your shoes to minimise fading and discolouration
- Completely dry your shoes before storing or wearing them. This will help maintain the shoe structure and promote shoe longevity.
3 | WEAR YOUR SHOES! DON'T JUST STORE AND FORGET
When even attempting to search for those shoes is met with a sigh of "I can't be bothered finding or reaching for those shoes" (we've all said it, right?) is when those shoes are stored way up high (or have been completely forgotten about) will continue to deteriorate - unless they are worn!.
As the adage goes: Each time you wear your shoes, you are effectively "wearing them in" and exposing them to the elements. By wearing your shoes, you are essentially warming up the glue (which most shoes are sealed with) that will solidify the material and framework, which will eventually help mould comfortably to the shape of your feet. Most shoes are good to go once you've worn them a couple of times.
Remember to Wear Your Shoes! After all, shoes are made for walking!
FUN FACT | Did you know that the average woman spends approximately $25,000 on shoes in her lifetime. For some of you, this figure can be 2 - 10 times that amount. Love your shoes. Wear your shoes! You've invested a pretty penny in them. Enjoy them :)
4 | SHOE STORAGE | SHOE RACKS ARE BEST (or open shelving)
Whether you've spent a small or large fortune in acquiring your shoes or your shoe collection - you should take great pride in wearing them, often. If space permits, I've found that shoe racks, shoe cubes, and open shelves are the safest shoe storage solution.
Unlike cardboard and plastic shoe boxes, storing your loves on shoe racks naturally exposes them to fresh air and allows air to freely circulate in and around your shoes and wardrobe, especially if there is an open window nearby (they'll love it!).
Having your shoes spaced out on a shoe rack, they're always visible and within arms reach. Wearing your shoes and not having them stored or (unintentionally) hidden increases the probability of you wearing them.
Shoe racks or shoe cubes are also quick to assemble or are already built for immediate use. They're readily available in a various designs, colours, woods, and materials for your convenience. Whether you have five pairs or 150 pairs, they will keep your shoes tidy and organised. A quick wipe down is all they need to keep them clean. Bonus!
5 | NON WOVEN SHOE BAGS
These bags are only good for transporting your shoes from the shop to your home and for short term shoe storage, maybe six months. They're okay for travel but not suitable for long term storage, shoe protection or longevity.
Most of these types of shoe bags are made with drawstring closure. It is this drawstring closure - along with the cheap fabrics used - that dust and dirt can still enter your shoes from the top line opening and cause the most damage to your stored pairs. Once dust and dirt settle into these bags, they can act like mild sandpaper when rubbed off on leathers, causing subliminal damage.
When these non-woven bags deteriorate or crumble over time, you are putting your shoes at risk as they do not effectively protect or fully enclose your shoes when stored, nor do they prolong shoe longevity. Polyester shoe bags are the same (and worse) as they trap heat, and they will take longer to breakdown.
Storing your shoes in fully sealed cardboard and-/or plastic boxes for extended periods is unfavourable. Eventually, the lack of fresh air, and hot and humid conditions can cause irreparable damage to your beloved pairs. I know because this happened to me. I had to discard some of my beloved shoes due to these unkind storage methods, as it wasn't worth the cost to repair the shoes.
The good news is, it’s amazing how much 'mileage' you can get out of your shoes with these five simple tips, especially when you give your shoes a little TLC!
The Alternative | 100% Cotton Shoe Bags
For my favourite, occasional pairs, delicate (leathers, suede) and embellished pairs, they need a little extra care, and they're stored in Kazzi Kovers 100% cotton shoe bags. Yes, the shoes match the cotton shoe bag - well, close enough anyway!
At the end of the day, my shoes are out of the disastrous shoe boxes; they're always visible, easily accessible, and I'm more inclined to wear my shoes!
For those that LOVE to be organised and take extra care when storing and protecting their shoes, especially leathers, patents, occasional and embellished shoes - Kazzi Kovers Shoe Bags are the perfect storage solution.
Kazzi Kovers 100% Cotton Shoe Bags are fully enclosed and include a two-sided zip for easy access and storage.
The cotton bags are designed to safeguard and protect all styles, and all shoe fabrics. They offer protection from the elements, including dust, dirt, mould, moisture and mildew - giving you years of shoe wearability and enjoyment.
Our cotton shoe covers add a pop of colour on your shelves and in your walk in robe and wardrobe. The shoe covers are custom designed to sit comfortably on any shelf or rack, under the bed and in any storage space. You can also use the cotton bags to travel with your shoes as they'll easily fit in your carry-on, backpack or suitcase.
The best part is that Kazzi Kovers shoe bags protect your shoes and promote shoe longevity due to the breathable cotton fabric.
Shoe Style Guide | 100% Cotton Shoe Bags
Our luxury cotton shoe bags are a fantastic solution to shoe care and longevity.
Two-sided zip | For easy and fast access to your shoes. Most importantly, your shoes will be well protected throughout the seasons and during your travels as the bags are fully enclosed and secure.
Fits Into SMALL Size Shoe Bag | Sandles | Slip Ons | Thongs (flip flops) | Jelly | Ballet Shoes | Mary Jane | | Gladiator Sandles | Oxford | Slippers
Fits Into MEDIUM Size Shoe Bag | Wedges | Espadrilles | Loafers | Moccasin | High Heels | Stilettos | Platforms | Pumps | Ankle Strap Heels | Open or Peep Toe Heels | Chunky Heels | Kitten Heels | Mules | Ankle Boots | Gladiator Boots | Dr. Martens | Brogues |Men's Shoes | Running Shoes | Sneaker | Hiking Boot | Sports Shoes
Fits Into LARGE Size Shoe Bag | Knee high boots | Ugg Boots | Cowboy Boots.
Available Colours: Midnight Blue | Green Envy | Getting Ziggy (chevron) | Fuchsia Pink | Zulu Leopard | Latte Love (beige).
** 20% off all Cotton SHOE Bags **
- Available Individually
- 3pk Same Size Bag | Same Colour, OR
- 3pk Small + Medium + Large | Same Colour, OR
- 5pk Mix ‘n’ Match Cotton Packing Cells Bags (Different Colours + Different Patterns) Includes 2 Small + 2 Medium + 1 Large Bag.
Thanks for reading.
Remember if you ‘Love it, Cover it!®.’
Kazzi Kovers® | Updated 12th August 2022.
Maria Kazzi :)
Kazzi Kovers takes pride in providing safe and natural alternatives to Protect, Organise, Store and Travel with our range of premium covers and accessories.
See Kazzi Kovers for our full suite of products, tips and updates.
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