A common question when winter is coming to an end is how to store your boots and winter shoes during the summer months when they’re not in use (and the other way around, how to store summer shoes during winter). Here I go through some practical tips that can be useful when putting shoes away for a long rest.
Most of us have some sort of seasonal storage of winter shoes and boots in summer, or loafers and shoes with thin leather soles during winter. But there are many who are a little unsure about how to store shoes the best way, which the large number of questions I get on the subject when a season is coming to an end shows.
To begin with, you need to clean your shoes so they are free of dirt. Here it may be sufficient to simply wipe the shoes off with a damp cloth and go over them with a brush, or required a thorough wash. You simply need to make a judgment from pair to pair, do what is necessary for the shoes to be clean.
If the shoes have been washed, it is good to give them proper treatment with at least a couple of layers of shoe cream, so that the leather is properly moisturized and healthy. If you just wiped them off it would be enough with just one layer of cream. A recommendation, however, is that you don’t brush the last layer you put on the shoes, leave it as is. Some amount of shoe cream to remain on your shoes gives some extra nourishing effect during seasonal storage. You don’t need to go all the way applying polish and so on, leave that for when you bring out the shoes again, then brush them first, and you can if it feels necessary add a thin layer of cream again, and then go on with wax polish if you want. It’s only when they are supposed to be used again that you want them to look good anyway.
On suede shoes you can spray a layer of renovateur spray on them, and again, don’t brush off just leave as is.
If you have shoe trees for all your shoes, it’s of course good to have them in the shoes during rest, but otherwise it’s enough to just make sure that there were trees in them when they dried after the last use/wash, so that the leather is completely dry, and when the trees are removed the leather won’t shrink at all the same way but remain more or less intact even without shoe trees.
Exactly how you store the shoe doesn’t really matter, it may be standing in the closet or lying in their shoeboxes, the only things you should think about this is that they aren’t squeezed, that they stand in a dry place, and that they don’t stand in daylight on a shelf in the hallway or something like that. In that case put them in their shoe bags, so they are in the dark, it saves the leather further. Also ideally make sure that air can circulate, especially if there are humid conditions (for example make holes in the boxes if this is the case).
If you do something like this you will have shoes in good condition to bring out when there is a seasonal shift again.