How To Store Leather Shoes For A Long Time

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a nice pair of leather shoes make literally anyone look fancy.

Switching out your basic Sunday church shoes for a sleek and dapper pair of leather shoes is basically a universal way to indicate that you are ready for a promotion. This is why it is so important to make sure that your beloved leather shoes are well maintained.

If a genuine dedication to looking all kinds of great is not enough to convince you, then surely the price of a pair of real leather shoes will be reason enough to make you go the extra mile when it comes to keeping your shoes safe.

Beyond the everyday logistics of keeping your shoes clean, there will inevitably come a day when you need to store your leather shoes for an extensive period of time.

Failing to store your leather shoes appropriately is a great way to lose the shoes and waste your money in a way that will have you cursing the fates for allowing your own carelessness to ruin something so beautiful and sacred.


In order to effectively store your shoes, you will need to begin by making sure that they are properly cleaned prior to storage. If you store your shoes without cleaning them, you can safely assume that by time you pull them back out, the damage will be more or less irreversible.

Since leather is such a unique material composed from animal hide, it takes damage in ways that other materials might not. Imagine if someone left you covered in salt and dirt and threw you in a box for summer.

You would probably not be thrilled with the state of your skin after, so please go the extra mile and clean up your shoes using the correct methods so that they can remain healthy and preserved. The best possible way to go about this is to pay a professional to clean and shine your shoes.

However, considering the fact that you probably spent the entirety of what could have been a savings account on buying them in the first place, it’s completely understandable if you don’t want to dish out more dough for some random guy to wipe off your shoes and then stare at you expectantly for a tip.

So, assuming that you are going to go the extra mile and clean your shoes yourself, you will want to follow a few basic steps to make sure that your shoes are primed and cleaned before you store them.

leather shoes on display

First, you will want to take a clean (preferably new), soft, and dry cloth to rub off any built up street mess. This means gently wiping away any dirt, salt from the street, or other unmentionable substances.

Focus on being gentle. Under no circumstances are you to scrub them. Rubbing coarse buildup into the leather can damage it.

Once the visible dirt is gone, you will want to apply leather shoe cleaner. For ease of use, we recommend getting one of the options that comes with a brush built into the top, but if you’re feeling daring, you can buy a leather brush and take that route instead.

After your shoes are looking clean and fancy, you will be ready to apply polish and let them dry. Let your clean new shoes sit out overnight, and by the next day they will be all ready to store!

Maintain shape

After your shoes are all cleaned up and ready to go into their closet hibernation, you will be ready to pursue the act of actually setting them up in store.

One crucial part of owning leather shoes is ensuring that they maintain their shape. Leather, magical substance that it is, has a mind of its own, and if you don’t tell it how to hold itself, it will begin to warp in truly bizarre ways.

The last thing that you want is to pull your favorite leather shoes out for the season only to realize that they have morphed into a misshapen mess that cannot comfortably fit your feet, or worse, no longer look right and consequently throw off your entire aesthetic.

In order to avoid this disappointing fate, you need to take the time to obtain a shoe horn for every pair of your leather shoes in order to keep them shaped the way that they are meant to be.

Have you ever noticed that whenever you look at nice shoes on display, they tend to be stuffed with some kind of random device? This isn’t merely there to simulate what the shoe will look like on the foot, but rather an actual level of protection for the shoes because if the stores just left them sitting out, they would eventually be ruined.

As an alternative to the shoe horns, you can also use specific kinds of shoe paper that will serve the same purpose. This can be seen with shoes inside boxes when you buy them. 

Store them

After your shoes have been cleaned and properly fitted with a device to keep them looking shapely, it is time to find a good way to store them.

While it might seem obvious to throw them back into the fancy box from whence they came, shoe boxes can actually be stifling to leather because leather needs air in order to maintain itself.

Since leather trapping moisture and being unable to get rid of it is a quick way to ruin your shoes, it is best to buy a fabric bag or container that will allow the shoes to breathe without becoming too dry or too moist. 

When you bought your leather shoes, you probably didn’t think that it was going to take this much work to maintain them. That’s fine, but the reality is that you are here now, and someone has to take care of the shoes so that you can look stylish when you are on the go.

Consider leather shoes as an investment. In exchange for making you look great, the shoes demand your unwavering loyalty and commitment. It’s not that big of a deal. Just get it done.

Another great read is: Best shoes for college guys.