How To Store Winter Shoes & Boots

Winter Shoes & Boots Storage Tips

When nature turns on the brights of spring, it's not just a signal to creatures great and small. The season of renewal also signals to us that the time has come for some needed spring cleaning. After a dreary winter, packing up the snow boots, heavy treads, and fur trims to make room for sandals, dress shoes, and canvas sneakers is one of the joys spring brings.

But that also means getting clever with the way you store your winter shoes. Here are 5 helpful shoe and boot storage tips to make space for spring and summer footwear.

Make Room for the New

Time to inventory the state of your favorites. If your go-to winter boots are showing the wear and tear from all that love, or scuffs are now the most noticeable feature of those leather shoes, this is the season for their assessment. Repair the winter footwear you want to keep and treat leather shoes with a good suede or leather conditioner. If it's time to say goodbye, make a clean break to free up the storage space.

Let the Cleaning Commence

Your winter shoes that made the cut will need some sprucing before storing. Gently wipe snow boots and winter shoes with a shoe cleaner or damp cloth, and treat leather shoes with a quality cleaner and conditioner. If your winter footwear is washable, hit the gentle cycle and then let them air dry. Be sure to check the soles and remove any small rocks that might be lodged in the treads. And remember to deodorize! That slightly stinky smell might turn really sour tucked away for the summer. Make sure boots and shoes are completely dry before putting them away for the season.

Shape Things Up

Give a hand to your footwear. Winter boots and women's booties need help to hold their shape. If you don't have a boot tree made for the job, tissue paper or clean rags stuffed inside will also do the trick. Store your boots upright unless you have a rack or boot hangers designed to store them upside down.

Contain Yourself

Breathable containers are a safe bet for storing winter shoes. So are see-through plastic bins. The benefit of quickly seeing what's inside clear storage boxes makes the hectic days a little easier. If you have them, you can also use the original shoe boxes for summer storage. Just make sure to keep them in a dry area since cardboard can deteriorate. 

We don't recommend piling your winter shoes and boots on top of each other inside one big bin even though it might seem to save space or cost. This method of storing could scuff and damage the others inside. It’s better to have smaller individual stackable storage containers.

Tiny silica packets can help keep interiors dry, if you're concerned about moisture and humidity. Save them from your new summer shoes and accessories purchases or add them to your online shopping list. Another insider tip: cedar chips or blocks are a good addition for fabric shoes and boots.

Prepare for the Heat Wave

It’s tempting to carry those boxes straight to the attic or basement, but stop for a moment and consider the temperature. A climate-controlled space is best. If your basement stays cool and dry, perfect. If it’s damp, look for a spare closet or other space to keep your boots and shoes at their best. Extra shelves in a garage could work if the space doesn’t bake in the summer heat. Overall, avoid extreme temperatures.

New spring shoes are one of the delights of the season. Whether dressing up in open-toe heels, outfitting the kids in new Crocs and sandals, or going casual in fresh canvas sneakers, you're going to need room in your closet for new spring and summer styles. (Woo hoo!) Packing away winter properly makes the spring transition a breeze. Now your winter footwear will be safely stored and waiting for you when the time comes to get excited about fall boot season again.