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How To Store Sneakers Long Term How To Store Sneakers Long Term


How To Store Sneakers Long Term

Written by: Alexander Johnson

Learn the best methods for storing sneakers long term with our informative articles. Keep your sneakers fresh and protected with these helpful tips.

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When it comes to sneaker enthusiasts, keeping your beloved collection in pristine condition is of utmost importance. Whether you have a few special pairs or a massive collection, storing sneakers properly is essential for their long-term preservation. From protecting them against moisture and odors to maintaining the right conditions, this article will guide you through the process of storing your sneakers to ensure their longevity.

Proper sneaker storage not only prevents damage but also helps maintain their value, especially for limited edition and rare pairs. By following the right techniques, you can keep your sneakers looking fresh and ready to wear, even after years of storage.

In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through every step involved in storing sneakers long term. From choosing the right storage space to selecting the ideal containers and protecting against moisture and odors, you’ll learn how to effectively safeguard your sneaker collection.

So, whether you’re a sneakerhead looking to preserve your kicks or a collector with a passion for footwear, let’s dive into the world of sneaker storage and discover the best practices for keeping your sneakers in top condition.

Key Takeaways:

  • Preserve your sneaker collection by choosing the right storage space, cleaning and preparing your sneakers, and wrapping them with care. Protect against moisture and odors to maintain their quality and value for years to come.
  • Regularly check, rotate, and maintain your stored sneakers to prevent damage and ensure they remain in top condition. Keep them away from direct sunlight, control humidity levels, and monitor storage conditions for long-term preservation.

Choosing the Right Storage Space

Selecting the right storage space for your sneakers is crucial in ensuring their long-term preservation. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the perfect space:

  1. Avoid direct sunlight: Sunlight can fade the colors of your sneakers and cause deterioration over time. Choose a storage area away from windows or invest in opaque containers to shield your sneakers from harmful UV rays.
  2. Maintain consistent temperature: Extreme temperatures can damage the materials of your sneakers. It is best to store them in a space that is cool and dry, with temperatures ranging between 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (12 to 24 degrees Celsius).
  3. Control humidity levels: High humidity can lead to mold growth and degradation of materials, while low humidity can cause cracking and drying out of leather. Aim for a humidity level between 40 to 60 percent to keep your sneakers in optimum condition.
  4. Avoid damp areas: Moisture is a sneaker’s worst enemy. Avoid storing your sneakers in basements, garages, or areas prone to dampness and humidity. If you must store your sneakers in these areas, consider using dehumidifiers or moisture-absorbing products.
  5. Avoid areas with strong odors: Sneakers can absorb odors easily, so it’s important to store them away from strong-smelling substances, such as cleaning agents, pet areas, or cooking areas. Opt for a space that is well-ventilated and free from strong odors.
  6. Keep them off the ground: Storing sneakers directly on the ground can expose them to dust, dirt, and potential water damage. Use shelves, racks, or ventilation mats to elevate your sneakers and provide proper airflow.

By selecting the right storage space, you can create an environment that minimizes the risk of damage, extends the lifespan of your sneakers, and keeps them looking fresh and ready to wear.

Cleaning and Preparing the Sneakers

Before storing your sneakers long term, it’s essential to give them a thorough cleaning to remove any dirt, stains, or odors. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean and prepare your sneakers:

  1. Remove laces and insoles: Start by removing the laces and insoles from your sneakers. This will make the cleaning process easier and allow you to clean these components separately.
  2. Brush off loose dirt: Use a soft-bristle brush or a toothbrush to gently brush off any loose dirt or debris from the surface of your sneakers. Pay special attention to the outsoles and crevices.
  3. Spot clean stains: If your sneakers have any specific stains, use a mild cleaning solution, such as a mixture of water and gentle laundry detergent or a specialized sneaker cleaner. Apply the solution to a soft cloth or brush and gently scrub the stained areas.
  4. Wash laces and insoles: For laces and insoles, you can either hand wash them with soap and water or put them in a mesh laundry bag and wash them in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. Be sure to let them air dry completely before reattaching them.
  5. Wipe down the sneakers: Use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe down the entire surface of your sneakers, including the upper, midsole, and outsole. For more stubborn stains, you can use a specialized sneaker cleaner or a gentle cleaning solution.
  6. Air dry the sneakers: After cleaning, allow your sneakers to air dry naturally. Avoid drying them under direct heat, as it can cause shrinkage or damage to the materials.
  7. Deodorize: To keep your sneakers smelling fresh, sprinkle a small amount of baking soda or place odor-absorbing inserts inside the shoes. This will help absorb any lingering odors.

By thoroughly cleaning and preparing your sneakers before storage, you remove any potential contaminants that could lead to deterioration or foul odors. This step ensures that your sneakers are ready to be stored in optimal condition.

Stuffing and Shaping the Sneakers

After cleaning your sneakers, it’s crucial to properly stuff and shape them to maintain their original form and prevent creases. Here are some tips to help you stuff and shape your sneakers:

  1. Use sneaker shields or shoe trees: Sneaker shields or shoe trees are specially designed devices that help maintain the shape of your sneakers. They are inserted into the shoes to prevent them from collapsing or developing creases.
  2. Stuff with acid-free tissue paper: If you don’t have sneaker shields or shoe trees, you can stuff your sneakers with acid-free tissue paper. Crumple up the tissue paper and carefully fill the entire shoe, ensuring it reaches all the corners and maintains the shape.
  3. Avoid using newspaper: Although newspaper may seem like a convenient option for stuffing sneakers, it can transfer ink onto the shoes and cause discoloration. Stick to acid-free tissue paper or sneaker shields for optimal results.
  4. Focus on problematic areas: If your sneakers are prone to creasing in specific areas, such as the toe box or collar, stuff those areas more tightly with tissue paper or use sneaker shields to provide extra support.
  5. Avoid overstuffing: While it’s important to properly stuff your sneakers, be careful not to overstuff them, as it can put undue pressure on the materials and affect their shape. Use enough stuffing to maintain the structure without causing distortion.
  6. Re-adjust periodically: Over time, the stuffing in your sneakers may shift or settle. Periodically check and readjust the stuffing to ensure it continues to properly maintain the shape of your sneakers.

Properly stuffing and shaping your sneakers prevents them from developing unsightly creases and maintains their original form. This step is especially important for sneakers made of leather or other materials that are prone to creasing. By following these tips, you’ll help your sneakers retain their shape and look as good as new even after long-term storage.

Wrapping and Packaging the Sneakers

Once you have cleaned and stuffed your sneakers, the next step is to wrap and package them properly to provide an extra layer of protection during storage. Here are some methods to effectively wrap and package your sneakers:

  1. Individual sneaker wraps: Consider wrapping each sneaker individually in acid-free tissue paper or microfiber cloth. This not only helps prevent scuffs but also provides a barrier against dust and dirt. Wrap the sneakers gently but securely, ensuring that the entire shoe is covered.
  2. Plastic bags: Another option is to place each sneaker in a breathable, plastic bag. Look for bags specifically designed for sneaker storage, as they allow air circulation while keeping dust and moisture away. Avoid using regular plastic bags that can trap moisture and cause damage.
  3. Clear storage boxes: Transparent storage boxes are an excellent choice for displaying and storing your sneakers. Look for boxes made from durable materials, preferably stackable, with proper ventilation to allow airflow and prevent moisture build-up.
  4. UV protection: If you choose to display your sneakers on open shelves or in glass cabinets, consider using UV-protected plastic or glass to reduce the risk of color fading from exposure to sunlight.
  5. Label and organize: To easily locate your sneakers in storage, label each box or container with details such as the brand, model, and colorway. Create an inventory list that outlines the location of each pair and keep it handy for quick reference.
  6. Keep boxes in a cool, dry place: Store the wrapped or boxed sneakers in a cool, dry environment away from direct sunlight, humidity, and extreme temperature fluctuations. This will help preserve the integrity of the materials and prevent degradation.

By wrapping and packaging your sneakers properly, you add an extra layer of protection against dust, dirt, and potential damage during storage. Choose the method that suits your preferences and storage space, ensuring that your sneakers remain in top condition throughout their time in storage.

Store sneakers long term by cleaning them thoroughly, stuffing them with acid-free tissue paper to maintain their shape, and placing them in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight.

Selecting the Ideal Storage Containers

Choosing the right storage containers for your sneakers is essential to keep them safe and organized. Here are some factors to consider when selecting the ideal storage containers:

  1. Size and shape: Look for containers that comfortably accommodate your sneakers without squishing or distorting them. Consider the height, width, and depth of the containers to ensure a proper fit.
  2. Durable materials: Opt for containers made from sturdy and durable materials, such as high-quality plastic or acrylic. These materials provide protection against moisture, dust, and physical damage while maintaining the visibility of your sneakers.
  3. Transparent or opaque: Depending on your preference, choose between transparent containers that allow you to easily see the contents or opaque containers that provide extra protection against UV rays.
  4. Proper ventilation: Ensure that the containers have adequate air circulation to prevent the buildup of moisture or unpleasant odors. Look for containers with small ventilation holes or design features that allow for airflow.
  5. Stackability: If you have a large sneaker collection, consider containers that are stackable to maximize space efficiency. This allows for easy access to your sneakers and helps maintain an organized storage area.
  6. Accessibility: Choose containers that provide easy access to your sneakers when you need them. Look for options with removable lids or front-facing openings for convenient retrieval.
  7. Modular systems: Consider investing in modular storage systems that allow you to customize and expand your storage as your collection grows. These systems often include interchangeable components like shelves, drawers, and clear inserts for easy organization.
  8. Waterproofing: If you live in an area with high humidity levels or are concerned about potential water damage, look for containers that provide a waterproof seal or include moisture-absorbing packets.

By selecting the ideal storage containers for your sneakers, you can ensure that your collection remains well-protected, neatly organized, and easily accessible. Take into consideration the size, durability, visibility, and ventilation features of the containers to meet your specific storage needs.

Protecting Sneakers from Moisture and Odors

Moisture and odors can be detrimental to your sneakers, causing mold growth, deterioration of materials, and unpleasant smells. To protect your sneakers from these issues, follow these tips:

  1. Silica gel packets: Place silica gel packets inside your storage containers to absorb moisture and maintain a dry environment. These packets are readily available and can be found in items such as shoeboxes or purchased separately.
  2. Moisture-absorbing products: Consider using moisture-absorbing products such as humidity control packs or dehumidifiers designed for storage spaces. These products help regulate humidity levels and prevent excess moisture from damaging your sneakers.
  3. Avoid cardboard: Avoid storing your sneakers in cardboard boxes, as cardboard can absorb moisture and transfer it to your sneakers. Opt for plastic storage containers that offer better protection against moisture.
  4. Air circulation: Ensure proper airflow around your sneakers by providing adequate space between each pair. This helps prevent moisture buildup and allows any residual odors to dissipate.
  5. Charcoal or baking soda: Place charcoal or baking soda inside your storage containers or shoeboxes to absorb odors. These natural odor absorbers help keep your sneakers fresh and smelling clean.
  6. Avoid storing wet sneakers: It’s essential to thoroughly dry your sneakers before storing them. Storing wet or damp sneakers can lead to mold growth and unpleasant odors. Allow them to air dry completely in a well-ventilated area before placing them in storage.
  7. Rotate storage: Consider rotating your sneakers regularly to allow them to breathe and prevent moisture buildup. This is especially important if you live in a humid climate or have stored your sneakers for an extended period.
  8. Clean before storage: Always ensure that your sneakers are clean and free from dirt and stains before placing them in storage. Dirty sneakers can attract moisture and odors, compromising their condition while in storage.

By implementing these measures to protect your sneakers from moisture and odors, you can preserve their quality and freshness. It’s important to maintain a dry and odor-free environment to ensure your sneakers remain in the best possible condition.

Maintaining the Optimal Storage Conditions

Once you’ve chosen the right storage space, cleaned and prepared your sneakers, and packed them properly, it’s crucial to maintain the optimal storage conditions to preserve their quality. Here are some tips to help you maintain the best storage conditions:

  1. Check humidity levels: Regularly monitor the humidity levels in your storage area to ensure they fall within the recommended range of 40 to 60 percent. Use a hygrometer to measure the relative humidity and make adjustments as necessary.
  2. Control temperature: Maintain a constant temperature between 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (12 to 24 degrees Celsius) in your storage space. Avoid extreme temperature fluctuations, as they can damage the materials of your sneakers.
  3. Clean and ventilate the area: Regularly clean and dust your storage area to prevent the buildup of dirt and debris. Good ventilation is important to allow fresh air to circulate and prevent the stagnant air that can cause mold or musty odors.
  4. Watch out for pests: Take preventive measures to protect your sneakers from pests such as insects and rodents. Keep the storage area clean, seal any cracks or openings, and consider using pest repellents or traps to deter unwanted visitors.
  5. Avoid direct sunlight: Protect your sneakers from direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure can lead to discoloration and deterioration of materials. If your storage space has windows, consider using curtains or blinds to block out sunlight.
  6. Regularly air out your sneakers: Every few months, take your sneakers out of storage and give them some fresh air. This helps prevent any musty odors from setting in and allows for proper ventilation.
  7. Keep them away from chemicals: Store your sneakers away from any chemicals, solvents, or cleaning agents that could potentially damage the materials. This includes storing them separately from other items that may emit fumes or off-gas harmful substances.
  8. Reassess storage conditions: Periodically evaluate the storage conditions and make any necessary adjustments. Factors such as changes in climate or the number of sneakers in your collection may require modifications to ensure the optimal storage conditions are maintained.

By consistently monitoring and maintaining the optimal storage conditions, you can extend the lifespan of your sneakers and keep them in the best possible condition. Regular care and attention to the storage environment will help preserve the integrity and quality of your collection.

Regularly Checking and Rotating Sneakers

Regularly checking and rotating your sneakers is an important step in maintaining their condition and preventing any potential issues that may arise during storage. Here’s how you can ensure your sneakers stay in top shape:

  1. Schedule regular check-ups: Set a reminder to inspect your stored sneakers every few months. This allows you to catch any signs of damage or deterioration early on and take necessary action to mitigate further harm.
  2. Inspect for mold and mildew: During your check-up, carefully examine your sneakers for any signs of mold or mildew. If you notice any growth, promptly address it by cleaning the affected area or seeking professional cleaning services.
  3. Check for pests: Look for any signs of pests or insects that may have found their way into your storage area. Check both the sneakers and the surrounding containers for any droppings, nests, or chewed materials.
  4. Rotate your sneakers: To prevent undue stress on certain pairs and distribute the weight evenly, rotate your sneakers within your storage space. This ensures that each pair gets some time out of the box and helps prevent permanent creases or deformation.
  5. Take care when handling: When handling your stored sneakers, do so with clean hands and avoid applying excess pressure. Treat them gently to minimize the risk of accidental damage during inspection or rotation.
  6. Perform necessary maintenance: If you notice any loose threads, damaged soles, or worn-out parts during your check-up, attend to these maintenance needs promptly. This will help prevent further deterioration and ensure your sneakers are ready for wear when you decide to take them out of storage.
  7. Document and update: Keep track of any changes or updates related to your sneaker collection. If you acquire new pairs or decide to sell or trade existing ones, make sure to update your inventory list accordingly.
  8. Reassess storage solutions: As your sneaker collection grows or your storage needs change, periodically reassess your storage solutions. Consider whether you need to invest in additional containers, shelves, or other storage accessories to accommodate your expanding collection.

By regularly checking and rotating your sneakers, you can identify and address issues promptly, prolonging the lifespan of your collection. Proper maintenance and care will ensure that your sneakers remain in excellent condition and are always ready to be worn.


Properly storing your sneakers long term is crucial for maintaining their quality, preserving their value, and ensuring they look their best when you decide to wear them again. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can effectively protect and care for your sneaker collection.

Start by choosing the right storage space that provides optimal conditions, including protection from sunlight, controlled temperature and humidity, and proper ventilation. Use this space to clean your sneakers thoroughly, removing any dirt, stains, or odors that may have accumulated. Stuff and shape your sneakers to prevent creases and maintain their original form.

Wrap and package your sneakers using acid-free tissue paper, breathable plastic bags, or transparent storage containers. Make sure to label and organize your containers for easy access and retrieval.

Protect your sneakers from moisture and odors by using silica gel packets, moisture-absorbing products, and appropriate ventilation. Regularly check and rotate your sneakers to identify any issues, such as mold, pests, or damage, and attend to them promptly.

Maintain the optimal storage conditions by controlling temperature, humidity, and ventilation in your storage space. Keep your sneakers away from direct sunlight, chemicals, and extreme temperature fluctuations. Regularly inspect your collection, perform necessary maintenance, and update your storage solutions as needed.

By implementing these practices, you can ensure that your sneakers are well-preserved, fresh, and ready to be worn whenever you decide to take them out of storage. Your collection will remain in top condition, and you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite sneakers for years to come.

Remember, the key to successful long-term sneaker storage is consistent care, attention, and the right environment. With these guidelines, you can confidently store your sneakers and protect your valuable collection.

Frequently Asked Questions about How To Store Sneakers Long Term

What are the best practices for storing sneakers long term?

The best practices for storing sneakers long term include cleaning them thoroughly before storage, stuffing them with acid-free tissue paper to maintain their shape, and placing them in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight.
Can I use plastic containers to store my sneakers long term?

It’s not recommended to use plastic containers for long-term sneaker storage as they can trap moisture and lead to mold and mildew growth. Instead, opt for breathable fabric or cardboard boxes to allow air circulation.
How often should I check on my stored sneakers?

It’s a good idea to check on your stored sneakers every 3-6 months to ensure they are still in good condition. This allows you to spot any potential issues such as mold growth or deterioration early on.
Should I store my sneakers in their original boxes?

Storing sneakers in their original boxes can be a good option as long as the boxes are made of acid-free materials and are stored in a dry, cool environment. This helps protect the sneakers from dust and light exposure.
What is the best way to protect sneakers from yellowing during long-term storage?

To protect sneakers from yellowing during long-term storage, it’s important to keep them away from direct sunlight and artificial light sources. Additionally, using silica gel packs or charcoal bags in the storage area can help absorb excess moisture and prevent yellowing.

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