You’ve just bought an awesome pair of hand-stitched boots. You love them so much that you could put them next to your pillow and sleep with them every night. Unfortunately, this isn’t really practical, but you don’t want to relegate them to the bottom of your messy closet either—and the bottom of the bed may be full of nasty dust bunnies that can get into that beautiful stitching. How do you protect your investment and keep your boots just as clean, soft and supple as they were when you bought them? If you’re looking for the best ways to store boots, here are six tips to help you keep them safe and protected from dust, dirt and scuffs.
- Don’t throw away that boot box. After you first purchase your boots, you may need the box for storage until you can purchase — or rig — something that protects them better.
- If you’re going to put your boots in a closet instead of a storage bin, keep them standing upright and put them near the front. This is especially beneficial for taller styles, such as this elegant pair of Ariat Hacienda boots. Otherwise, if you let them flop over, they can get kicked into the bottom of the closet, where they’ll get scuffed and worn. To help them hold their shape, stuff them with cardboard inserts, paper balls, foam wedges or commercial boot inserts (the boot version of shoe trees), which you can buy from retailers online. You can also use magazines and catalogs; just roll them up, and they’ll work great.
- Consider getting a clear shoe storage container. Buy a large one that’s specially made for boots. These can be found at container retailers and specialty shoe stores. Boot storage bins also come in heavy corrugated cardboard, which can work just as well as long as the cardboard is heavy enough.
- Invest in shelving for your closet. If you’ve got a great collection of boots that you need to protect, install shelves to protect them from dirt, dust and scuffs.
- Keep your boots in a cool, dark place that’s clean and dust-free. Too much light or heat can fade and dry out the leather, which can ultimately cause cracks.
- Keep your boots clean and dry. For optimum protection, take a soft dry cloth and rub them gently, paying extra attention to the sole of the boot, as well as the hardware and embellishments. Too much moisture can cause warping and odor, so always make sure they’re thoroughly dry before you store them.
Do you have a favorite way to store your boots?