TEXT BY FLORENCE TROTT | Photography by MOEEZ ALI
Prolong the life of your favourite boots with our guide to storing them in style.
With spring in bloom, it’s time to pack away your winter boots. Tempted to stuff them unceremoniously in the back of the wardrobe? However convenient, it’s inadvisable. It’s all balmy evenings and sandals now, but autumn will inevitably roll back round. Faced with dropping temperatures and puddle-studded pavements, you’ll be glad that your favourite pair of Jimmy Choo’s or chunky Bottega Veneta boots are in pristine condition. Aside from broken jacket zippers and the crush of the rainy-day commute, misshapen boots and worn-out soles are the scourge of winter. Make sure there’s a spring in your step (despite it being autumn) when you next head out for a pumpkin-spice-oat-milk-latte by looking after your boots now. Here’s our guide to storing your thigh-highs and ankle-grazers with care.
SHOP SPRING BOOTS
Before you do anything, clean your boots. Scrub the soles with a soft brush (a tooth brush will do), taking extra care with leather ones. Clean leather uppers with a shoe cleaning brush, followed by a damp cloth or specialist leather cleaning product to get rid of any dirt and grime. Once clean, feed them with a nourishing leather cream (much as you would your face) and buff with a cloth to make them shine.
Suede has its own set of rules. The soft material attracts lots of dust, so first brush suede boots vigorously with a suede brush. This will also rough up the nap and stop them looking shiny. You can then use a suede cleaning spray, followed by more brushing, and a suede renovator spray that will help waterproof and maintain the colour of the material.
You can always leave cleaning to the professionals. Our favourites, The Restory and Shoe Spa have a range of cleaning services designed for different boots. Always advisable for specialist leathers and other luxury materials.
SHOP PREMIUM SHOE CARE
Akin to putting an empty bottle of milk back in the fridge, retrieving boots from storage after summer only to find that they need repairs is infuriating. Instead, repair them before they go away. Many luxury shoe brands offer an aftercare service. Alternatively, trusted cobblers and the aforementioned shoe specialists can re-sole, revitalise and refresh even the most worn-out boots.
AIR THEM OUT
This is an important step that’s easy to overlook. Once your Gianvito Rossi ‘Laura’ boots are clean, leave them to air out away from a direct heat source, somewhere cool and dry. You wouldn’t put your favourite sweater back in the drawer if it was still damp from the wash, would you?
Keep your boots in shape. A bit like fillers for your shoes (but far less invasive!), boot trees and inflatable boot fillers iron out the creases that form when wearing, and stop them slumping in your closet. They’re key to maintaining the shape of tall boots, like your Louboutin Marmara 85s. Ankle boots don’t need quite as much support, but cedar shoe trees and acid free paper stuffed into the toes will help maintain their shape.
If custom shoe storage cabinets aren’t an option (*sigh), shoe racks are a streamlined alternative, provided they’re somewhere clean and dry, and not in a damp spot next to the back door. If you have space, store boots on shelves in your closet in dust bags or their original boxes, or in large breathable storage boxes under the bed. Thigh high boots should always be stored flat and unfolded, ideally in your closet.
It’s likely you lusted after your boots for a long time before buying, so it’s worth storing them properly. Think of the cost per wear, look after your shoes, and your boot investments will have a much bigger and more satisfying return.
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