Preserving Your Gear: The Essential Guide for Storing Outdoor Shoes

Whether you are an avid hiker, mountaineer, trail runner, or an enthusiast who occasionally loves to escape into the wilderness, outdoor shoes are an essential part of your gear. Unfortunately, the outdoor shoes that you rely on for comfort and support during your adventures might not see the light of day continually. But how do you ensure they remain as tough and ready to tumble as they were out of the box, even after an extended hiatus? This guide aims to help you do just that!

Start with a Clean Canvas: The Importance of Wash and Dry

Your outdoor excursions can leave your shoes covered with mud, dust and other debris. Cleaning your shoes before storage is essential to discourage any build-up of molds and bad odor. Remove any dirt and debris, wash them with mild soap if necessary, and let them air dry completely before proceeding to store them. Remember, moisture can be a catalyst for the material breakdown, so ensure your shoes are perfectly dry before jumping to the next step.

Keeping It Natural: The Art of Shaping and Stuffing

Over time, your outdoor shoes can lose their shape. Maintain the shoe's form by stuffing them lightly - newspaper or tissue can absorb any residual moisture and keep your shoes from collapsing or creasing. Furthermore, never forget to loosen up the laces prior to storage - a tight lace keeps stress on the shoe material, which over time, could lead to wear and breakage.

Climate Matters: Picking the Perfect Spot

When it comes to storing your infrequently worn outdoor shoes, choose an environment that is dry, cool, and away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, which can degrade the shoe material over time. A dedicated shoe rack in a closet or an open space in a cool room can be a good choice.

Shoe to Shoe Contact: A Word of Caution

Do not stack your shoes directly on top of each other as it can lead to unwanted creases. Ideally, store each pair of shoes in a dedicated shoe box or a bag, and place them horizontally on the shelf.

In the Long Run: Regular Check-ins

Even when stored, give your shoes a little TLC now and then. Make sure you air them out every few weeks to keep them fresh, and inspect to catch any early signs of material degradation.

Maintaining your shoes with correct storage practices will not only prolong their lifespan but also ensures that they remain comfortable and supportive. With these tips in your arsenal, you can confidently set aside your trusty outdoor shoes, knowing they'll be in top shape and ready for the next adventure when you are.

Warding Off Pests and Odors: The Extra Mile

In some cases, you might be storing shoes in regions where pests can become an issue. Adding a sachet of lavender or cedarwood chips can help deter these unwanted guests. Moreover, they can keep your shoes smelling fresh. Commercially available silica gel packs can also be beneficial in preventing any minor moisture build-up, keeping your shoes dry and mold-free.

Remember, good storage isn't just about maintaining appearance. It's about upkeeping your shoe's performance over time. Storing them correctly ensures longevity, and you'll find that even after a long hiatus, you'll be able to pick up where you left off - right on the trail!

In conclusion, proper care and storage of your precious outdoor shoes are an essential aspect of outdoor gear maintenance. It not only signifies respect for your investments but also optimizes your comfort and safety when the call of the wilderness catches you again. Until then, happy storing!

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