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Classic Shoes for Ladies (And How to Store Them)

6 minute read, by Closet America, on Jun 28, 2018

How does one care for and store a diverse collection of shoes? Let’s talk about six classic shoe styles and how to care for and store them in your custom closet.

Dressy or comfortable. Spiky or sensible. Some shoes never go out of style. And every woman has them; reliable old favorites and dazzling pairs only worn on special occasions. A complete wardrobe needs them both. Having classic shoe styles in a variety of colors doesn’t only mean you’ll have the right pair for any occasion, it also means you have the joy of having many options to choose from when it’s time to get dressed. But how does one care for and store a diverse collection of shoes? Let’s talk about six classic shoe styles and how to care for and store them in your custom closet.

Caring for Six Types of Classic Shoes for Ladies

#1: Boots

Not only can boots add a touch of elegance to any outfit, they are the most functional choice for cold weather or anytime you need to protect your feet from the elements. If you’ve just come in from the rain, snow, or mud you’ll need to clean your boots. The easiest way to do this is to dip a soft cloth in water, dab the wet end in baking soda and rub out scuff marks or wipe off dirt. Wipe them and allow them to air dry. Also, when you first buy your boots you can spray them with waterproofing boot protector that can make moisture bead up for easier cleaning.

Boots come in different heights, such as ankle boots, shin-height snow boots, or fashionable knee highs. How do you store them without taking up all the space in your closet? The answer is to install a customized closet with adjustable shelves. Move each shelf around to fit your boots and maximize all of your shoe storage space. And if you buy or get rid of boots, the shelves can be readjusted. You love your boots. You invest money and time in them and delight in wearing them. So make your boots last longer by caring for them with an amazing walk-in closet.

#2: Flats

Flats are a closet staple that can be worn in warm or cold weather. Dressy pairs are a must for professional looks, and a comfortable pair of pretty flats can be your workday best friend. And a pair dressed up with bows, buckles, or prints like polka dots or plaid can liven up any outfit with fun, feminine detail. But is a long work day giving your flats an unpleasant smell?

There are a few ways to get rid of shoe odor that will keep the lining of your flats intact. Try putting your shoes in a plastic bag and storing them in the freezer overnight. In the morning they should smell fresh and clean. If your shoes are damp, stuff them with tea bags and let them sit for a few days. The tea bags will absorb the moisture in the lining of the shoes and absorb icky odors too. If you don’t have tea bags around you can fill the toes of pantyhose with baking soda and stuff them into the shoes.

When it comes to storing flats, many shoe lovers like to designate shoe-specific areas of their closet that are functional and eye-catching. This makes them easy to grab in the mornings before work and allows you to keep your prettiest pairs visible.

custom shoe storage

#3: Pumps

How do you spice up any outfit? By pumping them up, of course! From stilettos to platforms, pumps are the fireworks you can display to get you and your outfit noticed. It’s easy to fall in love with a pair that makes you look and feel amazing. And, an expensive leather pair is the ultimate in luxury. So how can you care for them to make your favorite heels last?

When leather pumps are new, stretch them out. Put on a pair of thick socks and wear your heels around the house, giving them time to stretch to fit the shape of your foot. This will make them far more comfortable. Worn-down heels should be replaced regularly. Look for a cobbler in your area who can bring them back to life. They can also replace old linings and broken zippers. With your old pumps restored and your new ones ready for attention, you may find yourself in a storage dilemma. Try adding chrome accents to shelving to give your shoe closet a bit of shine. It’ll make your pumps easier to admire when they’re not on your feet.

#4: Sandals

When the weather is hot and you have a new pedicure to flaunt, sandals are the answer. From strappy or slingback to flip flops, these shoes are the easiest to slip on and off and are often very comfortable. But when shoes are thrown in a closet, sandals are often the first to get squished by larger shoes like boots. Here are a few ways to show your sandals some love.

First, watch where you walk. Nothing can be more unpleasant than wetting your feet in puddles, mud, or wet gravel. Not only do wet feet feel uncomfortable, but as sandals dry they can become misshapen. Stuff them with newspaper and let them dry out evenly, and avoid putting them in the sun or using a hairdryer. When storing dainty sandals, consider housing your most treasured pairs in drawers. A custom-designed shoe closet can include fabric-lined drawers that offer the ultimate in protected shoe storage, keeping them safe from contact with other shoes and even dust.

#5: Sneakers

When you need a shoe that can keep up with your active lifestyle, sneakers are the way to go. Flexible and sturdy, yet soft and arch-supporting, sneakers are practical, comfortable, and cute. Here are a few ways to keep a spring in your sneakers’ step.

Luckily, most sneakers are machine-washable, making them the easiest to keep clean. But if you have leather or designer sneakers, you’ll have to spend as much time and effort maintaining them as you would on expensive pumps. First, beat the soles together to knock off any loose dirt. Then deodorize them. Stuff them with dryer sheets to absorb moisture and let them sit for a few days, keeping them away from direct heat. Spray your dry shoes with a stain- and water-repellent. And to keep your sneakers looking new or to update your style, try replacing the laces regularly.

Closet islands and peninsulas can help you store your sneakers. They offer an easy-to-clean, laminate surface for polishing shoes and for folding the activewear often worn with sneakers. And, they offer additional storage space with drawers.

#6: Wedges

Throughout antiquity, people have looked for ways to keep their feet elevated off the ground away from puddles and mud. Platform shoes have been around in various styles for ages; from traditional Japanese geta to wedges first designed by Italian designer Salvatore Ferragamo in 1935 as an orthopedic shoe. Wedges not only add height, they also give feet support. Closed- or open-toed, cork- or leather-heeled, wedges are an eye-catching twist on pumps, boots, or sandals that keep you on your toes.

Many wedges are strappy. And one of the biggest drawbacks to strappy shoes is that they can break, often at the most inconvenient times. If you don’t have time to drop them off at a cobbler you can make a quick and easy strap repair at home. Firstly, keep a bottle of all-purpose adhesive on hand. Apply the adhesive to the broken strap and tuck it back inside the shoe, between the lining and sole. Next, apply pressure to the glued area with any kind of clamp you may have, by sandwiching the shoe between heavy books, or even pressing it shut for a few moments with your fingers. Allow the shoe to dry overnight and you should be good to go in the morning.  

One way to store your collection of wedges is with floor-to-ceiling cabinetry. Not only does it make use of the vertical space at the top of your closet, it creates an attractive display. Floor-to-ceiling cabinetry optimizes space while offering a cleaner look than wall-mounted cabinets, and can easily be added to any customized closet design.

custom shoe organization

Store Your Shoes in Style with a Custom Designed Closet

No matter what style of classic shoe you love best, there’s a way to care for and store beloved shoes that will make them last longer. By customizing your closet, you convey a statement about your lifestyle and vision. By giving them the home they deserve you can love your shoes, even when you’re not wearing them.

Let Closet America’s professional designers customize your closet so it may provide optimal storage for your shoe collection. Tailored to match your lifestyle, your customized closet will make the most of your space while meeting your unique storage needs. And, our master craftsmen can do all of the installation and remodeling work. To get started, contact us to schedule a free in-home consultation now.


Lead image by Unsplash user Lanty

Closet America was able to work with my unique circumstances in order to give me the best use of my space.

Amy B.,
Fairfax Station, VA

Let’s Start Your Project

Whether you’re interested in a custom-designed closet, office, pantry, or garage, starting your project couldn’t be easier. Just fill out the attached form or give us a call to schedule your free in-home design consultation. You can download our brochure and you’re welcome to visit our Landover Maryland showroom, to see how beautiful our custom-designed organization systems look in person. We want you to experience the Closet America difference and see how we build organizing solutions for life.

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