The Do's and Don'ts of Protecting Your Sneakers From Humidity and Mold
Maintaining and storing your sneakers correctly is essential to protect your style and investment. When left unchecked in a high humidity environment, mold can quickly grow on sneakers and ruin otherwise perfect shoes. Complete crumbling has been known to happen, so take some proactive precautions as you grow your collection.
X Put your sneakers away wet or dirty
After a day of wearing your sneakers in the rain, snow or accidentally stepping in a puddle, make sure you take time to completely dry them. A good rule of thumb is to let them sit out on the floor after every wear and put them away the next day. Wet shoes easily grow mold when placed immediately in storage so don't be tempted to be too neat by putting them away too early!
Sneakers with remnants of dust and dirt are the perfect breeding ground for mold. Make sure to brush away excess dirt with a shoe brush and clean stains with a specialized sneaker cleaner solution.
X Store your sneakers in plastic, shrink wrap or zip-lock bags
This is a classic mistake, still widely used to try to prevent oxidation and sole yellowing. Shoes still need to 'breathe', despite being in storage. Suede and leather are particularly prone to developing mold and can discolor. Instead, try one of the ideas below.
✔ Invest in the right storage units
✔ Keep ambient humidity low
While this may be easier for those who live in temperate environments, in tropical regions this can be very difficult. The ideal indoor humidity range for sneaker storage is 45-60%. Any higher can perpetuate the growth of mold. If you struggle to maintain this, you may be in need of a dehumidifier. This can keep your sneaker storage room at a consistent humidity (set at 50%).
✔ Try silica gel packets
Silica gel is porous sand, that can absorb 40% of its weight in water and bring the humidity in a closed container down significantly. They are cheap to buy and can be handy if you live in a high humidity environment or use storage boxes without ventilation holes. Don't go overboard though, too many silica packets will cause your sneakers to dry out and crack.