A pair of high-quality Latin dance shoes could withstand everyday wear or tear. But just like anything in life, the shoes could end up being damaged when these aren’t stored properly. The material could bend or break if the shoes were simply chucked in the closet.
By storing your Latin dance shoes properly, you can extend their life for several more years. Here are some tips to get you started:
A shoe rack is a great place to store shoes that are part of your regular rotation. But for Latin dance shoes that are up for long-storage, these should be packed properly in a dust bag or a cardboard box.
If you’ve kept the shoes’ original cardboard box, use that otherwise, you can buy shoe boxes in bulk on the internet. Storing your shoes in cardboard boxes protect the material from the elements, particularly humidity, direct sunlight, and dry air. Humidity increases the risk of mold growth while exposure to direct sunlight could cause discoloration and cracks. Dry air could dry out the shoes, which leads to stiffness and cracking. The box also reduces the chances of the material bending while in storage.
Using a dust bag for the shoes is fine too. The material promotes better air circulation, preventing mold growth. But because it won’t protect the shoes from bending, do not store the shoes in a cramped space. Also, give each shoe more room so the material won’t bend.
What you should avoid is storing the shoes in a plastic bag or any type of plastic container. Plastic traps moisture so it increases the chances of mold growth.
Store in a Cool, Dark, and Dry Place
Humidity is the enemy when you’re preventing mold growth. Unfortunately, some materials are more likely to turn moldy because they are quite sensitive to moisture - like genuine leather. That’s why our Latin dance shoes are made from flexible vegan leather, it’s more resistant to mold growth!
But no matter what material your shoes are made of, be sure to store your shoes in a cool, dry, and dark place. Keep it away from sunlight to prevent discoloration and cracking. Also, give each pair enough room. Never chuck them in a cramped place or in a sorry pile because the material could bend. Eventually, the shoes will lose its shape!
Air Them Out
Don’t store your Latin dance shoes for more than a few months without airing them out every now and then. Dance shoes, particularly those made with genuine leather, are prone to mold growth. This goes especially if you live in a region where humidity is high. By airing out the shoes, the extra moisture dissipates - ensuring that the shoes remain as dry as possible for long storage.
One might think that cleaning the shoes before storing them is enough to keep it looking new months or years later. Think again! Even if you are not using the shoes all the time or if the shoes will be stored for long stretches of time, you still need to take them out of storage every few weeks to clean and condition the material. This way, the shoes won’t be a cracked mess after long storage.
Brush the shoes with a regular shoe brush for suede or microfiber bottom shoes. Regular brushing eliminates dirt and grime while maintaining the texture of the material. For smooth or patent leather, use a shoe polish or conditioning oil to prevent sticking and cracking while in storage. For Satin Zouk dance shoes or Bachata dance booties, clean with a soft damp cloth then air dry completely. Air drying is important for materials made with natural fibers. Also, do not saturate the material especially if it’s not clean enough because this will lead to unsightly stains!
One of the most common problems with storing shoes is that the material tends to lose its shape. This can be easily fixed by stuffing the shoes before storing them. You can use different stuffers for the shoes - crumpled and acid-free tissue paper, rolled towels, rolled muslin cloths, or shoehorns. Stuffing the shoes prior to long-storage helps retain their shape without destroying the material.
One important thing to keep in mind though, do not over-stuff the shoes nor force the stuffing deep inside the shoes. The material could stretch during storage and end up becoming loose in the process.
Use Silica Packets
If you love shoes then you’re probably dreaming of storing your collection in a climate-controlled closet. But alas, not all of us are born a Kardashian! The good news is, there is a way to control the humidity in small spaces like a closet: use silica packets.
Silica draws moisture from the air, keeping your Bachata dance shoes or Zouk dance booties dry and free from mold. We suggest chucking a couple inside the box and then leaving a few packets in your closet for good measure!
Most times, Latin dance shoes that are left in storage for too long tend to lose their shape, or the material doesn’t look the same anymore. But with these tips, you can extend the life of your Zouk dance shoes and Kizomba dance shoes even if they are stored for months.