How Long Do Shoes Last Without Wearing Them?

If you do not wear your shoes, they should last for nothing less than 2 to 6 years.

This depends on the type of shoe. For example, if you are talking about rubber shoes like Crocs or Amoji, then they can last a lifetime because there is no glue that attaches anything to them.

They are made out of pure croslite foam material or plastic material. However, when it comes to leather shoes or boots, once you fail to wear them and you do not store them properly, the gums begin to remove and they begin to show signs of wear and tear because of their exposure to moisture and heat which eventually leads to damage.

This is why it is always recommended that you wear your shoes occasionally if you have a lot of them. This would help to elongate the useful life than not wearing them at all.

I have bought various types of shoes before but none of them wore out as fast as this new pair of leather shoes I got from that clothing store!

However, if I really think about it carefully, all my previous pairs are made from rubber and not real leather.

They can be used longer than those expensive ones I just bought because they are indeed much stronger and sturdier than these new leather ones.

Therefore, rubber shoes tend to last longer than leather shoes when you do not wear them.

If leather shoes would last for 2 years without use, then rubber shoes should last for 4years.

Furthermore, certain conditions can lead to the quick deterioration of these shoes. If you expose them to moisture and heat, they would spoil and deteriorate faster because heat and moisture are the major elements that cause shoes to wear and tear faster.

However, if you keep the shoe in its shoebox, then they would last much longer.

Furthermore, if it is not a new shoe, they will not last for up to 2 years because they have been used and deterioration has begun. This is why it is advisable to never stop wearing a shoe.

It is either you give it out, sell it or recycle it. Once you abandon it, it would not last long.

What should you do to prolong the life of your shoes?

How Long Do Shoes Last Without Wearing Them

I would categorize this into 3 major parts:

General methods of prolonging shoe life

Follow these methods if you want to prolong the life of your shoe and make it last for years and even decades depending on the type of shoe you have.

  • Keep the shoe clean and free from stains. Use a damp cloth to dust it off occasionally. Remember, keeping your shoes clean is fundamental for their durability. In case you wear closed shoes, do not forget to regularly wipe your feet with a damp cloth before putting on the shoes.


  • Use a deodorant or foot powder if you suffer from sweating feet to prevent stains that may mark your soles and uppers over time. Shoes should be stored in well-ventilated places, as excessive heat will cause them to be worn out easily and quickly. To keep your style shiny, consider using shoe polish regularly on leather goods such as the soles of your shoes and boots when you are still in the house.

Methods of Prolonging Shoe Life When Water Marks Have Already Occurred On Your Shoes

This is not a general method. However, whenever watermarks have occurred on your shoe, then you should follow these methods in order to extend the useful life of your shoe.

Watermarks make your shoe deteriorate faster and if nothing is done about it promptly, your sole might begin to shudder and then fall off.

However, the methods I have listed below would help you to prolong the life of your shoe until you get a new pair. This is mostly found in leather shoes as rubber shoes are waterproof and do not retain water.

Remove the dirt and stains that might have settled on the surface of your leather shoe

You can do this by immersing your shoe in water and using a knife or hard cloth to remove that dirt. You might need to exert a little pressure on the shoe’s surface if the stains are hard and not easy to remove.

However, you must remember to exercise caution not to damage the surface of the leather shoe as you scoop out the stain with a spoon or knife.

BRANDS such as Timberland, for example, offer cleaning kits that help in removing dirt and stains from their shoes easily.

Take note that dyes used by companies like Timberland may also change color if not treated properly before use though. If this is going to be a problem then do not wear them during rainy seasons or extreme conditions.

Use the help of a professional cleaner who is familiar with dry cleaning footwear

This might cost you, but it works just fine and helps you to retain the shape of your leather shoe for a while.

  • From my personal experience and from numerous people, this method is recommended for you. If you cannot afford the services of a professional dry cleaner, then do this. Take a plastic container and pour in some warm water until the shoe is immersed. Add a small amount of dishwashing liquid into the solution (you can add more or less, depending on how dirty it is). Allow your shoes to soak for at least 24 hours. After this period, remove them and then wipe away all residues with a cloth to dry them out. Do not forget to allow them to air dry before you put them back on! Remember not to overuse these cleaning agents though as they might damage your shoes in the end.


  • Furthermore, you can also use a solution of warm water and vinegar to treat areas that have been stained by shoe polish or ink. This is an effective, budget-friendly option especially if you are living on a tight budget! Just do not forget to dab them with a clean cloth after treatment to dry them out before using them again.

What if the sole of your shoe is damaged, how do you prolong the life?

The best thing you can do in this case is to invest in a new pair. If it has reached a point wherein you feel like doing an extreme solution, try using a rubber or plastic coating to cover your worn-out sole.

This way, you will be able to use them again and at least save some money for other expenses! If you are thinking about buying new ones and have tried all the existing methods that we mentioned above, go on ahead and shop around online for some deals because there are always discounts everywhere if you know where to look for them!

Just remember not to rush into buying shoes just because they are cheap since they may not last long when used frequently. Shop around first and read reviews on their pros and cons before deciding on a particular brand or model.

Do shoes deteriorate if we do not use them and put them in their boxes for a few years?

This is a common concern among shoe owners and some even worry the shoes might smell bad or rot when not used! The good news is that there are no ill effects of just storing your shoes under the proper condition and this is applicable to leather shoes.

Furthermore, not all leather shoes retain their quality after a long time and this is why it is always advisable to store your shoe well or use them occasionally.

A well-maintained leather will not suffer any deterioration, unlike over-used ones that would wear off and become brittle.

You can expect your beloved pair to remain as beautiful as the day you bought or received it on special occasions like weddings, vacations, or proms.

Of course, this only applies to brands that also specialize in boot boxes such as Maximillian Shoe Company, Steve Madden, and Aldo that are made of archival grade materials that protect the shoes.

In fact, brands like those recommend using their boxes to store your favorite pairs so they will not lose their shape and color.

This is because leather is hygroscopic in nature, which means it absorbs moisture, as well as odors that can greatly affect its quality over time.

Proper care should be practiced when storing them so you can always enjoy your pair for years!

Therefore, if you store your shoe in their boxes, they are likely to last for years because they would not be exposed to heat or moisture.

How long does it take shoes to crumble?

Of course, even the best pair of shoes can be destroyed after a few years without proper care. The bottom line is that all materials and objects (that are not made out of gold or diamonds) can deteriorate over time with constant use.

So, this question would be based on my personal experience. The average time it takes for my shoe to crumble whenever I wear them is within 4-5 years.

However, for my rubber shoes, I have been using them repeatedly for years and they have not crumbled. For my leather shoes or sneakers, the average is 4 years.

This can be different with you because the way you maintain your shoe determines how long it should last.

If you constantly expose your leather shoe or sneakers to water, then do not expect it to last up to 9months before it crumbles.

If you expose your rubber shoes to intense heat constantly, then they would shrink within weeks. So, as much as you’d expect your shoes to last for 4 years before crumbling, you must take absolute care of your shoes well in order to make them last longer.

How can I keep my shoes in the closet without smelling

How Long Do Shoes Last Without Wearing Them

There are many reasons for keeping shoes in the closet, but there is one thing that could keep you from enjoying your most prized shoe collection: smell. Shoes that get stored inside the house will certainly start to stink.

Instead of utilizing cedar or vinegar boxes that can be effective ways to lessen odor, it would be much better if the shoes had no odor at all. The following steps will help keep your shoes smelling good even when they are not being worn.

First, when you take out a pair of shoes, do not wear them immediately

Let them stay outside for a little while so they can “breathe” naturally and air themselves out after wearing them before putting them away in your closet.

If your closet is made of wood, make sure to clean it regularly

You can wipe down the wood surface with a dry cloth or use a damp cloth with mild detergent and water to wipe it off.

Do not place shoes in the closet that are still wet or moist from being worn

Never put leather shoes in the storage area without letting them dry for some time first.

Remember that if there is moisture within the shoe itself, this will certainly cause bacteria to grow which will lead to a musty smell as well as molding of your shoes.

In order to make shoes smell good, you can place tiny sachets of cedar inside the shoe’s interior so it will be absorbed by the fabric and not leave an odor on your precious items.

Place Charcoal into shoes’ insoles

You may also consider placing little pieces of charcoal into the shoes’ insoles if they do not already have any built in. This will absorb odors that could come from sweat or leather.

Do not leave them in there forever! The smell occurs because of the humidity trapped inside that must escape from somewhere. If you take the shoes out on a regular basis, not only will they not smell, but also they will last longer.

You have heard about the “coat closet” trick. It works well for shoes as well. The way this works is by using a hook in the coat closet and hanging your shoes on it upside down.

This allows air to flow through the top of your shoe, preventing moisture from building up inside. I like to rotate the shoes every week or so to allow air circulation.


Your shoe would last as long as you maintain it. I am sure that this article has been helpful to you.

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