How Long Do Running Shoes Last in Storage?

Runners rely on their running shoes to get where they need to go. It’s critical to keep them in the best possible condition. If you have running shoes, you might wonder – how long do running shoes last in storage? I have the answer if you need to store your running shoes.

On average, running shoes will last about 2-3 years if you store them properly. If you don’t provide proper protection, they can begin the deterioration process in about a year or less.  

Read on to learn more about the shelf life of running shoes. I’ll go over the best methods of storage, the ideal place to keep shoes, and more helpful information. I know how critical it is as a runner to keep your shoes in excellent condition. Let’s get started.

What Are the Best Ways to Store Running Shoes?

When storing your running shoes, the most critical thing is to determine they are out of moisture. Wetness can destroy shoes quickly, so I recommend that you keep the prevention of liquid as a priority for the sake of your running shoes.

Here are a few additional factors to keep in mind as you store your running shoes:

  • Keep them out of sunlight: Light will lead to oxidation, which will turn the white parts of your shoes yellow.
  • Avoid boxes and bags: Boxes and bags are a surefire way to introduce bacteria and mold to your shoes.
  • Provide circulation: Circulation is necessary to avoid moisture and bacteria growth. Ensure your shoes are in some place where there is airflow.

These will keep them in the best condition.

What you store your running shoes in is a critical piece of the puzzle. I think that you should try your best to keep them out of sunlight first, then keep them clear of moisture. It’s worth the extra effort for quality running shoes after some time in storage.

What’s the Best Place to Store Running Shoes?

If you want to help your running shoes survive in storage, the second protection is to store them in an excellent place. I have several options for you to consider, most of which are in any home.

Here are a few of the best places I recommend for storing running shoes:

  • In a dry garage, high above the floor and away from damaging conditions
  • In a closet, on a shelf where they cannot be reached by pets
  • In your bedroom closet, on a shelf where they cannot be reached by pets

These should keep them safe for a long time, but you should try to get them on your feet as soon as possible.

The most critical thing is to keep running shoes dry and away from any liquid. Don’t put them inside plastic bags or anything that might cause moisture to build up quickly. You want to avoid humidity, mold, and the teeth of your pets. I recommend keeping your running shoes high and dry.

Do Shoes Deteriorate in the Box?

Shoe boxes are an effective way to protect your shoes, but they won’t keep them safe forever. The original cardboard box should defend against dust and allow a little airflow in the box. However, if any moisture gets inside, it won’t take long before the shoes deteriorate in the box.

Plastic boxes are the same. If you live in a humid area, I don’t recommend storing your running shoes in plastic for moisture buildup. If you choose this method, ensure the shoes are free of moisture and dust before putting them inside.

How Long Do Running Shoes Last If You Don’t Wear Them?

If you don’t wear running shoes, you can expect them to last at least a few years on the shelf. Several factors influence this lifespan. I think these are critical to consider before storing a pair of shoes.

Here are a few factors that can influence the lifespan:

  • Moisture content
  • Sun exposure
  • Dust

These can dissolve a pair of running shoes in no time.

If you invest in a pair of running shoes, try to make a plan. Check on them every few weeks to ensure the storage process treats them well. If you see moisture or dust, I recommend moving them to a different spot. Ensure you take the best course of action for the sake of your shoes.

Do Running Shoes Expire?

Running shoes don’t expire, per se, but I would say there is a period they will last before they start to break down. After this point, they won’t be as good as they were when you first purchased them and may even cause injury to your feet. 

If stored properly, you can expect running shoes to last 2-3 years before the breakdown. However, you shouldn’t bet on this lifespan. Most shoes will deteriorate between 6-12 months after the initial storage due to circumstances that are tricky to control by yourself.

I say that you should try to put on your shoes a few months after the initial purchase. This wear will stretch them out and prevent the base from stiffening up too early. It’s best to be proactive for the sake of your future runs.


As a runner, shoes are one of the most critical aspects of what you do. I know it’s vital to have a pair that can stand the test of time, especially in storage. To keep them safe, I recommend you keep the pieces out of light, away from moisture, and with plenty of airflow to prevent the buildup of mildew and mold.

I hope this information was helpful! It takes a little effort to provide a defense for your running shoes in storage, but it’s worth it. The better the protection you provide for your pair, the longer they will last on your feet. Keep them high and keep them as dry as possible for the best results.


About Me

Hey, I'm Mark and I've been running for around eight years. I'm by no means an elite runner. I'm in the mid-pack, doing what I can to improve and learn along the way.

I've learnt a few tricks along the which I share on this website and my Instagram: