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Protect Your Shoe Collection with Foam Cylinders

Every year when spring is finally peeking around the corner, most people are looking forward to warmer weather more than anything. After months of snow, ice, and wind, breaking out the sandals, shorts, and t-shirts can make us feel like butterflies spreading our wings for the first time.

Polyethylene foam cylinders holding leather boots
Polyethylene foam cylinders holding leather boots

While winter weather is obviously the last thing on our minds once we don’t have to put on 15 layers just to get to the grocery, the cold will eventually return, and when it does, we’ll need those 15 layers again. For people who live in regions with all four seasons, it’s important to take care of cold-weather gear so it’s still in good shape once the thermometer drops and snow falls.

For the boots and shoes we wear to keep our feet warm and dry in the winter, the bottom of the closet is usually their summer vacation destination. But for taller boots, particularly boots that rise above the ankle or up the calf, the “neck” of the shoe will flop over, as it lacks rigidity without the wearer’s leg holding its form. This can stress and stretch the leather and result in creases and wrinkles, which reduce longevity and attractiveness. To help prevent this, foam offers a surprisingly, quick, affordable, and creative solution.

Polyethylene foam cylinders, most recognizable as pool noodle toys or exercise rollers, are soft but rigid forms that when slid into a boot, can help it hold its form. Manufactured in various lengths and diameters, finding a foam cylinder to fit your shoes is easier than finding shoes that fit you! Being closed-cell foam, polyethylene is very easy to cut, so buying foam tubes that are multiple feet in length means you can support and protect multiple pairs of boots with a single cylinder. Using a sharp, serrated knife, you can cut polyethylene in seconds, just like a loaf of bread. Trimmed to a length slightly less than the height of the boot, you can slide the cylinders down to the heel and have a pair of shoes standing straight up, without even seeing what’s holding them up.

In the before-and-after picture to the upper-right, you can see a pair of leather boots slouched over. With the foam cylinders, they stand upright and hold their form. For your own use, you would want to trim off the excess sticking out of the boot, both for aesthetics and to use the material on another pair of shoes, but the image highlights the rigidity of the material and shows you don’t need the largest possible diameter to get the job done.

In addition to function, foam bolsters for shoes are equally useful for maintaining form, both literally and figuratively! For people who have sizeable shoe collections, keeping them standing upright on display can tidy up the look of a closet, make it easier to find the pair you’re looking for, or help you pick the right shoes for an outfit. This is a great way to take care of rain boots, high-heeled boots, or even cowboy boots, year-round. Stuffing boots with a foam tube can even make polishing and cleaning them easier. Halving the cylinders along their length also helps expensive dress shoes, flats, and low-ankle slide-ons keep their shape.

Foam Factory, Inc. sells multiple sizes of polyethylene foam cylinders, with seven different diameters available, ranging from 1-1/2” to 6”, in three different lengths: 17”, 5”, and 70”. Custom-cutting services are available for sawing cylinders to exact sizes, as is the option of halving them length-wise for individuals who prefer not to make cuts at home.

If you’re looking for a way to keep your shoes and boots in good condition year-round, or going for the most organized closet in history, keep them in shape with polyethylene foam cylinders.

To see Foam Factory’s selection of polyethylene foam cylinders, click Here.

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