The $0 Trick for Making Boots Last Longer

 Photo: Stuart Weitzman

Photo: Stuart Weitzman

Even if you remain 100 percent committed to local shopping, someone is going to send you an Amazon box at some point. And there's a 92 percent chance that inside that box, you'll find air pillows. I hate wasteful plastic packaging as much as the next person, but air pillows are handy for boot storage.

Long term storage options for tall boots are limited and frustrating. Boot boxes take a lot of space, and—unless you buy special storage boxes—they're not uniform. (Uneven box stacks = wasted closet space.) Boot hangers are slightly better because they offer vertical storage, but that assumes that you have sufficient closet rack space, and you don't mind clipping your boots together on a hanger. Since I have limited closet space, storing my boots under my bed is the best option, but the boot shafts starts showing wear and tear with flat storage.

That's where those air pillows come in.

During a recent trip to the Alameda Flea, I noticed that one of the vendors was using a very familiar stuffing in her vintage cowboy boot displays: Amazon air pillow packaging. The air pillows give the boot shaft enough structure to stand on its own, or they can prevent creasing through the ankle if you choose to store your boots flat. Granted, pool noodles offer the same type of support, but why pay for a pool noodle when you can reuse an air pillow for free?

For regular Amazon shoppers, there are only so many times you can find uses for air pillows before you start deflating and tossing them again. But if you want to save your tall boots from unnecessary storage stress, (especially as you hide your winter footwear to make way for optimistic spring sandals), don't be so quick to ditch those air bags.