The Imelda Marcos guide to storing shoes

© Depositphotos.com/NataliGlado

© Depositphotos.com/NataliGlado

Imelda Marcos, the widow of controversial former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos and other half of the ‘conjugal dictatorship’ may not be popular among the population of the Philippines – or much of the international community.

She is, however, an icon for some, not for her political aptitude or legacy, but for her ludicrously expansive shoe collection. At the peak of her husband’s regime, Marcos’ shoe collection had grown to its greatest extent, boasting more than 3,000 pairs.

Excessive, intriguing and beyond even the biggest shoe addict’s tastes, Marcos’ shoe collection continues to attract interest. The former First Lady’s shoe collection even has its own museum near Manila that’s home to hundreds of stylish size 8 ½ pairs.

Is your shoe collection starting to grow? These three Marcos-inspired shoe storage and collecting tips will help you keep your shoe collection looking its very best for decades, even if it doesn’t quite approach the legendary scale of Marcos’ one.

Store your shoes vertically

Mrs Marcos had plenty of storage space to spare inside her lavish residences, but she still made saving space a priority. The former First Lady of the Philippines put her shoes on wall storage racks to make them as easy as possible to store.

While Mrs Marcos was more likely trying to make her shoes easy to access rather than store, her storage strategy works. Storing your shoes vertically frees up floor space and lets you turn your shoe collection into an interesting interior feature.

Keep your shoes protected

Unfortunately for Imelda Marcos, her world famous shoe collection recently took a serious hit. Due to a termite infestation at her formal riverside palace, hundreds of boxes of her shoes were moved to the National Museum for safekeeping.

During a rainstorm, water leaked through the ceiling into the cardboard boxes that the shoes were stored in. Hundreds of pairs were damaged beyond repair, leaving the infamous First Lady with slightly less to choose from each morning.

While storing your shoes for everyday wear is simple, it’s worth putting plenty of thought into long-term shoe storage. Pack them in airtight, protected containers or special storage boxes so that leaks and mildew can’t damage your collection.

Don’t let dust accumulate

Marikina City, a suburban city that makes up Metro Manila, is home to one of the world’s largest old-fashioned shoe industries. It’s also home to a popular museum on… you guessed it – Imelda Marcos’ infamous shoe collection.

The museum houses numerous displays of Marcos’ favourite shoes, with some pairs dating back to the mid-1960s. Most pairs remain in perfect condition because of the careful efforts of the museum staff, who never let dust accumulate in shoes.

From mildew to faded colour, dust and dirt can cause serious damage to shoes that are stored for the long term. Keep your shoes looking great for decades by removing all dust and dirt before you store them in airtight shoe storage containers.