CRUMBLING SHOE SYNDROME (CSS) is the degradation that occurs to shoes and sneakers as the Polyester and Polyether Urethanes contained in them interact with our environment. A paper written in The Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research provides a technical explanation:
In other words, the very things that make human life on this planet possible - air and water - are colluding to destroy our shoes. Add the sun's ultra-violet light emissions and you have an unholy trinity that should concern every serious collector.
And thus far, aside from storing your shoes in airtight steel vessels filled with argon, science has deemed ALL other shoe preservation techniques inadequate. UNTIL NOW!
"Poly (ester) urethanes and poly (ether) urethanes, which are widely used in shoe production have been shown to degrade under hydrolytic conditions and in an oxidative environment respectively… Degradation can lead to significant changes in the polymer mechanical properties, surface chemistry, and structure, leading to malfunction.”