When you buy a pair of designer and expensive shoes, we must take good care of them so that they continue to shine and look new with every passing year. Maintaining the quality of a shoe is not limited to just cleaning and polishing, it is equally important to protect them from any kind of creases and cracks when not in use.
A very easy and effective technique of preventing your favorite shoes from losing its original shape is inserting a shoe tree. When a shoe tree is put inside the shoe, it minimizes wrinkle marks on the leather by stretching it. They also soak excess moisture from the shoes and helps to retain the shape of the shoe after drying.
One of the common methods of keeping the shoe in its shape is by stuffing it with old newspaper. They do work to a certain extent but don’t prevent creases to a satisfactory level.
How to Choose the Correct Shoe Tree Material and Type?
In the market, different types of shoe trees are available. They are usually made with plastic or wood and obtainable in different styles like pointed, narrow, full toe, split-toe, double-sized.
But in reality, a particular type of shoe tree may not be suitable for certain kind of shoes. So, it is important to have a thorough knowledge of the shoe tree material & type before you decide to purchase.
Shoe Tree Material
Shoe Tree Material are commonly made with varnished wood or cedar or beech wood or plastic
- Has an Attractive shiny & smooth texture as the wood has a layer of varnish.
- Known for its durability and strength
- User friendly as its fine finish makes it easier to slide the varnished wood shoe tree into the shoe.
- Has poor moisture absorbing capacity. It does not drys the shoe quickly, as a result, there is a possibility of rot lining and leather cracks.
- They don’t remove any stink from the shoe
- The varnished wood shoe tree is quite heavy hence it increases the weight of your bag during travel
The most popular & recommended shoe tree.
- Their porous nature absorbs moisture from the shoe to the maximum level and helps in increasing the life of the leather.
- Cedarwood has a strong scent of its own that keeps the shoe smell fresh all time.
- Additional benefits include preventing the lining rot of leather shoes and act as natural insect repel. They can be stored for lifelong as they don’t decay.
- Cedar shoe tree is not convenient to carry during travel because of its weight
- Cedar Tree is not as attractive as a varnished shoe tree.
- They are economical
- Not very good in soaking moisture but better than varnished wood
- Doesn’t helps in removing smell from shoe
- It is less attractive than varnished and cedar.
- Like cedar, they are not user friendly as beech shoetree don’t slip in and out of the shoe quickly.
- It is not a travel shoe tree because of its heavy weight
- They are cheap and pocket friendly.
- Its lightweight feature makes it a perfect travel shoe tree.
- Without any difficulties, you can put in or out of the shoe easily.
- Doesn’t absorbs any moisture from the shoe that ultimately leads to lining rot & creases on the shoe
- Does not take away the smell from the shoe
Opting shoe tree materials always depend on their characteristics and usage. For example, if you are staying in the area where there is heavy snowfall or rain then it is better to go for cedar or beechwood as they dry the shoe speedily.
If you are someone who travels extensively and don’t want to increase the bag weight, then the plastic shoe tree is the best choice because of its lightweight.
If your feet sweat and stink then it is advised to choose a cedar shoe tree as cedar natural scent counters the stink.
Someone who loves well-polished shoetree they will like a varnished wood tree as it is very attractive but on the other hand, if you are the owner of very expensive leather boots or have only a few pairs of shoe that you use regular then use cedar built shoe tree as they help in drying the shoe faster and help in keeping the shoe newness for a longer time.
Shoe Tree Style or Type
Shoe Tree can be divided into 5 types. They are Spring shoe trees, Full-toe Shoe Trees, Combination Shoe Trees, Split-toe Shoe Trees, Lasted Shoe Trees
Spring Shoes Tree
- They are produced on a mass scale and are also cheap.
- Has a solid head and a springtail that is narrow.
As they are all manufactured in one size, as a result, the spring of the tail is longer so that it can be used in all sizes of shoes but in actuality, its longer springtails don’t fit well with all shoes unless the size of the shoe is larger than normal measurement.
When it is inserted into a shoe of standard or smaller size, the tail gets bent and gets locked into the heels creating a large pressure on the leather, that leads to deforming the original shape of the shoe when it dries up.
Full-toe Shoe Trees
This is another economical shoe tree.
The Head of this shoe tree has a standard solid toe box and has a spring that connects the head with the heel shaped tail
The spring technique helps the shoe tree to gets adjusted into the shoe and prevents cracks on the leather by stretching.
As its solid head has got generic mold, as a result, it doesn’t fit completely into a large range of shoe toe box and ruins the shape of the shoe.
Split-toe Shoe Trees
Split-toe shoe trees are a well know shoe tree that has a structure closest to the shape of human feet.
It has two spring that expands widthwise near the toe box area and lengthwise across the shoe. As this mechanism creates the right amount of pressure on the leather that is distributed equally from head to heel it retains the original shape of the shoe.
Split toe trees fit in a large variety of shoes with different shapes & sizes because of its intelligent design of two spring devices.
Combination Shoe Trees
The name itself indicates that it has the combination design of split-toes & full-toe shoe tree.
Just like split toes, it can expand sideways in the toe box & near the heel.
The head of a combination tree has got a generic symmetrical shape like full toes tree that might not fit into all types of shoes & in the long run, can deform the shoe original configuration
Lasted Shoe Trees
Lasted shoe trees fit perfectly into shoes as they are matched from the mold on which the particular shoe has been made to get the exact measurement & shape.
They can be used only for those pairs of shoes against which its shape & size has been copied.
Lasted shoe trees keep the original shape of the shoe almost close to 100% & the shoe looks new even after 5 -6yrs.
As lasted trees are made by high-end shoemakers they come at a higher price, hence it is advised if you are spending more than $ 200 to $700 on buying a shoe than it is important to take care of the shoe by using lasted shoe trees to increase the leather fresh look for a longer period.
Deciding on shoe style depends on the utilization of the shoe. If you have high priced shoes that you wear often then lasted shoe tree will be the best options to strengthen & improve lasting of the shoe.
If you have lots of shoes that you don’t wear every week, then try split toes style which is pocket friendly & also helps in preserving the shape of the shoe.
However, personally I will not suggest anyone opt spring shoe tree (though it is very cheap and largely available) as they cause more damage than do good to the shoe shape
Top 5 Best Shoe Tree to Buy for your Shoes
Now when you are clear as to how to hand pick right shoe tree material and style and if you are still unsure which shoe tree to buy then definitely you have to continue reading this blog to find the top five high rated shoe trees.
1. Florsheim Men’s Woodard Cedar Shoe Tree
Men’s Woodard Cedar Shoe Tree is a product from Florsheim company that had been in the shoe industry for a very long time hence you can trust their brand.
- Made from pure Red Aromatic cedar wood in US.
- They make the shoe very comfortable to wear as it smoothens the shoe out linings & insoles.
- It helps in protecting the stitches, soles, and fabric of the leather by sucking the moisture and prevents the wrinkles on the leather.
- They come in all sizes that are small size (6.5 wide to 8.5 medium) , medium size(8 wide to 10 medium), large size (9.5 wide to 11.5 medium), and extra-large size (11 wide to 14 medium)
2. HOUNDSBAY Men’s Cedar Shoe Tree with Wide Heel
One of the uniqueness of Houndsbay manufacturer is they plant one tree on your behalf in America for every purchase of their shoe tree.
- They are made with 75% red cedar wood that is grown in America
- They come with RIGHT & LEFT cravings on each shoe tree so that the correct side can be slide into the shoe without any struggle.
- Prevent creases from the shoe by stretching the leather with a pressure that is distributed from heel to toes due to split toes and centerpiece spring
- As it has split toes it can be used in a large range of shoes with different sizes & shapes.
- This shoe tree fits men’s shoe sizes from 6.5 to 15.
- Has the maximum amount of natural cedar oil to remove the stinks and keep the insects away.
- Has a wide heel that preserves the shape of the heel by filling the heel area.
- Its only negative is its weak spring
3. Formé Shoe Shapers for Women
Forme Shoe shaper is one of the best-recommended shoe trees for ladies’ shoe that is designed to adjust maximum ranges of shoes shapes & sizes
- Can be used for flats or boot or heel
- Due to the configuration of patented 7-fold technology they provide relief in footwear problems like numb, cramped toes, and heel pain.
- Its fitment can be customized as per the shoe shape & size by pushing the button ahead.
- Stops the creases on the shoe by stretching the shoe & also restore the shape of the heel.
- It is very durable as they are made of thermoplastic polymer and stainless steel
- Due to its lightweight, it is easy to carry them during travel
- Though it is costly still they are worthy for expensive shoes