note at the bottom:
Also, I've recently started liking the "EPIC" shoe tree from Cedarville. No deals that I'm aware of, but they are good trees.
I think it's last-specific. I use the Epics in my loafers (Randolph, Grayson) and my boots (Alden Barrie and AE #1 boot last). I prefer the Allen Edmonds (Woodlore) solid-toe in my #5 last shoes, and I like AE (Woodlore) split toe in my 7-last laceups, such as the Macneil. I think I also use the EPICs in my Leeds PTB on the #1 last.
You need to look at how well it fills out the toe / vamp of the shoe, and also what it does to the heel shape.
I know it's a little convoluted, but that's my approach, after starting with AE solid-toes, moving to AE split toes, and about 4 months ago adding Epics.
It appears that the "Ultra" linked above is very similar to AE's split toe.
I also like the epic and have started switching to them. Yesterday cedarville had a 20% off sale but it was for Sunday only. The following codes still worked last week when I ordered 8 more epic's:
cvsclub55 - will take $5.00 off Epic Cedar Shoe Trees
cvsclub44 - will take $4.00 off Washburn Cedar Shoe trees
cvsclub22 - will take $2.00 off Classic...
Shipping is spendy if you order just one tree, but when you get half a dozen or so it works out to a lot less per tree.
My Black Hills just arrived tonight. I have the UPS man trained, he saves me for last on his route so I am usually home to sign for deliveries . It helps that he is a bowhunter and we can talk the same language. I down sized a half size per the reviews on the AE site and the fit is perfect. The distressing is very well done and fairly even in the application. Original plan was to saddle soap them then apply Obenauf's liquid conditioner to waterproof and slightly darken them. I did that to my tan AE boat shoes and they turned out well. Not sure that I will do that will the Black Hills after getting them and seeing it in person. For casual wear the AE Yuma in Bison leather were a big disappointment for me, these are the exact opposite. I was originally planning on using them with jeans and shooting sporting clays and skeet. However I now feel they also go well with Khakis and a sport shirt. A very nice job by AE, once again.
Got my Cliftons today. Was worried that the 8 last would be too much like the 2. But, so far, so good. They're snug, but there's been no experience of crunching or slipping. And they're seconds, so they have a dime sized exception on the side on the uppers-- nothing else that I could notice. Gives it character. It seems like a good fit and a nice shoe. They aren't bothering me like the Players were.