Shoe trees stretching loafers?
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Cost is not a factor in my experience. My Edward Greens and Lattanzis are just as susceptible to deformation through the wrong tree as are my Alden shells.
Leather is flexible. That is why we use it for shoes.
Trees which are made expressly to accompany bespoke shoes are not spring-constructed, for this reason
Then I digress. Is the loafer a thinner leather like a driving moccasin? I could see that being a problem. Is the back of the shoe tree only hitting the top of the shoe? It should go all the way to the bottom to enhance stability.
Ive got two pairs; one is a zegna fatte a mano penny loafer, the other is a casual prada loafer with a rubber sole. I wouldnt call either of them thinner leather, especially the pradas. the problem isnt the positioning of the shoe tree, its just that all of my trees are the spring loaded kind, which just pushes too hard on the shoes. I would think that maybe my shoe trees are too large, except that I wear an 11 or 12 shoe, so they are pretty large as well. I just need to get some of the non-spring-loaded shoe trees.
I have a pair of $400-500 Italian loafers of somewhat softer than normal dress leather. My shoe trees stretched these to a disagreeable extent, making me cringe at the damage done to what had been very keen-fitting shoes. I will be trying these on theory that the spring will not be too strong in a horizontal direction: http://www.woodlore.com/mens-shoemate-pair/.