I completely agree with bengal-stripe...the advertised benefits of cedar are as much marketing as fact. I have many shoe trees from both Woodlore and Rochester, and Beech trees from Dasco and the Dasco are far superior, IMO. The cost, of course, is far greater as well. Lime is also a very nice wood to use in shoe trees.
Both woods are porous, and therefore perform the basic task of absorbing moisture from the linings of shoes. Cedar has become the wood of choice here due to its low cost. Not sure if the cedar used by the 2 American manufacturers is of US origin, but I do know that you can buy 50,000 BF quantities of cedar from Peru for around $.04 per BF. Also, this comes into the US duty-free while the EU subjects it to tariffs. Beech, on the other hand, is readily sourced at reasonable prices from the Baltic states, from what I am told, inside the EU. Again, I don't know if this cedar is used or not, but the bottom line is cedar is very cheap.
I have quite a few cedar trees that are split/chipped, or have bled enough that the springs have become clogged and therefore almost useless while my beech and lime trees are perfect 5 years along...
If the woods used are inconsequential, why don't they just manufacture them from pine and cut the costs accordingly?
cedar is pine