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Shoes trees

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I've been needing to buy some more shoe trees for a while and saw that Shipton & Heneage are doing some cheap fully-lasted ones.  Better yet, can order a bulk pack of five pairs and save a little more. Only thing is, they're made out of beech rather than cedar. So does it matter? All of the debates I've read on here have been about whether shoe trees should be varnished or not; I haven't seen anything about the type of wood they're made of.  I'm guessing it wouldn't actually matter if the trees were varnished as then the wood doesn't come into contact with the shoe, but I'm not sure if these ones are (the picture of them on the website, which looks like they're varnished, is different to the ones in the catalogue). And alarm bells started ringing when the "combination tree", which isn't fully lasted but is made of cedar, actually costs more...  
post #2 of 6
Cedar certainly smells nicer. Those cedar combination trees on the S&H site are more expensive because they're imported from ths US, where they're made by Woodlore. They sell these in the US for $23.95. I know that bothe Edward Green and Weston offer shoe trees that are not cedar wood. While I've confirmed that Weston's are beech, I'm not sure what EG uses. I personally prefer a fully lasted tree sprung for both length and width, and made of cedar.
post #3 of 6
It's an old bone of contention whether shoetrees should be made from cedar (softwood) or hardwood. Traditionally American shoetrees used maple, but that changed a while back. Now all quality shoetrees in Europe seem to be French-made (Edward Green, John Lobb, Berluti) and come with a double spring. I presume very much that the Shipton & Heneage trees come from France as well, probably from the same factory as Green, Lobb, Berluti etc. just at half the price. But the nicest trees (in the entire world come from La Cordonnerie Anglaise in Paris: http://www.lca-international.com/ns/index.asp I don't know the price but they should be well worth a trip to Paris.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses. I think I can safely buy the shoe trees now (hey, if beech is good enough for Weston...).
post #5 of 6
Virtually all of the 'high-end' hardwood (Beech) shoe trees that the branded stores/manufacturers sell in Europe are made by Dunkelman & Son's (Dasco) in England. Excellent products. They also supply Vogel and Alden here in the States.
post #6 of 6
Rider -- I take it on faith that you are right about Alden's shoe tree supplier, but Alden's shoe trees are definitely cedar, not beech
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