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Shoe Trees: How Important Are They?

Jake Tough

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Hi guys,

It is clear that every style aficionado owns at least a pair of shoe trees to keep his leather shoes in shape.

However, lots of men neglect this important aspect of shoe care yet complain when their shoes break down quickly.

Now of course, The shoe longevity depends initially on the leather and craftsmanship quality. Nevertheless, the way your treat your shoes is just as important.

Shoe care includes among others using a hydrating cream regularly, never wearing the same shoe for two consecutive days and letting the leather rest and get rid of moisture by inserting a shoe tree inside of it.

Using a shoe tree also depends on the price of your leather shoe (which is OFTEN a good indicator of its quality) . It would be unnecessary if not useless to buy a shoe tree for a cheap dress shoe, because chances are, they'll wear so quickly you'll never see any positive effect.

I'd love you to share your opinions on the matter. How long have been using shoe trees and at what extent do you think they've been helpful to keep your shoes in shape ? What are your preferred brands?
 
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Dusty Heaters

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Absolutely vital.

IMO the best bargain tree is the Woodlore epic. The amazon replicas are essentially the same thing...Full cedar, twin tube design, adjustable toe box, and sized. They're about ~$20 per pair.
 

Jake Tough

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Absolutely vital.

IMO the best bargain tree is the Woodlore epic. The amazon replicas are essentially the same thing...Full cedar, twin tube design, adjustable toe box, and sized. They're about ~$20 per pair.
True, they're actually number 3 on my top 5 cedar shoe trees. Thanks for your feedback MrVenneri
 

Mr Tewkesbury

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Shoe trees add to the life of a pair of shoes - they just do.
As for a generic shoe-tree, then yes, absolute necessity. I use them (generic) for most of my shoes, the exception I allow for is Edward Green, as their lasts and their more contemporary lines require a more fitted lasted shoe-tree (much as G&G do and other edgier brands). I should point out that the majority of my shoes are Lobb - non-prestige line (i.e. Not [recent] 7000 or 8000 last).
Do keep in mind, a poorly chosen shoe-tree will distort the fit and look (long-term) of the shoe, rendering it a less pleasurable purchase.
 

Mr Tewkesbury

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IMG_2214.JPG EG Claverton; generic shoe-tree would distort the instep and toe-line. EG S-T was a necessary purchase.
 

mr monty

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Warning: Be careful using generic shoe-trees with suede loafers. For example, some of the non-lasted trees are made to fit 3 or more sizes (X L = 11, 11.5,12, and 12.5). After using the trees in size 11 suede loafers for a few years. You might find your loafers fitting a little loose in the heels and maybe creating slippage as you walk. You may want to consider going down to size L trees.
 

Jake Tough

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Warning: Be careful using generic shoe-trees with suede loafers. For example, some of the non-lasted trees are made to fit 3 or more sizes (X L = 11, 11.5,12, and 12.5). After using the trees in size 11 suede loafers for a few years. You might find your loafers fitting a little loose in the heels and maybe creating slippage as you walk. You may want to consider going down to size L trees.
Hum... Thanks for the advice. I'd personally go with an adjustable shoe tree.
 

Wowee Zowee

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No devil's advocates among us?

I use shoe trees, but I must say I'm not convinced they are the miracle shoe care that some insist.

I'm sure they go some ways to keep the shape, but absorbing moisture? Not convinced they would work any better then air drying.
 

Mr Tewkesbury

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It
No devil's advocates among us?

I use shoe trees, but I must say I'm not convinced they are the miracle shoe care that some insist.

I'm sure they go some ways to keep the shape, but absorbing moisture? Not convinced they would work any better then air drying.
Its not about moisture absorption, rather maintaining the shape of the shoe while it dries.
I have a couple of pairs of shoes that are 15-20 years old, they have received a lot of wear, and I very much doubt they would be anywhere near their current condition (structurally, as one has received aweful surface damage), without the aide of shoe-trees.
 

ThomGault

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It would be unnecessary if not useless to buy a shoe tree for a cheap dress shoe, because chances are, they'll wear so quickly you'll never see any positive effect.
This makes little sense to me. If the shoes are of lower quality, it seems to me that the leather would need as much help as possible, and therefore shoe trees would be more necessarily, not less. Quality leather can take abuse and still perform well...that's part of what makes it quality leather.
 

Jake Tough

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This makes little sense to me. If the shoes are of lower quality, it seems to me that the leather would need as much help as possible, and therefore shoe trees would be more necessarily, not less. Quality leather can take abuse and still perform well...that's part of what makes it quality leather.
I don't have enough experience with low quality leather but I do know that they react badly to stretching. You could of course try with a generic shoe tree to maintain their shape and see how it will react but I genuinely think it would be a waste of money to invest in a cedar shoe tree for a low quality shoe.
 

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