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Shoe trees

Fanthom

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Hi.

Should one leave the shoe trees in the shoes at all times when not using the shoes, or should they be removed after a while avoid extensive streching of the shoes?

I have been given both types of advice from sales persons, and would like to hear any opinions.

Marcus
 

PeterMetro

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If your shoe trees are actively stretching your shoes, you need to get new shoe trees. Ideally, your shoe trees should approximate the size and shape of your foot, and should return your shoes to its original shape. If this is the case, there shoudl be no harm in leaving your shoe trees in indefinitely.
 

Stu

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I leave mine in all the time and find it preserves the heel and toe very well. My main business shoes are a pair of modest Bostonian wingtips . I would replace them with something more upscale, say a pair of Churchs or Ferragamos, but they look really nice because I keep them in shoe trees and take them in to a cobbler for a nice polish and cleaning every month. They are pushing 7 years old and I've never had to think about replacing them.
Keep your shoes in the trees and clean them often and you will find they last a long time. At least that's my experience.
 

bengal-stripe

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The raison d'etre for shoetrees is to prevent your shoes, after wear, turning heavenward at both ends and looking like a piece of dried-up toast. They are shoe straighteners not shoe stretchers (different animal altogether). Once your shoes have dried and straightened out, after let's say 48 hours, there is no necessity to keep them on shoetrees until they have been worn again. Although it's nice to have, you don't need to have a pair of trees for every pair of shoes.

There is one bone of contention between European and American makers of shoetrees. European trees are made of hardwood (usually beech) and lacquered; American trees are made of softwood (usually cedar) and left raw (Although in the past they were made from lacquered maple). I have seen it claimed that raw cedar, if left in for long periods, has a tendency to dry out the leather; i.e. they are very good at absorbing the foot moisture but then they go on absorbing and absorbing. This problem apparently does not occur with hardwood shoetrees.

I don't know if this is true or just mud slung from one manufacturer to his competitors. Most of my shoetrees are hardwood (Chinese, they were the cheapest) and the few cedar trees I have I keep for shell cordovan shoes. (They've gotten so much fat in the tanning process; I believe you can't get them to dry out.) Alternatively, if you keep your shoes on cedar over long periods, give them a good coating with leather balm (leather food) from time to time.
 
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I didn't want to start a new thread for my silly question:

I just bought Nordstrom shoe trees - one side is rounded and the other is straight, basically. Should the rounded part of the shoe tree be on the inside or outside of the shoe? It was a busy day at the store and I just wanted to make sure that they were inserted correctly. Thanks.
 

B1FF

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I don't know what Nordstrom shoe trees look like, but usually the round(er/est) part is on the outside of the shoe.
 
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Hi B1FF,

They look roughly like the shoe trees at 6:33 in this video:


Is that still right, with the rounder part on the outside?
 

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