Shoetrees

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by imageWIS, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    On the Lobb thread someone mentioned that you are supposed to leave cedar shoetrees in for 3 days max, because it will dry the moisture in the shoe. Is this true? I have cedar shoetrees from BB and leave them in my shoes when not in use. Should I only put them on the shoes after wearing them and take them out after 2-3 days?

    Jon.
     
  2. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    Depends on where you live, is what I've heard. In a humid environment, it is recommended you leave the trees in. In a dry area, I've heard you might consider taking them out. Laquered wood would obviously not cause any of the drying concerns that cedar does.

    Personally, I don't see how cedar could suck moisture out of the leather itself. Seems like it just sucks the moisture out of the surface of the leather that your feet has deposited there.
     
  3. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    I have been keeping Woodlore cedar trees in all my better shoes continuously for several years with no discernible ill effects, but I would be receptive to any rational arguments why I should not do so.
     
  4. kabert

    kabert Senior member

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    Sounds like malarky to me....

    I've never heard such a thing. As compared to the air in one's closet (assuming no shoe trees and 50% humidity), why would shoe trees actually speed up the drying of leather? I'm just trying to think through how such a thing would be possible.

    My father has shoes dating to the late 1960s in his closet that he still wears. He has stored them with shoe trees in every single pair when not in use for as long as I can remember. I don't know if they are cedar, but ... hey, whatever. Why would Woodlore, etc. sell cedar shoes trees if it's going to ruin shoes. Doesn't make sense IMO.
     
  5. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    Capillary action.

    I've heard this, and thought this, but seriously. The humidity in the wood is not going to be much less than that of the air. I rotate trees as I don't have enough of them.
     
  6. StevenRocks

    StevenRocks Senior member

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    I put trees in all my shoes all the time, and I think the moisture absorption is continuous.  It must work, because all my shoes look good as new, even the ones from several years ago.
     
  7. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Senior member

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    Chalk up another "vote" for trees in all the time. But I reside in one of the previously mentioned humid environments, so any concern about over drying would be moot.
     
  8. mussel

    mussel Senior member

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    This is the nth times I read about not to leave cedar shoe trees in all the time. It has some merits.

    Yes, the absorption is continuous. But it's not like the trees will suck all moisture out of the leather. It all depends on where you live and time of the year. Northeastern & Midwestern winters have very low humidity, especially with the indoor heat. so I think it's a good idea not to leave them in all the time. I left them in a pair of Allen Edmonds for about a month one winter, and I noticed the upper and the soles were noticeably drier and stiffer. I restored them by conditioning them and put them in a steamy bathroom for about an hour. If you live in the South, I guess it's not big deal to leave them in all the time.

    The most crucial moment is when you take off your shoes, you must insert the trees immediately. After all the excess mositure is gone and shape retained, you can take out the shoe trees.
     
  9. wja

    wja Well-Known Member

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    I have just pulled out a little folder which came with my Alden Cordovan shoes. Among other things it says:"It is best to let shoes cool down after wearing before inserting shoe trees." [​IMG]
     
  10. kabert

    kabert Senior member

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    I'm going to see what the Vass book has to say about this when I get home. BTW, I just ordered 4 more pairs of Woodlore cedar shoe trees from "Clothing Broker" on Ebay -- $14.95 each. Thanks for the reminder.
     
  11. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    Since I live in South Florida and its ALWAYS humid, I think I will leave the shoetrees in whilst the shoes are in stowage. Actually, I have more shoetrees than shoes, because BB had a sale and I bought several extra pairs in case I needed them for future shoe purchases, alas no other shoes have been purchased...yet.

    Jon.
     
  12. ernest

    ernest Senior member

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    The question is not if you must put tree all the time you do not wear your shoes = OBVIOUSLY the reply is YES

    The question is if Cedar should be exchanged against a simple wooden tree after a few days.
     
  13. boston

    boston Senior member

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    I think having shoe trees in shoes all the time is overkill.

    I put cedar shoe trees in my shoes when I take them off. I take them out the next day when I need to put them in a new pair of shoes. Thus, I only have one pair of shoe trees that I rotate between shoes. I've done this for a decade, and my shoes are fine.

    That said, I think if you leave your shoe trees in shoes all the time it's fine too. The most important thing is to rotate what you wear, put the tree in after use, and shine/condition regularly.

    -boston
     

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