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Should I use shoe trees in shell cordovan shoes?

kentuckyboy

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So I just recieved a pair of AE Leeds that I purchased on ebay recently. It is my first pair of shell cordovan shoes, and I seem to recall having heard mixed opinions on the use of shoe trees in such shoes. I did a search and found no definitive answer. So what is the consensus? I have some pictures below. The trees I use are the Johnston + Murphy Washburn (same as the one sold on cedarville), if that matters.



 

knowsnothin

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Originally Posted by kentuckyboy
So I just recieved a pair of AE Leeds that I purchased on ebay recently. It is my first pair of shell cordovan shoes, and I seem to recall having heard mixed opinions on the use of shoe trees in such shoes. I did a search and found no definitive answer. So what is the consensus? I have some pictures below. The trees I use are the Johnston + Murphy Washburn (same as the one sold on cedarville), if that matters.

Use shoe trees.
 

Harold falcon

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luftvier

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Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH
+3

+4 (how long can we keep this going?)
 

bleachboy

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I'd be curious to know what reasons could possibly be given for not using shoe trees with shell cordovan.
 

Joenobody0

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Originally Posted by bleachboy
I'd be curious to know what reasons could possibly be given for not using shoe trees with shell cordovan.

Shell is sort of rubbery so it can stretch out given too large trees. This is especially obvious on unlined shoes. I have a pair of unlined shell loafers which tend to develop a crease if shoe trees are left in for more than a day. It's not a question of sizing since the shoes are 7D and the trees are extra small Alden branded. Fortunately the crease relaxes back to normal after a day or so.
 

patrickBOOTH

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Originally Posted by Joenobody0
Shell is sort of rubbery so it can stretch out given too large trees. This is especially obvious on unlined shoes. I have a pair of unlined shell loafers which tend to develop a crease if shoe trees are left in for more than a day. It's not a question of sizing since the shoes are 7D and the trees are extra small Alden branded. Fortunately the crease relaxes back to normal after a day or so.

My experience shows that shell stretches much less than calf.
 

taxgenius

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Originally Posted by luftvier
+4 (how long can we keep this going?)

+5
 

Joenobody0

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Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH
My experience shows that shell stretches much less than calf.

In my experience it's a different kind of stretch. Shell seems more elastic - it actually snaps back - while calf just expands. I've certainly never had a calf shoe develop a crease on the toe box from split toe shoe trees which are one size too small. This has never happened to a lined shell shoe so it could be due to the missing lining.

In any case, that rubbery stretch is often cited as the reason not to stick shoe trees into warm shell shoes. Alden even mentions it in their care booklet that accompanies shoes. It's never been an issue for me on any of my lined shoes so I don't worry about it.
 

pebblegrain

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Originally Posted by Joenobody0
Shell is sort of rubbery so it can stretch out given too large trees. This is especially obvious on unlined shoes. I have a pair of unlined shell loafers which tend to develop a crease if shoe trees are left in for more than a day. It's not a question of sizing since the shoes are 7D and the trees are extra small Alden branded. Fortunately the crease relaxes back to normal after a day or so.

Well in your example you would have to compare to an unlined leather shoe, which you haven't done.

PS your shoe trees are too big for your size 7 shoes
 

Joenobody0

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Originally Posted by pebblegrain
PS your shoe trees are too big for your size 7 shoes
Do you seriously think an Extra Small shoe tree is too small for the Van last in size 7D? I can fit a Small no problem in 7D Barrie lasted shoes and the volume is similar between these lasts. On Edit: Shoemart lists XS trees as fitting sizes 4.5 wide to 6 medium which agrees with what I was told at Alden in SF (who suggested I go with a Small for 7D Van), so I'd like to hear your reasoning.
 

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