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**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.**

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mr. Moo, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. shoewizz

    shoewizz Well-Known Member

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    Nov 8, 2014

    Adding some more info for Chawk and other shoe-tree noobies:

    Many cedar shoe trees are made by Woodlore. Just by looking at the product catalog, Cedar Elements seems to be a Woodlore rebrand. As is Nordstrom's shoe trees and Allen Edmonds, to name a few popular brands (same goes for many other cedar accessories like tie racks, shoe valets, etc). So when you see these on sale, buy the cheapest pair and ignore the branding.

    Woodlore and its re-brandings make a handful of models. I would highly recommend the ones that Starro mentioned ($19/pair is actually a pretty good price for these). This model is marketed as the "Ultra" by Woodlore.


    They make a more basic model where the handle is part of the heel shape itself. On sale you can find these as cheap as $8-12/pair. But the extra for the brass knob well worth it. Grabbing that little wooden handle is annoying. The heel on the basic model is also a bit thinner, which tips it just into the "too thin" category, and Ive found the quality control on the heel to be poor (not usually well rounded).

    I do not have any personal experience with the "twin turbo" but I know HangerProject.com stopped stocking those altogether after some sort of complaints.

    In terms of an upgrade, I quite like Meermin's shoe tree. It fits the "non-lasted full shoe tree" mentioned by ShoeGazing. However shipping them is not economical. Does anyone have recommendations for something nicer than Woodlore's Ultra but less than $80?
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. M635Guy

    M635Guy Senior member

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    Most of my trees are now Woodlore Ultras, but I think any wood trees are better than nothing. I thought his point about a "flatter" form is a good one too.
     
  3. Chawk806

    Chawk806 Senior member

    Messages:
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    Oct 25, 2015
    Location:
    McDonough GA! (south of Atlanta)
    Thanks Shoewizz~~ I'll check out Nordstrom, Josh A Banks and Allen Edmonds this weekend. As a beginner I have purchased several pre-worn pair of shoes off Ebay but no shoe trees yet. I think that is my first priority for the protection of the shoes and then I'll be off learning how to clean, condition and polish them. Even remove some of the wrinkles on the shoes where that is possible, I know it depends on the type leather.

    I appreciate everyone that has offered tips and suggestions. I have a notebook where I am taking notes.....LOL.

    Thanks again to you all!!
     
  4. starro

    starro Senior member

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    Jan 16, 2016
    While you are waiting for shoe trees to ship, bunched up newspaper is a good substitute. (that way you can still polish and wear the shoes before proper shoe trees arrive)
     
  5. starro

    starro Senior member

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    Thank you. Your link is to the exact shoe trees I was talking about. (Curiously some have the plaque and some don't.) The quality of the cedar is higher than AE or JAB. Very smooth; sanded; stronger aroma; absence of chips, cracks, holes, and other imperfections that characterize the lower grade of trees.

    Thank you for that bit of intel on the "twin turbo". I've seen that configuration, they seem always to be priced slightly above the split toe, so I never tried them. Do they even use springs?

    I'm not sure the Meermin is necessarily an upgrade. One, it's 2x the price of the Cedar Elements, and I highly doubt it's 2x more effective. And two I would argue that a two-piece toe makes for a better fitting non-lasted tree than a solid piece. Also keep in mind the difference between cedar and beech.

    FYI,
    the split toe Cedar Elements are $30 for 2 pairs: https://www.amazon.com/Cedar-Elemen...9571&sr=8-3&keywords=cedar+elements+shoe+tree
    the twin tubes are $36 for 2 pairs: https://www.amazon.com/Cedar-Elemen...9571&sr=8-5&keywords=cedar+elements+shoe+tree

    Allen Edmonds has a lifetime guarantee on their shoe trees, if that means anything to you. If any break on you, you can exchange in store any time.
     
  6. shoewizz

    shoewizz Well-Known Member

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    Nov 8, 2014
    I have always suspected that certainly re-brands, like Nordstrom Rack, have some sort of contract with Woodlore to get lower quality pieces for a better price. I have seen people complain that the basic trees they get from Nordstrom Rack / Jos A Bank have come with large cracks in them.


    Quote: Great price. @Chawk806 this is basically the best price you will find for these. Definitely better than what you will find in-store.
     
  7. starro

    starro Senior member

    Messages:
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    Just throwing it out there, does anyone have a good idea on "filling out" the heels on the AE type shoe trees? I am stuck with a few pairs like those and I want to make their heels the round "Ultra" shapes that can actually fill the shoe. IMO that's their only functional disadvantage relative to the Ultra split toe.

    As more shoe tree trivia come to me, do not buy shoe trees from Nordstrom Rack. I have a pair, and they have very bad quaity: bad springs, mishapen "horizontal" plates that can cause problems, etc.
     
  8. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    New York City
    As long as it is unfinished wood and fills out the ball/vamp area that is all you need.
     
  9. masernaut

    masernaut Senior member

    Messages:
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    Oct 14, 2012
    I own a few of the twin-turbo shoe trees. There is a spring in there, although I find it not as strong as the basic model. The drawback of twin-turbo models is that they don't fit "perfectly." I find the front part too big for some shoes so it doesn't fill the toe area.
     
  10. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You don't have to fill in the toe or heel area. You just have to fill out the vamp.
     
  11. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    Wales, UK
    It's worth noting that spit toe trees are often adjustable, via screws at the sides. These can make a lot of difference in terms of fit. Forever yours, Munky.
     
  12. Chawk806

    Chawk806 Senior member

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    McDonough GA! (south of Atlanta)
    
    Awesome. I'll be online today. Thanks guys
     
  13. Chawk806

    Chawk806 Senior member

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    Location:
    McDonough GA! (south of Atlanta)
    
    Hey I checked the two links at Amazon this morning and they are both very nice. Just need to decide on the size large or XL? My shoes range from a size 11 to size 12. All fit me te same. Would XL be best to ensure a tight fit? Different trees for boots?
     
  14. MansardRoof

    MansardRoof Well-Known Member

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    Mar 24, 2016
    Is there anyone besides Abbeyhorn that makes deer polishing bones?
     
  15. Betelgeuse

    Betelgeuse Senior member

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    Mexico City
    Me too. I'm slowly switching to the shoe tree that really helps to flatten the shoe sole.
     
  16. Betelgeuse

    Betelgeuse Senior member

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    Location:
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    Question. I was watching a video of a Japanese guy and he uses quite a lot of different brushes. But there is one which he uses at the end of the whole process that has some white hairs, I think I saw in a part of the video that is a swine brush. He uses a touch of water and brush the shoe.

    My question is... which brushes do you use? I usually stay with horse hair but then I finish the shoe, I don't brush it cause the hair leaves the mirror shine like some twirls in the shoe.
     
  17. starro

    starro Senior member

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    Jan 16, 2016
    They should have a reference chart that links shoe size to tree size. Does it put you in the L or XL range? If you are between the two ranges, I'd try both. Both are likely to fit your shoes, some a little better than others, so it would really help if you have both sizes to try. For reference, I am 8.5D, but can go +/- half size. Both the M and the S fit well. Bottom line: if you are between sizes, get both for the versatility.
     
  18. Chawk806

    Chawk806 Senior member

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    Location:
    McDonough GA! (south of Atlanta)
    
    Thsnks Starro. I'll place the order today. Awesome[​IMG][​IMG]
     
  19. narcosis219

    narcosis219 Active Member

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    Oct 16, 2016
    

    I believe the Japanese scene uses goat hair brushes with drops of water for post mirror shine brushing. Never tried it myself
     
  20. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    Location:
    Wales, UK
    I use brushes made of hair from a unicorn's neck and drops of angel sweat to bring up a shine. Sincerely yours, M. [​IMG]
     

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