Best Shoe Trees
Ever felt drained after a really long day of work? Like you just don’t have it in you to carry on anymore and want to jump in your bed and never wake up again. Getting through days like these can be tough if you don’t have a strong support system for yourself.
Now before you start getting all sad and emotional, let me just say I was talking about your shoes and the way they must feel after a long day. Let me also say that the support system for shoes are shoe trees and that is what we are really going to focus on today.
Do Shoe Trees Really Work?
Shoe trees are solid wooden structures that are more of a pat on the back for your shoes after a long hard day of work. They are shaped like a human foot and fit inside a shoe to preserve its shape and prevent it from developing creases.
Now, using a shoe tree not only realigns your shoe back in shape but also helps dry out any moisture or odor your feet leave behind. This makes sure they don’t rot from the inside and the leather lining is preserved for longer.
While they may seem like fancy devices for the rich, they are absolutely essential for retaining the life of your shoes, and investing in a pair will definitely save you a lot of money you would otherwise invest in getting your shoes repaired later on or just buying new ones when the current ones die an early death.
Now that I have, or at least would like to think that I have, established the importance of shoe trees, let’s talk about some cool brands so that you can decide which one suits you the best.
Best Shoe Trees Overall: Eachway Stretcher Shoe Trees
I think the name Eachway makes it quite obvious and I don’t need to talk about it anymore, but let’s just do it for the sake of this review. This durable plastic Shoe Tree, although available in small, medium, and large sizes, is super-adjustable can be stretched or contracted in all four directions.
With this ‘Eachway’ adjustability, there would be hardly any shoe its plastic jaws would not be able to fit in. The build quality is strong and the way they look, I’m pretty sure they’ll be able to take a good amount of beating before breaking down.
Eachway sells these shoe trees in pairs, and they come with a few accessories which help focus the pressure on specific parts of the shoe. The packaging is also very fancy as each pair comes with a canvas shoe bag. While I haven’t personally checked it for every shoe type, I’ve seen it work well for most leather and suede shoes.
The usage is also very easy as you just have to fix the stretcher inside the shoe and turn the hook clockwise until you are set at the desired width and length. Leaving it in for a day or two on the maximum pull can work fine if you want to stretch the shoes a bit.
I would also suggest that you may want to use a shoe stretcher spray, if that is the case, and I have actually written an article on the best shoe stretcher spray. Otherwise, just turn the hook only until the shoes are supported but do not overdo it with the pressure.
Another good thing about this shoe tree system is that the company offers a 100% money-back guarantee if the product leaves you unsatisfied. The only thing I’d be concerned about before buying this a pair is that it is made from plastic and might not be able to give your shoes the magic feel wooden trees do. Otherwise, I don’t think there’s a reason to not get a pair.
Best Cedar Shoe Trees: Stratton 2 Pack Shoe Trees
While this should not be much of an issue when selecting Shoe Trees, I must say I’m a little biased towards getting wooden ones. The Stratton shoe trees are made out of fine, U.S. grown Cedarwood, which means that there is no compromise on the strength of the material, and if used carefully, they can easily last a solid 10 or 20 years.
Stratton shoe trees are not as adjustable as the Eachway ones but they do come with an integrated spring coil centerpiece which allows them to contract and tightly fit in shoes, providing them with just the right amount of tension. This slight pressure on the shoes makes them stay in place and hold their length. Also, the back of the shoe tree includes a grab-notch which makes it easy to add or remove from the shoe.
Coming back to its wooden structure, since Cedar wood is known for its aromatic qualities, this shoe tree specifically helps with that and absorbs most of the moisture and odor from the shoes. The two vented slots at the top let air pass, hence letting the shoe breath.
The overall look and feel of this shoe tree are elegant and the golden fittings really stand out. One problem though is that the shape is designed particularly for men’s formal shoes and can not be used elsewhere. But then again, the premium look can make it the best gift you can get for ‘your’ man.
Best Shoe Trees for Allen Edmonds: Allen Edmonds Shoe Trees
Allen Edmonds! You don’t need anyone’s assurance before trusting this brand name. They’ve been in the shoemaking industry for almost a century now, and have been ruling the market for obvious reasons. But let’s just not get distracted with how good their shoes are, and talk about their shoe trees this time.
They have a wide range in their shoe trees as well, but this one is their Cedar Wood Shoe Tree with a Split toe design. Thanks to the split toe, this one can fit multiple shoe widths. But that is not all there is to them. The Cedar Wood, again, with its magical odor-absorbing qualities takes up everything smelly, and the cut between the toes lets fresh air pass through.
I have personally seen the fresh scent of Cedar fade away after a while but that is not an issue at all. Just grab a piece of sandpaper and sand away a layer. You’ll get back what you lost in a minute. This pair is quite stiff though and does not include a spring to adjust the tension. This might over-strain or under-strain your shoes but as long as you order the right size, there is nothing to worry about.
Considering how strong their brand name has become over the years, Allen Edmonds Shoe Trees are also a bit overpriced but worth every penny.
Best Shoe Trees for Dress Shoes: Stratton Cedar Shoe Tree
My dress shoes have always given me the elegance I deserve but I wasn’t expecting any from a pair of shoe trees until I came across this one. The Stratton Men’s Cedar Shoe Trees are easily one of the best and this is not just me making huge claims, this is the common consensus of the market. The construction is very strong and if you buy one now, you might never need to buy another one. That is how durable it is.
The air-vents on the front, let fresh air pass through the shoe while the Cedarwood provides a natural crisp scent to the shoe. The spring coil centerpiece provides a constant tension to the inside of the shoemaking the leather stretched and hence preventing any wrinkles. The spring is designed smartly and provides just the right amount of pressure without over or under stretching the surface.
I really love how the heels are designed extra carefully and provide a smooth push to the back of the shoe. The curved hook-like structure evenly spreads out the pressure while also giving a place to easily grab the tree when placing or removing from the shoe. While the functionality of this product is just right, I can say for sure that it won me with its aesthetics.
Best Shoe Trees for Ferragamo: Houndsbay Shoe Tree with Wide Heel
This one again is a Cedar Wood Shoe Tree by Houndsbay. I won’t get into how cool Cedar Wood is again (you know I love it), but trust me there are a thousand more reasons you should get this Shoe Tree by Houndsbay.
Just to get you started down this path, Houndsbay promises to plant a real tree for each shoe tree sold, which means that buying this will not only save your shoes but will also help save the planet. I don’t know if this should have been relevant here but it is what it is! Secondly, I just love how they have made separate units for the left and right shoes and designed each one according to the natural shape of the specific foot.
The split-toe design again adjusts to multiple widths and the included spring makes this adjustability even more versatile. This means that even if your dad bought this shoe tree for himself, you will be able to successfully use it for your own shoes. I was completely blown away by the fact that how Houndsbay has given extra attention to the heel of this shoe. The hooked design not only preserves the back of the shoe but also allows for easy entry and removal from the shoe.
This red little environment-friendly piece of wood comes with a split-toe design that opens inside the shoe and creates a snug fit. I’d easily count on this pair of Shoe Trees by Houndsbay to kill the wrinkles on my shoes and refreshen their odor.
Best Shoe Trees for Sneakers: Reshoevn8r Sneaker Shoe Trees
Too much of leather and cedar! Now let’s talk about some plastic trees! The Reshoevn8r Shoe Trees are made out of sturdy plastic and steel and have a dark black look. According to Reshoevn8r, these shoe trees are designed for sneakers in particular but in my experience, they work equally well for almost all shoe types. What’s even better is that they don’t discriminate on gender and unlike the wooden ones, can be used on both men’s shoes and women’s.
The plastic and steel combo is fully adjustable in length but cannot change its width at all. Also, there isn’t any built-in spring and you’d have to adjust the pressure on your own by messing around with the scale-like adjustment panel. You can also collapse the length completely and fit it inside a bag or something for traveling.
What I really liked about these plastic trees was, that unlike the wooden ones, you can leave these on when washing your shoes without any worries. Washing with these on will make your sneakers or sports shoes or whatever shoes for that matter not shrink and they will still fit you in case something goes wrong during the wash.
Best Shoe Trees for Boots: OneDone Folding Boot Shaper
Not really sure if I should place this one here but this folding Boot Shaper by OneDone is an interesting gadget and I just couldn’t leave it out. I’ve always been looking for something to keep my long leather boots from sagging and this was probably the best solution for them.
This foldable boot shaper stands right into the boots and holds the leather part above the foot section in place. The design seemed pretty convenient to use to me as I could just slip it in and it would hold the leather in place. There are no springs or handles although to hold the length tightly which would have been a highly useful addition.
The complete legs of the holder are split in two and can be held and locked in half. What this does is that it firstly saves space when not in use, and secondly makes it useful for shorter boots as well. This doubles the value of money and makes it even more valuable for broke people like myself. There is also a small loop attached to the top which allows it to be hung on a hook when not in use. This way you won’t lose it when you need it the most.
Just to make things clear, this does not include anything to stretch your boots or absorb their odor or moisture. This is just a handle that provides rigid support to long boots so that the leather does not get wrinkled from getting folded when standing.
Best Cheap Shoe Trees: Erioctry Shoe Trees
Have you ever seen small plastic shovels? The one grandma’s use for kitchen gardening? Flip it over and you have this shoe tree by Erioctry. Quite honestly, Erioctry hasn’t spent much time working on the looks of their design, yet the usability tells a completely different story.
This cheap shoe tree by Erioctry is made out of plastic and steel and is completely adjustable in terms of length. The best thing about this one is that you can collapse the structure and fold it to fit your pocket. The toe and heel area both are pretty strong and the small holes on the top let the moisture from the shoes easily escape.
Interestingly, the plastic part is stronger than the metal part yet both of them have an overall stronghold and are able to manage almost all shoe types. Also, since most of the body is plastic and the steel is stainless, you can easily wash it after using it for some time.
Before trying this one out, I had already used a couple of other shoe trees and comparatively speaking, I was not impressed by this one. But then again, considering how cheap it is, it is probably designed to be this way. I only use this one when no other shoe tree is available and it almost always does the job just fine.
Best Women’s Shoe Trees: Woodlore Women’s Adjustable Shoe Trees
Ah. Finally, something for the women out there. Woodlore is also a division of the renowned Allen Edmonds brand but operates separately in shoe trees. This Woodlore Shoe tree for women is made out of pure American Cedar Wood and works wonders for ladies’ dress shoes and loafers. The Cedar naturally absorbs all kinds of odors from the shoes and refreshes the shoe with its own scent.
The split-toe design and the springy metal rod in between the head and the tail parts allow the tree to fit multiple shoe widths and apply a decent amount of pressure to the shoe. This pressure makes the leather stretched and prevents wrinkles. There is a handy nylon strap attached to the heel which can be used to hang the tree from a hook when not in use.
One thing I’d give it to them is that Woodlore knows how to market its products quite well. It allows the golden logo plate attached to the heel part of the tree to be customized by the initials of the buyer on an additional price of $5.
After getting to know this for a fact, I’m not sure if I even need the tree itself or just want to see how my initials look on that golden plate. Woodlore is also a bit on the environmental-friendly side since their packaging is both recycled and recyclable.
Best Men’s Shoe Trees Florsheim Woodard Cedar Shoe Tree
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get over the aroma of some fresh Cedar and I’m afraid these Cedar Wood Shoe Trees are making my addiction even worse. Florsheim’s Woodard Cedar Shoe Tree also falls in the affordable range and offers the same cool features.
It has a split-toe structure with a small cavity at the bottom. This cavity lets the tree to be folded when not in use. A golden metal rod with a built-in spring connects the head to the heel which is also a finely designed piece of Cedarwood. The wood is grown and crafted in the U.S. which means that there is no compromise on the quality.
The pair I bought was worn out after almost a year and the Cedar lost its freshness but sanding it with sandpaper brought out another layer of freshness and then another and another. It has been more than 5 years now and I still don’t feel like replacing them.
The tree is designed specifically for men’s shoes considering the shape of their formal leather shoes. The spring applies a nice amount of pressure on both the head and the heel and hence keeps the leather in place. Leaving your shoes with this tree overnight ensures that no moisture or odor is left and you wake up with completely fresh shoes in the morning.