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What is a Shoe Tree and Why Should You Use Them?

Most people are willing to spend a good amount of money on a beautiful pair of high-quality dress shoes. But unfortunately, what usually happens is that people do not put the time and energy into proper shoe care to keep them in good condition. This causes people to have to buy new dress shoes quicker than necessary.

People who don’t have a shoe care routine often find their shoes wrinkly and misshapen. An easy solution to this problem is to use a shoe tree. And no, using cardboard or scrunched-up newspaper is not an acceptable replacement. A proper shoe tree will keep your shoes looking fresh, new, and wrinkle-free, lengthening the shoes’ lifespan. That is why we include a shoe tree with every pair of men’s shoes. So, what exactly is a shoe tree? Read on to find out everything you need to know about the benefits of using a shoe tree.

What is a Shoe Tree?

A shoe tree is a shoe-shaped tool and fits within your dress shoes to keep your shoes in good condition. These shoe inserts look similar to a wooden foot, and they are made of a few parts, including a front that will lift the toe area of the shoe and a heel that will stabilize the back of the shoe. If you think about it, when a high-quality leather shoe is not being worn, the leather will start to wrinkle at the parts that are not being held up. This is the main issue shoe trees aim to solve.

Shoe trees can be made with a few different materials, including plastic and various types of wood. Plastic shoe trees are lighter and less expensive, making them an excellent temporary option for travel. But, wooden shoe trees are essential since they provide better structure for your dress shoes and prevent moisture from building up.  Wooden shoe trees also freshen up the shoes by warding off odor-causing bacteria. 

What Sizes Do Shoe Trees Come In?

Using the correct size shoe tree is essential to the care of your dress shoes. If you get too large of a shoe tree, the shoes will stretch out and become bigger. But if you get a shoe tree that is too small, the shoes may still slightly wrinkle since the shoes will not be well supported. To find the right, make sure the shoe tree easily slips into the shoe, and it fills out the front of the shoe without being able to move around too much. Shoe trees usually fit one to two different shoe sizes. For example, a shoe tree can fit sizes 6 to 7.5, 8 to 9.5, 10 to 22, and so on.

How Do You Use a Shoe Tree?

A shoe tree should be placed into the dress shoes spoon after taking them off. If your shoes are wet from sweat or rain, let them dry off for about an hour before putting the shoe trees in. Then leave them in the shoes for at least 24 hours or until you plan on wearing them again.

To put the shoe trees into your dress shoes, carefully slide the front part of the shoe tree into the shoe. Make sure the front part is as far forward as possible so that the area near the toe gently expands to prevent wrinkles. If the shoe tree does not easily fit inside the shoe, you likely have the wrong-sized shoe tree. Using a shoe tree is very simple, so make sure to take the extra couple of minutes after taking off your shoes and use a shoe tree.

Benefits of Using a Shoe Tree

Shoe trees are an essential part of shoe care, and they can help your dress shoes last much longer. Learn about the main benefits of using a shoe tree below!

Maintain Original Size and Shape

Leather shoes, in general, need more support since they are more malleable than fabric shoes. Even though leather shoes have enough support when they are on your feet, shoe trees are essential for when the shoes are simply sitting in the closet. Having a shoe tree helps the leather stay smooth and wrinkle-free while not wearing them. That way, there won’t be any creases over the top of your shoes.

Not only is having wrinkly shoes unflattering but not using a shoe tree can also alter the shape and size of your shoes. When leather shoes are damp due to sweat or rain, they tend to shrink once dried. The amount the shoes shrink is different for every shoe, but it usually makes them tighter and less comfortable than they originally were. After spending hundreds of dollars on a quality pair of dress shoes, no one wants to suddenly have shoes that are too small.

Make Shoe Polishing Easier

One way to keep your leather shoes looking beautiful is to polish your shoes as part of your shoe care routine. When shoes have creases or are slightly damaged, it can be difficult to polish them. The polish might not be spread evenly over the shoe, and it may even get stuck in the wrinkles. A shoe tree also helps make polishing easier since it holds the leather up, giving you another hand in taking care of your shoes.

Absorb Moisture & Prevent Odors

It is best to use a wooden shoe tree to help air out your leather shoes. A wooden shoe tree will expand the shoes so that the moisture and humidity can leave the shoe. This also helps prevent unwanted odors. Shoe trees should be placed into the shoes within an hour of removing the shoes. Leather shoes also maintain their best shape when they are allowed to dry for a full day after they are worn. Absorbing the sweat and moisture is also important because it will prevent the shoe’s inner lining from rotting and the leather from cracking.


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