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Best Shoe Trees Reviewed & Rated

last updated Jul 31, 2019

Excellent shoes are an investment. When you buy a pair of quality shoes, it’s important to take steps to protect them and help them last for years. That might mean keeping them clean, avoiding mud puddles and taking the time to shine them. Protecting your shoes also means working to prevent the shoes from creasing, cracking, wrinkling and folding over onto themselves. This is where shoe trees come into play.

Shoe trees help shoes keep their shape and prevent them from becoming misshapen or wrinkled when not in use. Many of them are made of cedar, which further works to keep shoes in good shape by absorbing excess moisture, which can cause mildew as well as unpleasant odors in the shoes. Cedar also provides a fresh, crisp aroma. Other materials of construction may be beech wood and polyurethane plastic.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 17 hrs of research

icon
Original Shoe Tree Comp Cedar
97/100 our score
Durability
98
Ease of Use
96
Materials
97
Value
98
Versatility
96
Original Shoe Tree Comp Cedar
Why is it better?

Made Of Cedar Wood

Center Spring For Light Tension

Included Drawstring Bags

Comes With Two Sets

Ventilation Slot

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Original Shoe Tree Comp Cedar
Test Winner: Original Shoe Tree Comp Cedar
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
15
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
7,500
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
17
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
15
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Mackenzie Jervis
By Mackenzie Jervis:

We've updated our new list to bring you even better options for shoe trees. And don't forget to take a look at our criteria section to help you find the best shoe tree for you.

Sorting Options
Durability Ease of Use Materials Value Versatility By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97
Durability
98 %
Ease of Use
96 %
Materials
97 %
Value
98 %
Versatility
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.10.19)
Amazon Link
$39.99
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.4
Durability
96 %
Ease of Use
95 %
Materials
97 %
Value
94 %
Versatility
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.10.19)
Amazon Link
$38.99
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.4
Durability
92 %
Ease of Use
91 %
Materials
94 %
Value
92 %
Versatility
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.10.19)
Amazon Link
$21.94
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.6
Durability
90 %
Ease of Use
91 %
Materials
92 %
Value
90 %
Versatility
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.10.19)
Amazon Link
$16.99
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Durability
89 %
Ease of Use
90 %
Materials
88 %
Value
87 %
Versatility
86 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.10.19)
Amazon Link
$17.99
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.4
Durability
88 %
Ease of Use
86 %
Materials
85 %
Value
87 %
Versatility
86 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.10.19)
Amazon Link
$33.74
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.4
Durability
84 %
Ease of Use
85 %
Materials
86 %
Value
83 %
Versatility
84 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.10.19)
Amazon Link
$23.99
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.4
Durability
81 %
Ease of Use
80 %
Materials
82 %
Value
83 %
Versatility
81 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.10.19)
Amazon Link
$24.95
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79.2
Durability
80 %
Ease of Use
79 %
Materials
82 %
Value
77 %
Versatility
78 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.10.19)
Amazon Link
$29.95
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76.4
Durability
74 %
Ease of Use
77 %
Materials
76 %
Value
78 %
Versatility
77 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.10.19)
Amazon Link
$20.99

10 Best Shoe Trees

1. Original Shoe Tree Comp Cedar

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97
Original Shoe Tree Comp Cedar
Amazon Link
Durability
98
Ease of Use
96
Materials
97
Value
98
Versatility
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$39.99
Pros:

Made Of Cedar Wood

Center Spring For Light Tension

Included Drawstring Bags

Comes With Two Sets

Ventilation Slot

Cons:

Non-Adjustable Front

Short Overall Length

The Fresh Cedar Shoe Tree & Shoe Bags 2-Pack from The Original Shoe Tree Company is a good deal for anyone who needs two pairs of quality shoe trees. The cedar construction keeps shoes smelling good while reducing moisture in the shoe, and the integrated spring coil gives enough pressure to fill the shoes properly. Two bags offer a convenient storage solution.

Quality cedar construction is the key to this shoe tree. The ventilation slots assist in keeping the shoes dry and odor-free, while the cedar wood gives a nice, crisp smell. These shoe trees come with shoe bags to further protect your shoes. The bag has a divider and drawstring closure and is ideal for protecting shoes while traveling or storing them.

This pair of shoe trees keeps your shoes dry, odor-free, and prevents wrinkles. The shoe bags further serve to protect the shoe, especially while traveling. The quality construction makes these long-lasting.

2. Stratton Cedar

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.4
Stratton Cedar
Amazon Link
Durability
96
Ease of Use
95
Materials
97
Value
94
Versatility
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$38.99
Pros:

Dries And Deodorizes Shoes

Made With Red Cedar

Fits True To Size

Quality Construction

Coil Spring Centerpiece

Cons:

Too Narrow For Some Shoes

Spring Is Not Adjustable

The Stratton Men’s Cedar Shoe Tree is top-rated for a reason. It's quality construction ensures this set of shoe trees will last for years to come. The cedar wood provides a crisp, favorable scent while ridding the shoes of any unpleasant odors. The spring coil centerpiece keeps the shoe stretched enough to keep its shape and prevent wrinkles without over-stretching it.

The high-quality cedar wood used in these shoe trees naturally eliminates moisture in the shoe to prevent bad odors or rot from forming. It also provides a pleasant cedar scent.

A center coil spring gives just enough tension to keep the shoe in its original shape and prevent wrinkles from forming on the exterior. The light spring-loaded technology won't cause over-stretching. This shoe tree is made with premium Red Cedar wood and a high-quality low-tension spring. Both elements keep the shoe in good shape without letting odors or wrinkles from forming.

3. Cherainti Shoe Stretcher

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.4
Cherainti Shoe Stretcher
Amazon Link
Durability
92
Ease of Use
91
Materials
94
Value
92
Versatility
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$21.94
Pros:

Easy To Adjust

3-Way Stretch: Length, Width, And Height

Long-Lasting Construction

Included Shoe Bag

Bunion Plugs

Cons:

No Odor Mitigation

Instructions Not Included

This Shoe Stretcher Women Shoe Tree Widener is made with polyurethane plastic and steel for a more heavy-duty shoe tree that won't deteriorate over time. It also allows for four-way stretching, a unique feature in a shoe tree that can provide value to many users. It also comes with plugs to customize relief associated with bunion, blister or corn pain.

The polyurethane plastic and steel construction is long-lasting and won't break down over time. This also eliminates the possibility of splinters or cracks forming on the shoe trees. This shoe stretcher comes with eight bunion hole plugs and two height stretch pads. These help users to shape their shoes to meet their feet's needs and can help reduce pain.

This shoe stretcher comes with plugs to ease pain and to increase the shoe height. It also stretches in multiple ways to shape the shoe to the user's unique foot. Perfect for those with foot conditions, and for those on a budget.

4. MARZ 2-Way Plastic Shoe

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.6
MARZ 2-Way Plastic Shoe
Amazon Link
Durability
90
Ease of Use
91
Materials
92
Value
90
Versatility
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$16.99
Pros:

Versatile, Fits Multiple Kinds Of Shoes

Included Pressure Relief Pots

Durable Construction

Easy To Use

2-Way Adjustability

Cons:

Does Not Come In Sets

May Not Fit Larger Sizes

The MARZ Products 2-Way Plastic Shoe Stretcher Shaper offers sturdy support for both men's and women's shoes. They adjust length-wise to fit many different sized shoes, as well as width-wise to accommodate shoes and toes of multiple shapes and sizes. The adjusting handle is simple to use and easy to grasp. Pressure relief pods can be inserted to relieve foot pain.

This shoe stretcher is made with polyurethane plastic for a durable construction that doesn't risk splinters or chipping. The steel handle is easy to use, strong and long-lasting.

Four pressure relief pods can be inserted into holes to create space for bunions, corns, blisters, calluses and more. These help to relief localized foot pain due to these ailments. This shoe stretcher helps adjust shoes of many shapes, sizes and styles, from athletic to heels to backless. Steel handle rotates to adjust both length and width, and relief pods help reduce pain.

5. Woodlore Adjustable

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Woodlore Adjustable
Amazon Link
Durability
89
Ease of Use
90
Materials
88
Value
87
Versatility
86
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$17.99
Pros:
  • Simple Use
  • Great Odor Control
  • Quite Durable
  • Easy To Care For
Cons:
  • Not Sold In Sets

The Woodlore Adjustable Shoe Tree Pair is built with high-quality aromatic cedar wood, which will naturally reduce moisture and deodorize the shoe. The cedar will leave shoes smelling fresh. The split-toe design accommodates shoes of varying widths. The tree is also made with a steel center and nylon straps to aid in removing the trees from the shoes.

This shoe tree is made with cedar wood, and at least three-quarters of it is composed of heartwood, which is where the aromatic qualities naturally reside. This will keep shoes smelling fresh. The split-toe design is built to accommodate shoes of many different toe widths — the spreader plate further assists in fitting the shoe tree to any shoe the user might own.

The cedar this shoe tree is constructed of is naturally moisture-wicking, which will keep the shoe dry and free of nasty odors. It also can be adjusted to meet a range of toe widths.

6. Rochester Cedar Western

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.4
Rochester Cedar Western
Amazon Link
Durability
88
Ease of Use
86
Materials
85
Value
87
Versatility
86
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$33.74
Pros:

Eliminates Moisture & Odor

Hinged Construction

High Vamp Maintains Proper Shape

Leather Loop For Easy Removal

Cons:

Not Made To Stretch

Not Ideal For Wider Sizes

The Rochester Cedar Western Boot Tree is ideal for maintaining the shape and quality of boots, preventing wrinkles and slouch marks. Moisture wood absorbs moisture and prevents odors from developing, plus adds a pleasant scent to boots. A leather loop makes it easy to remove trees from boots. A higher-than-average vamp fits taller boots, and the hinged construction makes inserting into boots easier.

Hinged construction and a vamp that's higher than most trees make these ideal for boots. They are easy to insert into taller boots and a leather loop makes them easy to take out. Cedar construction takes in extra moisture built up in the boot to prevent unpleasant odors from forming. The wood also provides a favorable scent to the boots.

These boot trees are built with cedar wood to take out excess moisture, remove bad smells and add a fresh aroma, plus are designed to maintain the original shape of the boot.

7. Houndsbay Cedar

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.4
Houndsbay Cedar
Amazon Link
Durability
84
Ease of Use
85
Materials
86
Value
83
Versatility
84
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$23.99
Pros:

Left & Right Labelled

Cedar

Adjustable

Sturdy

Eco-Friendly

Cons:

Weaker Spring Load

Trouble Pushing Out Creases

Another quality cedar shoe tree on our list is the Houndsbay Cedar. Made from a tantalizing Red Cedar, it will keep shoes smelling great while keeping their form. It’s wide heel and spring-loaded centerpiece help to create a tailored fit specifically for your unique shoes. With an easy inscription on both pieces, you won’t mix up the left or right you’ve already adjusted either.

Designed from Red Cedar tree to help keep moisture at bay, and a pleasant smell in the closet, and your shoes, the Houndsbay Cedar is a sure buy. You can place these in the closet without fear of unpleasant odors clinging to your clothing, and you’ll have dry shoes to step back into the next day. Bonus to Houndsbay on their Eco-Friendly policy as well; they will plant a tree in the US, on your behalf with every purchase.

The left and right pieces are inscribed with just those terms, ‘Left’ and ‘Right,’ to help keep the fit you adjusted for the right foot, making them easy to use, and reuse. A spring loaded center helps to keep the right width of the shoe, while the wide heel in back comes with a comfort hook to help you remove the shoe tree with ease. Slightly more affordable than some found on our list, it’s a bang for your buck. You get cedar quality, ease of use, and quality fit with the Houndsbay Cedar. Plus, with an Eco-Friendly policy which will plant a tree on your behalf with every purchase, this one helps you save the planet in style.

8. Allen Edmonds Combination

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.4
Allen Edmonds Combination
Amazon Link
Durability
81
Ease of Use
80
Materials
82
Value
83
Versatility
81
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$24.95
Pros:

Made With Aromatic Cedar

Split-Toe Design

Dries & Deodorizes Shoes

Wider Heel

Cons:

Wood May Splinter

Difficult To Adjust

The Allen Edmonds Men's Combination Cedar Shoe Tree is designed to maintain shoe shape and help them last longer. The tree keeps them looking sleek and wrinkle-free. The split toe design allows users to adjust the tree to fit their shoes both in length and in toe width. The cedar wood keeps the shoes smelling fresh, eliminating moisture and preventing odors.

The adjustable split-toe design allows users to manipulate the width of the front of the shoe tree to fit the toes of their shoes. This helps keep shoes of varying widths stay looking fresh.

Both pieces of this shoe tree are made of cedar, which naturally works to reduce moisture and odors. The quality cedar wood also offers a fresh scent to shoes. These high-quality shoe trees are constructed with fresh-smelling cedar wood and an adjustable center rod to allow users to fit the tree to their shoes. A split-toe design fits multiple widths.

9. FootFitter Premium

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79.2
FootFitter Premium
Amazon Link
Durability
80
Ease of Use
79
Materials
82
Value
77
Versatility
78
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$29.95
Pros:

Included Pressure Relief Pods

Adjustable

Affordable

2-Way Stretch

Cons:

Rod Can Strip If You Use Too Much Force

The FootFitter Premium Professional 2-Way Shoe Stretcher is designed to stretch both the length and the width of shoes. The stretcher is made of German beech wood that has been polished and crafted into an attractive shoe stretcher. It comes with three pressure relief pods that can be inserted into many different holes for customizable relief for bunion, blister or corn pain.

Pressure relief pods can help stretch shoes according to unique foot needs, such as bunions, corns, blisters and more. This stretcher has many holes to make stretching even more customizable.

Easy to use adjuster lets users turn the handle to adjust the length or width of the shoe stretcher. This makes it ideal for shoes of varying widths, lengths, and styles, and locks in your specific fit requirements, tailored to your needs. These beech wood shoe stretchers are easy to use and come with three pressure relief pods which can be inserted into user's choice of multiple different holes for customized relief. Ideal for those with sensitive feet, bunions, or other foot issues. A great addition to any closet!

10. Ollieroo Adjustable Cedar

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76.4
Ollieroo Adjustable Cedar
Amazon Link
Durability
74
Ease of Use
77
Materials
76
Value
78
Versatility
77
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$20.99
Pros:
  • Adjustable
  • Cedar
  • Added Ventilation
  • Brass Plated
Cons:
  • Size Down For Wide Widths
  • Length Varies To Shoe Size

Last on our list is the Ollieroo Adjustable Cedar, another perfect option to help wick away moisture from a long day on your feet, and plenty of structural support to keep your shoes in perfect form. With added ventilation slots in the toe to help keep dry feet in the forefront of the design, they are also adjustable to size or stretch for your unique foot shape.

A zinc alloy helps maintain the integrity of the shoe tree while spring-loaded adjustments allow you to widen and lengthen the shoe to suit your needs. Steel tubes which are brass plated provide structural stability, making sure tight shoes become looser when you need them to. And with an easy handle to help pull them out, they are simple to use!

Cedar is known for its moisture-wicking capability in shoe trees, but the Ollieroo Adjustable also comes with three ventilation found in each toe. These add additional functionality to help keep the inside of your shoes clean and dry and prevent any sort of bacterial growth from damp insoles or linings. Averagely priced when compared to many of those found on our list, is another solid purchase, especially for those whose feet may perspire more than others. With its ventilation and cedar design, these will keep your treasured pair of shoes dry for their next full day of wear.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Durability

When properly cared for, a high-quality shoe tree will last you a very long time. On the surface, durability may not seem very important when it comes to shoe trees, but it plays a large role in overall value and whether or not you feel a particular tree is worth purchasing. One of the biggest aspects that play into durability is the material used in the shoe trees.

Shoe trees are typically made of either wood or plastic. Each material has its pros and cons, and You have to consider what is most important to you when deciding on material.

  • Wood: Wood is the most common material used in shoe trees. It’s semi-porous which allows it to absorb moisture and odors to a certain degree, and some variants of wood such as cedar leave a fresh fragrance in the shoe. Wood is the most durable material for shoe trees, and unless it comes in contact with a lot of moisture, it will resist warping and cracking. Care for them is minimal; store them in a dry place when not in use, and sand them a little from time to time.
  • Plastic: Depending on the build quality, plastic shoe trees can either be more or less durable than their wooden counterparts. Plastic is sometimes preferred over wood because it is often less expensive, doesn’t require sanding, and isn’t sensitive to moisture. Thinner plastics will be more likely to crack or even break over time, while thicker plastics will be more likely to hold up to regular use and abuse.
  • Ease of Use

    Adjustable shoe trees are typically adapted to different sizes and foot requirements by way of a handle on the back that is turned. The handle may be turned one way to adjust for length and another way for width, or a combination of a handle and a knob might manipulate different dimensions of the stretch.

    Regardless of the method of stretching, it’s important that the adjustability function is easy to understand. Some shoe trees are difficult to figure out and the package lacks instructions. Users may be able to find instructions online or spend time getting to know the instrument to figure out how the functions work, but in these cases, it does present an obstacle that customers have to overcome.

    In addition to ease of use and understandability, it’s important that the adjustable features work effectively. Poorly chosen materials of construction, like a weak metal for the center rod that dents, can prevent users from adjusting the shoe trees to their needs. If the rods become dented or the blocks begin to chip or splinter, it can be more difficult to adjust.

    Further, when pressure relief pods are an important aspect of the shoe tree or shoe stretcher, it’s important that the holes are designed to hold the pods. If the pods fall out due to the holes being too large or are difficult to insert because the holes are too small, the pressure relieving parts are difficult or impossible to use.

    Materials

    When choosing the right shoe tree for your shoes’ needs, it’s important to carefully think about materials of construction. Different materials are better suited to different needs.

    Cedar shoe trees are best for people who are looking to keep their shoe shape maintained and to eliminate odors. Cedarwood naturally absorbs moisture, which is the main cause behind bad smells in the shoe. Perspiration and dampness due to other factors are taken in by the cedar wood and evaporates. The cedar wood also lends a pleasant, crisp scent. With a high-quality cedar construction, the shoe is filled fully while not in use, which helps to maintain the original shape and prevent wrinkles, creases or folding.

    Plastic shoe trees often are made to stretch shoes to accommodate various foot needs. They can often stretch the width of the shoe, particularly in the toe area, as well as the length and sometimes the height. Plastic, typically polyurethane, is long-lasting and doesn’t come with a risk of splinters or warping.

    Shoe trees that are built to adjust to length or width are often constructed with a steel or brass rod which can lengthen or shorten according to size. It’s important that this is also made of quality metal. Poorly constructed rods can prevent the adjustability of the shoe tree, defeating the purpose altogether.

    Value

    You’ve probably noticed that with each product on our list, we took some time to discuss the cost and value comparisons for them. Value is difficult to quantify as it is Often determined by a combination of other factors. When we determined the value for the products on our list, we Not only considered what the shoe trees offer, but we also looked at the price, as well as the prices of other shoe trees on the market.

    So what does good value entail in regards to shoe trees? First off, you don’t want to break the bank. While high-quality products often come with a price tag to match, you can still find good products at a reasonable price. It doesn’t matter if a shoe tree has everything you need if you can’t afford it. You also want to look at effectiveness. How long does it take for the trees to give you the desired effect? Do they properly shape your shoes? How about odor And moisture reduction? Another big thing to consider is durability. An expensive product with limited durability will have significantly less value than a cheaper product that lasts a long time.

    Value is subjective, and how you determine it will depend on your own needs. We made it a point to provide as much information as we can to make this decision easier on you. This way you can consider your own needs and make the right purchase.

    Versatility

    Everyone’s feet are different. Beyond countless foot sizes and shapes, different people also have varying needs in terms of relief from specific types and causes of pain. Shoe trees need to be able to fit different shoe styles that are worn by people who have unique needs in terms of foot care. To that end, shoe trees that are adjustable may be the most versatile.

    Adjustability can be found in many different ways. Some shoe trees only adjust according to length, and for people who have few needs in terms of stretching or manipulating shoes to relieve pain, this may be enough for them.

    Other shoe trees can adjust the width as well. This is often associated with a split-toe design, as a full-toe design can’t be widened or slimmed down because the toe piece is a solitary, solid block. However, not all split-toe designs are easily adjustable. As such, it’s important to determine ahead of purchasing if the shoe tree can easily be widened to meet the needs of wider shoes.

    One more important part of adjustability is the ability to stretch shoes to accommodate bunions, corns, or other specific forms of foot pain. This is done through the use of insertable and removable pressure relief pods. These can be used by fitting them into pre-drilled holes in the side of the toe block. Some shoe trees only come with a handful of holes into which pods can be fitted, while others have more than a dozen. However, a shoe tree or shoe stretcher that doesn’t come with pods (or even holes) won’t be able to easily provide this relief.

    Expert Interviews & Opinions

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    expert tips icon
    Why Shoe Trees?

    Not only does a shoe tree help to stretch or keep the shape of your favorite pair of footwear, but they can also help minimize wetness and odor in the shoe itself. Shoe trees made from cedar have natural moisture-wicking properties to do just that!

    Shoe Trees For Boots

    While you can try and use a shoe tree for helping to keep the shape of your boots as well, you may find it difficult to get them in and out of the boot.
    But not to worry! There are brands available that make special boot stretchers, which have a long handle for the shaft of the boot. This can help you keep the shape of the boot's toe and heel, while making it easier to get the shoe tree in and out of the boot.

    Other Factors to Consider

    Bottom Line

    Keeping your shoes looking fresh helps them last longer, thus serving to protect your investment in quality footwear. One important aspect of preserving your shoes' top qualities is maintaining their shape and style with shoe trees. The right design of construction can also work to relieve pain by stretching shoes to fit the user's unique foot shape and requirements. Split-toe designs can typically adjust width-wise to suit feet and toes of multiple widths. This can help people with wide feet achieve a more comfortable fit. Additionally, shoe stretchers that come with holes in the sides to accommodate pressure relief pods can further increase comfort. Simply secure the pods into the holes that most closely correspond to pain due to bunions, corns, blisters or other specific and localized sources of discomfort. Then, insert the stretcher into the foot to work their magic. Keeping your shoes in their best condition as well as ensuring they're adjusted to your unique foot begins with the right style of shoe tree or stretcher. Use this list to identify which will meet your needs best.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    q: Why do I need shoe trees?

    a:

    Shoe trees help to maintain the shape of your shoes. Without them, shoes might sag, fold or collapse, which can cause wrinkles, creases and unsightly seams.

    Shoe trees that are built to stretch shoes have another important function: Helping to adjust shoes to match their owners’ unique foot needs. They may stretch them longer, wider or higher, depending on the type of shoe tree or shoe stretcher selected. They can also stretch according to painful foot maladies, like bunions, corns or blisters.

    For people who tend to have smelly feet and shoes, shoe trees constructed with cedar can also work to keep shoes smelling nice. These trees do this through cedar wood’s natural absorbent qualities that take in excess moisture, an action that helps to prevent odors, as well as offering a nice cedar smell.

    q: What should I look for in a shoe tree?

    a:

    This all depends on what you need the shoe tree for. If you need a shoe tree to maintain the shoe shape, you should look for one that has quality construction. You may not have to worry about adjustability if you’re only looking to maintain a shoe shape. For this, you will need to seek out a shoe tree that fits your shoes perfectly. Often, a spring-loaded coil spring in the center of the shoe allows the shoe tree to lightly stretch the shoe, but not stretch them out in a way that changes the shape or size. However, the gentle tension helps to fill the shoes and keep their shape.

    If you’re looking for a shoe tree that can widen or length a shoe, or provide relief in select areas where bunions, corns or other issues are causing pain, you should look for a shoe tree that has excellent adjusting features. Some can be widened to help a person who has wider feet fit into his or her shoes. Pressure relief pods are good for mitigating localized pain.

    q: Cedar, plastic, or beech: which is best?

    a:

    If you’re looking for a shoe tree that keeps your shoes smelling fresh, cedar is the way to go. Aromatic cedar smells nice and this type of wood is naturally absorbent. This serves to soak up some moisture that may be in the shoe due to sweat or slight dampness, but likely won’t be enough to dry out completely soaked shoes. Because the cedar absorbs some moisture, shoe trees made of this wood are also excellent at preventing odors from forming. Beechwood can also make for a quality shoe tree, but might still pose a risk of splinters and won’t provide the pleasant aroma that cedar will.

    If you’re looking for a long-lasting, low-maintenance shoe tree that has multiple types of adjustability, plastic may be a better option. These shoe trees won’t splinter or need to be sanded down. Plastic shoe trees are also very lightweight in comparison to wood, making them good for traveling with.

    Some shoe trees are specifically designed for traveling. Most of them are made of plastic, and will often weigh significantly less than standard shoe trees, sometimes by as much as 80%. While not as strong as regular shoe trees, ones made for travel are great for maintaining the proper shape of your shoes when you’re away for a while.

    q: How do I properly clean and care for my trees?

    a:

    Proper cleaning and maintenance are very important if you want to keep your shoe trees in good condition for a long time. Different materials will require different care to keep them in top form.

    Natural shoe trees may need to be sanded after a while to keep the surface smooth and to reduce the likelihood of them splintering. For most natural trees this only needs to be done once a year. It’s best to use fine sandpaper for this, preferably 200 grit or higher. Plastic shoe trees are typically low-maintenance; they don’t require regular sanding, and you can keep them clean by simply using a damp cloth.

    In the event your shoes get wet, either put them on their side or stuff them with newspaper until fully dry. Under no circumstances should you put in the shoe trees before they are dry; this can cause problems with accurate fit, and can damage them depending on how much moisture is still in the shoe.