When you’ve spent your well earned money on a pair of men’s quality shoes should you go the extra mile and fork out more money on a pair of shoe trees? My answer to this rather depends on what sort of shoe trees they are. And the price of shoe trees can vary tremendously from a few pounds to £50+.
Shoe trees have essentially two roles to play. But in order to do so they must fit the shoe or boot well. A shoe tree’s purpose is partly to maintain the shoes shape and prevent it from curling upwards and therefore also inhibit the development of creases in the upper. But it also makes cleaning and polishing the shoes easier and of course maintaining your shoes should be a pleasurable experience.
The second role of shoe trees is to help absorb perspiration from the linings and insole. To this end I believe that there is little point in having: metal, plastic or highly polished wood trees. The more absorbent the material the better and wood is generally recognized as the perfect material for shoe trees. Of all the woods cedar is the best, being highly absorbent. It also has the added benefit of containing oils which deter certain insects.
My preference is for cedar wood shoe trees in two parts which are sprung at the waist. But don’t just pick up a pair which purport to be the same size as your shoes. You should insert them into your new shoes in the shop and try different models until you find a pair that fit really snugly inside the shoes. But bear in mind that they shouldn’t take so much effort to remove that will give up on using them.