12 Best Shoe Trees in 2017
As a child, you may have wondered what a shoe tree was, and some adults are still puzzled by the word today. It’s not a magical tree where new shoes grow, but a device made to keep your shoes in shape. We mean that literally, as they can keep leather loafers looking new years after you purchase them.
You might think that searching for the best shoe trees is an easy task, but you would be mistaken. They can actually be made from different types of materials and can be ventilated, Combination or come with heel hooks. In other words, there is a lot more to consider than wood or plastic so we’ve put together a guide to help you along.
Table of Contents
- Top 12 Shoe Trees Comparison Chart
- Do You Need Shoe Trees?
- Combination vs. Solid Toe
- Materials Used
- Top 5 Best Shoe Trees Reviews
Top 12 Shoe Trees Comparison Chart
|Design||Name||Full or Combination Toe||Material||Rating (1-5)|
|1. STRATTON MEN’S CEDAR SHOE TREE||Both||Cedar||4.8|
|2. Strauss Heritage Red Cedar Adjustable Twin Tube Shoe Tree with Shoe Horn||Combination||Cedar||4.6|
|3. WOODLORE MEN’S ADJUSTABLE SHOE TREE||Combination||Cedar||4.6|
|4. Florsheim Men’s Woodard Cedar Shoe Tree||Combination||Cedar||4.5|
|5. HoundsBay Men’s Cedar Shoe Tree||Combination||Cedar||4.5|
|6. Allen Edmonds Men’s Full Toe Cedar Shoe Tree||Full||Cedar||4.5|
|7. FootFitter Travel Shoe Tree For Men||Full||Plastic||4.4|
|8. Moneysworth & Best Men’s Red Cedar Shoe Trees||Combination||Cedar||4.3|
|9. Ollieroo Men’s Twin Tube Adjustable Red Cedar Wood Shoe Trees US Size||Combination||Cedar||4.2|
|10. Men’s Keep Shape Shoe Tree 4 Pairs||Full||Plastic||4.0|
|11. Wood Shoe Trees for Women||Full||Wood||4.0|
|12. Adjustable Keep Shape Shoe Trees with Tension Spring Coil for Men||Full||Plastic||4.0|
Do You Need Shoe Trees?
If you are reading this article, you are considering purchasing shoe trees, and it could be your first time. If you own a high-end pair of leather shoes and are on the fence about picking up a set, you simply need to go for it. A shoe tree will help keep your favorite pair of leather shoes in shape for years but can do oh so much more than that.
Feet sweat and leather is not known to be forgiving when it comes to ventilation. If you’ve ever worn dress shoes in 90-degree heat, you know it can be unpleasant. The best shoe trees can wick away moisture from your shoes after a hot day and kill any rot from forming. Needless to say, a shoe tree can be your best friend and save your expensive pair of loafers.
Combination vs. Solid Toe
Before we talk about the types of wood and different features shoe trees have to offer, we are going to briefly discuss the main styles you are likely to encounter. While there is some variance between models, most trees will fall into one of these categories.
- Solid Toe – These shoe trees have a solid toe usually made from wood, but the heel can be full or narrow. That varies by manufacturer, as do features like heel hooks and vents. This style is most often used in heavier shoes and boots.
- Combination Toe – Otherwise known as Split-Toe, this type of shoe tree has a split in the toe. Most models of this style have a spring or mechanism that allows you to set the perfect width. The design also helps keep moisture at bay.
We’ll make this simple. If you want a top quality shoe tree, buy one made from wood. While that’s not always going to be an option depending on the style of shoe, it’s the only way to go with expensive leather shoes or boots. The most popular wood used today is cedar, although you can find other types of woods used including alder, beech and even maple on occasion. The wood is usually unfinished except on vintage or bespoke options.
If you don’t want or can’t use wooden trees in your footwear, plastic is your only other reliable option. Unfortunately, finding one with a full heel is usually not an option, and the toe is never quite as full as it would be with a wooden alternative. On the plus side, this style is more portable, and you can fold it in half for easy storage or travel.
Top 5 Best Shoe Trees Reviews
Stratton is not what we would refer to as a specialist as they dabble in a bit of everything, including shoe trees. Our top option comes from Stratton and is called the Men’s Cedar Shoe Tree. The name says it all with this one, but it doesn’t mention a few unique features.
Stratton’s shoe tree is made from fresh cedar which will help your shoe smell fresh while keeping moisture away. That means shoe rot will not be an issue, especially considering these are vented with two slots in the front to let air through. That’s just on the full toe model however as you can opt for a combination shoe tree as well. Both models are adjustable in length with the full toe edition being the classier of the two. It has a fuller heel with a hook whereas the split toe version’s built like a shovel with a lanyard on the end.
You can’t go wrong with either version of Stratton’s Cedar Shoe Tree as they will help your favorite footwear stay in shape and smell great. They come two per box sized from a 7 – 16 in both full toe and combination.
This shoe tree won’t work with every style of shoe, but if it’s right for your loafer, you will be hard pressed to find a better alternative. It’s the Strauss Heritage Twin Tube Shoe tree, and it’s one of the sturdiest products to make our list.
A few features stand out on this model and help set it apart from the pack. The first would be the twin tubes which give it more stability and also ensures it will hold up longer over time. It has a full heel instead with a heel hook and a modified version of the split toe. The Strauss Heritage breaks towards the side and adjusts with the twist of a small screw. Once you set the tension, you’re ready to go, and your shoes will thank you for it in the long run.
This shoe tree is a top option if you have a heavy set of leather shoes that need a full measure of protection. Like all the best shoe trees, they opted for premium cedar construction, and they come two per pack. Unfortunately, if you have a smaller foot, you are out of luck as these are only available in sizes 8 – 12.5D.
If you are looking for a set of shoe trees, your shoes probably cost well over $100 bucks, and there is a high chance they come from one of a few select brands. AE or Allen Edwards would be one of them, and they are responsible for the simple solution known as the Woodlore Shoe Tree.
The Woodlore’s constructed from natural cedar and measures 3” high in the toe area. That’s about average although it may cause some stretching in low-profile loafers or certain styles of shoe. They are 6” wide and split in the middle to allow for airflow and adjustments for the perfect fit. A single metal pole in the center joins the toe with the heel area, and while it’s sturdy, it is no substitute for twin tubes if you want something solid. These are also sans heel hooks although there is a loop on the heel and metal branding plate for a touch of class.
If you’re looking for a full-featured shoe tree, you may want to look elsewhere as this is one of the more bare-bones models to make the cut. They will keep your shoes smelling fresh and in proper shape, if they don’t have a low-profile, but we would have like to see a larger heel area on this model.
While our last pick may have been a little plain, this one kicks things up several notches. Florsheim’s Woodard Shoe Tree is another combination model, but one that will look just as good in the box as it does inside your shoe.
Let’s face it, if you have a $300 pair of leather shoes, you don’t want to pop just any old hunk of wood into them. The style is going to matter for some, especially if you have a closet full of high-end footwear. The Woodard has plenty of pizazz with an all cedar construction and shiny metal tubes in the middle. The springs adjust to help any size shoe hold its shape, and you will get a fuller heel with a thick hook in the rear. Throw in the Florsheim logo, and you’ve got yourself a slick looking shoe tree you won’t mind leaving out.
The Florsheim Woodard Cedar Shoe Tree is dead on the money when it comes to sizing so that you can pick the model based on your shoe size. Oddly enough, they don’t have small listed as an option, so these are only available in medium, large and extra-large.
HoundsBay’s Shoe Tree is just as good looking as our previous pick, but with a couple of cool perks. It comes with a simple item that will keep the trees fresh for a decade, and it’s the only product in this class that gives back to the environment.
For every cedar shoe tree in existence, a tree somewhere in the world had to bite the dust. HoundsBay looks to rectify that situation as they will plant a tree in the United States if you purchase a pair of their shoe trees. That’s a nice way to give back, especially when the trees you’re buying are as well-made as these. As you’d expect, they are made from red cedar with the modern split toe design and have a tube attaching toe to heel. That heel is nice and full with a deep hook so you can pull these trees out with ease.
There’s nothing too fancy about the way these shoe trees work, but they will look good in your expensive loafers and perform as advertised. While simple, they also come with a sanding sponge out of the box, which is all it takes to breathe new life into your trees and keep them as fresh as your shoes for years.