Guide to Shoe Trees

Why Do You Need Shoe Trees?

They help protect your shoes, but what are shoe trees?

At TheShoeMart, we’ve been fitting feet and taking care of our customers’ shoes for over 60 years, but to those that have never owned a pair, shoe trees can seem quite alien.  We’ll do our best to demystify these essential shoe accessories for you.


Do I really need shoe trees?

Yes, shoe trees help to preserve your quality shoes.   You may not need shoe trees for your tennis shoes, but if you’ve invested in quality dress shoes, it makes sense to invest in a pair of quality shoe trees, as well. The better quality the shoe, the more important it is to preserve it with shoe trees.

What are the benefits of shoe trees?

When you wear your shoes all day long, your feet will likely perspire and leather breaks down much faster when it is wet. Shoes that are left damp can break down from the inside, create odor, and lose their shape. Cedar shoe trees help your shoes to retain their shape as they dry out and drying your shoes properly can help prevent cracked leather. We also recommend having a shoe rotation for these same reasons.

How do I use shoe trees?

Simply slip trees into your shoes after each wear. It is recommended to air out your shoes for up to an hour before inserting trees. Leave the shoes in for at least 24 hours to help shoes dry completely.

If shoes are soaked from rain or otherwise wet, you will want to dry out  any excess moisture first. You can do this by stuffing your shoes with absorbent paper, changing out the paper periodically until the shoes are dry. Always let shoes dry naturally to avoid breaking down the leather.


What should my shoe trees be made out of?

Everyone has their preferences, but we recommend unvarnished cedar shoe trees for their aromatic and absorbent properties.  Plastic shoe trees won’t absorb moisture, but are lightweight and substantial enough to help keep shoes from being squashed in your suitcase, making them suitable for travel.

What are lasted shoe trees? Do I need them?

Lasted shoe trees are essentially a replication of the last that the shoe is originally made of.  These are usually used with Bespoke shoes. Alden shoe trees are not lasted, but are spring-loaded with a split toe and can be used interchangeably with all of the different Alden lasts.

Will shoe trees stretch my shoes?

Shoe trees are intended for keeping a shoe’s shape, and not for stretching. However, if a shoe tree is too large, it can create pressure and alter the fit of your shoes.  It is best to use a shoe tree that fits the shoes without difficulty.   Our Alden shoe trees have a helpful size chart right right on the product page. If you want to stretch your quality shoes, it is best to have it done professionally.


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