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THE IMPORTANCE OF SHOE-TREES
WHAT ARE THEY AND WHAT'S THEIR PURPOSE?
The term 'shoe-tree' may be foreign to you but if you like to keep your shoes looking in tip-top shape you may want to invest in some. A shoe-tree is a device you place inside of your shoes to ensure they keep shape over the years. It also reduces the chance of creases forming and therefore increases the shoes lifespan overall.
'These devices are a more advanced version of using a newspaper or old t-shirts, but why bother?'
What is it?
A shoe tree is a wooden or plastic wedge with a spring loaded bar at the back that pushes the shoe out into shape. This gentle pushing keeps the front and back of the shoe stretched, much more than a scrunched up newspaper could ever do without filling the whole shoe with numerous pages and getting ink all over your hands.
Advanced shoe trees allow a user to change the width of the front and back and even shape the shoe without warping any other parts of the footwear. Using a shoe tree and alternating shoes can improve your shoes lifespan.
Not all shoe trees are spring loaded and some use a screw system to allow you to set the size of the tree by turning a grip to increase the size of it. This gives you even greater preference on how you look after your shoes and also allows you to make sure your shoes aren’t getting stretched.
When to use them
Whilst this may not be something you’d invest in for your knockabouts, if you’re wearing a pair of £200+ formal leather shoes, this will help increase their longevity by up to several years.
Alongside a good polish and a regular clean, your shoes will look good as new for a very long time. Some shoe trees are chemically treated and made of a grained wood instead of a smooth wood to etch away any fabrics and odors that may have got in the shoe that day. This keeps the inside feeling and smelling great.
So if you weren’t up to date with the shoe tree, you surely are now. Investing in a couple for your best shoes for a small price will save you in the future from buying another pair and with the wide variety available you’re not short for choice. Shoe trees are available from most fashion and suit retailers such as Marks & Spencers and NEXT, and from shoe specialists such as Church's.