Which shoe tree is best?

Shoe trees help your high-quality leather shoes maintain their shape, increasing their longevity. Some trees can also assist in deodorizing your shoes as well as absorb moisture to reduce the chances of bacterial growth. You don’t need to spend tons of money to get excellent shoe trees either, as many cost $30 or less.

The best shoe trees are the Woodlore Adjustable Shoe Tree. These made-in-America trees use top-quality cedar to keep your shoes smelling great while holding them in perfect shape.

What to know before you buy shoe trees

Size

Some shoe trees are one-size-fits-all, but these can damage your shoes. It’s always best to buy shoe trees that match your shoe size as closely as possible. Most trees should have an accompanying sizing chart to help you pick the right one.

Basic shoe tree types

There are five types of basic shoe trees.

  • Spring or slide trees use springs to cause the toe and heel of the tree to press into their respective areas. They are easy to use, but the pressure can warp your shoes if it’s too great.
  • Full-toe trees use solid blocks of material that fit into the toe bed and the heel. The size and shape of the blocks need to match your shoes as closely as possible — otherwise, there could be some warping.
  • Split-toe trees use a block of material in the toe that pushes outward left and right. They should still match your shoe shape closely.
  • Combination trees push forward and outward at the same time. Once again, they need to match your shoe shape closely.

Lasted shoe tree types

Lasted trees are made by a shoe manufacturer to precisely fit one specific type and size of their shoes. There are three kinds.

  • Three-piece trees fill the entire shoe from top to bottom using separate heels, midsoles and front pieces.
  • Hollow trees are, well, hollow. The hollowing helps moisture evaporate faster.
  • Hinged trees use hinged mechanisms rather than the standard springs or slides. If it isn’t perfectly fitted to a shoe it may not fit at all.

What to look for in quality shoe trees

Material

Shoe trees are typically made of plastic or wood.

  • Plastic trees are cheap and light, making them best suited to traveling. They provide no moisture assistance and can even trap moisture.
  • Wood trees, usually cedar, are simply the best. They hold shape, help moisture evaporate and even deodorize. Make sure it isn’t varnished, though, as varnishing removes the moisture and deodorization properties.

Removal

The best shoe trees have a system for easily removing them from their shoes. Rings, loops and handles are common in better tress, while lower-quality trees tend to use spring and slide systems.

How much you can expect to spend on shoe trees

Shoe trees typically cost $5-$150. The cheapest trees for basic leather shoes cost $10 or less, but if your shoes are nice, you may want to look for better options in the $15-$40 range. Lasted trees start around $60 and increase in price with the quality of the matching shoes.

Shoe trees FAQ

Do shoe trees need to be placed in a matching left or right shoe?

A. Yes, in a pair of trees, one is always meant for the left foot and the other for the right foot. Placing a tree in the incorrect side shoe can warp your shoes out of shape. Some trees clearly label which is meant for which foot, but others you must closely inspect to determine which is meant for which foot.

Should I use shoe trees on non-leather shoes?

A. You can, though it’s typically unnecessary as shoe trees are meant for use with materials that shrink. However, if your non-shrinking shoes are being packed tightly or are placed in other situations where they can be crushed, using shoe trees can help prevent some damage.

How effective are shoe trees at removing moisture?

A. Better wooden shoe trees are highly effective at removing residual moisture. That said, shoes that have been excessively dampened should be dried thoroughly before a shoe tree is used to help eliminate the last of the moisture.

What are the best shoe trees to buy?

Top shoe trees 

Woodlore Adjustable Shoe Tree

Woodlore Adjustable Shoe Tree

What you need to know: It’s minutely adjustable and uses high-quality materials.

What you’ll love: It uses cedar to absorb moisture and deodorize your leather shoes, plus it uses top-quality steel for durability. It’s made in the U.S and comes in five sizes following men’s sizing guidelines. One pair is included and it comes at an affordable price.

What you should consider: It can be difficult to remove the tree from the shoe once it’s placed, but this does mean your shoes will hold their shape well.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top shoe trees for the money

B&E Life Practical Plastic Adjustable Length Tree Shoe

B&E Life Practical Plastic Adjustable Length Tree Shoe

What you need to know: These are dirt cheap and can fit most men’s size shoes.

What you’ll love: It’s available in black and white, with the black set coming with two or five pairs and the white set coming with five pairs. They can be adjusted to fit men’s sizes of 5.5-11.5. They’re ultra-light, making them perfect for traveling.

What you should consider: Some customers reported them to snap if too much pressure is placed on them. They don’t have the same aesthetic value as wooden trees.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Cedar Elements Combination Cedar Shoe Trees

Cedar Elements Combination Cedar Shoe Trees

What you need to know: These are perfect for those wanting wooden trees for a great price.

What you’ll love: This set includes two pairs of trees and they come in sizes small to XXL — a sizing chart is included to help you find the perfect fit. They are made of U.S.-grown Aromatic Red Cedar for deodorization and moisture absorption. 

What you should consider: Some purchasers reported these to run on the small side. Others had issues with the springs being lower quality than expected.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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