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Best shoe trees 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated May 1, 2019
Best shoe trees of 2018
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your comfort, style, or accessibility, we have picks to fit a variety of needs and budgets. Check them out and decide which one suits you the best to splurge upon.
There is a wide range of products available on the market today, and below I have reviewed 3 of the very best options. I want to find something that’s designed well (both for aesthetic purposes and efficiency).
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this shoe trees win the first place?
I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. The rear part fits perfectly! It is mounted really tight and reliable. The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack.
Why did this shoe trees come in second place?
I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed.
Why did this shoe trees take third place?
It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. I hope that the good reputation of the manufacturer will guarantee a long-term work. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new.
shoe trees Buyer’s Guide
The spring toe will gently stretch the vamp and prevent the onset of wrinkles.
And don’t forget the thrifting option. Assuming you can find a pair of quality shoes that fit you from Allen Edmonds, Alden, or another manufacturer, you can send them back and take advantage of their re-crafting and re-soling service. A new pair of shoes for a fraction of the cost, rebuilt to serve you for 20 years.
Another fit issue is paying attention to shoe width. Men with extremely wide or narrow feet learn about this from an early age, but many men who would be better served by just a slightly wider or narrow shoe never discover their perfect size because the normal sizes do an OK job. I challenge you to take the time to find the right size…..you’d be surprised about what you’ve been missing, especially if you spend quite a bit of time on your feet. Look for variations in arch support and toe structure as well.
In addition, rotate through a few pairs to allow them to dry between wearing and ALWAYS use wood shoe trees that will quickly soak up perspiration. This is especially important for leather shoes, as the interior of a dress shoe has often not gone through the harsh chemical treatment of the upper and is more susceptible to rot.
Common Footwear Terminology
Sole – This is commonly referred to as the bottom part of the shoe or boot and can be further divided into the outer sole, mid-sole, and insole depending on the type and quality of the shoe being discussed.
Upper – A general term that refers to the part of the shoe above the sole.
Brogueing – a form of ornamentation in which tiny holes are carved into the shoe’s leather. An important point to remember is that the more decoration on a shoe the less formal it becomes.
Insole – As mentioned above, a subsection of the general term sole, the inner sole is the layer of the sole upon which the foot rests. A quality insole can mean the difference between a shoe that will last years and one that will last 25.
Heel – The back portion of the shoe that comes into direct contact with the ground and gives elevation to the foot when the shoe is worn. Heels are often built from to pieces of leather called lifts and reinforced with rubber or metal.
Laces – The choice is usually round or ribbon, with round having the advantage of being stronger and more formal thanks to their core while ribbon laces come in a variety of colors and are more elastic and are thus a good choice for athletic shoes or hiking boots.
Welcome to goodyearwelt!
The subreddit about quality footwear. Dedicated to informing, teaching, and sharing. Topics include a wide range of brands from Crockett & Jones to Guidi. New product releases, daily discussion and community building with a common interest in quality footwear.
Who this is for
If you own leather shoes, you should care for them. And caring for your shoes requires supplies and tools. If you currently depend on your local shoe-shine stand for even the most routine shoe-care needs but want to start taking things into your own hands, whether for pleasure or for economic reasons, this guide will give you the product guidance necessary to build your own shoe-care kit. Similarly, if you already have a shoe-shine routine but are finding yourself disappointed with the results, this guide might help you discover products that will produce better results.
We limited our focus to shoe-care products for calfskin leather shoes, a category that includes most dress or casual leather shoes and boots.
Although we made our picks by testing on high-end Allen Edmonds shoes, these products will work just as well on cheaper shoes and on even higher-end shoes. However, we limited our focus to shoe-care products for calfskin leather shoes, a category that includes most dress or casual leather shoes and boots. If you have shoes made of suede, roughout, waxed flesh, shell cordovan (the material, not the color), or some other niche material, some or most of these products may not apply to your situation.
These trees, which will fit most dress shoes (US men’s shoe sizes 5½–1or women’s sizes 7–18½), are built to last and budget-friendly.
Most likely, your shoes came in a shoe bag. If you wear your shoes on a frequent basis (say, at least once a week), keeping them in the bag isn’t imperative. However, if you have a pair of shoes that see less frequent wear, or if you need to store a pair of shoes for the season, putting them inside the shoe bag (with trees in them) to protect them from dust is your best bet. If you don’t have a shoe bag, a canvas tote bag will do (avoid Ziploc and other plastic bags, which do not breathe and can promote mold growth).
The tools and supplies you’ll need to shine your shoes
This guide covers five tools and supplies that we have found through our research, our interviews with experts, and our in-store testing with Stanley Mayes to be indispensable components of your shoe-care routine.
A shoe brush is an essential tool for cleaning off dust from your shoes and for buffing in moisturizers and polishes. While any horsehair brush will work, our testing found that paying more than the minimum amount to get a more effective tool is a worthwhile investment.
Our shoe brush pick
This model has denser, more uniform bristles than cheaper options, so it helps you get more done with fewer passes.
While any old rag will work for cleaning and polishing your shoes, a shoe-specific brush is a must-have for everyday maintenance, and you would be hard-pressed to find something lying around your house that does what a good shoe brush does. Commonly made from horsehair, the bristles on a shoe-shine brush are delicate enough as to not scratch the surface of the leather but stiff enough to remove dirt and debris and to work polish up to a shine. Although shoe-shine brushes can be made from more exotic materials, horsehair is consistently accepted as being an ideal bristle material for most shining and cleaning purposes. The brush should be a good enough size such that using the brush is not tedious in any manner or hard to grip. With that in mind, we were able to narrow the field of brushes down to three contenders: the ubiquitous shoe-shine brush made by Kiwi, a more luxe version made by Allen Edmonds, and an elegant and slightly more spendy horsehair brush made by Kirby Allison.
I’m confident in recommending the Kirby Allison Medium Horsehair Shoe Polishing Brush as our top pick because of its high-quality construction. Among our test group, it had by far the best combination of bristle quality, density, and distribution.
Bristle evenness and density on the Kiwi (left), Allen Edmonds (center), and Kirby Allison (right) brushes.
The bristles on the Kirby Allison brush were more uniformly and densely distributed in comparison with those on the Kiwi and Allen Edmonds brushes. This design delivers a superior brushing experience for several reasons: First, because the bristles are more densely packed, the Kirby Allison brush removes more dirt and debris per stroke than the others. Second, the uniformity of the bristle distribution on the Kirby Allison brush means that you’ll be less likely to have an uneven distribution of polish when you buff your shoes and less likely to have any pressure points where more-dense spots of the brush smash against your shoes, potentially scratching them. While the Allen Edmonds brush offered comparable bristle quality, we saw more variation in bristle density. The Kiwi brush was neither soft nor uniform. Although the Kirby Allison brush is admittedly a bit pricy, shoe-shine brushes are relatively durable (according to Stanley Mayes, brushes in his shop last several years before wearing down excessively), and you can wash yours (gently!) in warm water and leave it to dry to remove caked-on excess polish.
As for user-friendliness, the Kirby Allison and Allen Edmond brushes are each significantly larger than the Kiwi brush, which means that you’ll need fewer strokes to buff a pair of shoes with either of those brushes in comparison with the Kiwi brush. I polled several people around the office of varying hand sizes and genders, and most but not all said that the Allen Edmonds and Kirby Allison brushes were not so large that they were difficult to handle. The Kirby Allison and Kiwi brushes have divots alongside the wooden handles, making them marginally easier to get a grip onto, whereas the Allen Edmonds handle is ungrooved.
Kiwi Horsehair Polish Applicator
There’s also the question of accessory shoe brushes. You can find brushes for nearly every special cleaning task, but if you intend to buy just one specialty brush, I have to recommend getting at least one dauber for applying cleaner and an optional one for polish, which you can also apply with a rag. (Conditioner is better applied with a rag.) Because you will need separate brushes for each color, we recommend going cheap. The most cost-effective 100 percent horsehair dauber is made by Kiwi, and it gets the job done as well as anything.
Unless your shoes are fresh out of the box, your first step is to clean them. If it hasn’t been too long since your last shine (read: you haven’t lapsed in your routine), and your shoes don’t have any stains, you can probably get by with a solid brushing with a horsehair brush and a wipe with a damp cloth. However, if you have stains on your shoes (even water stains), or if it’s been a while since your last shine, cleaning with a cleaner is a must.
Good old-fashioned saddle soap cleans the surface of the shoe and prepares it for polishing, with minimal stain loss.
Saddle soap, as its name suggests, was created to clean leather saddles. Every company uses a different formulation, and most (including Fiebing’s) keep their formulations proprietary and thereby unavailable for public review. However, after conducting a meta-review of 1different saddle soaps and reading multiple shoe-care guides, we discovered that saddle soaps rely on a similar, basic formulation of a mild soap that acts as a surfactant and a blend of oils and greases that replenish some (but not all) of the oils that the soap removes.
How to greatly extend the life of your favorite shoes
For accessories that constantly beat up and stepped on (literally), shoes sure are underappreciated. A pair of good shoes can make the difference between an outfit that gets you the job, and an outfit that makes people wonder if skateboards are your sole means of transportation. However, even the most expensive pair of shoes in the world won’t do anything for you in the long run if it is neglected. We’ve all been there. You buy a new pair of shoes, and at first, you’re excited, and you clean off the little smudge you got on day one when you bumped into a table. But over time, as the newness wears off, you forget to clean off all the smudges, and they add up. You end up not caring about them, and your “new” shoes are ruined, causing you to buy another pair much sooner than you really needed to. It’s a vicious cycle. But when you treat your shoes like an investment and spend some time caring for them, storing them properly, and cleaning them when necessary, you’ll protect your purchase for years to come. Caring for your shoes isn’t as daunting as you might think. Here’s what you need to know.
Some Footwear Rules
Before you try to clean and repair your dirty shoes, you should first understand the rules that will help you get the best use and longest life out of your footwear from day Prevention and good practices will ensure that all of your wingtips, chukkas, and boots are wearable for the long haul.
Wear the right shoe for the right occasion. Running shoes, boots, and oxfords are the same shoes and should not be worn as such. Additionally, leather, suede, and canvas are not all fair game when the weather is in flux. Dress appropriately for all situations to ensure that your shoes won’t be ruined prematurely.
Invest in quality. While the initial costs may be high, you may end up saving money throughout the lifespan of the shoe. Cheaper shoes are made with less durable materials and may end up costing you more in the long run, because of the need for constant replacement.
When you buy a new pair of shoes, make sure to prepare them appropriately before their first wear. Waterproofing, conditioning, and polishing are all vital for a shoe’s durability.
Avoid wearing the same pair of shoes every day. Constant rotation gives them time to rest and allows the insides to air out.
If your shoes do get damaged, consider repairing first instead of replacing. You may only need to replace a sole instead of the whole shoe.
As great as water is, it can damage and destroy your shoes if you don’t take precautions. Whenever it rains, salt can penetrate leather and stains will stay permanently. The leather is also susceptible to drying out and cracking if it is exposed to excessive moisture. Leather and suede shoes should always be waterproofed in order to properly protect them, especially if you live in a rainy climate. Once a month should be sufficient if you live in a place that doesn’t get much rain. However, if it rains daily, you may want to consider waterproofing every week just to be safe. And, if you notice that water stops beading up on the surface, that means it’s time for a new coat. Waterproofing compounds come in wax-based polishes, specialty water protectants, and spray-on solutions. We prefer spray-on waterproofing compounds because they are quick, easy, and effective. All three compounds are viable options though, so pick one that works best for you.
A regular will extend the lifespan of your shoes and ensure that they always look new. Only leather shoes require polish and applying it about once a month should be enough to achieve that mirror-like shine.
A horsehair brush can be used to gently brush debris and dirt off of the surface of your shoe. Feel free to use a horsehair brush on all kinds of shoe materials. The sturdy and dense hairs can help you apply cleaner and polish to your shoes too, making this brush a pretty useful tool for your entire shoe collection.
New shoes, and dress shoes, in general, are great. They’re also stiff, which is where a shoehorn comes in handy. A shoehorn can prevent you from doing that wiggle dance every time that you need to put on your shoes and protects your shoe’s heels in the process by helping you slip into them more easily. This will help prevent the back of your shoes from wearing down and getting bent out of shape.
So how to keep your shoes in tip-top condition? That depends on the leather – each has its own process. Let’s take a look at four of the more common types: calf, cordovan, suede, and reptile.
Follow along and I’ll show step by step how to have your shoes looking their best for years to come.
Pictured: Nettleton Split-Toe Loafer in American Alligator leather.
Wipe the shoes with a damp cloth to remove any surface dust and dirt. It’s always best to work with a clean surface. Allow a few minutes to dry before advancing to the next step.
Buff the shoes with a horsehair brush. Alligator, lizard, and crocodile skins have scales with a whole lot of nooks and crannies. What the cloth couldn’t reach, the brush should.
Reptan “Beauty Milk”. Gator leather hungrily laps this stuff up, so don’t worry about overuse.
To apply, dip a flannel cloth into the container and lightly rub the “milk” into the leather in a circular motion. The more time you spend massaging the product in, the better. Cover the entire shoe and let the Reptan do its thing for to minutes.
Use your horsehair brush to evenly distribute the product all over the shoe. There should be a slight glossiness to the leather after brushing.
Want more of a shine? Alligator will never quite achieve the luster that calf or cordovan can, but it doesn’t have to be dull. Try wiping your shoes with a clean flannel cloth or a nylon stocking to finish the job.
Shoe Horn – Always use a shoe horn when putting your shoes on. This is for your comfort but also to keep the shape/structure of the upper’s heel.
Horsehair Brushes – Used to brush dirt/dust from your shoes. Also great for spreading products evenly over the entire shoe and buffing leather to a shine.
Leather Conditioners – Apply before polishing to rejuvenate/hydrate the leather. It’s perfectly fine, and even encouraged, to use between polishings as well.
Shoe Cream – Used to color the shoe and create a base layer for wax polish to sit.
Shoe Polish – Used to protect the shoe and make the leather shine.
Flannel Chamois – Useful for applying polishes, creams, and conditioners. They’re especially good for buffing shoes to a shine.
Old Cotton Tshirt – Give a spent undershirt new purpose by using it to apply wax polish.
Applicator Daubers – Small brushes used to spread product, such as creams, across the shoes.
Suede Shampoo – Specifically created for lifting dirt and stains from suede leather.
Spot Eraser – Rub into suede leather to loosen up spots and stains.
Suede/Crepe Brush –Used to raise/straighten the nap of suede leather. Helps the fibers to accept product better.
Suede Protector – Spray on to waterproof suede (to an extent) and keep stains from setting.
Handheld Steamer – Not necessary for shoe care, but a steamer can be used to bring some color and life to suede leather.
Nail Polish Remover – Used with caution and in small doses to strip away old caked-on layers of cream polish.
Black Nylon – Cut up some nylon leggings and use to wipe your shoes after each wear. The nylon will gently remove dust and help to keep your shine gleaming.
Flannel Shoe Bags – These are a must-have when traveling. Store shoes in flannel bags to keep them from getting dinged up in your luggage.
Galoshes – Shoes with leather soles aren’t completely waterproof. Keep the rain from getting inside by slipping the shoes into rubber galoshes.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your shoe trees wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of shoe trees
- №1 — Cedar Elements Little Wholesale Program – Cedar Shoe Trees – 6 Pairs
- №2 — Cedar Elements Twin Tube Cedar Shoe Trees – 2 Pack
- №3 — Fresh Cedar Shoe Tree & Shoe Bags 2-Pack