The tip - Don't use spiral shoe trees

Still today the most commonly used shoe trees in the world are ones with a front part and a big spring that is bent to be placed against the heel. This type of shoe trees are in fact bad for your shoes, in the worst case they may even destroy them. Learn why in this article.

 

It’s weird to see that the world is full of products developed for a purpose that they don’t manage to fulfil, instead they do the opposite, create more harm than good. One didn’t see it in the same way looking back through history, but nowadays, to keep prices as low as possible companies take so many shortcuts that eventually any pros that are left of a product are drowned in cons. Looking at the shoe care world, cheap shoe care products full of silicones are one such item. Another is the topic of this article: the spring shoe trees.

This type of shoe trees consist of a front part, head, that has something that more or less resemble a foot shape (most common are symmetric ones, where both left and right are shaped the same, but at least some has a more proper asymmetric shape), a thick metal spring in the middle, and a small round back part, tail. Using shoe trees like these will reduce creasing over the vamp, but that’s about the only positive they bring.

An example of the spring shoe trees, generically shaped and not good for what they are supposed to do - to retain the shape of your shoes in a good way. Picture: Logues (top photo: Brillare)

An example of the spring loaded shoe trees, generically shaped and not good for what they are supposed to do – to retain the shape of your shoes in a good way. Picture: Logues (top photo: Brillare)

With this type of spring shoe trees, since they are usually made in a “one size fits all” (as always, translates more to “one size fits none”) or sometimes two sizes, men and woman, or similar, they make the spring very long and stiff, and when you bend it to insert the shoe tree it will create a strong pressure in the wrong ways. It will push the upper leather upwards over the vamp area, which will deteriorate the shape and cause strain that over time also may damage the welt stitching.

The small back part will also put a lot of pressure on the heel stiffener, and over time – especially if you have leather board or real leather heel stiffeners (the otherwise better ones that are most comfortable and shape the most to your foot, in general) – the shoe trees can misshape the heel completely.

An old pair of RM Williams boots that has had spring loaded shoe trees in them, which has caused it to bulge out severely in the back, far from how they looked originally and far from how a normal foot looks.

An old pair of RM Williams boots that has had spring loaded shoe trees in them, which has caused it to bulge out severely in the back, far from how they looked originally and far from how a normal foot looks.

A good shoe tree should retain the original shape of the shoe, not change it. A good shoe tree stretch the shoes horizontally, and one of the main tasks is to keep the toe down (which means that vamp creases are stretched automatically) and then fill out the volume in an as good way as possible. It should not put high pressure on any part of the shoe, nor should it work vertically, all of these things are done by spring shoe trees. That’s why they are inferior products that you should avoid. In fact, it’s better to don’t use shoe trees at all, or at least use these without bending the spring and having the back part sticking out and resting over the heel.

An example of a pair of generic shoe trees that are much better than spring ones, which will stretch the shoes horisontally and retain the original shape in a good way. As shoe trees are supposed to do. Picture: Skolyx

An example of a pair of generic shoe trees that are much better than spring ones, which will stretch the shoes horizontally and retain the original shape in a good way. As shoe trees are supposed to do. Picture: Skolyx