If you own a pair of premium leather dress shoes or boots, it’s really important to treat them with care. The value of a quality shoe lies in its longevity which is best preserved with consistent and correct care. At Hartt, we offer a wide variety of shoe care products and accessories, which we recommend to any leather shoe owner. A pair of shoe trees is perhaps the most important accessory you can have.

Why You Need a Pair

A pair of shoe trees is key in maintaining the original shape of your premium footwear and preventing large creases, keeping them looking much newer for longer. Perhaps more importantly, shoe trees wick away moisture from inside your dress shoes and boots, preventing any dampness that could damage the leather.  In addition, cedar shoe trees act as a natural deodorant and a repellent to any insects or pests that could damage your footwear. Finally, shoe trees offer great stability for conditioning and polishing. This can prevent bending or creasing which may diminish the shine.

Raw Cedar is Best

While plastic/metal shoe trees are much lighter than their wooden counterparts, they don’t offer the same drying and scent protection. A pair of premium cedar shoe trees is the best option as they offer the best moisture protection. In addition, look for a pair of raw wood shoe trees, as finished ones won’t offer the same moisture-wicking properties. Finally, a pair with a full heel will maintain the shape of the heel better than a simple peg-shaped heel. If you find yourself between sizes, we suggest choosing a size that’s a bit smaller than your shoes to avoid over-stretching your footwear. Our premium cedar shoe trees are spring loaded, which will help apply just the right amount of pressure to your shoes.

How and When to Use Your Shoe Trees

Shoe trees are most effective when used after each wear of your leather shoes or boots. If possible, we recommend allowing your shoes to sit for at least 15 minutes after wearing, before inserting your shoe trees. It’s also a good practice to leave your shoe trees in your shoes for about a day before wearing them again. If you own multiple pairs of shoes, it works well to rotate between them with your shoe trees, to allow your shoes or boots the full 24 hours with the trees in. If you're storing your shoes for a long period, or packing them for travel, a pair of shoe trees is a must-have.

Pair With Other Products and Accessories

Many shoe care products and accessories offer the best results when they are paired with a few complimentary items. While using shoe trees helps keep your shoes and boots looking their best, pairing them with a consistent conditioning and polishing routine, gives even better results. Using premium products such as Saphir Renovateur, Saphir Shoe Cream, and Pate de Luxe wax polish will keep your shoes looking fantastic and lasting for years to come. We also recommend giving your shoes a good brushing with a horsehair brush following each wear to remove any dirt that has accumulated. We also recommend using a pair of galoshes with your premium dress shoes, when wearing them in a wet environment. Using a pair of SWIMS galoshes when wearing your shoes, and a pair of shoe trees during storage, ensure the best care and protection for your leather footwear. Finally, we recommend using the silk-lined bags that come with every pair of Hartt’s Canadian dress shoes or leather boots to store your footwear for longer periods of time.

Taking good care of your premium leather footwear is key in getting the best value from them. Using the right accessories, such as a pair of premium cedar shoe trees is the finest way to do just that.

Adriana Spragg