Use Shoe Trees for Sneakers to Keep Your Best Shoes in Fighting Form

Tuesday Bote - January 28, 2021


Whether we like it or not, the best things in life will require proper care so that they'll last longer. If you just copped your first pair of dream shoes, or you have a whole stable of them - they won't stay mint fresh by themselves alone. The good news is, shoe care has taken huge strides so you don't have to sweat about all that upkeep. Shoe trees for sneakers, among other premium shoe care tools, and accessories, have your back.



Why Your Best Pairs Need Shoe Trees and Proper Shoe Care


Your best shoes are precious - but as soon as they come out of the box, (or even if they stay in), even harmless things like air and humidity can do a number on them. Then as you pound that pavement, your shoes are a target for dirt, mud, and rain. You may not even notice it, but you also contribute to all this depreciation going on - your feet sweat in the inner lining, plus, all that walking and running make creases on the toe box like crazy. It's critical that you give your good sneakers the best care possible so that they'll continue to be a thing of beauty that you enjoy.


Mid-range to high-end shoes with high-quality leather, dress shoes, and sneakers alike, can last you years, given the right maintenance: 


- The best shoe trees, (like cedar shoe trees) keep your shoes in great shape by preventing further creasing. They also wick off moisture and has the bonus of deodorizing footwear. Now, sweat won't be a problem! 


- Premium leather conditioners keep leather sufficiently supple so that they don't crack easily. Supple leather stands the best chance of protecting itself against the elements.


- The best shoe brushes make cleaning solutions more effective by providing the right application, so you do less work, even with tough dirt.


- Leather friendly shoe cleaning solutions offer appropriate, but gentle care, specific to the kind of shoe material you have. Your shoe's leather quality won't be compromised.


- Lastly, premium shoe cleaning kits consistently restore your investment staples to their former glory with less hassle. Your shoes not only stay pristine, but they're kept safe from long term damage. 



Hallmarks of Great Sneaker Shoe Trees


Shoe trees for sneakers and dress shoes are undoubtedly a necessity in your shoe care arsenal. Think of these shoe shapers as your sneaker's personal trainer. Shoe trees in sneakers hold their shape and does preventive first aid so that unseen elements like mold and humidity don't do an inside job on your prized pair of dream kicks.


While all shoe trees can strengthen the upper part of your shoes, not all can give the full benefits. Here's how to tell if your sneaker shoe trees are a keeper:


1. Good Moisture Repellent Material


In the 1950s, vintage shoe trees were made of aluminum, with the only purpose of stretching out shoes in between wears. Now you have a choice of wooden material like cedar shoe trees, along with light materials like plastic ones.


The best ones that offer all the advantages are cedar shoe trees. This kind of wood not only has natural moisture-absorbing properties, but cedar also makes your shoes smell great too.


Stay away from varnished finishes as they can't absorb or deodorize at all. Unfinished wood sneaker shoe trees help your kicks dry out properly. This prevents your shoes from rotting early in the game. Your shoe breaks down when the inner lining retains moisture over time.


2. Perfect Fit


How tight should sneaker shoe trees be? This depends on the design. 

- Full heel shoe trees will require the exact size as your shoe's actual shoe size.

- Spring shoe trees are flexible enough to fit any shoe, because they can compress to adjust to any footwear length.


Ideally, you'd want to compress shoe trees for sneakers at least 1 - 2cm to fit inside the shoe. You'd know if your shoe care inserts are too big if you can't fit them in the shoe, while shoe trees that are too small fully extend inside the shoe without any compression. 


The best shoe trees that fit right smoothens out creases but compresses only ever so slightly.


3. Portable


If you travel a lot for work and leisure, the best shoe trees will keep your good shoes from being bent out of shape while in transit. Not everyone will pack a wooden full heel shoe tree in this scenario. Some resort to plastic ones, but honestly, they won't keep your best footwear dry. 


You can opt for wooden spring cedar shoe trees, so that you have the full benefits of keeping shoes smelling great, and still have the option to pack light.



The Right Way to Use Shoe Trees for Sneakers


Now that we've covered everything good about shoe trees, it's time to talk about how to use them right. Yes, even with the best shoe trees, things can go south - they're good tools but it's in how you use them that counts.


Shoe fanatics often successfully avoid scratches on the outside of shoes - but true collectors take note of how leather shoes are holding up from the inside. There is also a thing as "overdrying" or scratching your inner lining box because a wooden shoe tree has rubbed it the wrong way.


What's the best way to use sneaker shoe trees? Here are a few tips:


1. Use one with a rounded shape design so that you don't scratch your shoe's upper inner lining.


2. Insert the shoe tree after wearing your sneakers between rotations, but don't leave the shoe care accessory in for too long. A good rule of thumb is to use them for at least 24 hours.


A wooden shoe tree can only absorb so much. They'll need to dry out by themselves too. Otherwise, a moist shoe tree can be your shoe's worst enemy.


3. To maximize the moisture-absorbing powers of shoe trees in sneakers, place your sneakers on their sides for an hour (with the shoe trees in) if they get soaked in the rain. This will help the leather soles expel as much water as possible. 


Remember to regularly check out your shoe's situation from the inside so you can take note of any changes in the lining or your heel's shape. 


Taking care of something you love means that you can enjoy your hard-earned investment for years to come - because as Keats said, a thing of beauty is a joy forever.