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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to everyone

I have been using travel shoe wood trees for my shoes because they are half price the regular full feet shoe trees. Now that I am getting some nice shoes, I am thinking about if is actually necesary to get full feet trees.

I mean, is there a diffrence using one or the other in terms of the good maintance of the shoe?
 

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Hmm, good question. It doesn't seem like there would be a major difference between compact and "full" sized shoe trees. As long as they fit, the shoe trees are doing the just of their job. I hope you find a solution.
 

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Hello to everyone

I have been using travel shoe wood trees for my shoes because they are half price the regular full feet shoe trees. Now that I am getting some nice shoes, I am thinking about if is actually necesary to get full feet trees.

I mean, is there a diffrence using one or the other in terms of the good maintance of the shoe?
The primary purpose of a shoe tree is to keep the shoe free of moisture and to fill out the shape of the shoe (to keep it from creasing heavily when your foot's not in it).

Any shoe tree that fills out your shoe is probably sufficient for the job. There are some who'll tell you that you need to spend $25+ per pair of high quality trees. Personally speaking, I think that's nonsense. Just get some cedar trees with a split toe that are the right size for your shoes. Don't get them too big or too small -- too big, and they'll potentially damage the shoe; too small, and they won't be able do their job.
 

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Just get some cedar trees with a split toe that are the right size for your shoes. Don't get them too big or too small -- too big, and they'll potentially damage the shoe; too small, and they won't be able do their job.
I agree. And I'll add that I think it's wise to avoid wood tress that are varnished, as unfinished wood allows for better moisture absorption. And I'd also avoid some trees I've seen where the heel is a metal rod. I think these might deform the heel of the shoe.
 

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Hello to everyone

I have been using travel shoe wood trees for my shoes because they are half price the regular full feet shoe trees. Now that I am getting some nice shoes, I am thinking about if is actually necesary to get full feet trees.

I mean, is there a diffrence using one or the other in terms of the good maintance of the shoe?
Do you happen to have a picture of the travel size trees or a link to their source? I travel frequently and I'm always looking for ways to save space and weight in my luggage.
 

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I'm going to go counter to the usual wisdom here and say that shoe trees serve the same purpose as a woman's hair curlers: to hold the "set" of the shoe (or hair) as it dries. As a wood worker, I find it hard to believe that shoe trees absorb any significant amount of moisture from the shoe, whether they're finished or not, or even whether they're made of wood or plastic.
 

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I'm going to go counter to the usual wisdom here and say that shoe trees serve the same purpose as a woman's hair curlers: to hold the "set" of the shoe (or hair) as it dries. As a wood worker, I find it hard to believe that shoe trees absorb any significant amount of moisture from the shoe, whether they're finished or not, or even whether they're made of wood or plastic.
As a wood worker, you know cedar is more absorbent. That's the point.
 

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I'm going to go counter to the usual wisdom here and say that shoe trees serve the same purpose as a woman's hair curlers: to hold the "set" of the shoe (or hair) as it dries.
I think this is the primary purpose as well. Shoe trees can actually help creasing over time if they are put in promptly after they are worn.

I don't doubt that there is some absorption of moisture, but filling out the shoe itself is the main function.
 

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I never meant to imply that the primary purpose of a tree is to absorb moisture. Rather my concern with wood trees that have been sealed by varnish or another coating is that the surface could be one moisture might condense on and hinder evaporation through the lining and upper into the air. Perhaps there is something (Only something?) wrong with me, but my shoes don't become that moist. That's what socks are for! :icon_smile_big:

And I can but echo our esteemed moderator regarding the importance of inserting trees right after removing the shoes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This is the type of tree I use now:



and this is the regular one as you know



Does the travel tree put more strentgh into the shoe? is like a big string. Maybe the normal one divides pressure in a better way. I don´t know

best regards
 

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Hello to everyone

I have been using travel shoe wood trees for my shoes because they are half price the regular full feet shoe trees. Now that I am getting some nice shoes, I am thinking about if is actually necesary to get full feet trees.

I mean, is there a diffrence using one or the other in terms of the good maintance of the shoe?
I have never used full-foot trees. I've always used the ones with the front part either in wood or metal connected by a flexible handle and with a knob on the end of the handle to rest inside the heel.

This idea that a secondary purpose of shoetrees is to absorb moisture is a new one on me. Reading it here now is the first time I've ever heard that.

When I need to abosrb moisture (not daily sweat) I pack the shoes with normal newspaper, a tried and tested method of generations.

Now I can't imagine that a wooden shoetree would absorb daily sweat after normal use anyway. Water, yes, to a degree, if the shoes were soaked but surely not swaet!
 

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The reason for this is cedar will absorb moisture.
The air will absorb moisture.

Even if cedar wood shoe trees, absorb the moisture out of the upper leather to a significant degree, they will return the moisture into the air right
through to the upper leather again.

Think like that: shoes are wet, you stuff them out with crumpled-up newspaper. Newspaper will draw out the moisture and feels damp the next morning.
You pull it out and throw it away.

Good. That is the idea!

Were you not to discard it, the damp newspaper will get dry again, eventually, within a couple of days. All the moisture, now trapped in the newspaper
would evaporate but that would be leaving the shoes damp for much longer.

There is a school of thought in Europe, that warns of the prolonged use of cedar shoe threes as the wood is supposed, not only to draw moisture but
essential oil out of the leather. The use of cedar wood for shoe trees is relatively new, because the wood is cheap and not good for much else.
(I am talking about 'American Red Cedar' not 'Cedar of Lebanon'.) Up to the 1950s, the wood of choice for American shoe trees
would have been maple, but that's gotten to expensive.

I suppose, it's one of those cases: "You pays your money, takes your choice!"
 

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I think the value of cedar isn't that it absorbs moisture markedly better than other unfinished woods would absorb moisture; it's that cedar also has a pleasant aroma, is relatively cheap, and is widely available as a material. It's also pretty famously resistant to mold and decay, which means that it can tolerate moisture better than many other types of wood.

The moisture-wicking properties of a shoe tree are going to be at their most pronounced immediately after the shoe comes off your foot. This is the critical stage wherein your tree needs to help absorb any excess moisture inside the shoe (if there is any). More important, however, is the fact that having worn the shoe all day will have warmed and expanded the leather. When the leather begins to cool and contract, having the shoe tree in place will prevent it from contracting too dramatically and wearing out the leather. Cracks and creases can develop, and/or will be more pronounced, if your shoe leather keeps expanding and contracting wildly every time you wear the shoe. Ideally, you want to keep your leather supple and flexible, rather than letting it swing between two extremes any time it's worn vs. whenever it's not worn.

Leather is skin, after all. Just as repeatedly gaining and losing a lot of weight would promote the appearance of stretch marks on human skin, rapidly and repeatedly expanding and contracting shoe leather -- without any stabilization -- leads to degradation.
 

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There is a school of thought in Europe, that warns of the prolonged use of cedar shoe threes as the wood is supposed, not only to draw moisture but essential oil out of the leather.
I have unfinished cedar trees that are more than 25 years old that are kept in shoes that are more than 25 years old and that I still wear. Must be a slow process. :rolleyes:

But I certainly agree that should I have shoes that become truly soaked, I would stuff them with newspaper or a similar highly absorbent material until they dried, not put trees in them.
 

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The air will absorb moisture.

Even if cedar wood shoe trees, absorb the moisture out of the upper leather to a significant degree, they will return the moisture into the air right
through to the upper leather again.

Think like that: shoes are wet, you stuff them out with crumpled-up newspaper. Newspaper will draw out the moisture and feels damp the next morning.
You pull it out and throw it away.

Good. That is the idea!

Were you not to discard it, the damp newspaper will get dry again, eventually, within a couple of days. All the moisture, now trapped in the newspaper
would evaporate but that would be leaving the shoes damp for much longer.

There is a school of thought in Europe, that warns of the prolonged use of cedar shoe threes as the wood is supposed, not only to draw moisture but
essential oil out of the leather. The use of cedar wood for shoe trees is relatively new, because the wood is cheap and not good for much else.
(I am talking about 'American Red Cedar' not 'Cedar of Lebanon'.) Up to the 1950s, the wood of choice for American shoe trees
would have been maple, but that's gotten to expensive.

I suppose, it's one of those cases: "You pays your money, takes your choice!"
+1. The whole "moisture-wicking" virtue of cedar shoe trees is nothing but hype! I just pulled the cedar trees out of a pair of shoes I had worn for about 12 hours yesterday--dry as bones, they were!

Moreover, if the cedar trees did absorb significant quantities of moisture, wouldn't they start to become soft and punky in short order? The claims I have sometimes heard that the feet exude large quantities of sweat in the course of the day seem very questionable. If that were so, why are my socks not sopping wet when I take them off at night?

I think in a thread on SF we agreed that plastic trees could do the job just as well as wooden trees, were it not for the fact that available plastic trees are cheap, flimsy affairs.

Another virtue of American red cedar is that it is soft and easily worked--hence less need to sharpen and replace tools, lowering production costs.
 

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+1....Moreover, if the cedar trees did absorb significant quantities of moisture, wouldn't they start to become soft and punky in short order? The claims I have sometimes heard that the feet exude large quantities of sweat in the course of the day seem very questionable. If that were so, why are my socks not sopping wet when I take them off at night?...
I stand by my original posts.
Case in point. Cedar is used to make a lot of outdoor furniture. I suspect the reason for this is how it reacts to weather elements. For example, have you ever noticed how quickly cedar dries after a rainstorm?
Well, as embarrassing as it might sound, I gotta tell you, my feet sweat...particularly during the summer months. Point in fact...my running shoes (during the summer months) have been blamed for decimating the small wildlife populations along my favored running routes, while my dress shoes exude no significant offensive odors. I put cedar shoe trees in all of my leather shoes but, have never used shoe trees in my running shoes! The evidence forces me to agree with Nick V. ;)
 
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