Probably one of the most overlooked accompaniments to a man’s wardrobe I believe it is imperative for men to invest in a shoe tree. Let me paint the scene; you have splashed the cash on a brand new pair of shoes and within in a couple of months they are looking tatty and worn out. Whether it be a £50 pair from the high street or handmade from Northampton there should never be a reason to overlook the after care.
Shoes are the foundation of the outfit you put together and can also be an ongoing pricey investment to replace, and unless you are Kanye Lil-Diddy who never wears his more than once then it’s going to get pretty expensive to keep replacing.
Back in the day it was common for men to have shoe trees but as modern consumerism has entered the fray, the throwaway society don’t see the need to prolong their shoes when it is so easy to find a replacement. I’m a purveyor of the good old times and feel men should invest in key pieces throughout their wardrobes and do what they can to make them last.
By using a shoe tree you are maintaining the original shape of the shoe which will go some way to iron out the creases you get just before where your toes start (normally more apparent with those manufacturers using cheaper leather).With the wetter weather your shoe tree will help the leather on your shoes dry out correctly after use stopping the leather from cracking on the outside while the wood absorbs moisture on the interior. I’m a little OCD so my wardrobe is strictly organised with footwear having its own area, so no reason not to slip in a shoe tree after use as I put my new brogues away. Don’t just kick your shoes off across the living room when you enter the house, well at least not my house away!
Shoe Tree Prices
With varying of prices when it come to shoe trees I would go along the scale that if your shoes were £200 or less than a £15-£30 option is fine. For shoes over £200 then invest in a shoe tree that is £30-£60, also a travel version for around £10-£15 may be a useful addition.
I wouldn’t recommend a shoe tree for every pair of shoes you own. If your shoes are drying out then allow 24 hours with a shoe tree and you can always rotate depending on necessity, different price points and the amount of wear you get out of the varying footwear options you have.
Here are some options:
Sam Brady is a menswear expert, having worked in or around the field for the past 14 years. He has built up a keen eye for detail when it comes to the production of clothing, and is happy showcasing the craftsmanship of Savile Row and Jermyn St. But he understands the need for an interchangeable modern man’s wardrobe that mixes high street and luxury clothing.