A good pair of shoe trees will help your leather shoes retain their shape, avoid developing creases and look their best for years to come. For this reason (and several others, which we’ll list below), we highly recommend using shoe trees in all of your leather boots.
There are hundreds of different shoe tree brands on the market, ranging from ultra-budget plastic shoe trees designed purely to help your shoes retain their shape to high quality cedar shoe trees that wick away moisture to keep your shoes looking and smelling their best.
In our shoe tree buyer’s guide, we’ve reviewed what we think are the three best shoes trees on the market for owners of men’s leather shoes. To read our full buyer’s guide, scroll down to the “Why You Should Use Shoe Trees” section.
In case you don’t want to read our full buyer’s guide, here are our top recommendations:
- If you want a pair of high quality, affordable cedar shoe trees, we highly recommend the Woodlore Adjustable Men’s Shoe Trees from Allen Edmonds. Available for under $30 a pair (sometimes $19.95 on sale), these are the best value cedar shoe trees on the market.
- If you want a pair of light, plastic shoe trees for use while you travel, we recommend the FootFitter Travel Shoe Trees For Men. These are available for less than $20 and provide good support for your leather shoes with a lightweight, plastic construction that makes them perfect for traveling.
- If you want some cheap and simple shoe trees for sneakers and other casual shoes, we recommend the Men’s Keep Shape Shoe Trees from Ikea. These sell in a pack of four for less than $15, making them by far the cheapest shoe trees available right now. Note that these are best for sneakers and casual shoes — we don’t recommend them for leather shoes.
Before we get into our full reviews of the best shoe trees, let’s explain why you should invest in a good quality pair of shoe trees to protect and preserve your leather shoes.
Why You Should Use Shoe Trees
At first glance, shoe trees can seem unnecessary. After all, why should you need a pair of wooden trees to keep your shoes in good shape? Can’t your shoes just maintain their shape on their own?
Because leather is an organic material, it will wrinkle and crease over time, just like human skin creases as we age. Shoe trees prevent your leather shoes from creasing by keeping them in a firm, natural shape when they’re not in use.
For a visual example of what shoe trees can do for the look of your shoes, take a look at the image on the right. The left shoe has been stored over the course of six months using a shoe tree, while the right shoe has been stored without one. As you can see, the left shoe has mild creasing (if any creasing at all) whereas the right shoe is quite heavily creased.
Using shoe trees to store your leather shoes not only prevents creases from developing. A pair of cedar shoe trees will also absorb moisture from your shoes, preventing them from getting worn and damaged over time. The cedar used in natural shoe trees also removes the nasty smell that can develop in your shoes over time.
In short, using a pair of shoe trees will keep your shoes looking better, with fewer creases and wrinkles while also preventing a bad smell from developing in your leather shoes.
Since a good pair of shoe trees barely costs $20, it should be an obvious investment if you own a pair of leather shoes worth $80 or more.
The Best Cedar Shoes Trees for Leather Shoes
Available for $19 to $33 depending on the size, the Woodlore Adjustable Men’s Shoe Trees are by far the best cedar shoe trees available right now. These shoe trees are made by the legendary US-based shoe company Allen Edmonds and offer incredible value for money.
Made from cedar, these shoe trees will keep your leather shoes crease and wrinkle-free, all while giving them a fresh, pleasant smell. If you have leather Oxfords, loafers or other dress shoes, these shoe trees will fit inside very comfortably and provide all the support and protection your shoes need.
These shoe trees will also fit inside most boots to keep the vamp and toe of the boot smooth and free of creases.
Allen Edmonds designs these shoe trees to be completely adjustable, meaning you can modify the length and width to perfectly fit your shoes. They’re available in five sizes, from small (made to fit size 6-7.5 shoes) to extra-extra-large (designed for sizes 13.5 and up). Fitting these inside your shoes is easy, as is removing them, making them very convenient to use.
If you have a budget of $19 to $33 and need a pair of high quality cedar shoe trees to protect and preserve your leather shoes, these are by far the best available. Click here to check the current price and availability for your shoe size on Amazon.
The Best Shoes Trees for Travel
From a shoe protection and odor removal standpoint, cedar shoe trees are always the best option. However, they’re quite heavy (some shoe trees weigh almost two pounds), making them an annoyance if you need a pair of shoe tree for business travel and vacations.
Luckily, the FootFitter Travel Shoe Trees for Men provide almost as much support and shape for your leather shoes as the Woodlore Cedar Shoe Trees listed above, all at a reasonable price that makes them a great buy if you travel often.
These shoe trees are made of thick, shaped plastic that lets them fit perfectly into the toe box of most men’s leather shoes. They have a stainless steel “spring” type of coil that goes from one end of the shoe to the other, with a round plastic stopper on the other end. All in all, these shoe trees do a good job of helping your shoes maintain their shape, especially if you need to store them in your suitcase while you travel.
FootFitter makes these shoe trees in two sizes. The smaller version is designed to fit shoe sizes 8.5 to 10, although it will fit down to about a size 7.5. The larger version fits shoes from size 10.5 to 13.
Although these aren’t made of cedar and as such aren’t quite as effective at removing odors from your shoes, they do have ventilation holes cut into the plastic toe area, meaning they’ll keep your shoes nicely aerated when they aren’t in use.
All in all, these are great quality shoe trees that are ideal for people that travel often and need to keep their work shoes in good condition. Click here to check the current price and availability for your shoe size on Amazon.
The Best Shoe Trees for Sneakers & Casual Shoes
If you need cheap, simple shoe trees for use with casual shoes and sneakers, the Men’s Keep Shape Shoe Trees from Ikea are your best option. These shoe trees are sold in a pack of four and cost less than $15 in total, making them by far the most affordable shoe trees currently available.
Although we don’t recommend these shoe trees for leather shoes, they’re a great option for fabric and canvas sneakers. The design is very wedge-like, making them far better for sports shoes than for men’s formal shoes with a more natural toe shape.
In terms of build quality, these shoe trees are simple and reasonably well made. The toe is made from hard plastic, while the body of the shoe tree is a stainless steel spring that keeps it nice and firm inside the shoe. While these shoe trees aren’t particularly flexible, they do adjust to match the shape of your shoes while providing a good amount of support.
If you’re on a limited budget and want a four pack of cheap shoe trees that are perfect for casual shoes and sneakers, these are the ones to buy. They’re cheap, well made and perfect for keeping your casual shoes in great shape. Click here to check the current price and availability on Amazon.