The 10 Best Shoe Trees

Updated May 15, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

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We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. No, shoes do not grow on trees, but you probably wish they did if you've ever had a few flatten in your closet after stuffing in one pair too many. If your footwear is taking a premature beating or you are suffering from some pinching when wearing dress shoes, these options are ideal for maintaining shape and relieving pressure points to keep you comfortably on your feet. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best shoe tree on Amazon.

10. Moneysworth and Best Hook Heel

The Moneysworth and Best Hook Heel fit all types of men's footwear and are even effective at maintaining the shape and size of sneakers. Their rounded front pieces keep the toe area from caving in, and can help make tight dress shoes more comfortable.
  • made from reforested cedar
  • great father's day gift
  • hard to differentiate right and left
Brand Moneysworth and Best Sh
Model 31012
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Songmics Shoe Shaper

The Songmics Shoe Shaper bend in the center so you can slide them gently into shoes with small openings using a two-phase motion. The ergonomic shape does a great job of creating a rounded heel, helping to prevent pinching or blisters on the back of your feet.
  • great for loafers
  • may stretch delicate shoes
  • only three sizes to choose from
Model ULST003
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. My Boot Trees Shapers

If you wear boots, then you need to check out the My Boot Trees Shapers, which protect against cracking by keeping footwear upright and avoiding that flopped-over look. By holding the tops of boots open, they can also provide some ventilation to eliminate odors.
  • come in colorful designs
  • lightweight and great for travel
  • work only with taller footwear
Brand My Boot Trees
Model pending
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Ollieroo Cedar

The Ollieroo Cedar feature brass coated pull-tabs at the tops of the heels that look classy but, more importantly, makes them easy to grasp when it is time to remove them from your shoes. They can be used to widen the toe area by up to 0.16th of an inch.
  • flexible for easy insertion
  • dual brass-plated tubes
  • sizing runs small
Brand Ollieroo
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Florsheim Woodard

The Florsheim Woodard are great for maintaining leather shape, and feature adjusters constructed from high-quality metal that will not snap, no matter how much tension is applied. They have nice wide heels that make good contact with the backs of your shoes.
  • classic and elegant look
  • no rough edges on the wood
  • finicky fit in front
Brand Florsheim
Model Woodard Cedar Shoe Tree
Weight pending
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. FootFitter Sir James

The FootFitter Sir James are made from premium Tennessee wood that infuses your shoes with a pleasant smell. They have a handy split-toe design to help you achieve the perfect width, and fabric loops that make them easy to hang up for storage.
  • sturdy support bars
  • great for making toe areas roomier
  • could be taller through the laces
Brand FootFitter
Model 102-032-13
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. HoundsBay Wide Heel

The adjustable HoundsBay Wide Heel are made of aromatic red cedar that absorbs moisture and dissipates odors to keep your feet smelling fantastic. You can even refresh the aroma with the included sanding sponge, making these a great bargain that will last a long time.
  • put a gentle tension on shoes
  • carved hook handle
  • spring-loaded for a perfect fit
Model 42011
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

3. Stratton Full Toe

The Stratton Full Toe feature ventilation holes on top that help dissipate moisture, so you never step into damp loafers. Made for the person who likes to show off his footwear collection, these have an elegant brass tag with the brand name on it.
  • size chart is dead-on accurate
  • good heel proportion
  • great at flattening out creases
Brand Stratton
Model 508
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Original Shoe Company Laser Inscribed

The Original Shoe Company Laser Inscribed feature integrated spring coils that provide just enough light tension to fill your footwear. They also have a curved handle on top, so you can grip them easily and yank them out, making these ideal for day-to-day use.
  • can extend the lifespan of shoes
  • left and right markings
  • slim fronts will not ruin the shape
Brand The Original Shoe Tree
Model 510
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Woodlore Adjustable

The Woodlore Adjustable come in five different sizes, from small to XXL, and are made from a premium American cedar that absorbs unwanted odors effectively, so your shoes smell fresh every time you pull them out of the closet to put them on.
  • help prevent leather from cracking
  • high quality steel hardware
  • also absorb moisture
Brand Allen Edmonds
Model Adjustable
Weight 4 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Getting The Best Fit From Your Shoes

A pair of shoes should look great and feel even better. A shoe's primary purpose is to support and protect your foot, and a well-made shoe will reduce the fatigue and soreness you feel after long hours spent standing or walking. But even the finest shoes are rarely comfortable the first time you put them on your feet. Every shoe, ranging from a pair of women's dress heels to hiking boots to a casual pair of loafers, requires a period of breaking in before they will be their most comfortable.

To break in shoes without causing pain or even injury to your feet, you can initially wear the new shoes for short periods of time. Wear them for ten to fifteen minutes while walking and standing at your home or office, switching to well-worn comfortable shoes (or simply remaining barefoot or in socks) while in the interim. Remember that just as your new shoes must adjust to your feet, so too must your feet adjust to a new pair of shoes.

The skin at the back of your heels are particularly prone to blistering when adjusting to the fit of a new shoe, but it will quickly toughen and resist additional damage. Taking the shoe break-in process slowly can prevent the formation of blisters, which can be so painful they force you to abandon the shoes altogether.

If your new shoes require any significant stretching out before they will be comfortable, there are many methods beyond simply wearing them that you can try. Applying heat to a leather shoe using a hair dryer can help soften the material, making it more pliant when you slide your foot in immediately following the warming process. On quite the opposite end of the spectrum, you can also use ice to help stretch a shoe.

This approach involves sliding baggies filled with water into your shoes and then placing the shoes in the freezer. As the water freezes, it will expand and slowly, steadily, and evenly stretch out the shoe. This method risks water damage, though, and is a rather involved undertaking. (Some people may also balk at the idea of putting shoes near their frozen foods, though this can be mitigated by placing the shoes in a larger plastic bag.)

By far the simplest, most reliable way to stretch out a pair of shoes other than wearing them is to use a shoe tree. These purpose-built items can quickly help to make your shoes more comfortable, and they can help shoes retain their shape and appearance even after years of use.

Choosing A Shoe Tree For Comfort

All shoe trees are designed to stretch your shoe across their long axis, which is to say from the toe box (the area that surrounds and protects the toes) to the heel. This type of stretch can help reduce the pressure you feel on your toes, which is usually the area with the most pronounced friction and discomfort caused by newer shoes. However, anyone with a wider foot, irregularities to their toe shape, or with a foot given to discomfort in any other areas, a shoe tree that merely stretches the shoe in length may not suffice.

Many shoe trees are adjustable to spread out in the shoe's toe box, widening the shoe to more comfortably accommodate its wearer's foot. Shoe trees offering this type of stretching can potentially help even those with wider feet to enjoy regular shoes. Some shoe trees even come with additional hardware that can be attached to create customized relief areas, stretching out a shoe right where you need it.

Make sure you select the right specialty shoe tree for heels or dress shoes, and make sure to note whether or not the tree you're considering is gender-specific or not. Also consider the shoe tree's material: cedar wood can reduce odors and draw out moisture, resulting in a dry, comfortable shoe when you're ready to wear it.

And if you plan to use your tree to help a shoe maintain its shape between wearings, make sure to slightly reduce the tension settings you used during its break in stage: once a shoe fits your foot comfortably, it's unlikely it will shrink again, so there is no need to apply excess pressure during its storage.

Choosing A Shoe Tree For Pain Relief

Shoe comfort is important for everyone, but it is critical for those with feet afflicted by bunions, arch issues, or any other ailment caused by genectics, injury, age, surgery, and so forth. Using a shoe tree to reduce the pressure a shoe puts on the compromised area is far better than simply trying to wear the shoe and fight through the pain of the breaking in process.

This is especially true with the all-too-common and painful condition of bunions, which can be caused by a number of issues, especially by the chronic use of tight shoes. A bunion can always get worse, leading to more pain, less mobility, and potentially the need for surgical intervention. To help reduce exacerbation of your bunions, use a shoe tree that can stretch out your shoe's toe box and keep the pressure off of your big toe joint.

If you have arch or mid-foot issues, make sure to choose a shoe tree that can stretch the upper section of the shoe, reducing the pressure on your arches and accommodating any orthotic inserts you might require. Consider consulting your podiatrist prior to selecting a shoe tree or even to get advice about the process of making your shoes more customized and comfortable.

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Last updated on May 15, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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