10 Best Shoe Trees | March 2017

We spent 30 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. No, shoes do not grow on shoe trees, but they can grow with a pair of them inside them. If you feel Imelda Marcos is a kindred spirit or are suffering from some pinching when wearing dress shoes, try a pair or more of these. They are ideal at relieving pressure points and for maintaining the shape of shoes you want to keep for a long time. Skip to the best shoe tree on Amazon.
10 Best Shoe Trees | March 2017

Overall Rank: 3
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 8
Best Inexpensive
The Houseables Stretcher for Women are adjustable for sizes from 5 to 10, so you can almost always be sure they will fit your shoes perfectly. Their curved design is ideal for keeping the arches of high heels in good shape, but the wood can have a rough finish.
The SWE Men's 2-Way come with several pop-in and removable pressure relief pods so you can target parts of your shoe that have been causing you pain, and stretch them out. The springs are built to withstand a lot of tension, so these are great for reshaping shoes.
The Moneysworth and Best 31012 fit all types of men's footwear and are even effective at maintaining the shape and size of sneakers. Their nicely rounded front pieces keep the toe area on shoes from caving in, and can help make tight dress shoes more comfortable.
The Songmics ULST003 bend in the center so you can gently slide them into shoes with small openings, using a two phase motion. The ergonomic heel does a great job of creating a rounded heel, helping to prevent pinching or blisters on the back of your feet.
  • great for loafers
  • made with beautiful cratmanship
  • tubes don't adjust much
Model ULST003
Weight 2 pounds
The Woodlore Epic Twin Tube boast a deep design that really fills out your shoes, helping to prevent wrinkles or collapsed fabric. Plus they feature dual brass-plated steel extenders that apply the perfect amount of pressure, without stretching your shoes too much.
  • convenient knobs help in polishing shoes
  • solid wood that won't crack
  • the sizing chart is slightly off
Brand Woodlore
Model Epic Twin Tube
Weight 1.7 pounds
The Florsheim Men's Woodard are great for maintaining leather shoe shape and feature adjusters made from high-quality metal that will not snap, no matter how much tension is applied. They have a nice wide heel that makes 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
The FootFitter Sir James are made from premium Tennessee wood that penetrates your shoes with a crisp cedar smell. They have a handy split toe design that allows for a perfect width fit, and fabric loops that make them easy to hang up for storage.
  • fit up to men's size 15
  • great for making toe areas roomier
  • could be taller through the laces
Brand FootFitter
Model pending
Weight 1.4 pounds
The Stratton Cedar feature ventilation holes on top that help dissipate moisture, so you never step into sweaty-feeling shoes. Made for the shoe connoisseur 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 Jos. A. Bank
Model 508
Weight pending
The City My Life are made from plastic that slips in and out of your shoe with no resistance, and is easy to wipe clean. The extensions fold, which means you can fit these trees into trickier shoes, like combat boots, or pack them in a small suitcase.
  • much lighter than wooden trees
  • well constructed and under $20
  • length is easy to adjust
Brand CITY
Model pending
Weight 16 ounces
The Original Fresh Cedar features integrated spring coils that provide just enough light tension to fill your shoes and adjust several inches. They also have a curved handle on top, so you can easily grip them and yank them out of your shoes. Ideal for day-to-day use.
  • can extend the lifespan of shoes
  • pleasant smell wards off odor
  • slim front will not ruin your shoe shape
Brand Original Shoe Tree Comp
Model 509
Weight 2.4 pounds

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 even 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 find 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: 03/28/2017 | Authorship Information