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One of the joys of investing in a pair of beautiful leather shoes is the gorgeous patina that they can develop over time. It gives them that wonderful ‘worn with love’ character. And because you would want to make sure they last for as many years as possible, it is also important to make sure that they maintain good form and that moisture will not ruin the leather. The main ways to achieve this is by using shoe trees.
Shoe trees are the solution to prevent the shoe toe from collapsing and forming creases and wrinkles, and also from creating wrinkles in the vamp area where your foot bends while walking (midway up your shoe). Although this is common and natural to occur, it will ruin the form of your shoes in the long run, and can also eventually cause the leather to dry and crack if not cared for.
Shoe trees are the solution to adjusting shoe forms back into their natural shape. There is no other or better solution, and it is the equivalent of wearing your shoes when you’re not actually wearing them!
Let’s get into the benefits.
All shoes have to deal with the pressure of walking, and this will naturally have an effect on the shape and form of the shoe (image what your feet feel like after a long day of walking!). Your shoes will need a full 24 hours to dry before it is ideal to wear them again, and the best way to do this is by using a shoe tree. There is nothing better than shoe trees and boot trees to help shoes and boots reform back into shape. For this reason, I strongly recommend investing in a pair of shoe trees to go along with your favorite shoes.
If you have a lot of shoes in your closet (and is may seem outlandish to purchase shoe trees for every pair), it is also a good idea to invest in just a few and rotate them focusing on your most recently worn pairs. There is a variety of options to select from (some of our favorite options pictured above are from the expert shoe tree maker Herve Brunelle) depending on your need, budget and type of shoe. Although it may seem like an additional and unneeded purchase, in the long run it will keep your favorite shoes in an excellent condition for years!
Signing-off: Rana Cheikha for The Shoe Advisor
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With a little TLC, shoes can last much longer than you think, and a pair of good leather shoes can last for years and years. It may seem like a tedious job, but taking good care of your shoes only needs about 10 to 15 minutes every so often.
As we always state, your feet are unique to you, and finding the right pair of shoes can sometimes be a little tricky. We also know that genuine leather shoes tend to stretch after a few wears, but sometimes, getting to that comfortable spot may be a bit uncomfortable, and buying the next size up wouldn’t make much sense considering that they too would eventually stretch and then become too loose!