You are here:Home >>Blog

Guide to Shoe Trees

26, Mar 2021 2056 views

What’s a shoe tree?


It’s not Iiterally a tree which grows shoes. But indeed there are many trees and power poles festooned with old shoes scattered every corner in the world. It was said that started from North America originally when the first Big Depression. Why people did that? nobody knows. I think it’s a cultural phenomenon, way of self-expression, for instance, people tossed the old shoes of passed away ones high into trees for memory, some threw their shoes up there for a good-bye to the past and a start for new chapter, while some couples tied their shoes together as an eternal token. Thus the decorated trees with shoes are something about feelings and ego-expression.


A 60-year-old-shoe tree, northeast Idaho , burned down in 2010. | via


Shoe tree, shoes on power pole , Frankfurter, Germany. By Susan Yan Sun

Now let’s talk about another version of shoe trees which concerns your health and your quality life.

All the shoe trees we talk about in this article are shoe trees made of wood, which act as an useful device to protect your footware.


What is a shoe tree


A shoe tree is used to insert in your shoes tree, to absorb the moisture from shoes lining to prevent fungus and remain the shoes in good shape to prevent leather from wrinkles. In short, a shoe tree is to protect your shoes to last yours shoes lifespan.

No evidence to trace when people started to use shoe trees, but in Apr. 1905 Mr. Willam C.Benkert was granted the patent for his invention of shoe tree in USA.


I was attracted by one piece of delicate-made leather shoes with complicated-designed wooden shoe tree inside, in Museum LA,USA.


Shoe tree in LA Museum- By Susan Yan Sun

It’s no doubt that the shoe trees are something concerning life improvement. Some people begun to care about their shoes when they were rich enough to afford fine dress and more than one pair of shoes. Before the wooden shoe trees came out, people usually crunched up the waste paper into their shoes to keep the shoes shape, left their shoes somewhere to dry the sweat and moisture by the natural wind. Till today, many shoe sellers offer bunched paper ball in the shoe box or a shabby cardboard holds the brand new shoes. Somehow the paper bunch and cardboard can only do some of the work, let’s see why we need shoe tree and how shoe tree works.

Why we need shoe tree



After a whole day wearing or walking in the rain, the shoes leather and lining full of sweat and wetness which rot the lining and leather, the shoes stink, even worse, the long time dampness inside shoes easily make harmful fungus occurred, if you don’t pay attention to that on time, serious foot disease like beriberi, athlet’s foot will follow unconsciously. All these shorten your shoes life, waste your money to buy new shoes but much seriously it’s bad for your health.

We all have the experience of wearing new leather shoes: clean and neat, your feet feel good. Wearing for a certain time without care, the footware become dirty and wet. The humidity inside the shoes cause the lining and leather easily getting cracks, the smell of the shoes are getting terrible. If you keep on wearing the same pair of shoes for several days, when you put your feet into shoes in the morning, you can sense the sticky moisture inside the shoes, even you’re in new socks, and that unpleasant feel probably accompany you the whole day.

The pretty easy way to make your feet comfortable, healthy and make you feel pleasant is to insert one pair of shoe trees into your shoes after a full day wear. The breathing absorbent wooden shoe trees draw the sweat from the lining and leather, while keeping your exhausted shoes flat and prevent the leather from wrinkles and cracks. If you don’t have more shoes to rotate, after one night with shoe trees in your shoes, your feet can feel dry and clean from the same shoes. After the shoe inserts holding shoes for more than 24 hours, you’ll feel as comfortable as wearing new shoes!

Once started to use wooden shoe shape keepers, many people would swear by the wood shoe trees. Frequent using shoe trees can prolong the lifespan of your shoes, thus spending small sum on shoe trees is one efficient way to save your money! More important it’s no way for the funguses occur in the dry and clean circumstance inside the shoes! That’s organic prefect for your health and for your quality life!

What do shoe trees do ? 


The shoe tree was initially produced as a shoe holder to be inserted into shoes to keep its natural shape. Then the good wooden shoe trees not only hold the shoes in its fine shape, also play crucial in keeping the shoe lining from moisture inside shoes for rot and fungus prevention, and retaining the shoe leather from cracking by drawing out the wetness.

With the shoe tree inserted in, when you polish and clean your shoes, it’s easy and helpful to do the job.

The best of the wooden shoe trees are cedar wood ones. Besides the above mentioned functions, its natural aromatic flavor can help odor control, keep the shoes refresh after a certain time of holding the shoes shape, 100% organic breathing deodorant shoe shape keeper!


What are cedar shoe trees used for ?   


Cedar shoe trees are used for keeping your shoes in good shape. The cedar wood shoe trees absorb the wetness from shoes lining to prevent fungus, reduce the leather wrinkles to prolong shoes lifespan. Natural ecofresh fragrance from cedar wood shoe tree features as organic deodorant fresher. After cedar shoe tree inserted in your shoes over 24 hours, the shoes will become dry and fresh from inside to outside.

More about shoe trees follows.

Shoe trees are named in various ways from different regions:

shoe tree, wooden shoes, shoe holder, shoe shape keeper, shoe shaper, shoe keeper, shoe inserts, shoe stretcher, shoe expander, shoe widener, holder for boot, boot stretcher, sneaker shield, embouchoir chaussure bois, schuhspanner, hormas para calzado…


When do you need shoe trees?


After a whole day walking, it’s time to release your feet from the shoes, now it’s shoe trees turn. Better to insert wooden shoe trees into your shoes as soon as possible or within one ~ two hours to wick away the sweat from the lining, prevent the lining from rot, while holding the leather to its natural shape from cracking and wrinkles.

Suggest to have the shoe trees inserted in your shoes at least 24 hours before next wearing.

If your feet sweat much every day, strongly recommend to have cedar wood shoe holder to draw out the moisture inside the shoes and the natural cedar aromatic scent has fresh odor control, to dissipate the unpleasant smell from your shoes. Then for next wearing, you’ll find dry and refresh in your shoes again.


How long the shoe trees inserted in your shoes?


For better effect in keeping your shoes dry and in fine shape, 24 hours is minimum. If you have more shoes to rotate every day, then keep the shoe holders in the spare shoes for wonderful care until next wearing.


Every pair of shoes need its own shoe tree?


Better to do so if you want to give more care to all your loved shoes!


Where to use the shoe trees?


Shoe trees are widely used in bespoke hand-made shoe producing sites as shoe holders and perks for luxury shoes, in shoe factories to keep the shoe shapes, in shoe shops to match the fine shoes, for shows, of course, shoe keepers are much common found in shoe closets in hundreds of families, shoe inserts in gym bags and lockers and travel luggage.


How to produce spring shoe trees?


There’re over dozens of shoe trees we can produce, let’s start with the essential and big volume one- spring shoe tree.

wood_shoe_treeboot_tree women's_shoe_tree

The spiral shoe tree consists of wooden toe part, strong elastic spring and wooden knob.

Ventilation slots in toe part help to dissipate the moisture and odor inside the shoes. Thanks to its simple structure, lightweight, versatile for different footware, as well as its key advantage cheap prices, the spring shoe trees are widely welcome and keep huge volume over the years.

The main wood choices for spring shoe tree are solid wood as schima wood, softwood as pine wood, of course cedar wood and beech wood are better options.

Schima wood we use for producing spring shoe trees are from southern China and that’s the most big volume wood for our spring shoe trees so far due to its durable characteristic and economic price.

In recent years, more and more pine wood from New Zealand are used to produce spring shoe tree because of its lightweight and comparative price.

Cedar wood are originally from North America while beech wood come from Europe. The spring shoe trees made of cedar wood is well known for its aromatic flavor and beech wood spiral shoe tree is welcome by its solid and durable quality.

Let’s take schima wood as an example to show how to make spring shoe tree.

1.Raw wood for shoe tree


Selected schima wood cut from forest

2.Raw wood for shoe keeper piled up in the open air


Schima wood timber for making shoe tree from forest to our manufacture site, piled up in the open air before production

3.Peeled wood log for shoe inserts


Peeled wood log has been sort up by different diameter

4. Wooden shoe shaper cutting


Cutting the wood log into different blocks according to different shoe tree sizes

5.Wooden shoes moulding


Digital controlled moulding mechanism making the blocks into different wooden shoe shapes moulds

6.Shoe shape keeper mould boiling


Shoe shaper moulds in bags have been boiled in the heating room for at least 12 hours depends on different seasons to get off the sticky liquid from the wood, to enable its solidness

7.Shoe keeper tip toe trimming


Trimming the tip toe part of shoe shaper

8.Shoe expander toe cutting


Cutting the toe part of shoe expander

9.Shoe widener toe back side curving


Curving the back side of toe part of shoe widener

10.Shoe inserts ventilation slots cutting


Cutting ventilating slots on the toe part of shoe inserts

11.Shoe holders toe part drying


Drying shoe holders toe part in heating containers for 36 hours up depends on the humidity of the wood in different seasons and getting them cool down gradually in the open air

12.Spring shoe tree hole drilling


Drilling a hole to have spring installed

13.Shoe trees rough and fine polishing


Polishing the wooden shoes toe part by rough and fine grinding with different sanding paper

14.Spring shoe tree knobs/balls


Wooden knobs/ balls made from round sticks

15.Spring shoe holder assembling


Assembling toe, spring and knob together to be a complete spring shoe tree

16.Shoe stretchers clipping


ouple the left and the right shoe stretchers with clips

17.Spring shoe trees quality inspection


Our strict quality control system, only qualified shoe trees are approved

18.Shoe stretcher sizing


Size stamping on shoe trees

19.Shoe trees packaging


Shoe wideners in bulk package or customized box packing

20.Shoe trees quality control


Every pair of shoe expander has been inspected, then packed into carton, approval marked

21.Shoe trees uploading for shipments


Shoe trees uploading into containers and trucks for shipments

How to make quality cedar shoe trees?

Eastern Red cedar shoe trees are highly accepted by customers who care about their fine shoes and their quality life. Besides holding the expensive leather shoes in its natural shapes, wicking away the sweat inside the shoes lining and leather for rot and fungus prevention for health sake, and as wrinkles remover for quality shoe care, as other wooden shoe trees do, shoe trees made of aromatic red cedar have added value: its unique aromatic flavor is 100% organic moth and other insect repellent, and more it has proper odor control to keep the shoes pleasant smell, that’s the reason why cedar shoe shape keepers are called an ideal breathable shoe care device.


The following shows the main steps from our cedar shoe trees manufacturing:

1.Selected cedar timber from North America for quality shoe trees


Cedar blocks in different specifications for different wooden shoe styles and sizes

2.Machinery for cedar wood pressed combination


Cedar wood pressed for bigger blocks

3.Cedar shoe stretcher blocks cutting


Cutting cedar wood into proper blocks

4.Cedar shoe widener moulding


Moulding machine to make wood blocks to shoe trees in different styles

5.Cedar shoe holder block


Wooden shoe blocks in different shapes

6.Cedar shoe keeper toe grinding


Polishing toe part of shoe keeper

7.Cedar wooden shoes toe splitting

cedar_shoe_inserts cedar_shoe_stretcher

Splitting toe parts of shoe expander into two parts

8.Cedar shoe expander side hole drilling


Drilling side holes of shoe widener

9.Cedar shoe expander interior holes drilling

cedar_inserts_for_shoes cedar_shoe_trees

Drilling holes inside toe part of shoe holder

10.Cedar shoe stretcher heel grinding


Polishing heel part of shoe inserts

11.Cedar shoe widener heel curving


Curving shoe stretcher’s heel parts

12.Cedar shoe holder heel rounding


Trimming heel part of shoe holder round

13.Cedar shoe insert twin tubes hole-drilling


Drilling twin tube holes on heels part of shoe stretcher

14.Cedar shoe shaper fine grinding


Polishing shoe shape keepers by fine sanding paper

15.Cedar shoe tree toe mechanism installing

cedar_shoe_trees cedar_wood_shoe_tree

Mechanism installation interior shoe expander toe part

16.Cedar shoe tree logo engraving and metal logo


Logo laser engraving or metal logo on wooden shoe

17.Cedar boot stretcher twin tubes installing


Twin tubes shoe stretcher installation

18.Cedar shoe shaper metal knob installing


Metal knob fixed on shoe shape keeper heel

19.Strict cedar schuhspanner quality control


Having every piece of shoe schuhspanner carefully and strictly inspected by our QC team

20.Cedar embouchoir chaussure bois package


Choose matching right and left to be one pair of shoe tree, pack into box

21.Cedar shoe holders loaded into container


Uploading qualified shoe inserts for shipments

How to choose shoe trees?


According to the material and crafts of shoe tree manufacturing, there are roughly three categories coming with our shoe trees: essential shoe trees, quality shoe trees and lasted shoe trees

Essential shoe trees: spiral shoe trees for Men and Women


The simple design and cheap prices lead spiral shoe shape keepers to be the volume advantage among shoe trees. Solid wood as schima wood, softwood as pine wood, quality beech and cedar wood are suitable options for spring shoe trees making.

women's_shoe_tree shoe_tree_womenladies_shoe_tree


Quality shoe trees: single and twin tube shoe trees for Men and Women


Quality shoe holders with full toe, full heel or thin heel can fit the shoes well, having good holding for shoes fine shape. Adjustable width in toe to expand the shoes properly for various shoes width and styles, the wooden heels with metal knobs hold the shoe heels closely. Complex mechanism for more flexibility and more wooden shoes wick away moisture from shoe lining and leather for rot and fungus prevention, as well as wrinkles removing and anti-cracking, thus it’s easy to understand why these shoe trees are popular and sworn by those fine shoes owners and quality shoes lovers.

Wood options for quality shoe trees are durable beech wood and aromatic red cedar wood. The latter one is preferred much for its natural organic and eco-friend deodorant characteristics, which offers added value and more advantage in shoe care.

cedar_shoe_tree_for_men mens_cedar_shoe_treescedar_shoe_tree_for_men

Lasted shoe trees: also called bespoke shoe trees


The lasted shoe trees are made out imitating your feet, totally an entire wooden foot holding the precious fine shoes in its natural shape, dissipating the moisture inside the shoes and keep the shoes refresh and dry continuously, to have rot, crack and wrinkles free.

The best choice for lasted shoe tree is aromatic red cedar wood.


Material for making shoe trees


So far there are wooden shoe trees and plastic shoe trees available in the market. The latter ones can only do part of the job to keep the shoes shape, nothing to do with drying and odor control, they are generally used in travelling thanks to its lightweight.

As for the wooden shoe trees, aromatic cedar wood, solid beech wood, economic schima wood and pine wood are the common choices.


Shoe Tree size range


We have size ranges both for Women and Men shoe trees:

Double sizes as 35/36,37/38,39/40,41/42 for Women

40/41, 43/44,45/46,46/48 for Men

Single size range from 35,36…48.

Also UK sizing available


Shoe Tree Packaging


Our shoe trees can be packed either in bulk simple package or customized boxes.

How to preserve the wooden shoe trees?


As an useful and efficient shoe care device, wooden shoe trees preserve your footware in good shape, draw out the moisture from lining and leather of your shoes. In one word, the shoe trees do great job in saving your money and for your health. The shoe shape keepers also need care. It’s quite simple, for shoe trees made of schima wood, pine wood and beech wood, after a certain time of usage, put them in ventilating place to get dry. As for cedar shoe trees, sanding the shoe trees surface slightly by sanding paper, the cedar shoe inserts will become clean and refresh again and its aromatic scent comes back as new.


Top poplar shoe trees


We have many shoe trees widely welcome by customers from North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Among them here come the top popular shoe trees from our range. All these quality shoe trees are durable and worth for your money.

shoe_treecedar_shoe_tree mens_cedar_shoe_tree

cedar_shoes_tree_for_men aromatic_cedar_shoe_tree

All shoe trees and manufacturing pictures by Arisen team /


The last but not least:


Where to buy quality shoe trees and how to find the reliable shoe tree supplier?


There is one answer for the above two questions:


Qingdao Arisen Co.,Ltd.

22 Fl. Futai Plaza A

18 Xianggang Zhong Road,



Tel:86 532 85025153 /13808959626

[email protected]



For more details, please feel free to contact us!   

Related Posts


Good quality

  Qingdao Arisen is one of the leading manufacturers of high quality  shoe tree and wooden hanger from China. ...