Shoe Trees and Shoe Horns: Leather Shoes in Top Shape

There’s little better than a well-cared-for pair of shoes. So what can you do to make certain your favourites don’t end up looking like they’ve been through the wringer?

Your shoes get put through a lot – moisture, extremes in weather, physical strain – each and every wear taxes the materials. If you want your favourites to stay looking impeccable even after multiple wears, you must practise regular care. We aren’t only talking about the use of creams, brushes and polish. Proper care begins with proper shoe storage; in a shoe box or shoe bag, for example. This could well be considered “passive shoe care”, since all you really have to do is avoid a few of the classic mistakes. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Shoe Horns: Care from the Very First Moment

He who loves his footwear uses a shoe horn to put on his shoes each and every time. Shoe horns not only aid in putting on the shoe itself, but also help prevent unattractive wrinkles or bulges from forming at the heel. What’s more, shoe horns preserve seams and protect sensitive materials like leather from getting scratched. Whether plastic, metal or wooden, a shoe horn is essential.

That Bit of Extra Support: Shoe Trees and Shoe Stretchers

So you wandered over hill and dale and your shoes are worse for wear? Not to worry, that’s what shoe trees, also known as shoe stretchers or shoe formers, are for. These supportive inserts ensure frustrating lines and wrinkles don’t settle into the leather. When placed after wear, a plastic or wooden shoe tree will return the shoe to its original shape. Let’s be honest, wrinkles really only look cute when they’re on a pug’s face. When found on shoes, however, wrinkles are unattractive. Moreover, unaddressed creases can eventually lead to tears or fissures in the leather. Not even the best shoemaker around can bring torn shoes back to life.

Our feet produce a considerable amount of moisture throughout the day. When you place a shoe tree in your shoe immediately after taking it off, it encourages airflow and prevents the leather from losing its shape while drying out.

Choosing the Appropriate Shoe Tree for Your Shoe

Is every shoe tree suited to every shoe? Not a chance! You should pay attention to a few parameters when selecting the right one for your shoe. An ill-selected shoe tree can mean both wasted money and permanent damage to your shoes. We recommend using a shoe tree made of unfinished wood for men’s shoes.

Cedar wood shoe trees are particularly advantageous as they simultaneously discourage unsavoury aromas from taking hold. One such model is the EXCELLENCE men’s screw shoe tree, which can be adjusted to fit the length of your shoe and supports both the toe and heel. The linear structure of the tree prevents the toe from gradually curling upwards, what’s come to be known as the dreaded Aladdin toe.

Shoe Trees and Boot Stretchers: Specialists That Pack a Punch

Shoe care is just as important when you’re on the road. Before you set out, be sure to pack a set of BASIC SOFTFORMERS. They are light as a feather, easy to use and most importantly, they prevent creases from forming on your footwear when they’re packed snugly in your suitcase.

Are you more of a boot person? Try supporting your favourite pair with a set of FORMERS for high-boots after each wear. Not only are they easy to insert, but they’ll also stop the leather from being damaged by bending or creasing. The functional FORMERS for low-boots work perfectly to hold the shape of your trendy ankle boots. The real cherry on top is: Both type of FORMERS feature hooks that allow the boots to be hung, saving valuable space on your shoe rack and relieving your boots of some extra pressure.

As a rule of thumb, you should always buy a shoe tree sized appropriately to each shoe; otherwise, the shoe could become grossly misshapen. Beware of the so-called unisex shoe tree! Men’s and ladies’ shoes vary vastly in shape, as do the feet that wear them. A shoe requires a shoe tree suited to its individual nature. That’s precisely why Collonil has developed products such as the CHIC & LIGHTS with grip foam shoe tree that is specially designed for ladies’ high heels.

Give Your Shoes a Break

Those of us hard at work need a breather every now and again – the same goes for our shoes. Try not to wear the same pair two days in a row if possible, and allow your shoes 24 hours to recover after each wear. Be kind to your footwear and you will enjoy a long life of days and nights out on the town together.

Be sure to use your shoes’ respite days for more active shoe care. You can find more tips, videos and our current promotions and sales in our monthly newsletter.