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Shoe Tree Test - 11/2019

Our test winners are the Seeadler shoe trees in the Jefford and St. John Edition: The shoe trees are easy to use and fill the shoe almost perfectly. Our favourite with the test grade 9.8/10!

We tested 4 shoe trees and paid special attention to the filling of the shoe and the handling.

You are a proud owner of new shoes and want to keep them as long as possible? In addition to general material care, shoe trees in shoes that are still warm to the touch ensure that the shape remains well filled, creases are smoothed out and no annoying creases and dents form. They also ensure faster drying after wet walks. So even your darlings can look like new after a long time!

Winner IconOur winner:
Seeadler Premium Shoe Trees/Stretchers - Jefford Edition

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last modified: 12.11.2019, 10:34
Winner Winner
Our winner: Seeadler Premium Shoe Trees/Stretchers - Jefford Edition Our winner: Seeadler Premium Shoe Trees/Stretchers - St. John Edition eds Shoe tree Review Blumtal Shoe Tree Pine Wood Review

Premium Shoe Trees/Stretchers - Jefford Edition

Premium Shoe Trees/Stretchers - St. John Edition

Shoe tree

Shoe Tree Pine Wood

  • Good filling of the shoe
  • Easy to use
  • Good filling of the shoe
  • Convenient handling
  • Many functions
  • Shoes can be hung up
  • Easy handling
  • Adjustable to many sizes
  • Only for one size
  • Only for one size
  • Complex handling
  • No good filling of the shoe
  • Not width adjustable

A very good shoe tree with easy handling and a very good filling of the shoe.

High-quality shoe tree that fills the shoe very well and is easy to use.

Suitable for all shoe sizes as it is individually adjustable in length and width. However, it is complicated to use.

A simple shoe tree for easy use. Not suitable for high-quality shoes.

Filling of the shoe
Range of functions
Overall impression
Height 8.5 cm 7 cm 9 cm 5.5 cm
Depth 28 cm 29 cm 43 cm 32 cm
Width 9 cm 9 cm 9 cm 8.5 cm
Weight 703 g 697 g 1,050 g 351 g
Scope of delivery Shoe trees Shoe tree Shoe trees, shoehorn, attachments Shoe trees, connecting piece
Quality impression Good Good Excellent Satisfactory
Packaging Cardboard Cardboard Textile bag Plastic
- - - -
Test seal: Seeadler Premium Shoe Trees/Stretchers - Jefford Edition, Rating 1.2
read review
Test seal: Seeadler Premium Shoe Trees/Stretchers - St. John Edition, Rating 1.2
read review
Test seal: eds Shoe tree, Rating 2.3
read review
Test seal: Blumtal Shoe Tree Pine Wood, Rating 3
read review
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*All prices include VAT (if applicable, extra charge for delivery. Check the particular online shop to find information about the availability. Changes of indicated prices since the last update remain reserved.


Premium Shoe Trees/Stretchers - Jefford Edition

Test seal: Seeadler Premium Shoe Trees/Stretchers - Jefford Edition, Rating excellent

The Seeadler Premium Shoe Trees/Stretchers - Jefford Edition is easy to use, of high quality and fills the shoe almost perfectly. The handles make it very easy to remove the shoe trees from the shoes. It is a very good alternative if you do not need to use it for different shoes in different sizes.

read review

Seeadler - Premium Shoe Trees/Stretchers - Jefford Edition

Winner: read review
  • Make sure that your shoe tree is variable in width.
  • Your shoe tree should fill the shoe as well as possible.
  • If the heel part is too narrow, a bulge may occur.
  • Your shoe tree should be suitable for the size of your shoes, even if there is a certain acceptance range of one to two sizes for some products.

In the run-up to the test, we defined practical requirements and the following test criteria:

  • Filling the shoe
  • Handling
  • Functional scope
  • Overall impression

heel part bulge
Such bulges should be prevented with good shoe trees.

In order to evaluate these criteria, we have defined several tests for the shoe trees. First, the scope of delivery and functions are checked. Then we tested all shoe trees in different shoes of different sizes and paid special attention to the test criteria.

The shoe trees had to prove themselves in leather shoes for several weeks. It was evaluated how well they hold the fit and how easy they are to handle. Here the initial adjustment and the regular removal of the shoe trees.

Numbers don't lie. Germans spent around 12.9 billion euros on shoes in 2018. Once again, this confirms that the Federal Republic plays a leading role in the shoe trade worldwide. With so much love for footwear, shoe trees should be a matter of course alongside shoe polish and waterproofing spray. While this was still common practice in earlier times, today it is not seldom smiled at. Wrongly so. Like no other little helper it keeps your footwear in good shape by excluding creases and therefore protects your investment. Find out here which shoe trees are good helpers and what you should consider when choosing, using and caring for them.

Shoe trees should not be confused with shoe stretchers. It is the task of the shoe stretcher to stretch the shoes in order to quickly ensure the desired wearing comfort. However, you should not leave the shoe stretcher in the footwear for too long, because otherwise, deformations of the material are the inevitable result.

In contrast, the shoe tree, also known as the shoe stretcher, cannot come into contact with the footwear often enough. In the ideal case, it consists of three parts. While the front blade fills the front part of the shoe and the heel piece fills the rear cap, the middle part provides the appropriate length and a slight tension of the shoe stretcher. This tension maintains the shape of the shoe. Blisters between the ball of the toe and the metatarsus should also be a thing of the past.

As the constant compression of the material makes it impossible to avoid creases in the shaft in the area of the metatarsophalangeal joints when walking, the shoe tree is absolutely necessary. In addition to compensating for these so-called creases, the shoe tree also relieves the strain on the bottom seams of sewn shoes. Even more, the shoe tree effectively prevents the loss of fit in the long run. So the shoes are regularly wet after wearing due to the foot evaporation. Without a shoe tree, the bottom of the shoe bulges upwards due to the tightening of the upper as the shoe dries. Sooner or later your shoes will become smaller and one day they won't fit anymore. With a shoe tree made of untreated wood, this cannot happen to you, especially as it guarantees the rapid removal of unwanted moisture.

The shoe tree should always be one size smaller than the shoe size. After all, shoe trees that are too large overstretch the shoe, while those that are too small simply do not serve their purpose and have too little tension.

The variable intermediate part of the shoe tree naturally ensures the exact adaptation to the respective shoe size. In the simplest case, the front and heel parts are connected via a spiral spring. The enormous resilience of this spring allows you to handle two shoe sizes at once. Double sizes are also included in the screw joint. Especially with a very fine thread, the shoe tree can be adjusted exactly to the corresponding shoe size. However, the best shoe trees come with a double-joint spring as a connection between the front wood and the heel section. Although the double-joint spring guarantees an excellent fit, you can't cover more than a certain shoe size with it.

Sometimes you will come across a wedge-shaped piece of wood as the middle part of the shoe tree. This creates the desired tension between the front and heel parts just like the last by simply pushing it in. While this detail is hardly worth mentioning on the side, the optimal fit is all the more important. So the front blade should fill the front part of the shoe as well as possible. In order to avoid the deformation of the rear cap of the shoe, the heel piece must not be too narrow, too angular or too small. A softly rounded, wide heel piece, therefore, testifies to a good choice of the shoe tree. Ideally, the shoe tree should only be placed on the edge of the insole and should have round or slit-shaped recesses in the front leaves. This guarantees good ventilation for the shoes.

Easy access with the spiral shoe tensioner

The spiral shoe tensioner is generally regarded as an entry-level model. The name says it all. This is how a metal spiral spring builds up the pressure. This shoe stretcher only fills the upper front part of the shoe, while the small heel piece places a point load on the rear cap and sometimes leaves unsightly marks.

Spiral shoe trees can cause unsightly dents at the heel
Spiral shoe trees can cause unsightly dents at the heel.

On the other hand, the enormous tension in the front part of the shoe can be seen. Usually, the front blade and heel are made of beech wood or plastic. If you buy a spiral shoe tree, the wood version is undisputedly preferable. After all, wood has a better grip on the moisture in the shoe.

Jefford Edition Shoetree
Full Shoetree can be adjusted in all directions to achieve an ideal fit.

The full shoe tree is considered to be the Rolls-Royce among shoe stretchers. Accordingly, you have to reach deep into your pocket. After this tensioner completely fills the shoe, the shoe is under tension in longitudinal as well as transverse direction. While the even pressure distribution protects the material, the shoe does not wear out due to the horizontal pressure distribution.

It couldn't be better. But it should already be unpainted wood, as otherwise, the moisture dissipation is too short. As a rule, untreated cedar wood is used anyway, which has a proven fungicidal and antibacterial effect. The only disadvantage of cedarwood is the possible contact allergy. As an allergy sufferer, you are therefore well advised to use the plastic version.

Since these exclusive models are also available with a screw connection, the length is not really a problem. For this, the shoe tree usually has to be in line with the dimensions of the shoe in question. In short: The full shoe tree is not ideal for all footwear.

But it does not have to be a full shoe stretcher. A partial shoe tree is similar to the full shoe tree but without a massive heel piece. Usually, the partial shoe tree is made of plastic and is, therefore, a lot less breathable compared to wood.

On the other hand, the partial shoe tree is very flexible in the length and prevents the shoes from wearing out due to the horizontal pressure distribution. Only a tension of the side parts is not included.

The soft shoe trees, also called half trees, completely do without the heel piece. They are limited to the front blade and are pushed loosely into the front part of the shoe. Apart from the plastic handle, foam with viscose flock is the preferred material.

It is therefore not surprising that the half-tensioner is reserved for ballerinas, pumps, and moccasins. To limit the use to this is recommended because the soft shoe tree has hardly any tension on offer and does not support the heel at all.

While very wide shoes are served with a two-piece, by a spring tension gaping front leaves of shoe trees, there are shoe stretchers for half-boots with longer, raised front leaves. Boots, on the other hand, require boot trees or shoe trees in combination with boot shapers.

Boot trees made of wood or plastic consisting of a foot and a leg piece. In more expensive models, the foot and leg piece are connected, whereas in cheaper models they are separated. The leg piece is naturally attached to the boot tube. The corresponding tension is built up by an elongated wedge that is simply moved between the two main parts of the leg piece.

If you already have a suitable shoe tree, the purchase of a shaft former is sufficient. Together with the shoe tree, the boot former is in no way inferior to the boot tree. The construction of the boot shaper differs only slightly from that of the boot tree. Two long, resiliently connected bowls made of wood or plastic hold the boot tube under slight tension. At the same time, a suspension device enables the hanging storage of the boots.

Full shoe tensioner: Perfect fit during long breaks in use

If circumstances permit and if ballerinas & co. are not to be supplied, the full shoe tree is always to be preferred to all other shoe trees. Of course, a shoe with a spiral shoe tree is much easier to place on the next hook than a shoe with a full shoe tree. In the long run, however, the enormous tensioning force of the spiral shoe tree becomes noticeable in the form of impressions of the grip in the heel region. If your expensive leather shoes are waiting a long time in the cupboard for the next use, the perfect fit of the shoe tree is indispensable. A special double suspension in the longitudinal direction together with the single suspension in the transverse direction of the front part is only offered by the full version of the three-piece full shoe tree.

The same applies to wooden shoe trees as for full shoe trees. If no sensitive ladies' shoes scream for foam and plastic, wood is the material of choice for shoe trees. Not by chance. Only wooden shoe trees guarantee one hundred percent breathability and therefore the ideal drying of the shoes. In addition, unlike foam, wood optimally fills the shoe.

A shoe tree made of wood knows no pardon and leaves the leather no room for shrinkage. A wooden shoe tree thus excludes from the outset that your shoe feels noticeably tighter after the moisture has been removed. Last but not least, wood effectively prevents sweaty feet. The special scent of cedarwood is legendary. It seduces with a natural aroma and makes bad smells in the shoe cabinet forgotten in an instant.

A question of the shoe

Which shoe tree is the right one for you, is primarily a question of the shoe. The only agreement is that you should tighten all pairs in your wardrobe. The signs of aging of the creases do not only affect the classic men's shoes and adorn high heels.

Sneakers, running shoes, hiking shoes, sandals, bootees, Budapest shoes, and pumps scream no less for shoe trees. The luxury model made of untreated red cedar with double and single suspension and moulded heel cap is truly unnecessary.

If sandals or sling pumps don't even have their own heel section, the question of the necessity of a full shoe instep is unnecessary. Rather, in this case, the half-tensioner made of foam fully satisfies the requirements.

However, you should pay attention to the washability of the materials when buying such cheap products. Otherwise, the smell of the foam models could quickly turn into a highly unpleasant problem.

The middle class wins the race

Relevant comparative tests of the recent past have positive results to report. Quality is no longer a question of price. Rather, those shoe trees with the best test results are in the mid-price segment. For a good shoe tree made of cedar wood you only need to pay 25 to 35 Euros.

If you're looking for a cheaper alternative and don't want to spend more than 10 Euros, it's a good idea to look at the material. In other words, in this case, you should choose the brand that offers you a wooden model at this price.

Whether it is really worth the effort to think big about a low-priced product like a shoe tree is another matter. In any case, only practice will show whether a shoe tree is worth anything. However, the list of questions you can ask yourself before buying a shoe tree is almost endless.

Eye-catching are, for example, processing errors. Without sharp edges, everything is green and the material is flawlessly processed. You should regularly choose a shoe tree that stretches the entire shoe. A shoe tree that can be individually adjusted to your shoe in both length and width, therefore, is to be welcomed. After all, this horizontal tensioning force is accompanied by a protection of the material. If your shoe tree has a heel piece, this is ideal for even pressure distribution. Otherwise, you will have to reckon with impressions in the long run. It is also quite possible that you would like to have a shoe tree that can be used on both sides and is not tied to the right choice of shoe. Especially if you suffer from a notorious lack of time, this universal use can be an important selling point.

While the product descriptions of the dealers provide information about these product characteristics, practical handling can only be found in relevant customer reviews. In any case, it is crucial that your shoe tree can be easily inserted into the shoe and positioned. It should also be intuitive to use and not require the study of extensive operating instructions. And if you suffer from lack of space, the space-saving stowage of the tensioner should be of burning interest to you.

To assume that the technical implementation is of secondary importance for you. Whether the length can, therefore, be changed with a spring, a push mechanism or a screw may not really be decisive for your purchase. It is, of course, important whether your shoe tree is made of cheap plastic or high-quality cedarwood. No less important are the possible uses of your shoe tree. A model that is only suitable for a single pair of shoes should naturally not be discussed if there is a chronic shortage of money.

Important information on in-line and out-line trimming

So that the drying process returns the stretched leather to its initial condition, the shoe trees must necessarily land in the still warm shoes after wearing. The shoe trees should spend at least a full day in the shoes before you remove them again.

If your shoes are completely soaked by pouring rain, it is essential to dry them before using the shoe tree. All you have to do is stuff the shoes with plain newspaper. One part of the paper absorbs the moisture, the other part gives the material the necessary tension. To ensure that the sole also dries, place the shoes together with newspaper on poles in the shoe rack. It is also possible to simply put them aside.

To insert a good wooden shoe tree, simply fold up the heel piece and insert the entire front blade into the shoe. As soon as the tensioner touches the tip of the shoe, press the heel firmly downwards. It's even easier to make a last. To do this, use the handle knob to push the shoe tree a little forward and pull the tree out of the shoe.

Thujaplicin is the name given to the fabric of the white areas of shoe trees made of cedar wood that are mistaken for mould. Yes, de facto the fabric has a fungicidal effect and protects against moths and other pests.

If you find this natural crystallization disturbing, you are free to sand down the small white cross-links with an abrasive paper (grain 120 to 240). A 120 abrasive paper is also in demand when the typical wood smell disappears.

A short treatment of the shoe tree with the sandpaper is perfectly sufficient to give the draining foot odour no chance to unfold.

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What is the best shoe tree?

Our test winners are the Seeadler shoe trees in the Jefford and St. John Edition: The shoe trees are easy to use and fill the shoe almost perfectly. Our favourite with the test grade 9.8/10!

We tested 4 shoe trees and paid special attention to the filling of the shoe and the handling.

You are a proud owner of new shoes and want to keep them as long as possible? In addition to general material care, shoe trees in shoes that are still warm to the touch ensure that the shape remains well filled, creases are smoothed out and no annoying creases and dents form. They also ensure faster drying after wet walks. So even your darlings can look like new after a long time!


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