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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Shoetree Project - A Review of Quality Shoe Care Products in Singapore

Quality dress shoes are expensive, but they can last decades - especially if they are cared for properly. I used to think nothing about the maintenance of my shoes, until i started buying leather shoes that cost more than a few hundred - shoes that would be too expensive to throw away.

This was when i started to wonder how i could properly maintain and extend their lifespan, effectively stretching that dollar on the 'investment'.

That’s where shoe trees and proper leather polishing/nourishing products come in. Some men look at these wooden shoe inserts as an unnecessarily expensive purchase, but shoe trees are crucial to keeping shoes in amazing shape as they age.

Here's why.


Our feet sweat throughout the day, and the leather and lining of our shoes absorb all that moisture. This can cause the lining to rot, your shoes to smell, and the leather to crack over time, thereby ruining your expensive footwear.

A shoe tree holds a shoe in its proper shape so it dries out correctly, and keeps the leather from cracking by wicking away moisture. The absorbent wood also helps dry out the lining of shoes so that they don’t rot from the inside out.

Long story short: Shoe trees are a whole lot cheaper than a new pair of nice shoes, and will keep your current pair in excellent condition for years.

I would highly recommend spending on a good pair of shoe trees if your shoes cost more than $200. Quality shoe trees will have ventilation slots at the toe to help dissipate moisture, a longer, crafted heel, and contain more wood for better drying and odor control. They will also ensure the closest possible fit between the shoe and tree. This is necessary to maintain the shape of the shoe as well as to absorb moisture.

(Pro tip: When the smell of the cedar starts to fade, you can lightly sand the shoe tree to bring it back.)


This is the most common question about shoe trees and products, especially when everything is so expensive in Singapore. I remember back in 2007 when i started sourcing for cedar shoe trees, they were really hard to find and the ones i found would cost $70-100 per pair.

The folks at Shoetree Project seem to have realised this gap and have sent me some of their products to review. They are the Cedar Shoe Tree in Sz 39, Saphir Pommadier Cream Shoe Polish and the Japanese Oakwood Shoe Horn.

Firstly, Saphir makes excellent quality shoe care products and i highly recommend the Renovateur and the Pommadier Cream for your shoes. literally sells them at cost and provides free delivery! 😍

Next up, the Cedar Shoe Tree. I was pleasantly surprised by the unmistakable smell of quality Cedarwood and even more impressed by the sizing and fit. The sz 39 *(please check out their size charts) fit like a glove on my Loake shoes. The spring loaded mechanism on the exterior side ensured that the shoe retains its shape - an important aspect of a quality shoe tree. Aesthetically, the brass knobs on the top of the shoe tree adds a nice touch to your shoes when it does its job of wicking the moisture whilst sitting in your cabinet.

Last by definitely not least is the Japanese Oak shoe horn. I personally like to sit on my ottoman to wear my dress shoe but this shoe horn would be a great addition for those who wear slip-ons, loafers and moccasins.


It would be ideal to have a shoe tree in every nice (expensive) pair of shoes you own, but it’s not absolutely necessary as long as you rotate your shoes and shoe trees throughout the week. 

But if you’re a huge fan of all your shoes or have a vast collection of expensive footwear, then buy a shoe tree for every single pair. At the $35 price point, there is practically nothing else i can recommend. If you haven't got one, i would highly recommend you try the ones by - your feet, wallet and shoes will thank you for it!