The Saphir Guide to Shoe Trees

The importance of a good shoe tree. 

When taking care of your shoes one often focuses on the conditioning of the leather, keeping it nourished, shining it to protect it, yet there is another aspect of shoe care that impacts the lifespan of your shoes significantly, a shoe tree.

Shoe trees replace the last that the shoe once was made on. These lasts are a crucial element in making a well fitting shoe. They determine the fit and shape as well as the look of the finished shoe.

One might think that a shoe tree won’t be of the same importance like treating the leather regularly with nourishing creams and polish, but in fact it has a great impact on the lifespan of your shoes and how their look and shape persists over time.

Saphir shoe tree

Natural wood has great moisture regulating capacities and therefore is the first choice for high end shoe trees. 

When you wear a shoe it flexes with every step and this curls up the leather and creates creases. No matter how well the shoe fits, creases are unavoidable. Apart from that the leather also absorbs moisture from your foot.

So at the end of a long day your shoes will be creased from all the walking and the leather will be slightly damp. If you now leave the shoes to rest like this, the leather dries with all the creases and the shape of the shoe will change significantly.

Heres where the shoe tree comes in. A well fitting shoe tree made from wood gently brings the shoe back into its original shape and absorbs any excess moisture so the shoe can dry in its original shape.

saphir shoe tree

Our shoe trees are also available in colored finishes. The separated forepart adapts to the width of the shoe. 

How to choose the right shoe tree for your shoes?

Of greatest importance is the right size. The shoe tree should bring the shoe back into its original shape but should not overly stretch it or distort the shape in any other way. You should be able to insert the shoe tree with little force into the shoe.

The shape of the shoe tree matters as well. You will find that there are many different types of shoe trees. What we recommend is a shoe tree with a fully sculpted heel. Shoe trees that for example work with a metal spiral can often distort the shape of the rear part and overly stretch it which makes the shoe fit less and less over time.

You will find that all Natural wood has great moisture regulating capacities and therefore is the first choice for high end shoe trees. our shoe trees have a sculpted heel to prevent any distortions of the heel stiffener of a shoe.There is also a shoe tree for boots with a higher rear part. This helps to give shape also to the higher boot upper. 

The right usage of shoe trees.

We recommend to always insert a well fitting shoe tree after you wore the shoe and then leave the shoe to rest for at least a day so it can fully dry.

You will find that this together with regular care for the leather will significantly increase the lifespan of your shoes and will make them age in beauty.

All our shoe trees are made in France by Perfecta Atelier from PEFC-certified wood following the most demanding environmental manufacturing standards. Even the scrap wood is reused as biomass to create energy.

Saphir shoe tree

The boot tree has a higher rear part and supports the shape of the boot upper. 

We hope we could provide you with all the necessary informations to find the right shoe tree for you. Click here to view the range of Saphir Médaille d'Or Shoe Trees. If you have any questions send us a mail to or on our social media.

Written by Louis Lampertsdörfer