Unworn shoes lose their form over time. Shoe shapers help them preserve it. Moreover, shoe shapers smooth wrinkles formed by wear and speed up the shoe drying process.
A so-called last is used during the process of making quality men's shoes. The shoe is built around the last, which mimics the shape of a human foot and lends the shoe stability. When it comes to everyday wear, the shoe shaper takes over the role of the last. This mould, usually made of wood, plays a crucial role in proper shoe care.
Shoe shapers preserve shoe form and reduce drying time
It is a common misconception that shoes need to be allowed to cool off after wear before shoe shapers can be inserted. In fact, the opposite is true. You should insert the shoe shaper right after taking shoes off, while the leather is still moist and warm from wear. This smooths possible wrinkles and allows the shoes to retain their original, beautiful form until the next time they are worn. Moreover, this relieves the bases of the shoes, prevents the soles from bending upwards, preserves the length of the shoes, and reduces drying time.
The best shoe shapers are made of wood
There are many different types of shoe shapers on the market, made of all sorts of materials. The best ones are those that are made of wood. You should avoid shoe shapers made of synthetic materials, since these models usually fail to provide a proper fit. In addition to their better fit, wooden shoe shapers significantly reduce the drying time of the shoe, since they are capable of absorbing and expelling moisture.
Construction and recommended models
Generally speaking, shoe shapers are made of three parts. The front piece fills the front of the shoe, the heel piece comes up against the shoe counter, and the centrepiece consists of a spring that maintains tension.
The most popular shoe shapers are wooden models with an integrated handle. On these, the front piece is connected to the heel piece by means of an adjustable metal axle. As such, you can adjust the length and tension of the shoe shaper as desired. Telescoping spring-loaded shoe stretchers are also recommended. The front and heel piece of these stretchers are gentled pressed into the shoe by means of one or two spring sleeves. This protects the shaft from unnecessary strain and damage.
What to consider when you make your purchas
Regardless of the type of shaper you choose, you should make sure that it fits perfectly inside your shoe. A perfect fit is achieved when the front piece of the shaper completely fills the front portion of the shoe, without fitting too snugly. The heel piece also needs to properly fill the back of the shoe. If the shaper is too small, too angular, or too narrow, the shoe counter will be strained unnecessarily, and may consequently lose its form. You should also make sure that the length of your stretcher corresponds to the length of the shoe. If the stretcher is too long, the shoe may be overstretched. If the shaper is too short, it will not have any effect.
Men with very broad feet should use shoe shapers with front pieces split into two halves, held apart by spring tension. In order to achieve the best possible fit, you should bring your shoes to a specialist and allow the staff to find the perfect shoe shaper for you.
Additional Elements of Shoe Care
Quality Shoe-Trees at Shoepassion.com
Various styles & designs ★ High quality ★ Fair & sustainably produced in Europe ★ Exellent value for money