Red Cedar Foot Tree

woodtree.jpeg Everyone's feet perspire, some more than others. It's especially hard on your shoes if they're made of leather and don't get to dry properly between wearings. And so three or four years ago I bought a pair of shoes at the Harry Rosen store in Calgary, I was delighted when they recommended that I also purchase a pair of Woodlore cedar shoe trees. The shoe trees are unfinished aromatic red cedar that smell incredibly fresh and natural. They wick moisture from my shoes, naturally inhibit bacteria, and keep my cycling shoes and my dress shoes shoes dry and odour free better than anything I've tried in the past. And all without any fragrances or chemicals. I recently gave a set to my friend and his boots and shoes have been drastically improved as a result (which is more of a testimonial than you might think). I have also heard that you can sand them to renew the scent and that the wood they use is harvested from sustainable American sources. --Chris Alig Woodlore Adjustable Red Cedar Shoe Trees $24 Be sure to check out some of the the comments over at Cool Tools. And don't forget to submit a tool!


  1. Also in Calgary, also using cedar.
    However I am using cedar wood and cedar needle oil for my shoes — the oils do all of the above, and can be used for many other purposes (in the dryer, on a mattress, winter clothing, in baking powder for carpet, et cetera). I get mine from the Beehive, a local Sunnyside dealer, but I’m sure many of you can grab such oils anywhere. Excellent fungicde, too. Toodle-oo!

  2. Antinous, it brings me no small pleasure to know that you approve of our recommended tools.

    But yeah, these cedar shoe trees are invaluable for nice leather shoes. Especially when they get wet.

    — oliver h

    1. They were useful in San Francisco, where shoes grow mold in the back of the closet, and in the desert, where shoes end up looking like the Wicked Witch of the East’s feet after Dorothy drops a house on her.

  3. I have more than one pair of shoes and am very wary of foot odor, so every couple of weeks I dump some baking soda in my shoes that need it and let them sit overnight. It leaves them dry and odor free.

    Baking soda – dirt cheap with a million household uses.

  4. Red cedars have a number of unusual chemicals in them; probably more than turpentine, which is just distilled pine.

    1. Have to agree here, there is a reason why you don’t want a house made of cedar on the interior – it is toxic at that sort of concentration. So, chemical free my ass – we are all made of chemicals (and meat), trees/plants make some of the worst ones.

  5. Before every day was business casual day, I had cedar shoe trees for two pairs of too-expensive wing tips and switched off between them from one day to the next. This kept the shoes in good shape for over 10 years.

  6. I use a Sharper Image Ionic Breeze Shoe Freshener pretty much every day. It works far better than these shoe trees, and it keeps even the boat shoes I wear in the summer without socks from getting nasty. Sadly, they no longer sell them, and I’ve had no luck getting them to bring them back. I have no idea what I’ll do when the one I have breaks.

  7. And buy merino wool socks, or primarily merino wool socks (100% tend to wear out). They keep your feet cool and dry in summer and warm and dry in winter. You’ll wonder why cotton/poly socks even exist.*

    *It’s because they’re cheaper to make than proper wool socks, and aren’t eaten by moths.

    1. “You’ll wonder why cotton/poly socks even exist… because they’re cheaper to make than proper wool socks, and aren’t eaten by moths”

      And because more than a few people are allergic/sensitive to wool.

        1. People aren’t allergic to wool because of its scratchiness … it’s the lanolin, which merino wool also contains.

  8. In addition to the de-odorizing/desiccating properties of the cedar, the trees also serve to prevent the shoes from curling in on themselves, and reduce the amount of creasing and wear in the uppers, so baking soda or cedar oil aren’t a complete replacement. You can get cheap plastic trees from Ikea that you could use instead of a cedar tree, but they don’t do nearly as good a job. A $20 tree easily pays for itself by adding years to the life of the shoe.

  9. If I want to dry out my shoes overnight, I lie them on their side and put them in front of the fridge, open end of the shoes facing the fridge’s air vents that usually face forwards. The very light, warm breeze is enough to dry them in a few hours; if they’re completely soaked, they take a bit longer. No additional gadgets or gizmos required.

  10. A good place to find nice cedar shoe trees is at Nordstrom Rack. They always seem to have them, for $15-20.

    Also though, you can get them at Target for $9-10. They are definitely cedar – I love cedar for many things and would recognize it anywhere – and the quality of the construction otherwise is fine.

  11. Within the pet industry, cedar chips are commonly mixed with fibre fills to make dog beds. The cedar smells wonderful and is a natural flea repellant. They make your dog smell more pleasant too…

    FYI, though, even though cedar chips are also sold for use in small animal cages (hamsters, rabtits, etc) they are not recommended. No matter how nice it makes a cage smell, they cause respiratory distress to small animals.

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