We have all done it, jamming our feet into shoes without untying the laces. It goes like this: stick a foot into the shoe then wiggle the heel and press down on the back until it plops in. Sometimes you may need to stick a finger in the back in order to push your foot farther inward stretching the shoe so the heel will fit in. This can also be done with slip-ons that do not have laces. We jam our feet into shoes not thinking that this is causing the shoes to be stretched and misshapen over time.
When the shoes are brand new we never try to do this. The shoes are a new addition to the wardrobe and they are treated with respect. Not too far in the future we start the jamming process. It would be a pleasure to have something that could put the shoes back into their original shape and hold them that way over time.
When shoes are being worn and the day progresses feet perspire inside the confined area of the leather shoe. There isn't enough air circulation inside a slip-on or lace up dress shoe. Socks may make feet more comfortable in shoes, but there still is perspiration in the sock, which usually seeps out into the interior leather of the shoe.
Leather is an ideal material for shoes. It is easy for artisans to mold and create designs and models that match the shape of feet. It can be stretched, dyed, rubbed, sewed, cemented and glued. It also absorbs liquid. Feet will eventually get wet if wearing leather dress shoes in the rain.
The way to live with these issues, keeping shoes comfortable and in great shape for years is to use shoe trees. Using shoes trees will save your shoes and keep them fitting and looking great over time. This especially holds true if shoes have encountered any wet weather or excessive interior perspiration. Using shoe trees is very easy and there are different types to choose from.
The best shoe trees are made from cedar wood. Not only does the cedar wood give the interior leather of the shoe a fresh smell after daily wear, but it does something much more important. Cedar wood has the ability to control odor and absorb moisture. When placing shoe trees in shoes worn daily, the cedar wood takes the perspiration away from the leather and disseminates it into the cedar wood. This keeps the shoe leather in great shape wear after wear. It will keep the leather soft and stop it from becoming stiff and cracking over time. Using shoe trees everyday also keeps the proper shape of the shoe. During daily wear shoes tend to stretch out. When leather contracts after the heat of your foot is gone, the shoe tree keeps the correct toe box shape and heel shape.
Be sure to buy and use shoe trees that are sized for shoes. There are some companies that make one size fits all shoe trees with a center spring. The shoe tree is squeezed into the shoe and upon release of the spring held in place. This puts extra stress on the leather and stretches the shoes. Using shoe trees that are sized, fit right in the shoe and keep the shoe shape without stress or stretching the leather. Using shoe trees will keep your current shoes looking great for many years. Polish still needed.