Business Travel: Should you bother to bring your shoe trees?
Above: Shoe Trees by Nordstrom, Duffel by Tommy Hilfiger.
A question for a business travel trip I have coming up. If I am only going to pack one pair of dress shoes for the week (black lace-ups) should I pack my shoe trees to keep my shoes in top form? I like to rotate my shoes at home so I don’t over-wear one pair and I give them a rubdown and always tree them at the end of the day. But since I will be wearing the same pair for about 15 hours a day for an entire week, would it be a good idea to bring the shoe trees along?
Shoe trees do three things. They help your shoes retain their shape, they help draw moisture (foot sweat) out of the leather, and since your trees are made of cedar, they help keep shoes smelling decent. Some wadded up newspaper and foot powder can accomplish almost all of those three jobs effectively.
Your shoes didn’t come out of the box with trees in them. They had either crumpled up paper shoved down towards the toe, or if you’re lucky, a cardboard insert. And almost every hotel has free newspapers at the ready. Plus newspaper is the tried and true tool for drawing moisture out of hiking and snow boots in most rugged parts of the country. So for short to medium trips, newspaper and foot powder will do.
With all that said, Aaron should bring his shoe trees. 15 hours a day for an entire week? Good grief. His lace ups are going to take a serious beating. Not to mention his actual feet. Newspaper fails at preventing your shoes from curling up (ever so slightly) overnight as the moisture evaporates. That and a week of crumpling newspaper every day will eventually lead to at least one or two newsprint stains on your shirt. It just happens.
Take the trees. (Cannoli too if in tow) And hit the airport in some versatile, more TSA line-friendly loafers. If he’s packing his shoe trees anyway, then the laceups won’t take up much more room in the bag (since, y’know, the trees will go inside the shoes). Now he’s got a fresh pair of slip-ons to wear at the end of the day. And that can make a big difference when you’ve spent 15 hours in the same pair of dress shoes.