Shoe trees are becoming almost as cool as shoes. They have come a long way in the last 20 years ago when all I saw was crappy spring-loaded cedar shoe trees offered by all of the big shops. Of course, bespoke makers always made them for their own shoes and were always nice, but they were not nearly as prevalent as they are today and of course, thanks to social media outlets like Instagram and the like, makers from across the world are now able to show you what they are doing. This now easily allows for larger shoe tree manufacturers to get new ideas from often, more creative shoemakers, and thus try new things in the manufacturing side of things. Now, many normal shoemakers (when I say normal I mean of regular price points from $350-$1500 RTW shoes) have lightweight, hallowed out shoe trees, a concept unheard of 20 years ago.
So a few months back, I found a picture by Maslow So, of some really cool shoe trees for a pair of shoes he appeared to have commissioned by Japanese bespoke maker, Ann Bespoke Shoemaker. It would appear that they put a medallion on their shoe tree. But a shoe tree style medallion, not a shoe medallion. And what I mean by that is that it is much bigger than your typical shoe tree medallion, for the fact that its canvas has more space to play with. Not that you could not do this on a shoe, but it would not go down so well as it is not customary to have a medallion cover more than the toe cap region. They extend into the vamp and in theory, could go up even higher. Now, I feel this was not for decoration but at the same time, naturally makes the shoe trees lighter in weight too, which is clearly their initial intention.
I look forward to seeing more manufacturers attempting this, hopefully, sooner than later!