Melbourne, Victoria: Moisture caused by sweat is a leading cause of sneakers falling apart. Premium shoe care brand Trimly releases the new Premium (Cedar) Sneaker Trees, designed to minimise moisture damage through wear.
Everyone who invests in serious sneakers will put them on sooner or later. Apart from looking great, one thing is certain: they will get dirty.
The struggle is real, but the longer-term battle happens inside the shoe. Scuffs can be buffed out. Scratches can be painted over. Once the shoe begins to fall apart, the prognosis is often terminal.
Shoe trees are one of the most practical inventions for men and women's footwear. They keep the shoes in shape and prevent them from developing creases when not worn. Cedar shoe trees combat an extra element: the 250,000 sweat glands in a pair of feet.
A pair of feet can sweat up to a half pint of moisture a day. "You can imagine what salt, acid, and bacteria does to the lining of sneakers," observes James Seaford, founder of shoe tree specialist webstore Trimly. "Not to mention the havoc that occurs to the PU (polyurethane) midsole, which is susceptible to hydrolysis (a double decomposition reaction with water).”
According to Seaford, using cedar is a more effective way to remove moisture from shoes than airing them. “The inside of a (recently worn) shoe is hot and stuffy. Evaporation does not like humid conditions. Yet cedar thrives in it and will absorb quite a bit of moisture," he said.
A major sticking point for sneaker enthusiasts has been ‘crumbling shoe syndrome (CSS)’. The issue relates to the material called polyurethane (PU). PU is widely used in the production of sneaker midsoles; but it is particularly susceptible to water and air. As a result, sneaker soles have literally disintegrated under their collectors' feet.
Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet for CSS. Hope rests on material advancements from major sneaker brands. Cedarwood cannot reverse the chemical flaws in PU either. What it can do is minimise the acceleration of the decay.
PU decomposes when exposed to water, a reaction known as hydrolysis. As explained by Seaford, “Studies tell us that PU in shoes create a particularly high rate of air humidity (96%) when worn". Having established that cedar is a good conduit of moisture when relative humidity is high, Seaford proposes that, "cedar sneaker trees offer a practical solution to minimise the damaging effects of 'hydrolysis' due to wear."
For shoe tree specialist Trimly, the release of its Premium (Cedar) Sneaker Trees makes total sense. Seaford explained, “Australia’s sneaker community invest in their feet. They love their sneakers and want their shoes to last. Offering this community a product that can genuinely help them is very exciting to us.”
The new sneaker trees feature a design familiar to Trimly customers. A split toe that expands into the shoe via a spring-loaded alloy rod. To cater for various heel shapes, the back part of the tree has been widened and its height raised.
"It's a versatile design suitable for any sneaker shape, including low-tops and high-tops. It's crafted by the same maker who supplies many of the world's top shoemakers. It's also a product we back with a lifetime guarantee. For sub-$40, it's a smart, inexpensive investment." he said.
Trimly is an Australian online shoe care retailer (trimly.com.au) specialising in cedar shoe trees and premium shoe care since 2016. Trimly produces its own line of premium shoe trees and shoe accessories, and partners with Boot Black Japan to offer an extensive range of quality shoe care products.