Are there any cheap alternatives or homemade solutions to a shoe tree? I tried stuffing old newspaper into my formal shoes, but it creates a musty smell after a day or two.


2 Answers 2


Time for some CLAY.

Take some easy-mold clay, such as play-doh and put it inside a plastic cover, probably the cover of a sock. Stuff it into the shoe and press firmly. The clay should take the shape of the shoe, as if it were a foot within the shoe. After you are sure that the clay has taken up all the space in the shoe tip, pull it out carefully. Do not let the clay within the plastic cover change its shape. The Plastic cover will ensure that the clay wouldn't stick to the inside of the shoe. Now, we need the clay to retain the shape of the foot. For that you need to dry the clay, for which you could use so many methods such as sun drying or freezing it. Just ensure it doesn't become brittle and crumble-able. After it is dried, you could use it as a shoe tree. Optionally, you could remove the plastic cover, but be very careful if you decide to do so. You do not want your effort to be in vain by being too careless. You could use scented clay to give it a little fragrance too. That way you could avoid unwanted odor. You could add some fragrance to enhance the smell of the stored shoe also. Make sure it doesn't react with the clay mold.

  • This is a great alternative, I will try this. Also, will that dried clay longlast for several months together ? Do you have any idea ? Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 8:52
  • Depends on the quality of the clay. But I would advice you not to retain it for very long. This hack is pretty simple. So you could repeat the creation of this shoe tree once in a while to avoid the deterioration of the clay.
    – Varun Nair
    Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 10:59

You can use plaster to cast a shape like the inside form of the shoe.

  1. Mix plaster and water in a container like old plastic box (I use old bottles of water and cut the top)
  2. Fill the mixture in a condom and tie it. You will have a "balloon" full of plaster
  3. Clean the lubricant of the "balloon" under running water and gently wipe it dry with a towel
  4. Now you can push the "balloon" inside the shoe
  5. Keep it inside for several minutes and at one moment you will feel the plaster becoming hard
  6. Take the hard plaster form out of the shoe and remove the condom
  7. Leave it one day to become completely dry and paint it

Another way to hold you shoes full is to use a sponge for cleaning dishes. There is a large variety of sponges and you can choose s suitable size to put inside your shoes. And they are very cheep and you can change them often if you wish.

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