A shoe is a three dimensional object, and the volume it occupies, on which the leather cutting is fit, is the responsibility of the shoe tree. To develop this, different types of parameters are taken into account. A good fit is the first objective of the shoe tree, which takes care of the adjustment through the support of the pattern designer “by adding or removing wood”; this expression comes from when shoe trees were made from beech wood and that now have given way to plastic today. Wood is still used by craftsmen, who manufacture customised shoes.
Depending on their volume, all shoe trees feature a specific break, which is dictated by the height of the heel.
A shoe is made on a shoe tree with a good fit that will fit our foot with absolute perfection, despite not being tailored to our foot.
We use shoe trees at Berwick that are ideal for the average fit and we thoroughly test them before approving them for production.
Other factors taken into account when developing them have to do with issues such as making their shapes in correct proportion, a somewhat subjective significance when it comes to footwear, which harmonises the relationship between their measurements of length, width and height. There are long thin tree shoes, with a lot of “dead work” on the toe, which our feet will never get to fill and are popular in France and Belgium. Shorter tree shoes are popular in England, with less body length ratio, and chiselled or round toes. There are dress shoe trees that are extremely tight and close-fitting on the foot and more bulky sport shoe trees (with more wood)
Others may be in the shape of a boat bow at the toe, like the Budapest that is made for Central Europe.
A Blucher, an Oxford or a moccasin can all be made on a good shoe tree.