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Swellboy on… shoe polish

Another exciting revelation from the fast-moving world of shoe care

Swellboy on… shoe polish

Image: Brijesh Patel

September 20 2011
Nick Foulkes

I have dilated on the use of meths for shoecleaning on these virtual pages before, and I now burn with news of another discovery from the world of shoe care. I was in the newly revamped Gieves & Hawkes the other day, when I started chatting to the professional shoe polisher who plies his trade there, delivering what he terms an “artisan shoe shine”.

It may say something about the state of my social life, but I actually became quite excited and animated upon learning that he has his polish specially made for him in Paris – and why not? Anyway, he swears by the use of a navy blue polish on black shoes to bring up the shine – this opens up a debate, as I have also heard that a bit of red polish on the toecap of a black shoe also enhances the shine.

However, what I really saw opening up in front of me was a whole new world of bespeaking; if I am not careful, I am sure I could quite easily wind up commissioning a separate and distinct type of shoe polish for each pair of my shoes – and I do mean each pair.

I am sure there are minute alterations in the composition of polish that are required, depending on whether you are polishing the right or the left shoe. It is a subject that requires much monastic calm and empirical study – accordingly I have asked my assistant to cancel all my social engagements until further notice, as I retire to conduct my experiments.

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People, Shoes