By Ryan on July 9th, 2017
The other day I happened to find myself at the Bespoke Edge windsor office and in need of some shoe polish. I asked Ron if he had a shoe shine box available and when he returned from the other room, what he handed me, quite fittingly, was an old shoebox full of what I could only surmise to be was twenty plus years worth of collecting shoe polish and shoe polish accessories.
Right off the bat I saw a 1980’s era electric shoe polisher. With a spare brush!
There were a handful of rags too, including what looked to be a more professional (microfiber?) polishing cloth with a healthy amount of shoe polish stain. And yes, there was lots of shoe polish. There was neutral shine, brown shine, black shine, and multiples of each.
But most interesting to me was a bottle of edge conditioner. I had never personally used a product like this before and the only time my shoes get this treatment is when I visit Solebox or another professional shoe shine outfit. This product is great for any scuffed edges on your soles. I shook the bottle up a bit and went to work.
Next up was the polish. And very quickly, a question came to mind: “Can shoe polish go bad?” Hunting around on the internet didn’t quite provide any certainty, but if polish can go bad, I imagine that it takes a very long time. Nevertheless, the available black polish didn’t look very appealing to me so I reached for a jar of neutral.
When I was all finished and had a pair of shiny black shoes in front of me, I couldn’t help but think how satisfying it is to polish a pair of shoes. Now, before you email me and offer to drop off all seven pairs of your dress shoes to keep me satisfied, please know that I am by no means an expert on shining shoes. But it is fun to clean up your favorite pair of shoes for a specific event (I had a wedding to attend).
Going through this little experience was also very nostalgic. Do yourself a favor and ask your own father or grandfather what they keep tucked away in their shoe shine box…
Now that your dress shoes are clean, here’s how to make your dress shirt look just like new.
Also, our definitive guide to the Penny Loafer will surely teach you something new about this comfortable (casual) dress shoe.