Shoe Shine Pete

Peter rotates between three (beautiful) pairs of shoes for work and formal events: a pair of laceup Ferragamos in brown with a cap toe, a pair of laceup Ferragamos in black with an undecorated wingtip and a pair of brown Crockett & Jones with rubber soles and a captoe (great for walking around but still quite dressy).  He takes excellent care of each pair so that as they get worn in, they look even better than the first time he put them on.  In fact, he's proudly dubbed himself "Shoe Shine Pete" - a phrase he repeats constantly (presumably in an attempt to drive Rosie and me insane).

Here's how your boyfriend, husband, brother (or beloved gay bestie) can keep his shoes in tip-top-shape:

First, compile a shoe-shine kit:

Soft bristle brush (available at a shoe repair store for approx. $10)
Mink Oil for conditioning and weatherproofing (available at a shoe repair store for approx. $7.50)
Kiwi Shoe Polish (available at a shoe repair or drug store for approx. $4.50)
Cotton Cloth for polishing (an old t-shirt will work just fine.  Peter uses a separate cloth for the polish and for the mink oil.)
Tip: Store your shoe-shine kit in a freezer sized ziplock.  You'll contain the polish smell and the mess - no need to clean your cotton cloth in between uses.

Follow these steps three times weekly (for shoes that are in regular use):

1. Clean the shoe with the soft bristled brush all over to remove excess dirt, etc.

2. Apply mink oil all over the shoe with a cotton cloth.  Let the shoes rest for 1-2 hours to absorb the mink oil.  Remove excess mink oil with a cotton cloth. (Note: this step isn't necessary during each polish.  Once per week (or less) is fine.)

3. Apply Kiwi shoe polish all over the shoe with a cotton cloth.  Polish the shoe with the cotton cloth to get a great shine (hold the shoe between your legs and use a back and forth motion holding the cloth by its two ends - just like the street polishers do!).

4. For extra shine, repeat step three.  This time dip your cloth in polish and then dab the polish in a glass of water.  Adding the water to the polish gives the shoe an extra lacquer. 

Good luck polishing - now you'll have some extra shine in your Spring step!!


(PS - Mink oil is great for leather goods generally.  Use to condition a leather wallet or belt.)