Life with a pregnant wife is a lot like being 21 again. Endless cocktails, late/wild nights and the hangovers don't even get me started on the hangovers. Well....not really, it's a lot of sitting on the couch watching old seasons of television shows on Netflix. Which finally brings me to my point on shining your shoes, which you should do. In season 6 of the (amazing) West Wing, Alan Alda, aka Senator Vinick proclaims, "My father used to say, you can't trust a man who doesn't shine his own shoes." I immediately thought about my shoes sitting in my dark closet, unshined and a feeling of guilt set in. As a youth, I recall purposefully trying to scuff up new shoes in an attempt to make them look worn in. But alas, we all grow up at some point and looking your best becomes the preferred state of being. So here is what you will need to become trustworthy in the eyes of a fictional Senator from California.
Tools: Tine of wax-based polish, welt brush, polishing cloth (or, in a pinch, an old sock), horsehair buffering brush, old toothbrush.
Begin by wiping down your shoe with a damp cloth and scrub with a damp welt brush. Not sure if you have a welt brush you say? You can purchase one here.
Next, apply polish sparingly with your polishing cloth (an old sock wrapped around a couple of fingers works too) using a circular motion. For the “spit-shined” looked, you can dip the cloth in water, which helps the polish stuff the leather. The more you rub, the better; your shoe will develop a waxy, great looking finish. Let the polish dry for five to ten minutes.
The next step is to buff your entire shoe with a cloth or brush for some time. A good rule of thumb is five minutes longer than you think is necessary. Remember, the more you polish, the better. For a little something extra, situate your shoe between your knees and buff the toe with a clean cloth.
Lastly, use shoe edge dressing to finish out the edge of the sole and the heel. You can find some from Allen Edmonds here.
Now that you can walk the streets in respectable shoes, you can rest easy knowing you are a trustworthy gent.