Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Chattanooga shoe shine boy...

...Our resident shoeshine expert Ken Ralph gives the low down on how it's done properly...

With Easter coming up this weekend, you’re bound to be prepping for a family get together, and you’ll want to dress in your Sunday best of course! So what better time to give your shoes a good spring clean?! And you know the old adage if a job's worth doing....

Here’s our handy guide to giving your shoes a jolly good once over, by our resident shoe shining expert and vintage enthusiast, Ken Ralph, who some of you may remember from an exclusive interview with our Lullabelle, over on the VandOak Website…! Yes, he dances, he cycles everywhere on a vintage Pashley Guvnor, and he even knits! This is a man of exquisite taste so read on chaps and chappesses…you just might learn a thing or too!


Ken Ralph knows how to shine his shoes!
Welcome to my occasional blogspot, here on The Secret Vintage Fair I've been asked to write a piece and this first one is about impressions.

First Impressions, if you will.  Shower, Shave, Shoeshine...

Shoeshine? a bit of kiwi, a quick brush over, what else is there?Well there's a bit more to it than just that. And that is what I'm going to show you.

Of course, my shoes are always bright, so here are my cycling shoes that are just a bit worse for wear. On the right, how they were, on the left, the waxed one.

First you need to remove the laces, put them to one side, away from the kitten. Better still take the kitten out of the room. Next ensure you have the correct colour wax. Very often new tan shoes need a clear shoe polish, brown shoe polish will result in a shoe several shades darker than they are now.

Next, put down some newspaper, really, there is nothing worse than small spots of wax falling into your carpet.

Get a nice bristle brush full of wax, and brush it into the welt of your shoe, the part where the sole is stitched into the sole, go all around, including the heel, and include the edge of the upper, do this on both shoes. It keeps your shoes waterproof.

Go put the kettle on.

Next, take the brush, and with less wax, brush it all over the upper of the shoe.

This is important. Go make your tea, go on, go now let that wax soak into the leather. At least ten minutes. Have a biscuit with your tea, Write a letter to your favourite aunty.

Tea finished? Good. Now you need a lint free cloth, nope not another brush, you need a cloth, wrap it around your index and middle finger, really tight, that wax is going to grip hold of the cloth and in small circles bring the shoes to a nice bright shine. Both of them.
There, so much better..
But wait, there's a little bit more. You need to put a drop or two of water on the shoes, and use the water to push the wax in further and bring out that shine.
If your aglets are in the same state as mine, it's time for some new laces.
Rethread your laces brush the edges of the soles and heels and walk out ten feet tall! 

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