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Before

Before

Shoes are an essential part of dressing well. There’s nothing like a deep shine on a pair of shoes to turn a humdrum outfit into a great one. Like a good suit, a good pair of shoes need looking after.

Shoe care is about more than a quick brush however. A good pair of shoes, properly cared for, should last you 10 years or more, which is why a good shoeshine service is *essential*. You could get a decent result yourself, and there’s nothing I find more relaxing than sitting down on a Saturday morning to give my shoes a good polish. However I can never get the quality of shine that one gets from a good professional, no matter how long I spend or how many times I give the shoes a going over, which is why I was so excited by the work of Steven Skippen of Shoeshine UK.

Steven is fanatical about shoes and shoe care. He also gives the best shine I have seen in the UK. Having been in the business for nearly 15 years, he has worked at the very smart Park Lane Hilton since 2001, where he has an excellent reputation with some very demanding customers.

Unlike most shine services, Steven doesn’t offer a quick service or grades of polish. Rather he sits you down in his lovely wingback armchair and gives your shoe what it needs, for a very reasonable fixed price[^1]. In the case of my cherry red Herring brogues that meant a lot of conditioner, a lot of polish and a re-blacking of the welts. The results speak for themselves, as the before and after shots show.

After

After

One unusual aspect of Steven’s service is that he doesn’t make much use of brushes, preferring to apply polish with his hands (as I said, fanatical!) and use increasingly fine cloths to achieve a mirror finish. I’ve not seen this done anywhere else and the results are very impressive. They also last a good long while as well. The shine he put on my black Church oxfords is still looking great two weeks later, with just a quick buff after every outing to keep it topped up.

If you care about your appearance and extending the life of your shoes then you should be polishing them regularly. If you want the best shine available then get down to see Steven at the Park Lane Hilton. He’s there from 11:30 every weekday.

The cost of a shoe shine was  £7.75 when I visited in March 2013

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