Justin Fitzpatrick does a mean shoe shine. The aspiring shoe maker and great blogger (The Shoe Snob) was set up by Gieves & Hawkes recently to do shoe shines for customers as part of its general re-fit (which also includes Bentley’s antiques, see Permanent Style post).

At the moment Justin has a little table in front of Carreducker‘s beautiful bespoke room, but soon he will have a purpose-built cubbyhole on the other side of the room. He displays a few before-and-after pairs, such as those shown at the top, as well as customers’ pairs awaiting collection. For there are three levels of shine, costing £5, £10 and £20, that culminate in a Military Parade Shine which takes three hours and usually involves six layers of hand polishing.

I gave Justin my Cleverleys to work on, which have had some nice layers of black polish on the toe cap but needed some general love elsewhere. You can see the results below.

I think it’s fair to say that Justin tends towards a high, military-like shine, but he is equally willing to temper that or tweak it to customers’ preferences.

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Would love to hear him describe his technique.


Why black polish on the caps? I have a very similar shoe from Trickers and was curious if the black gives you a little bit of patina on the chocolat shoes.

Clark James

yes I often polish my chestnut shoes with black polish- a single layer doesn’t do much in terms of colour change, but 3-4 layers will darken the leather significantly on a smooth part like the toe cap, and if you use black polish on the whole shoe then the polish will darken down the creases which adds to the patina effect (although if you scrub your shoes with a brush you will lose all the patina/polish)

Axel BomDio

I need some advice.

I have never worn sneakers or gym shoes outside of sports. But now, alas, my physical therapist has ordered me to wear shoes that are easier on my joints and back (the indignities of old age!).

So I bought two pairs of very comfortable easy-on-the-joints Nike cross trainers but don’t know what kind of belt to wear w the white ones (I wear the shoes exclusively w blue jeans).

How about a blue woven belt or a sircingle? Please, no white.