In the absence of sunshine, here we have shoeshine. I haven't had the need to shine shoes for a good long time, and I had rather forgotten all about it through my years of studenty throwaway canvas sandshoes, but recently I remembered.


There's something pleasing about polishing shoes, in the same way as there is with resoling them, or darning and mending, or even preserving fruit, which I'm sure sounds peculiar, but let me explain. 

It's a very calm and time-worn and predictable thing, shoe polishing: you need some polish (probably the same old stuff your grandfather used in the 1940s) and two brushes (one to put the polish on, and another to work the polish in and remove the extra). 
Belfast Built Ships Queries
When I buy second-hand or vintage shoes I often feel quite altruistic, almost like I'm whisking them away from a certain fate in a sad old pile at a waste disposal site, and I think polishing shoes and feeding the old leather makes me feel that I'm rescuing them twice over. With new shoes (like those in the photographs, which are from Topshop) I feel like I'm putting off the old-shoe pile for them for as long as possible. It's a preservation thing I think – just like with summer fruit saved up for the winter.


  1. When I was about 10, I used to love polishing my riding boots, even though they weren't leather haha.

  2. I love polishing my shoes. I tend to buy only black shoes and then where one pair at a time until they die. A shoe shine is essential for prolonging their good looks, and a resoling, or two.

  3. A very worthwhile thing to do, indeed!

  4. I hear you- I also believe in re-soleing shoes. Your pictures are simple and beautiful and really express your sentiment. Thank you for sharing.

  5. I have similar boots from Topshop! I love it!


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