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Evening Folks,

Whilst perusing the "What are you wearing today" thread I noticed that many of our friends across the pond in the USA tend not to shine the toecaps of their shoes. Obviously, some shoes shouldn't be polished (Suedes - an obvious answer) but here in the UK gents tend to really polish the toe caps to a bloody good shine…unless this is a remnant of military service…


Any thoughts...

* Ducks for incoming fire :icon_smile_big: *
 

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I find that with a batting service you leave them outside your door and the next morning your trousers are pressed and shoes polished ready to wear.
 

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our friends across the pond in the USA tend not to shine the toecaps of their shoes.
News to me. Why would I polish the entire shoe, but not polish the toe caps? Stopped using wax polish about 30 years ago after using it for about 20 years. Only use cremes, these yield a more subtle luster rather than a high gloss, which is what I prefer. My leather seems happier, and I know I am. As to my military training, I take great pleasure in ignoring that every day! ;)
 

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News to me. Why would I polish the entire shoe, but not polish the toe caps? Stopped using wax polish about 30 years ago after using it for about 20 years. Only use cremes, these yield a more subtle luster rather than a high gloss, which is what I prefer. My leather seems happier, and I know I am. As to my military training, I take great pleasure in ignoring that every day! ;)
For clarity, what the OP is referring to is the UK practice (as I see it) of polishing the whole shoe but bringing only the toe cap to a mirror shine.
 

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I have said it before and will say it again, that shining ones shoes is one of the masculine arts, its relaxing, soothing to the soul and above all promotes a positive image to the world at large which says I care.

And I do it on a daily basis, I get home walk the dog or go for a run then cook dinner and watch the news. Then taking my favourite brush I spread some paper on the floor pull out the Kiwi and shine what ever I was wearing today day. For me shining my shoes is like hitting the old time clock it signifies that my obligations are finished for the day and the rest of the evening is mine to while away as I please. (now hand the remote to your father.)
 

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Things are not so different in the way shoes are shined in the US and the UK...take a look at pictures of Americans feet from 20 years ago (mirror shined toe-caps)! As for the frequency this old soldier's (read that as 'airman') shoe's get shined, just as with a haircut. a good soldier never 'needs' a shoeshine! ;)
 

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My impression is that there are vastly fewer shoes in the UK with mirror-shined toecaps than formerly. Certainly nothing like the shine you see on old photographs. You see a lot of otherwise quite well dressed men in the City who don't seem to bother any more about shining their shoes - or even keeping them clean. This would not have been the case in the fifties, for example.
 

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Perhaps it's because you see so many plastic shoes these days that scratch and cannot be mirror-shined. When many of my colleagues throw on a suit for something special, they figure those 22.99 Walmart oxfords are reasonable wear.

I don't know the market penetration of plastic shoes in the UK, so I am unqualified, although this may be a partial answer. I make it a practice to buy shoes that can be polished, if only so I can pay my nephew a dollar to shine them.

Thomas
 

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Perhaps it's because you see so many plastic shoes these days that scratch and cannot be mirror-shined. When many of my colleagues throw on a suit for something special, they figure those 22.99 Walmart oxfords are reasonable wear.

I don't know the market penetration of plastic shoes in the UK, so I am unqualified, although this may be a partial answer. I make it a practice to buy shoes that can be polished, if only so I can pay my nephew a dollar to shine them.

Thomas
You really are serious about plastic shoes, aren't you? I had no idea such things were even being sold. Dreadful. Guess I'm pretty out of touch.
 

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You really are serious about plastic shoes, aren't you? I had no idea such things were even being sold. Dreadful. Guess I'm pretty out of touch.
Surely no one in England wearing a suit will consider wearing plastic shoes?

Given the far east manufacturing costs I am not aware that you can actually buy plastic shoes in the UK.
 

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FWIW, in my experience professional shoe shines are light years (light years!) ahead of those here in London. At half the price. If that's the standard we might look to, advantage US in the shiny toe-cap department.
 
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