It is no secret that I have a fondness for polishing shoes, despite the derision it elicits from some. Some find it to be an affectation to spend time polishing a pair of shoes, some find the mirror shine too obvious.
But the reason I like a well polished, well worn shoe has a little more method than the madness that is peacockery. To me, there is something both luxurious and frugal about a shoe that has been well worn, but lovingly cared for.
Luxurious in that it takes time, the greatest of all luxuries, and while it doesn’t require the most expensive shoe money can buy, the higher quality the shoe, the better the shine. It is a polished looked to accompany beautifully tailored clothing.
But it is also frugal because, it is at heart a way of extending the life of a pair of shoes. Not for the grossly wealthy or newly made, it is empowering to the average man, because it takes a certain integrity of character to be able to have your shoes improving with age. It takes effort, and isn’t easily bought. Anyone with sufficient funds can go and buy beautiful shoes, but having them look better with each wear, with each year, is something that requires more consideration.
So I polish my shoes, and find them getting better with each wear. As part of a wardrobe of tailored clothing in traditional weights of cloth, it is something I expect to grow with me, getting it’s own special patina with time.