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World Champs 1

During the London Super Trunk Show on May 13 there will be the first World Championships in Shoe Shining, in collaboration with Saphir, where three finalists will have 20 minutes to polish a shoe as beautiful as possible. This competition is open for amateurs and professionals, and we now open the qualification for the final where you send in a picture of a well polished pair of shoes.

Swedish shoe shining championship
Swedish shoe shining championship

In this post you can read all the info about the London Super Trunk Show, hosted by Shoegazing and The Shoe Snob. As a short summary, this will be the world’s largest open event for classic shoes, held in the central parts of London on Saturday May 13 in the venue The Music Room. We will gather no less than 11 brands from all over the world: Barbanera, Carlos Santos/Skoaktiebolaget, Caulaincourt, Hiro Yanagimachi, J. FitzPatrick Footwear, Norman Vilalta, Ramon Cuberta, Stefano Bemer, Vass, Yanko/Skolyx, plus a new shoe store that will be introduced later. Main partner of the event is the shoe care brand Saphir, partners are Fred & Matt overshoes and the bag and accessory brand Oppermann London. We’ll have a VIP opening between 10-11 in the morning for 150 pre-registered visitors, there’s still some spots left, e-mail There will be a panel discussion with people from the British shoe industry, and then, of course, possibly the main attraction of the day and the topic of this post (the “scene” area is quite small at the event, we expect a big audience, and hope that you all will understand that it might be very crowded and that there might be limited vision for people further in the back).

World Champs 2 World Champs 3

This is a very special happening. At 15.00 during the event day it’s time for first ever World Championships in Shoe Shining in collaboration with Saphir, where the winner will receive a pair of shoes from Loake. At the finale, one Loake 1880 Aldwych in tan is to be polished as beautiful as possible. We’ll not only look at the highest shine, but the most beautiful polish work is rewarded. The finalists will have a can of Saphir Medaille d’Or Pate de Lux in the colour of their choice, water, a brush, a polishing cloth and a nylon cloth, and they have 20 minutes to polish the shoe. During the three Swedish Championships that’s been held, all in the same way as this with the same shoe, it’s been some impressive results even if the time is very short. The winner will be titled the World Champion in Shoe Shining 2017, and gets to keep the shoe he (or she) has polished and its sibling.

To qualify for the event, send in a picture of a pair of well polished shoes. It could be taken of the entire pair, just of the toe box, the shoe in profile, anything’s fine. What will be judged is how well the pair is polished, not necessarily the highest shine but also other parameters will be taken into consideration, as the depth of the shine, any eventual color variations etc. Only one picture per contestant can be sent in, and it should only be maximum one pair of shoes in the picture (for example not a shoe collection with polished shoes). The shoe in the picture should be polished by the one who sends in the entry, and the person has to be able to attend the final in London on May 13. It’s open for both professionals and amateurs, so both patina artists or professional shoe shiners as well as random shoe nerds can enter the competition. You are allowed to make minor adjustments to the picture in for example Photoshop, but more significant changes or filters etc is not allowed. We have a professional photographer who will examine all entries, and if we suspect that these rules have been violated the person will be disqualified.

Saphir 5 (from World Champs 4

The jury consists of Jesper Ingevaldsson of Shoegazing, Justin FitzPatrick of The Shoe Snob, one representative from Saphir and one representative from Loake. All will choose their five favorites, and the three entries that receive the most votes will be qualified for the final. Jesper Ingevaldsson will be the only one who knows which picture is from which person, the other ones will vote without any info about who has sent in the entries. In the case of a tie, Justin FitzPatrick’s votes will be the deciding factor. The jury decision can’t be overruled.

Send in your competition entry to no later than Sunday March 19. Enter “World Championships in Shoe Shining” in the subject field. In your e-mail, also include which color of Saphir Pate de Lux you would like to use during the final (here you can see all the available colors, click “see colors” and a color chart comes up) and which size you wear in Loake Aldwych on the Capital last (it’s a large last, so if you hesitate between two, choose the smaller one). Good luck!

11 thoughts on “London Super Trunk Show – World Championship of Shoe Shining”

      1. Unfortunately I cant make it Justin. I’m washing my hair that evening. The only intriguing aspect would be watching the iGentry fawning over shoes like a bunch of girls. What’s amusing is they don’t realise these shoes are badly constructed glued monstrosities which lack the attributes desirable in shoes, flexibility and lightness. Still I assume most of them don’t get out of the house much instead debating each other in the interweb and playing with their shoes in their bedrooms. Its all so so sad. Good that you can make a living off them though albeit making a sacrifice in having to wear those silly button boots Ive seen you with on Regent Street 😉

        1. Man you need to get laid. Next time you see on Regent street me introduce yourself so we can chew it out in person. I prefer real life confrontation. Online BS is so boring and fake. I’d much rather you express your dislikes to my face so I can respond to your face.

          1. We all need to get laid, that’s the purpose of most species in the natural world. The iGentry need to realise though that button boots don’t help you in this regard! Well they could do in a way I guess as I did read somewhere that women do like a man who can make them laugh LoL Button boots certainly make me laugh.

            Maybe next time I will stop and say hello but are you sure you want a confrontation as you look about 4ft tall! & that’s with the button boots on! Ive got a good idea for a new line, why don’t you make double or even triple soled boots to add an extra inch or two Justin? LoL

            Ps I don’t think it matters whether you respond here or in person to my main issue which is that Goodyear Welted shoes are terrible. Perhaps its better here so your readers can see how I’ve got it so badly wrong. They aren’t light, they aren’t flexible and have no shock absorption which is why most people don’t wear them to walk around in. They vote with their feet ..quite literally in this case. They are an anachronism which is redundant which explains why most consumers don’t choose them and never will do in the future.

            I don’t actually expect a (sensible) reply to this issue from you as you seem to be arrogant with a dogmatic view on things.

          2. it’s clear that you have no idea of what you speak. And your quest to prove this ludicrous theory on GY shoes will forever be wasted writing/breath. Comfort is not in a construction or material. It’s in arch fit. Whether a shoe weighs an ounce, bends in half or is made of foam on the bottom means nothing if your arch is not properly supported. Get to grips with reality and stop wasting other people’s time by allowing them to read your often ignorant commentary. And all 4 ft of me will look forward to that encounter on Regent st when you have the courage to make it happen.

          3. You think that construction of the shoe doesn’t affect comfort? Why is an ‘opera pump’ traditionally cemented with a very thin leather sole for evening wear (dancing etc.) then? It makes the shoe flexible, as well as looking more elegant of course. Yes arch fit is important too as are other aspects of fit around the foot but its only one variable.

            People who aren’t consumed in the vortex of clothes blogs etc. realise what I said intuitively. That’s why most men moved onto predominantly Italian shoe construction or just went to straight cemented shoes. You now have newer technology like injection moulding which means you don’t need to have any bonded surface.

            You probably would counter that Ecco makes low quality shoes, but they are producing at a keen price point which is where the business is. They do use full grain leathers on their higher priced shoes as well.
            Additionally companies like Harrys of London are not using high quality leathers with these technologies.
            Leather soled GW shoes have had a bit of a pickup with the resurgence of interest in ‘heritage’ but this in my opinion will recede and NO ONE will wear them in 10 to 20 years.

          4. Your quote: ‘People who aren’t consumed in the vortex of clothes blogs etc. realise what I said intuitively.’

            funny how you are one of those or else you would not be commenting here. what a contradiction

            Nevertheless, I have wasted enough of my time on you for one day so will now part ways with you and your ill information.

          5. Ive read clothing blogs but think that most people taking part in them are either a) living in a make believe world of dress up (see aforementioned button boots) or else are b) clueless and are looking for guidance in a world which produces a lot of information most of which is useless. Amusingly one of the high priests of the resurgence in traditional mens wear, Alan Flusser, though preaching a return to welted leather shoes himself in his books only wears Gucci loafers or Belgians himself.
            Im sure you are tempted to just ignore me as its a tough pill to swallow seeing as you’ve created a business around making shoes which aren’t practical or what most people want. Still you’ve learnt a bit about design, how to buy from a factory, how to market so you could utilise these skills by transferring your business into more intelligent forward shoe design. Look at what a company like Harrys is doing, that is the road to giving people what they want. You can go higher end if you like with quality leathers and so on but technology which gives greater comfort is where the business is. That’s probably the best bit of advise you’ll get. If you carry on with what you are doing where will it go? I had a quick look at your accounts, they are abridged and only can see balance sheet but after several years it doesn’t look like its taking off. It will be a small cottage industry type business. Do what I suggest and you could make a fortune.


            CEO of Geox .. note the word ‘relegated’ …

            “There is still a demand for the leather-soled shoe,” says Mario Polegato. “I think leather soles will be increasingly relegated to special-occasion shoes. The question is, with generations coming through that make no such associations with leather soles, whether even that way of thinking will last.”

            President of JM Weston which makes higher end leather shoes than you … translates to “we better start making comfortable rubber shoes or we are done for”

            “It’s like the watch market,” says Alain Vilot, president of JM Weston, where rubber-soled shoes account for one-third of the spring/summer collection. “Now you can wear a gold watch or a plastic watch, and you may have both. Similarly, a rubber-soled shoe does not look out of place in business, as business dress gets more casual.”

  1. George Dunnett

    I’ve just started using your conditioner and polish creams and the wax polish Justin. I think they are far superior than the polish I’ve used for the last 25 years. Many thanks for the products and thanks for the informative videos.

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