J.FitzPatrick ‘Laurelhurst’ loafer

For the last 3 years, I have been shining shoes in London to an artisanal type standard. That being, I provided a military-like shine that left the shoes looking like glass (or as much as they could be). And many of you were kind enough to be my loyal customers. However, it was always just my day job while I built my shoe & accessory ranges in the background. And like all people that start a company from the ground up, there comes a day when a transition takes place, a transition from working for free (for your company) to finally being able to pay yourself and that day had come for me. I thus stepped down from the shoe shine industry in the hopes to focus solely on my company. This has left many disgruntled customers that now don’t know where to go to get their shoes spruced up to a state of shine higher than your average quick job. Fret not, however, as I have always had a good friend of mine of whom I intended to refer you all to, and that is Mr. Steven Skippen of ShoeShineUK.com.

beat up loafers of mine
Mr. Steven Skipped
Applying the wax by hand
Rubbing it in with heat friction
The Shine building

Steven has actually been in the shoe shine industry for far longer than myself, about 15-16 years to be exact and has been plying his trade at the London Hilton on Park Lane. At his spot, Steven has the traditional shine stand set up with a comfy chair and foot stools but does not do it in the same quick fashion. While it would look like any other quick shine set-up, Steven actually does a much more intensive shine that lasts between 20-30 minutes depending on the shoe/leather/customer’s needs etc. You see he does not use brushes so much like your traditional shoe shine stand. Instead, he applies nearly all of the products with his bare fingers, rubbing it into the leather and thus opening up the pores of the skin through the heat/friction generated by his fingers. This is not the first time that I have seen this method being used and I must say that it is intriguing nonetheless. And from what I gathered by the results of the shine, seems to work quite well.

The Results

Before and after patina
Before and after patina

Patina in progress
Patina completed
Nice shine on these C&J’s

As you can see, Steven is quite good at what he does and even more so is the fact that he also offers a patina service which is very unique to London since no one else does it outside of the shoe shops that only do it for their shoes. That being, if you are ever tired of your shoes’ color or have taken it to a state that is being repaired, a good dye job (patina) can be your very simple answer. So to all my dear customers as well as others that never used my services, please find yourself utilizing Mr. Steven Skippen for all of your future shine necessities!

Shoe shines start from 7.75
Patinas start from 70



Justin, “The Shoe Snob”

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8 thoughts on “The Go-To London Shoe Shiner”

  1. Justin thankyou so much I am honoured to be featured on your amazing blog and hope we can work together in the future and continue to promote each other.

    Steven D. R Skippen

  2. Very impressive!

    As a military man, I’m well versed in turning toe caps into black mirrors although it takes me forever, but I never knew much about shoe care beyond that and a general polish. Would you believe that some of my lazier brethren have their toe caps PAINTED(!) down at the aircraft spray bay in exchange for a packet of biscuits for the obliging ‘artisan’! Well it might save a bit of elbow grease, but its hardly any way to treat a nice pair of black oxfords!

    1. thanks for sharing Steve, doesn’t surprise me about some of your brethren….some people can’t be asked to get it there!

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