U.S. Championships of Shoe Shining and Shoe Patina 2023 – Call for Qualification

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US Shoe Shining Shoe patina kopiera

We now open the qualifications to the finals of the first U.S. Championships of Shoe Shining and Shoe Patina 2023, with the finals taking place at the premiere edition of the New York Super Trunk Show on October 14th, 2023.

The contests and the event are organized by The Shoe Snob, Shoegazing and Kirby Allison in collaboration with partners Saphir and Bridlen Shoemaker. The patina finalists will paint their shoes during the whole event, and the shoe shiners have 20 minutes to shine a shoe as lovely looking as possible.

A while back we announced the plans to finally take the successful super trunk show events over the pond to USA, where The Shoe Snob, Shoegazing and Kirby Allison will host the first New York Super Trunk Show. This in a great location on the Upper East Side, close to Central Park, on Saturday October 14th, 2023. The line-up is more or less finalized, and we can tell you that it will be a great one for sure, with more than 15 exhibitors from around the world. Within a couple of weeks, we will present the whole event.

Highlights of the event will be the inaugural editions of the U.S. Championships of Shoe Shining and the U.S. Championships of Shoe Patina. The finals will follow the same process as the World Championships in London, and we now open up for qualifications to these highly prestigious contests.

U.S. Championships of Shoe Shining 2023

For the first time we organize a U.S shoe shining championships, in collaboration with Saphir and Bridlen Shoemaker, where the winner will receive a pair of shoes from Bridlen, a shoe care package from Saphir, a gold medal, and of course the prestigious U.S. champion title. This is a great way to highlight the high standard of shoe shiners in the States, and hopefully create the same opportunity for broader traction in media etc. as we’ve seen with the world champs and other local championships in Japan, Sweden, the Netherlands and so on.

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Great results can be achieved in just 20 minutes by top shiners and top products from Saphir

The final takes place at 3pm on Saturday October 14, here one light/medium brown plain cap toe oxford from Bridlen is to be polished as beautiful as possible. Jury will not only look at the highest shine, but the most beautiful work is rewarded, how much of the shoe that is shined, etc. The finalists will have one can of Saphir Medaille d’Or Pate de Lux in the colour of their choice, a can of Saphir Medaille d’Or Mirror Gloss in neutral, water, a brush, a polishing cloth (this they may bring themselves) and a nylon cloth, and then they have 20 minutes to shine the shoe. For those who have followed the world champions competitions previous years know that there’s some great results even if the time is short. The winner will be titled the U.S champion of shoe shining 2023, and gets to keep the shoe he or she has polished and its sibling, receives a shoe care kit from Saphir, plus a gold medal.

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We have updated the qualification system for this contest, which we test now and likely will use for upcoming world champs as well. To get a better view of the contestants capabilities of achieving a high shine in short time, we ask you to use a pair of non-polished shoes, it could be a brand new pair or an old pair with just a basic shine similar to box-new pairs (for example you can strip a pair of shined shoes, apply shoe cream and have a base from there). You are then to film when you spend 20 minutes shining one of the shoes, the film quality doesn’t have to be great, just put a phone in front of your shine area and go at it. We then want you to include four photos, one of how the entire pair looks before you’re 20 minutes shine session, and then three different photos including both the shined shoe and its non-shined sibling, so we can compare them both.

The pictures should show off as much of the shine job as possible, that is their purpose, so vary the angles between the pics, maybe one close-up etc. What will be judged is how well the shoe 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, same things we look at during the final. And we will compare it to the unpolished one, it’s one important aspect and makes it more comparable between contestants, even if different shoes with different bases to start from are used.

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A plain cap toe oxford like this from Bridlen, but in a lighter brown colour, is to be shined at the event

Only one entry per contestant can be sent in, and the person has to be able to attend the final in New York on Saturday, the 14th of October. The contest is open for professionals as well as amateurs, so both patina artists or professional shoe shiners as well as random shoe enthusiasts can enter the competition. It’s possible to send in entries to both contests, if someone would make it to the finals in both contests it works, but it will be a tight schedule during the event day.

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You are allowed to make minor adjustments to the pictures 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. And please note, it’s the beauty of the polish job that is judged, not how beautiful the pictures are.

The jury (preliminary) consists of:

Tom Costin, Saphir / SoleTech
Affan Mohammed, Bridlen Shoemaker
Justin FitzPatrick, The Shoe Snob
Jesper Ingevaldsson, Shoegazing
Kirby Allison
Chris Dillon, American Patina
Greg Park, Hancore Patina

All will give points 1-5 to their five favorites, and the three entries that receive the most points will be qualified for the final. Justin FitzPatrick 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, Jesper Ingevaldsson’s votes will be the deciding factor. The jury decision cannot be overruled.

Send in four photos and the film to [email protected] no later than Monday August 28. Enter “U.S. Championships of Shoe Shining” in the subject field. Finalists will be announced the following week. You can share a WeTransfer link, upload to Google Drive or Dropbox etc. For any uncertainties, just e-mail us and we’ll help out. Note that the films will not be published, only selected photos.

U.S. Championships of Shoe Patina 2023

The patina championships is also organized in collaboration with Saphir and Bridlen Shoemaker, and similar to the shine contest the winner will receive a pair of shoes from Bridlen, a shoe care package from Saphir and a gold medal. We know there’s many great shoe patina artists in the US, so we look forward to see some of them battle it out about the first national title.

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Five hours of hard work transforming a pair of shoes with Saphir leather dye, cream and polish is what’s on the table for the patina finalists.

The final will start right after the opening of the super trunk, at 11.15am, and will finish at 5.15pm with a one hour break between 2.45-3.45pm (then the shoe shining final takes over the stage area). The three finalists will paint a Bridlen crust leather austerity brogue. They will get to choose five colours of the leather dye Saphir Teinture Francais, which they may mix and use as they please during the day. They will also get one Saphir Medaille d’Or Pommadier shoe cream, one can of Pate de Luxe wax and one Mirror Gloss in the colours they wish, plus a horsehair brush and nylon cloth. Apart from this, they bring their own brushes and equipment for painting and polishing, and they may paint the shoes in any way possible.

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Similar to the shoe shining contest, the jury will judge the overall beauty of the paint job, but also look close at the quality of the patina, the techniques used and how well it is executed. The winner will be titled the U.S. Champion of Shoe Patina 2023, and gets to keep the shoes they have painted, receive a shoe care kit from Saphir, plus a gold medal.

To qualify for the shoe patina championship, three pictures from different angles of a pair of painted shoes should be sent in, plus one photo of how the shoes looked before they were painted. It should be taken of a full pair, and it’s recommended to show as much of the shoes and the paint job as possible, at least one picture showing the shoes in full. What will be judged are the same parameters as described above. Only one entry (four pics) per contestant can be sent in, and it should only be maximum one pair of shoes in the picture. The shoes in the pictures should be painted and polished by the one who sends in the entry, and the person has to be able to attend the final in New York on October 14. It’s open for both professionals and amateurs.

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An austerity brogue from Bridlen, but completely undyed in natural crust leather, is to be painted with Saphir dye

As with the shining qualification, you are allowed to make minor adjustments to the pictures 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. And also here, do note that it’s the beauty of the patina that is judged, not how beautiful the pictures are. It is possible to send in entries to both contests, if someone would be a finalist in both it would work, though October 14th will be a very busy day.

The jury and the procedure to select the three finalists will be the same as for the shine contest, see above. Send in four photos to [email protected] no later than Monday August 28. Enter “U.S. Championships of Shoe Patina” in the subject field. Finalists will be announced the following week.



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