Tis the season. And by now you’ve probably been walloped over the head by 82,000 gift guides. So what’s a few more? Instead of doing a highly generalized, throw-everything-against-the-digital-wall gift guide, we’ll be breaking it up by category. Gifts for the guy who likes watches. Or the rugged type. Or the guy who’s always in a suit. Etc. We’ll cover all those, and hopefully a few more in the coming days.
Most of us can get by with either applying shoe creme with an old sock, or, two daubers (one for black, one for brown… even with washing them after, you never know). But if the guy on your list is a true shoe hog, having more than a couple daubers on hand can be super convenient. The horsehair on the dauber makes for much easier, more even application of the cream, than compared to when it’s applied with a sock or rag. They will wear out after a while, and once that starts to happen, stray hairs start to muck up your polishing process. Good stocking stuffers. Nice and cheap. Solid quality from AE.
Like garment bags… for footwear. Helps keep the dust off, and the soft flannel fabric protects the shoes from any accidental drops, dings, pet claws, locust invasions, etc., while at home or on the road.
Perfect for the guys who travel a lot and/or the types who change shoes when they get to work in the morning (say, post commute or post trip to the gym). Lots of shades available for the 8″ option shown above. Made in the USA. Fulfilled by Amazon. Shopping at BR and want something to tip the balance for free shipping? They make a small shoe horn as well.
Widely regarded as the best all-around shoe leather care product on the market. Y’know those “liquid gold” mac and cheese commercials that end with “eat like that guy you know” as the tag line? Right. This stuff. This is the real liquid gold. For your shoes. Shine (or, more accurately in this case, clean & condition)… like that guy you know.
Shoe Shine Gift Certificates
Got a cobbler in your city? Drop in and see if they offer gift certificates for shoe shines. Sure, plenty of guys actually like the process of shining their own shoes, but every so often it’s nice to just hand em’ over to the pros.
Personalized Shoe Trees – $24 ($29.95)
Laser engraved with either his initials, name, or even an image. (Which could get… weird?) Plus, Woodlore’s shoe trees uses nice cedar, and smooth acting springs. Not like super cheap shoe trees that can stick and bind after a while. On sale through tomorrow, 12/13.
Cashmere Socks – Nordstrom – $89.50 / 2pk
File this under the category of things most people will never, ever consider buying for themselves, but if someone gets a pair for them, they’ll be eternally grateful. If he loves his shoe collection, then he pays attention to his feet. And nothing says appreciating feet quite like cashmere socks.
Going for soft, laid back, and indoors here. And these are anything but crummy faux-suede/faux-shearling throw aways from the clearance basket at your local discount store. These are the real deal. All wool uppers that breathe (so, no funky foot deep into a lazy morning at home). Lightweight crepe soles. Made in France.
A nice Shine Box (on its own, or, stocked with goods) – $89 – $159
You want something sturdy. Something that doesn’t wiggle or wobble. Something that you can put pressure on as you buff out a shoe over and over and over again. Just… be careful who you gift one of these things to (NSFW language).
A pair of high quality Leather, Classic Sneakers
Many a brand is taking classic court shapes, and making them out of high quality materials. And the end result are shoes that have that great, classic athletic look, but last longer and feel far superior to basic Chucks or Jack Purcells. You could spend a fortune on these things, or, you could spend not quite as much. Also, there’s always the cheap but still oddly good quality Stan Smith.
An upgraded version of his favorite style of shoe – $250+
Just make sure you keep receipts for returns in case they don’t fit. Say he’s got a cheap pair of suede chukkas that he loves. Search out a nicer quality pair. Same goes for, say, wingtip boots and chelseas. This obviously works best if his current pair has more than a few miles on it. Doesn’t make sense to upgrade to a new pair if he just bought em’. But if an old, tired looking pair (that he still loves) is ready to give up the ghost, it could be one hell of a treat to go from that entry level pair to a little bit of luxury.
I honestly don’t think any real shoe hog would ever turn down/not be in love with a pair of Alden 405 Indy boots. Made famous by Harrison Ford in the Indiana Jones movies, they’re made in the USA from tough (but forgiving-on-the-foot) components. They’re the essential all-around, not overly country, not city slicker either, adventure boot. Sizing can be a bit tricky though. Most suggest dropping down a half to a whole size for the last that the Indy is made around.