Love those $4 shoes!

A short lesson in economy, at the street level.
A short lesson in economy, at the street level.

They fit great, they are broken-in to your exact comfort level, and conveniently, they are already on your feet. All this for $4? I shall explain.

Weather can be hard on shoes, and here in the Northwest shoes really take it in the toe. Scuffed and ratty shoes really bring an image consultant down. I hear tales of woe of how clients just couldn't possibly find another pair of shoes that they like as well as their current scuffed pair. They are always surprised when I tell them that the shoes they are wearing are fine; they just need to be polished. I'll park them at the shoe shine bench at Nordstrom to read the newspaper or watch the basketball game and five minutes later they will gaze in awe at their "new" shoes.

Visit the vicinity of the men's shoe department at a Nordstrom and get your shoes shined by an expert. For $4 (including generous tip), you can have these aces of laces condition, polish, and buff your shoes to their former splendor (or at least close to their former splendor). I like to get mine polished once or twice a year by a professional. In between shoe shines, I keep a shoe shine sponge (great stocking stuffer, under $5 at your local drugstore) handy for everyday use. Nordstrom Shoe Shine will also service suede shoes and tall boots for $5 (including generous tip).

A lot of these virtuosos of veneer have been employed with Nordstrom for decades. The last time I was there, my shoeshine expert was telling me how he had moved to the Midwest with Nordstrom when they opened their store there and now was back in Seattle. When he admired the quality of my shoe leather, I told him proudly that I had had them for 12 years. He mentioned that he had bought his perfectly polished pair 26 years prior. Not only a great way to support the local economy, but lessons in economy as well.

Check out what Andrea James writes about the Perkins family that has been shoeshining at Nordstrom since 1974: Nordstrom sells shoes, but shoeshining family keeps them looking good.


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