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“Does anyone know of any good shoe shine stands?”

by Prince Of Petworth February 21, 2017 at 1:45 pm 30 Comments

shoe shine
Photo by PoPville flickr user Andrew Pasko-Reader

“Does anyone know of any good shoe shine stands? I typically head down to Union Station where they do a good shine for about $10. But it’s a little bit of a hassle heading down there just for a quick shine. Was curious if others knew of any other options in the NW area. Thanks much!”

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  • Truxton Thomas

    If you’re in the Farragut area, I just tried the stand in the basement of the building at the southwest corner of Connecticut and L (the building with the Morton’s upstairs and the post office in the basement). Good guy, great shine, $10 with tip. I seem to use just about every brush in my kit when I do it myself, but he managed just fine with some pantyhose.

    • ExWalbridgeGuy

      This guy is very good

  • dhendrix

    I could use one in Dupont Circle area as well

  • oh2dc

    Might be odd and not a stand, but I would check hotels near your home or work. They usually offer that service and could be something you could drop off and pick up there.

    • anon

      There’s one at the Grand Hyatt at 11th & H.

      • AMDCer

        There used to be a great stand at the Mayflower, but I’m not sure if it’s still there.

  • stacksp

    I take all my shoes to Nordstroms at Pentagon City. $2.50 per pair not including tip. Sometimes I drop off and pick back up and sometimes I wait it out while hanging out in the mall

    • anon29

      +1. Been doing this for years. ANY Nordstrom is the deal of the century.

    • kapitolhill

      That’s my go-to as well.

    • Truxton Thomas

      I had no idea. This is awesome.

  • Jonathan Psotka

    Moses in the Johnson & Murphy on the corner of G and and 13th NW (near Macy’s) is fantastic.

    • HillRat

      Echoing Moses – great shine, lots of colors and very quality work, and he’s a genuinely nice, nice guy.

      But if you’re by a Nordstrom, their work is outstanding and as others have said dirt-cheap (I usually just give him a fiver for the work since even $5 is cheaper than anywhere else!)

  • Farragut

    There used to be an okay one in Pawnee, Indiana.

    • LGee

      But he once used Pepto Bismol on my shoes

  • brian

    There is one in the shops at 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW too, you can also drop them off and pick up later if you like.

  • LCinDC

    There’s one in the lobby of PNC Place office building at 17th and H.

  • Anon

    I’m generally too cheap to not shine my own shoes, but do the guys mentioned in this thread use top quality polish/creams/etc? Do they have a wide array of polishes to match the color of the shoes? I’d be quite upset if someone inadvertently darkened my light-tan shoes.

    • Truxton Thomas

      At a basic shine stand, I think you’re typically going to find a leather conditioner; black, brown, cordovan, and clear Kiwi polish; water; and cleanser for the sole. What do you use on your tan shoes? You could always discuss with the bootblack beforehand to make sure you’re comfortable.

      • Anon

        Thanks – that makes sense. I use the Allen Edmonds walnut polish. I guess I could just bring the bottle with me in a pinch, but then again I likely won’t need to polish my light brown shoes in a pinch as I might a pair of black/brown shoes.

      • Robert

        Discuss with the “bootblack”? Give me a break. Is your suit man your “haberdasher”?

  • ShawResident

    Divine Shine in Shaw is great (T Street between 7th and 8th)

    • mcd

      +1. Not a stand but this is where I go as well. I think it is $8.

  • also anon

    There is one in the lobby of my building (1301 K St NW) by the far east entrance closer to 13th. I can’t vouch for it though but I walk by it every day.

  • J

    Any by the bethseda metro?

  • Uriah

    Or Columbia Heights? Even someone with a consistent mobile setup would be great.

  • John

    The Truefitt and Hill store near Metro Center does a good job, though you need to drop them off. Ditto for the shoe repair place on the south side of the 1800 block of Eye St. NW.

    There used to be a guy with a regular shoe shine stand outside the Palm on 19th, and there’s often another guy near the Old Ebbit Grill.

    But overall, it is surprising that there aren’t more shoe shine stands around. I usually shine them myself but sometimes it’s just to easy to put it off, and I’d gladly pay someone 5-10 bucks to do it for me while I’m out and about getting lunch or something.

  • Sydney

    One of the guys at National Airport Terminal C is particularly good. He’ll ask how much time you have, and knows enough to wax, polish and shine — not just one, which you get on the street too often.

    Corrective Show Repair on 21st Street just north of P St NW is not a stand, but does fine work.

    Johnston and Murphy on Conn. Ave. used to be great (even did pick-ups), but attendance and quality there has become dicey.

    Union Station: avoid. They have ruined shoes.

    Ideally we’d all make the time (and mess) to polish our own shoes. Sigh.

  • John

    McCormick & Schmick’s on K Street NW…yes, you read that correctly. Best part is that you can enjoy a cocktail at the same time.

  • chrisnhamp

    Imperial Valet, 1331 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036
    They just moved from to a new space in the back of the building behind their original space, but I just went there this morning to drop off some shoes. They have a shoeshine stand to do it while you wait as well. Very nice and good.

  • Contessa of Cleveland Park

    Wow. Inflation. My dad used to pay me 25 cents, and he’d make me do it again if the shoes didn’t pass inspection. And when I say “inspection,” remember that dad served in the army .

    I do it myself, not an enjoyable chore but pleasanter than lugging around extra shoes. Sure, you could avoid that by having them done while wearing, but (1) these comments make clear that many businesses insist on drop-off, and (2) am I the only woman who finds the position somewhat reminiscent of a trip to the gynecologist? No thanks.


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