Tomorrow Saturday is the time for the big shoe competition Shoe Shining Champion of Champions at Isetan in Tokyo, where the three world champions and a Russian, Japanese and our latest Swedish champion Michael Håkansson will make up. An event that can be viewed live on YouTube, more info below.


It’s nice to think about how this thing with shoe shining competitions developed, from when we took some stumbling steps with it at the first super trunk in Stockholm six years ago. First we called it just the spit shine competition, but then changed to the Swedish Championships in Shoe Shining, and the success was a fact immediately. I myself have since taken it further with the World Championships in Shoe Shining, while at the same time contests in Russia and Japan has developed. The rules vary a bit between all of these, but it’s still what we set with the first competition in 2014 that is the basis for all of these.

For the contest tomorrow Saturday, which then is called Shoe Shining Champion of Champions, I’ve worked together with the famous department store Isetan. Participating are all the world champions, Yuya Hasegawa (2017), John Chung (2018) and Yuta Sugimura (2019), plus one invited Japanese champion, Go Ishimi, Swedish champion, Michael Håkansson (2018), and Russian champion Anton Tsypin (2018). They will polish no less than three pairs of shoes, one black smooth leather oxford, one embossed grain leather pair, and one pair in shell cordovan leather. They will have only 15 minutes per pair, a short break, and then onto the next pair. They get to choose products from the wide range offered at Isetan Men’s, more details about this will be announced closer to date. They get to choose shoe care products from the wide range offered at Isetan Men’s, and won’t know in which order the shoes will come.

Three pairs are to be shined, 15 minutes for each pair.

The shoes will then be reviewed by a jury, which I’m one of the members of, who will judge the technique and overall beauty of the shine jobs, and the expression and balance of the work, the jury score will stand for 50% of the points. Then the audience will get to vote as well on their favourite shiners, and 50% of the points will be given here, these votes are placed on Isetan Men’s Shoes’ instagram (also non-visitors can go in and check the pictures and vote for the one/ones they think have made the best jobs).

For those of you elsewhere in the world you may follow the contest at the menswear portal Forza Styles’ YouTube-channel, whose broadcast is embedded below. The contest starts at 14.00 Japanese time, so if you’re in Europe set your alarms early, and those in the US make sure to stay up late to don’t miss this spectacular event.

A summary of how this content played out, and more from the event Isetan Shoe Expo, will be published next week.

Below the broadcast of the contest: