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Dutch championship shoe shining 2022

Dutch championship shoe shining 2022

While unpacking the shoe shine championship shoes at our office, I start to wonder if I can immediately spot the winner out of the three. After removing the shoe bag from the 3rd and last shoe there is one that clearly jumps out at me and that is the shoe shined by Theo Frijn.

Three contestants Dutch championship shoe shining Selwyn Lau, and Neil Mckenzie and Theo Frijn

It is nice to have the jury’s initial judgment re-confirmed. But that said, what is it that makes Theo Frijn’s shoe shine the best and what is lacking in the shoe shines from the other two contestants Selwyn Lau, and Neil Mckenzie?

Technique and setup

Our three candidates each had to work with a tin of neutral Saphir Médaille d’Or Mirror Gloss wax. Next to that they each picked a dark brown Saphir Médaille d’Or Pate de Luxe.

A popular strategy among professional shoe shiners is to start off applying multiple layers of Mirror Gloss. We didn’t really count during the competition, but we think each contestant applied anywhere between 6-10 layers of Mirror Gloss wax on the toe caps before moving on to finetune their shine using Pate de Luxe which is purely used as a finishing wax. Both waxes were applied using their bare fingers for optimal smoothness and distribution. All of our contestants used a shoe shine cloth to shine the wax. Of course each used a bit of water as well for better results.

Dutch Championship shoe shining 2022

Results and differences

All three of the contestants were able to create a beautiful mirror shine finish on the toe cap of the shoe. However, where you start to see an obvious difference on Theo’s shoe is the rest of the shoe. The heel, vamp and sides of the shoe also have a beautiful deep shine, where the other two contestants mostly focussed on the toe cap. Neil Mckenzie was able to also create a lovely shine on the heel, but not as great as Theo’s. Selwyn Lau mostly focussed on the toe cap.

Toe caps Dutch championship shoe shining 2022


The competition was strong this year between our contestants. The jury was impressed with the results these three contestants were able to achieve within only 20 minutes. Most people would take hours to get to the same level of shine. Unfortunately, only one can be the winner, which this year was Theo Frijn. Well deserved! The whole shoe has got a beautiful and even shine throughout the whole shoe. We want to thank Theo Frijn, Neil Mckenzie and Selwyn Lau for their sportsmanship and enthusiasm during the competition.

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