Hunter Slaton
for Valet.
How to
Wax Off
"Use shoe cream instead of wax polish," says Andrade. "Wax builds up over time, which isn't good for your shoes." He recommends Meltonian's shoe cream, in a range of colors from bone to bordeaux, applied in liberal circles. Let dry and brush off before buffing. $2.50, at CedarShoeTree.com
Get Edgy
KIWI Instant Wax Shine is advertised as an all-over, quick-fix shine, but Andrade says it's best for edging your shoes. $5 at ShoeTreeMarketplace.com
Tree Time
Invest in cedar shoe trees, which, according to Andrade, "absorb moisture and keep your shoes healthy." Make sure they fit properly. Woodlore makes the gold standard for cedar shoe trees. $20-$35, at Woodlore.com
Buff Stuff

An old issue of Esquire once declared, "Unshined shoes are the bloodstained hands of style." Though comically harsh, it's true: You can look like a million bucks from the trouser cuffs up, but if your shoes are scuffed and dull, you may as well be wearing sweats. City dwellers likely have a good shine guy nearby, but it's fun and meditative to shine your own. And if you like the end result, feel free to tip yourself generously.  Start with Allen-Edmonds' Leather Shoe Care Kit, which comes with a pair of horsehair brushes, polish daubers and cloths, shoe conditioner/cleaner and carnauba wax shoe polish in both black and brown. To get you started, we asked Edward Andrade of Cesar's General Shoe Repair Store, an institution in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood since 1976, for a few tips.

Leather Shoe Care Kit, $95 by Allen-Edmonds

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