Shoe Shine

Do you need a shoe shine while on travel?

In the old days, travel was an important life event. Travelers always sought to look smart and wear elegant clothes. Before and during travel, there was always a need for shoe shine. Times have changed, and if you go to an airport or a bus terminal, you will find that many travelers are boarding planes with flip flops, sandals, crocs or other totally informal alternatives to footwear. I guess that by having made this comment, you will claim that I am from the old school; and argue I will not!

So if you are kind like myself, and feel more comfortable traveling with shoes rather than with flop flops, crocs or the like, you will inevitably be in need of getting a shoe shine while on travel.

Let’s face it, comfortable shoes have the benefit of protecting your feet and keeping them clean. Especially when walking around “dirty” areas, such as markets and downtown areas, and even more importantly, when you walk into a public restroom! But that shoe that is protecting you takes the beating that your feet don’t take when you are using them. Because of this, from time to time, during your travels, they will deserve and even demand a bit of attention!

Getting a shoe shine is certainly a mundane activity. It’s time to get down and dirty and take your shoes off, scrub them, wax them… this activity is actually much, much easier in Central America that it is Europe or North America. In Honduras, for example, there are professional “shoe shiners” who make a living precisely by taking care of your footwear while on travel!

All of the major cities in Honduras: Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, Comayagua, Choluteca, Santa Rosa de Copan, etc have a shoe shine area within their central parks. Here, you can take a comfortable seat and help the economy of a shoe shiner by allowing him to practice his profession. It is incredible that so many things fit into their tiny shoe shine boxes that they carry with them!

Within 10 minutes, you will walk away with shoes that are shinier than they were when you bought them! Best of all, the cost of the service is a mere 30 lempira’s, roughly 1.50 USA dollars! Please remember to tip them, they will certainly appreciate it and you will make their day. Today I had mine done in the Central Park of La Ceiba and I gave the shoe shiner a 20 lempira tip. His eyes shined in appreciation, and at a total of 50 lempira’s, it was a true bargain!

Best of all, you can visit the park throughout the day to get this service! In La Ceiba, for example, the shoe shiners are there from 6:00 a.m. till 6:30 p.m. daily! You can come go get your shoe shine and then have breakfast or a coffee. I recommend the nearby coffee shops at Cobel or Cafeto. This makes for a great start of the day with shiny shoes and all!

Another good tip for taking care of your footwear while on travel is to take advantage of the service at the international airports in Honduras. The airports in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula both have shoe shine professionals  within the facilities. You can take advantage to get your shoes shined both, before your departure to an international destination, or upon arrival to Honduras!

So now you have no excuse to not wear shoes when traveling around Honduras and Central America. Take note that you are of course entitled to travel around with flip flops. After all, they are cheap, easy to replace, and easy to wash when you jump into the shower. However, you must admit, that you do look “smart” when wearing shoes while on travel!