MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A good shoe shine not only makes your shoes look great, but it also makes you feel great.
There are a lot of opinions when it comes to the right way to shine a shoe, so we went in search of the best of Minnesota.
Your votes sent us to the Crystal Court at the IDS Center in downtown Minneapolis to meet a woman who’s been shining shoes for 24 years: Lisa Fredell of Lisa’s Shoe Shine.
You can learn a lot about a person by looking at their soles.
“Whether they notice it or not themselves, they either look you up and down or down and up,” Fredell said.
And if their kicks are looking good, it says a lot.
“They handle their details and their business,” Fredell said.
She cleans, massages and buffs shoes into a blinding shine daily.
“This isn’t work for me,” Fredell said.
She was approached by a woman who had 12 stands, with all women shining, in downtown Minneapolis.
“She offered me a job and here I am 24 years later,” she said.
Fredell now owns her own stand.
“I still have customers from when I first started,” she said.
It may seem like an art form that has lost its shine, but well-polished shoes complete a sharp look.
“The more you get your shoes shined, you take care of your shoes, they take care of you,” she said. “You want to treat it like skin. Clean it first, moisturize and get a nice shine on it.”
Fredell’s key to making your feet look good is in the palm of her hands.
“I think the polish kind of goes into the leather, you know, from the heat of your hands,” Fredell said. “And if it’s hard on your hands, you shouldn’t use it on your shoes.”
Like going to the barber or salon, sitting up in that big chair is about more than cleaning up your look.
“Sometimes we come down here for a little therapy,” customer Robert Grant said. “You know, you take a break from work, right? You kind of talk about what’s going on in the world.”
Fredell says she can talk about anything under the sun.
“Doesn’t matter, but you got to be good to each other here,” she said.
That frame of mind and other mantras are posted on the wall in the sightline of her customers. Some are curated by her, and some are gifted by the customers.
“I love this one: ‘The last human freedom is the ability to choose our attitudes,'” she said.
The path Fredell followed brought her to this place, which makes perfect sense to her now. And the road ahead is crystal clear.
“That’s why I love this job so much — my freedom. That’s most important to me, and then everything else just follows,” Fredell said.
Mind, body and sole.
“We appreciate her. She does a great job here,” Grant said.
Lisa’s Shoe Shine is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A shoe shine is $8. You can sit in or drop your shoes off.