Shoe In

When it comes to being shoe—and fashion—savvy, Tom Park of Leather Soul is in-the-know. So we sought the expert’s advice for traveling in style.

Q. What shoe cleaning essentials do you travel with?

When I travel, I always keep my shoes in shoe trees and shoe bags.  The shoe bags not only keep the rest of my items from touching my shoes, which are obviously dirty, but also double up as polishing rags, in case of need.  While I do not travel with polish or shoe cream, I make sure to give my shoes a nice polish that will last the entire trip before leaving.  I also bring along a small shoe brush to brush off dirt and maintain the polish.

Q. You note that shoes are one of the first things you notice about a man. What’s second?

The watch.  A watch can say a lot about a man.  I’m not saying you need to be wearing an expensive watch to be respected.  What I mean is that I can tell a lot about a man by his watch.  A Casio G-Shock may mean he’s an outdoors/active lifestyle type of guy.  A Patek Philippe probably means he’s quite successful, regardless of what he is wearing …

Q. You suggest not wearing the same pair of shoes two days in a row. How many pairs of shoes do you usually travel with on business?

Depending on the length of the trip, but for a 3-4 day trip, I will take at least two dress/dress casual shoes, a pair of comfortable but not sporty looking sneakers, and a pair of slippahs.

Q. Any shoes set to launch from Leather Soul you believe will give clients a lasting impression?

A pair of John Lobbs [pictured: ‘William John Lobbs, a double monk style shoe that is one of their iconic and most popular models]. Although pricey ($1100+), they are the most respected shoe a businessman can wear, in my opinion.  They have the perfect balance of tradition and luxury that will get you noticed in any situation.  Many executive level businessmen will probably have heard of them, especially in cities such as New York, London, Paris and Tokyo.  John Lobb’s offerings range from dressy to very casual so there is a shoe for every man.

View Mr. Park’s “In the Boardroom” column in the August/September print edition of HILuxury. For more information on Leather Soul, visit

Image courtesy Leather Soul 

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