Our four favourite shoe-shine kits

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Christmas is coming and our shoes are getting tatty. The solution? A shoe-shine kit of the highest calibre wethinks. Here are a few of our faves.

1 A comprehensive shoe shine kit from the Northampton-based company, Church's "valet box" comes complete with creams and polishes a-plenty, a polish brush, a shoehorn, a pair of shoe bags, and perhaps most essentially, an incline step upon which to balance your shoes.

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Released in plenty of time for Christmas (clever Church's) the kit will bring untold pleasure - not least because it costs the same as a pair of the brand's brogues - to the shoe freak in your life.

Church's Valet Box costs £280 from www.church-footwear.com

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2 Cut from John Lobb's own Misty Calf brown leather and lined in the brand's signature yellow goat skin, the British shoemaker's shoe shine kit comes either empty or complete with a jar of shoe cream along with a selection of waxes, brushes and cloths.

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Given that the case is the product of one of Britain's longest-established shoe manufacturers (Lobb was founded in 1866 before being acquired by Hermés in 1976), you can be sure your double strap Monks will be in good hands, but it'll cost you.

Medium case (includes creams) comes in at £660. Small traveler option (two waxes, brush & cloth) available for £480 www.johnlobb.com

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3 Super-exclusive French shoe care company La Cordonnerie Anglaise has been around since 1855. Their shoe care kits are enormously expensive, but - as one would hope - the quality is second to none. This rose wood "Intendant Shoe-Care Box" is more a shoe care tool box than a polish kit, and only for those with true shoe care passion (we don't doubt there are plenty of you out there).

Featuring a shoe horn, two large brushes, four smaller brushes, four pots of bees wax polish (black, neutral, dark brown and tan), five pots of shoe cream and one tin of leather balm (oh, and a cloth) a small family in Northampton could live off this kit for a year - think before you buy.

La Cordonnerie Anglaise's Rose Wood Intendant Shoe-Care Box is available for £415 from www.thebureaubelfast.com

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4 A remarkably reasonable - and equally solid - offering from British favourite Paul Smith is this "Ebony Wood Shoe Care Box" which comes complete with shoe horn, two embossed wood and horse hair brushes, two medium applicator brushes and two medium applicator brushes, one wood, steel and horse hair suede brush, two cloths, four paints and four wax polishes. Finished with all the requisite striped leather detailing, it's a shoe-in (ha!) for Britain's best shoe care kit.

Paul Smith's Ebony Wood Shoe Care Box is available for the reduced price of £210 from www.coggles.com

Words by Teo van den Broeke

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