trigandpolished famous wayne shoe shine

Famous Wayne, Shoe Shine King


While out T&P scouting, I noticed a man in a powder blue fedora standing next to what can best be described as a “Shoe Shine Throne”.  This is how I met Famous Wayne, the “World Famous Shoe Shine King”.

Famous Wayne has been at his current location, near the corner of Market and Drumm right next to the Embarcadero Bart Station, for almost 30 years. Before that, he was on Front Street by McDonalds but moved from that spot in 1985. Oakland-born Wayne comes from a family of Shoe Shiners, his grandfather shined shoes in New York after immigrating there from Ethiopia.

Trig & Polished Menswear Street Style featuring San Francisco's, Famous Wayne.

Famous Wayne and his assistant, Robert. Robert started working with Wayne in 1986, at the age of 15.

Shoe shining is a profession that is practiced all over the world. It’s such an old profession that the earliest reliably dated photo­graph that shows people, is of a man getting his shoes shined on a street corner in Paris Although not as common as it was in the past, it is great to see that modern men are starting to see the importance of having polished shoes. While watching the men sitting side by side chatting while Wayne and his assistants were working, I was reminded of women getting pedicures at a nail salon. Both activities having to do with taking some time to look your best. A sort of moment to pause an otherwise fast-paced life and come out of that moment feeling better about yourself. Like Wayne’s says, ” You look good, you feel good!”.


Some advice from the Famous Wayne crew:

With proper care, a good pair of shoes should last you twenty years. Good shoes are in the $300 price range and he refers to these shoes as “Banker shoes”. Recommended brands are Allen Edmonds, Johnston & Murphy, and To Boot New York. They also mentioned The Archive as a shop that sells great mens shoes.


Trig & Polished

Current pricing for conditioning at Famous Wayne’s Shoe Shine Stand is $10 for shoes, $15 for boots. Every year his price goes up one dollar. He sells Shine Cards which save his customer quite a bit of money. A card that is good for 25 shines, costs $50 and a Lifetime Supply of Shoe Shines are sold for $500 (tip not included). Next time you are in the area, check out Famous Wayne and tell him Trig & Polished sent you.


Leave A Comment