If a bootblack is not explicitly charging for their service, it is customary to tip them for it. The general tipping guidelines are as follows:
|Ankle high/10 hole boots||£5|
|Tall boots/ 15-20 hole boots||£10+|
|kneehigh/ 20-30 hole boots||£15+|
What if they refuse a tip?
Some bootblacks don’t accept tips and do their work purely for the love of service but it is best to always offer, as most bootblacks use tips to pay for cover the costs of supplies and equipment.
Moneys tight and I can’t afford the suggested tips.
You are still welcome in our chairs. We do what we do to be of service to the community. The reason we encourage voluntary tipping instead of charging is so that everyone can enjoy a session regardless of personal circumstance.
Don’t assume the bootblack will act as a submissive towards you. they are there to give community service, not to be your personal sub. Don’t engage in degrading language and dont expect a full boot worshipping.
but I’ve seen bootblacks being sexual/subbing with other customers
Sexual chemistry is fully possible, and many bootblacks will flirt with customers who take their fancy, but you should always start from a baseline of treating them as a professional worker, not a sub.
Also, this should go without saying, but any comments degrading a bootblack around their gender/race will get you kicked out the chair.
My boots are in a really bad state, should I apologise?
no, tell us all the fun things that got them like that.
Do you just do boots?
Most bootblacks are skilled in general leather care too. often they will do custom care or even restoration jobs for gear. If you got a job like this ask and they will give you their rates.
I want to become a bootblack, where do I start.
Contact the UK bootblack Association and see if there’s anyone close by to mentor you. Most bootblacks are keen to pass on knowledge and will take the time to show you the ropes.
Otherwise, the books bootblacking 101 and beyond bootblacking will give a good understanding of what is required.