Key Points:

There's no longer any excuse for dirty or leaky footwear in Auckland. The Shoeshine Man is in town.

Larry Woods has set up his stall in Albert St, outside a barber shop. He'll polish, or at least wax, your shoes for free, and, also for free, give you his line of patter.

His product, he says, will protect and waterproof not only your shoes, but your furniture, your boat, your car. It will help your psoriasis, eczema and cracked heels. You can even use it to put twirly bits in your hair.

The man from San Francisco with the blond hair has lived in New Zealand for 27 years. He has run businesses, including fashion shops in High St and Kingsland, and a meat company supplying bacon beef to Watties.

But now he sells a mix of beeswax and jojoba, made in St Heliers using beeswax from Taihape.

The staff at Mr Barber were looking for a gimmick, and when a client suggested shoeshine and Mr Woods, they were hooked. Woods plans to be here until Christmas.

And the cost of this miracle product? It's $20 a pot, and should last two years. In these tough times, that's a deal.