Pascual’s Boot Shine Keeps First Responders in Tip-Top Shape

By Lynda Halligan, AOCDS Chief Communications Officer

Pascual Torres didn’t set out to have a career in the boot business, but fate sometimes has a funny way of intervening. When Pascual suffered a back injury in 2004, he needed to find a quick way to make some money that didn’t involve heavy lifting. He agreed to learn the trade just enough to help out temporarily. “It was hard. At first, when I was watching other guys doing it, I thought ‘Oh, that’s easy. I can do this anytime, but when I started doing it myself, I was like, oh. I was wrong.’ It took me about two, three months to pick up the basics and then, over the years, I developed my own techniques, my own way to do it.” Now, here he is, 19 years later continuing to help public safety officers look and feel their best.

Pascual teamed up with AOCDS earlier this year, setting up shop at the AOCDS building in March. Pascual, who previously conducted business at the Katella Training Facility Orange County Range Store, says his customers are very particular with their gear, “It’s hard to earn their trust and I think I’ve done really well with that.” He has built good relationships and good friendships with his clients, many of whom he met when they were in the academy. He has proudly watched them move up the ranks while helping them maintain a professional appearance. Pascual tells us he likes being able to do something with his hands, the positive energy of the environment and the generosity of the customers, but perhaps what he appreciates most is seeing their reaction. “They’re really impressed,” he says, “like wow. Sometimes, they don’t even recognize their own boots.” Some customers come in and ask Pascual to make their boots look brand new. He tells them, “They’ll look better than brand new. And they do. Much better.”

Pascual recognizes the importance of uniformity among public safety officers as “a matter of respect” and is honored to help contribute to that. He is available full-time at AOCDS to take care of all your leatherwork and shoeshine needs, including spit shines and boot resoles, depending on the brand. A spit shine typically takes about an hour, and no, Pascual does not actually use his saliva. “I don’t do that,” Pascual laughs, “because imagine all the boots I do!”

For your convenience, it’s best to drop off your boots and dress shoes and pick them up at a later date. The turnaround time for most services is usually one day. A boot resole takes about three to six days. Pascual does it in house and uses only top of the line soles. You may also purchase new boots and gear at AOCDS.

Pascual tells us he’s a big believer in a higher being. Much like the way he got into the shoeshine business in the first place, he was recently on the verge of calling it quits and starting something new when the possibility of working with AOCDS presented itself. Pascual says he believes the partnership is meant to be, “I was very happy with this, and they were nice enough to give me the space to provide the services here and to combine that with their [future retail store] and we’re going to make this work. I’m excited and happy and grateful for the opportunity.”

First responders from all other agencies are welcome to bring their boots and gear to The World Famous Pascual’s Boot Shine, no matter the county or state. “I have a guy… who comes from Colorado at Christmastime,” says Pascual, “He’s about to come back. He brings three pairs of boots. He’s a firefighter over there. He used to live here. I used to shine his boots. So, every year, he comes and brings the boots when he comes to visit his family… and he always finds me. He always comes to see me. Every year.”

There’s no need to make an appointment. Just come on by. Pricing varies depending on the service and item, so the best thing to do is stop in with your boots and/or gear and have Pascual take a look. The hours are:

Monday through Thursday     8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Friday     8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Pascual Torres directly at 714-805-5581.

On behalf of AOCDS, thanks to Pascual and his team for providing a top-notch, necessary service to our members and other first responders in a convenient way.

Posted in: Member Advisement