SOCIAL INTERACTIONS: 15 point maximum

Judges will evaluate each contestant based on their adeptness in engaging with judges, fellow contestants, and the general public during the Meet and Greet event and throughout the subsequent day.

Upon the conclusion of formal introductions at the Meet and Greet, bootblack contestants will be tasked with performing bootblacking services in a public setting. It is essential for bootblack contestants to bring their own boot-blacking supplies to the Meet and Greet for this purpose.

Judges will exercise their discretion to observe and assess the contestants’ proficiency in interacting with the public and demonstrating their bootblacking skills during this activity. This evaluation contributes to the contestants’ overall Social Interaction scores and allows judges an opportunity to evaluate technical competencies and techniques.

Contestants are entitled to retain any gratuities received during this period, which may be used to offset the expenses incurred for their products.

INTERVIEW: 30 points maximum

During the interview segment, each contestant will have the opportunity to engage with the panel of judges and address any inquiries they pose. This segment holds paramount importance within the contest, as it carries the highest point allocation.

Judges will assess contestants based on their intelligence, personality, communication prowess, and overall suitability for the role of Washington State Bootblack. It is imperative for contestants to articulate their responses clearly, concisely, and with precision.

The duration of each interview session is anticipated to span between 20 to 30 minutes, contingent upon the number of contestants participating.

Contestants are advised to attire themselves in “Leather Casual” attire, reflecting the ethos of the community and the spirit of the competition.


The technical segment of the Boot Contest is scheduled for Saturday morning prior to the Bootblack Interviews, overseen by a designated Contestant Coordinator appointed by the Board.

During this phase, the Judging Panel may observe contestants as they perform the technical boot shine. Each contestant will be provided boots by WSLO for the Technical Shine, which will also be made available to the Judging Panel beforehand. Contestants must utilize only the equipment contained in their kit and adhere to a maximum time limit of 45 minutes. This timeframe includes allowances for contestants to make notes on the boot’s condition, products and techniques utilized, as well as any identified issues not fully addressed.

Preceding the Personal Interview, contestants will deliver a concise presentation on their technical boot shine. They will elucidate the process undertaken, products employed, encountered challenges, and any other pertinent details they deem relevant. Contestants will be allotted no more than 7 minutes for this presentation. Subsequently, the judges will compare the finished boot to the control boot and engage contestants in a brief technical Q&A session.

This segment serves as a platform for contestants to demonstrate their technical proficiency and knowledge, while providing judges with insights into their approach, skillset, and attention to detail.

COMMUNITY CHOICE: 5 points maximum

Technical boots from each contestant will be anonymously showcased before and during the contest. Upon entry, attendees will receive a token enabling them to cast their vote for their preferred pair among the displayed boots. Voting concludes promptly after the intermission.

In circumstances where only one contestant is present, the boots will still be exhibited, and points will be allocated automatically. In the unlikely event of a tie, points will be equitably distributed among the tied contestants with the highest scores.

This segment offers an opportunity for the community to engage actively in the contest and voice their appreciation for the craftsmanship displayed by the contestants.

WASHINGTON IMAGE: 15 points maximum

Contestants will showcase their unique take or interpretation of the Washington Image, representing styles commonly observed on the streets of Washington. This segment focuses on the “street style” rather than the Bar Wear or Formal Leather Image. Contestants are encouraged to present three distinct looks that reflect their individuality.

This segment also serves as an opportunity for contestants to introduce themselves to the audience, facilitated by the Emcee. The Emcee will engage contestants with questions sourced from their application or general inquiries such as their upbringing experiences or favorite travel destinations within Washington.

This segment not only highlights contestants’ fashion sensibilities but also allows them to share personal anecdotes, fostering a deeper connection with the audience.

CRUISE-BAR WEAR: 15 points

During this segment, each contestant will be introduced to the audience while adorned in “Leather” attire, commonly associated with cruise or bar wear, or any other suitable ensemble of their preference. This outfit should embody the quintessential characteristics of a leather enthusiast, reflecting their individuality and personal style.

POP QUESTION: 15 points maximum

During this segment, each contestant will face a spontaneous inquiry crafted by the judges, selected by the contestant at random. Once the MC presents the question, contestants will have one minute to articulate their response to the best of their ability.

Scoring for this segment will evaluate the contestant’s general stage presence, gauging their comfort level in front of the audience, as well as their adeptness in swiftly formulating a coherent and engaging response to the posed question.

Contestants are encouraged to attentively listen to the MC’s delivery of the question and may request a repetition if necessary. Additionally, contestants may utilize a brief moment to gather their thoughts before delivering their response.

FORMAL LEATHER IMAGE: 15 points maximum

During this segment, contestants will present themselves in a formal leather ensemble of their choice. Judging will focus on the contestant’s ability to impeccably carry their chosen attire with confidence and sophistication, while also considering their comfort level in the formal leather ensemble.

SPEECH: 15 points maximum

In this segment, each contestant will be allotted 2 minutes to deliver a speech to the audience on a topic of their choosing. The content and subject matter of the speech are entirely at the discretion of the contestant.

Scoring will evaluate the contestant’s general stage presence, including their comfort level in front of the audience, as well as their depth of knowledge and passion for the chosen topic.

Contestants should be mindful of the time limit, as exceeding the two-minute mark will result in a deduction of points. A countdown signal will be provided during the speech, which will be explained in detail during rehearsal.

No Point Requirements

Washington State Leather Organization

Disability Clause