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How to polish shoes. A pro guide on making them shine.

They say you can tell a lot about the other guy by taking a look at its shoes. And nothing speaks responsibility and confidence more than a pair of well polished shoes. A pair of shiny shoes go well with a sharp dress, easily making you the most noticeable guy in the room. With that being said, here’s a guide on how to polish your shoes like a professional.

A well polished shoe.

The tools needed:

Make sure you have ample time, a cloth to keep your floor from getting dirty and the following tools:

  1. A horsehair shoe brush 
  2. An old cloth/rag or a newspaper
  3. Some quality wax polish
  4. A shoe shiner or spray
  5. A clean cotton cloth

shoe polishing equipement

Its best practice while beginning to remove your laces as it helps with the polishing. Lets start. 

Clean the shoe.

Take the old cloth or newspaper and wipe all the dust and dirt from the shoe. Make sure you clean every nook and cranny. If the dirt sticks, wet a small area of the cloth and get it off. Keep in mind we only need to dampen it up a little. You shouldn’t rub a fully wet cloth on your shoe.

For the welt(part where the upper shoe meets the sole), get your cloth around a finger and fully clean everything. For a great polish we need to make sure there is absolutely no dust or dirt sticking to our shoe.

After you’re done, take your brush and just rub your shoe covering all areas. Now you have a nice and clean shoe.

Optional: use a leather conditioner

Even though it’s time for wax polish, if you just so happen to have a leather conditioner apply a small amount of it on the shoe right now to make it even and ready for some polishing. It really helps.

Now, let’s dive into how to polish your shoes.

Start applying polish.

polish being applied to a shoe

Now is the time for applying the wax polish. Take your horsehair brush and start applying the polish with it. Keep in mind that you do not need an incredible amount. Use small pea size amounts to rub an area. The objective here is to evenly cover all parts of the shoe. 

Make sure the threading, welt and the areas under the laces all are polished and covered. 

Now this will give your shoe a matte finish that looks unappealing but dont worry. We’re done just yet. 

Let it sit.

After polishing it’s better to let your shoe sit. Now is the time for the polish to really sink in and work its magic. The more time you give to your shoes the better it will work. 

Buff. 

This is the step which really brings out the shine in your shoes. Take a cotton cloth and gently rub the area over the shoes to clean any excess wax. This removes the extra polish so it doesn’t rub off on your clothes or pants. Gently rub the entire shoe. 

If you have an extra horsehair brush that is clean, gently give the shoe another brushing. This will really bring out the shine.

Use a shoe shiner.

Even though shoe shiners are an instant solution to polishing, you can also use a shoe shiner after a polishing. It’s a nice touch and a gentle use of the shoe shiner makes them look fresh and new. 

Our recommended brands:

These are some of the best brands for shoe polish. You can buy the individual polish or get their full shoe shining kit to keep good care of your shoes:

  • Kiwi. it’s the perfect budget option and perfect for beginners. Get it here.
  • Saphir. The cream of the crop of shoe polish products. Browse saphir.
  • Allen edmonds. A more expensive option but worth the price tag. Browse.

 

6 thoughts on “How to polish shoes. A pro guide on making them shine.”

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