How to Polish your Shoes
How to Polish your Shoes
Though this may have become a lost art, it doesn't have to become forgotten. Giving your shoes a good shine makes them look great but can also extend the lifespan of your shoes. After getting comfortable with this process, who knows you may even spring for a pair of quality dress shoes.
What you need.
1. Shoe Polish
Either matching the color of your shoe as closely as possible or look for a neutral or uncolored polish. Wax polish will add some shine for a classic shined look. If the shine isn't fine for you, look at a creame based polish for a more of a matte finish.
2. Polishing cloth
This can be a purchased specific for shoes, or you can do this on the cheap with an old t-shirt cut in half.
3. Clean rag.
The other side of your cut t-shirt will suffice
4. Buffing brush and Welt Brush
You are looking for a brush that is sturdy but soft enough not to scratch your leather. You can find buffing brushes online that are specifically for shoes; horsehair brushes seem the most popular. Also found online are Welt brushes, these guys are used to apply polish too hard to reach areas and scrub out dirt if needed. Looking to save a few bucks, an old toothbrush will also satisfy if needed.
Cover your working space the first time around; it may get messy. Have everything you need near you and
1. Remove the laces, so we don't get polish on them
2. Fill your show with old newspaper, or if you have a show tree, this would be a great time to use it. Filling the toe of your shoe will give you a firm surface to work on
3. Clean off the dust and dirt
Using the buffing brush to remove any dust and dirt. Use the Welt Brush (toothbrush) to get in the smaller spaces. If you used a dab of water to assist in the cleaning process make sure to let the leather dry completely. To assure that the dirt has been removed, use your clean rag to clean any additional dust and specks of sand.
4. Apply polish
Add a dab of polish and using the polishing cloth, apply the polish in a circular motion, the movement will create some friction that will allow the wax to melt spreading the polish more evenly. Add more polish as needed until your show has a matte look. Grab your Welt (toothbrush) and apply polish to any missed or neglected areas, not forgetting the welt (the strip of leather around the edge of the sole ) and heel. Once you are done, let the polish dry for ten minutes.
5. Buff it out
Take your buffing brush and run it across your shoe with quick side to side movements. Once you start to see a nice polish appearing, wipe off any excess wax using your rag leaving no space untouched. Let your shoes dry for 20-30 minutes and replace.
Depending on the frequency of wear these shoes will determine your scheduled maintenance. Frequent use, shoot for once a week while those other shoes that are worn occasionally can go a month out.