SHOE POLISHING: A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE
You’ve been eyeing a pair of bespoke boots for some time, you finally make your purchase and are overjoyed to wear them proudly, but what happens when they don’t seem as new as they did after a few weeks? The fact is that your shoes need to be cared for, and if you’re not exactly sure where to begin, we’ve got you covered.
If you polish your shoes on a regular basis, it shouldn’t take up too much of your time or be too difficult, as long as you do the fundamentals correctly. The longevity and appearance of the shoes will dramatically improve if you use wooden shoe trees rather than plastic ones and wear different pairs every day. Before you polish your shoes, make sure they aren’t wet, insert your shoe trees, take out the laces, and give them a thorough look with a horse hair brush. Before applying any products, check for any dirt or dust on the leather.
2. Kit & Polish
You’ll need some. If you’ve invested in decent boots, it’s essential that you invest in excellent aftercare; otherwise, it’s like trying to drive a Ferrari on cooking oil. Leather is a natural material that benefits from the care you give it, so invest in a horsehair brush for buffing, a welt brush for getting into the tight spaces, good shoe creme, and a high-quality beeswax polish – less expensive alternatives replace natural components with silicon and other synthetic addends that will dry out your shoes
Unless otherwise stated in our guide, all leathers will benefit from the use of both a neutral Renovateur cream and a colored creme. Consider Renovateur to be a moisturizer for your shoes – it cleanses, hydrates, and prepares the leather for further procedures wonderfully. The Renovateur should be applied in small amounts first with a cloth, allowed to dry for around 10 minutes, then buffed off with a polishing brush before applying the colored cream in the same manner. Colored cremes have a greater pigment content than colorless ones, which will help your shoes retain their color and moisture.
On the off chance that you’re using any product for the first time on your shoes, we recommend testing a little quantity on the back of the shoe to be safe.
4. Cleaning the welt
The welt is the point at which the top of the shoe joins with the sole. Polishing it will remove any grime, ensure that all of the shoe has been treated properly, and keep the threads used to attach the soles in good working order. Brush your welt brush around the whole welt of your shoe, just as you
Disclaimer: don’t use shoe polish to brush your teeth.
5. Applying polish over the rest of the shoe
Finally, use a cotton cloth (old t-shirts are ideal) to polish the rest of the shoe in tiny circular motions. Don’t be excessive with the amount of polish you apply; a little goes a long way, and if the shoes haven’t been properly cared for, it might take several applications of polish to produce a sheen. Don’t be scared to apply a bit of pressure here – this will help push the wax into the leather’s pores, resulting in a fantastic shine. Remember to polish the soles and heels as they become dusty from being in touch with the ground.
You can leave the polish on the shoe for anywhere from 20 minutes to 24 hours. The longer the natural components have to bond with and nourish the leather, the better. Third, use your horsehair polishing brush to buff the shoes in firm, long strokes. This removes any extra polish that the leather no longer needs and generates heat as a result of friction while brushing. 4 and 5 will give you a higher shine if that’s what you want. Your shoes will not only look fantastic, but they’ll also be somewhat protected from the weather. Re-lace your shoes, put them on, and conquer the globe again.