It’s one of life’s little chores and can often seem like it’s more trouble than it’s worth, but learning how to polish shoes really can transform an outfit. From drab, cracked, lifeless leather to gleaming beacons of success, a well-shined pair of Oxfords or Derbies is often overlooked, but put in the work and not only will your wheels look the part, they’ll also last exponentially longer.
Polishing is not just for worn shoes, though. You should also polish your shoes when they are new because doing so will provide a thin layer over the top of the leather to help protect them against rain and dust. Despite being hard work, polishing your own shoes can be quite therapeutic, so roll up those sleeves and get grafting.
How To Shine Shoes
Granted, shining shoes isn’t rocket science, but like cooking a steak, specific techniques simply work better than others. Plus, the products you use have a huge bearing on the end result, and it’s not quite as easy as slapping on whatever polish you picked up in the bargain bin. Follow these steps though and you’ll never look back, or indeed, down at your shoes in dull disappointment again.
- If the shoes have laces, remove them and brush off any surface dirt. If the shoes are wet, allow them to dry naturally away from any artificial heat first. If the shoes are particularly dirty, you can wipe them with a damp cloth.
- Use an old rag to apply a thin layer of shoe cream all over and allow to dry. This nourishes the leather, keeps it supple and prevents cracking. Ensure you match the colour of your shoe cream to the leather, or you can use a neutral cream, which won’t provide such an intense colour-enhancing shine but will do the job.
- Once dry, buff with a light brush or by rubbing gently with a cloth. You will now have a subtle sheen to the shoes.
- It is vital that you clean the welts of the shoe. This is where the uppers are attached to the sole, and on better shoes there will be visible stitching (known as Goodyear welting). They are dust traps and should be brushed regularly. If the edges of the soles are scuffed, you can repair them with shoe cream as part of the steps above, or a marker pen.
- Apply a wax polish using a brush or cloth, paying particular attention to the welts. This will give your shoes a deep shine but will also create a protective barrier from the elements. As with cream, you can use the same colour as your shoes or apply a neutral shade.
- Once the wax polish has set, remove any excess with a brush or cloth. This should be done quite vigorously to create a good shine. At this stage you can put the laces back in safe in the knowledge you’ve done your job correctly.
Now you are no longer confused how to polish your shoes, so you will look more clean and trendy with a clean and shiny shoes. I am sure it can boost your confidence. Good luck fellas!