How to: Polish your Shoes

Written by A.M.C. on . Posted in Shoes

So there you are, standing in front of the mirror looking all perfect, that is except for that one little important detail; your raggedy old leather shoes which look completely trashed! However fear not, as we at TrendyShit are here to help with our guide on how to shine your shoes!

CleaningStep 1

Before you start polishing your shoes make sure you brush them properly first to get rid of all the dirt, dust and any excess polishing wax you may have on your shoes. This is very important before starting, as you don’t want to wax to cover older wax. This would cause shoes to crack and the wax will only serve to emphasise this.

Step 3Conditioning

Leather is basically the same as your skin. So just as much as your skin needs hydration, so does the leather of your shoe. You can do this either by applying thoroughly; saddle soap, mink oil renovator or cream based conditioners. Make sure to get it deep into the leather by letting it sink in for 20 minutes.

Colour rejuvenationStep 4

Now that the leather is hydrated properly and thoroughly cleaned up, it is time to apply the first layer of polish. Use a brush to once again thoroughly apply the polish on to your shoes. The polish should be applied thinly in a circular motion, so that you can apply a second layer easily if necessary. Now let it set for another 20 minutes.

Step 5Application of wax polish

The fourth step is to apply the wax polish, which will really make your shoes “smooth and glossy”. A bee’s wax based polish with turpentine is most advisable as this gives the best possile shine. As you can see in the video below FitzPatrick uses a cloth to apply this, so follow the lead of the professional for the best results. Make sure to apply in a circular motion and don’t be afraid to apply pressure while doing this. Judging by how the shoes look, apply either 1 or 2 layers of wax and wait yet another 20 minutes.

The ShineStep 6

The last step, which is the most difficult one, is the good old “spit ‘n shine”. Though don’t use real spit, use a small amount of water instead. Just like step 4 use the same cloth as for your wax. However before applying the wax, dip one finger in the water and drop a drip (be sure to be careful with the water with no excess) on your leather shoe before rubbing the water away by applying the wax in a circular motion. This process should be repeated for up to 1-2 hours thoroughly and throughout your entire shoe (hey we didn't say it was a quick process).

Pro-tip: Polishing your shoes to get such a shine is very time consuming, yet necessary to maintain a nice polish and good condition of your leather. Do this by cleaning and applying conditioner on your shoes once in a while and letting them  rest. Constantly using your shoes will wear them out rather quickly and will cause the crack to appear on your smooth leather, let them rest.

Justin FitzPatrick is a shoe polisher at The Shoe Snob in London who will bring your shoes back to life.

Though if you live outside London, you’d still face a major problem if you don’t have a good shoe shine to do your work. Timely care of your shoes is very important so don’t leave it up to the last moment to take your shoes to your local polisher in an emergency.

To read about Mr. FitzPatrick’s method in detail, as well as purchase the same materials he uses, read more about it on his blog, specifically this page. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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