How To Shine Shoes – Six Steps To Perfect Shoe Polish
Like what you see?
Sleek haircut? Check.
Perfectly tailored suit? Check.
Far from it!
Look down at those shoes!
Those DULL, SCUFFED, DIRTY SHOES!
NEVER leave the house with your shoes looking like that again!
The simple fact is, you’re never going to look sharp if you miss this crucial detail.
No matter how expensive your shoes are – they’re only going to look good if you put in the time and effort to take care of them.
A lot of guys NEVER learn how to shine shoes properly. As a result, they lose out to the few men who do.
Want to join the ranks of those select few?
Read on to find out how.
I learned how to shine shoes this way when I was serving in the Marines. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Something to cover your work area (like newspaper)
- A shoe tree (or more newspaper)
- A horsehair brush
- Saddle soap
- Soft cloths
- Cream polish
- Wax polish
This sounds like a lot – but you can get most or all of these items together in a shoe shine kit at your local cobbler’s, in shoe stores, or online. A classic shoe shine kit is a satisfying (and quite useful) item to own and turns shining your shoes into an enjoyable ritual.
Step 1: Prepare
Cover your work area with some paper or a cloth. It’s best to remove your shoelaces to avoid getting polish on them. Then insert a shoe tree or stuff the shoe with balled-up newspaper. This is to prevent it from losing its shape while the leather is wet. (Bonus: shoe trees help eliminate odor! Just make sure they’re made out of cedar.)
Step 2: Clean
Remove loose dirt and salt with a horsehair brush. Use gentle but quick and firm strokes. Apply saddle soap using a damp cloth. Let dry for about 10 minutes before the next step.
Do NOT use regular or dish soap – this is a common mistake made by men who don’t know how to clean dress shoes. It will dry out the leather and make it crack. Even with saddle soap, you need to give it a good conditioning afterwards.
Step 3: Condition
Leather conditioners for boots and shoes will protect the leather from drying out and cracking. Use a clean rag to apply the conditioner. Let the conditioner soak for 20 minutes.
Step 4: Polish
People who don’t know how to shine shoes think cream polish is for making them shiny. It’s not – it’s for nourishing the leather.
Use a small applicator brush to apply cream polish. Remember, a little goes a long way. Afterwards, buff with a clean horsehair brush.
Step 5: Wax
Now THIS is the polish that gives your shoes a strong shine – as well as protection from the elements. Wrap a soft cloth around two fingers and apply the wax, working in small circles.
Don’t apply too much wax on the parts of your shoe that bend and crease. The wax layer will break, creating unsightly white lines.
Give it a couple of minutes to dry. Then grab your horsehair brush and give it a good buffing.
Step 6: Spit Shine
This is the step most guys skip. If you want to know how to shine shoes to a MIRROR finish, here’s the secret.
Apply a small amount of wax and a drop of water and rub it into the toe (just the toe – remember the wax will crack if you overapply elsewhere.) You will repeat this step many times until you get a mirror finish.
There you have it, gents – the secret to properly-shined shoes. Try it and you’ll find that just as improper care can ruin good quality shoes – a great spit shine can make a not-so-good pair of shoes look fantastic.
You’re a man who cares enough to perfect the details. A man who aspires to embody excellence. A man who understands the importance of personal branding. Maybe you’re an entrepreneur… or a future entrepreneur.
I coach business owners. They pay me thousands of dollars for this 7-step personal branding strategy… because it enables them to earn 5x as much. (I’m not exaggerating.) Want to hear it for free? Click here to check out my online masterclass.