• SumoMe

So I have this pair of shoes that I’ve worn for 4 years now. They are my absolute favorite shoes of all time. As such, they get a huge amount of wear–especially because they are leather. Each year I take them out and “save” them by using a huge amount of shoe polish that lasts for about a year. It’s probably a good idea to polish my shoes more often, but I sort of prefer them scuffed up a bit. This is basically my guilty pleasure. I wanted to share a very basic process in shoe shining.

1. Use a cloth to dust the shoes.

The first step is to use a rag to get all the dust and grime off the shoes. This allows the polish to sink into the leather without inhibitions, and it keeps the polish from clumping up.

2. Apply the shoe polish on the surface of the shoe.

There are all sorts of tools to use for this. I have a cheapo plastic and foam tool that works just fine for me. I use Kiwi shoe polish because they’ve been around since 1906, and I don’t know of many companies who can operate for over a century if they’re releasing poor quality products.

3. Use a shoe polish brush to scrape off the excess polish.

The shoe polish brush not only removes the excess polish, but acts to spread the polish out evenly. Use long strokes and make sure to brush the entire shoe to prevent blotches. I use the cloth from step one and make small circles to give the shoes a bit of a shine. You should not have a huge amount of polish on this rag–if you do, that means you didn’t use the brush enough so go back and brush it another time.

The open-heart surgery of shoe polishing.

This is the finished product: these babies are good to go. I can’t wait to spend the next year with these hugging my feet.

What tips and tricks do you have for shoe shining? Give your thoughts in the comments below.