How To Shine Shoes
It’s a fact ….. one of the first things both men and women notice about you are your shoes!
When Will Rogers said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” he very well may have been describing what people think as they evaluate the condition of your footwear. So if you want to impress start winning friends and influencing people, start by shining those shoes like a pro.
Before polishing and waterproofing footwear, it needs to be cleaned. Dirt, debris, and other matter easily embed themselves into leather. A good cleaning will also help remove scuffs and other minor stains from shoes. To clean leather properly, determine which type of leather you have. Smooth leathers are treated differently than suede or nubuck.
Now you’re ready to shine:
Step 1: Clean your shoes
Step 2: Choose the right polish and Shine your shoes
PASTE POLISHES: Polishes can be formulated as heavy wax pastes which provide strong coverage and add an exceptionally high and deep shine, especially when successive layers are built up on the leather. Most brands of wax pastes are not available in wide range of colors, but there are some that offer a fairly wide variety of colors to choose from.
CREAM POLISHES: Cream polishes contain lower levels of wax and are easier to apply. Creams soften and smooth the leather more than paste. The more wax in the cream polish, the more gloss and leather protection you will get. Cream polishes come in wide variety of colors.
LIQUID POLISHES: Liquid polishes contain a low level of wax or none at all. They are not buffable and provide very little replacement of natural oils to the leather. Liquid polishes can be useful in covering scuffs and providing a short-term lift to the appearance of well-worn shoes.
SPRAYS or INSTANT COLORING: A complete and easy method to use. You can choose from a wide array of colors and they provide a durable and flexible finish on smooth leather. The most recognized step in shoe care is polishing.
Shoes will be easier to shine if you leave your shoetrees inside the shoe, or use a wall mount shine kit.
After you have chosen the type of polish you want to use. Attach the shoe to polish on a wall mount shine holder or insert any shoe tree as well as holding the shoes/boots to be polish. Apply shoe polish by using a horsehair brush dauber instead of a cloth. If you use a dauber, you’ll need a different one for each color of polish you use. Start from the heel, toward the toe on one side, and back to the heel on the other, applying the polish evenly in a circular motion. Excess polish doesn’t help and takes longer to dry. Allow the shoes to dry (about 10 minutes). Wipe off excess polish. Try to polish your shoe early will gum up the brush and take longer to achieve the result you want.
Buff the shoe with a polishing brush — preferably horsehair — and use a soft shine cloth to bring out a high luster. High gloss shine will very from shoe to shoe depend on what type leather are made from. High shine finish will have high degree of luster than the ones made from soft Italian leather.
Liquid sole and edge dressing may be used to restore the edge of the soles.
On on all shoe with different color than the basic make sure the color matches. If you cannot fine one to match, choose a liter shade of the color and blend into the shoe in circular motion, rather a darker shade witch if you over apply it and let it dry will give dark strikes.
When the color has been damaged, polishing will not restore the lost color. A polish has the ability to enhance the existing color. The lighter the color, the less dye is in the polish. In that case a spray or a instant coloring is needed to take care of the discoloring.
A Word About Suede
Suede shoes require special attention. Suedes, roughout leathers, patent leathers, and nubuck should NEVER be shined. They can be cleaned, waterproofed, and conditioned, though.