Tips Before Polishing Your Shoes

Over the course of an average day, driving, walking, and accidentally bumping your feet against objects can lead to tiny scratches and tears in the shoe leather. With time, these blemishes fade the colour and dull the shine of your shoes.

More obvious scuff marks cover a larger area and can usually be seen on the toe or heel. After about three to five polishing sessions, you can restore the new look of your shoes, as the shoe polish fills in these marks and re-creates a smooth surface.

Polishing also makes your footwear watertight, provided you know how to polish shoes correctly. It’s important to cover all seams and joints with polish in order to achieve this benefit. Watertight shoes resist damage and last far longer. So, are you ready to find out how to polish shoes the best way? Let’s get started.

In addition to your leather shoes, you’ll need,

• one large brush for removing dust, dirt, and excess shoe polish .

• one small shoe polish applicator brush .

• a tin of polish in the same colour as the shoes (I use Kiwi shoe polish, simply because it’s cheap and good.) 

• a shine cloth .

• some newspaper to protect the surface on which you’ll be working.

STEP 1 – Brush of dust and dirt

First, remove the laces from your shoes and set them aside, far from any shoe polish, so they’ll stay clean and out of harm’s way. Start by brushing the dust and dirt off your dry shoes, using the large brush.

STEP 2 – Apply shoe polish

Use the applicator brush to massage shoe polish into the leather upper of the shoe. Alternate circular and back-and-forth motions. Make sure to apply plenty of shoe polish into all seams and in the joint between the upper and the sole. This helps to waterproof the shoes.

STEP 3 – Wait 30 minutes

Recap the shoe polish tin, and let the shoes air-dry for about 30 minutes.

STEP 4  Brush of excess shoe polish

After 30 minutes of drying, use the large brush to remove any excess polish that has not been absorbed by the leather. Brush down and away from you, to ensure the polish dust is collected on the newspaper.

STEP 5 – Make your shoes shine

When you have given both shoes a thorough brushing, use the shine cloth to bring out the gloss. Rub with light, rapid movements, until you’re satisfied.

STEP 6 – Replace your shoes

Finally, replace the shoes. You can download and use our Classic Lacing Pattern Illustration simply by sharing this “How to Polish Shoes” tutorial.

Leather shoes should be polished a minimum of once every month or, if they are worn daily, as much as once a week.