Nothing compares to a good-looking, well-maintained pair of leather shoes or boots.
Plus, if you grew up in a home where your dad or older brothers owned a pair, from time to time, you may have seen them polishing them with polish that came in a tin. The process of polishing shoes seems simple enough, but if you do it incorrectly, you may damage the leather and cause it to age and tear prematurely.
So, when it comes to leather shoes, what defines correct polishing or care? Here is a short guide for men on how to polish their leather shoes or boots.
Gather the Tools
Yes, that is plural, as polishing your shoes requires more than just a tin of polish. You will need the polish you intend to use, a cloth, a soft brush, newspaper, and conditioner.
If you cannot find a cloth that you want to use for polishing, an old t-shirt will do. Similarly, if you want to polish your shoes with a brush alone, then you can probably skip the use of a cloth. Be sure when you are polishing the leather shoes that you invest in a high-quality polish, like saphir shoe polish, as you don’t want to use a polish that could dehydrate the leather.
Clean the Shoes
Using the brush, or the cloth, gently wipe away any dirt or muck that is on your shoes. Do not use too much water (if any) as this can leave watermarks and may cause the leather to warp. If you are using a damp cloth, be sure to let them air dry before moving on to the next stage. Do not attempt to polish dirty shoes.
Apply the Polish
Now that your shoes are clean, you will need to remove the laces before you polish them. This will prevent the build-up of the polish, as well as potential damage to the laces.
The best way to apply polish is with a brush with soft bristles or with a polishing brush. Aim to apply the polish using medium pressure, in small, circular motions. The heels and the toes of your shoes will likely get the most wear, so take a bit longer when applying polish to these spots.
Also, be sure to cover every part of the shoe with the polish for an even finish. While it sounds odd, also make sure the polish is the right color for the shoe.
Dry and Brush
Polishing shoes should not be rushed. To get the shine you want, you will need to let the polish dry for at least 20-30 minutes, and even longer if you are applying the polish to an older pair of shoes.
Then, using a brush, remove the excess polish from the shoe using firm, small motions. This will generate heat, that will help some of the polish to penetrate the leather.
Buff the Shoes
For a deep shine, you’ve got to buff the shoes. This sounds complex but is simple. Just use a small cloth and use it to rub the shoes in small backward and forward motions.