A good pair of shoes that is properly cared for will last a lifetime. Not only that, a pair of good, polished shoes is a key to feeling well-dressed when you walk out the door. Here are some tips to perfectly polished shoes:


Always shine your shoes when you first buy them and before you wear them, then shine them on a regular schedule after that. Preventive maintenance will help protect your shoe investment.

Moisture protection is a must. Mink oil will waterproof and preserve the shoe, but it can darken lighter shades of leathers. Silicone spray provides water protection and doesn’t alter the colour.

Brushing away dirt and dust will help keep the leather looking good, and polishing them with good quality creams and waxes will help condition them and prolong their life by protecting against water damage, etc.

Polishes fall into two main categories: cream and wax. They can be used interchangeably or together (cream first, followed by wax). Cream polish cleans, conditions, and buffs to a moderate shine, whereas wax polish protects more and can be buffed to a high gloss if desired.

It is a good idea to have cloths and brushes dedicated to black and brown polishes, and not to interchange them.

While selecting a shoe polisher cream, match the shade exactly. If in doubt, go with a shade lighter and not darker.

If the shoes have leather soles, use a little of the polish around the edge to darken them up.

For areas of the shoe where the color has completely worn off, dying may be necessary if shoe polish doesn’t work.

Clean your shoes periodically with leather cleaner. Then put in cedar shoetrees and let the shoes air dry. Shoe Cleaner is good for removing dirt, stains and the old built up polish from leather. When extra layers of polish build up the leather is not able to breathe as well and perspiration can eventually break down the leather. Cleaning can also restore the natural oils that keep leather pliable.

Don’t use any cleaner on leather that contains an acid or a detergent. You can use saddle soap, Murphy’s Oil Soap, Ivory soap or a cleaner made for shoe leather. Apply with a damp cloth, wipe off and let dry.

Many shoemakers recommend a conditioner to keep leather shoes soft and supple, and to moisturize them. This keeps the leather from cracking. Paste or cream polishes also keep the leather moisturized.

Well, that’s it! Now that you know the tips to perfectly polished shoes, walk forth with confidence!

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