Shoes, Shine On

I've had quite a few followers ask me for a post about shoe shining, so here it is:

Now there are many ways of shining shoes and also many products you could use but let's start with the fundamentals of why we shine.

From what I've learnt, shining shoes puts the 'fat' back into the leather to keep it soft and supple and also protects them. Leather is skin, so just like your own, it needs moisture or it will dry and crack. That's where rejuvenation creams come into play. The best ones to use contain natural oils (either from Animal or Seed). As for polishes, these are the water proofing and shield for your shoes. I recommend using a natural bee's wax containing natural turpentine extracted from pine. The point of the turpentine is to cut the heaviness of the bee's wax to give you a nice transparent (glass) finish. Any products containing turpentine made from petroleum smell like paint stripper and will dry out the leather. 

As for method, I use a brush to clean the shoe from dirt and then a damp cloth to wipe them down. Next, I prefer to use a bare hand technique with very small amounts of cream/wax to build layers (taught to me by Shoe Shine UK). Using your hands makes sure all the product goes onto the shoe and not soaked into the cloth or brush and the heat from your hands helps get it into the pores. 

When I'm happy with the layers, I use pantihose for buffing, as it again creates enough heat to seal the wax and evens it out. This method may not work for everyone, but I encourage everyone to try a few techniques to find out what works for you. There are also plenty of Youtube tutorials that might help you get started.

I hope this helps and please don't hesitate to ask me any questions!