We took the occasion of one of our previous posts to offer you tips on keeping your shoes looking brand-new. Included in those tips were regular cleaning and conditioning. But what about polishing? It is a matter of preference. Some men prefer to clean, condition, and leave it at that. Others prefer to polish their shoes to make them shine.
If you are in the polish camp, you can get that same pro shine at home with the right materials and a bit of practice. Don't worry about mucking it up, either. As long as you follow all of the tips from our previous post, a less-than-perfect polishing will not damage your shoes.
As always, be sure to invest in a good pair of waterproof shoe covers. They provide ultimate protection whenever you walk outside. GC Tech zip-up and slip-on shoe covers are state-of-the-art products that protect your shoes against rain, road salt, dirt, and debris. With that said, let us talk about how to get that pro shine at home.
It Starts with Cleaning
You never want to polish your shoes without cleaning them first. Whether or not they need a deep clean depends on how dirty they are. Slightly dirty shoes can be addressed with a soft brush and a damp cloth. If your shoes are really dirty, you will have to give them a deep cleaning with saddle soap or another appropriate cleaner. Whatever you do, let the shoes rest after a deep clean. An hour or two should be sufficient.
Apply the Conditioner
It is best to save conditioning until you're ready to polish. When the time comes, use your conditioner sparingly. Too much conditioner will not necessarily harm the shoes, but it will make them more difficult to polish. Work your conditioner in according to the instructions on the package, then let the shoes rest for 20-30 minutes.
Apply the Polish
Once your shoes have sufficiently rested, it's time to apply the polish. Use a clean cloth for this. Do not use the same cloth you used for conditioning. And once again, use the polish sparingly. Apply in small doses by rubbing it in with a circular motion. You should get a good shine with just a single coat. If you think a second coat is required, put it on right away. Just make it as thin as possible.
Now it's time to let the shoes rest once more. Wait 20-30 minutes, then buff your shoes vigorously. Buffing removes excess polish and works the remaining material into the leather. Buffing is also what creates the shine.
Spit Shine Your Shoes
Some men are happy with the results after buffing. Others want even more shine. If you are in the second camp, it's time to spit shine your shoes. Use a bit of water or saliva (pros swear that spitting on your shoes is better) to slightly dampen the shoes. Next, apply another thin layer of polish. Let them rest and buff them out as you did previously. You can repeat this process until you get a level of shine you are pleased with.
That's all there is to it. You can achieve that pro shine at home with the right polish and a little bit of time. Don't fret if you do not get it right the first time. Polishing does take practice. In the meantime, protect the investment you made in your shoes with a pair of waterproof shoe covers from GC Tech. They will not only extend the life of your shoes, but they will also keep your polishing job looking better for longer.