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How To Keep Your Dress Shoes Looking As Good As The Day You Bought Them

Nov 17, 2007
People do not shine shoes much anymore. Most of the places where shined shoes were a must have gone to accepting casual shoes as office attire. Forget casual Fridays! People are now wearing casual shoes to work every day of the week. Sure, people use leather conditioner on leather shoes and wipe off their street shoes. They might even put some sneaker whitener on their athletic shoes. As for a real shiny polish, though, those are basically confined to weddings and funerals these days.

When that day comes when you need to shine your shoes, you will be happy if you are ready with a shoeshine kit. You can buy these already assembled, but that is not a particularly good choice. The items you need in your shoeshine kit will be special to your own shoe collection and polishing needs. You will need different polishes that may not come in a pre-fabricated kit.

You might want liquid shoe polish or paste shoe polish, or you might even want both. You will need a different color to go with every pair of shoes you own that can be shined. If you are using the paste polish, you will need a horsehair applicator, and either way, you will need a horsehair brush. Buffing cloths are a must.

Prepare your shoes for the polish by cleaning them. You may be tempted to put a lot of water on your shoes to get them very clean. Remember that you can get them clean without so much moisture. They have to be absolutely dry before you go on. At this point, the polish will stick to the shoes.

Use the applicator that is attached to the liquid polish to put the polish all over the upper, or top, of your shoes. Since the heels and toes are the most vulnerable to scuffs and scrapes, they need the most attention. When the shoes look like they are perfectly covered, set them aside so that they can dry. The shoe polish will dry quickly and you will be on your way to the next step.

That next step is to use the horsehair brush on the entire upper surface of both shoes. This will take off the uneven surface of the shoe polish and provide a moderate shine. You can buff and buff with the horsehair brush, and your shoes will look nice, but they will never have that sparkling shine you may be after.

To get a super shiny shine, you need to use your buffing cloths. Cut a t-shirt into strips to make your cloths, or just use old tube socks. Grab a buffing cloth by the ends and place the middle of the cloth at your shoe or heel. Run the cloth back and forth over that spot until it has a sparkling shine. Then move on to the rest of the shoe. Shining shoes does not have to be a lost art. You can learn to use liquid polish easily. Furthermore, with a little direction, you can learn to use paste polish as well, for a lasting, protective shine.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is an author living with his beautiful wife and family in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about footwear as well as dress shoes at http://www.footwearforall.com
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