How To Get A Mirror Shine On Your Shoes
A question I get asked very frequently is ‘how do I get the mirror-like shine on my shoes?’.
There are some things that men should know how to do even if they can afford to pay someone else to do it for them - whether that’s mending an item of clothing, sewing a button, or polishing their shoes to a mirror shine.
The first two are important sartorial skills to have, but no-one is going to be judging you on them quite the way they'll notice your shoes. Admittedly, in a sea of black, fake leather square-toed monstrosities, the daily choice you've made to wear nice, real leather shoes puts you one step ahead of the pack. Taking it to the next level with an old-fashioned mirror shine really shows everyone that you mean business.
The Tools You'll Need
Felt Shoe Polishing Cloths or Microfiber Towels
These cloths are usually made from cotton chamois, and they're not only perfect for applying polish, but are essential for helping you bring out a mirror shine on your cherished leather shoes. Any cobbler worth your time will have a good range for you to choose from, otherwise head online to pick one up.
This one's a no-brainer – you deserve 100% natural horsehair bristles to bring a natural, glowing sheen to your shoes. They come in a range of sizes and colors; some have black bristles and others have neutral ones. It's good to have options to use on different coloured shoes. Get a smaller, travel-size brush to use when you're on the go – those hotel shine kits are poor quality and shouldn't come anywhere near your prized shoes.
You don't have to splurge to get a good quality cleaner and conditioner. For shoes that will last you a lifetime or until your tastes change, TopShine is some of the best available to help keep leather supple and nourished. Order online here or you prefer buying in person, pick up some from Fortnum & Mason.
Cream-based polish contains more pigment than wax-based polish, making it ideal for covering up blemishes and serious scuffs in the leather. Be careful when using it though, because the extra pigment means extra big stains on the sofa and your better half won't be pleased!
Along with your other tools, this is where you want to buy the best stuff you can afford. Menswear aficionados are enamoured with TopShine and for good reason. Our shoe polish is an all-natural product that actually smells good enough to eat and that brings out the best mirror shine on your shoes. With better polish and a bit of practice, your shoes will have the high-shine effect you're striving for.
Let's get started.
Prepare Your Shoes
Before you start applying polish to the shoes, you need to get them ready. Start by using one of your cloths to wipe away any visible dirt and debris. Use a small amount of leather cleaner on the cloth if you need to, but at the end of this process you want a shoe that looks “clean”. Wait for them to be fully dry before proceeding to the next step.
Condition and Polish
Now that your shoes are ready to be polished, use another cloth to apply a small amount of shoe cream sparingly over the whole shoe. If the edges are looking a little worse for wear, now is a good time to also apply a leather dye and polish to these areas so they don't end up looking drab.
Once the polish is applied to one shoe, let it rest while you follow the same process for the other shoe. Then, using your horsehair brush, go over the whole shoe to bring out a natural shine in the leather. Sounds easy? That's because it is! Do this regularly and your shoes will be kept in good nick.
Getting That Mirror Shine
Take things up a notch by giving the toe caps and heel counters of your shoes a mirror shine. Wrap one of your polishing clothes tightly around your finger and very gently apply a thin film of wax polish on the area you want to bring a high shine to.
Dampen the end of the cloth you're using in water. Using a tiny bit more polish, work it gently into the leather in circular motions using only your finger. The more circles you make over the leather, the more of a shine you'll begin to see. Keep polishing in this way until you reach your desired level of shine.
It takes a bit of time to get the perfect shine but once you have it down, it's something you can include in your sartorial kit so you're always looking polished, whether it's for a mate's wedding, a work interview, or just kicking it on the weekend in your new brogues
If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me.
Shoe Shine Service Ltd