The Shoe Snob Blog

Dry Wax for Best Shine Results

 

There are many tricks in shoe shining to help you get to the desired results of a high shine. And it helps to know these tricks as there is nothing worse than polishing for hours feeling like you have done nothing and still having a shoe with dull toes. And I am sure that many of you have been there, frustrated with no resolve. So let’s look at how not to ever be there again.

First and foremost, let’s start with the basic idea of what a shoe shine is. Leather has pores, like our skin does, and those pores can be shallow or deep. In order to get a good shine you have to fill those pores and thus create an artificial layer on top of the leather that makes up the shine. That is essentially what a military shine is. Doing this is not always so easy though, especially for different leathers that have different reactions to the polish as well as leathers have really deep pores that take awhile to fill up. So sometimes you can get a pair of shoes with deep pores and you are sitting there for hours doing the wax and water bit and nothing is happening. And that is because the polish is not setting into the pores.

In my previous posts about shining shoes, I have stated that it takes hours and that is not so much of the physical time it takes to do it but mainly because you have to take into account the drying time for the polish to settle, which then allows for another layer of wax to be applied. If the polish does not settle, you are essentially just swishing around polish on top of the leather, never allowing it to dry, which can cause oversoaking. And this is where the dry polishing comes into play.

You see, the more moist a polish is the harder for it to set into the pores. The drier that it is, the stickier it becomes and the more that it will insert itself in the pores of the leather and thus the quicker a layer will be created to start building your shine, layer upon layer. But again, too much of anything is not good, so at a certain point it will be best to switch back to the moist polish as that will be what gives you that top gloss layer of super shine.

So if you are someone that loves to shine his shoes, but maybe wants to get it there quicker, it will always be best to have one dry wax and one moist wax polish for your shoe shining session. This will ensure the quickest results possible.

Quick tip: To make a new polish become dry/sticky, simply leave the lid off overnight (or two) and for really quick results stick it either in the oven for like 5-10 seconds or heat it with blow dryer/heat gun.

Happy Shoe Shining!

All shoe care products found in this post, available at www.theshoesnob.com

Shoes from www.jfitzpatrickfootwear.com

  • GBS303

    Great article. I have a question about best practices for brand new shoe shining. I recently ordered a pair of your shoes (thanks!), and assuming they fit when they arrive, I’ll likely want to put a high shine on the toe/heels. Since they will be brand new shoes, I’m wondering if I should follow all of the steps I typically do when polishing an older pair of shoes (moisturize leather all over, then apply several coats of Saphir cream polish all over, then finish with several coats of Saphir mirror gloss on the toes/heels), or if I should just jump straight to the mirror gloss on the toes/heels since they are brand new shoes. My initial thought is that I should still put a couple of base layers of the clear cream polish on the toe/heels in order to get a nice initial shine started, then lock in that shine using the hard mirror gloss wax. Is there an advantage or disadvantage to just jumping straight to the mirror gloss wax on a brand new pair of shoes? Thanks!

    • TheShoeSnob

      thanks for your support in our shoes. However, do not high polish a brand new shoe. The leather needs time to break in and for the pores to open up. You can put a light polish on them but I would recommend wear twice before mirror shining.

  • TheShoeSnob

    wouldn’t recommend that. Best to not heat a shoe if you don’t have to