Insert shoe trees and remove the laces. Gently wipe the shoes with a damp cloth and allow them to dry. Buff with a horsehair brush to clean away any lingering dirt or dust.
Step 2 (optional)
To strip away those caked layers, we’ll need some nail polish remover. I should tell you, there is a bit of risk involved here. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT rub any product containing acetone or alcohol too vigorously into the leather as it candiscolor your shoes. It’s important you know that this is not an absolutely necessary step, but if you want a true mirror shine then it’s best to work from a clean surface. I use a cotton swab to delicately get in there and wipe the old polish away.
Conditioning. Leather is skin and, like yours, it needs to be taken care of to look its best. To soften the leather and start building a base for that shine, you’ll need a conditioning product.
Allow to dry for approximately 20 minutes.
With just a dab or two, work the conditioner into the leather evenly over the entire shoe. Allow to set and dry for approximately 20 minutes.
Buff the shoes again with your horsehair brush. This is done to move the conditioner around and distribute the product evenly. Reach for your shoe cream and dauber brush next – it’s time to color your shoes. Use the dauber to spread a dime-sized amount of cream over each shoe. For an exact match, I’d advise you buy your creams from the same place you bought your shoes. Don’t fret if that particular brand doesn’t make shoe care products – reputable companies like Kiwi, Allen Edmonds, Meltonian, Saphir, and Alden have you covered with a huge array of creams in all shades. Once done, let the shoes rest for another 20 minutes.
Buff one more time and you’ve successfully polished your shoes!