I know that there are four seasons in a year, but I’d suggest that we can narrow it down to two: sandals and boots. If you’re like me, you’ve recently pulled out your boots that haven’t been worn since sandal season began.
It’s exciting, right?! That is, until you discover that they’re faded and all scuffed up. I know what this means for many of you – an excuse to shop for new boots! But if neither you nor your pocketbook are so inclined to fork over the cash/sell a kidney to buy new, you can simply bring new life into the boots you already own.
A fun little fact about me is that I’m a professional shoe-shiner. It’s true. Nearly every Friday for over thirteen years, I’ve been shining shoes for customers of University National Bank in Lawrence (stop by if you’re ever in town … unless you’re a creepy stalker). I think many people feel sorry for me when I tell them that I do this, but please don’t. I love it! I love the bank. I love the customers. And I love making worn and weary shoes look like they did the day you bought them – if not better.
So today, I’m going to show you how you can shine your own boots or shoes. There are a few tools of the trade that you’ll need for this. I get all of my supplies at Shoe Express in Olathe (by AMC 30), but I’m sure that you can find them at other shoe repair stores across the metro, online, or even at a discount store.
Here’s what you need:
- Old/cheap cup or bowl full of water
- Small applicator brush with handle
- Saddle soap (I use Fiebing’s)
- Wax polish that matches the color of the boot/shoe (preferably Lincoln or Kelly’s)
- Big shining horsehair brush
- Buffing cloth
- Cut-up nylon hose or knee-high
- Shining sponge
If your boots/shoes don’t have rubber soles, you might also get some edge dressing (I use Fiebing’s). You’ll just paint this on the edge of your soles once you’re finished with the leather portion.
If you’re worried about having to buy a bunch of stuff, know that this won’t cost you much. Depending on brands and where you buy, you’ll spend anywhere between $15 and $35. I’ve used the same large shining brushes, applicator brush, and buffing cloths for thirteen years, so you know you’ll definitely be getting your money’s worth. Just think of what it would cost to buy new boots! And if you just “have to buy” new boots, shining them before you wear them will help keep them from getting scuffed in the future.
I’ve created this video tutorial to show you just how easy shining is and the difference you’ll see in just a few minutes:
There you have it! New boots for the new season. Shine on!