You’ve bought the shoes, now it’s time to look after them to keep them looking great. A bit of care and maintenance is the best way to protect and preserve your beloved shoes, but it does pose the question – what should be in your shoeshine kit? Whether you decide to put together your own custom kit or buy a ready-made one, there are a few essentials and absolute must-haves, so it’s worthwhile investing a little bit of time on the right tools for the job.
A good horsehair brush will see you right here, with bristles that are just the correct level of stiffness to take of dirt without scratching your leather. Invest in a good one and you’ll have it for years. Use it to buff your shoes to a superb shine.
If you've got leather shoes to look after, you'll need a good leather lotion (no, really!) Think of it like a moisturiser - it cleans, nourishes and protects your lovely leather. If you don't use it, your shoes can dry out and crack, instead of maintaining that gorgeous lustre of well-maintained leather shoes.
You’ll need shoe polish in different colours in your shoeshine kit, if you have a mix of black and brown shoes of course. When picking your polish, you can choose between wax or cream, depending on the type of finish you’d like on your shoe and the level of protection from the elements you think they’ll need. When choosing a colour, go for a shade that matches your shoes closely, and if you can’t get an exact match, always go for a shade lighter, not darker.
Apply your polish evenly with a soft bristled brush, making sure you work the polish into all those creases. (You can also use a shoe tree here to make it easier to polish your shoes, and they’re often an overlooked part of what should be in your shoeshine kit). If you have suede shoes, you’ll also need a soft brush like a toothbrush to clean these shoes without damaging the material.
These can be used to buff your shoes at the final stage – keep them clean and dry and use vigorously for a high-shine finish! Some people like to use an old t-shirt, but we think this would ruin the effect of a gentleman’s shoeshine kit!