Picture of Spit Shine Shoes Like A Gentleman
photo-2013-06-08 4:49 PM.jpg
photo-2013-06-08 4:49 PM.jpg
This instructable will teach you how to get dress shoes to have a near mirror shine and what you will need to do so. It takes a little time and a little practice but will give you amazing looking dress shoes. The last photo above shows the difference between a brush shine and a spit shine.
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Step 1: What You Will Need

Picture of What You Will Need
photo-2013-06-08 4:49 PM.jpg
photo-2013-06-08 4:49 PM.jpg
photo-2013-06-08 4:49 PM.jpg
To do this job properly you will need: -A boot brush - used for applying base coats of shoe polish Other wise known as a brush shine. -Black shoe polish- as long as your shoes are black. -A polishing cloth- this is for the spit shining part. I have only ever used Kiwi brand. -A tooth brush- this is for blackening hard to reach spots. All of these things are sold at Walmart.

Step 2: Brush Shining

Picture of Brush Shining
photo-2013-06-08 4:49 PM.jpg
photo-2013-06-08 4:49 PM.jpg
Brush shining is an easy way to make your shoes look great, fast. It's also a very important step to spit shining. If you don't want your shoes to have a glassy shine and just want them to have a nice dull shine and look clean this is your final step. Start by cleaning any dirt off of your shoes with a wet cloth then dry them with another cloth. Dip the end of your boot brush into your polish and dab it onto your shoes all over so there's is patches of polish covering areas of the shoes. Now use your boot brush and sweep over your shoes lightly and fast to shine them and move the polish evenly over shoes. If your going for the dull shine your done, wear your shoes and look proud. If you want a spit shine you want to do this step about 10 times letting the polish dry between coats for about 30 minutes. This is called your base coat and only needs to be done once if your shoes have never been polished.
I thought this was becoming a lost art. Still fondly recall my father teaching me. Thanks
Albeit among the cheapest, Kiwi is definitely not the best shoe polish for a durable care of your shoes. It is too thick and does not penetrate the leather grain as well as more expensive creams !…
Black color is not needed either, for a deeper black you can make a mix of various colors such as brown, auburn and a little black …
Do not shoe shine just before going out. Shine your shoes the evening before so the cream can get deep into the leather and not remain on the surface. The only thing you'll have to do for a good shine the next day just before getting out, is just a small spit on the tip of the shoe to make it shine bright. Remember an excellent pair of shoe can last years if you take great care of them. Conversely, expensive shoes can be ruined overnight or so if you do not take good care of them.
The best I have are 25 years old (yes I bought them in 1988 !). They were on sale at an outrageous price (380€ or $500 !!!… Yes, it was a good year in the ad industry !) but they still fit and are in good shape : I wear them (and take great care of them !…) quite regularly.
Remember the shoe polish must be inside the leather not on it. If you wear your shoes just after you used shoe polish dust will stick to it and if you do not take care of that you will mix shoes polish and dust the next time you polish them.
Once in a while you should use a leather soap to clean the leather and keep it soft for the next shoe polish cream : dust and polish are not a good combination, leather will crack …
Then again, if you want to wear shoes the right way (ie. if you wish to be somewhat poshy … grin…) only the tip of the shoe should be shining. Also be aware that all shining shoes show bad taste and can ruin a reputation (or so they say on Saville row !…).

Enjoy !
JohnR174 months ago

I use Parade Gloss by Kiwi for the ultra shine. The regular kiwi is almost a dark navy/black. Parade gloss is pure black.

3366carlos6 months ago

you are ready for inspection ladd.

thekosminer8 months ago

You should actually use a woman's nylon to put over your boot brush. That will aid in creating your base layer shine. My father has been in the military for 26 years and he has helped me a lot.

sward161 year ago
mbecks - Thanks i got new polish fairly recently but ill give it another go
sward161 year ago
I bull my shoes for cadets using this method but i still get a load of light swirl scratches what should i do to get rid of these?

mbecks (author)  sward161 year ago
Im guessing the swirl scratches are from either
A)dirty polish, iv sometimes had polish for a long time and i think it gets dust and dirt in it just from being used often.
B)Dirty shoes, If you polished you boots at one point when they were dusty or dirty and didn't clean them off then there is now small grit in the polish so every time you polish your pushing that around and causing scratches.
Solution for these to problems would be to clean your shoe well using wet cloths and such until you feel there clean. don't worry if you wreck your shine here. Get new polish, then brush shine some good coats onto your shoes (using a clean boot brush) then shine them with a new shine cloth
Lastly it could be your not shining long enough or gently enough. remember the last shine should be done by just barely pushing and with only a very slight amount of moisture.
Rodh641 year ago
When I "spit polishing" army boots I used cotton wool rather than a cotton or linen cloth.
mbecks (author) 1 year ago
Thanks for the great advise Vincent. Lots of good stuff I didn't know. Using a lighter or heat is called burn shine and although it may look good at first I found the polish starts to crack and get almost a shattered glass look.
I take it this does not require a lighter or heat? had a marine tell me that one time. didn't work too well.
No it doesn't.
But room temperature is okay if you let the shoes rest overnight before wearing them (see above …)
is filling in the cracks with polish a permanent fix?
Unfortunately no (see above)
mbecks (author) 1 year ago
I was taught from the best of course haha
ynze1 year ago
That's how Nucky Thomson does it :-)