How to Shine Military Boots




About: I make cool (possibly dangerous or explosive) things.

Recently, I went to the local thrift store and found these gems. They were parade boots that were in pretty good condition, so I decided to pick them up for a reasonable price. In this instructable I will show you how to bring them to a mirror shine, which is what Army Cadets need them to be like. This also applies to any other shoes that you want shined, but if you don't want them really shiny, just don't use as much polish.


Step 1: Things You Need

To get started, you need a good pair of undamaged leather parade boots, and the following:

You can usually get these at your local drugstore, I got mine at Shoppers Drug Mart.

Step 2: Blackening the Welts

Before you start, use a soft dishcloth to remove any loose dirt or dust from the entire boot. Then using the toothbrush, dab it in the Kiwi polish and gently colour the welts black.

Step 3: Holding the Kiwi Cloth for Polishing

This part seems to be different for everyone, but I find this method very effective. Find a clean spot on your cloth, then place that spot on your index and middle finger. Grab the excess behind your fingers and twist it into a tail, wrapping it around your hand and hold it in the palm of your hand.

Step 4: Polishing the Boot

Dip your fingers into the tin of Kiwi Polish and spread evenly on the toe of the boot until the surfaces are covered. Add a bit of water, or spit onto the toe and spread around to everywhere the polish is on the boot. Now you can start working the polish to a shine. Using the cloth in the way that was shown, start making circles in the polish, gradually making smaller circles. If this is your first time polishing a set of boots, it may seem that it isn't working, but that isn't the case. Then more times you polish a boot, the easier it becomes to maintain that shine.

Step 5: The Secret Trick to the Extra Shine

You have successfully shined your boots, but there is a secret trick to giving it an extra shine, and it is totally worth it. When you are buying your Kiwi cloth and polish, look to see if they have Neutral coloured Kiwi Express Shoe Shine Brush. When you get this, you are supposed to just brush your boots and your done, but after you brush them, find a clean spot on your Kiwi Cloth and quickly go over your boots again without any polish on the cloth.

Step 6: Important Notes

Congrats! You have just shined your boots to a mirror shine! A few important things you need to know:

  • If you looked at other methods of shining boots, you may have seen people melt their polish before they applied it to their boots, and this does not give great results. It is also dangerous and unnecessary.
  • A good shine is not any good if it gets scuffed, so when you are walking around in your boots, be careful not to step on your toes or bump your feet into anything
  • When you are shining your boots, it helps to do it while listening to music or watching TV. When I was shining the boots for this instructables, I was watching reruns of the Flash, it takes a long time to get a quality shine.



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3 Discussions


2 years ago

Those look like my old airborne "jump boots." Great instructable. The night before I would have to wear these, i would spend about four to five hours shining. I used the "melt method." If you melt the polish in the same way you melt shrink wrap (melt from a distance), then it's not going to hurt your boots. Eventually, you could get the area around the laces to sparkle as well. After a while, my buddy showed me how to use a combination of the "melt method" and pine-sol, and that made my boots shine like crazy. ☺️

1 reply

Reply 2 years ago

Thanks for the comment! I remember hearing something about using vegetable oil or pine-sol to bring out the shine in the boots, but I didn't want to risk doing it the wrong way and ruining the boots. You said that you used to have jump boots, were you in the military?


2 years ago

good find, boots look good.