Even the nicest suit can look shabby when worn with dirty dress shoes. When polishing your dress shoes, there are several products that will help you bring out more shine. Below are the pros and cons of each product as well as tips on how to use it.
Shoe Cream & Paste
Most shoe creams contain mineral oils that help restore the natural shoe color. Creams are much more liquid than wax allowing to penetrate into the leather keeping it flexible while still adding shine. They are also much quicker and easier to use than wax but unlike wax do not cover cuffs very well.
Wax is the classic product for polishing dress shoes
. It is excellent for covering cuffs and it brings out the best shine. When shopping for shoe wax we suggest to look for a product that is made from natural Beeswax. The drawback with wax is that excessive use can seal the leather and cause it to dry out and crack.
Liquid Polishes are good for travel. It is very easy and super fast to use. But using it as your primary way to polish your shoes is not recommended since it can dry out the leather causing it to crack and break.
Water & Stain Protective Spray
Water repellent stray should be used for the rainy season. Especially dress shoes with leather soles should be sprayed a few times to avoid water coming in from the sole. Using such sprays on the upper leather is a little controversial. Some argue that those sprays containing silicone or any petroleum base causes the leather to dry out and break. Best for the upper leather is mink oil. It is quite expensive but will not damage the leather while still adding more shine.
Shoe cleaners are excellent for removing stains, dirt, as well as excessive wax and shoe polish build up. We recommend using cleaners three to four times per year. Cleaners that should be avoided are products containing types of acids and solvents which can cause damage to the leather. Excellent products are saddle soap, Murphy's Oils Soap, and Ivory Soap. Make sure to wide the show down with a damp cloth after cleaning to remove any residue of the cleaner before conditioning and polishing the shoes.