So, you have just purchased a pair of fancy leather loafers, oxfords, or wingtips, and there is only one thing on your mind as you remove them from the box and admire their pristine newness – how can I keep them like this? The short answer to that is that they will require a proper leather shoe-care routine. But that can mean a lot more than simply cleaning them every now and again or spraying them with a shoe odor eliminator whenever they get smelly. For sure, you will need to do all of that. You’ll need to invest in a top shoe deodorizer like ShoeFresh and make sure that any scuffs are dealt with as soon as they arise, but leather is not like other materials – and leather shoes require special care.

So, what is the ideal shoe shine routine for a pair of high-quality leather shoes? For cheaper leather footwear, you might have considered a good brush, a soft cloth, and a tin of shoe polish sufficient, but to keep high-grade leather shoes in anything like the condition you purchased them in, you will need to avail yourself of the right tools – and then do things the right way. But before we get into that, there is one thing that’s very important to remember…

Do Not Shine or Condition New Shoes

When it comes to new leather shoes (of any quality, in fact) the first thing you should do is – to do nothing. Leather conditioner and polish is specifically for the purposes of rejuvenating leather and making it firmer when it has degraded. Leather has simply no need to be rejuvenated.

We have all heard of the important breaking-in period for shoes, and that is doubly important for those composed of leather. Accordingly, it needs to actually be degraded a little first; it needs to become softer at certain points and slowly mold into the shape of your foot. The only thing you should do with new leather shoes is brush off dirt when needed.

What You Will Need

Eventually, however, there will come a time when your new leather shoes become a little less new. Just before they begin to degrade past comfort and into disrepair is precisely the time when you should consider getting everything together for a proper shoe shine.

Here is what you will need:

  • Shoe Leather Conditioner
  • Shoe Polish
  • Shoe Cream
  • Shoe Wax
  • Soft Cotton Cloth
  • Shoe Brush.

These are the essentials for leather shoe care. Be sure though to get a polish that matches the color of your leather!

How to Perform a Perfect Leather Shoe Shine

  • Before you begin your shoe shine, make sure that any excess dirt has been brushed away with your shoe brush. To do this most effectively, let the shoes dry.
  • Next, it is time to apply the conditioner. Place a small amount on the cloth and rub it in with circular motions, applying a firm pressure as you go. Then let it dry for fifteen minutes before buffing off with the brush.
  • Next up is the shoe cream. The trick here is to apply only a little. Apply with the cloth.
  • Finally, apply the wax. You can apply the wax in the same manner as the cream, just be sure to find a clean spot on the cloth with which to do so.

And that’s all there is to it. The perfect shoe is a combination of the right products, the right method, and the right time. Satisfy all three, and your oxfords will be looking as good as new for many moons yet.