How To Shine Your Shoes Like A Soldier

How To Shine Your Shoes Like A Soldier

Historically speaking, the US military is known for many things. When it comes to uniforms and militant attire, one thing stands out more than the rest; one thing that most everyone can associate with: shoe shining. Before going on a date, heading to the office, or attending a client meeting, be mindful of your shoes, as footwear can make or break an outfit and is a true game changer.

Nothing says ‘put together’ like a shiny pair of leather shoes or boots. Besides making them look vibrant, shining your shoes actually works to preserve their condition, making them last longer. With the right products and technique, you can have the shine of a soldier shoe. Your leather shoes are an investment which means you should also consider investing in the upkeep of them as well.

The Shoe Shining Process

What you’ll need:

  • A tin of wax polish
  • A horsehair shine brush
  • Shoe polish brush (applicator)
  • Cotton balls
  • Shine cloth

Let’s take a look at the step-by-step process in shining your shoes. Partaking in routine shining will ensure that your dress shoes have a near mirror shine.

Step 1

  • Locate an old washcloth or towel that you no longer intend on using. This will act as your working area, separating any accidentally spilled product from coming in contact with your floor. Shoe cleaning and conditioning products can drip so the towel will keep your working surface clean.

Step 2

  • Wipe off all noticeable dust as well as debris from your shoes/boots with a damp rag. You can also feel free to use a soft bristle brush. Let them air-dry before you move onto the next step.

Step 3

  • Take your shoe polish and put a generation amount of it onto your shoe brush. Match the polish according to the shade of your boots/shoes. Make sure to cover the entire shoe, getting down into the stitches and seams as well. Let 15 minutes for polish to completely dry before the next step.

Step 4

  • Take the horsehair shoe brush and brush the entire shoe in circular motions. This is intended to take off all excess polish that has not penetrated the shoe so that it does not rub off on your clothing.

Step 5

  • Use your discretion to decide when the remaining polish has been rubbed off. Take a lightly dampened cotton ball, dip it in the same polish, and rub it on the heel as well as the toe of the shoe or boot in a circular motion. These parts of the shoe get the most wear and tear so you want to be sure they are properly protected. Repeat this process until the desired shade is achieved.

Regular Maintenance Is Key


Maintaining your leather shoes with a routine military-style deep conditioning treatment will ensure a lasting shine and longevity of your shoes. It’s always beneficial to rid your Regshoes of obvious marks and scuffs in order to preserve their look and appeal. The nature and condition of your shoes are often reflected by the care, time, and effort you put into ensuring they are taken care of. Taking care of your leather shoes may seem obvious, but if you don’t use the products properly, you run the risk of swirly circle marks on your shoes which ultimately make them look unkept. Using the right products in conjunction with the proper technique will reveal a shoe that is unparalleled in shine.


When you are not wearing your leather shoes, you’ll want to be sure they are ready to wear when you are. In order to keep them looking good, store them in a cool place - keeping leather shoes near a window or vent will dry your shoes out. Insert a shoe tree in each shoe so that they maintain their shape until next use.


The quality of your outfit is complete with a polished pair of shoes. Just as a soldier spends much of his time ensuring that his boots are clean and shined to absolute perfection, you must also follow in his footsteps, or shall we say ‘bootsteps’, in order to achieve the same level of shine.

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  • Lyubov Izotova
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