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How To Polish Your Shoes

Polishing one’s shoes is an essential skill for any gentleman. Often overlooked, stepping out with a finely buffed pair, marks you out as a man of taste and consideration.

However, there are more refined and successful ways to polish than simply dashing on polish that hasn’t been used for a decade, and then wiping it off again.

We speak to Mr Romi Topi, shoe polisher extraordinaire from the Burlington Arcade and get his top tips.

Step 1) Clean the shoe off with an old cloth and perhaps a little specialist leather cleaner. You need to make sure that the polish is being applied directly to the leather, and not to a layer of dust or grime which has been built up from months of neglect.

Step 2) Stain the heel and sides of the sole. With leather soled shoes these quickly get scratched and lose colour. Staining is an easy step and done by dipping a q-tip or small brush in the stain and wiping along the edge of the shoe. Allow 30 seconds for this to dry.

Step 2 : dying the heel and sole

Step 3) Apply some leather cream to nourish the leather. This will keep the leather soft, prolonging life and making the shoe more comfortable. This is rubbed in with a soft cloth then wiped over again.

Step 4) Apply polish in circular motions over the shoe, ideally with a horse hair brush. If you can leave the polish over night, then wipe clean.

Buffing - where the shine starts to emerge

Step 5) Buff with another cloth that has been lightly sprayed with water. This is where the real shine takes place. The water helps the wax polish fall in temperature, letting it set against the shoe and enhancing the shine.

Before

After

You can find the full range of products needed from Mr Romi Topi’s website here. Alternatively, his services in the Burlington Arcade start from £6.