A good shine on your shoe adds an ounce to your bounce

“When a man polishes, it’s more than his shoes that shine” says one shoe polish advert. I will not ask whether you agree with this, but rather let’s together, get some titbits on shoe care.

Let’s start with the basics: do we know how to polish our shoes or, like most of the smaller details of our lives, have we outsourced this service to the professionals?

How about those shoes that do not require a polish job? Anyway, let’s begin with those that need polishing.

For the most part, some men in town have realised it is not manly anymore to have three pairs of shoes – a black, brown and Converse or snickers.

They don’t have much time to sit around polishing a dozen pairs of shoes or simply applying chemical on suede shoes and washing mud stains off their snickers.

They simply throw them in a bag on a Saturday to their favourite street-side shoe shiner and wait for some time. Some men, for effective time management, take the shoes for wash when the car is also having a jet wash.

Such a man returns homes with just one task – arranging the already polished shoes on their rack and the cycle continues.

But what would happen if you must wear that shoe, which is still dirty?

We must all have the art of shoe polishing like we did back in school. Having a shoe polish kit doesn’t make you a shoe shiner just like having a technical kit with screw drivers, pliers and a hammer doesn’t make you a handyman or carpenter. Many times, a home will need a quick fix, like your shoes will.

So, first get the kit replenished with a brush, a soft cloth made from fine cotton, sponge [could be cut from an old mattress or bought in this form] and can of polish. Here I mean the usual KIWI tin in black and or brown or dark tan, depending on the shades of your shoes.

To give your shoe a good shine, the procedure is not like launching a rocket into space; simply ensure the shoe is dusted or the mud removed with either a brush or damp cloth. If you use the latter, wait till the shoe dries and then apply the polish.

There are two ways of applying polish: you can either apply the polish using a brush or a cloth. For whichever you choose, apply in small circular motions, as if drawing zeros on the surface and ensure every part of the shoe gets a touch. If you used a brush, find another brush to spruce up the shoe.

Brushing should be done vigorously to remove all the excess polish on the surface, leaving only the necessary amount on the surface. Let’s recall that this vigorous brushing does cause friction, which in turn generates heat and it’s this heat that’s responsible for the shine on the shoe. So, the more the heat, the brighter the shine!

And if you want that mirror-like shine, especially on the front, hold the shoe close to your mouth and breathe out hot air from your mouth on it. Then immediately brush the area with more vigour; you will love the result. After this brush, get your sponge and rub the shoes vigorously for the extra shine.

Now you have it – a good shine on your shoe is a sure way to add an ounce to your bounce. There is every dividend on a well-shone shoe. It not only extends the lifespan of your shoes but has a way of spicing up every man’s self esteem. It is after all true that when you polish your shoe right, everything about you shines.

But what if the shoe requires more than a shine job? That’s what we will deal with next.

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