Polishing my Red Wings (a very short tutorial)
My Red Wing shoes (the classic 6’ moc toe boots) needed some serious cleaning and polishing. Although there are plenty of other guides on how to shine shoes, I shamelessly share you my personal method in 6 easy steps. I use this method for other (dress) shoes as well.
- First I removed the laces (I replaced them anyway). Without them it is easier to clean the whole shoe. Plus, your laces won’t get dirty or stained.
- Remove most of the dirt with a quick brush followed by a light scrubbing with a toothbrush or cloth and some water. I used some soap as well. I know this will dry out the leather, but I will moisturize the leather with some conditioner later on.
- After the shoes have dried, I applied a tiny amount of Saphir Renovateur with a horsehair brush dauber. Really, two tiny dollops per shoe are enough to give the shoes a light, matte coat of greasy goodness. I let this “soak” in for some minutes.
- I brushed out the Renovateur with a big horsehair brush. This will give the shoes a nice base shine throughout the whole shoe.
- Next, I applied a coat of Saphir Creme Surfine, although this is not really necessary because of the previous coat of Renovateur. Use clear colored creme to be safe, or some colored creme to enhance or slightly darken the shoes.
- Again, I used the big brush to buff the whole shoe. This added some more shine.
- The final step is the waxing of the toe and heels. In short: apply a fine layer of wax. Wrap a finger or two tightly in an old t-shirt. Use a drop of water to lightly moist fingers and polish out the wax. I took me some time, but I got a very high-gloss shine. Then I put back the (new) laces . Done.
I know these kind of workboots aren’t suppose to shine, but whatever. I kinda like the hour long polishing sessions, even for my boots. It’s my kind of meditation.