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How To Get The Brightest Shoe Shine?  
User currently offlineDeltaGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 15613 times:

Have a drill meet this weekend, and want my boots to really stand out. I usually just use Kiwi Parade Gloss from the can, apply it to the boot with some water, and brush out...do that about 5-8 times, then do it again, and remove it with a buffing cloth. Seems to work alright for now.

Anyone have any tried & true methods to make shoes/boots look like mirrors?

DeltaGuy  Smile

29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineGOCAPS16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4338 posts, RR: 21
Reply 1, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 15601 times:

Chris, the key is water...use less polish and alot of water and shine it for a good 30 minutes...that's all we did every sunday when I was in basic training...now I'm lazy and use the instant self gloss shoe polish but I'll get them dirty in 10 minutes after...

User currently offlineKROC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 15583 times:

The real secret it this. Put about 3 or 4 coats of leather luster on your boots. (This method works real well with firld or jump boots) then once that has had plenty of time to dry, put a couple coats of clear polyurathane over it. You will have the BEST shine and it will last months and months and if you get a scuff on it, a simple rag will take it off. When I was in the military my boots were always done like this.

User currently offlineIakobos From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 3312 posts, RR: 35
Reply 3, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 15574 times:

The old fashion blacking.
Warm it slightly so that it becomes "creamy", add a drop or two of oil, and a pinch of cigarette ash.
Mix.
Apply with insistence with a cloth. (no brush)
Wait 30 minutes.
Shine with a soft cloth.

If properly done, you can see yourself in your shoes.


User currently offlineDeltaGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 15555 times:

Thanks guys  Smile

KROC, can you get leather luster at walmart, or at a special leather shop? They're jump/flight boots, all leather (no nylon on em)...were kinda beat up, trying to get em into drill shape. Probably would have to hit home depot for the polyurethane.

Thanks,
DeltaGuy


User currently offlineAA61Hvy From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 13977 posts, RR: 57
Reply 5, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 15553 times:

For dress shoes, I like to put on a coat of shine, then water, coat of shine, then water, I'll do this about 10x's. Real shinney.


Go big or go home
User currently offlineThom@s From Norway, joined Oct 2000, 11951 posts, RR: 47
Reply 6, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15546 times:

The way we polished our black boots in the RNoAF:

Rub a serious amount of cream on the boots, wipe with a paper towel, then rub it in real nice with a piece of cotton.

Never passed inspection, good luck.  Smile

Thom@s



"If guns don't kill people, people kill people - does that mean toasters don't toast toast, toast toast toast?"
User currently offlineKROC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15540 times:

Deltaguy - You can get it directly from their website.

http://www.leatherluster.com/

A hint, if they are jump boots, the area of the toe should be separated by stitching or something. Same thing with the heal. If not, just take care of the toe and you may only want to use the Leather Luster. If the areas are not separated your boots will end up cracking after a short amount of use.

My favorite boot to wear was the one below. My shine method worked perfectly. Notice how the toe is separated by a piece of leather and stitching? Only paint the toe with LL and the Poly. Use the Leather Luster all over though and your boots will be pristine.



User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8193 posts, RR: 24
Reply 8, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15539 times:

Mop 'n glo.... but it has its drawbacks. Don't walk outside into the hot sun lest your shoes bubble! Works great if you've got an indoor inspection or something short term, though.


This Website Censors Me
User currently offlineOttoPylit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15537 times:

Nah Chris, go with regular jump boots.

No offense to KROC, but those boots, while easy to keep shined, are sorta the easy way out. I say go with the typical combat boot, but have cloth on the side, just like the one above, but the entire front foot is covered by leather. They are extremely comfortable and still easy to keep clean, as the sides of the boot don't need to be polished, not that they would shine anyways, the polish would crack.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13968 posts, RR: 63
Reply 10, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15535 times:

A trick I´ve heard from former RAF soldiers for their parade boots:
They would take them, together with a case of beer to the airfield´s paint shop and get them sprayed in Tornado radome paint.

Jan


User currently offlineKROC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15533 times:

Easy way out? You have a pair of boots that will look in pristine condition for months and months while the other guy is shining his boots every other day. Sorry Otto, but you sound like all the Army pukes who whined about it being "cheating"...Only because my shine lasted 6 plus months and always look perfect and they had to spend 20 minutes plus every day on their boots. Work smarter...not harder.

User currently offlineVSLover From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1897 posts, RR: 23
Reply 12, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15532 times:

wow you guys talk about 30 minutes, or 10x's...then that makes me wonder how my shoeshine guy who i see just off my subway stop does an amazing job in like 5 minutes...clearly shoe shiners know a thing or two we all dont. some shoes, i can literally see my reflection...one day boarding a flight the capt was standing chatting with the f/a when i walked in and he said something like "now theres a man after my heart--look at that shine" as he pointed down. funny stuff.

User currently offlineCadet985 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 1551 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 15516 times:

Quoting DeltaGuy (Thread starter):
Have a drill meet this weekend, and want my boots to really stand out. I usually just use Kiwi Parade Gloss from the can, apply it to the boot with some water, and brush out...do that about 5-8 times, then do it again, and remove it with a buffing cloth. Seems to work alright for now.

Anyone have any tried & true methods to make shoes/boots look like mirrors?

Every year when I staff Pennsylvania Wing Encampment for Civil Air Patrol, I stop by the PX and pick up a tube or 2 of Glisten. You can either put the glisten on the rag and apply it to the boot that way, or you can use cotton balls. You can also liquify the polish (I don't do this, but some of my friends do) with a lighter, and apply some glisten to the liquid polish. I personally use the buffing rag. Either way, I had standard combat boots looking almost patent leather.

Marc


User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 15506 times:

With my old pair of 10-hole Doc Martens, I used to get a container of Kiwi Parade Gloss black shoe polish.


Put on one coat, buff it, put on another, buff it, then sprinkle a little water then buff it some more. Sometimes, I'd run a lighter over the boots and buff it again, giving it a really good shine.


User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11446 posts, RR: 76
Reply 15, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 15500 times:
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OK...all the amateurs done with their  twocents ?  Wink

The way we did it in the 82d Airborne, where we had to wear our Corcoran jump boots (the only real "jump boot", ask any paratrooper) was the old fashioned way.



I paid SGT Varney down the hall to get my boots shiny for inspections. Cost me $10 per boot and it was worth every cent.


But, then things changed and I had to do it on my own using his method.


Caution...if these are new boots then take a shower in them and dry them out overnight with newspaper inside. Do this prior to wasting time on the first coat of polish. This breaks the boot in for fit and texture.

You get the boot clean and then brush on a couple of coats of polish. To a high shine. Then you take your can of Kiwi..or Shinola...but Kiwi was the standard....and you fill the lid with water. You take a cotton t-shirt, 100% cotton..no sisters because they scratch....wrap it around your hand so that only 1 layer of shirt is between 2 or 3 fingers and the boot and dip the shirt in the water, daube it to where it's only damp, then sweep it thru the polish. You then apply the polish to the boot methodically. Put some music on, put on the TV, whatever you got because, if these are new boots, you will be there a while. Take a timer with you so that you will spend equal amounts of time on the boots so that one is not noticeably shinier than the other (a definite no-no).

Start working the polish into the boot in concentric circles. Has to be small circles so you see the polish working into the boot. Keep the shirt moving in those small circles and watch to see that the polish is going on smoothly. Do one section of the boot at the time, as opposed to when you brush shine or touch up and coat the entire boot then wipe away. I usually start with the toes and work around.

Make sure you unlace the shoes and get the tongue as shiny as the rest, no room for inattention to detail here. Get the entire boot as shiny as you can in one sweep and then do the other boot.

Repeat the process and don't shortchange yourself. This is gonna suck the first time, but as you do it you will see the improvement. Don't overdo it on the polish, as you can get a waxy buildup. Make sure that you look at the boots in the sunshine prior to the inspection because you should get them to sparkle in the light. Don't wear them too long before the inspection as the sparkle will wear off.

DO this right the first time and you will find it easier each subsequent time to achieve the desired results.

Good luck and remember that it is your pride on the line here, so don't do anything half assed or take the easy way.....as the easy way is always booby trapped.

Quoting VSLover (Reply 12):
wow you guys talk about 30 minutes, or 10x's...then that makes me wonder how my shoeshine guy who i see just off my subway stop does an amazing job in like 5 minutes

THe shoe shine guy does not get a parade ground gloss on your shoes in 5 minutes unless he is using a compound or he is working on shoes that have an excellent base to begin with.

Quoting Cadet985 (Reply 13):

Every year when I staff Pennsylvania Wing Encampment for Civil Air Patrol, I stop by the PX and pick up a tube or 2 of Glisten

That will make your boots crack if they stay out in the sunshine too long, and it is not good for the leather. Take care of your boots and they will take care of your feet. Take care of your feet and you will live longer.

Quoting N766UA (Reply 8):
Mop 'n glo.... but it has its drawbacks. Don't walk outside into the hot sun lest your shoes bubble!

Yeah, ruin a $200 pair of boots. Don't do this, I think the dude is kidding.

Quoting KROC (Reply 2):
The real secret it this. Put about 3 or 4 coats of leather luster on your boots. (This method works real well with firld or jump boots) then once that has had plenty of time to dry, put a couple coats of clear polyurathane over it.

I know guys who had problems with their boots if they used this and then actually used their boots where they got wet alot and they would crack. I do know a couple of guys who did this to their parade boots, but the idea behind shining your boots, in addition to waterproofing, protecting and shining is to teach attention to detail and persistence. Like alot of other things in the military this may seem like chickenshit but there is a legitimate purpose. A good job on this, done by hand, will elevate the soldier/servicemans sense of pride and achievement. Alot of little things add up to alot (think of how to eat an elephant), and the gradual buildup in confidence is crucial when you are training young men and women to go into combat relying on their equipment that they are responsible for maintaining.

I had this lesson drilled into me by SFC Ruston (now rtd CSM Ruston) who caught me paying SGT Varney to spitshine my boots and made me to understand how much more important it was to have well done boots I did myself rather than perfect boots done by someone else.

All that said...I got through airborne school using the boot black service on Fort Benning, because I did not know any better and did ok. I just got tired of OK and getting by.



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 15493 times:

The DL021 method is the only effective, and true, method of obtaining a shine that doesn't look phony and doesn't destroy the boot. Last thing I want to do is paint something on my boot and six months later they are destroyed . . . cracked, seamed, nasty. Oh, and it has a negative affect on your 'dogs' as well. Boots done properly will continue to breath - boots with a painted on "cheater" shine will not.

Any pride in yourself, your uniform, your duty and honor, grab a can of Kiwi, an old One Hundred Percent Cotton rag, and have at it. Slow circles with two fingers, using ice water. You'll see the shine start, really you will, and you'll learn, over time, when to cut back on the wax, when to increase the water, when to stop.

Now, last tid bit of useful information . . . if you have a human of the female persuasion in your house that wears panty hose or nylons, grab a pair (new ones are best - just don't tell them), color is irrelevent. Roll them up like a pair of Army socks going in your wall lcker on display. There is nothing better to buff out a small scratch on this high shine than a pair of nylons.



There you have my .02

Quoting DL021 (Reply 15):

I had this lesson drilled into me by SFC Ruston (now rtd CSM Ruston) who caught me paying SGT Varney to spitshine my boots and made me to understand how much more important it was to have well done boots I did myself rather than perfect boots done by someone else.

And this cost you how many pushups Sergeant Ian?  biggrin 

Quoting KROC (Reply 2):
The real secret it this. Put about 3 or 4 coats of leather luster on your boots.

KROC, I like you man. That said. Leather Luster simply sucks shit.


User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11446 posts, RR: 76
Reply 17, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 15474 times:
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Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 16):
And this cost you how many pushups Sergeant Ian?

SFC Ruston did not really do the pushup thing....he just made you understand what you had done wrong, how disappointed he was, and what you needed to do to make things better......and you did it.

Kind of a freak that way, but it worked on everyone in the platoon, even the ones who made fun of him for looking like Lurch and telling the loudest campfire stories.


Oh, good point about the nylons....thats the only time you touch your boots with any artificial material. Use it as a mild abrasive to wipe out the cut or scrape.

[Edited 2005-04-08 01:01:42]


Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3701 posts, RR: 28
Reply 18, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 15464 times:

Get yourself a duster, Kiwi Parade Gloss, some water and a desklamp.

If you want to get them so you can see the whites in your eyes in the reflection read below!

Put some water in the lid of the parade gloss and Wrap the duster around your index finger. Dip the duster in the water and rub in small circles on the toe cap. Use a desklamp to melt the top of the polish a little, not too much though...Then dab the same part of the duster in polish and rub in small circles on the toe cap. Rub some water in a circular motion in this across the toe cap. On new shoes this could take perhaps 6 hours per shoe although once you have developed a base coat, been on parade, had them scuffed and need to re-do it should only take a couple of hours per shoe.

The school I went to had a military background and we had to polish our shoes heavily! For the final inspection of the year on Founders Day (Speech Day) getting shoes up to standard could take almost 8hrs per shoe! Some people even paid others (who had a knack of doing it well) prices up to £50 to avoid doing it themselves! At the beginning of July we could stand on parade for the inspection (usually important member of Royal family or big knob in military) and the sun would melt everyones hard work before the shoes were inspected!



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8193 posts, RR: 24
Reply 19, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 15460 times:

Quoting DL021 (Reply 15):
Yeah, ruin a $200 pair of boots. Don't do this, I think the dude is kidding.

I'm not kidding that it'll produce one hell of a shine, but I definately don't recommend it. The shine lasts until you walk in them for a bit at which point, as DL021 says, your boots will be ruined.



This Website Censors Me
User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11446 posts, RR: 76
Reply 20, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 15454 times:
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Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 18):
Use a desklamp to melt the top of the polish a little, not too much though

Be careful doing this as burns are nigh impossible to get out of the boot, and will be especially noticeable on the toe cap. This certainly works, but it's a little risky if you screw up.

Quoting N766UA (Reply 19):
I'm not kidding that it'll produce one hell of a shine, but I definately don't recommend it.

Fair enough. I know a guy who did it once......



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineKROC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 15421 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 16):
KROC, I like you man. That said. Leather Luster simply sucks shit.

Come on CSM. Don't hate because it is the "easy way" out. My boots looked 10 times better than all the Army Pukes around and my effort was concentrated into one day and that lasted months and months. It wasn't something I had to do daily. DL - My Leather Luster and Ployurothaned boots were mostly for working on the base. My field boots never saw it. Although I did have one pair of Corcoran Field Boots I gloosed up and I never had a problem with them. To each their own but I know I wasn't shining my boots every night.  Wink


User currently offlineOttoPylit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 15406 times:

Easy way out? Sorry KROC, your talking to an Air Force guy here. If anyone knows the easy way of doing things, its us USAF. We work smart, and don't sleep in the dirt. That was always my motto anyway. I saw the boots you prefer on other basic training airmen. Yea, the shine lasted, but when the boot gets one deep scuff, your screwed. Me, I was good enough to shine my boots and have them last at least a month before they were needed again. And it only took me about 5 minutes a boot, while watching my favorite sitcom. Only took me 5 minutes because the boot was more cloth than leather, so it was simple, but lasted longer than the other boots.

User currently offlineKROC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 15401 times:

Otto - As an Air Force guy as well, the boots I prefer were NOT alloed in Basic Training. You only had your standard issue there so I am not sure how you became familure with them there. And I got plenty of deep scuffs in mine and they all buffed out no problem.

User currently offlineCadet985 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 1551 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 15393 times:

Quoting DL021 (Reply 15):
That will make your boots crack if they stay out in the sunshine too long, and it is not good for the leather. Take care of your boots and they will take care of your feet. Take care of your feet and you will live longer.

Thanks for the advice DL021 - I didn't know that. I'll have to stop using it.

Marc


25 OttoPylit : Oops, sorry, I didn't look at your profile beforehand. Since you will understand what I am talking about then, I am referring to Technical School. Ye
26 Post contains images ANCFlyer : Since we've gotten on to the subject of styles of boot - here's the only REAL boot you'll ever need . . . .
27 Post contains images Pilot kaz : In my ole days of cadets we used to have to spend hours buffing up parade shoes/boots, Our Trick was Baby oil Little bit of cotton wool, baby oil, per
28 Post contains images DL021 : Clank Clank...I'm a tank... Air Farce puke's don't have time to shine boots every night, what with all the "buddy checks" for hernias you guys seemed
29 Post contains links Zippyjet : http://www.ehow.com/tips_31.html A lot of interesting tips. Best Of Luck!
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