Saturday, April 28, 2012


This one comes to us from the UK

Hi there.  I'm a big fan of your blog and i look at it every day, it's inspired me to finally but a pair of engineer boots - I picked up a rather old and battered pair of Chippewa boots from a vintage store here in London.  I  don't like the scuffed and dirty look, so i was hoping you could pass on some tips about getting a shine back on these old boots - do you recommend boot polish, a cream or just a good old "spit-shine"? many thanks and keep up the great work!! - Gordon

Hi Gordon,

Congrats on the Engineer Boots. Depending on how battered they are, you'll need the following:

* Fine grit sandpaper to even out any gouges
* Black Kiwi Parade Gloss shoe polish
* Boot brush with dauber
* Soft bristle toothbrush
* Cotton t-shirt
* Elbow grease

First, grab the boot brush and thoroughly brush away the dirt, etc. If there are any gouges, you can carefully use the sandpaper - brush away any dust at this point. Apply simple hand soap to the toothbrush and clean the welt - dry with the t-shirt or paper towel. Then, using either using a dauber or cotton t-shirt, wrap a double layer of the shirt around your index and middle finger ensuring the material is flat at the pads of the fingers.

Using a circular motion, apply the polish onto the dauber/shirt. Next, thoroughly apply the polish to the boot using a circular motion (apply more polish in any uneven/gouged areas), covering the vamp (the leather that wraps around the top of the foot) and heel counter.

Grab the boot brush and buff both areas with a back and forth motion (left and right) and moderate pressure, keeping your boot brush arm stationary and moving the boot around. The intent is to create friction causing the polish to melt - gradually lighten the back and forth brushing pressure once the polish is evened out and a shine starts to appear.

You may have to have to go over the polished area quite a bit and reapply more polish, as necessary.

Repeat the above steps for the boot shaft until you've achieved the desired shine.

At this point you can apply a high gloss spit shine.