How to polish shoes with a high gloss finish

Leather shoes polished with a high gloss finish

Photo by Radek Skrzypczak on Unsplash

Trying to impress family and friends at a dinner party? Or are your heading to an important event trying to look your best? Worry not, we are here to help you do just that.

Professionally, this is the method we use at our shoe repair for customers looking for a high gloss finish when polishing shoes (with small modifications). Since you don’t have an industrial machine laying around we have modified the method so that it can be done in the comfort of your home, whilst providing the same shiny finish.

What you’ll need

  1. Cream Polish
  2. Leather Conditioner
  3. Wax Polish
  4. Dry Cleaner
  5. Saphir Mirror Gloss Wax
  6. A shoeshine cloth or any soft cotton cloth will do
  7. Wide Shoe Brush
  8. Ice Cold Water (this acts like a spitshine)


Step one: Clean Shoes

Lightly dust shoes off by rubbing with bristle then proceed to remove scuffs with Dry Cleaner. If the shoes are extremely dirty or muddy check out “filler article name” for detailed steps.

Step Two: Apply Leather Conditioner

Apply small amounts of leather conditioner on a sponge or on finer and rub leather conditioner in a circular motion. Make sure to apply the leather conditioner from the top to bottom. This will prevent drying or cracking of the leather and increase shine.

Step Three: Apply Cream polish and remove excess 

Follow step two and use cream polish instead of a leather conditioner for this step.  The cream polish contains more pigmentation than wax and is easily absorbed into the leather.

The use Brush to brush off any excess cream from shoes.

Step Four: Apply Wax Polish and wait 30 min

Take shoe shine cloth and apply a small amount of shoe polish. Rub the leather shoes with the cloth in circular motions.

Wait 30 minutes for the leather to absorb wax into is pores.

You can avoid making a mess by wearing leather gloves and placing scrap paper on your work area.

Step Five: Remove Excess

Remove excess shoe polish by using Shoe Shine bristle to buff the leather shoes. Use short and quick movements and don’t be afraid to put some pressure on the shoes

Step Six: Apply Saphir Mirror Gloss Wax

Using the clean side of a shine cloth Take shoe shine cloth and use the clean side to apply a small amount of shoe polish. Rub the leather shoes with the cloth in circular motions.

Only apply in front and back of shoes since these areas have limited movement. Excessive movement and stretching of leather will crack the shine.

Step Seven: Buff Shoes for High Gloss (With Water) 

Place a few drops of water around shoes and Buff for a high gloss finish

If you are looking for glossier look try a sponge shine or quick shine spray.

Step Eight: Repeat Step Six and Seven

Repeat Step six and seven until the desired shine has been reached. This process can be repeated up to 24 times depending on the condition of the leather.


To summarize the 8 steps:

 1.  Clean shoes of dust and mud.

2. Apply the leather conditioner

3. Apply the cream polish and buff

 4. Apply the wax polish with cloth in a circular motion and wait for at least 30 minutes

 5.  remove excess polish with wide shoe brush using short and quick movements.

6 apply Saphir gloss shine wax

 7. Buff with a soft cloth then add a few drops of water and buff the shoes once more.

8. Repeat step 6 and 7 until desired shine is achieved


By following these 5 steps you can make your shoes look better than new!


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For any questions or concerns comment below or contact us. We are here to help!



My name is Sameer, a professional, cobbler by trade. I have worked as a shoe repairman for about 5 years under the tutelage of Sam, cobbler, of over 25 years. Through my experience working at a shoe repair, I heard customers asking similar questions every day. So, I decided, with the help of Sam to start a blog and educate everyone about shoes and leather.

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