Ladyguide: Polish Your Boots for Winter

You know what’s great about winter? Boots. Boots look good on people. They make any outfit look polished. You know what sucks about winter? It ruins your boots.

Boots, shoe polish, and other supplies needed to clean them
Are you ready, boots?

Please note that these instruction do not apply to suede. That’s a whole other tutorial.

Buy Things

Shoe-care supplies are pretty cheap. An up-front investment of less than $20 will save you hundreds in not having to buy new shoes every winter.

1. Get thee to Amazon or your local big-box retailer and buy yourself the following: saddle soap, Sno Seal, shoe polish in the appropriate color, and a horsehair shoe brush.

2. Go through your closet and find a T-shirt that you hate. Maybe use the one you got from your ex? Cut or tear it into sizable rags.

Polish ALL the Things

1. Wipe down your shoes with a barely-damp cloth (you should be using that old T-shirt).

2. Wet a rag and rub it into the saddle soap until you get a lather. It won’t look like soap lather, but it’ll look, ummm, lathery? Rub that lather to cover your shoes. Don’t go crazy – this isn’t cleaning the bathroom. I usually just give my shoes a quick once-over.

3. Wipe off the excess saddle soap with a dry rag. Leave your boots out for a few minutes to dry.

4. Apply the Sno Seal as directed on the tin. It involves heating up your boots or shoes with a hairdryer and then rubbing it in. WARNING! Sno Seal will darken most leather, so if you love, love, love the color of your boots, think about skipping this step.

5. Once the Sno Seal is dry, grab your shoe-polish. Dip a dry rag into it and rub the shoe-polish over your shoe. You can use just a tad more than you think you need.

6. Wipe off the extra polish.

7. Grab a clean, dry rag and start buffing your shoes. They’ll look shiny!

8. Take that shoe-brush and brush down the shoes.

You’re done! You should perform this ritual, minus the Sno Seal step, every couple of weeks, more if you’re really getting slammed with snow and salt. I usually re-apply the Sno Seal once at the beginning of winter and once in the middle. I’m still on the jar I bought two years ago. It lasts forever!

By [E] Sally Lawton

My food groups are cheese, bacon, and hot tea. I like studying cities and playing with my cat, Buffy.

3 replies on “Ladyguide: Polish Your Boots for Winter”

Here’s a tip for really shiny boots that I learned when I was in ROTC. After step 6-7, you can light the shoe polish on fire to melt it a bit. (Blow out the fire. Please don’t forget to blow out the fire.) Then apply the liquified shoe polish to the toe and buff it really well. Add a few splashes of water as you’re buffing to get a really good shine.

Shining shoes and making beds are the two best things ROTC taught me. (Also that I hate running, but I already knew that part.)

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