How Often Should You Polish Your Shoes?

How Often Should You Polish Your Shoes?

You bought some high-quality shoes and you want to keep them in pristine condition, and rightfully so, considering how expensive they are nowadays. But while there are a lot of tutorials on how to polish and condition your shoes, there is not enough useful information on how often you should do it and when.

How often should you polish your shoes?

On average, you should polish your shoes once a week, but depending on how often you wear them, whether you use shoe trees or not, and how often you brush and condition them, you can get away with polishing them only a couple of times per month. Read further for more details.


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Why should you polish your shoes?

Polishing your shoes is not only important for making sure you look sharp, but also for increasing the lifespan of your shoes. Regular shoe polishing increases their durability, water and dirt resistance, and protects them from scuffs and scratches, otherwise, the leather will break down much quicker and you’ll need to replace them.

Do you need to polish brand new shoes? 

Yes, indubitably so. Polishing your new shoes will not only help restore some moisture back to your leather – you don’t know how long they’ve been sitting idle in a store – but also adds a layer of protection so when you spill something on them, it’s the polish that gets attacked and not the leather.

How often should you clean your shoes?

You should clean your shoes whenever they get dirty, either with a brush or wiping them with a cloth. This usually means daily, or whenever you use them, but you don’t need to polish them every time you clean them. As mentioned before, polishing them once a week it’s more than enough in most cases.

How often should you condition your shoes?

You should condition your shoes whenever the leather is dry and dull, which is usually after you wear them about 20 times or once a month. If you’re polishing them regularly and you use cream polish, you don’t need to condition them as often since cream polish has moisturizers in it.

However, shoe polishing is not a replacement for proper conditioning, so invest in a high-quality conditioner and do it once a month.

What is the difference between a shoe polisher and a shoe conditioner?

Shoe conditioners are used to moisturize and nourish the leather. They are generic and colorless and their purpose is to make your leather last longer and not crack.

Shoe polishers perform some of the functions of conditioners in that they help with leather restoration (but not as well as dedicated conditioners do), but they are able to restore color and repair scuffs as well, giving your shoes that shiny look.

If you don’t want a mirror shine look, should you still polish your shoes?

Some people don’t like the traditional mirror shine look that wax-based polish provides, considering it tacky, and decide not to polish their shoes at all, but that’s a mistake since you lose out on the other benefits that polishing provides. You can use a cream polish instead, which is able to provide protection for your shoes while giving you a smoother and more natural look.

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