Sunday 17 March 2013

In defence of old fashioned shoe polish

Will you please polish your goddamned shoes? I am sick to death of looking at them.

Those devil-may-care scuff marks are like patches of ignorance spreading across the leather.

And don't use that pretend polish liquid shit that comes in a bottle with a sponge on the end. You may as well colour them in with a black pen. Or dip your boots in Vegemite.

It adds colour, but it doesn't nourish the leather like an old fashioned waxy polish does.

Pictured are my 6 year old Blundstone boots, which have mowed lawns, shifted rocks, trekked across the wilderness, hooked flathead, and kept me standing at many a music festival.

They have been used and abused like any outdoor boots. But they are still whole, still supple, still waterproof, and shiny enough to wear to church.

I'm about to go reporting for the ABC in Queensland, so they got a fresh coat of polish this morning.

They'll take me through flood waters and stinking heat while my feet stay sweet enough to eat.

All because I give them an old fashioned polish every now and then.

My friends' boots wear out twice as fast as mine. The leather cracks and their toes poke out.

And if you've spent a hundred bucks or more on well constructed leather shoes, that's a damn shame.

How to polish your shoes

Make sure they're clean and dry - scrub off any dirt and let them sit until the leather is dry.

Apply the polish in small circles, using a small application brush, folded cloth, or a clean sponge.

Rub the polish in, take a few minutes, allow it to penetrate. But don't leave any lumps of it on the leather.

Brush it with a shoe brush - long sweeping movements work best. Work the shoe over until it starts to shine.

That's enough, if you do it right. But if you want to be fancy, stretch a stocking across the shoe and give it a final buffing.

Repeat whenever you start to see scuff marks, where spots of lighter leather show through.

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