How To Polish Vintage Dress Shoes

Polish vintage dress shoes to make them shine. You've found a great pair of vintage dress shoes and need to know how to polish them. With the right care, these shoes might last you another 20 or 25 years if they're in good shape. Taking care of them is key and that includes polishing them when needed to condition the leather and make them look great.

To polish vintage dress shoes, you will need:

  • Vintage dress shoes
  • Shoe brush
  • Shoe polish
  • Soft cloth
  1. Remove the shoelaces. If the vintage dress shoes have shoelaces, remove them so you can polish the tongue and around the eyelets.
  2. Clean the vintage dress shoes. Start with a pair of clean shoes so the polish goes into the leather, not on top of dirt and oils. Use a good leather cleaner like a saddle soap and follow the directions on the can to clean the dress shoes.
  3. Buff the shoes. When the vintage dress shoes are clean, buff them lightly with a shoe brush. Wipe them shoes with a soft cloth.
  4. Polish the vintage dress shoes. Use a soft cloth to apply a neutral or colored shoe polish close in tone to the dress shoes. Be sure to apply a bit more polish to areas of the leather than shoes that show more wear.
  5. Rub the shoes to shine them. Use another clean soft cloth to shine the shoes. Hold the cloth in both hands and swipe over the toe and width of the dress shoes to bring out the shine.
  6. Repeat the polish if needed. If the vintage dress shoes still look a bit dull, apply a second coat of shoe polish and repeat the polishing and rubbing process.
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