When it comes to shoes, one of the hardest things to do is to keep them looking clean and, as the kids and cool people say today, ‘fresh.’ Doing so can be a major challenge to go through. Whether you have children, or you yourself are wearing the shoes, it doesn’t really matter all that much. At some point your shoes are going to get dirty or just not up to the standard that you would expect of them. To combat this, we all try our own little things most of the time to clean them. Some of these methods are better than others. Today, we are going to be taking a look into the world of shoe cleaning via our buying guide. We’ll also be looking at some of the best and most popular shoe shine kits currently available on the market, all in a bid to get you the best information and products to get your shoes clean like they are brand new again!
Top Shoe Shine Kits Comparison Chart
|Product||Feature||Price||Where to Buy?|
|1. Otter Wax Leather Care Kit||All natural ingredients||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|2. Maximilian Deluxe Business Leather Shoe Care Kit||Mixed natural & synthetic materials||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|3. Tobion Shoe Shine Kit With PU Leather Case||All-inclusive bundle||$||Check Price On Amazon|
|4. FootFitter Grand Cedar Velvet Shoe Shine Kit||Cedar valet||$$$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|5. ECCO Shoe Care Kit||Multiple options for various leather types||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|6. ShoeAnew Sneaker and Shoe Cleaner Kit||Works on many material types||$||Check Price On Amazon|
|7. Kiwi Select Velvet Shoe Care Kit||Premium paste tins||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|8. Stone and Clark 12PC Shoe Polish and Care Kit||Lightweight, compact & portable||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|9. Gear Aid Revivex Leather Boot Care Kit||Repels and protects from water & oils||$||Check Price On Amazon|
Shoe Shine Kits Buying Guide
Why You Need a Shoe Shine Kit
For many out there, you might believe that shining shoes is something that has gone away from ‘being cool.’ And you might be right as far as that is concerned. Go into an office building in 2019 and you’re sure to see far less shoe shiners than you would have seen in 1949. That’s just a fact of life. With that being said, it does not negate the usefulness of the entire process. Rather, it proves that shoe shining is still viable for it to stick around so long, even after its popularity had seemingly waned. If you want to keep your shoes looking as new as you can, then you need to be washing them regularly. A good way to do that is via a shoe shine kit that meets your specific parameters!
Not All Shoes Are Created Equal
We say this saying all of the time, or something close to it, but basically not all shoes are created equal. What we mean by this is pretty simple: not all shoes are the same. This line of thought is very prevalent today. You might see someone go to the big box store and buy a pair of basketball shoes simply due to the fact that they believe that they are, at their core, the same as a pair that costs ten times as much. That’s just not true in almost all cases. When it relates to shoe shining, it’s vital that you understand that not all shoe types are equal. Some pairs of shoes are going to be different- not necessarily better or worse- due to their materials. These materials are going to be instrumental in the way you clean them. You must be very careful when examining what kind of cleaner to use. We are looking at shoes and shoe cleaning in general here today, so it could be all sorts of materials. Some shoe cleaners will not work well with certain materials, even if salespeople claim that they do. Whether this is due to the fact that they are destructive to the shoes, or that they simply just won’t work and will be a waste of time or money, you need to take a long, hard look. The best choices are going to tend to be picks that fit with the shoes you have on hand. For example, if you have leather shoes, you need a leather cleaning kit. Without it, it’s very unlikely you’ll get the desired effect.
The Washing Machine Effect
One of the major things we’ve noticed over the last couple of decades is that the washing machine has taken over the world of shoe cleaning. While we are being a little bit facetious here, we can explain the reason we refer to it this way. The washing machine is a lazy process. Let’s just all admit it. Decades and centuries ago, if humans wanted to wash their clothes, they would have to do so by hand. It might not have been the hardest thing they had ever done, but it required some effort. Nowadays, there is very little effort needed. Some folks extend this to shoes, and you can’t really blame them. They put in very minimal effort to keeping their shoes clean. And it’s understandable. Maybe you don’t care and aren’t interested in looking your best. It may not matter to you. The washing machine, unfortunately, has been the cause of many a shoe’s destruction over the years. Some have thrown them in there thinking it’s safe and secure, but that’s so often just not the case at all. Avoid literally throwing them in there, and make sure you don’t just do nothing, too, and you should be plenty good to go!
What Comes in a ‘Kit’
Before we get too far into this whole thing, we need to take a look at what a kit is and what’s going to be included in it. Shoe shine kits can come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Some will have many, many pieces in them, while others will just have a few things. Price and quality dictate this. With that said, we are going to look at some of the things a shoe shine kit might have included in it.
One of the first thing you’re going to need to see present is a way to keep track of all of the items that come. The easiest way to accomplish this is via some kind of box, case, or bag. This product needs to be something that can be closed so that nothing can compromise the items inside. Plus, it’s much easier to make sure you don’t lose any of the items that way.
The next thing you absolutely have to have is a brush. Not any old brush will do, either, so it’s crucial that you get a brush that is made for shoes. The best type is known as a ‘horsehair’ brush. This kind of brush has become standard simply because it is ultra durable and is capable of lasting you a very long time. They are also useful because they are not too coarse and rough, so as to cause damage to the very shoes you are attempting to clean.
A secondary type of brush you might see is that of an ‘applicator’ brush. This brush is used to put the polish on the shoes, but it is not used to do the actual polishing. It is smaller, so that is typically the way you can tell which one is which.
Of course, you also have to have your polish. Without it, it’s going to be hard to get the shoes clean. Depending on the product you go with, and the materials that your shoes are made out of, this ‘polish’ could be a solution of a few ingredients or just your regular, run of the mill polish that is made with leather in mind. Leather is what most people are interested in cleaning, so those are going to be the majority of products offered. But in the current market, there are plenty of other products- and need for them to be cleaned- out there and those shouldn’t be overlooked.
The cloth will be the final step of the process, but it’s not one that you will want to overlook. The cloth puts the bow on top of the entire order of things, making the shoes sparkle and catch your attention. The critical thing you need to make sure of is that you always wash it after use. If you don’t do so, you may end up getting some of the last time’s use on it, which is obviously not a very good idea at all.
Some of us don’t like to get our hands dirty, or we may not have a whole lot of time to be cleaning up after hand, so a pair of gloves might just be the thing you need to steer clear of that. It’s not an essential item for most of us, but it is still something you can find.
While there may be other things you find, most of the time these items are going be the basic ones you find inside of a kit. They may not have all of them, or they may have multiple items for each one. Another aside to note is that you should be aware that some kits are going to have slightly different things included. For example, it may be a sponge rather than a brush. At the end of the day, the two serve the same purpose, so it’s not worth spending a ton of time talking about it!
Picking Your Poison (Polish)
We don’t want to get too far into any one thing here, but it is a big thing to know what kind of polish you want to use. Generally speaking, there are tow main choices to be aware of. One of them is wax and the other one is cream. Both of these are slanted toward the leather side of the tracks, by the way, just to be clear. They each have their pluses and minuses, so you’ll need to weigh those and consider what you want. Wax is best for making your shoes shine. It’s not the best for durability, but it will definitely put that twinkle in your eyes. As for cream, it does the opposite. It does make them look better, but it will not shine as much as wax. On the positive side, however, is the fact that they contribute to a longer lasting pair of shoes!
A Few Hints, Tips, and Rules
There are just some things you won’t know when you go into the unknown of shoe cleaning for the very first time. To help you get the most out of your experience, here are a few tips and tricks to help you get the best possible ‘shine’ or clean.
– The first clean is the hardest. This should be pretty much common sense, but it’s still nice to know. If you have never cleaned your shoes properly before, you’ll have a ton of dirt and grime on them, regardless of the material of the shoes. It’s going to be harder to clean them this time, but if you stick with it regularly, it won’t be nearly as difficult in the future.
– Clean your shoes regularly. We aren’t asking you to turn into Monk or anything, but you should definitely pick a time and place to clean your shoes at regular intervals. Every week is probably a good choice, though you might want to do it every single day. The more frequently you clean them, the less trouble it will be each time, so that is the benefit to doing that.
– Never wear your best clothes when cleaning your shoes, especially if you are shining leather. You never know when you might spill some polish, so that can cause a big time problem. Even dousing yourself in water is possible without polishing your shoes, so you’ll not want to be dressed to the nines and ready to hit the town.
– Take measures to protect your floor and the surrounding area. Once again, this could be simply with polish, just normal old water, or with another type of shoe cleaner. Just make sure you protect your surroundings. Polish can ruin carpet or hardwood, so putting a newspaper down is a good idea. A towel can work for water and many other cleaners, too, so that’s an option for you!
The Top Nine Shoe Shine Kits of 2019 Reviews
Otter Wax Leather Care Kit
Kicking off our list is this kit from Otter Wax. Coming with saddle soap, leather salve, leather oil, boot wax, and a flannel buffing cloth, this is a four step system that will help consistently revitalize your leather boots back to their original state. This kit is made to bring you a ‘customized’ sort of feel, working to not only shine and clean your shoes but also to protect them over the long haul. Made from all natural ingredients, this kit is going to make a lot of people happy that they are not harming the environment in any way by using it. All of the products are made by hand, too, in the United States, which is a very nice personal touch that helps give you a lot more confidence. It’s got a great smell to it and a decent price as well, so you’re going to find a whole lot to like and very little to hate about it all!
- Cleans and protects leather
- All natural ingredients
- Smells great and doesn’t linger
Maximilian Deluxe Business Leather Shoe Care Kit
Up next is another leather shoe care kit, and this one is made for someone that is a bit more into business attire than the more rugged kind of look. Coming in at a cheaper price than the Otter Wax offering, this kit comes equipped with two applicator brushes, a horsehair brush, two sets of polish, and a cloth to help you negotiate your way through making those shoes look like new again. It all comes in a nice, neat, and compact carrying case, too, which of course is going to be a necessity as you travel and move about. One thing you always tend to worry about with products bought online is their quality, but they have gone a long way toward soothing your mind with a lifetime warranty on this kit. That should help you rest easier and make it more of a slam dunk decision!
- Lifetime warranty offered
- Nice and neat case
- Great for travel and business use
Tobion Shoe Shine Kit With PU Leather Case
Coming up next on our list is a very affordable option that has a ton of versatility built into it. This kit, equipped with a PU leather case that will help you carry your products around without much fuss, comes with a couple of applicator brushes, a brush, three sets of polish (black, neutral, and brown), two cloths, and more! One of the things that you will notice is that this is a super tiny set, which can be good and bad. The good thing is that it’s great for travel, but the negative is that it’s not going to last as long. So you’ll definitely not want to pick this if you have a lot of need for a shoe shine at home. With a money back guarantee attached to it, though, it’s hard to overlook this kit and has to be one that you seriously consider for the money.
- Very reasonable price
- Great for on the road use
- Money back guarantee
- Too small for some people
FootFitter Grand Cedar Velvet Shoe Shine Kit
If a more ‘deluxe’ and luxurious set is what you have on your mind, then look no further. This kit goes above and beyond both in terms of price and the plethora of items on hand. With 17 total items, this set puts many to shame, though, as mentioned, you do have to pay quite a pretty penny to acquire it. With German made brushes that have had a lot of careful details paid to them, a very nice Cedar chest that has brass inner workings on it, four creams, and a bristle brush that they have specially designed, hardly any detail is looked over. This is the kind of set you want if you are ultra serious about your shoes being cleaned and shined, there is just no way around stating that very fact. One thing you may not like is that the box has arrived with some issues before, so that might be the only thing, with price, that could scare you a bit.
- Tons of items
- Huge attention to details
- Very serious cleaners need this
- High price
- Box has some craftsmanship woes
ECCO Shoe Care Kit
ECCO may not be a company you are aware of, but you should be. They make leather products, but they also, apparently due to these, also make products that are made to clean them as well. Tested in their lab, this kit is able to clean, care, and protect your shoes from all of the troubles they might face. With a foam cleaner, a cream cleaner that helps smooth out leather, a repel spray, a multi brush that can do multiple things, and a cloth, you get everything that you need. One of the main positives you’ll see on show from this kit is that they work on a range of leathers, helping you to be able to get to work on nubuck and full grain, as well as some others. A bit of a negative is that it doesn’t have the best carrying case, so you’ll need to scrounge up a way to lug it all around.
- Lab tested
- Multiple options for various leather types
- Lots and lots of versatility
- Not a great case to carry them with
ShoeAnew Sneaker and Shoe Cleaner Kit
If general scuff repair, taking off marks, and getting rid of some dirt is what you need, ShoeAnew can help you reach those goals. This shoe cleaner works on a range of shoes due to the fact that it uses a microfiber cloth and nylon brush to make sure that you don’t end up doing damage to your shoes. It’s a tough substance that will cut through the grime, but it is friendly to the environment and is not toxic. It’s also got a formula to help ensure it will not stain your shoes, like so many that are found on the market. It takes a very small amount as well to get the job done, comes at a good, low, fair price, and also features a money back guarantee within 30 days if you aren’t happy. As far as versatility goes, it’s a no-brainer to take a good, long look at this offering.
- Works on many material types
- Won’t damage or stain shoes
- Money back guarantee
Kiwi Select Velvet Shoe Care Kit
Kiwi is very, very well known for shoe cleaning products, so it’s no shock at all to see them on the list here at #7. Featuring a nice looking box, this kit stores two tins of paste, two soft cloths, two sponge daubers, two shine brushes made from horsehair, and a shoe horn to complete the package. That’s a ton of items, and you get them all at a pretty reasonable price, though it’s higher than most of the items on the list, for obvious reasons. The polish and the brushes are exceptional at doing their jobs. They are easy to use and they really shine up your leather shoes with aplomb. The issues arise with the box, which is just not near study enough for the job. The poor construction is disappointing to many, so that’s something you might want to consider if you are counting on something good to carry your things with.
- Trusted name in shoe care
- Lots of items to shine up shoes
- Excellent polish and brushes
- Poor construction of box
Stone and Clark 12PC Shoe Polish and Care Kit
Here is another pick for a kit that’s easy to carry around during travel. This kit comes with 12 pieces, including three polishes, a shoe horn, three buffing cloths, two sponges for shining, and a buffing brush. All of that comes with a compact PU leather carrying case that makes them easy to keep up with and lug around from place to place. The price you pay is quite low, and that can be a great thing for you, but it also makes things a bit of pain for some people. They don’t have the best labeling system with this set, so you almost have to guess about what you are doing. It’s also not going to have a ton of polish to it, so if you are a ‘frequent flyer’ it might be best to invest elsewhere.
- Great, low price
- Easy to carry and travel with
- Much better than expected quality
- Not the best labeling
Gear Aid Revivex Leather Boot Care Kit
Rounding out our list today is an offering from Gear Aid that will work to clean leather boots in a number of areas. One way they get to work is by repelling water, doing so by protecting water from damaging the appearance of them due to staining. They also have shown to be great at resisting oil as well, so that’s a great tool to have at your disposal if you’re doing hard labor. Coming with repellent, boot cleaner, a boot brush made just for cleaning boots, and a textured cloth for application, you get a lot of mileage with them. One thing to keep in mind is that this product can cause the shoes, or boots, to get darker. This is not an issue for some, but it has shown to be a problem for some people that underestimated the power of it to do so. So, keep an eye on that!
- Very good price
- Repels and protects from water and oils
- Works brilliantly on boots
- Can darken beyond comprehension
Conclusion And Final Shoe Shine Kits Recommendations
As you can tell from our reviews and our buying guide, there are plenty of ways to clean your shoes. There are ways to do it right and ways to do it wrong, and that’s a very big deal to point out. While your shoes may come back out the other side looking better than before, they might end up having their lifespan and looks compromised later on. This, obviously, is something to be avoided unless you have unlimited resources and just do not care. If you’re here, this is not the kind of person you are, though. Shoe shining is not the easiest or least time consuming thing to do. It does require some time and patience, but at the end of the day, it sure beats many of the ideas that are thrown out their on the marketplace!
FAQ’s About Shoe Shine Kits
Are Clean Shoes Really That Important?
The answer to this is more about what you are looking for than anything. If you don’t care how your shoes look, your answer is very different than others would be. But if you are someone that wants to impress people at a first meeting, clean, sparkly shoes can do the trick. Like a good handshake or respectful attitude, clean shoes can go a long, long way toward driving someone to like you.
Can’t I Use The Washing Machine?
Technically, yes you can do that. But you can also put your shoes in the oven, too. Doesn’t mean that you should, however. Putting shoes in the washing machine is just not a good idea. It can destroy their structural integrity. You may fix one issue, but you will be creating another one. It’s similar to throwing a party and having two doors with just one bouncer. People are going to keep getting in the one side. You’re only masking one problem and creating it elsewhere. It’s really just for the best if you move past this particular method!
Do One-Size-Fits-All Cleaners Work?
While some can, you also need to be careful about this. Cleaners that claim to work automatically for all materials can be dangerous to use because they are not made for the specific challenges of all types. For example, leather and mesh are going to need different processes. You may technically have your shoes cleaned up by a product, but over the long run it could do damage to them. So that should be kept in your mind as you research and shop for the best possible solutions to your problems.