To keep new shoes in a mint condition and maintain used ones in a good shape every dancer needs a routine of shoe care. It should be applied to your beauties once every few weeks, and more importantly – before the first dance.
Only well impregnated leather shoes become ready for the dancefloor challenges. Superficial scratches are completely removable from well polished leather. Using good quality shoe care products lets dancers enjoy their beautiful shoes for a longer time.
Michał Breś is a dancer and bootblack from Poznań. He kindly helped us to define 4 steps of shoe care to go through before a swing dance festival.
Before polishing your shoes you should get rid of dirt, dust and previously applied products. A brush with natural bristles is the best for the task. This is also the right moment to fill your shoes with a shoe tree or balled-up paper.
Choose a wax shoe polish in a color that matches your shoes. A darker polish will change the color of your shoe. A lighter wax can leave marks. If you can’t find an appropriate shade you can use a colorless polish.
Take a small amount of wax on the cloth. Apply the polish in small circles. Do not forget about the edges and heels. At this point the leather will become matte. Leave the shoe to dry.
Buff the entire shoe with a brush.
Achieve desired shine with a clean, dry cloth. The more time you spend on this, the shinier your shoes will be! To add even more effect you can use a nylon stocking for polishing.
If you have more time you can additionally use a shoe balm and leather conditioner for a professional approach. It’s also good to wait half an hour to an hour between each step.
Having a shoe shine sponge with glycerine or ordinary wet wipes will help to maintain shoes clean during a social or a trip.
Shoes that are impregnated well are easier to clean – taking off the dust and dirt with a brush is usually enough. After a few weeks its useful to repeat the polishing routine.
Drawings by the amazing Ania Kiedrzynek
Sources: interview with Michał Breś, Shoe Design by Fashionary.