Originally Posted by archetypal_yuppie
Well I, for one, am disinclined to put alcohol on my shoes. It probably will sit on top of the wax for the most part, but surely some will get into the leather, and alcohol is very effective at drying out pretty much anything.
Separately, I don't like the mirror look. Shiny, sure, but not crazy patent-leather-looking shiny.
Almost all shoe polish contains solvents, that is the main reason they smell the way they do, so a little alcohol is not going to cause a problem. In fact Olga Berluti (a very well known bespoke shoe maker) recommends using Champaign when polishing shoes (as part of a ritual). I personally prefer using Sauvignon Blanc.
Certainly, a mirror shine is not for every kind of shoe, or every kind of person, but the purpose of a well glazed shoe shine is not to make it look like patent leather. The purpose of a well glazed shoe shine is to give depth to the look of the leather and show off the nuances of the patina. The better the quality of the leather, the more impressive the results of the process will be.