Originally Posted by fritzl
same for me with the mirror shine. didn't know about the drying out issue, though.
well, my only experience on this matter is military.
Issued service boots always receive a mirror shine all over. after a couple of years they seem to always crack. Leather quality is certainly not very good, but i've found that the suede field boots (obviously do not receive any polish) and black field boots that only receive dubbin (as anything shiny could get you killed) tend to last much longer before they crack.
Again, leather quality is questionable, but that's been my experience. I think overdoing the mirror shine is bad for the leather, but a bit of polish here and there is a good thing.
The original tanning is probably far more important.