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spit shine question

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by changy, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. changy

    changy Well-Known Member

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    This might sound like a silly question but: what's the best way to do a spitshine at home.

    I'm referring to the process of dragging a footlong piece of cloth across my toes back and forth. I've been asking my gf to wear my shoes while I shine them but I think she's getting tired of it. I also tried wearing the shoes, sit on the floor and crunch over while I shine but it is an awkward position and I've not been as sucessful with the shine. Any tips would be appreciated.
     
  2. Blackhood

    Blackhood Well-Known Member

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    Maybe a valet box?
     
  3. ter1413

    ter1413 Well-Known Member

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    IMO, a spit shine is not needed. If you polish and use a good horsehair brush, spitshine is not necessary!
     
  4. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Well-Known Member

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    IMO, a spit shine is not needed. If you polish and use a good horsehair brush, spitshine is not necessary!

    +1 but I have done it in the past just by holding the shoe in my hand.
     
  5. Chargersfan

    Chargersfan Well-Known Member

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    Aug 10, 2009
    This might sound like a silly question but: what's the best way to do a spitshine at home.

    I'm referring to the process of dragging a footlong piece of cloth across my toes back and forth. I've been asking my gf to wear my shoes while I shine them but I think she's getting tired of it. I also tried wearing the shoes, sit on the floor and crunch over while I shine but it is an awkward position and I've not been as sucessful with the shine. Any tips would be appreciated.


    Dragging a 'footlong cloth back and forth' is buff shining...spit shining is a whole different kind of hell. It takes a bit of work and practice to get good at it...

    PS first things first....shoe trees....
     
  6. Raralith

    Raralith Well-Known Member

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    Here's a good video from Ede and Ravenscroft that Leffot posted a few years back -> http://blog.leffot.com/2008/08/27/bulling-your-shoes/

    As for the spit shine aka bulling, I like it on some of my cap toes. If you've ever been to the John Lobb Botique in Costa Mesa, all the cap toes there have this particular look since the sales associate that does the shining (Hong Lee I believe) does it this way.
     
  7. changy

    changy Well-Known Member

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    May 9, 2008
    Here's a good video from Ede and Ravenscroft that Leffot posted a few years back -> http://blog.leffot.com/2008/08/27/bulling-your-shoes/

    As for the spit shine aka bulling, I like it on some of my cap toes. If you've ever been to the John Lobb Botique in Costa Mesa, all the cap toes there have this particular look since the sales associate that does the shining (Hong Lee I believe) does it this way.


    That's a great link, though the camera man needs to learn to focus

    Dragging a 'footlong cloth back and forth' is buff shining...spit shining is a whole different kind of hell. It takes a bit of work and practice to get good at it...

    PS first things first....shoe trees....


    Thanks for the clarifications. the real "spit shine" seems like a PITA.
     
  8. clip

    clip Member

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    IMO, as ex-Army, bulling your civvy shoes is a waste of time. The amount of time you put into it for what is essentially a short-lived and impractical result. I can't see how bulled shoes will last more than an hour in the average business or social environment. Nothing looks worse than bulled toecaps with a huge gash in them where someone has stepped on your foot on the train - and its something which is completely impractical to fix at work or wherever.

    If you want that look, either buy patent leather shoes, or you can go on a quest for the "bull paint" which never really works, although you'll find dozens of people that will claim that yacht varnish or Jet-fighter-nose-cone-paint does the trick.
     
  9. IronRock

    IronRock Well-Known Member

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    over there
    IMO, as ex-Army, bulling your civvy shoes is a waste of time. The amount of time you put into it for what is essentially a short-lived and impractical result. I can't see how bulled shoes will last more than an hour in the average business or social environment. Nothing looks worse than bulled toecaps with a huge gash in them where someone has stepped on your foot on the train - and its something which is completely impractical to fix at work or wherever.

    If you want that look, either buy patent leather shoes, or you can go on a quest for the "bull paint" which never really works, although you'll find dozens of people that will claim that yacht varnish or Jet-fighter-nose-cone-paint does the trick.


    Def ex British Army.

    I hear what your saying ref cracks and gashes but the secret to getting a high bulled shine on civvy shoes without the cracks n gashes is not to layer up first.

    For those who don't know, when we were taught to bull our boots in the (British although I am sure the process is the same all over the world) Army we had to put layer upon layer of polish on to the leather first, letting it dry between layers, usually 15+. You then carried out the bulling procedure (as shown in leffot video above).

    The initial layers of polish gave the boot a beautiful if ephemeral smooth glass like shine but the payoff is that it cracked, shattered and gouged very very easily. Perfect for pre-parade ground inspection but useless for a commute.

    It is easy enough to bull ones shoes without layering up first, you'll never get the parade shine (if you'd even want it) but you will get a nice deep colour and a good shine. Remember to strip the wax off every few months in order to condition the leather.

    Personally I think it looks very smart.
     
  10. Raralith

    Raralith Well-Known Member

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    Los Angeles
    My cap toe shines stay glossy relatively long, probably 3-4 wears, and with 10 pairs in rotation, I get a good month. I don't need to take the train or walk long distances though, I mean I get in my car, drive to work, go into my office, do work, etc... They definately last a lot longer than just a few hours though.
     
  11. SilvioDante

    SilvioDante Member

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    Jan 21, 2011
    Try Kiwi Parade Gloss. I use a slightly damp cotton ball, and spread a thin layer of kiwi on the shoe and buff it in a circular motion using the same cotton ball. Dont cake it on. With a little practice you'll learn to buff to a nice shine. I've been able to make some really old beat up shoes look new again. You do have to be careful, as the shoe will scuff easily. I've never had a problem with it cracking though as someone else mentioned.
     
  12. ktrp

    ktrp Well-Known Member

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    I wear the shoes for that step.
     
  13. Mr. Lee

    Mr. Lee Well-Known Member

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    Where I am now, idn't it?
    The spit shine derives from the military and is generally used in conjunction with a high-gloss "parade" model of the Kiwi brand of polish. Adding moisture adds a little exta shine. Spitting is a handy way to supply it. I use Meltonian cream (I know many SF'rs deride it as cheap, but it has been around a while is more readily available than some brands I have seen recommmended) and yes, I will spit on the area of the toe prior to buffing. I suppose a mister with water would be more hygenic, but there's only so much shit you can have in your shine box. You've always got your spit on!
     
  14. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    IMO, as ex-Army, bulling your civvy shoes is a waste of time. The amount of time you put into it for what is essentially a short-lived and impractical result. I can't see how bulled shoes will last more than an hour in the average business or social environment. Nothing looks worse than bulled toecaps with a huge gash in them where someone has stepped on your foot on the train - and its something which is completely impractical to fix at work or wherever. If you want that look, either buy patent leather shoes, or you can go on a quest for the "bull paint" which never really works, although you'll find dozens of people that will claim that yacht varnish or Jet-fighter-nose-cone-paint does the trick.
    I'm ex-military too (if you want to count a 3 year hitch here and in SE Asia). But I learned to spitshine Corcorans, and consequently other shoes, while serving stateside (forget spitshining jungle boots). As mentioned, if you build a spitshine slowly it will last. My wife and I dance almost every weekend and I don't have to renew my spitshines more than once every couple of months. They aren't pristine mind you...nothing could be in that environment...but a quick, light-handed buff with a woman's nylon will restore the shine almost 99%. There's lots of ways of "faking" a spitshine...or hurrying it. And they all probably work. But trying to sidestep the time and the "work" only results in a much more fragile shine and/or one that isn't quite "right," as who should say.
     
  15. ktrp

    ktrp Well-Known Member

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    toronto
    Why isn't she shining your shoes? You must be a pussy whipped mangina brought up by an unwed mama[​IMG]

    You've met a woman who can shine shoes? You sure its not a post-op transexual?
     
  16. Orgetorix

    Orgetorix Well-Known Member

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    Louisville, KY
    OP, if you need something to hold your shoe while you buff, consider a Shine Butler. It mounts to the wall and holds your shoes steady while you shine.

    [​IMG]
     

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