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Polishing question


Jul 1, 2017
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Recently got into wearing higher quality dress shoes, and now have 6 pairs of Allen Edmonds. I've looked at shoe care products and how-to videos on shoe shining, but am still left with a few questions.
For each shoe, my process is to apply AE leather conditioner, then AE cream polish, and finish up with 2 Saphir wax polishes for that mirror glass shine.

1. How do you keep the color from coming off on your polishing cloth? Even after I give the cream polish a day to dry, it still rubs off a significant amount onto the cloth when moving onto the wax polish step.

2. When doing periodic shoe shines. will conditioner and cream polish penetrate through the wax or will it just sit on top of the wax? I see guides that say you should do a shoe shine anywhere from every 2 weeks to every few months depending on your usage. The thing is that I keep the AE's under the desk at work so they don't a lot of outside exposure, and so they just don't get dirty. The original wax layers I put on them 3 months ago still look good. At this rate, I'm not sure how often I'm supposed to do a shoe shine, and if I do, do I just keep adding on more wax? I rather not strip the shoe of everything and redo it all unless I have to.



Senior Member
Jan 16, 2016
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  1. You are using too much polish. Try multiple thin layers as opposed to one thick layer.
  2. Every 2 weeks is definitely overkill. There are two reasons for polishing shoes: nourishment of the leather and appearance. For the leather to be well nourished, conditioner or cream every few months is sufficient. But if your shoes look dull in a month, and appearance is important to you, then you might want to polish more frequently, but it's not required for the health of the leather.


Well-Known Member
May 6, 2017
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I polish my shoes once per week but I'm hard on them and it's a nice Sunday routine for me.

It sounds like you're using too much wax polish.
Wax is great for building up the toe cap and getting a mirror shine but otherwise I mainly use the cream on the rest of the shoe and occasionally will follow it up with a light coat or two of wax polish for waterproofing as my shoes see a lot of outdoor use.
If you're in an office all day then realistically you don't need to use wax polish anywhere but the toe and heel. Apply the cream polish to the rest of the shoe and buff it off, that will care for your leather long term much more than any wax polish.


Distinguished Member
Mar 15, 2006
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  1. Probably too much polish but some drift is inevitable. Wash the piece of rag you are using.
  2. Infrequently. This board tends to be a marketing person's mecca - with over emphasis on creams, polishes and other unctions on shoes. The leather comes from cows, no one polishes their cows to my present knowledge! It is far more resilient than most seem to (want to) give it credit I feel.

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