• I'm happy to introduce the Styleforum Happy Hour, our brand new podcast featuring lively discussion about menswear and the fashion industry. In the inaugural edition, a discussion of what's going on in retail today. Please check it out on the Journal. All episodes will be also be available soon on your favorite podcast platform.

  • Styleforum Gives - Holiday Charity Auction 4: Goodyear welted shoes from Cobbler Union

    We are very proud to present this year's edition of the Styleforum Holiday Charity Auctions, this year in support of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Spokane (www.rmhcspokane.org). Each Auction lasts 24 hours. Please follow and bid on all the auctions.

    The 4th auction is for a pair of Goodyear welted Shoes from Cobbler Union. Please bid often and generously here

    Fok and the Styleforum Team.

  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

What's the difference between a polish and a shine?

mrchapel

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2006
Messages
679
Reaction score
1
Simple:

Polishing is the act of making something shine; you polish your shoes so they will shine. A shine is merely a reflection of light. To make something shiny, you need to polish it.
 

Concordia

Distinguished Member
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Messages
6,642
Reaction score
978
Hitler never crossed the Shine frontier.
 

grimslade

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Mar 31, 2006
Messages
10,883
Reaction score
49
But he did cross the Rhine. Perhaps that's the source of the confusion...
 

odoreater

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
8,739
Reaction score
43
Wait a minute, I think we're missing something though. Sometimes I use polish on my shoes to cover up little scuffs and to liven the leather up but it doesn't necessarily make them shiny. Other times I use wax on my shoes to make them shine. I think there's a difference. Is anybody with me?
 

grimslade

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Mar 31, 2006
Messages
10,883
Reaction score
49
Well, polish can be a verb or a noun. The noun refers to the stuff in the little tins that we put on our shoes. We then polish (v) them to make them shine. Or we shine them to make them Polish.

Wait, that's not right. The verbs, polish and shine, are, in my experience, interchangeable. There's not some thing we have done to our shoes (or do ourselves) that is a polish rather than a shine. That's what I took the OP to be asking. My answer is that, as verbs, they mean the same thing.
 

odoreater

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
8,739
Reaction score
43
After looking up the word "polish" in the dictionary it seems that to polish something could mean to "shine" it (so sometimes we polish our shoes to make them "shine), but it could also mean to "smooth" it (so sometimes we polish our shoes to make them smooth, i.e., to remove scuffs) so the two words are not exactly interchangeable.

I know sometimes I "polish" my shoes and they do not "shine" afterwards.
 

retronotmetro

Distinguished Member
Joined
May 5, 2004
Messages
1,645
Reaction score
27
Originally Posted by odoreater
Wait a minute, I think we're missing something though. Sometimes I use polish on my shoes to cover up little scuffs and to liven the leather up but it doesn't necessarily make them shiny. Other times I use wax on my shoes to make them shine. I think there's a difference. Is anybody with me?

Semantics are at work here. I call canned shoe polish "polish" and use it to create shine on my shoes. I call jars or tubes of shoe cream "shoe cream" and use them for color, and to a lesser extent, to condition the leather.
 

kronik

Distinguished Member
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
3,944
Reaction score
7
The people at Sky Valet seem to think there's a difference - I was under the understanding that you use the term "polish" to do any sort of minor scuff repair/conditioning, hence odoreater's definition. Shining is a completely superficial matter, which is purely cosmetic, and gives the shoe a high gloss.
 

grimslade

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Mar 31, 2006
Messages
10,883
Reaction score
49
Don't keep us in suspense!
 

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

  • 1 - 4

    Votes: 26 3.4%
  • 5 - 10

    Votes: 132 17.3%
  • 11 - 20

    Votes: 249 32.6%
  • 21 - 30

    Votes: 119 15.6%
  • 31 - 40

    Votes: 68 8.9%
  • 41 - 50

    Votes: 47 6.2%
  • 51 - 60

    Votes: 23 3.0%
  • 61 - 70

    Votes: 21 2.7%
  • 71 - 80

    Votes: 16 2.1%
  • 81 - 90

    Votes: 7 0.9%
  • 91 - 100

    Votes: 8 1.0%
  • 100+

    Votes: 48 6.3%

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
428,717
Messages
9,222,987
Members
193,605
Latest member
Lovemybed
Top