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Boot Shine -- Share Your Product/Technique Secrets!

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  • #21
    I used creme Kiwi polish and buffed with a little water. Lots and lots of buffing.

    In between classes a lite wipe down with the all purpose towel my dad always had in his belt was all that was needed to keep them shiny.

    My dad was a Marine so I knew how to shine a pair of boots, lol! He wasn't horsey but he knew how to make things shine so my boots and tack always looked sharp.


    • #22
      I don't think you necessarily want hunter jumper boots as shiny as the British army dress boots in the video. You might run the risk of them looking like parent leather or vinyl from a distance. At least I've never seen regular riding boots that shiny.


      • #23
        In between classes just a quick wipe or the little liquid sponge combo of polish. But you need a good base. And good maintenance at home in between shows if wearing a lot. I use the Sergio grasso boot cleaner then murad regularly.


        • #24
          If you use URAD (which has been my personal favorite), wear gloves when you're applying it!


          • #25
            Originally posted by TrophyHusband View Post
            I'd love to hear more about what people are doing at the show itself, between classes.
            If you start out with properly polished boots, just a wipe down with a towel should be sufficient.


            • #26
              I have also found the cream products to be easier for me than the Kiwi stuff!
              Thin layers of polish is important, and that's easier for me to get with the cream

              Keeping them clean and polishing consistently is pretty critical for me, I wear lower-end ariat paddock boots and the leather isn't the greatest quality, so if I don't keep up with cleaning and polishing, it starts to show pretty fast!
              If I wipe down after _every_ ride and polish them every two weeks or so they are so much easier to keep clean! Then a wipe with a soft cotton cloth (maybe a little damp to get any dust off) does wonders.

              I am going to try the pantyhose trick tonight when I polish them tonight!


              • #27
                My husband was Navy and actually enjoys polishing my boots - yay me! lol All he uses is Kiwi polish lightly, lets it dry for about 20 minutes and then uses a buffing brush. It takes him no time at all and very little effort and the boots look fantastic and get many compliments.


                • #28
                  My Dad was in the Air Force and used to shine by boots for me when I was a kid, and taught me his method:

                  Once the boots are clean (just water is good for cleaning, though I also like Castile soap for boot leather), apply a thin coat of Kiwi with a WET cotton ball. Do this for several layers, really rubbing in each coat with the moistened cotton. Then buff to shine with a soft brush (he still has a big soft horsehair brush he always used to shine up boots).


                  • #29
                    I swear by panty hose!

                    Also all the pony girls at my barn are now into something called a Fluffy Monkey (?) for in between classes.


                    • #30
                      It's so easy to do the things that get in the way of a good shine. One sees it all the time at shows.

                      The number one thing, imho, that gets in the way is putting polish on over dirt. When you (OP) see people putting polish on their boots at the show in between classes, that's almost certainly what they're doing. It's a band-aid, but the dirt will always win.

                      My routine follows the simple steps others have already been mentioned. Start with clean boots that have had dirt and dust removed with a barely damp towel or rag. Apply shoe polish (I use Kiwi -- the basic stuff that comes in the flat tin). I use a thick sock (thank you DH!) and put my hand in the sock so that I can really massage the polish into all the nooks and crannies. I do this the night before I start showing. I let the boots sit overnight. In the morning, I buff them out with a soft shoe brush. During the course of the day, I wipe off dirt and dust with a towel. I usually can get 3 - 4 days of showing out of a single shine, and everyone thinks I polish them daily.

                      What will also help is to have on hand a pair of the bootie things that you can put on over the foot part of the boot to keep it clean if you need to walk a course.

                      Another thing that helps is to have a pair of boots dedicated for the shows and not for everyday use!


                      • #31
                        Ok real question. Are we using Kiwi on the new age boots? I have not, I have Ariat Volants.

                        "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries


                        • #32
                          Here's my method. I did a short stint at a show barn with full care grooms. Let me tell you... if anyone knows how to polish boots, it's the girls who don't have to worry about getting their horses tacked up and have time to do a great job every morning! Just stop at the shoe polishing section at Target or the grocery store or whatever and pick up everything you need.

                          - Clean boots with a small amount of water if necessary. Only water. Let dry.
                          - Cream polish, any brand. Make sure it gets in all the crevices. You can skip this step if your boots are already pretty shiny.
                          - Buff with brush.
                          - Normal Kiwi polish.
                          - Buff with brush again.
                          - Get in the cracks, soles, seams, etc or anywhere that doesn't look perfect with the sole and toe cream polish.
                          - Really buff with one of the Kiwi shoe polishing rags.
                          - Top of with one of the pre-wet polish sponges.

                          The more often you polish the more you can just throw on some polish, rub with any old rag, and go. My show boots wouldn't need all these steps to be show ready. My schooling pair on the other hand would absolutely need all of the above.


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Xctrygirl View Post
                            Ok real question. Are we using Kiwi on the new age boots? I have not, I have Ariat Volants.

                            I have the Volant S and think Kiwi is best for this very stout leather that doesn’t want to take a gloss! Kiwi Parade Gloss, warmed with a lighter, buffed for 20 minutes with a brush, and wiped with a cloth at ringside.
                            "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden


                            • #34
                              URAD and Horseman's Choice leather cleaner to get rid of the dirt.


                              • #35
                                original volants because I'm too comfort driven to buy actual dressage boots (and spend my money on driving equipment) and yes, I use Urad polish to a shine them up.
                                Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                                • #36
                                  I also support the pantyhose idea. I buff with a shoe shine brush and then put a knee high pantyhose sock over the shoe shine brush and go right back over the boot again.


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Natalie View Post
                                    My Dad was in the Air Force and used to shine by boots for me when I was a kid, and taught me his method:

                                    Once the boots are clean (just water is good for cleaning, though I also like Castile soap for boot leather), apply a thin coat of Kiwi with a WET cotton ball. Do this for several layers, really rubbing in each coat with the moistened cotton. Then buff to shine with a soft brush (he still has a big soft horsehair brush he always used to shine up boots).
                                    Yes! My dad was also in the Air Force and he loved to shine my boots for me (he said the only time they weren't yelling at you in the Air Force was when you were shining your shoes, so to him it became a super relaxing activity). He too used the moistened cotton balls; he swore spit was the best thing to use but because I whined about having spitty boots he would just use water.

                                    My boots always looked so good that a Pony Club judge at rally said she was going to come by my tack room later to find out my secrets. I laughed nervously and ran away, since my secret was that I didn't do them myself.


                                    • #38
                                      izzy98 I'm really laughing at "whined about having spitty boots" lol. Yeah, that could well be why my Dad used water too. I'll have to ask him if he did ever actually "spit" shine.


                                      • #39
                                        For in between classes use a clean polishing rag. Kiwi makes them I think, but I use microfiber cloths most often.

                                        My mom got me a "fluff monkey" that I use to get the daily dust and dirt off, but it doesn't keep the shine as well as nylon or my polishing cloth in my opinion.

                                        Also some boots are made with leather that is "glossed", patent or matte. The different leathers take to polishing differently. My heel and toe caps were made with polished leather, so the shine real easy. The boot shaft is shiny, but not made with the same leather so I have to work way harder to get them shiny.

                                        Years of *thin* layers of polish will create a lovely long lasting shine. My 15 year old boots almost look patent from the years of care. They take no effort to get shiny between uses. My 4yr old boots are harder to keep a mirror finish on because we haven't built up the strong layer of wax yet.


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by kmwines View Post
                                          Just get yourself some good kiwi polish. Cheap at the grocery store. Slightly damp rag/little bit of water in the polish. Use pantyhose for extra shine. Google marine spit shine videos if you want extreme shine.

                                          also depends on the boot leather. My newer boots just dont get as shiny.

                                          I also use murad for quick shine. Either clear or black. Apply, let dry and buff.
                                          this exactly. Now if you have a run in your hose (if you wear them) you don't have to toss them out, shine your boots with them. And I also agree with some of the comments here that said that some boots just won't get that good shine.

                                          No saddle soap or oil. Vogels used to make a boot cream/conditioner in a white bottle - that stuff was great and would also give your boots a nice shine - but not like Kiwi and pantyhose.