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  1. #11
    Join Date
    14th December 17
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    Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S.A.
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    I wasn't in the military, but I worked with the USAF and work with the USCG as an Auxiliarist. But even before my interactions with the military, I liked to put a good shine on my dress shoes, black and brown. I even did so for my hiking boots (and still do), but for those I use SnowSeal (basically beeswax) on all of the seams, which I melt into the stitching with a hair dryer, then I polish them well. It all adds to their waterproofing, plus it looks good. When they are muddy, I rinse them off with a hose, dry them and redo the treatment. I've even waxed my waxed-cotton jackets. It takes time, but I always take care of my equipment, even urban dress equipment.
    May you have warm words on a cool evening, a full moon on a dark night, and a smooth road all the way to your door. - Irish Blessing

  2. #12
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    31st May 06
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    One of the perks of traveling for a living is that if I remember to wear a different pair of shoes each week, they all stay shined.

    Stopping in the airport for a shine between flights is a particular luxury that I enjoy.
    Descended from Patiences of Avoch | McColls of Glasgow
    Member, Clan Mackenzie Society of the Americas | Clan Donald USA

    "We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul." (Heb. 6:19)

  3. The Following User Says 'Aye' to revdpatience For This Useful Post:


  4. #13
    Join Date
    21st January 17
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    Wiltshire, England
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    Quote Originally Posted by Father Bill View Post
    What's "bulling"?

    I like shining my shoes, brown or black and I'm proud that I'm good at it. Part of the problem today is that it's hard to get shoes with top-grain leather. It's mostly split and burnished and never does come up to specifications or keep a shine either. I like to melt the wax in with the back of a hot tablespoon heated from the inside over a candle and rubbed HARD on the shoe. Proud to look like I've got mirrors on them when I'm done.
    Very similar to what you have described above, melting the wax into the leather is optional, probably not for general civilian wear as it can to make the leather very stiff if it is deeply melted into the leather.

    My favourite technique is to do the final polish under cold running water using cotton wool, this removes almost all of the tiny scuffs and scratches.

    In depth description from wiki
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bull_polishing
    Last edited by Nomad; 4th September 18 at 01:32 PM. Reason: additional info added

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  6. #14
    Join Date
    7th September 14
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    Edmonton
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    the first polish on the shoe/boot with hot spoon or candle flame method gives an excellent base for future. Happy not to have to spit-polish/bully/cold water polish anymore, but still do for formal shoes. Wax polish only, as some of the liquids seem to separate off the leather over time in splotches.

    I do agree, Tobus, that the more casual atmosphere and fabrication materials make it less likely to see polished shoes under an outfit especially when they are brown..or Keds Some shoes and boots are sold looking scruffy!! All about styles in/styles out, but I'll put my own TI on my shoes TYVM. Any direct correlations to unkempt shoes is probably neither fair nor scientific, so I try not to presume.

    I've had beautiful brown brogue uppers re-soled 3 times. Hoping the shop never closes
    Last edited by Taskr; 4th September 18 at 02:06 PM.

  7. #15
    Join Date
    24th January 17
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    Ellan Vannin
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaunMaxwell View Post
    I've tried that, but didn't have a good result.
    Suprised, I always never spotted any problem with them, but I guess it depends who does the soling & with what?

  8. #16
    Join Date
    27th October 09
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    Kerrville, Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaunMaxwell View Post
    I too appreciate a pair of well-polished shoes, but when it comes to brown shoes ó which I almost always end up wearing with my kilt (because the few occasions I have to wear kilts tend to be at Highland games, conducted during daytime hours) I have a tendency to oil them with Red Wing boot oil, which darkens the leather and eliminates the need for polishing.

    ...

    I know Jock Scot will may comment on the "chunky" soles, but I find that they're much more comfortable for wear on the streets of downtown Houston ó or the uneven grounds at the Highland games. It's been my experience that they provide better traction, last longer and generally go unnoticed, as folks rarely see the soles of my feet.
    I'm with you on the soles being much more practical. I think I had mentioned in another thread at some point that I was considering having someone tack on some tread (or at least a rubber straip) to my leather-soled brogues for traction. There's nothing fun about walking around in wet grass or sandy pathways or gravel whilst wearing hard leather soles. They're not much fun on slick floors either. In fact, I can't think of any place where hard leather soles are an advantage except for the dance floor. And I'm not a dancing kind of fellow.

    Your oiled leather brogues look fine, and are much more practical for the events where I see you in person. As someone else mentioned, I can polish my shoes at home, but by the time I stroll up to my friends at the Highland Games, they're already covered in dust and my efforts have been in vain. For activities out-of-doors, polishing doesn't go very far. At least, not here in Texas. But I can generally get through the work day at my office without too much trouble, at least.

  9. #17
    Join Date
    27th October 09
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    Quote Originally Posted by revdpatience View Post
    Stopping in the airport for a shine between flights is a particular luxury that I enjoy.
    I tried that once, and won't do it again. They looked great for about 30 minutes, but after that it was just a mess. Those shoe-shine guys at the airport use some kind of liquid stuff that lets them get a mirror shine in about 3 minutes without any of the work, and it nearly ruined my shoes. It took me a long time to get them back to where I wanted them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taskr
    Any direct correlations to unkempt shoes is probably neither fair nor scientific, so I try not to presume.
    Agreed, I wouldn't make any value judgments about anyone based on whether they shine their silly shoes or not. There are a lot more important things in life for people to focus on, and the condition of their shoes has nothing to do with character or anything. I just wonder about the reasons, though, for it dying off as part of the traditional look for a well-dressed man. Apparently socks are optional nowadays too, and I can't figure that one out. Grown men wearing business suits and leather shoes with no socks ...that would drive me nuts.

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  11. #18
    Join Date
    5th August 14
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    Oxford, Mississippi
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    The highest shine (on all leather including the belt) I ever had was when I was on Honor guard in the US Army (two week duty). I bought those items from the former Sgt. and sold them to my replacement. Those were the days.

    I brush and wash my brown boots and shoes now and oil them instead of polish. For my black shoes I use a paste wax on the uppers and a liquid "scuff-proof" polish on the sole edges. I'll take a new pair of shoes and seal the seams using an old tooth brush and oil before I put polish on.

    I dare not try for the mirror finish I learned in the military but like a shiny satin overall. A good shoe brush, a rag soaked in polish, a buffing rag and five minutes per shoe gives me the "ready to dance" finish I'm after.

  12. #19
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    9th July 15
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    I really want to do it for myself - the wooden box with the shoe rest, brushes, etc - but just donít have the time to devote. Plus, in my parts, there is a wonderful shoe repair/cobbler that has been around forEVER, and I think I would feel bad not supporting such an intensely local and valuable business.
    In another context, I love the ASMR shoe cleaning and shining videos. You have to sift through the chaff, but some have wonderful cloth and brush sounds!
    "We are all connected...to each other, biologically; to the earth, chemically; to the universe, atomically...and that makes me smile." - Neil deGrasse Tyson

  13. #20
    Join Date
    8th September 16
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    To this day, every one of my leather shoes are spit polished the old fashion military way, as I was in the US Coast Guard Honor Guard, and you had to do this daily. There is nothing like a clean pair of highly polished shoes. I make sure each pair is put back with shoe trees, I really do take care of my shoes. I was brought up to do so, because shoes were expensive, and we only got about two pair a year, one for beginning of school year, and one pair for Easter Sunday. Sneakers for summer.
    Allan Collin MacDonald III
    Grandfather - Clan Donald, MacDonald (Clanranald) /MacBride, Antigonish, NS, 1791
    Grandmother - Clan Chisholm of Strathglass, West River, Antigonish, 1803
    Scottish Roots: Knoidart, Inverness, Scotland, then to Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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