May 01, 2016

Spit Shine

In the video below, Tom Beecroft from The Jaunty Flaneur explains the process of a Spit Shine for leather shoes. 


Spit Shine Definition

A Spit Shine is the process of applying thin layers of polish to leather shoes or boots, while also adding a lubricant such as water, which if carefully layered will create a high shine effect. The name historically has it's roots with the military, where soldiers would use their saliva as the lubricant and combining it with the shoe polish to create a mirror like finish on their military boots. 

How To Spit Shine Shoes - Video Transcript 

I'm Tom Beecroft from The Jaunty Flaneur. To make your shoes look even better, there's an extra finish you can add to give your shoes a glass like appearance. You can really only do this on parts of the shoe that do not bend when you are walking, so here at the front and here at the back, but never across the vamp as this can lead to the finish cracking.

It is important that you have a few layers of wax down at this point, so you need to do a normal polish first as shown in our video here: How To Polish Shoes. You can't skip straight to a glaçage as the water can damage the leather.

Using a cloth or a cotton ball, add a little wax, just a touch of water and then work them in tiny circles. Then add a little more wax and water and carry on that same process. This takes time and can't be rushed. Adding too much wax, or too much water or trying to take short cuts can ruin the effect, so you really do have to take your time. After a few layers though you should end up with a mirror finish that looks great and is excellent protection against the elements.

Once you've got the glaçage in the shoe it's relatively easy to keep it there for the future. Just remember to brush down well at the end of every day and add a couple of thin layers of wax now and then.