In the video and article below, Tom Beecroft from The Jaunty Flaneur, a shoe shining company in Mayfair, London explains the key elements you need in a good shoe shine kit.
Horse Hair Brush
You need to start with a horse hair brush. There's not much to choose between different brushes, but opt for a larger one as there's more surface contact per stroke. A good horse hair brush will retail from around £9.
The only other brush you need is a welt brush. This is the skinny brush that fits between the upper and the sole of the shoe. Welt brushes start from £4.
All other creams and waxes can be applied with a cloth. The best cloth I've found is Selvyt, but you can at a push use an old T-shirt as well. A Selvyt cloth retails for around £6.
Creams And Waxes
In terms of creams and waxes, one factory really does stand alone, it's called Arvel in France. They have two major brand names, Saphir Medialle D'Or and La Cordonnerie Anglaise. This moisturiser cream, is by far and away the best I've found. It's not too oily and it does a really good job of nourishing the leather and cleaning it up. Saphir Medialle D'Or cream retails for £10.
You also need to use a coloured shoe cream. There's a very strong colour pigment to these, which rejuvenates the shoe but there's also a lot of bees wax in there so it will start to build a bit of a shine from just using this and then buffing it off. Saphir Medaille d'Or Renovateur cream retails for £12.
Finally of course for that high shine you'll need waxes, and again Saphir is the place to go for that. Very strong natural ingredients which means it won't dry out the leather in the same way that a cheaper brand would. Saphir Medaille d'Or 1925 Beeswax Polish retails for £11.
To get the most out of the shine, you need to use ladies tights. We use 60 Denier, but of course the smoother the shoe the smoother the tights can be. With broguing you might even want to go thicker.
Finally, just on a day to day basis, you need to use shoe trees at the end of the day and then pop them in their shoe bags and then every morning as well don't forget to use a shoe horn to protect your socks and the backs of your shoes. Shoe Trees come in a range of finishes a prices starting from £10.
Watch all the videos in the series here: Gentleman's Shoe Series