How to Spit Shine your Boots | 10 Steps that Works in 2022

A spit shine is a high-gloss shoe polish that is commonly used on military boots. It gives your boot this irresistible shine that stands out.

Now, most people don’t really know the steps involved in getting that right shine that spits shining your boots give.

In this article, I would be giving a step-by-step guide on how to spit-shine your boots and take care of your boots and shoes with some helpful pro tips. So, let’s not waste any further time and get straight to it.

What is a Spit Shine?

A spit shine is a high-gloss shoe polish that is commonly used on military boots. The level of a soldier’s spit shine on his or her boots is often used to appraise him or her.

A spit shine should provide a surface that is so glossy that it is reflective. Giving one’s boots a beautiful spit shine is a time-consuming task.

Though there are “fast solutions” that appear like a spit shine, individuals who scrutinize uniforms often can tell the difference.

Shoe polish and a dampened towel are the essential components of a spit shine. The job may be done using regular Kiwi polish or a comparable brand.

Cotton balls, a stiff-bristled brush, or a soft-bristled brush, for example, maybe useful for specific phases of the procedure.

What Are The Essential Supplies To Spit Shine Your Boots?

To spit shine your boots, there are certain essential supplies you would need. So, in this section, we put together details of all the supplies you would need to give your boots that shine like you always wanted.

Here are the essential supplies to spit-shine your boots:

Shoe Polish:

You may select between two types of shoe polish: cream and wax. The sort of finish you desire will determine whether you choose a cream polish or a wax polish.

A cream polish may give you less sheen, but it will also moisturize your leather as it absorbs. Be aware that cream polish might alter the color of the leather.

A wax polish, on the other hand, will provide a coating of luster to the leather, as well as conceal scratches and protect it.

Match the polish as closely as possible to the color of your shoe’s leather. (If you’re really hesitant, go with a neutral or uncolored polish, which will simply add gloss and not color.) For a traditional shoe shine, we recommend applying a wax polish (as we did here).

Polishing Cloth:

To shine your shoes, you’ll need a soft polishing cloth. While you may purchase a shoe polishing cloth, an old t-shirt wrapped around two fingers works just as well.

Clean Rag:

This will be used to clean your shoe and remove any extra polish.

Horsehair Buffing Brush:

Brushes created expressly for shoe polishing, such as Alden’s Natural Brush, are recommended. Horsehair brushes are ideal since they are durable but soft enough not to damage leather.

They also assist in raising the fibers of the leather to generate a brilliant shiny surface.

Welt Brush:

This tiny brush will assist you in cleaning the welt strip and applying polish to difficult-to-reach spots.

Saphir’s Pommadier Brush comes highly recommended. An old toothbrush can also be used.

A Cup of Water:

To achieve a “spit-shine” effect.

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How to Spit Shine Your Boots and Shoes

Gather all of your supplies in one place so they’ll be easy to find. Because the shoe-shining procedure might be messy, you may wish to cover the surface you’ll be working on with a towel or newspaper.

Step 1: Remove Laces

To avoid getting the polish on your shoelaces, remove them.

Step 2: Fill Your Shoe

Place a shoe tree in the toe of your shoe or pack it with paper. This will provide you with a stable working platform.

Step 3: Clean Off Dust & Dirt

Remove any dust and debris from your shoes using a dry brush. To get into tight spots, use the welt brush and water, but make sure the leather is totally dry before going on to the following stage. With a little brush, scrub the welt to remove any debris or filth.

Before going on to the following stage, thoroughly check your shoes since the remaining dirt particles might harm the leather during polishing. Using a clean, dry rag, wipe them away.

Step 4: Apply Polish

Apply a little amount of polish to your polishing cloth. Circular motions should be used to apply the wax polish to the shoe’s surface. As a result of the friction, the wax melts somewhat and spreads more evenly.

As needed, add extra polish. Continue until the shoe has taken on a waxy matte appearance.

Step 5: Don’t Forget the Welt

Apply polish to the welt, heel, and any other neglected areas with the welt brush or a toothbrush. Allow 10 minutes for the polish to dry.

Step 6: Buff

Buff the whole shoe with the horsehair buffing brush, moving quickly from side to side. A beautiful sheen will begin to develop.

Step 7: Wipe

Wipe away any excess wax with a rag, being careful to cover every portion of the shoe. Before going on to the next stage, wait at least 10 minutes.

Step 8: Spit Shine

A unique “spit-shine” finish is applied to your shoes. To begin, put a droplet of water on the shoe with your finger.

Rub a tiny bit of polish into the water droplet with the polishing cloth in rapid, small circles. Rep this technique all the way around the shoe.

Wipe down your shoe with a dry piece of the polishing cloth with incomparable quick movements. To your taste, repeat the “spit shine” stage once or twice more.

Step 9: Dry and Re-lace

Allow 10 to 20 minutes for your shoes to dry. Re-lace your shoes after they’ve dried completely. Try adding some colored shoelaces or a unique lacing method to your favorite shoes to make them more interesting.

Step 10: You are done

Once you are done with your relacing and drying, your shoe is ready to go.

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Additional Shoe and boots Care Hints & Tricks

If you keep to these tips and tricks, not only would your shoes and boots last longer but they will retain that shine you love so much for longer as well.

  • If your leather shoes have picked up some of the salty slush of winter, soak them in a cup of warm water with a teaspoon of white vinegar and wipe away salt stains with a towel before shining.
  • To keep your shoes in good repair between wears, put cedar shoe trees in them.
  • When putting on your shoes, always use a shoe horn. By preventing bending and degeneration of the heel structure, this greatly increases the life of the heels.
  • Water and stain protectors should be applied on a regular basis to help protect the leather from the weather.
  • If your shoes’ leather is severely dried up and scuffed, apply a shoe conditioner to bring them back to life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Apply a medium-thick coat of paste polish to the spit-shined area of the boot. Allow five to ten minutes for it to dry. Wrap your index finger with a soft, clean cloth and smooth it out (no wrinkles). You might also use a cotton ball.

“Spit, water, or my own warm breath,” says the narrator. According to him, the water in the polish serves as a lubricant, allowing vigorous rubbing with a cloth to push the polish into the underlying wax, “producing a lasting and mirror-like covering over time.”

The pores/holes only reflect a little amount of light. When shoe polish is applied, it smooths or plugs these gaps, resulting in an even surface that has that wonderful freshly-polished sheen that we all know.

Spit polishing might take as long as you want or as little as you desire. You might spend only 5-10 minutes on each boot for a rapid polish. You may spend 15 minutes to an hour on each boot to get a mirror-like finish.

Soldiers would use their spit as lubrication and combine it with shoe polish to achieve a mirror-like sheen on their military boots, hence the name.

Ceremonial precision and orderliness; orderliness; ceremonial precision and orderliness. (Alludes to meticulously polishing shoes to a high sheen.) Spit and polish are two of my favorite things. It stems from my military service.

It’s the gleam. You spit-shine shoes because of the gleam they generate. It’s a method that works best on smooth leather, however, grained leather might be utilized if you want the glassy “wet paint” effect.


To spit shine your boots is pretty easy and it leaves your boot with this incomparable shine that you can’t just deny.

Even though it is mostly used by the military and people in the force, you can get a good boot shine or shoe shine using this method and applying the steps stated above.


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