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Help me find a good shoe care kit

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    Help me find a good shoe care kit

    So it was actually my wife who has asked me to find a good shoe care kit since she has some busted up leather boots. I've been needing one anyway, so I'm glad she brought it up.

    I can piece something together if I have to, but I'd prefer to just find an all-in-one solution. A valet is optional, but it seems like a cool feature if it doesn't add too much to the cost.

    So far, this one seems to have the best bang for the buck, and I can pick it up locally:

    The down side is the lack of separate brushes. Also, it may be a bit small to fit everything if I buy more stuff.

    This one has a bigger box and multiple brushes, but costs more and has no soap or neutral creme polish:

    For what it's worth, between my wife and I, we have quite a few pairs of shoes in black and in various shades of brown. So we're looking for a versatile kit.

    I'd like to keep the cost under $100, but if I'm spending anywhere near that much, I better be getting a LOT for my money.


    I really like mine from Brooks Brothers. I got it during their after Christmas sale for like $76 + shipping and tax. They also have a $10 off for first time online orders:



      I see this one:

      It comes with black and cordovan creme polishes. I could probably get away with using the cordovan-colored polish on my chili-colored shoes, and I can always buy another tube of neutral or light brown polish for my walnut shoes. They have a selection of creme polishes here:

      Would something like that be suitable? It's not a particularly large box, but it seems to fit everything in the picture.



        @JC: Yeah, I remember when you picked that up. I thought about it, too, but I waited too long. I can't justify paying full price (or even $10) for it, though.



          Yeah, best to not mention the price you got it for, JC. =P



            LOL I already know what he paid because I was looking at it when it was on sale, too. But if I bought it back then, it would have come out of my personal clothing budget. Now, it'll come out of the joint budget. *shrug*



              I used to want to get a cedar valet like my dad had as a kid. Now I just keep things in a previously unused drawer in the bathroom. My kit started off with Allen Edmonds. It contains the following:

              Shoe polish in black and walnut (love these tubes compared to using tins and cloths)


              Edge dressing in black and brown


              Two large brushes (one for my black shoes another for my brown shoes)


              I also have a pair of daubers, but really never use them


              And for good measure I also have a few sets of shoe trees


              and their brass shoe horn (which is awesome!)


              I need to find some neutral cream for some new shoes, but the above kit does what I need it to do.



                Has anyone seen just the cedar valet for sale without the stuff inside?



                  Yeah, they sell them on from both Woodlore and Rochester for $40-70.



                    I use an old vinyl shopping bag, that I've had to patch with duct tape over the years that I keep all my shoe care stuff in.

                    I have a mixture of Angelus polishes and Meltonian creams in many colors that I've accumulated.

                    I apply and buff with old Hanes t-shirts. I have an applicator, that I never use and a brush that I rarely use. I also use a water spray bottle.

                    I have some Fiebing's Edge Dressing, but IMO it's a waste of money. It's messy and doesn't stick. I end up using polish on the edges.

                    I do have Fiebing's Salt Stain Remover, which smells awful and kind of seems to work. It would works better to just wipe off the water as soon as you can.

                    I also have Montana Pitch Blend for my boots.

                    Finally, a box of vinyl gloves. I tend to shine all my shoes at the same time and it can take me a while, so it's easy to keep my hands clean this way.



                      I use all AE polish materials. I've found them to be the easiest to apply, and work well with many different shoe brands.

                      I pieced my own kit together when purchasing items little by little as needed. During xmas sales, they have many of their items for very cheap. Making daubers, brushes, and polish very very affordable. Polishing cloths were like 1.19. With 30-40 bucks, you can get a great arsenal of polishing items to complete a kit. I would not look past it while doing your shopping.



                        Sounds like you and I have got a pretty similar setup, Chareth. I've got saddle soap and a few different polishes from Kiwi, a few colors of Meltonian cream, Obenauf's LP and Schnee's leather conditioner for heavier-duty items like boots.

                        For conditioner, I apply with bare hands; polish with an applicator; saddle soap and polishing cream with rags cut from old undershirts and underwear (a tip I picked up from my dad, who cleans his guns with old clothes rags). I buff with those rags, too. My applicators are color dedicated (one black, one brown). One thing I recently added to my kit was a hairdryer that I picked up for $15 at Costco. I use it especially with Obenauf's, which is a lot more effective when you really melt it into the pores of the leather.

                        I use Kiwi edge dressing, which I find to be very effective, but it stains things easily so I always make sure to do it over old newspapers or bags.

                        I keep everything in an old overnight luggage bag thing that I somehow inherited from my mom, which is too small for me to use as actual luggage.