How To Mirror Shine Shoes in Less Than an Hour – By Kirby Allison

The peak of traditional fashion for men might just well be a proper mirror shine on a fine pair of dress shoes. It sets you apart from other well-dressed individuals by demonstrating the dedication and effort you put into your daily appearance. It is no secret that a proper mirror shine can be, unfortunately, rather time-consuming. You may be looking at a day-long project between applying layer upon layer of polish while waiting for each one to dry.

Thankfully, a great mirror shine doesn’t have to be that exhaustive. With the right tips and know-how, you can achieve a stunning mirror shine on any pair of shoes in less than an hour. Here’s what you will need:

 

Water

Saphir Mirror Gloss Wax Polish

High Shine Chamois or old cotton dress shirt

Fan or blow dryer

Saphir Pate de Luxe Wax Polish

 

 

how to get mirror shine shoes quickly

Using a High-Shine Cotton Chamois, apply Saphir’s Mirror Gloss Polish to your toe caps. Make sure you avoid cracking in the future by not applying any waxes on parts of your shoes that bend or move. Saphir’s Mirror Gloss contains a higher concentration of hard waxes than regular polish, making it indispensable for quick mirror shines. The High Shine Chamois or cotton shirt smoothly applies the polish without any lint or loose threads getting in the way. The high count threading effortlessly glides across the surface of the leather, vastly reducing the amount of effort required to buff it later. Apply a very small amount of water to your chamois whenever you start to feel resistance.

 

how to mirror shine shoes leather

Set your blow-dryer to medium heat and use it on the toe caps of your shoes. This will serve two purposes: it will speed up the drying process and will slightly melt the waxes. Melting the waxes will help the clear up, bringing them closer to that glossy finish. Once your shoes are dry, use a clean portion of your High Shine Chamois or dress shirt to buff the waxes off. Once the waxes are buffed, you are ready for the Pate de Luxe Wax Polish.

 

how to achieve mirror shine shoes hour

Apply Saphir’s Pate de Luxe Wax Polish to your shoes’ toe caps. The Pate de Luxe contains solvents which help further soften the Mirror Gloss, elevating its shine. This will further reduce the number of times you need to apply wax and buff. After applying it, blow dry the toe caps and buff it off with your High Shine Chamois like you did with the mirror gloss.

 

how to mirror shine leather saphir

You are all done! In a short amount of time, with significantly less effort, your shoes will have a stunning shine that elevates your appearance.

 


 

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Cobbler Union’s Euro Trip

Part of Styleforum’s mission is to introduce our community to the “behind the scenes” of a brand, and connect makers with like-minded connoisseurs that appreciate their works.

Cobbler Union, based in Atlanta, is a men’s shoemaker that manufacturers high-quality Goodyear welted shoes in Spain; they produce shoes directly with artisans, creating products that capture their own ethos that are not rebranded makers.

Here’s Daniel Porcelli’s travel journal during his latest trip to Europe, where he visited Cobbler Union’s workshop and sourced the leather for Cobbler Union’s upcoming models.

Much more than a great craft

As I flew over the Italian Alps and prepared for landing at Malpensa Airport in Milan, I was quickly reminded of why I love and respect our craft so much. I started Cobbler Union partly to preserve and respect the artisanship of shoemaking. But, the more time I spend in the industry, the more I realize that what we’re doing is much bigger than that. Cobbler Union is a vehicle that promotes a respect for workmanship and quality, a more beautiful way of life, one which positively affects our extraordinary craft. I consider myself a fortunate man for having the opportunity to do so.

While at the airport, my first cappuccino of the trip reminds me that I have just entered a different world, one full of exquisite aromas, beautiful architecture, elegant men and women, a world that inspires. It reminds me that through the appreciation of life around us that beautiful products can be created.

As I started my eleven-day grand tour in Europe, I was certain of one thing: the cappuccino always comes before the shoes, not the other way around.

  

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The artisans: the heroes in our industry

For me, it is always an honor to visit our artisans in Spain. Their dedication to the shoemaking craft is extraordinary. Put into context, a pair of our Goodyear-welted shoes has more than two hundred processes and tasks executed by twenty-five experienced artisans. These men and women labor on their feet for many hours a day. The art of making a shoe requires sweat and mental dedication as each step in production requires focus and attention to detail.

Today, there are few shoemaking clusters left in Europe. The majority of Goodyear-welted shoes are produced in a handful of towns spread across Spain, England, and, to a lesser extent, Italy. Other countries like Portugal, Hungary, or Romania all make beautiful shoes but, in general, with different methods. The growing scarcity of artisans and the increasing fragility of the industry is why we’ve made it our mission at Cobbler Union to do everything we can to promote our craft as much as we can.

I firmly believe that the more a man appreciates the labor of love behind his shoes, the more he will cherish and enjoy them.

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A great product is the best offense

Most of my trip to Spain was devoted to quality refinement and product development. Cobbler Union’s aim is to produce shoes that compare to legendary brands that oftentimes have a 100-year head start on us. This means we have to be agile, to work resolutely and aim high before we can be recognized among the best classic shoemakers in the world.

On this trip, we started a two-year initiative to implement forty quality improvements spanning product design, fit & comfort, construction, and quality. The goal of this project is for our products to become a benchmark against which new entrants and legacy brands alike are measured.

In addition, I have begun the development process for over twenty-five new models. Many of these will be made on two new lasts that we’ll begin testing in the coming weeks.

There are few things more rewarding than bringing a new product to market.

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 In search of the best leather

While concluding my European tour, I was fortunate enough to attend Lineapelle in Milan. This is our industry’s major trade show where the world’s finest tanneries present their collections. I love attending the event to strengthen relationships with the creators of our industry’s main component. By far, this is my favorite event of the year. Many of these tanneries have been in business for generations and their proprietors are legends in the leather-goods industries.

This year, I found inspiration in the colors and textures of the hides, learning something new with each conversation.

As a maker, we use top grade calfskin, which is one of the ways we set ourselves apart from other shoemakers. All in all, we found some exquisite hides and new interesting colors which will be adding to our collection in the coming months.

Leaving this fantastic trade show was the toughest part of my trip!

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You can connect with Cobbler Union on the Official Affiliate Thread on Styleforum.

Styleforum Maker Space – a.b.k. Leather Products

This January, at Pitti Uomo 93 in Florence, Italy, Styleforum will be hosting its inaugural Maker Space. The Styleforum Maker Space is an open space designed to exhibit the work of small brands and artisans interested in showing to both wholesale buyers and retail consumers. Click on the banner to visit the official page of the event and RSVP as a visitor.


Alya began her career by taking classes in shoemaking, eventually finding a mentor in iconic sandal designer, Barbara Shaum.

Inspired by her experience, Alya began making shoes on her own, recruiting occasional help from her sister Katya and teaching her the craft along the way. Word began to spread, orders for shoes began to increase, and the business was born.

Their work has become known for impeccable craftsmanship, ex­panding well beyond shoes to leather items of all kinds, from the functional to the purely beautiful. Each piece starts with leather that is domestically sourced and tanned without chemicals.

Katya and Alya hand-dye their own leather to achieve the exact color palette desired, then use alcohol water to saturate and stretch it before hand-stitching or stapling the pieces into place to dry.

At the Styleforum Maker Space, you’ll be able to chat with Alya and see her at work. Click here to RSVP, and visit the Styleforum Maker Space Official Thread on the forum.