How to Shine Military Dress Shoes

Written by kathryn hatter
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How to Shine Military Dress Shoes
Shine military dress shoes to keep them attractive. (dress shoes image by Chad McDermott from

Military dress shoes must pass inspection with their cleanliness and shine. As you maintain military dress shoes, keeping a proper shine is important for success. If you learn how to shine military dress shoes while you need them perfect for inspections, you will have a skill that will continue to serve you well during life after the military. Shoes with a shine will impress wherever you go.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Newspaper
  • Old bath towel
  • Stiff-bristled brush
  • Old cleaning cloths
  • Shoe polish (colour to match your shoes)
  • Shoe polish brush
  • Cotton balls

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  1. 1

    Spread a thick layer of newspapers over your work area to protect the area from messy shoe polish. Cover the newspaper with an old bath towel.

  2. 2

    Brush the excess dirt from the outsides of your shoes with the stiff-bristled brush. If you find caked-on dirt, moisten your shoes slightly and then brush at the dirt to remove it before you shine the shoes. You must remove dirt and dust completely from the outsides of your shoes before you shine them.

  3. 3

    Allow your shoes to dry if you got them wet during step two.

  4. 4

    Open the shoe polish and dip the shoe polish brush into the shoe polish. Apply the shoe polish to the shoes with the brush, covering all areas of your shoes generously with a thin layer of shoe polish.

  5. 5

    Allow the shoe polish to sit on your shoes for 15 minutes.

  6. 6

    Brush your shoes with the stiff-bristled brush to remove the excess shoe polish. Continue brushing until only a thin layer of shoe polish remains on your shoes.

  7. 7

    Saturate a cotton ball with water so it is damp. Apply a small amount of shoe polish to the damp cotton ball and apply the shoe polish to areas of your shoes that need extra polish (heels and toes of your shoes). Rub the cotton ball in small circles to apply the extra shoe polish to these areas.

  8. 8

    Allow the shoes to dry again for a minute or two and then buff the shoes with the stiff-bristled brush.

  9. 9

    Reload a damp cotton ball with additional shoe polish and repeat steps seven and eight until these dull areas of your shoes have a thick layer of shoe polish. They should shine like a mirror.

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