How to Polish Military Parade Boots

Updated April 08, 2017

Other than serving as a symbol for the military's attention to detail and standard of excellence, shined shoes are the best protection of servicemen and women's feet. Military shoes are all-purpose, genuine leather, footwear designed for any terrain and weather. Polishing these shoes helps to waterproof the leather and increase the lifespan of the shoe. For this reason, military parade boots are often shined to a glass-finish, which serves the dual function as a symbol of military perfection and practical foot protection during long parade marches.

Remove the shoelaces and clean the boot. Use a shoeshine brush or damp rag to clean any dust and dirt from the boot's surface. Allow the boots three to five minutes to air dry.

Use a shoe polish brush or cotton ball to apply a generous amount of shoe polish over entire outer surface of the boot -- with the exception of the rubber trim around the bottom or sole of the boot. An effective method of applying this polish is to dab the brush or cotton ball in the polish and massage the polish into the leather of the boot using a small circular motion. Continue this process until you have covered the entire surface of the boot, including all cracks and creases. Allow 15 minutes for the polish on the boot to air dry.

Buff the boot by vigorously brushing the polished surface with a shoeshine brush. Place your hand inside the boot to hold it in place and use a single direction swiping motion -- moving from the heel of the boot to the toe, from the ankle to the bottom, and from the tongue to the toe.

Dip the corner of a rag or cotton ball in water and remove any excess water so it is damp, but not too wet. Dip the rag or cotton ball in the shoe polish and massage, in small circular motions, over the entire surface of the boot -- focus on the toe and heel of the boot. Using a cotton ball, this process can take approximately 45 minutes to completely cover the surface of both boots with polish. Allow 15 minutes for the polish on the boot to air dry.

Dip the corner of a rag or cotton ball in edge dressing and massage the cream into the rubber bottom or sole of the boot, using small circular motions. Be sure to only use the edge dressing on the edge of the soles and not the bottom of the boots, where the treads are.

Buff the entire surface of the boot with a shine cloth or towel. Over large surface areas, such as the toe and heel, you can use a left to right swiping method; while in the smaller areas, such as around the ankles, you can use a circular motion. To add extra shine, use a hard vigorous circular motion.

Things You'll Need

  • Towel
  • Rag
  • Shoeshine brush
  • Shoe polish brush
  • Cotton ball
  • Shine cloth
  • Shoe polish
  • Edge dressing
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About the Author

Greenville native La Vera Frazier has been writing and directing stage plays since she was 12. Since 2009 Frazier has been writing entertainment-related articles that have been published on various websites. She holds a certificate as PCT/CNA from Greenville Tech. She is also completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Lander University.