Hi there, dear reader!
Today we focus on the best shoe wax out there. We have reviewed some of the top brand names – Kiwi, Atsko, Dr. Martens,
and we think we came up with a compilation of the best wax-es in market.
Check out our thorough review below 🙂
Shoe Wax Guide Chart
I noticed in one of the earlier reviews somebody else said that this was “too thick” for street shoes… for those who are urban warriors, don’t despair. This product does indeed work extremely well on dressy shoes, and it doesn’t make said dressy shoes look weird. I used it on a pair of black Ecco sneakers and also Ecco walking boots, and it’s been great. I live in Portland, OR, so it’s not particularly snowy here most of the time, but, well, it rains.
Applying this product will take about 24 hours in total, just because it’s good to let the shoes rest for a while after application so that everything can sink in. I also recommend buying Kiwi’s shoe shine kit if you don’t already have a shining kit on hand; it’s what takes this product and makes it applicable for the city. I did the oven trick – the lowest my oven goes is 170 F, so I preheated it, and then let it cool for about 5 minutes before popping the shoes in the oven to let the leather get nice and warm.
I applied the product with my bare hands so I could make sure to get it into every nook and cranny on the shoes. Make sure to get it around the eyelet holes for shoelaces as well as along the seams. Then I popped the first shoe back in the warm oven while applying product to the second one. Pulled the first one out of the oven when I finished with the second one and added another coat. I have to admit I think I used more of the product than a lot of other reviewers had – I just kept on letting it soak in and heat and soak in until it was obvious that the shoe wasn’t going to absorb any more – and then I took them out of the oven and let them cool.
There were a couple of seams where I had added too much – to avoid a “scaly” look I used a hairdryer to heat the overloaded seams up and just wiped the excess away. Let it cool again. Zero problems. Once that was done I hit the shoes with a shoe shine, and then had them sit undisturbed overnight just to give everything time to set.
This product has turned my leather walking shoes into fierce pieces of rain armor. Now, granted, I haven’t been sloshing through deep puddles with them or anything, but insofar as walking down the street in shoes during a rain, the water just beads off and my feet stay snuggly dry. I have also been sloshing around in wet grass at my friend’s farm while wearing the proofed boots and everything’s been snug as a bug in a rug. This is a fantastic product, considering how well it works and how cheap it is. I would recommend just adding more and more until your shoes can’t take it – I mean, it’s cheap enough, you can afford to be liberal with it.
Additionally, this product does leather repair as well. My lace-up Eccos I’ve had for a couple of years and there were worn areas around the toes; an application of this followed by the shoe shine and they look fresh and rehydrated. All of my leather shoes are black, so I can’t speak on any color-change, but if you have lighter leathers you may want to be more careful. Also, this won’t work on nubuck or suede or patent leathers, since those surfaces can’t really absorb the product. Also also, after application your shoes will be slightly sticky to the touch… but the shoe shine solves the stickiness. All and all, this product is just as much at home in the city as it is out on the snowy slopes and it’s an excellent buy for the right kind of shoes.
As somebody who is pretty fastidious about leather shoes (good ones are expensive!) this is a fantastic kit to build a shoe shining kit from, particularly at this unbelievable price. A tin of Kiwi shoe polish on its own generally runs around $7. For twice the price you get two tins (granted, they’re a bit smaller than the traditional tins but not by much and you get two), an applicator brush, a buffing brush, and a shine cloth.
Keep in mind that this appears to only come in black polish, so if your collection of shoes is mostly brown, you’re going to have to get brown/neutral polish separately. It’s also on purpose that the kit is just one color of polish rather than one black and one brown; the small round brush is supposed to be used for application, and you really shouldn’t use the same applicator brush with two different colors of polish. (Though, I don’t understand why they don’t offer a kit with two brown polishes, but, well.)
That being said, even if you never use the black polish at all, this is still a good buy simply for the set of brushes. If you look up how much these brushes sell for separately, you still save a couple of bucks with this kit. For those who live in wet/snowy climates, pair this up with a bottle of Sno-Seal and you’ll be surprised how waterproof and awesome your shoes will become. Taking care of leather also makes it last much longer – it’s worth paying an extra $20 to have shoes that look good and last for years!
This is the best shoe polish in the world, as it has been for decades. It covers up any scuff, and makes the leather on your shoe look brand new. If you’re the military sort who is into spit-shining, Kiwi is just what the sergeant ordered — and you can use the little lid to hold your water! The product is flammable, and can be used for “burn shining,” although that method can cause the polish to be applied too thickly. And know that it doesn’t taste very good, it’s not the kind of shoe polish you will want to get on your lips (and don’t put your fingers in your mouth, if you get any on your fingers). All in all, your shoes will look fantastic after you have applied the Kiwi.
This product is magic in a jar. I own a pair of Men’s UGG Australia Capulin Cinnamon Leather which I received as a gift last Christmas. I wore them hard over the winter last year and then to a tailgate party in a gravel lot this fall. Needless to say, they were wrecked. The leather was faded and they were scuffed and scratched all over. The toes were so scuffed that they looked terrible and I didn’t think anything could save them. Then, I discovered Dr. Martens Wonder Balsam and they were saved. Just a little bit of this product on the included applicator was rubbed into the boots and they look brand new. You can tell where the scuffs were on the toes because they were very damaged but just barely. I think if I would have applied it after the initial scuffing they would have healed. Check out my product images for proof!
I bought a jar of this a while back and will likely never use anything else. Here’s the story…went to the local shoe guy to pick up resoled shoes and got stuck behind a lady who was asking about her riding boots, you know the type. The cobbler says, don’t use that other polish, it just rubs on and off. He pulled out the Meltonian cream and said this stuff conditions the leather and actually holds a shine better. Of course, its more expensive than Kiwi so I figured he was just upselling the lady, being the skeptic. So after hearing the whole spiel, I forked over the 5 bucks and took it home and went to work. I had a pair of shoes that refused to break in, so I hit it with the cream and in a day or two of wearing them they finally capitulated and they’re now like bedroom slippers. I’m a big fan.
Product was not outdated. For the price it was a fair bargain. Delivery was a little slow but not too bad. Though the price was high shoe polish everywhere is high. This was the best price I could find online or offline.
Not a ton needs to be said here; am a military brat that learned how to properly polish shoes several decades ago now. Have used Kiwi products for a long time, along with a bristle polishing brush, soft polishing cloths and even a dedicated toothbrush used to get into those little cracks & crevices (especially between the sole and the shoes leather).
This stuff just works.
Have used Kiwi black, brown and mahogany for a long time; have even tried other brands along the way, but keep coming back to Kiwi because it seems to produce the longest lasting shine around and provides the best coverage of scuffs and scratches.
Side benefits are that this polish seems to help keep the leather in good shape too, while giving it additional water resistant properties.
If you are looking for show polish and are willing to take the extra moment needed to do it right, I totally recommend that you give Kiwi polish a try based on my decades of experience with the product.
Go for it.
Works well on tooling leather. I applied a layer sparingly with my fingers and massaged it into the unfinished leather before wiping the excess off. It repels water. Don’t know how long it will last. It darkens leather slightly, but lightens as it dries. The large tub will last long.
I wasn’t expecting much even after reading the manufacturer’s website, so it was a pleasant experience to open the tin, no “knock me out”: chemical smell.” It was simple to apply: I just used my fingers and applied it all over my full-grain cowhide leather travel case and shoulder strap with no issues at all. I left it alone to do other things then came back to wipe off the haze. The leather looks nice despite my neglect (hot summer, hot indoor heated air in the winter) and I suspect with as little as I used for one treatment, this tin will last a long time. Great value, smells nice (no flowery, no strong organic smells), and I didn’t experience any hypersensitivity. Suggestion: use a soft old t-shirt to apply it and another to buff it after it dries (or brush depending on what item you’re conditioning).
there are a ton of instructional videos online of proper polishing technique many of which recommend Kiwi and now I see why. Its truly amazing what this product did for my shoes, I have a pair of black oxfords that just shy of a decade old and after a treatment session with my kiwi polishing kit the consensus was they they looked less than a month old. This product plus a shoe tree means that with reasonable wear habits and treatment you shoes will last you a lifetime and look great every step of the way, I Highly Recommend this product.
I grew up polishing my Dad’s workshoes and earned lots of extra spending money, but it was not until I joined the Army that I really learned how to put a truly glossy shine on my boots. I always thought that if I learned no other skill or trade in the military, at least I could be a darn good shoe shiner. I feel a little disloyal 😉 admitting to liking Lincoln shoe polish since it was the Marine Corps approved brand and the tacitly “approved” shoe polishing product for the U.S. Army was Kiwi. But at guard mount and honour guard inspections, the MPs with sharpest looking uniforms (and best boots), and thereby earning extra privileges, were consistently those who had switched to Lincoln. And so began my association with Lincoln shoe polish.
I don’t know the chemistry behind it, but Lincoln clearly has a softer texture (more emollients?) right out of the can, and so the wax seems to penetrate into the micro pores of the leather better. Then when it is mixed and swirled around with a soft, wet cotton ball it seems to spread out in a nice even layer, much more like a cream polish (no lumping, and less swirl lines) and with far, far less effort, you start to see that glassy reflective surface which is the goal. All that is needed after that is a quick, feather light (not pressing hard) buffing with a soft, lint-free cloth (micro-fiber is best).
If that weren’t enough, Lincoln also has a superior dye stain ingredient. Once worked into the leather, it is tenaciously colour fast doesn’t seem to readily rub off or transfer. Exposure to air seems to “cure” it, bonding the colouring component to the leather.
I know it’s just a small thing, but I also happen to like the snap open can on Lincoln, rather than that twist key system on Kiwi that sometimes breaks off.
One last thing, not only is Lincoln made in the U.S., but I discovered that I grew up just blocks away from the actual factory off of Kifer Road in Sunnyvale, California. So it is my hometown brand.
After splashing out several hundred dollars for new shoes I decided I would start looking for a product to keep them in tip top condition. I wasn’t satisfied with Kiwi so I started looking on Amazon at other brands. I first tried Lincoln. It is definitely better than Kiwi but this stuff is better still.
It’s a little softer than Lincoln which tends to produce little bits of polish that fall off during the polishing. This buffs up just as fast but produces a deeper, blacker and more lustruous shine than Lincoln.
If you look around, you’ll find that most polishes are highly rated, even Kiwi. But I would say that this is the best of the three brands I have tried.
Some Last Words
There are some great manufacturers out there – Kiwi, Atsko, Dr. Matens, and they all compete on the ‘best shoe wax’ title.
We hope this review was enough to help you choose your favorite.
We would appreciate any feedback in the comment section below regarding this article, our list,
and anything in general. Please let us know so we can better ourselves 🙂
We hope you’ve enjoyed this review,
Have a fantastic day,