After cleaning, remove the shoelaces if any to allow for effective polishing of the shoe. This also helps to stop the laces from getting stained or coated in polish. One can opt to use either a cream or wax for polishing. Whatever the case, the color of the polish should match the shoes and the brand should be one that can prevent water damage. The type of bristles on the brush should be soft and long to avoid scratching the leather. An old but soft toothbrush can also be used to polish the small areas which are hard to reach. The polishing technique is small circular motions using medium pressure to coat the shoe evenly with polish. The shoe should be held from the inside with an open palm, to ensure a firm grip while polishing.
To ensure that the leather shoes have a shiny finish, use a lint-free cloth or a horsehair shoe brush to buff. This should be done gently and not for too long to avoid damaging the leather with friction. This removes any excess polish left on the shoe and gives it a remarkable shine. It is optional but one can use shining liquid and a sponge for this step. Spraying a little water on the shoe and buffing it with a cloth also helps to give a wet shiny look if that is the desired effect. Shining should be done after the coats of polish on the shoe have already dried.
Finally, place the shoes on the protected working surface and allow them to dry for about fifteen to twenty minutes. If wipes were used to clean the dirt, it is important to lift the flap and air it out so that the shoes do not develop a damp smell when worn next. Once they are dry, the shoelaces can be fitted back in. The shoes should then be stored in an upright position on a shoe tree to maintain the shape and away from heat and water.