How To Wear The New Army Uniform And Old Boots The Zen of Military Shoe Shining

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The Zen of Military Shoe Shining

With the military switching from the old black leather boots to the new roughed leather, the art of spit shining your shoes is slowly disappearing. In the old days, a soldier could “spit-shine” every inch of their boots for hours, this is no longer the case, as the roughed leather boots require a different style of care.

People who shine their shoes nowadays are cadets, new recruits and other men in uniform.

Here’s what you do to achieve that spit shine gloss that is a mark of a patient soldier (note that you should only shine leather shoes and not leather substitutes this way):

  • You will need: a piece of clean white cotton cloth (old Tshirt, etc)
  • A glass of room temperature water
  • Some hard shoe polish – Kiwi makes good one
  • A soft brush to remove the dirt

The whole process of shining shoes may take as much as 60 minutes in this way.

  • Clean your shoe of debris and dirt with a brush. If you decide to wipe your shoes with wet cloth,let them dry completely before polishing
  • Get a 5 inches by 5 inches piece of cloth and wrap it around your finger
  • Dip the cloth with your finger in the glass of water to get the cloth wet.
  • Put your other hand in the shoe for support
  • Get a bit of polish on the wet cloth and dip it back in the water
  • Start polishing the shoes from the front to the back. Go in very tiny circles and cover every bit of the shoe
  • After 3-4 circles, dip the cloth back in the water
  • Continue with polishing the rest of the shoe
  • After you polished the shoe, wipe it off with wet cloth and let the water roll off.

You are left with a clean shoe and a peace of mind. Shining your shoes this way is pretty enjoyable, because it clears your mind better than meditation – the focus on small details and repetitive motions quiet the mind. It is not a surprise that this technique has been used by soldiers to forget their worries.

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