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Shoe Cream vs Shoe Polish: Which One to Opt?

Tarrago Shoe Cream - Cleans and Shines Leather
Meltonian Jar Driving Style Loafer, Brown Sugar, 1.55oz
KIWI Instant Shine & Protect Liquid Shoe Polish, Black, 1 Bottle with Sponge Applicator, 2.5 oz
KIWI Express Shoe Shine Sponge | Leather Care for Shoes, Boots, Furniture, Jacket, Briefcase and More | Black
FootFitter Essential Shoe Brush Set - Horsehair Brushes for Polishing Men's Shoes!
Tarrago Shoe Cream - Cleans and Shines Leather
Meltonian Jar Driving Style Loafer, Brown Sugar, 1.55oz
KIWI Instant Shine & Protect Liquid Shoe Polish, Black, 1 Bottle with Sponge Applicator, 2.5 oz
KIWI Express Shoe Shine Sponge | Leather Care for Shoes, Boots, Furniture, Jacket, Briefcase and More | Black
FootFitter Essential Shoe Brush Set - Horsehair Brushes for Polishing Men's Shoes!
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Tarrago Shoe Cream - Cleans and Shines Leather
Tarrago Shoe Cream - Cleans and Shines Leather
Meltonian Jar Driving Style Loafer, Brown Sugar, 1.55oz
Meltonian Jar Driving Style Loafer, Brown Sugar, 1.55oz
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KIWI Instant Shine & Protect Liquid Shoe Polish, Black, 1 Bottle with Sponge Applicator, 2.5 oz
KIWI Instant Shine & Protect Liquid Shoe Polish, Black, 1 Bottle with Sponge Applicator, 2.5 oz
KIWI Express Shoe Shine Sponge | Leather Care for Shoes, Boots, Furniture, Jacket, Briefcase and More | Black
KIWI Express Shoe Shine Sponge | Leather Care for Shoes, Boots, Furniture, Jacket, Briefcase and More | Black
FootFitter Essential Shoe Brush Set - Horsehair Brushes for Polishing Men's Shoes!
FootFitter Essential Shoe Brush Set - Horsehair Brushes for Polishing Men's Shoes!

Once you have purchased a nice pair of dress shoes, this is only the beginning. As you keep on wearing them on daily basis, you must make sure they stand with the test of time. In other words, whatever punishment your feet impose on them, you can bring their luster and shine back only by putting some time and effort to polish them. Let’s have a comparative overview of shoe polish as well as shoe cream.

What is Shoe Polish?

The shoe polish was invented in Australia by William Ramsay in 1906 and he named it Kiwi after this flightless bird endemic in New Zealand, which is the home country of his wife.
Shoe polish gives your shoes a polished look and finishes just like a new pair of shoes. The condition is that you are continuously shining your shoes or boots with shoe polish.

What is a Shoe Cream?

Cream polishes are usually made of a thick, pigment-rich cream base, and a small amount of waxes. When used regularly, they maintain the color vibrancy of the leather, mask uneven fading, and provide a very slight shine – like the surface of a leaf.

The question arises here while polishing your dress shoes, which to go with either shoe cream or polish? Here we are going to shed more light on the uses, pros and cons of both products.

Why Use Shoe Polish?

As the leather is made from animal skin it has pores and imperfections that need polish. Polish prolongs the shoe life and the appearance of wear and tear. Normally the damages appear around the top caps, heels and in the area at the top of the shoes where the toes bend. Since leather shoes are an expensive material, you have to pay more effort and time in polishing them.

Why Use Shoe Cream?

Shoe cream is a form of a polish that can be used regularly and can help keep your shoes vibrant and maintain their color. Unlike leather dye, which changes the shoe color, a cream polish leaves a thin layer that enhances the original color. It works as a conditioner and conditioned the leather shoes and also gives more shine. Shoe creams come in different shades that can be matched easily with any color of shoes. A little more bluffing with some clean cotton cloth can sparingly absorb the cream into the shoe’s fabric texture.

Using Shoe Polish

You can use shoe polish by adding layers of wax on the outer surface of your leather shoes. You can get a nice shine by a little buffing on the shoes with some clean cotton cloth. It is good to know that shoe polish does not seep into the leather. The dull and faded appearance of shoes requires plenty of work in applying the polishing method to them. The use of wax shoe polish can restore their appearance and can prolong their life. Here we have some pros and cons linked with shoe polish.

Pros: The wax polish provides an outer waterproof layer on your shoes. So, it can help add a protective layer to your shoes to keep them looking new and polished. You can polish your shoes in less time as no need to do buffing for a great extent of time.

Cons: Shoe polish can change the color of shoes when used in excessive amounts. So, color enhancers and conditioners might have been applied in form of shoe creams.

Using Shoe Cream

Cream shoe polishes restore color vibrancy to your leather shoes. It has its own pros and cons.

Pros: One of the advantages of a shoe cream is that you don’t need to find an exact match for your shoe color. They are applied sparingly and as long as a close color match, the shoe cream will work to restore your shoes. The most important pros of shoe cream are that it restores the shoes from creases by relaxing the leather.

Cons: Unfortunately, some special leathers like shell cordovan should not be treated with standard cream polish. Shell cordovan has a tight fiber structure that is responsible for its natural shine. By applying most of the cream polishes the density of the fiber used in these shoes gets slacken off.

Can both of them be Used while Shining Shoes?

Now many of you can have a common requirement of using both of them to get their different benefits. Yes, you can use both of them for shining your boots. Now, one thing to take care of while getting the best of both worlds. Always remember to apply cream polish first before using shoe wax polish. If you apply the wax first, the wax layer may prevent the cream polish from entering the leather. Also, when the cream polish is applied after the wax, it may kick off the shining achieved earlier. If you are thinking to make a purchase, have a look at some of the top picks in our 2021 definitive review covering both creams as well as polishes here.

Conclusion

Last but not the least, we recommend you to use shoe polish to polish your shoes when you want to maintain their shine. Also when you want to have a pigment-free absorption of wax over the leather. Otherwise, if you are looking to maintain the color of your shoes, we recommend you to use a shoe cream.

Finally, you can have the best of both worlds. Use shoe cream first to restore and boost the color of your shoes, and then wax polish to shine and waterproof them. Shoe polish and shoe cream are just products and shoe shining is a method for polishing your shoes. So both products can be used side by side, but keep in mind the order of their application.

Take a look at this great offer on Amazon:

Kelly's Shoe Cream - Professional Shoe Polish - 1.5 oz - Neutral
  • Kelly's Shoe Cream is a unique cream polish rich in natural waxes that conditions, re-colors and polishes finished, grained, smooth leather shoes and boots.
  • Available in a large variety of fashion colors!
  • Colors include: Black, Neutral, White, Delicate Cream, Winter White, Ivory, Light Bone, Ecru, Banana, Tan, Brown Sugar, Chamois, Beige, Camel, Light Brown, London Tan, Cognac, Saddle, Medium Brown, Bark, Goldenrod, Beige Taupe, Taupe, Brick, Sandalwood, Fashion Brown, Brown, Dark Brown, Dusky Brown, Bordeaux, Cordovan, Dark Cordovan Burgundy, Burgundy, Red Mahogany, Red, Scarlet, Chili, Olive, Sherwood, Grey, Charcoal Grey, Navy Blue, Imperial Blue and Dark Navy
  • Made in the USA.
  • Manufactured by Kelly's. 1.5 oz jar
Saphir Medaille d'Or Pommadier Cream 75ml - Black
  • SHOE & BOOT POLISH: Saphir’s Pommadier Cream Shoe Polish is designed to polish, restore, and finish leather shoes and boots. This polish waterproofs and protects against harsh weather.
  • ALL NATURAL: This natural polish contains 7 waxes including beeswax, carnauba, and shea butter. There are a variety of colors and shades such as brown, black, and neutral made without harmful resin & silicones.
  • VARIETY OF USES: Pommadier will clean, nourish and renovate fine leather.  Saphir’s cream polish formula has a high concentration of pigments to condition shoes to their original luster and shine.
  • HIGH QUALITY: This product provides a gentle polish to any color of leather boot, sneaker or bag. The pigments were chosen for their dying & penetrating quality to create incomparable sheens. Imported from France, Saphir’s polish will keep leather shoes & accessories in their best condition.
  • SAPHIR MEDAILLE D’OR: Saphir was awarded the Medaille d’Or (gold medal) in Paris in 1925 for its unmatched quality of leather care products. Their products are crafted with natural and efficient materials.
Moneysworth & Best Shoe Cream - Professional Leather Shoe Polish - Natural Waxes Condition, Re-color and Polish Smooth Leather Shoes and Boots - Over 30 Colors Available - 50 ml/1.7oz
  • HIGH-QUALITY FORMULA: Rich in natural waxes, oils and pigments that clean, nourish, preserve, and restore color to all leather footwear and accessories including purses, belts, wallets, furniture, luggage, briefcases
  • LONG-LASTING RESULTS: Bring back your shoes' original color, texture and shine. Cover scratches and restore moisture from various weather elements including rain, snow, sun and dirt. Keeps leather soft and supple and extends it's life
  • EASY-TO-USE - Easier to apply than a paste and much less messy than liquid polishes. You'll instantly notice significant improvement after just ONE application
  • COLORS: Available in Black, Neutral, White, Brown, London Tan, Cognac, Scotch, Taupe, Red, Scarlet, Olive, Sherwood, Grey, Charcoal Grey, Navy and more
  • DIRECTIONS: Apply shoe cream onto leather's surface with a cloth or sponge. Cover entire area for an even finish. Once dry, buff lightly with a cloth to reveal a natural shine
Venetian Shoe Cream, 3 Ounces, Neutral
  • 3 oz bottle
  • Neutral Color
  • Preserves, cleans and polishes
Sale
KIWI Shoe Polish, Black, 1 Metal Tin, 1.125 oz
  • KIWI Shoe Polish is the World’s No. 1 Selling Classic Shoe Polish for leather shoes
  • Provides shine, nourishment and proven long-lasting water protection
  • Superior stain and scuff coverage
  • For leather boots and shoes, not intended for use on patent leather, suede, or nubuck
Dr. Martens Men's Wonder Balsam 85ml, No Color, One Size
  • Wax formulated to nourish, condition, and protect leather
  • Made in the USA
Stone & Clark 12PC Shoe Polish & Care Kit, Leather Shoe Shine Kit with Brown Wax, Shoe Brushes for Polishing, Compact Shoe Cleaning Kit with Horse Hair Brushes & PU
  • PREMIUM SHOE SHINE SET — Don’t settle for less than the best when it comes to your shoes. Preserve and protect your expensive leather footwear with this shoe polish kit.
  • STYLE ESSENTIALS — Use this care kit for leather shoes to polish scuffs, condition deep scratches and cracks, and buff your shoes to an elegant glossy finish.
  • ON-THE-GO-CARE — Enclosed in a sturdy PU leather case, this classic shoe shine kit is lightweight, compact and portable. Perfect for military, business and personal travels
  • COMPLETE POLISHING KIT — This shoe shine kit includes two wooden brushes with horse hair, neutral, black and brown wax polishes, a buffing cloth, a shoe horn, and shine sponges.
  • GIFT SOLUTION — Looking for a unique gift? Nothing says it like shiny shoes! Gift this professional shoe shine kit for father’s day, birthdays, holidays or even as a groomsmen gift. Or, just treat yourself.

Related Article: Best Boot Polish for 2021

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