Shoe Care Shoe Polishes

Try Navy Shoe Polish on Your Black Shoes

I am currently experimenting on how to create a high-gloss mirror shine using Saphir Shoe Polish. When I was in Paris, I had the honor of spending some time with master shoe finisher Paul Bolten at It was he who when shining my black pair of Alfred Sargent shoes, which needed an embarrassing amount of love after a week in London, recommended using Navy shoe polish to build the high-gloss shine on the toe box.

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For as long as I had been selling the Saphir Navy Polish #06 (called “Marine Blue”), I never really understood how or on what type of shoes one would need navy polish. Do people really have blue shoes? But after seeing what Paul was able to do with the Navy polish, I was astounded.

The principle is the same when applying navy shoe polish to a black pair of shoes as with a midnight blue tuxedo. At night, navy on black looks more black than black itself. And during the day, when sunlight reflects off of the navy shoe polish it generates a subtle patina or hue that catches the eye. Never obvious enough for one to realize that you used navy shoe polish on your black shoes, but just different enough to be noticed.

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In this photograph, you can hardly tell. However, click the image to enlarge it and you can kind of see the difference.

We sell the Navy Shoe Polish in the 50 ml and 100 ml formats. So, if you are looking to experiment, pick up a small 50 ml tin of Saphir Shoe Polish and test it out for yourself. If you are not happy with the results, simply use some Saphir Reno’Mat to strip off the polish and start over.

Also – once I master the art of the mirror shine, I will post an in-depth tutorial on how to produce this at home. I am still working out the finer points. You’ll see that the left shoe has a much higher-gloss mirror finish than the pair on the right, which I recently stripped with the Saphir Reno’Mat and then simply applied Saphir Renovateur polish. However, I know I can achieve even better results, so I am still working…

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