Brushes Shoe Care

Horsehair vs. Pig Bristle Brushes

Shoe shine brushes are one of the polishing tools that are essential to the proper maintenance of any pair of fine leather shoes. Not just used during polishing, a good shoe polishing brush can be used to buff a pair of shoes in the morning and clean them at the end of the day. Because the quality of waxes used with Saphir Shoe Polish is so high, sometimes a simple buffing with a polishing brush is all you need to renew the patina. Choosing the right brush is a common question we address with our customers. We most often recommend either a Pig Bristle or a Horsehair Brush.


Pig Bristle Brushes

In general, pig bristle brushes have a stiffer bristle than horsehair. This makes a pig bristle brush particularly well-suited for textured leathers, such as pebblegrain, and shoes with brouging. The stiffer bristle allows the shoe shine brush to get into the leather and remove any polish buildup. This is the ideal brush choice for deep cleaning.

Horsehair Brushes

Horsehair brushes, on the other hand, are great for gentle cleaning and buffing. The softer, more flexible bristle buffs the shoe polish wax to a shine without removing too much, which a stiffer pig bristle brush could do. If you only are going to buy one shoe shine brush, then most likely all you need is a quality horsehair polishing brush. 90% of all polishing brushes, especially those commonly available, are horsehair, and for normal polishing, they do the trick. All our Hanger Project Shoe Shine Brushes are of the highest quality. Our brushes are 100% tail hair (instead of a mane and tail blend), which almost eliminates annoying bristle shedding and provides an even higher-quality buff.

What is our recommendation?

Anyone who is really committed to taking the best care of their shoes, or has a large collection of shoes, needs a set of both horsehair and pig bristle brushes. They are truly different enough in their use to justify having both.

Leave a Reply