Getting Started with Saphir

Quickly orient you to the best products from Saphir Shoe Polish.

You know what they say, if the shoe fits… but what about the shoe care? Just as important as that tony pair of brogues or wing tips is the care you invest in them after they leave the shoebox. Brave combatants against all the elements—from rain to snow, dirt to debris—shoes need regular TLC to stay in tip-top fighting condition.

We frequently receive questions from new customers regarding the basics behind shoe care. But where to start?

Enter Saphir Shoe Polish, the premier resource for shoe care.

From basic to intermediate and advanced methods for shoe maintenance, Saphir has the product line to suit your needs; a line that easily adapts to your current shoe care “comfort level,” as well as the time you’re willing to commit to achieve maximum polish and shine.

Novices, have no fear: Even the most simple and basic care with Saphir’s Medaille d’Or products will make a dramatic difference in the look of your shoes and their lasting quality.

That said, a finely crafted pair of shoes should easily last a decade or more—if maintained properly. Although bargain-brand, store-bought polish may be marginally adequate for shoes that will be tossed away in a few years, fine shoes require more of an investment in the proper care products and routines. After all, you wouldn’t feed a Lamborghini anything but super-premium gasoline and you certainly wouldn’t drive a Rolls Royce through a commercial car wash.

Saphir has an extensive line of shoe care products—from items perfect for the beginner to others for the intense shoe aficionado. But the breadth of the line should not discourage its use.


Saphir Médaille d'Or (“Gold Metal”) is the highest-end collection of shoe care products available worldwide and is widely considered by shoe aficionados to be the best. Made in France, this exclusive line has its origins in formulations that earned Saphir the award of the GOLD MEDAL, PARIS 1925. Saphir is the brand of choice for the world’s most respected cobblers—from John Lobb and Louis Vuitton to Corthay, Edward Green, and the list goes on. The polishes are formulated using all-natural ingredients of the highest quality and they contain no silicones, resins or petroleum products, which are often found in less expensive products.



Like many things, shoe care has various levels, from basic to intermediate and advanced, with each successive level requiring a wider range of products, time, knowledge and techniques. However, the care process can be easily tailored to match one’s comfort level and to fit one’s schedule.

It is important to note, though, that even the basic shoecare will make a tremendous and noticeable difference in how well your shoes look and wear each day. Do not let the complexities of the Intermediate and Advanced shoe care routines discourage you.

Basic Shoeshine Tools

Two Horsehair Brush (one for black; one for brown)

Two Chamois (one for applying polish; one for buffing)

Optional Shoeshine Tools

Leather Shoeshine Matt

Lambswool Polishing Mitt

Saphir Pommadier Polish Dauber or

Deluxe Shoe Polish Dauber

Deer Polishing Bone (for Cordovan Shoes only)


Specialty Shoeshine Conditioners & Polishes

Saphir Cordovan Cream Polish for Cordovan Leathers

Saphir Reptile Milk for Exotic Skin Shoes

Saphir Vernis Rife Patent Leather Cleaner


And, if you do not already have them:

Horsehair Brush (one for black shoes, a second for brown)

Two Cotton Chamois (one for applying polish; one for buffing)

Shoehorns (essential for putting on your shoes)


And, of course, do not neglect Shoe Trees and Shoe Horns

For Suede Care, read our guide: How to Clean Suede Shoes


For more detailed instruction on basic shoeshine techniques, view our Basic Shoe Care Guide.

The proper suede care goes a very long way to keeping your suede looking great. I think you will be surprised at just how big of a difference these simple practices will make in the maintenance of your suede shoes.