Oxfords, brogues, derbies, loafers, sneakers. Readers, we love a well-made pair of men’s shoes, from the formal dress boots made from fine Italian leather to the trendy and rebellious Yeezy kicks.
Key to calling oneself a bona fide shoe lover? Knowing how to take care of the items in your carefully curated closet. Keep your collection looking shiny and new with the cleaning sets below. From the classic luxury kits to the adventurer’s must-have travel kit, these shoe care products will help keep your footwear as well-groomed as the rest of you.
Image via Lorenzi
This is the shoeshine kit of the elite, one fully equipped for taking good care of the designer shoes in your collection. Its classic aesthetic, beautiful box, and well-made items will also make this an heirloom piece worth passing down. The tray is made from beeswax polished Iroko wood and its lid is lined with a luxurious Saffiano leather, which plays double duty as a support surface upon which to do the brushing and scrubbing. Its eye-catching handles are crafted from Zebu horn.
Multiple brushes, each made from precious Ovangkol wood, come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes to suit various cleaning needs. Creams, daubers, a shoehorn, and a Sciuscià cloth round out this set, which will likely be the last kit you ever need to buy.
Image via Loake
We’re long past the days of aristocracy and personal valets, but this Valet kit from Loake is a grooming assistant fit for the 21st century. The set is perfect for those with a wide range of shoes; it comes with a cloth, shoehorn, oiled leather wax, suede cleaner, suede protector, two polishing brushes, and two applicator brushes. And if your closet is filled with shoes in varying colours and finishes, don’t worry; the Loake Valet Box also contains beeswax polishes in black, dark brown, mid brown, tan, and neutral. Guys, we know you love to match the shoes to the suit — and so does Loake! This shoeshine kit is the perfect option for the modern gentleman.
Image via Ted Baker
…And then there are the no-nonsense, no-fuss men among us who are partial to basics — as long as they’re well made, of course. This simple SHINEK kit from Ted Baker totes itself as a sartorial staple. We can see this being the perfect set for busy professionals to keep on-hand at the office, ready for use whenever an important meeting demands a last-minute freshening-up. This zip case is Ted Baker branded and includes both black and neutral polishes, a soft and hard brush, a shoehorn, and a polish cloth.
Images via Selfridges & Co.
For the lovers of vintage sneakers among us, this is the retro toolkit to match the collection. This sneaker cleaning kit from Kikkerland sports a beechwood handle bristle brush, microfibre cloth, a 10ml (palm-sized) cleaning solution, and super erase sponge (which can be used with the cleaning solution or water). The brush is perfect for hard-to-reach spots and the super eraser is capable of wiping out even tough stains. Those 1979 Nike Roadrunners may be turning forty this year, but with a little help from Kikkerland, they’ll always look fresh out of the box.
Image via Jason Markk
Jason Markk is one of the names in sneaker care; in fact, it was also the first, as the brand was founded when Jason Markk realized that there were no commercially available cleaning products for sneakerheads. Today the company’s premium products fill an important niche and raise the bar for footwear enthusiasts.
This travel kit contains all the brand’s essential products in pocket-size varieties, ensuring you won’t have to stress about sliding things past airport security. The kit comes with a 2oz. premium shoe cleaner, mini premium brush, a 9” x 9” microfibre towel, and three quick wipes. This is all neatly compartmentalized in a durable ripstop nylon case with elastic mesh pockets that help keep things organized. (The clear front of the bag is also specifically designed for airport security — nobody will be confiscating or unpacking these precious liquids!)
Image via Reshoevn8r
Arizona-based company Reshoevn8r has been making quality shoe care products for nearly a decade. Its Ultimate Shoe Kit is just that: the ultimate, one-stop-shop for sneaker enthusiasts. It comes with everything you could ever want or need to help protect and prolong the life of a pair of shoes: sneaker laundry detergent, cleaning solution, four brush varieties (including a brass bristle brush), two shoe laundry bags, two Reshoevn8r shoe trees, a suede/Nubuck eraser, microfibre towel, deodorizer, water and stain repellent, and a pack of sneaker wipes can all be found in this comprehensive kit. It even comes with a collapsible bowl, ideal for spot jobs on the run.
Image via Ace Marks
Ace Marks knows shoes; its men’s dress shoes are handcrafted in Italy by 4th generation Italian artisans, after all. (According to the company website, these are the same craftsmen and craftswomen making dress shoes for the world’s top luxury brands.) Each Ace Marks pair of shoes is made from hand-selected, full grain calf leather and is crafted, dyed, and burnished by hand.
That same company that knows how to make a serious pair of shoes also knows how to take care of them. The Ace Marks shoe care kit is perfect for the busy executive. It contains two Ace Marks wax polishes in your choice of colours, black and neutral horse hair shoe polish daubers, two cotton flannel polishing cloths, a stainless steel travel shoe horn, and a horse hair shoe shine brush, all arranged in one sleek case that would look perfectly placed on a CEO’s desktop.