Today I’m highlighting bulled toe caps with a few “before and after” shots of some Saint Crispin’s 522C Oxfords — join me by posting photographs here today of you shining/polishing your shoes (before and after shots, please)!

Without further ado, let’s get to it…

These Saint Crispin’s 522C Oxfords are brand new, but I thought they’d look even better with a highly polished toe cap.


Today’s set up includes:
Saphir Pate de Luxe Wax Polish in neutral, navy
Edoya brush
Cotton pads
Glass Solvent Dispenser

I personally prefer to use navy Saphir Pate de Luxe Wax Polish when polishing my black shoes, as I think the navy wax helps to create a perception of depth in the toe cap when highly polished. To apply the wax, I use a cotton pad, usually folded in quarters for better control, and small amounts of a water and rubbing alcohol mixture from a Glass Solvent Dispenser.

Before (right) and After (left)

I use minute amounts of wax and apply the wax in very thin coats with circular movements, such that I continually buff the newly applied wax to a shine with the cotton pad. Over time, the small, thin layers of wax fill the pores of the shoe leather and a high shine is created.

Before (right) and After (left)

For every 5-8 coats of wax on the toe caps, I also apply a thin coat of wax to the rest of the shoe in order to maintain some continuity.


Slow and steady wins the race here, and details such as the amount of pressure to apply, when to add more water/alcohol, etc. will be learned over time — even down to the variance in those details between different shoes, makers, and leathers. Heel counters can also be pulled to a high shine, but I personally prefer to bull only the toe. The waist of the shoe and heel edges are topics for another day, given that this particular pair is brand new.