US military shoe shining tactics

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posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 02:09 PM
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We were not allowed to polish our flight or flight deck boots, because there was a chance that they would catch fire from the jet exhaust on the flight deck.

We had a new Ensign who had to go to fire fighting school. He didn't know that when you finish F/F school, you are issued a new pair of boots because the ones you wear get prety well chewed up. He was worried about his boots, so one of the chiefs told him to polish them the day before F/F school and apply an extremely heavy coat of polish. Sure enough as soon as he took his turn on a hose team, his boots caught fire. There wasn't anything dangerous about it, as soon as the water built up it would have put the fire out in a few seconds, but, he panicked and started running around, until I hit him in the feet with a solid stream from a 2-1/2" line and knocked him silly, but it put his boots out. What was really fun was when we checked back into the squadron, there was a pair of new flight boots on his desk, with about 20 cans of Kiwi polish. He also had a new call sign "Screaming", short for "Screaming Alpha" which was a joke for someone running around on fire.




posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 06:39 PM
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Originally posted by Evolutionsend
reply to post by TiM3LoRd
 


Brand new? They're two years old, and he uses for a variety of activities including motorcycle riding.
The last time I shined them was 3 months ago. They actually have small scratches all over the top, and a few gashes on the sides. If you look at the inside part in the second picture you can see an area that hasn't been polished yet. Nice and cracked and dull. They are some of the thickest boots I've ever seen though. One of them is like 5 lbs.


They've been through mud, rain, snow, everything. A good shine can do wonders for a used boot, or even rescue a really old one.

Sadly I did not take any before pics.
The other one doesn't have much done to it. I'll snap a pic when I get home. Both toes are done pretty much, and those were the main areas that looked bad. The sides still looked halfway decent from the last time I shined them up.
edit on 8-11-2011 by Evolutionsend because: (no reason given)





posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 10:58 PM
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reply to post by Evolutionsend
 


Those are some super shiny boots there... So shiny that it looks like you can use them as a makeshift mirror if needed. So shiny in fact that I can see somebody taking a picture of them, reflecting off the glossy finish.


I rarely wear boots unless the weather or situation dictates it so.

But you know I tried shining my old boots a couple of times and got nowhere near the results, but after reading this I see I just did not have the patience required for doing it right, nor was I doing it right. I didn't even know you have to wait in between applying layers, # I didn't even know you had to apply layers.

You learn something new on ATS everyday.



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 11:05 PM
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OMG! Thanx for the holiday trip back to basic training. I tell ya, keeping your shoes shining was the only thing in world in the military! Of course ironing and getting your creases right on the pants and shirts were equally important. Make sure your gig line is in order.

Not to mention the 45 degree tucked in sheets and folded underwear. Haha.......what a day that was.

Thank you for the reminder! LOL!



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 11:17 PM
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reply to post by galadofwarthethird
 


I was wondering how long it would take someone to spot me in my PJs.


You have to wait between the first 4-5 "base" layers, but the later ones you can pretty much do one right after the other. Just make sure you work the polish in really good before you start a new one, but don't buff too long or you'll just put swirls in it.
edit on 8-11-2011 by Evolutionsend because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 11:56 PM
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reply to post by Evolutionsend
 


Ah so that is you eh.

Oh that sounds like a lot of work...I think I will just get one of them buffing machines, and buff the # out of them when I need to do it, which is going to be like once every couple of years most likely. By the way why do they call it spit shine? Do I have to spit on it as well?



posted on Nov, 9 2011 @ 12:01 AM
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reply to post by galadofwarthethird
 


You can use spit. Even with a buffing machine you do have to add the layers of polish.
edit on 9-11-2011 by Evolutionsend because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 9 2011 @ 08:24 PM
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NEVER use spit , it contains salts etc which contaminate the wax ,

For a serious shine and gloss first stuff boots with damp paper thenUse pure beeswax and kiwi parade gloss,, for extra shine roll a yellow flame over the wax for final shine .....

or the huge cheat hated by nco ,is the use of a silicon spray...
edit on 9-11-2011 by gambon because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 9 2011 @ 10:42 PM
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great!



posted on Nov, 9 2011 @ 10:59 PM
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reply to post by Evolutionsend
 


Not bad, but you can literally get even more of a glassy shine if you melt the wax on the boot first with a lighter. Don't burn the boot!! Just quickly move the flame over the wax after it's applied to the boot to turn it liquid. It seeps into the tiny pores of the leather better and creates a really smooth surface that will get shinier and shinier every time you shine the boots. Spit works better than water. Not sure why. I recall reading a report on why, but I don't remember what it said. I always used spit and a lighter, and my boots were always the shiniest ones in the platoon! These days, though, they have those new boots that don't require shining. Eventually, spit shining will be a lost art.



posted on Nov, 10 2011 @ 10:43 PM
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reply to post by Gseven
 


I find that the old lighter trick (if you can call it that) just results in thin areas that are dull. You're better off, and will get a better shine by doing it the right way.



posted on Nov, 11 2011 @ 06:27 AM
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Originally posted by Evolutionsend
reply to post by Gseven
 


I find that the old lighter trick (if you can call it that) just results in thin areas that are dull. You're better off, and will get a better shine by doing it the right way.


This "crusty" old Marine knows how to shine boots - I'm better off doing it the "right" way?
I use to inspect them (among all the other uniform articles) for a living at one time as a part of my job. I do know just a little about shining boots.
You only get "dull" spots if you do it wrong, and if you don't apply the wax liberally enough. By our standards, your shined boots wouldn't pass because the rest of the boot looks virtually un-shined. Your toe is decent, but certainly not the shiniest. You'd be surprised at the level of shine you still have to go, and it will only come after MULTIPLE layers and countless hours of waxing, melting, and buffing. This is where the lighter comes in handy, because the wax will melt into the rougher portions of the leather that are more difficult to get a glassy shine. If you achieve that glassy shine on the rest of your boot, THEN you have something to really write home about. Generations of Marines have been using lighters for a reason. If you hold the flame too close or for too long, then you're doing it wrong. Also, you left off the edge dressing. No point in shining the boot if you don't edge dress....if you want to really get technical about it.

But, like I said earlier...not bad for a young person who has never been in the service. Don't get so cocky that you think it's perfect and there's no room for improvement though. If you DO go into the service, this will get you into a LOT of trouble and will be very difficult for you in the long run. Just a head's up.



posted on Nov, 11 2011 @ 07:10 AM
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reply to post by Gseven
 


The rest of the boot, is unshined. Read it!

DID THEY TEACH YOU TO FOLLOW DIRECTIONS IN THE MARINE CORPS?

Read the OP! Do it, YOUR WAY! Bye!


All kidding aside, I learned to do this from my father. 20 years US Army, 20 years civil service. He learned from his brother, a 20 year Marine. Your so called "right" way, is one of the oldest shortcuts in the book. It doesn't change the outcome of the final product, it just makes things go faster, because the polish flows into the pores of the leather. I've also tried it, a few times. Doesn't give the same kind of final product. When I finish with a boot, it looks like patent. I've been getting paid by servicemen, and goth kids, to do this for a while now. The boots I've polished have passed many inspections, although they're actually finished. These are also not real combat boots. They're by a company called Demonia, which isn't known for quality. Show me a shinier pair of Demonia boots, that aren't patent.
edit on 11-11-2011 by Evolutionsend because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 12 2011 @ 01:16 AM
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Another cheat is Armor-all or Finish 2001 or some other similar brand of high-gloss leather/vinyl protectant. You still have to do the initial waxing the old way. But if there's already a good coat of wax with only a light hazing, the stuff from the car store saves much time over the parade wax stuff. Spray protectant doesn't get hard like the wax beneath it, so it could quickly be buffed to a mirror shine w/o any risk of swirl marks. It would smooth itself out.

Whether or not it was as durable is another question, but didn't matter as much if you kept a pair of boots only for inspection.

Yes, I was lazy back in my Navy years. Well, at least to the degree I could get away with.


The people that kept doing it the boot-camp way are probably
now.



posted on Nov, 12 2011 @ 08:51 AM
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When I was in the Royal Navy our Parade boots were the 'pimple leather' ones with metal horshoes under the heel and toe. The underside had to be all black, so we used to use a black permanent marker pen to colour it in. I bought a spare pair of boots from slops and gave them to a cousin of mine who was a Grenadier Guard ...... nothing can beat a Guardsmans Boot shine. This pair of boots saw me all the way through my career for inspections and Parades and I never polished them once, just gave them a quick dusting now and then.



posted on Nov, 13 2011 @ 12:00 AM
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Originally posted by Evolutionsend
reply to post by Gseven
 


The rest of the boot, is unshined. Read it!

DID THEY TEACH YOU TO FOLLOW DIRECTIONS IN THE MARINE CORPS?

Read the OP! Do it, YOUR WAY! Bye!


All kidding aside, I learned to do this from my father. 20 years US Army, 20 years civil service. He learned from his brother, a 20 year Marine. Your so called "right" way, is one of the oldest shortcuts in the book. It doesn't change the outcome of the final product, it just makes things go faster, because the polish flows into the pores of the leather. I've also tried it, a few times. Doesn't give the same kind of final product. When I finish with a boot, it looks like patent. I've been getting paid by servicemen, and goth kids, to do this for a while now. The boots I've polished have passed many inspections, although they're actually finished. These are also not real combat boots. They're by a company called Demonia, which isn't known for quality. Show me a shinier pair of Demonia boots, that aren't patent.
edit on 11-11-2011 by Evolutionsend because: (no reason given)


Tantrum much?
Wow, you really are young. Over 30 years of combined Marine Corps service under my roof alone, not including the generations before me, my children, and other family members...if you want to go tit for tat. There is no right or wrong, only good, better and best. Plain and simple - you don't have the patience to learn how to use the heating method the RIGHT way, so it obviously doesn't "work" for you, therefore it isn't the "right" way for everyone? Was just pointing out this simple flaw, and the lack of logic that allowed you to have the audacity to "preach" to salty service members about shining their boots the "right" way when they tried to give you a head's up and say that you could get it even better than what you showed in the photo. Clearly, I see now that the post was placed here solely for your ego, and suggestions were not welcome. Got it! Have fun, kiddo.


Ooh-rah!



posted on Nov, 13 2011 @ 01:17 AM
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reply to post by Gseven
 


Shoe polish is a mixture of wax, pigment, and sometimes silicon and other chemicals to enhance the shine you get. When you heat this mixture, you redistribute the particles in a less uniform mixture than before, and it results in an inferior polish mixture. Doing so creates spots that are less shiny, and spots that are more shiny. It makes it look bad to a trained eye, and is the cheap way out.

The reason it started happening, is because it's a shortcut towards the objective. Which is to work the polish into the surface of the leather and leave a glossy appearance. It heats the mixture, allowing it to flow more freely into the leather, and cuts time down by a large amount. It's the wrong way to do it, a real marine told me this, and it's documented on several shoe shining websites. It cuts down on the actual spit shining involved, but does almost the same thing that my method does.
edit on 13-11-2011 by Evolutionsend because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 13 2011 @ 01:40 AM
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Sometimes I would cheat and use floor wax, forgot what it was called umm Mop and Glow ? After sometime your boots turn to white showing cracked floor wax on them. ('
')

I know some of you guys did the same for inspections.

Very good Job OP. No article 15 for you.


edit on 13-11-2011 by SJE98 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 13 2011 @ 02:00 AM
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brilab45
"Not to mention the 45 degree tucked in sheets and folded underwear. Haha.......what a day that was."

---
I thought I was in training for the Hilton and not the Army. I guess that why I hate perfect made hotel beds.('
')
edit on 13-11-2011 by SJE98 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 13 2011 @ 11:22 AM
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kiwi polish
horse hair brush
cotton balls
warm water
soft cloth
section of nylon
old toothbrush


polish, damp soft cloth, brush as many layers needed to get a good base luster, coat and shine

then it's just warm water, cotton balls and polish in repeated and numerous coats

buffing with the nylon between each coat [shammy-style]

end result:







these are my daily hush puppies. worn at least 3-5 days a week

nothing special shoe wise. they're just a thirty couple dollar pair of black leather upper - Dockers™

i've had these for at least 4 years or so, and as you can see by the deep creases, cuts, scrapes and tears... they've seen their fair share of duty.

i've been known to wear them while riding the mower, and have acutally worn them while roto-tilling the garden.


so. no. they haven't always looked like this, Much worse actually

still ... they've served me well.


comfortable, sturdy and light on the foot





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