How do we polish scuffs from my sons parade shoes

Hi everyone I’m new here. My son is in year 9 and has recently joined our local ATC (90) squadron after a year attending CCF in his school. His parade shoes have been scuffed and I only have this squeeze and sponge on polish. Will this work, as he has his first uniform inspection with the new squadron on Thursday and I want him to look perfect. If this won’t work can anyone suggest the correct product to use? Thanks in advance

Never use instant on parade shoes. Your son will need to use black shoe polish such as kiwi (if you can find it) and shine them. It takes a while, but there are videos out there showing him how. I’ve had good results with Cherry, but it’s hard work. Conversely Saphir gives really good results but it is pricey

I would just emphasise that it’s for him to do, not a parent (unless there’s a good medical reason). Cadets should always take the responsibility for doing their uniform. Though full respect to you for helping him out with finding what to do.


Thank you for your reply I did anticipate that the answer would be this. I remember my grandad polishing his ‘Sunday best’ shoes over a piece of newspaper. He would light the tin of polish and let it flame for a second or 2 then put it out with the lid. Then spend about 30 mins per shoe making them gleam till I could see my reflection in them! Is there a particular brush that I need to ask for? I’ll go out tomorrow and get these for him and now I’m going to spend some time on YouTube learning how to teach him the polishing technique! Thanks again

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There is a little bit more to it than just polishing depending on how bad the scuffs are. You might need to use a leather cream first (or if they are really bad, a petroleum jelly gently heated with a hair dryer - best to find a YouTube video on how to do this.

Once the scuffs are dealt with then apply several good layers of polish, brush polishing them between layers. Then start the ‘bull’ for a mirror shine. Your grandad had the right idea.

Above all, don’t rush it, leave it a day after brush polishing if you can before the next step.

I’d not expect a new cadet to have mirror shine shoes on their first night (especially if they were CCF - sorry @Farmerdan couldn’t resist)


Thanks this helps a lot. He was CCF he’s now ATC after being scouted when we went to Southport Airshow a few months ago.
My grandad was in the Army, and I’ve got a cousin based at RAF Coningsby and a Navy cousin currently based on HMS Queen Elizabeth. Very proud of my military family.

In fact I didn’t even think, I can do a video chat with them to teach my son how to polish his shoes and boots properly :grin:


All four regular services bull their shoes, same method just different colour polish, if you can get some kiwi tinned shoe polish online it always helps.

Kiwi’s fine if you like the snell of petrol, are on a budget, and have plenty of time to put the work in: otherwise I’d recommend Saphir.