How to Polish Oxblood Shoes

by Shefali Choudhury ; Updated September 28, 2017

Polishing shoes helps to bring out the rich tones of colored leather.

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Oxblood is a dark red-brown color. It is an excellent choice for leather shoes and polishing deepens the richness of the shade. Oxblood is suitable for casual and dress shoes, with labels famous for their oxblood footwear including Lanvin, Christian Louboutin and Doc Martins. Polishing shoes regularly nourishes the leather and helps waterproof it so your shoes will last longer and keep their intense color.

Clean and Polish

Clean mud or any solid dirt from your shoes with a stiff brush or damp cloth.

Massage a dab of shoe cream on to the leather, using your fingers wrapped in an old rag. Use the light-textured cream shoe polish, which usually comes in a jar or tub, and smooth on a thin, even layer. If the oxblood color is starting to fade or has become extremely scuffed, use an oxblood tint shoe cream.

Leave the polish to dry for a few minutes; usually the time it takes to apply cream to the other shoe.

Buff the shoes to a smooth sheen with a shoe brush. Finish by shining with a clean polishing cloth.

Extra Shine

Clean shoes carefully with a damp cloth.

Smooth a dab of waxy shoe polish over leather and rub in with a cloth. Wax polish is more solid than cream, and usually comes in a flat tin. When layered the wax can completely cover up scratches in the leather. This is ideal for colors like oxblood, which show damage more obviously than black.

Leave the polish to dry for at least 10 minutes.

Buff shoes to a high shine, using a smooth, soft cloth wound around your fingertips. You need to press hard and move fingers in small circular movements to get a good shine.

Repeat the wax polish application, drying and buffing as many times as you need to get shiny shoes. Oxblood looks best when the color is strong and the leather well maintained, so it is worth taking time to do this properly.


  • If you are polishing shoes with layers of wax, insert a shoe-tree to help maintain the shape of the shoe and to give you support to polish against.

    Use an applicator brush to apply cream polish to shoes with lots of detail or patterns in the leather. This enables you to get the cream into all the nooks and crannies.

    Achieve a glossy spit-shine by layering wax polish with a separate layer of clear carnauba wax between. Allow each layer to dry before you buff the shoes to a high shine, adding a spritz of water to further harden the wax.

Photo Credits

  • Sky View/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

Shefali Choudhury is a qualified make-up artist and nail technician, with more than 12 years experience of professional makeup in beauty, film and theater. She graduated in fine art from Central Saint Martins and has been writing professionally since 2007.