How to Shine Tactical Boots | Get Mirror Shine [Best Guide]

It is often said that shoes give you half of the confidence that your entire outfit is likely to give you. And particularly if people around you make shoe contact, before an eye contact; you really need to put your best shoes forward at all times’ right?

Talking particularly about tactical boots; which play an important role in defining the moral aspect of a soldier’s personality’ considerable care has to be taken in cleaning them and making them SHINE OUT!

In today’s article, apart from the casual cleaning of boots I am also going to talk about the tips and tricks you can adopt in order to make your tactical boots shine.

NOTE: Follow along with me, till the end of the article and I guarantee you; your shoes are going to reflect the entire scenario around them. So, here we go!

You may also like to check out – Best Tactical Boots in 2020

How to Shine Tactical Boots

Here is the step by step guide on how to shine tactical boots by yourself.


Well, you are obviously going to need a few things before you start cleaning your tactical boots. Don’t worry they all might just be available with you at your workplace too.

  • A good quality shoe polish (Get one HERE)
  • A medium sized ruggy piece of cloth (Preferably cotton)
  • A bottle full of water or some saturated vinegar solution
  • A polishing brush
  • A Horsehair brush
  • A pair of gloves

After grabbing all these equipment; you are all ready now to set on the mission to spit shine your tactical boots.

THE FIRST STEP: Remove All Dirt and Dust from the Shoe

You cannot get a good shine on your tactical boots, without removing all the initially stuck dust particles from the boots. Wear the gloves and remove the visibly big particles from the boots using your fingers.

Then using a piece of cloth, swipe away all other dust particles. Dampen a horsehair brush, be careful to not make it too much damp because that would make the dust even more stubborn to be removed.

Use back and forth motion and gently brush away all other particles that are stuck on the boots. If you feel like the brush is getting dry, dampen it a little again and repeat the process until you get your desirable results and the boot’s front gets cleaned.

THE SECOND STEP: Forming a Thick Basecoat Using Shoe Polish

If you have got leather material tactical boots, irregularities automatically appear on them after a particular period of use. Before cleaning them, it is necessary to eliminate all these bumps and make the base of the shoe front flat and clear.

To do such, you would need to apply the shoe polish on the boot. Make sure you apply a thick layer.

You can either use a piece of cloth or a flat brush to do so. After that, let the polish sit for 10-15 minutes. More the time, more properly it would get settled on the boot’s front.

THE THIRD STEP: Scrubbing the Boot

Now, take a clean piece of cloth and thoroughly scrub it over the boot. Remove all the excess polish from the boot’s front.

Do not keep doing this procedure over and over again; because you might end up removing all the polish and destroy the basecoat that you just made.

After you have done scrubbing, let the basecoat sit for another 5 to 10 minutes.

THE FOURTH STEP: Pre-Cleaning the Boot; Before Polishing

Now that you have cleansed and scrubbed the boots, it’s time to polish them out and complete the procedure.

To make the shine long last, there is another step that you can adopt before the actual polishing.

Take a small piece of cloth this time, and wrap it around your index finger and middle finger. Take a considerable amount of polish and apply it on the boot’s front. Apply at least 4-5 coats of polish this way; but make sure to let the coat settle before you apply the next one.

TIP: The best way to do this is to place both the boots at your front at the same time. Coat one of the boot and then instead of waiting for it to dry out so that you can apply the second coat, start your work on the other boot. This way you would be able to pre-clean both of the boots without spending too much time on this step. THANK ME LATER!

THE FIFTH STEP: Polishing Your Boot

Now it’s the time to spit shine your shoes! Do you know from where did this name, ‘Spit shine’ came from?

In the older days when soldiers and military men had to clean their boots as a part of the decorum of the training they use to spit on the shoes and then clean them with a wipe. This way; their boots used to shine in a matter of few minutes with very little effort!

However, in this step you do not need to use your saliva unless you do not have water available nearby. Using water would be best in all cases; therefore make sure to keep a bottle of water safe with you before planning on cleaning your tactical boots.

Dampen the cloth and then dip it into the polish box and start coating the boots again. Do this for both of the boots and you would start seeing a very sleek shine emerging on the front. After you have obtained a good shine on both the boots, remove your gloves; clean the surroundings and wash off your hands!

I hope you are going to love this guide on how to shine tactical boots yourself at home. If you have any question, you can drop it in the comments section.


Cleaning your tactical boots is not much of a big deal. But making them shine is kind of a difficult task. Tactical boots are not like normal boots and they do require a little effort to bring out the shine in them. Also, the shine rarely lasts longer because of the activities you do while you have your boots one. So frequently repeating the process would make you a pro in cleaning your boots and then you would be able to do the task in minutes!

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