There is a world of shoe brushes most of us do not even think about. I won’t even lie. Prior to trying these ones out earlier this year, I had never even thought about, or cared about for that matter, using a shoe brush that was not horsehair. The sad thing about that is that I was even a professional shoe shiner years ago. My only defense is that back then, there were far fewer companies providing/offering brushes outside of horsehair and pig bristle. But times have changed!
The Horsehair Brush
For years and years, the horsehair brush was the pinnacle of the shoe brushes. It was what we all knew and used. And it used to be that companies made great versions of them. But like with many things, I fear that the ideas of profit margins took over and over time the brushes became worse. I say that as I feel that the bristles became and did not shine as well. I am sure there are still some soft versions out there of high quality, like Paul Brunngard’s, but a lot of your ‘off the rack’ versions definitely took a step down.
I now find them better suited for upkeep and cleaning rather than a complementary product for shining. The brush you would use for your end-of-day brush-down. But not the one necessarily that you would use to build your shine and/or give the shoes a buff that leaves the shoes gleaming.
The Goat Brush
This is the workhorse brush for shoe shining and the one I now use the most. Its bristles are soft yet firm at the same time and help with blending your shine. The goat hair bristles are softer than the horse ones and help to lift up the shine from new polish but even old polish on the leather but not showing. What I mean by that, is sometimes you have a pair that you polished ages ago and while the pair doesn’t look shiny, it is because the polish is dormant and needs to be lifted out of those pores. And this shoe brush helps you with that.
If the horsehair brush is good for the nighttime brush down of getting off the dust, then the goat hair shoe brush is for the next morning of bringing out that shine.
The Yak Brush
The Yak brush is the cream of the crop of the shoe brushes. Its fine bristles are so luxurious that you can almost shine your mirror shine without ruining it. It really helps to bring out the best shine possible from the shoe brushes of the industry. I really use this one when I want to make a quick one on the toe with minimal polish and maximum brush use. It allows you to polish quickly and save time by really bringing up the shine quickly.
I suggest using this shoe brush for a quick buff shine in order to bring out the best gloss in the shortest amount of time.
For the person who cares for their shoes, a good shoe brush matters. And even though it sounds like overkill having multiple for your various shades of leather i.e. black and tan, is a smart idea! Just saying.
Find these high-quality shoe brushes by Paul Brunngard at Arteron London: https://arterton.co.uk/paul_brunngard_tss