Starting in the world of shoe care is always an adventure, so here we explain three essential brushes that you will need not only to polish and make your shoes shine; but also, the best brush for cleaning and application of products.

The first thing you should know is that there are two styles of brushes to polish and shine.

Your “Primary Brush” that you will use for buffing the shoe polish and obtain a soft shine. You use it after applying your favorite cream, and rub it on the footwear obtaining the shine you want.

Then you can have a “Secondary Brush” or finishing brush; with it you will provide the last shine on your shoes or to buff your shoes at the beginning or the end of the day.

Every shoeshine kit needs a horsehair shoeshine brush. This is going to be the brush you are using 90% of the time and is really the most important brush you can have. If you only have one brush, it’s going to be a horse hair brush.

If you must choose only one, do not hesitate in a horsehair brush like the Tarrago Horse Hair Wooden Brush. This brush is super comfortable because it has a size of 12.5 cm and its bristles are long enough.

The second choice is to have a Pig Bristle Brush: great for cleaning and texture leather.

It’s really more to kind of get that polish off of the shoe. If you have a pebble grain shoe that’s prone to kind of accumulating a polish. This pig bristle brush is going to do a better job actually getting into that grain to remove it.

For this we recommend the Tarrago Premium Brush made with horse bristles and 13.5 cm handle.

And finally, and to complete your set of brushes, you cannot miss an applicator brush. As it is the Tarrago Dauber, with which you will apply the different creams on the shoes. We recommend you have one for each color, to avoid color transfers.


Do I need to brushes? Yes, you need two. One for dark-colored shoes and one for light-colored shoes.

How do I clean my brush? Buff the cloth with the shoe shine brush. You are doing is just rubbing off any type of residual polish that’s accumulated on the brush.

Can I apply shoe polish with a shoe shine brush? No, you shouldn’t. Because you going to end up with too much accumulation and gunking of polish on the brush itself. And you just wouldn’t want to ruin a good shoeshine brush by putting to much polish on the bristle.

Polish should be applied with a dauber, with a cotton chamois, or actually with your fingers if you want to; but don’t ever apply your shoe polish with shoeshine.