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Most bootmen get off with hands-on physical tightness with
boots. Whether your own, laced up tight and high, ankle to calf
or your Buddy or Boss's boots pressed hard against tense flesh,
Boots are good to get close to, to hold and be held by even when
it hurts. Your hardcock is convinced of that.
Polishing a Boot to a spit-shine returns the honor, gives the boot the Service, and Magnificent Looks that the Boot has earned by its power over you, sexually and mentally. If Boots are your most esteemed, valued possessions they should show it. There is no better way to display that esteem than by Spit-Shining Boots to the best of your ability and by keeping them Spit-Shined. Worn with pride they gleam with the black lure of military glamour, the focus of attention, eyed and admired by those who know.
So begins BootTom of Fort Lauderdale's classic article on "A Bootblack Guide to the Military Spit Shine".
Bootblacking is one of my passions. For a time, i was the property of two BOOTMASTERS, who gave me the name: black.
black is the name i now use in all boot contexts. It is the name my friends and acquaintances use when i bootblack, and any other time i am in bottom space.
From September, 2001 until His sudden death on April 1, 2005, i was the property of BOOTMASTER, Master Barry of Chicago, IL.
It gives me great joy to tell you all that i am now Sir Trooper's collared boy. Sir Trooper is himself a very distinguished bootblack, which makes being His boy an even greater honour.
At the Mr. Leatherman Toronto Competition in November 2001, i won the title Bootblack Toronto 2002.
i used to bootblack on a fairly regular basis at The Toolbox in Toronto. Sadly, The Toolbox closed forever at the end of August, 2004. i still bootblack at various play parties, runs, and fundraisers. All my bootblack tips are donated to various charities.
The photo at the top of this page shows me at a bootblack workshop that i gave some time back. i get great pleasure from the feel of a boot pressed into my crotch while i give it the attention and shine it deserves.
In all the photos on this page, i am wearing the torn flannel shorts that have been my standard uniform for bootblacking in public. In more recent times, i have been wearing a pair of US Navy Seal Team shorts instead of the flannel ones. In more private settings, i often bootblack naked except for boots and sometimes a military hat.
How to do a spit shine
Getting a pair of boots to shine is a fairly straightforward procedure that most of us learned when we were children. Doing a spit shine is a step above that. There are various ways to accomplish it, and much military lore ranging from cotton balls and hot spoons (both of which work) to pyrotechnics (not recommended!).
In response to many enquiries, here is how to do a mirror spit shine. This article was first published in the quarterly magazine of Men in BOOTS Club International.
Please note it is Copyright 2014 ian turner All Rights Reserved.
THE SPIT SHINE REVISITED
Some time back, my mentor, Boot Tom, wrote a
wonderful article for Men in BOOTS Club International called
"A Bootblack Guide to the Military Spit Shine". For me
and many others, this article has been the primary reference on
the subject. His erotic approach to the subject remains
unequalled anywhere in print that i have seen.
The boot world, however, has not stood still since Boot Tom wrote his article. Perhaps the most significant development is that many military forces, including the US Marines, no longer (gasp) spit shine their combat boots! Apart from the obvious practical problem of maintaining a spit shine in the field, it seems that the shine shows up in night vision lenses. US Marines continue to wear shiny low quarter dress shoes with their dress uniforms, but these are now made of plastic (yuk) that has a permanent shine. What is our world coming to?! The next thing we know, military forces all over the world will no longer be going to war. Then again, that might not be such a bad idea.
The military's abandonment of the spit shine does not excuse the rest of us from looking our best, and more importantly paying our boots the honour of looking their best. The spit shine is here to stay. Moreover, technology has arrived in the bootblacks' world. Boot Tom's article describes a very effective way to produce a spit shine, but it takes five days to do it. Tell that to your BOOTMASTER or Drill Instructor and see what happens! What i am going to give you here is a step by step procedure to produce a spit shine. It will take two to three hours depending on the type of boots and the condition they are in to start with.
Wash your hands (and any other body part you plan to have in contact with the boots). Your skin contains natural oils in addition to whatever dirt you may have picked up. You cannot polish a boot that has oil on it, nor can you polish a boot with oil on your skin.
Clean the boots. For a new or relatively clean pair, all you will need to do is put a small amount of saddle soap on a soft shoe polish dauber, dip it in water, and lightly scrub the boots. The saddle soap will foam a bit. Then wipe off the soapy water and dry the boots with a clean towel. If the boots are really dirty, more drastic measures, such as a scrubbing brush and water, may be required. Don't forget the dust bunnies next to the tongue of the boot!
If the boots already have old layers of polish on them, strip the old polish off using mineral spirits on a clean rag. Lighter fluid will also work, but is more expensive. You will find mineral spirits in the paint thinner section of your hardware store. If you are buying something labelled "paint thinner", read the label to make sure it is indeed mineral spirits. Provided it is mineral spirits, the cheap stuff works just as well as the major brand names.
Using your bare hands, rub a layer of soft shoe polish onto one boot. i have found that the regular Kiwi shoe polish is the best for this. Buy the big tins, as you will use more of this than any other supply. (No, i don't hold shares in any shoe polish company.) Remember to apply polish to the tongue of the boot, and also to the edge of the sole and heel. Use a toothbrush to apply polish to the "catwalk" where the sole meets the upper shoe leather.
Now here comes the technology: After you have applied the polish to the boot, take a hair dryer using the hot setting, and slowly blast hot air over the boot. You will see the polish melt briefly as the hot air does its thing. This melts the polish into the leather.
Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the other boot.
Repeat steps 4 through 6 three more times, so that you have melted four layers of soft polish into the leather.
Now comes the spit shine. To do this you need the following items:
Wet the cloth and wring it out - you want it damp but
not dripping wet. Wrap it round the first two fingers of
your hand and grip the excess cloth so that you have a
nice taut surface at your fingertips. Put a small amount
of polish on the cloth at your fingertips and begin
lightly stroking the surface of the leather in little
circles, working a section at a time. You have to be
patient. At first you will think a shine will never
appear, but keep doing those little circles on the
section you are working on. Eventually you will see a
mirror shine begin to appear through the haze of polish.
(Don't forget to do this to the edges of the soles and
This process takes a bit of practice. In time you will develop the technique that works best for you. You will also find by experimenting that variations on the little circles, such as back and forth buffing with the damp cloth, work better on certain areas of the particular boot you are shining. Turn the cloth to get a clean surface occasionally.
On some boots, a single layer of spit shine is all that is needed. On others, such as Canadian Garrison boots which come with a slightly pebbled surface when new, you may need to build up many layers. Use polish sparingly - the layers must be thin, or else the polish you just applied will strip off and form little bits of grit in the cloth, ruining the shine you have so far. Keep the cloth damp using your spray bottle or whatever. The purpose of the water is to make the polish stick to the leather not to the cloth. It is the thin layers of polish that gradually fill the tiny holes and bumps in the leather, thereby producing the smooth surface that shines like a mirror.
When you have finished the spit shine, make sure you rub all traces of polish off the soles with an old towel or something. This is especially important with boots that have heavy treads such as Vibram soles. The treads capture polish that is later released onto the Persian carpets, etc.
There! You (or your BOOTMASTER) now have a pair
of boots that can be worn with pride.
Maintaining the shine is much easier than the procedure just outlined. Provided you have no major scuffs, all you really need to do is add another layer or two of spit shine polish with your damp cotton cloth.
If you have a large scratch, you can dip your finger in mineral spirits and melt the polish in the scratched area., then rebuild the layers. Boot Tom has had success in doing this. Personally, i have found it easier to strip the polish off a somewhat larger area (typically the toe cap), and then redo the entire nine step process described above on that area (giving new meaning to starting from scratch).
There usually comes a time, when the old polish is chipped, flaking off in places, and/or has major scratches, that your only option is to strip the polish off the entire pair of boots and start afresh. US military tradition requires the old polish to be stripped on a regular basis. Canadian and British tradition is to build up layers of polish over the years. Choose your tradition!
If you do not own a hair dryer, you can revert to Boot Tom's method, which is to leave the boots overnight to dry, instead of step 5. This lengthens the process to five days.
A spit shine will melt in direct sunlight on a hot day. There is not much you can do to prevent this other than keeping them in the shade until you are ready to dazzle your friends, visiting Heads of State, or whoever else is inspecting them. The good news is that the shine is easily restored with a single layer of spit shine.
Some types of boots, such as oil tanned or silicone treated, will never take a spit shine. They are not meant to. Some boots, such as Corcoran II Field Boots, can only be spit shined on the toes and heels; the rest of the boot must be done with a conventional brush shine.
Spit shines do flake wherever the leather creases. Those of us who like to spit shine the entire boots have to be quite careful, when wearing the boots indoors, to avoid leaving little flecks of polish that can wreck a white carpet or tile floor. Polish will wash out with conventional cleaners, provided you treat it early.
Polish can be cleaned off skin with the hand cleanser that automotive stores sell for use by mechanics. A scrubbing brush and soap and water also work, and depending on what body parts have to be scrubbed, your BOOTMASTER may want to make cleanup part of the scene.
Whenever you do laundry, throw your cotton polishing cloths, towels, etc., in with your load of dark clothes. They will still come out somewhat black, but they will be much softer and ready for reuse.
Original version Copyright ian turner, 1999. All rights reserved.
Current version Copyright ian turner, 2014. All rights reserved.