How to shine shoes in JROTC

The fast way for how to shine shoes in JROTC is to put Windex on a cotton ball and rub that on the outside of your shoes. Also, don’t use wax because that was not meant for the material of these shoes. The shoes are made of plastic vinyl. They’re not leather dress-up shoes.


The slower way for how to shine shoes in JROTC:

Break in your shoes | How to shine shoes in JROTC

You can tell if you have new JROTC shoes or not by checking if they have creases in them. If your shoes already have a lot of creates, don’t worry. This makes the shining process easier. See the picture below for creases v.s no crease shoes:

how to shine shoes jrotc

The creases and folds in JROTC shoes are necessary to achieve a good shine. These creases are the points where your shoe naturally flexes every time you walk. If you shine your shoes without breaking them in, the crust of the polish you will form over your shoes will crack as your shoe bends when you walk around. To break them in, walk around in these shoes for at least a few hours for two or three days, but if you’re in a rush you can try artificially speeding up the process by walking in them like so:

how to shine shoes jrotc

Layering | How to shine shoes in JROTC

To start the shining process of you JROTC shoes, try to stuff a water bottle in each shoe. This will make the shining process a lot easier as it keeps the surface of the shoes smooth. If your shoes are too small, try to find another everyday object that will fit into the shoe. The next step is to unlace the shoes and store the laces somewhere safe. Whenever you rub polish over the shoe, you’re adding a layer to the shoe. The more layers of polish you have on your shoe, the easier getting that mirror shine will be. Pop open your can of polish and pour some water into your polish lid. A common mistake that a lot of beginners make is shining the shoe all at once when in reality this only slows down the shining process. Make sure to go in segments one by one.

Wrap your fingers into the cloth like the below picture. It’s recommended to use two fingers but you can use three or one if you choose to do so.

how to shine shoes jrotc

Now dip your clothed fingers into your dry polish and cover one entire section of your shoe in dry polish. Use no amount of moisture at all. Get a good amount of polish on your cloth. Rub that cloth all over the shoe section until it’s completely covered in dry polish.


1) Heating | How to shine shoes in JROTC

Next, use a hairdryer to melt the polish into the pores of the shoe. Go with the medium heat at first. Although once you feel confident enough you can choose to speed up the process by going on the high setting. Hold the hairdryer over the layer of polish and turn it on and wait until the polish looks shiny and wet like this:

how to shine shoes jrotc

Hold the hairdryer in place for five seconds longer once you see the liquidy quality appear and then move onto a different part of the shoe and repeat until the entirety of that section has been melted. After a few seconds, the liquidy quality of the polish will fade away back to the same cloudy gray. That’s completely fine. The only thing you should watch out for is overheating the shoe.


2) Cooling | How to shine shoes in JROTC

Now switch to a clean section of your cloth and put your fingers in the cloth like in the above picture and drench your clothed fingers in water. Rub a tiny bit of polish onto the edge and using that cloth rub that entire shoe section you just worked on back and forth for a few sections. The point of this is to cool down the shoe from the heating it just experienced. Now switch to a dry section of the cloth and with that hand dry the shoe from the water.


3) Repeat the process | How to shine shoes in JROTC

The three steps to polishing your shoe are layering, heating, and cooling. You should be repeating these steps for quiete a long time. While there’s no specific number of times you should be repeating these steps, it’s recommended to go for at least an hour per shoe if not more. Don’t be satisfied until the shoes look like mirrors to you.


As a last step use parade gloss if you have it 

If you have parade gloss, you can add one final touch-up coat. Rub a tiny bit of parade gloss on a section of your cloth, put some water on it, and rub it onto your shoe. This enhances that already existing mirror shine and will add a tiny layer of protection to your shoe.

Lace your shoes 

Once you’re satisfied with shining your JROTC shoes, grab your laces and start lacing up your shoes! Lace them so that the right lacing goes over the left.


Other resources:

You can read my post about how to tie a JROTC tie.

Click here to read my post about what JRA stands for in JROTC.

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