• 10 Best Shoe Brushes in 2022 (Kiwi, Job Site, and More) 1
  • 10 Best Shoe Brushes in 2022 (Kiwi, Job Site, and More) 2
  • 10 Best Shoe Brushes in 2022 (Kiwi, Job Site, and More) 3
  • 10 Best Shoe Brushes in 2022 (Kiwi, Job Site, and More) 4
  • 10 Best Shoe Brushes in 2022 (Kiwi, Job Site, and More) 5

10 Best Shoe Brushes in 2022 (Kiwi, Job Site, and More)

Wear and tear on shoes is inevitable; after all, you're outside and walking on hard pavement all the time. This can become extra painful if accidents happen on your favorite pair of boots or extra expensive leather or suede shoes you expect to last you forever. But, with the help of the right shoe brush, you can remove those stains and restore your shoes back to life. 


We've picked out some of the best shoe brushes, like Kiwi's Shine Brush, which is made of 100 percent horsehair and is gentle enough on even the most delicate leather shoes. You have nine other options to consider for different shoe materials, as well as a buying guide to introduce you to the right brush to polish and shine your shoes.

Featured in this article

mybest US Editors
  • Last updated: 08-26-2022
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Shoe Brush - Buying Guide

If you want to keep your shoes pristine, you will need the right brush for cleaning and conditioning. The buying guide below will explain which shoe brush works best with a particular shoe material and help you look for a good shoe brush.

Pick a Bristle Material That Suits Your Shoe

The bristle material is key to cleaning your shoes without damaging the surface material. There are particular bristle types that achieve desired results without risking your leather shoes getting scratched or suede boots becoming dull. 

Horse or Goat Hair for Leather

Horse or Goat Hair for Leather

The most common brush material is horsehair, as it is especially effective on leather shoes. The bristles are exceptionally soft and will not scratch or damage even the most sensitive leathers. They are also flexible, meaning you can pick up dirt that gets stuck on the grooves of your shoes.

 
An alternative to horsehair is goat hair brushes, which also provide a gentle polish on delicate leathers. Some manufacturers offer a combination of these two for that cleaning and polishing effect.

 
Avoid synthetic bristles such as plastic or metal on especially delicate and expensive leather, as these are more challenging to handle and could damage your shoes. 

Rubber, Brass, or Coco for Suede or Rugged Shoes

Rubber, Brass, or Coco for Suede or Rugged Shoes

You will need a different approach for suede or nubuck shoes as they have a different texture than leather. Therefore, you should go for rubber, brass, or coconut coir bristle brushes when cleaning suede or nubuck.

 
Rubber crepe brushes are soft and sticky, making them perfect for attracting dirt on the shoe, removing light stains, and pulling on the nap, the fine bristles on suede and nubuck, to bring back the original shine.

Rubber, Brass, or Coco for Suede or Rugged Shoes

Brass wire brushes are for removing tough stains that have settled on your shoes. Lastly, coco coir brushes are great for boots. The bristles can scrape off caked-on mud and dirt and pull on stubborn stains to restore your shoes' color and shine.


You can even find triangular brushes with multiple bristle types on each side to allow you to thoroughly clean and maintain your shoes without having to buy many brushes

Achieve a Specific Finish With Different Bristle Hardnesses

Achieve a Specific Finish With Different Bristle Hardnesses

The bristle hardness also plays a part in the type of finish you are looking for, whether you're buffing, shining, or cleaning.

 
Soft bristles are great for shining and buffing, while medium-hard bristles can thoroughly clean the shoe. Lastly, rigid or stiff bristles can remove tough ingrained marks on your shoe as well as get in the midsole area for cleaning.


You can purchase multiple brushes to achieve the clean-to-shine process, or consider a brush with dual bristle types on each side. 

Separate Your Darks and Lights

Separate Your Darks and Lights

We recommend separating dark from light when it comes to the brush used for the wax and cream. It's best to have a designated brush for each shoe color to avoid accidentally staining your tan shoe, for example, with dark wax or polish.


Furthermore, experts recommend separating cleaning brushes from those used for polishing, as dust or dirt particles can remain on the bristles and get stuck on the cream or wax during application.

Ensure That the Handle Is Sturdy

Ensure That the Handle Is Sturdy

Most shoe brush handles are rectangular-shaped and are about the same size as the bristle area. Daubers often have a longer handle for grabbing, so you have better control for buffing. A great choice is a handle made of polished wood that offers a comfortable grip with no rough edges.

 
We also recommend double-checking with reviews to confirm that the bristles are packed securely into the handle and don't come loose or fall off while brushing. Some brushes, including premium ones, still shed during initial use to get rid of the weakest hairs. However, you can expect this to lessen with continued use. 

Look at Daubers and Other Accessories to Accompany the Brush

Look at Daubers and Other Accessories to Accompany the Brush

A dauber is an accessory that complements a regular brush. It is traditionally used for polishing. Thanks to its rounded shape, you can buff and polish in circular strokes. Utilizing a dauber also makes it easier to grab some wax and cream for cleaning.


Another commonly used accessory for polishing and waxing is cotton flannel cloths that can buff and shine shoes. They're more prone to streaking, and you can end up with wax or cream on your fingers during application.


Shoe cloths, however, are great for final touch-ups after the polish has set. You can rub the shoe and bring out the shine from leather for a glossy finish. 

10 Best Shoe Brushes

Here is a lineup of shoe brushes that cater to leather, suede, nubuck, and even sneakers and rugged boots. We made our choices based on the points listed in the buying guide below, as well as reviewer comments when available.

Image
1
Kiwi Shine Brush 1

Kiwi

2
Ralyn Shoe Polish Daubers 1

Ralyn

3
Jason Markk Premium Shoe Cleaner Essentials Kit 1

Jason Markk

4
Job Site The Original Boot Scrubber 1

Job Site

5
Footfitter Large Crepe Brush 1

Footfitter

6
Jovitec Horsehair Shoe Polish Brushes 1

Jovitec

7
Shacke Suede and Nubuck 4-Way Brush 1

Shacke

8
Sof Sole Suede and Nubuck Cleaning Kit 1

Sof Sole

9
Footfitter Signature Jumbo Shoe Shine Brush 1

Footfitter

10
Alloda Shoe Cleaning Brush 1

Alloda

Name

Shine Brush

Shoe Polish Daubers

Premium Shoe Cleaner Essentials Kit

The Original Boot Scrubber

Large Crepe Brush

Horsehair Shoe Polish Brushes

Suede and Nubuck 4-Way Brush

Suede and Nubuck Cleaning Kit

Signature Jumbo Shoe Shine Brush

Shoe Cleaning Brush

Features

Horsehair Brush to Bring Out That Shine

Reliable Daubers for Buffing Any Leather Color

A Sneaker-Friendly Shoe Cleaning Kit

Boot Stains and Dirt Are No Match for This Brush

Crepe Brush for Suede and Nubuck

A Set for Your Leather Cleaning Needs

4-Way Shoe Cleaner for All Hard-to-Reach Areas

Erase Grime, Restore and Clean

Large Horsehair Brush for Bigger Shoes

One Brush for Your Shoe-Cleaning Needs

Price$6.39$10.60$16.00$19.99$13.00$10.99$6.99$6.99$17.00$6.83
Bristle materialHorsehairHorsehairSynthetic NylonRubberHorsehairRubber, nylon, brassRubber, nylonHorsehairBoar hair, nylon
Best forLeatherLeatherSneaker leather, canvas, rubber, vinylWork boots, rubber shoes, sneakersSuede, nubuckLeatherSuede, nubuckSuede, nubuckLeatherLeather, suede, nubuck, rubber, canvas
Bristle hardnessSoftSoftMediumHardSoft and stickySoftSoft Not specifiedSoftSoft and hard
Dimensions5 x 1.5 in.5.5 in.Not specified9.5 x 6.5 x 4.8 in.5 x 1.8 in. Brush: 6.7 x 4 in., dauber: 6 x 1.5 in.Not specified3 x 1 in.8 x 2.75 in. Not specified
Link
1
Bristle materialHorsehair
Best forLeather
Bristle hardnessSoft
Dimensions5 x 1.5 in.
2

RalynShoe Polish Daubers

Set of 2

$10.60

Bristle materialHorsehair
Best forLeather
Bristle hardnessSoft
Dimensions5.5 in.
3

Jason MarkkPremium Shoe Cleaner Essentials Kit

$16.00

Bristle materialSynthetic
Best forSneaker leather, canvas, rubber, vinyl
Bristle hardnessMedium
DimensionsNot specified
4

Job SiteThe Original Boot Scrubber

$19.99

Bristle materialNylon
Best forWork boots, rubber shoes, sneakers
Bristle hardnessHard
Dimensions9.5 x 6.5 x 4.8 in.
5

FootfitterLarge Crepe Brush

$13.00

Bristle materialRubber
Best forSuede, nubuck
Bristle hardnessSoft and sticky
Dimensions5 x 1.8 in.
6

JovitecHorsehair Shoe Polish Brushes

Set of 3

$10.99

Bristle materialHorsehair
Best forLeather
Bristle hardnessSoft
DimensionsBrush: 6.7 x 4 in., dauber: 6 x 1.5 in.
7

ShackeSuede and Nubuck 4-Way Brush

$6.99

Bristle materialRubber, nylon, brass
Best forSuede, nubuck
Bristle hardnessSoft
DimensionsNot specified
8

Sof SoleSuede and Nubuck Cleaning Kit

$6.99

Bristle materialRubber, nylon
Best forSuede, nubuck
Bristle hardnessNot specified
Dimensions3 x 1 in.
9

FootfitterSignature Jumbo Shoe Shine Brush

$17.00

Bristle materialHorsehair
Best forLeather
Bristle hardnessSoft
Dimensions8 x 2.75 in.
10

AllodaShoe Cleaning Brush

$6.83

Bristle materialBoar hair, nylon
Best forLeather, suede, nubuck, rubber, canvas
Bristle hardnessSoft and hard
DimensionsNot specified

Check Out These Shoe Accessories Worth Trying

Are you looking for other essential products to extend the life of your favorite shoes? We've got a few more suggestions worth trying. 

Author: Hana Otsuka


  • Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more mybest recommendations! For questions or comments, leave us feedback via a Google Form on our Contact Us page.

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