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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

76 Models Considered
30 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
60 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best electric shoe polishers

Your shoes may not seem like the most important part of an outfit, but if you’re wearing a shabby pair, people may notice. Getting into a regular polishing routine can help your shoes look like new, so you’re always able to put your best foot forward. Polishing your shoes by hand can be a tedious process — investing in an electric shoe polisher can make shining your shoes easy.

An electric shoe polisher features a motor and some type of buffing head or brush that polishes your shoes quickly and efficiently. It works similarly to a manual shoe polishing brush, but it requires much less effort. Not only can an electric shoe polisher help work shoe polish, wax, or cream into the leather to help prolong the lifespan of your shoes, it can also buff away scuffs and scratches for a smooth, shiny finish.

If you want your shoes to look their best, it all comes down to choosing the right electric shoe polisher. That means deciding on the model, what type of power you prefer, and what kinds of brushes you need. With our convenient shopping guide, you’ll have all the information you need to find the right electric shoe polisher for your footwear collection.

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It can take ten minutes or more to polish your shoes manually. With an electric shoe polisher, you can do it in just a few minutes.

Key considerations

Stand-up vs. handheld

Electric shoe polishers are available in two types: stand-up and handheld.

As their name implies, stand-up models allow you to polish your shoes while you’re standing up. Your shoes must be on your feet, but you don’t have to bend if you have a bad back or other injuries. Some stand-up polishers even have foot controls to turn the polisher on and off for extremely easy operation. A stand-up shoe polisher is usually fairly large, so it’s not a great option for taking on the go.

A handheld electric shoe polisher is a lightweight, compact device that’s convenient for travel or stashing in your bag if you need to polish your shoes at the office. Because it’s handheld, you can also use it to polish other leather items like bags or purses. It does require more effort to operate because you have to move the polisher over your shoes. If you prefer to polish your shoes while you’re wearing them, you may need to bend to use a handheld model.

Power and type

An electric shoe polisher requires some type of power source to run the motor. Most stand-up shoe polishers use an AC adapter, so they must be plugged into an outlet for operation. Handheld models are usually battery-operated, though some polishers use replaceable AA or AAA batteries. Others run on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that are recharged via a USB cable.

Plug-in electric shoe polishers tend to have more powerful motors for faster, more efficient polishing, but battery-operated models are more travel-friendly.

When you’re deciding between electric shoe polisher models, consider the motor’s power as well. For the most effective option, choose a polisher with a motor that offers between 100 and 130 watts.

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Did you know?
You can use your favorite shoe polish with an electric shoe polisher, so there’s no need to buy a special product.
STAFF
BestReviews

Features

Brushes

Large, stand-up models typically include a single type of buffing head. They’re removable so you can replace them if necessary. Most polishers use either lambswool or microfiber buffing heads to get the smoothest, shiniest finish for your leather shoes.

Handheld electric shoe polishers usually come with a variety of brushes or attachments to allow you to perform different shoe maintenance tasks. Some brush heads are meant for cleaning the leather, others are used to apply wax or cream to the shoes, and some are designed to polish or dust the shoes.

An electric shoe polisher with multiple brushes or heads allows for the most complete shoe maintenance, while those with a single type of brush usually work best for simply buffing or polishing the shoes. Choose a model with all the attachments or accessories you’ll need to keep your shoes looking like new.

Polish dispenser

Some stand-up electric shoe polishers feature a dispenser for wax, oil, or cream so the polisher automatically applies it to the shoes as it’s buffing. If your polisher doesn’t have this type of dispenser, you’ll need to apply the oil or cream yourself, then turn the polisher on to work the product into the leather.

Portability

If you’re a frequent traveler, you’ll likely find yourself needing to polish your shoes when you’re away from home. Some electric shoe polishers are easier to pack in your bag and take with you than others, so consider the size and weight of a model if you want to travel with it. Handheld models are clearly the best option, though some polishers weigh a little more than others. Look for a model that’s about half a pound if you’re going to travel with it.

If you plan to take it on the go regularly, it also helps to choose a model with a carrying case to keep the electric shoe polisher safe during travel.

Versatility

While leather shoes are the most common item that requires polishing, you may have other leather items that you want to maintain with occasional polishing, including bags, purses, wallets, and jackets. If you want an electric polisher that’s versatile enough to use for items other than shoes, choose a handheld model that you can easily move over any leather surface to get the look and finish you want.

"Place a towel or mat beneath your shoes when you’re using an electric shoe polisher to prevent a mess on the surrounding area. "
STAFF
BestReviews

Electric shoe polisher prices

Inexpensive: The most affordable electric shoe polishers are handheld models that run on replaceable batteries and usually have a motor with 100 watts or less. They range from $10 to $22 and work well if you only need to polish your shoes occasionally or want a polisher you can travel with.

Mid-range: Handheld electric shoe polishers with rechargeable batteries are slightly more expensive, but they usually have a more powerful motor, too. They cost between $22 and $40 and are a good option if you polish your shoes more often or need a higher-quality travel model.

Expensive: The most expensive electric shoe polishers are stand-up models that must be plugged in. They have the most powerful motor, usually falling between 100 and 130 watts, and generally cost between $80 and $130. They’re the best option if you polish your shoes regularly and want a model that works as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Tips

  • To keep your electric shoe polisher in good condition, remove the brushes or buffing heads every few uses and wash them in hot water.
  • Wipe down the exterior of a handheld polisher with a damp cloth after each use to keep it working well.
  • Add only a small amount of cream, oil, or wax to an electric shoe polisher’s built-in dispenser. If there’s any left over when you’re finished polishing your shoes, it can be very difficult to remove because it becomes thick and sticky when it sits.
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A handheld electric shoe polisher can also come in handy for making old, worn leather furniture look like new.

FAQ

Q. Does an electric shoe polisher offer warranty protection?
A.
Most shoe polishers do include a warranty, though you’ll likely only get one year of coverage. Check the product description carefully to make sure you understand the terms — most warranties only cover manufacturing or material defects, so it won’t protect you against problems that arise due to an accident or misuse.

Q. How long can a rechargeable electric shoe polisher run?
A.
It varies from model to model, but nearly all rechargeable electric polishers can run for at least an hour, which is usually more than enough time to polish a pair of shoes. Some higher-end models can go up to five hours without needing to be recharged, so you can polish multiple pairs without needing to worry about the battery running out.

Q. How often should I use an electric shoe polisher on my shoes?
A.
It really depends on how often and in what weather conditions you wear your shoes. Some people polish their shoes after every wear, while others only do it every few months. A good rule of thumb is to use your electric shoe polisher whenever your shoes start to look dull or worn.

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