Two amazing wax polish choices from Saphir Médaille d'Or. What do they have in common and how do they differ? Which one is best to shine your shoe? Both have a place in your care routine for leather shoes.
In this article we'll discuss the above and more. How we choose which shoe polish and why. We touch on what makes these special, which is best for a beginner, and comment on picking colours. A good wax polish is a staple and should have a home in your closet.
First let's talk about how they are similar. Then we'll touch on how they differ. We'll close out with our recommendations.
What These Wax Polishes Have In Common
Both are made in France (like most Saphir products).
Both contain natural hard waxes. Hard wax such as Beeswax, Montan wax, and Carnauba wax being the majority. Both also contain turpentine spirit. The turpentine helps emulsify these waxes for easier application. Another benefit is that it makes the shoe polish smell great!
While these are not proprietary waxes, it's a proprietary formulation. These high quality ingredients are brought together in a way only Saphir knows. Premium quality natural ingredients is what separates these two from ordinary polishes. When you use them for the first time you will immediately notice the difference. There is a reason Saphir is such a respected name in shoe care.
Both can be worked into a wax layer using a cotton cloth or high shine chamois. This wax layer is what builds up and creates a mirror finish. This finish cannot be achieved with a shoe cream.
Both should only be used when you have shoe trees in. This prevents you from accidentally damaging your toe or heel counter. Shoe trees and shoe care go hand in hand.
Like all wax polish, both are best suited for smooth leather dress shoes and boots. Both should be used last in your shoe care routine as well. If you're using Saphir Renovateur or Saphir Pommadier cream polish those need to go on first. Cream polish first, wax last.
You don't want to brush over top of your wax finish since that might ruin it! If that happens, you'll might be able to start over with more wax. Take care to avoid brushing over your hard earned wax shine.
Since you always need to brush cream polish that is why we recommend applying it first. It also penetrates the leather better that way.
Alright back to the comparison.
So far you might think they are the same. So let's dive into how they differ.
Saphir Mirror Gloss vs. Saphir Pate De Luxe Wax
Pate De Luxe Wax was first on the scene. This is the tried and true wax polish from Saphir and has been around for decades. If you're a long time Saphir user then this is what you're used to. It does an amazing job. (Hence the name "luxury paste.")
Mirror Gloss is the new kid on the block. Despite that, it is gaining popularity quickly.
Mirror Gloss is formulated to have more hard wax than pate de luxe. The idea is that a higher concentration of waxes should you allow you achieve a better result faster. Where Mirror Gloss got it's name.
If you compare them side by side the Mirror gloss is much stiffer and harder. It is noticeably different to the touch. While Pate De Luxe wax is not soft like a cream at all, if you were to press down hard you would make a dent with your finger. Not so with Mirror Gloss.
What difference does that make?
Mirror Gloss polish takes more water and more swirling with your cloth to get it going. Almost like it is a touch harder to start. Once you get it going though you can achieve a deeper shine faster.
Since it is thicker you are laying down more wax on your shoe. The wax is what makes the shine so sometimes more is better.
Now Saphir Pate De Luxe isn't as concentrated. This means its a touch easier to get going since it's not as thick. You might need more layers applied to achieve the same result.
Which Shoe Polish Is Right For You?
I'll start by saying either will work to achieve a mirror shine. There is no bad choice. Pate De Luxe comes in more colours so that might be the determine factor for you.
If you're a beginner starting out and only want to choose one we recommend Saphir Pate De Luxe. It is a staple for a reason. It's slightly easier to use.
Through lots of experimentation we've found these are best used in conjunction, though. It's the fastest way to a mirror shine.
We recommend using Mirror Gloss first. It puts down a very healthy base layer that is harder and more concentrated. Use your cloth to put down a solid foundation on your leather. Then you build on this wax.
On top of that we then finish with Pate De Luxe. It's slightly softer and tends to sit on that foundation very well.
You could use a base layer or Mirror Gloss in neutral and then finish with Pate De Luxe in your desired colour. Or pick coloured options for both. Or even mix and match the shoe wax a bit depending on your needs. There are many ways to shine shoes!
For example a base coat of dark brown finished with one coat of black. This works very well for brown shoes when you want to add a touch of depth to the heel and toe.
Our dedicated blog post of Pate De Luxe has more info on how to achieve a high shine. The method for both is the same. Mirror gloss might take a bit longer to get going on your leather. The concepts on the same.
In summary, we recommend both. They make a potent one-two punch. These tins also last a long time so having a few around is a good idea. These are staples in your shoe care routine.
Let us know what you think about these two. Do you have a preference? Do you mix and match colours? Leave a comment below.