What Is a Shoe Mitt and What Is It Used For?

Do you wear work shoes that often need polishing?

If you haven’t invested in a shoe mitt yet, you’re missing out. This is a nifty gadget that will help you to keep those shoes as sleek and shiny as possible.

It’s not something that everybody has, and it’s more often found in hotel rooms. In fact, if you’ve ever seen a strange, mitt-like piece of fabric in your hotel room and wondered what it was for, you’ve probably seen a shoe mitt!

Let’s have a look at what exactly it is, how it works, and how to use it.

What Is a Shoe Mitt?

A shoe mitt is a mitten that you slide your hand into and use to wipe and buff your shoes. It uses soft material like soft wool, cotton, or poly-shearling on the palm, while the back of the hand is lined with mesh or leather.

A shoe mitt is not designed to remove dirt or grime from the shoe. It’s a quick and easy way to dust your shoes off and get some sheen back by polishing.

Shoe mitts are also known as polish gloves or shoe shine cloths. You’ll often find them among the overnight amenities that are left out in hotel rooms for you to use.

It’s important to note that the name “shoe mitt” refers to the style of buffing cloth that is a mitt-like style, which fits over your hand.

When to Use Shoe Mitts

Shoe mitts are not appropriate for all types of shoes. They should only be used on materials that have leather, gloss, or semi-gloss finishes.

You should not use a shoe mitt on shoes with suede, mesh, textile, and other types of materials on their uppers. These can be damaged by the roughness of a shoe mitt.

However, they are very effective for buffing up work shoes made of leather.

How to Use a Shoe Mitt

A shoe mitt is very easy to use. Just slip your hand into the mitt, making sure the soft side is on your palm and the hard side at the back of your hand.

Dust off your shoes lightly before you start to polish your shoes. If your shoes have hard, wet, or muddy dirt on them, you should clean that off before you use the shoe mitt.

Once you’ve dusted your shoes off, you can buff the shoe well with the shoe mitt until it’s shiny and clean.

If you have shoe moisturizer, you should use this before you do a final buff.

Types of Materials Used

Many shoe mitts are made from cotton, as it’s extremely soft and does an excellent job of cleaning and polishing without scratching the shoe.

Some are made of microfiber, which is also very soft and absorbs moisture. This will remove anything that’s moderately wet from the surface of your shoes and won’t scratch or damage them all as it polishes.

Can a Shoe Mitt Damage Your Shoes?

Most shoe mitts are made from soft, non-scratchy material that won’t damage your shoes when using them. If you get a shoe mitt in your hotel room or buy one from the store, they should be soft and easy on your shoe fabric.

The only time the shoe mitt may cause damage is when it’s wet. In this case, it won’t do its job properly. Make sure your shoe mitt is always dry when you use it on your shoes.

Never attempt to use a different item in place of a shoe mitt to clean your shoes. Although they may feel soft, the material of a towel, shirt, or other cloth is often damaging to shoe uppers.

Other Uses for a Shoe Mitt

Buying a shoe mitt might seem pointless if you only need to clean office shoes once in a while. However, there are some other uses for a shoe mitt that could be more useful.

1. Cleaning Phones, Tablets, and Screens

We all have screens, whether it’s a TV, tablet, cellphone, or laptop. When you’re not using your shoe mitt to clean your work shoes, you can use it to clean the screens of these devices.

It will help to remove dust, clean away smudges and fingerprints, and keep your screens clean and easy to see.

2. Tablet Holder

Some shoe mitts are big enough to fit a tablet inside the mitt pouch. You can easily use these to keep your tablet safe and protected! Even if you have a smaller one, it may fit your phone safely inside it.

3. Windshield Cleaning Cloth

Traditional windscreen cleaning cloths are effective, but as a shoe mitt is extremely moisture-absorbent, it can dry your windshield much more quickly.

4. A Cleaning Tool

Shoe mitts are durable and can be used as a cleaning cloth around the house as well as a shoe cleaner. Using a shoe mitt will not only keep your household items very clean, but it also won’t scratch or damage them.

5. Keep Your Car Clean

A shoe mitt is also a great tool for keeping your car clean, inside and out. It’s the ideal kind of cloth for expensive items like cars, musical instruments, electronics, and technology, as it’s extremely soft and non-damaging.

6. Cleaning Up Stains

You can use the shoe mitt to mop up spilled liquid, as it’s very absorbent. Take note that cleaning up liquids can stain your shoe mitt, so it may not be a good idea if your shoe mitt is lightly colored.

7. Cleaning Jewelry and Watches

Jewelry and watches are fragile and valuable items, so they need to be cleaned extremely carefully. A shoe mitt is the perfect cloth to use on these sorts of things, as it’s soft enough to ensure no damage while cleaning the jewelry well.

Best Overall

1. pedag Brilliant Shearling Shoe Polishing Glove

At about 12 inches in length, this shoe mitt is big enough to fit your tablet into if you want an alternate use for it!

It’s big enough for any size hands and has soft shearling on the front and leather on the back of the mitt. This shoe mitt is handmade and reinforced with stitching around the whole edge.

You can use this shoe mitt on any leather items, including shoes, handbags, jackets, and even leather car seats.


  • Easy to use mitt
  • Shearling lambskin buffing cloth
  • Lined with genuine leather
  • Can be used on a number of leather items


  • May leave fluff on the shoe for the first few uses

Top Runner-Up

2. Shoeslulu Premium Shoe Shine Cloth Glove

This shoe mitt is smaller than the first one—at 5.5 x 7 inches—and made of 100 percent polyester. The back of the mitt is made of mesh, which allows air to flow through it and keep your hand cool while you’re polishing.

The front of the shoe mitt is made of poly-shearling, which is very soft and safe for use on a variety of items.

It also has a handy loop for hanging the mitt up when it’s not in use. It’s travel-friendly, universal size, and it’s also machine washable for convenience.


  • Breathable mesh on the back of the hand
  • Non-scratch poly-shearling cloth
  • Machine washable
  • Easy to store


  • The white color can get dirty easily

Best for Leather

3. Saphir Médaille d’Or Polishing Glove

This handy shoe mitt can be rolled up and stored in a bag or drawer easily. It’s backed by durable leather and the front buffing surface consists of a thick and plush layer of sheepskin.

This shoe mitt is ideal for buffing leather, and it’s also suitable for suede. Compact and lightweight, this shoe mitt is ideal for both home use and travel.


  • Easy to use leather glove
  • Thick layer of sheep wool
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Can be used on suede shoes


  • Some may find it hard to wear as the leather backing is stiff