When the product manager for Kimberly-Clark's new SHINE TO GO shoe polisher asked me to write about it, I warned him that I'd hold it to a high standard. So when a package of the patented all-in-one applicator and buffer arrived, I arranged for the shoe care professionals at San Francisco's A Shine & Co to give me an expert opinion.
SHINE TO GO is a nice concept that's simple to use. Each package contains an applicator that's designed to quickly shine one pair of shoes. Just apply the "real cream polish" with one side and buff with the other.
I put "real cream polish" in quotes because there's no ingredients list on the package or the web site and that's a significant negative. A lot of convenience products contain silicone, which makes shoes look shiny at first but you really don't want to bring that stuff near leather that you care about. Which is why we tried it on a pair of shoes that are used to teach people how to shine. The photo above shows polish going on. Once applied, we waited a minute for the liquid to dry on all parts of the shoe.
The second photo shows buffing (more buffing than any home user is likely to apply) that unfortunately didn't fill in scuff marks like real polish should. When the buffing was done, the result was a cloudy, streaky shine. It wouldn't be enough on shoes that really needed polish, and we didn't think it would do justice to well kept ones. For emergency touch-ups of shoes in between those two points, maybe. If there's no silicone in it.
Bottom line: A SHINE TO GO is a good idea but a flawed implementation. Granted, it's a convenience product. But I agree with the opinion of the professionals: men that care about their shoes shouldn't settle for for anything less than the protection and beauty of a real shoe shine. It's just not that hard to do yourself when there's no shine stand handy.