In most cases, I usually like to drop my shoes off at B. Nelson's or The Leather Spa for a cleaning, polish, and shine. I'll sometimes even head over to the Concourse at Rockefeller Center to sit down for a shine. However, when I have the time, I enjoy sitting at home with my shoe kit and giving my shoes a good cleaning and polish (most of my shoes are some shade of brown and I generally don't like them to have a high shine).
My wife purchased this little set for me about 10 years ago from Holland & Holland when the company had a Manhattan location at 57th street between Park and Madison Avenue (I believe Turnbull & Asser currently occupies the location). Interestingly enough, I don't believe that I owned any "high-end" English shoes at that time - just a few pairs of American-made J&M Aristocrafts handed down from my father - but thankfully the lovely woman was able to glimpse the uptown dandy lurking somewhere just under the surface.
Plenty of blogs have described how to properly shine your shoes better than I can, so I won't even try to flog that horse. You'll basically need some brushes, an old rag or cloth, a leather conditioner, and a polishing wax. Lately, I've really only been using a conditioner (Saphir Renovateur). If I use a polishing agent, I keep it basic with a neutral so as not to cover up the developing leather patina on the brown shoes.
With that said, this little set has everything you'll need to care for your shoes:
A brush with dark bristles for black shoes and another brush with lighter bristles for shoes of a lighter shade, so you're not mixing black and brown polishes on one brush.
Smaller brushes that you can use to clean around the sole edges and broguing perforations.
The leather carrying case also has just enough room for some polish tins and the leather conditioner jar, as well as a spare cloth.
After 10 years of buffing and brushing, the set is still in great shape and shows no signs of wearing down anytime soon. The gift that keeps on giving, wouldn't you say?