Best Horsehair Brush & Dauber for Shoes and Boots (and what not to buy)

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We still wear leather shoes and boots A LOT, and we don’t scrub them nowadays. Why? Maybe we are busy, but it hurts when the pricey leather footwear falls apart, fades away or at least, looks clumsy.

We’re going all horsehair here. 

We believe your leather shoes and boots need high-class brushes and daubers while cleaning, polishing, or buffing them. Horsehair is softer than pig/hog bristles. Synthetic material does not have a chance to compete with horse bristles. You need horsehair when you sweep your best pair of shoes- it’s that simple.

Why do they shed bristles and why people are easily offended by horsehair brushes?

Mostly because we don’t know how to brush and horsehair brushes come this way. Every horsehair brush will shed some, so you better do the caring outside for the first few times. Horsehair brushes are gentle ones, and there are certain soft ways to use them on leather. They don’t hurt leather, but we hurt them by being hard.

Table Of Contents

Brush + Dauber Set

Valentino Garemi Set – 2 Polishing Brushes, Cloth, 2 Applicator Brushes Review

The best kit



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“Fine kit, brushes are well made and sized right — quality product at a fair price. I liked the different colors to apply different colored polishes. I would recommend to others and buy it again myself.”

What’s Included

  1. One light bristle brush
  2. One dark bristle brush (perfect size, 6.5″ each)
  3. One light dauber
  4. One dark dauber (6″ each)
  5. One 17” x 17″ – 100% cotton cloth.
  6. A convenient storage bag.

Pros

  1. Everything natural.
  2. Naturally high quality: “specially created to serve shoe care lovers.”
  3. They are produced in Germany (they made the cloth in China).
  4. All horsehair.
  5. Military and law enforcement officials love them.
  6. Suitable for all types of leather goods.

Cons

  • They don’t shed hair as much as other brushes do. There’s a little chance, though. I would say it’s negligible.
  • It’s not cheap. I think it’s not a con either.

Remarks

This one is the finest brush kit so far.

Simple Shine Premium Horsehair Shoe Brush and Polish Applicator Set Review

Most popular



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One thing: It’s better, but it’s not magical. 

The following assessment will be helpful:

“I’d be happy to take a picture of my collection of oxfords and bluchers to show you; this brush set makes polishing so easy. I have several pairs of walnut colored oxfords (with various degrees of brogue detailing). I purchased this set for the walnut color only. I expect I’ll purchase more for my black and regular brown leather shoes. I hit that point in my sartorial journey where I wondered why generally we don’t take care of shoes the way our grandfathers did. I decided to rectify that and I’m looking forward to seeing how years of regular polishing will condition my shoes. What can I say, the horsehair brush look and feels fantastic. It brings up a quick shine and I’m assured it doesn’t scratch the leather the way a rougher brush might.”

What’s Included

  • A big brush.
  • A big dauber.
  • They have five discount package offers on the amazon page. Those kits have variations.

Pros

  1. Premium: “Proudly made with only premium materials and animal cruelty free practices.”
  2. It’s an American family-run small business who keep social commitment in their minds: “Our minimal socially responsible packaging is eco-friendly and recyclable.”
  3. 7 inch is big enough for a broom.
  4. They look good.
  5. Ergonomic handles.
  6. Extra soft.
  7. Low priced, indeed.
  8. 100% Manufacturer money-back guarantee.
  9. Suitable for any leather, you can use them to shine non-shoe products as well. 
  10. The wood is sturdy.
  11. Excellent as a gift set.
  12. Obviously, there’s no synthetic bristle.
  13. There are loyal, returning buyers.

Cons

  • Again, they discard bristles. You can expect that to happen during the first few polishes. It seems like things work this way for horsehair.
  • Pins retain the dauber bristles. They could have chosen sewing. 

Remarks

Try them; you’re most likely to love them.

Foloda Horsehair Bristle Shoe Brush, Dauber & Suede Brush Review



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“Never looked so clean. I use these brushes on my baseball caps, my suede jacket and on my shoes. One for each occasion and they work perfectly.”

What’s In the pack

  1. Square horsehair brush (6.5″).
  2. Long handle dauber (6.75″).
  3. Crepe suede shoe brush (5″).

Pros

“Top quality shoe shine kit for military and select few people that still service their shoes. High-quality bristles on nice wood.”

  1. Amazon’s choice.
  2. Highly satisfied buyers. There are very few unsatisfied users.
  3. The unexpected low price did some magic here, I guess.
  4. 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee.
  5. Soft horsehair fumes.
  6. Bristles are longer, which helps a lot.
  7. Imported beech.
  8. The concave design makes it easy effortless to and use.
  9. Good as a gift.
  10. There are returning buyers.
  11. People use them for surprising reasons- cleaning jeans, hats, car seats, sofas, or even saddles. The world is full of wonders.

Cons

  • Yeah, they shed bristles a little from time to time. There is no way around it. 
  • “I am not completely sold on the suede brush – it left some marks on my suede boots although they do look decent.”

Remarks

“Shockingly nice set. Would cost 50-60 at my local morgans shoes.”

FootFitter Essential Shoe Brush Set Review



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You searched for something convincingly classy, and it’s hard to find. It’s hard nowadays. People are making craps and trying to compensate by pricing those moderately. FootFitter is not like that. 

“Great product as a red wing guy you can put all your boot care in one easy box. Love I keep everything organized.”

What’s Included

  1. One large black-bristle horsehair brush.
  2. One large gray-bristle horsehair brush.
  3. One Signature Black bristle applicator.
  4. One Signature off-white bristle applicator.
  5. Two microfiber buffing cloths.
  6. There’s a tin box that can contain polish if you desire to.

Pros

  1. Awesome finishing.
  2. They are anything but pricey.
  3. And the lot is not cheap, either.
  4. Better for delicate leather.
  5. They cut bristles in such a way they let you clean at ease; they do the due with little time and effort; they would not fall off easily.
  6. Amazon’s choice.
  7. Excellent finishing, fine burnishing.
  8. The brushes are curved. Effortless to grip.
  9. There are finger grooves.
  10. They sew the horsehair bristles.
  11. Daubers are useful for applying and polishing evenly.
  12. The cloths are “made from extremely fine microfiber”.
  13. Stretching buff-cloths are free from lint.
  14. And the cloths are big enough, 20 inches.
  15. The kit will accommodate tins or jars of polish.
  16. They will send a replacement if you claim.

Cons

That good old con, no one can guarantee that there will never be hair fall whatsoever. They might do so, especially when they are new.

Remarks

“Just what I was looking for.”

Youngjoy 6/5/4/3/2 Pieces Horsehair Brush & Dauber Kit Review



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“If you polish your shoes with just a rag, you really don’t know what you’re missing! This brings out so much shine and luster.”

What’s Included

  1.  A big horsehair brush.
  2. Two long handle daubers.
  3. One pencil applicator.
  4. One double use polisher/ spot cleaner applicator.
  5. One microfiber buff towel.

Pros

  • Surprisingly inexpensive.
  • Lots of options and sets. You’re getting at least five kits. Pick your own.
  • Suitable for every leather footwear.
  • Easy to handle, easy to manage. 
  • You need not waste a lot of time trying to do something special. There’s a lot of options. Great for creases and folds.
  • Amazon’s choice.
  • You can return them.

Cons

Surprisingly, there’s no notable drawback!

Bristles might fall out, but it’s rare. It’s not a con, is it? ‘Cause, nearly every brush and applicator has a chance of hair fall.

Remarks

It’s a win-win situation. Buy one of the sets, at least it will not be a big disappointment. You can find the 4-piece set here: 



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IGIYI Horsehair Shoe Brush Kit Review



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It’s cheap, and it’s not crap. This evaluation will help you understand the product:

“After 2 months of use, I now have a different opinion of these horsehair brushes. First off, I wrote a 3 star review which was negatively worded. The company contacted me and gave me a full refund within 2 days. Thanks a lot guys, I appreciate that. Your customer service is top-notch. The brushes are no longer losing their hairs and they work great. There was some shedding in the beginning for the first month. I would definitely recommend these to anyone looking for a high quality horsehair brush.”

Variations

  • Pack-1: 5.9″ brush + 6.7″ applicator.
  • Pack-2: Two 5.9″ brushes.
  • Pack-3: 6.7″ brush + 6.7″ applicator.
  • Pack-5: Five 6.7″ applicators.

Pros

  1. Very low pricing.
  2. You’ve got options to choose from.
  3. They do the dues, and they shine the shoes.
  4. IGIYI makes it from pony-tail hair. 
  5. Bench wood handles. 
  6. They’re sturdy and polished.
  7. Amazon’s choice.
  8. Suitable for any leather care.
  9. 30-day satisfaction full refund guarantee.
  10. Soft.
  11. Of course, the bristles don’t scratch your leather product.

Cons

  • With the meager price, comes somewhat low expectations and the same quality.
  • Horsehair shoe brushes shed some bristles while using them.
  • Hair density is low.
  • Kiwi brush is not very good, but it seems that Kiwi is better than IGIYI.

Remarks

It’s nothing special. And it’s not crappy. I think that’s most of us need to know.

Brush Only

Cobbler’s Choice Horsehair Brush (Germany) Review



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“Made such a difference. I used this to apply their leather cream, and it made such a difference on making my boots look like new again.”

Pros

  1. Handcrafted in Germany. High quality, of course!
  2. Amazon’s choice.
  3. Not pricey at all.
  4. Dynamic flared design.
  5. A concave design is comfortable.
  6. Medium size, 6.5 inches, is right for all users.

“Excellent value brush. This brush is half the cost of other German brushes that are sold elsewhere. This is an excellent value brush that will last several years.”

Cons

Yet to come. No one said they shed bristles, but by default, we might assume that they can do it as all others do.

Remarks

It was way down the list, and I had to lift it to the first place.

Valentino Garemi Luxury Shoe Polishing Brush Set (Germany) Review

Best premium brush



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If you have pricey shoes/boots and you have very little time to waste polishing and picking the fallen hair up- it’s the finest for you.

Pros

  1. Made in Germany.
  2. Solid resin handle.
  3. Valentino Garemi buffs your shoe to gloss.
  4. Carefully chosen horsehair bristles.
  5. Softer than most horsehair brushes.
  6. Densely packed long bristles.
  7. Huge size (8 inch).
  8. It takes significantly less time to clean and shine.
  9. Best for your premium shoes and boots.
  10. They package the brushes in separate, appropriate boxes.

Cons

  • As it’s the best premium product, you will notice the least hair-fall.
  • Pricey, of course.

Remarks

You get what you pay for.

Kiwi 100% Horsehair Shine Brush



Shop now on amazon

#1 Bestseller, bristle tips are not cut.

It’s low priced as hell and worth the money.

We’ve published a full review of this popular yet criticized product. Kiwi is a unique brand; I would be happy to recommend it as the very best one. It’s no more the most perfect.

There’s only one thing you should know, you can buy it, and buying it would not be a drag!

They don’t trim the horsehair tips, which is HUGE. It means that you get a softer and caring brush. That’s the only reason (and a vital one) we still recommend it.

Ralyn 8″ Large Professional Shoe Shine 2-pack

Certified tail hair, one of a kind brush



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We have found no other horsehair brush made only from horse tail hair.

Tail hairs are, no doubt, better.

There is only one problem. They drop as the others do. For less shedding, you can purchase German-made Valentino Garemi brushes instead.

TAKAVU 6.7″ Horsehair Soft Bristle Shoe Brush Review

Best Seller, stunning user satisfaction



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Users are surprisingly satisfied with this one. That’s because they have thick, long horsehair and the brush is good enough for all. Not to mention the price range.

Variations

  • Pack-1: Brush only.
  • Pack 2: A brush, a double dauber, and a suede brush.

Cons

  • The brush sheds hair. It might seem much to you. It’s not full-proof, but most of the users seem to be content.
  • The seller might reach out through email several times. It happened earlier. 

Remarks

It’s not the very best quality, but it’s kind of the best for this price range. And it’s better even if you don’t consider the low price.

Foloda 6.7″ Horsehair Shoe Brushes, 2 Pack



Check price on amazon

We have reviewed Foloda brush+dauber kit earlier in this write-up.

  • The brush is in Amazon’s choice for horsehair brushes.
  • It’s popular, relied upon, and very cheap.

I would say, Foloda and Takavu are somewhat the same.

MAXIMILIAN 8″ Shoe Shine Brush (Soft Horsehair & Beech Wood) Review



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You’ll see “High quality” all over the comment and review section. That’s something you look for while shopping for anything.

Pros

  1. It’s big. 8″ is the biggest size convenient for a hand.
  2. Money-back guarantee for satisfaction.
  3. It’s neither cheap nor pricey.
  4. A quality product.
  5. Bristles are densely packed.
  6. Not harsh, not extra soft, which is perfect for cleaning shoes.
  7. Standard wood (solid beech handles).
  8. A concave shape is ergonomic that prevents fatigue. It’s pretty essential for a bigger brush.
  9. They look good.
  10. As it’s big, you can apply it to clean huge leather or similar material furniture, including car seats, couches, sofas, beds, etc.
  11. It’s durable.
  12. Good customer support.

Cons

  • Yes, it also sheds horsehair, but it sheds less.
  • Because of a reasonable pricing tag, it sells less.

Remarks

You don’t need to hesitate.

Star 8″ Professional Shoe Brush



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“The best I ever had. I own more than six different brands/types of buff/shine brushes. Black (horse) hair. Made in Brazil. Bought also another brush, (different brand) the same time, – the same size, not so soft.

I did not think that a simple brush will impress me so much.

The technique of using shine/buff brushes matters: pressure, speed, direction. Those w. attention to details and finesse will love its quality.”

Pros

  1. Full-size, the biggest one, 8 inches. 
  2. Very popular.
  3. It’s more professional than most of the low-quality brushes found online.
  4. Extra-long, thick, and soft horsehair bristles are cut evenly.
  5. Traditional design. 
  6. A curved and polished handle.
  7. Round-edged.
  8. It would fit in your hands.
  9. Easy to use.
  10. Reasonably priced, not expensive.
  11. Made in Brazil.

“Nostalgic! It is the exact one which I have used for years in the Marine Corps found it once at the Army base and fell in love with it but unable to find it again anywhere else. Now, my kid participates in ROTC and couldn’t be more happy to have found the same great product for all of his shoe shining experience.”

Cons

  • Oh dear old horsehair bridles, why do you keep falling off the handles for almost every brush.
  • Sometimes, they mess the packing up. Don’t know why they even mess brands up sometimes. It does not happen frequently.  

Remarks

Just compare it side by side with a cheap, short-haired, straight brush, and you will see a gulf of difference.

 

Shacke 7″ Horsehair Shoe Brushes (2pcs) – 2 Colors Review 



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It’s a decent, good-looking, low priced, and pleasant to handle shoe brush. What you need to note is, it’s more on the stiffer side. Some prefer it a lot. 

Pros

  1. Usually taken from the pony-tail hair.
  2. Wooden handle, grooved grip.
  3. Not too big, not too small, 7″ is a perfect size for most of the purchasers. You see, 8″ is suitable only for grown-up males who have bigger grips.
  4. It has a perfect width.
  5. Two brushes are for two different pairs. You’ve got what you needed.
  6. They look better than most of the brushes available.
  7. Soft yet firm enough. You would say they have medium stiffness.
  8. You can use it for many leather items.
  9. Comparatively more durable.
  10. Way cheaper.
  11. Good customer service.
  12. Durable.
  13. Compact, good for travel.

Cons

  • Every brush sheds. More and some less. If you prefer less shedding, you should go for pricier options.
  • Made in China, but you should not expect US-made brushes. 
  • They’re too glossy, might slip while brushing. It’s not that big a problem, though.
  • They are dense, but there are thicker brushes out there.
  • Hairs are long enough; some of the users prefer over one inch long brushes.

Remarks

It does not cost a fortune to try it out. The product is decent enough.

Dauber Only

Valentino Garemi Dauber Set Review



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“The brush it’s easy to use and the quality of the wood and the hair is perfect, fits all the areas of the shoes. I like mostly that the brushes have different colors and it’s easy to not mix them, for brown and black.”

What’s Included

  • One dark bristle dauber.
  • One light bristle dauber.

Pros

  1. Elegant look.
  2. Manufactured in Germany.
  3. Elegant finished, polished handles. Curved edges. 
  4. They make it of quality, solid wood.
  5. They polish the handles with water-based solutions so that you don’t mess up your shoes or boots with the elements. 
  6. Long, closely packed horsehair bristles. The best applicator, no doubt.
  7. Soft and caring bristles.
  8. Works great with the finest brands like Saphir and Fiebing polishes. 
  9. Not expensive at all. Just the price tag they deserve.

They claim: “Very good results reported on all type of man or lady’s footwear as: loafer, oxford, derby, Chelsea, brogue, boat, stiletto, wedge pump, pump, Mary Jane, etc”

Cons

No report on hair fall, everything’s fine. 

Remarks

Top-notch. 

Kiwi 100% Horsehair Polish Applicator (191-100) Review

Guessed it, #1 best seller



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Kiwi sells because it’s Kiwi. Not bad at all, not pricey, not very good either.

Variations

  • Single dauber.
  • Three daubers.
  • Six daubers.

Please pay attention to the quantity before you order. 

Pros

  1. Bestseller.
  2. That good old brand.
  3. 7 Inch is a great length.
  4. “They appear to be self-cleaning.”
  5. Inexpensive.
  6. Hair is soft.
  7. They don’t cut down the bristle tips, which is helpful for leather. 

Cons

  • That old hair fall legacy. It seems there is no path around. Kiwi has this issue.
  • No return policy, as usual.

“I will give a middle review. This is not the finest brush. The hairs are very course and they do not seem to want to hold the polish. Although it is a different polish than I normally use, so it could be that too.”

If you demand to laugh a little

“First things first. This is a perfectly normal shoe brush, and I have no complaints. It is exactly what I expected. Now…..The package that it comes in is probably the most bizarre enigma I can imagine and I am sure it will lead to years of pondering what it all means. When your brush arrives, it will be in a gray plastic bag, neatly taped, with a sticker on it that says (and this is a direct, full, and accurate quote),

“KEEP THIS BAG AWAY FROM BABIES, CHILDREN, PETS, and CHEESE. THIS BAG IS NOT A TOY. ! WARNING! DANGER! WARNING !”

So…..babies, check; children, that makes sense; pets, sure why not; cheese,…..and my brain just melted. It is so bizarre. I have literally thought about this at least once every waking hour for the past day. It is either the best, most clever, joke ever devised or the cruelest mind game anyone has ever played on us poor unsuspecting consumers.

I think as a society, we have to, as the next logical step, put this bag near some cheese in a controlled environment and prepare for something big. This may disrupt the space-time continuum and/or change all life as we know it but as a practical matter is just something we must do in order to advance the human race. Godspeed shoe brush bag. I eagerly await the answers to life’s eternal questions.”

Remarks

Just the usual Kiwi polish applicator. Don’t have high hopes from this one, don’t think it’s junk either.

 

Ralyn Shoe Polish Daubers (Light and Dark) Review 



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What’s in there

One light applicator brush.

One dark applicator.

Pros

  1. Amazon’s choice for daubers.
  2. Inexpensive.
  3. Comparatively longer horsehair bristles.
  4. Those are densely packed together, which is crucial.
  5. Handy! Just 5.5 inches long.
  6. Polished, solid wood handles.
  7. “If you’re going to use it for the same use (same color of shoe cream, which is recommended) no cleaning is necessary.” 
  8. You can’t return it.
  9. Soft bristles.
  10. “Far superior to foam daubers.” and “Much easier than using a rag like I used to do.” shows the whole picture.

Cons

The seller says it does not shed bristles, while the truth is on the opposite side. I think every horsehair shoe brush sheds some, if not much.

Remarks

Best for the price.

Ralyn Dauber Light Horsehair



Just in case you want to buy one.

Jovitec 3 Pieces Horsehair Daubers Review

Insanely inexpensive



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“Great Product. I’ve been using this product for years.” and I think that’s because you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything else at this price point.

What’s Included

  • Set A: Three white handle dark bristle applicators.
  • Set B: Three brown handle brown bristle applicators.
  • Set C: One wide and thick brush, two brown applicators.
  • Set D: Three dark handle brown bristle applicators.

Pros

  1. Three at the price of one.
  2. Not hard at all, not too soft.
  3. Small, handy.
  4. Wooden handles.

Cons

  • Not very thick, they can’t be at this price.
  • Not very wide or very long, either.
  • Yup, horsehair falls.

Remarks

It’s so cheap! I don’t see why I would not buy them. Either buy this pack or the pricey ones. 

What we don’t Recommend

Allen Edmonds Pencil Horsehair Dauber



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Ralyn 5″ Shoe Shine Brush with Dauber



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We have a review.

 

Star 6″ Horsehair Dauber (Silver)



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Closing the write-up

Bad brushes end up this way-

“I have recently gotten into shining shoes as my new hobby. I have spent a lot of time on the internet researching the best way to shine shoes, the best cream polishes, wax polishes, leather rejuvenation oils, etc. The one thing I did not do was research on the horsehair brush. Shame on me. However, now the search begins as this product is not going to cut it. I purchased 3 of these brushes (for brown, black and neutral shoes) and they are awful. All the hair falls off the brush and makes a complete mess. Hair from the brush sticks to the shoes as you are applying the cream based polish. Now I am finding hairs all around our house that have fallen off the brush – there are hairs on our floor, hairs on the table, I even found a rogue hair on my iPad. Once I find a good brush, I will let everyone know.”

A few questions:

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