What is a Shoe Mitt?

What is that weird looking thing in your hotel room? What in the world could this thing be used for?

A shoe mitt is not something you see everyday.

It’s an item that has limited uses and doesn’t even cross anyone’s mind.

So why does every hotel room seem to put one of these things out called a “shoe mitt”.

Other names known by are shoe shine cloth and polish glove, and anything else that has a similar ring to it.

But in actual fact, these are completely different and have different uses.

So today I’m going to clear some things up for you so you know the difference between a shoe mitt, polish glove and shoe shine cloth.

Without wasting anymore time, lets dive right into it.

What is a Shoe Mitt?

A shoe mitt is piece of cloth used to shine your shoes.

It has an open end where you put your hand in and the special fabric helps shine up your dress shoes.

The shape and the ability to put your hand in promotes ease-of-use.

It’s not made to remove grime and dirt like a shoe brush, but offers a quick way to gleam up those kicks.

Hotels rooms have them out so you don’t use their pearly white towels.

It’s a nice way for them to say “do not use our towels to shine your shoes”.

They’ll usually provide some sort of polishing lotion that you can use with the shoe mitt.

When to Use Shoe Mitts

Shoe mitts should be strictly used for materials like leather, man-made leather, glossy and semi-glossy finishes.

Important: Avoid polishing other types of shoes like suede and textile (mesh/air ventilated shoes), as there are far better ways to clean them.

If you try and clean mesh or suede materials, it will push the dirt and grime deeper into the fabric, which is the opposite of what you’re trying to do.

If you want to clean suede and sneakers with a textile upper, you can do so using the washing machine.

Is It Worth Getting Your Own?

You’ve likely only see shoe mitts when first arriving at your hotel room and it may have crossed your mind to get one yourself.

I mean, they are actually really handy if your job requires a nice pair of dress shoes everyday.

In this case then you might want to consider getting one…or two.

But if you only go out once in a blue moon, or hardly wear dress shoes, then no you don’t really need one.

Types of Materials Used

Shoe mitts are made from a low grade cotton which is extremely soft.

It is much softer than towels and will not scratch or cause any damage.

Other times they will use microfiber material.

Microfiber is even softer and has immense moisture absorption properties.

These are all safe to use on your shoes and I guarantee they won’t scratch or scuff them.

Shoe Mitt, Shoe Shine Cloth, Polish Glove – Know the Difference

Shoe mitt – A quick and easy way to polish shoes. The special design makes it easier to maneuver in and around the humps, cracks and crevices.

Often found in hotel rooms beside a small bottle of polishing cream.

Shoe Mitt

Shoe shine cloth – This piece of material has the same concept but shines differently.

It has a course side to remove excess conditioner, wax or debris, and a smooth side for polishing and getting your shoes glossy.

Shoe Shine Cloth

Shoe Polish glove – A shoe polish glove is pure lambswool.

It’s a deluxe polishing method to buff and prime your shoes to 100% satisfaction.

It’s easier to shine than the other methods and never does any damage.

Shoe Polish Glove

7 Alternative Uses for Shot Mitts

I knew there wasn’t just one use for shoe mitts, so I set out to find some alternative purposes.

Being made of extremely low-grade cotton makes them versatile.

So here’s 7 alternative uses.

1. Cleaning phones, tablets, and screens

The microfiber materials is so fine and soft that it will wipe away fine dirt and dust particles, keeping your electronic devices sparkling clean.

2. Tablet holder

Shoe mitts make perfect tablet holders. They offer that extra line of protection so they don’t get banged up and scratched.

3. Windscreen cleaning cloth

Keep it in your glove box and it’ll be handy and ready for when you need to wipe your windscreen.

The incredible moisture absorption properties will dry out your windscreen much faster than traditional cloth.

4. A cleaning tool

Cleaning your house with a shoe mitt is going to save you money in the long run.

They latch onto anything they come in contact with, so you’ll spend less on cleaning products!

5. Keep your car clean

Circling back to the car thing again, I recommend keeping a few shoe mitts in the car for emergencies.

Spilled coffee, dust on the dashboard, cleaning the windows, and more.

6. Cleaning up stains

Shoe mitts are great for cleaning up stains AS LONG as you get to the stain quick enough.

Simply wet the shoe mitt and hold it directly on the spilled liquid, watching the material do its magic by absorbing as much of the liquid as possible.

7. Cleaning jewelry and watches

Another one of my favorites is cleaning your most important valuables.

The material is so soft and fine that you don’t need to worry about causing scratches and scrapes.


Shoe mitts are not very popular but definitely come in handy for other things around the house.

Chances are you don’t even know someone that knows someone who has a shoe mitt.

That’s how unpopular they are.

But at the end of the day they are still versatile little pieces of fabric.

However you use it is completely up to you, and I’m sure there are many other ways out there that I haven’t listed.

So if you have some alternative uses for shoe mitts, please place them down below!

2 thoughts on “What is a Shoe Mitt?”

Leave a Comment