Published: Mar 17, 2017 by James Munday
Instant Bulling Test

Bulling footwear to a mirror finish with traditional wax polish involves a lot of skill and practice. Instant bulling products have been available for some time and promise to give you an instant mirror finish without all the time and hassle. We decided to put six leading products to the test to see which product is the best all round performer. We asked a senior cadet adult instructor with over 20 years of experience to get to work. Our expert started by brush polishing each shoe before applying a single application of each product to the toecap of six identical parade shoes. Each shoe was marked by the polisher on a range of criteria and then by our panel of 6 experienced cadet forces staff who were unaware of which product had been used on which shoe – check out our results below!

Morello Futura 2000 Bulling Polish, Black

Instant shine polish
Black Morello Instant Shine Polish

Morello has traditionally been popular with members of the British Forces as a bulling polish. Morello Futura is the latest version of this award winning product and gives a high gloss black instant ‘bulled’ mirror finish to your ammo boots and parade shoes. This lacquer is safe to use and quick drying. Ideal for toe caps and uppers. Also gives a like new finish to the edges of heels and soles.

Overall Score: 4.5/5

Ease of use: 5 (Very good)

Application time: Less than 5 mins

Drying time: Less that 10 mins

Quality of shine: 5 (Very good)

What we say: Gave the best shine of all products on test – but solvent content means it’s an over 18 product only.

 

Clear Protective Lacquer (CPL)

CPL instant shine
CPL instant shine polish

Many a QM’s best kept secret. Clear Protective Lacquer (CPL) is a convenient, NATO-approved general purpose aerosol coating originally designed to protect printed circuit boards from environmental attack. However it is also ideal for giving a high quality instant gloss finish to parade boots and shoes. For a perfect bulled finish simply spray onto your toe cap for a perfect finish every time.

Overall Score: 4/5

Ease of use: 5 (Very good)

Application time: Less than 5 mins

Drying time: Less that 15 mins

Quality of shine: 5 (Very good)

What we say: Gives a top quality bulled finish. Longer drying time than Morello and again an over 18 product.

 

Leather Luster Patent Shoe Shine Kit

leather luster instant shine
Leather Luster shoe shine kit

Leather Luster is a lacquer product which gives black leather and vinyl a brilliant permanent patent finish that will not scuff or scratch. Guaranteed not to crack, peel or damage the leather in any way.

Overall Score: 3.5/5

Ease of use: 2 (Poor)

Application time: More than 30 mins

Drying time: More than 20 mins

Quality of shine: 5 (Very good)

What we say: Brilliant long lasting finish but more difficult to apply than some others and longer drying time. Over 18 product.

 

Shape Up Instant Black Military Shine

shape up instant polish
Shape up instant shine

Developed specially for the US Military but now available in the UK! Never bull your toe caps again with Shape Up Instant. Shape Up gives a long lasting, mirror-like finish to your black parade shoes or boots. The plastic polymer finish won’t crack or peel and does not require rubbing or brushing.

Overall Score: 3.5/5

Ease of use: 5 (Very good)

Application time: less than 5 mins

Drying time: Less that 15 mins

Quality of shine: 3 (OK)

What we say: Good finish and easy to apply. Shine wasn’t quite as good as the top 3 but it doesn’t contain solvents so it’s not age restricted, which makes it ideal for cadet use.

 

Ultra Shine Instant Bulling Finish

Ultra Shine instant bulling product
Ultra Shine shoe polish

From the people who brought you Shape-Up – Ultra Shine gives a clear, long lasting mirror-like finish to your parade shoes, boots, leather belts, Sam Browns and all other leather products etc. The clear plastic polymer finish will not crack or peel and does not require rubbing or brushing.

Overall Score: 3/5

Ease of use: 5 (Very good)

Application time: Less than 5 mins

Drying time: Less that 15 mins

Quality of shine: 3 (OK)

What we say: Easy to apply and good for brown boots but shine wasn’t as deep as Shape Up. Safe to use formula.

 

Kiwi Honor Guard Instant Bulling Finish

Kiwi Honour Guard polish
Kiwi Instant shine polish

Remove the hassle from bulling parade shoes and boots with Kiwi Honor Guard. This water resistant instant bulling finish has been specially formulated to give a long lasting instant high gloss finish. Easily applied using the integral sponge applicator. Dries to a high gloss shine without any need for buffing or polishing.

Overall Score: 2/5

Ease of use: 5 (Very good)

Application time: less than 5 mins

Drying time: Less that 5 mins

Quality of shine: 1 (Very poor)

What we say: Easiest of the lot to use but also gave the poorest bulled finish as well – avoid!