Well, I admire what you were trying to do and the end result is that you got a decent pair of beater shoes probably after you've worked on them a bit.
I've been buying vintage shoes like this for a while now from thrifts, and I've learned to develop an eye for problems I can fix, and problems I can't fix. The first problem I learned about.... dents in the cap and/or toe box.
The short version is this, avoid shoes with dents. If you already have some, as did I, you can try lots of conditioning followed by trying to gently work the toe box and leather back into shape. Use of steam, and a steady and informed hand can go a long way here (or if you don't have steam, wear them and then work on them while they're still warm and damp). If it's a mild dent, and the toe box isn't crushed too much, you may be able to get them back into shape or very close. If you can get very close, wax polish could fill in the remaining deformity in the cap.
I was able to do this with a very old and well loved pair of BrassBoot shoes made in Italy. It was a lot of work, but I love the shoes now and wear them frequently. The trick here is what I paid though, $2. Even at $2, I wouldn't buy another pair in similar shape because it's just too much work. For $30, I would have never even tried it.
I recently bought another pair of old Italian shoes (J&Ms) from a thrift for $6 and did a similar reconditioning. It was much easier though because there was no significant damage. My new rule is that the damage has to be minimal, easy to fix, and the purchase price including supplies to repair must be under $10. There are deals out there like that if you know what to look for.
For those on an extremely tight budget or needing an entirely new wardrobe without a lot of money, this is a decent option to get a great pair of shoes. In my case, I also have a real love for making old things like new again. If I find a great pair of shoes that meet my criteria, I'm likely to buy them even if I don't need them just because I enjoy the process.