Thinking that I was doing the right thing, I applied a thin coat of Saphir Renovateur and buffed it out with a flannel cloth. Now, the shoes don't have that glossy shine that they came with. I doubt the Saphir did anything bad to the shoes. I think what more likely happened is that I cleaned off something that had been enhancing that shine. I noticed that a bit of color accumulated onto the cloth a buffed the renovateur off with.
On top of that, the vamp on one shoe is shinier that the other. As you can see in the picture, the shoe on the right has a glossier shine.
So my question is, what was on the shoe right out of the box that gave it that higher shine? How do I get it back? Should I even try? Was it a thin coat of wax? Or is it just a matter of brushing and brushing and brushing until the heat releases the natural oils in the shell come out more?