The answer is quite simple: Take a pair of NOS shoes in what would be dismissed by most men as "dull black" calf. Clean, soak, rub, brush, air dry. Then last your shoes and work into the leather a generous amount of your favourite neutral shoe polish (I used Eduard Meier EM2 because it was the only spit polishable wax I had at hand). Let it dry for a few hours (at this point, a glass of wine, cigar and a good book might come in handy). Then, for the most fun part of the afternoon, take a damp piece of cloth, the wax you had used before and a glass of cold water. Polish. Finished? Polish again. And again. Etc. At the end, you should see that black is far from boring in a shoe as long as it is polished properly. I applied about four to five layers of wax, depending on the section of the shoe and polished each shoe about six times. I also polished the sole edges, heel and waist (which does not photograph that well, actually). The shoe lay unused in a hungarian workshop for at least ten years. A new/clean shoe might have taken on a shine faster "” but equally variated? I don't think so. Overall, I am very happy with the results and can't wait to break in the shine a little and then repolish. I think, the finish will become better and better with time. Why do I tell you this? Well, first of all, I love seeing pictures of beautiful shoes and therefore felt the urge to fix others with the same passion. Then, we all know that shoes of austro-hungarian origin are blobby, waist- and shapeless, inelegant monsters "” as we can see above. I think, in its current state, you could put the shoe right into the front window at Materna, Vienna, without having anyone notice it doesn't belong there.