The very last thing the internet needs is another complex guide on how to polish shoes. If you rotate a few pairs made of decent leather, using quality emollients and polishes to maintain them, our collective results will largely be similar. So whether this guy applies buckets of mink oil, or that guy swears by vintage Krug for the final buff is of little consequence. Instead, I propose three universal rules for the standard calfskin shoe.
1: Brush and tree your shoes after removing. Absolutely no exceptions, not even of the amorous variety. She must learn early.
2: Use polish sparingly, attaining much of the desired luster from conditioner and vigorous brushing. Spiffy, over-shined toe-caps are vulgar; so is spitting on your shoes.
3: Institute a weekly appointment with your shoes. If you wait until twenty minutes before curtain, you will spend the first act of Madama Butterfly in the lobby drinking lousy "champagne." Paired with your insistence on rule #1, your evening will end unhappily.
I’m not sure I can think of anything else that’s truly ironclad. I suppose the general idea is to preserve your investment without giving the impression that you are weird. Enjoy the fruits of my recent labor.