Shoes used to be polished with blacking (all shoes before the 1940's were black) applied with a stick and then rubbed with a deer bone to polish and smooth the scratches in the leather. It was a near-forgotten technique that still has value, with the caveat that it should only be used on cordovan and thicker leather like that used for hunting and riding boots. Regular calf will not stand up to it.
About three years ago, ASW produced this video on polishing cordovan using a deer bone. The 240,000 views it has received had a great deal to do with the wide availability of deer bones today but we realized only recently that we had never posted it. And so here it is.