All leather (i.e. not Nubuck/Suede/Waxed) shoes are then polished, so that they look nice when you start to wear them – then it’s up to you to look after them (unless you have a Jeeves).
The final stage is quality control – which can only be done by hand and eye. Shoes that don’t come up to scratch are either destroyed or sold as “seconds” and most shoemakers try to avoid both of these outcomes. Careful control of every step in the manufacturing process reduces the likelihood of a sub-standard shoe at the end, but it happens. The leather may have a flaw that doesn’t become apparent until it is burnished. Stretch marks from lasting may appear after the shoe has been completed. All of the quality control checks are stringent, to make sure that you get a nice pair of shoes in a nice box … which is where we are now …
Laces and boxing up.
FInally, the shoes have laces attached – generally loosely so that you can choose how to lace them up, put in a box with, possibly, a polishing cloth, shoe bags, etc … and thence to your expectant feet. Congratulations – you have just bought a pair of classic English shoes.