I like the look of the gusset, as long as it doesn't have the leather Venetian blinds applied over top, as you sometimes see. Durability doesn't worry me, as mine have held up fine. Besides, I don't hold them out as sensible shoes of the conservative sort, and probably wouldn't suggest them for a fellow worried about long-term durability. For me, they have style, and I'll replace as necessary. They're require a bit of devil-may-care attitude, and I like that about them.