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Posts by MoneyWellSpent

 At the risk of being misunderstood, that's what I was hinting at in a light-hearted way.
 Just don't let the sales person catch you picking at the insole.    It's glued in, and isn't really "intended" to be removed.  It's easy to pull out with a small amount of force without damaging it, but in the store hey may not take well to someone pulling apart one of their most expensive shoes on the rack. 
 The fact they AE won't replace the insole actually increases the significance of the issue.  Poron is a high tech foam, as foams go.  But, it's still foam.  Foam breaks down over time, and generally much more quickly than leather (if the leather is properly cared for).  If you are comfortable with the solid leather insole, then always opt for it.  There are people who need more cushion for medical reasons, and I won't disparage the presence of foam insoles because of...
 Absolutely.  The insole is the foundation of a quality shoe, and it's quality is paramount to the longevity of the shoe.  Poron insoles are significantly lower quality than the standard leather insoles traditionally used on Goodyear-welted shoes. 
   I can verify what she said about the Independence insole.  I've removed the foam layer before to reveal the leather base.  However, I'm with you on the Poron insole.  My understanding has never been that it has a leather base.  Rather, my understanding was that it was a fiberboard base.  However, your dissection photos even called that into question.
 Ah, thanks for the details!  Somehow that one's escaped me.  I'm sorry there isn't a show about shoes...
 Oh, the leather sole absolutely contributes to the stiffness.  Really, it's the entire construction method that results in a much stiffer shoe than a regular cemented shoe, as a cemented shoe with a leather sole is still far more flexible than a Goodyear-welted shoe.  Texon can get pretty thin, and it's hard to see from the photos if that's what we are looking at, but what I'm seeing only further deters me from the Poron insole models. 
 The Poron should be mounted to a thin piece of Texon or fiberboard.  Are you sure you weren't seeing that instead of cork?  Foam (Poron) by itself isn't strong enough to withstand the forces that the shoe is subjected do during the assembly process, and without a hard backing, they would flex more like a cemented shoe (which they don't).
     Great timing... I was about to apologize for this post being about a week late, but here are photos from an old pair of AE Hinsdales I dissected recently.  The toe stiffener could probably stand to be stouter, but it is certainly there as I figured it was.  There is too much spring in the leather for there not to be one.  Also included are a couple of photos of the heel counter which is a slightly stouter piece of material (plastic).  Celastic has fallen out of favor...
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