I used to not use shoe trees in my boots, but I've come around to it. It smooths out the leather slightly and helps keep its shape, and it's always good to have a pair of shoe trees for polishing/conditioning.
I Will say though, when buying outdoors/military/workwear inspired boots, there is definitely an expectation of them lasting. I wouldn't really say much if I was treating MMM side zips the way I do my Visvim and the side zips fall apart, but there's just a different expectation to the type of brand EG, Visvim, et al hold up to.
But you are definitely right, they are fashion brands first and foremost. Brands with really good marketing.
Yeah I don't expect them to be indestructible, and i like the designs quite a bit too. It just kind of makes me sad. I really should just get a pair of vibergs for my heavy everyday stuff, but the Virgils are so perfect that I was just hoping (wishing) the rest of the Visvim boots would hold up similarly.
Someone was complaining about topknots being trendy with dudes trying to copy celebs, and noticed that I was right there with my top notch top knot. She kinda stammered and said to me "but not yours. That's just your heritage."
Another time, an older guy spent 15 minutes commenting on how my hair is "that old style" and lectured me on samurais and ninjas (???) and honor. I am just here trying to sell plants, man. He was cute tho, how excited he got about my hair