Wow. I had no idea these ever existed. They're gorgeous!
Ah, I see what you mean. I've bought several used pairs on eBay and never had an issue with the previous owner's foot imprint. If anything, I would imagine that because the shoe receives new cork from the re-crafting, that my foot creates a new imprint with the new cork. But maybe I'm wrong?
It seems to me that it would be a relatively trivial issue, but I haven't ever bought used shoes to try it for myself. To a degree, it seems that the high points in the original cork may move a bit to accomodate a new foot imprint, but probably not much. Once new cork is applied during re-crafting, it would make sense that it would even out alot. However, I don't think re-crafting completely eliminates your "broken in" insole. After significant periods of time of standing and walking on the insole, the leather has formed a bit of a "memory" and will be more flexible and more compressed where the feet have been resting. In other words, after re-crafting, even the insole still feels broken in and molded to your foot to a certain degree.
Thank you, gentlemen. I actually sent several emails to AE to confirm they were real before I bought them. The soles were slightly worn when I got them, but the uppers were in excellent condition. They we're probably 10 years old when I bought them; definitely not worn frequently.
I was suspicious of their recommendation to just use Walnut polish from the beginning. It doesn't quite make sense to me for the very reasons that the question is now being raised. If the base color of the shoe is Walnut, and they are just burnishing them to darken them, then it is the added pigment from burnishing that will wear away first. As the added pigment wears away, and if you are only replacing it with the original base color (Walnut), it seems only logical that your shoes will gradually transform back into Walnut shoes. I am wondering if it is just their "temporary" recommendation until they come out with a more appropriate polish suited to this color. Using the previously mentioned Saphir colors may work great. If you are sticking with the offerings from Allen Edmonds, it seems that alternating with Walnut and perhaps a Dark Brown may be better than just using Walnut.
Don't forget the "yuck" factor as well. Having to keep the old insole may not be so bad with a pair of shoes that have been worn 12 or less times, but when you start getting beyond that and see the sweat stained imprint of the prior owner's feet . . .
I would never have guessed that you would have experience with used shoes!
That is a major factor in why I have never considered it as well, but to each their own. I think other people's feet are gross in general, so the thought of buying used shoes would never occur to me.
Totally agree with you guys on the yuck factor. However the discontinued 0 last line fits my foot perfectly, so I'm willing to take the risk to have a used pair re-crafted. The 333 last comes close, but it's still not the 0 last.