A couple weeks ago I flatted and had to mount the donut. The lugnuts were on pretty tight and I had no breaker bar, so I stomped on the end of the wrench to get enough torque. Once or twice it slipped and scraped up against the side of my boots. Five minutes with a soft cloth and some VSC and you wouldn't know it ever happened. Had I been wearing calf or corrected grain or even chromexcel or dublin, I doubt I could say the same.
Right now I've got burgundy shell Daltons on my feet. Different portions are lightening at different rates, so the overall effect is a kind of varied ruby glow. I like it and my wife likes it(!). This stuff actively gets better with age... so to me, it's worth the premium over shoes made with leathers that start out looking lovely but require tender treatment to maintain those looks. I occasionally do boneheaded things (like the wrench-stomping mentioned above) so that kind of effort doesn't interest me.
And yeah, that smell.