I will add to the wet shoes discussion.
One of my first AE experiences was wearing my walnut Strands, when my car broke down. I walked home 5 miles through shrubbery and tarmac, 2 of those miles were in the pouring rain.
I dried them out for a couple of days, like others on this thread have pointer out. Then gave them some conditioner and polish, they were good as new.
I don't baby my shoes anymore, as they have proven resilient.
I remember you posting about that experience some time ago. I think that is exactly what I was trying to say. Obviously we aren't in the business of "abusing" our nice shoes. However, wearing them in a real world environment is what is necessary. People don't typically remember to post about how great their shoes look after an experience like that. However, they are quick to mention when a stain comes up and they can't get rid of it. That creates a percieved bias towards the belief that these shoes can't handle a rain storm, and it just isn't true. It is the squeaky wheel scenario... you typically only hear about the bad experiences and forget about all the good ones that weren't reported.