Fascinating insight. Yet, at some point leather itself seems like the kind of substance that should fail. What I mean is you could probably find some sort of space age material and production technique comparable to a hw leather shoe? Or is hw leather truly the best?
Yes, leather will eventually fail...depending on where and how it is used . But it is a preserved product derived from natural, renewable sources.
Of course, you could go to some space age product--almost certainly petro-chemically derived...further polluting the environment, killing other animals or making their lives miserable. And we could make these shoes with robots....throwing even more people on the welfare rolls, and increasing the dispair in the cities and the disparity between the rich and poor. .
In fact, there are innumerable shoes made just so--athletic shoes for one. "Jelly" clogs for another. Check it out they may very well be just what you're looking for.