Originally Posted by clee1982
Simpler reason, don't over care your shoe. I walk a ton in NYC and London mainly, no cracking what's so ever.
And in any case, styleforum has always been disillusional about shoe as investment, it's like calling a car you can drive for 30 years an investment. We all know we buy nice shoes because we love them, otherwise 10 pair of John Lobbs is enough to buy over 150 pair of cheap shoes (100 dollars ones) which for sure will never need to be resoled if you change everyday...
Originally Posted by chogall
So true. 150 pairs of cheap shoes together will for sure last longer than 10 pairs of John Lobbs combined.
I think the issue with the term "investment" is simply a misunderstanding of the definition being used. The term as it applies to shoes shouldn't be the financial definition, which is putting money into something with the expectation of gain over a longer term. Rather, it should be the economic definition, which is paying more now to defer consumption. Buying the higher quality item in order to prevent replacement in the short term is an age old time proven strategy.
I have no doubt that newbies read all the threads around here about shoes being an investment, and they run off and spend hundreds of dollars on shoes under a false premise. I see people talk about buying their first pair of Allen Edmonds and how they are "so excited because they'll be the last pair of dress shoes they ever buy." Wrong. In the sense that shoes will eventually wear out, they are more of a liability than an investment. Just like a car is.
When you buy better shoes, you are investing in quality, not shoes. I don't think any of us disagree here that a better built shoe (Goodyear-welted, Blake/Rapid, Hand-welted) made of full grain leather inside and out, will last far longer than a cheap $100.00 shoe even given equal care. Better built shoes are made of materials that are repairable, replaceable, and respond well to care products. Cheap shoes may be theoretically repairable, but the materials they are made from are almost never worth the effort or cost. That's where the investment comes in. You are deferring consumption by buying a nicer product now so that you free up funds to place elsewhere over the long term. For this to work, you have to be realistic about what you are buying. If we are strictly talking about durability and cost effective economics (craftsmanship, beauty, elegance not included), then you need to be buying basic, well constructed shoes that don't cost much more than the materials and work needed to make them. Allen Edmonds, Rancourt & Co., Cheaney, Loake 1880 (perhaps a few others) are the types of shoes you need to consider. All the other brands are more expensive for reasons that generally don't impact durability of the shoe. They are constructed the same way, but with more attention to detail, finishing, and perhaps higher quality calfskin (which may or may not last longer). Economics could care less about how pretty your shoes are. Economics does care about initial cost, cost of replacing a piece of leather that has been chewed up by concrete, and leather that will rot from being macerated by sweat.
Now, most people around here violate the fundamental concept of economic investment because shoes are a hobby, and that's fine if that's your thing. We run out and buy so many pairs of shoes that the economics end up on the trash bin. If we are solely concerned about economics and stretching the dollar as far as it will go (which isn't the primary purpose of StyleForum), then the key is to purchase shoes that are reasonably priced for what you are getting, and only purchase enough pairs to have a realistic rotation to minimize premature wear. This only amounts to 3-6 pairs for the average person. It is all about balance. You can drive yourself nuts trying to come up with a mathematical proof to support this. It isn't really possible, because as we see, patrickB wears out a pair of shoes far quicker than I do. So my numbers will be shot full of holes if I present them to him. Each person has to figure out how many pairs of shoes are needed to meet the needs of minimizing premature wear, and maximizing longevity so that the higher quality materials can take effect and successfully live longer than the cheap alternative. All the while, making sure that you aren't spending so much on additional pairs that the cost of buying new shoes far eclipses the cost of simply maintaining and repairing you current ones. Beyond that, you are purchasing shoes because you want them, not because they are an investment. We just have to remember to call it what it is.
I say all this as a member of this community who can easily be tempted into buying another pair whenever I have some extra money laying around. So please don't hear me preaching. I'm just saying that the textbook logic of investing in quality can't be forgotten as a time-proven methodology simply because of consumer error.