Originally Posted by DWFII
Just to put a bug in your ear...I'm not a big fan of overpriced factory made shoes but some of this the maker doesn't have much control over.
For instance, the maker could be buying the same leather, with the same finish, from the same tanner for decades...all with nothing but highest satisfaction. And, then, because of a shortage of, or restrictions on certain chemicals used in the dying or tanning process (sometimes as simple as tightening environmental standards) the new batch ends up being almost an entirely different product. Not even a careful, hide-by-hide visual inspection (and no factory is going to do that) will reveal such problems with certainty. Ultimately it comes down to how many complaints they get.
And the poor tanner...any given year the weather can affect the quality of the hides. Too much cold weather, too much hot, too much rain....
And if the the hides are not cured and curried properly before being sent to the tanner...because of too much cold, too much hot, too much rain...well, again the tanner is on the hook.
Just a thought.
I certainly understand what you've said here. ALSO, I respect your point of view & do NOT mean to criticize it.
HOWEVER, EG is, in the minds of SF'ers & fine shoe lovers everywhere in the "BIG THREE" of fine shoemakers. Lobb, Vass, EG. There are others, of course, but EG always seems to be up at the VERY top. BOTH in opinions on quality & in PRICE.
When you're at the top, and charging top prices, there are NO EXCUSES. "Well, I bought the leather from someone else, and it was HIS fault" just DOES NOT cut it at this level.
Being the best means having MANY levels of quality assurance & quality inspection. If one pair of shoes passes through that are below standard, then the company has FAILED, in that (very important) regard.