The way in which we thumb isn't objective, and I don't think it is a big deal that it isn't (nor is it possible to be so). When I say objective, I'm referring to the methodology by which fits are entered into the composite thread.
I would like some new shoes. These are my only pair that do well in the rain. I've ruined a few better pairs in the rain listening to some SF recs that rain won't hurt leather shoes. Lies.
Have you tried cordovan? I know you don't like throwing down money on shoes, but you can pick up AE cordovan 2nds on eBay for ~400 and Meermin cordovan 2nds for ~300.