I think it is a sign of maximizing the leather hide. The best leather comes from the butt of the animal but there is only so much of that leather. Some ultra luxury makes will use only the best of the best which means that only a pair and in some case a single shoe can be made from a leather hide. It would be unreasonable for us to expect Meermin to make only a pair of shoes from the single hide. So these blemishes you see are a probably expected for the leather used and the price point.
I think we too share some guilt here. Some of the defects are unacceptable but we should stop expecting that Meermin can make $1500 shoe or boot for $450.00.
Congratulation Monekyface it must feel as you have won lottery with all the problems this MTO had.
I totally agree about unrealistic expectations but Meermin would have us believe we're getting a high end product at a mid-range price when far too often for comfort; we're getting a low end product at a mid-range price