Originally Posted by chogall
As with everything on the Internet, user claimed experiences needs to be discounted by 80%.
Not that it's not occasionally interesting.
And the source ought to be considered too. One person...hell, 100 people...can have very singular experiences that are, within certain definitions, unimpeachable. And still not be representative of even a statistical average, much less a fundamental reality.
I wouldn't doubt that some people could get a lifetime of wear from a pair of paper shoes...especially worn in a large rotation and on rose-petal strewn carpets to get to and from the chair they will spend the rest of the day in.
I don't even doubt that some people will get relatively long wear out of footwear when used in rough country. But for many years, such people, and such use, comprised the bulk of repairs I saw. Cowboys, loggers, linemen, construction workers, etc.. As well as Venture capital high rollers. ( FWIW, I spent @10 years on the board of directors of a venture capital firm) In my time, I've seen high end shoes and boots fall apart after six month of use.
I've literally experienced (studied
, really)...vicariously...the experiences of thousands of people. Different people. Different methods of construction. Different use parameters. And all from the perspective of someone intimately involved and interested in the most minute details of fit, wear, construction, etc.. I've torn shoes apart to see how the heel seat was done. To examine the materials used to stiffen heels and toes. The fillers used (if any) on HW shoes. How valid are my experiences?
Similarly, I don't doubt that the the majority of people never experience problems with GY shoes. It begs the question, however--would they know it if they saw it? The majority of people here on SF never even knew...if they were honest...that gemming existed until they read it here on SF. The majority have never peeked under the "hood" of their shoes. Never will.
How valid are the opinion and experiences of the majority under such circumstances? Is it a prom court? Are we voting for queen?
But as implied, none of those experiences--mine or other people's...are reason to dismiss or close your mind to the possibilities
that other people will have different experiences. And that's precisely what I've seen here--the closed minds, the dismissals...despite the disingenuous protestations and pretenses to the contrary.
As a shoemaker I have seen more permutations of the shoe than those same 100 people above will see in two lifetimes.
I've also been struck by the irrefutable fact that every good, conscientious, shoemaker in the world will always choose HW over GY. Not because HW is easier or faster (it's not, by a long, long shot) but simply because it addresses more of the possibilities
that come along with often wildly different situations, people and lifestyles.
Those makers...if they are engaged...even those who pay lip service to accessibility, market share, the budgets of their customers, etc., almost universally choose the best materials and techniques for themselves and the work that represents them personally.
How much weight do we assign to their choices?
--Edited by DWFII - 1/16/14 at 9:12am