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Contrary to popular SF belief, shoes with glued-on soles don't disintegrate immediately - Page 5

post #61 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoneyWellSpent View Post

Interesting thread and great topic.  Hitting on the definition of "investment" is what I was going to touch on before aravenel beat me to it.  People completely misunderstand what the word investment means as it applies to perishable goods.  It has nothing to do with putting money into shoes with the expectation of capital appreciation, dividends, or interest earnings.  It has everything to do with quality.  You can invest in quality, and end up with a better value in the long term, but only if you care for it.  Using cars as an analogy fails on many fronts, though it is the most frequently brought up analogy when these discussions erupt.

I think that a better analogy that most people can relate to would be furniture.  From day one, an article made from particle board looks cheaper than an article made from mahogany.  Most people can see the difference up front, and if not, give it some time and I promise the difference will become readily apparent..  After the article starts being used, the one made from mahogany begins to take on character, while the one made from particle board begins to look worse and worse.  People often obsess over the first scratch on a smooth surface, but when you see an antique that has so many scratches and dings that it is exuding character, it is a thing of beauty.  The article made from mahogany can be stained, it can have it's finish restored, it can be waxed and polished to bring out it's natural beauty.  Blemishes can be sanded or filled, if one desires.

There is very little that can be done to something made from particle board.  Most people buy articles of furniture made from particle board because they don't care about the difference in quality, they can't afford it, or they don't intend for it to last long enough for it to matter.  There is a reason you don't see articles made from particle board in fine antique shops.  It doesn't generally last long enough to make it there, and even if it did, it has very little resale value.  If an article made of particle board does reach antique status, it is probably because it received little or no direct use that would lead to showing wear.  It just sat in a corner with a picture frame on it for 50 years.  You can use furniture made from fine wood.  Kids can bang their toys on it.  You can eat on it.  You can knock silverware and dishes against it.  You can spill stuff on it.  You can carry it with you for years.  It can be used like this for centuries if well cared for.  As soon as particle board gets wet, it swells and distorts.

When you buy furniture made from fine wood, you are making an investment.  Pure and simple.  You can use it the rest of your life, pass it on to your kids, grandkids, and great grandkids.

Of course there are people that only want new stuff.  They are the ones that often buy particle board stuff to use until it looks bad, then they throw it out and get new stuff.  People with more money than sense may buy fine wood articles and still replace them frequently, but they are the exception to the rule.  To each their own.

This is the definition of investment that applies to fine footwear.   No, shoes won't last for centuries (with regular use), and a lot of what I said above about wood furniture doesn't directly apply to shoes, but much of it does.  There is also a lot more to a good quality pair of shoes and how long they last than just cemented vs. stitched construction.  Shoes can disintegrate from the inside out before the sole wears out.  Using someone as an example that buys cheap shoes, and gets a certain number of years out of them as a reason that cheap shoes are adequate isn't really logical.  If a person can get 10 years out of a pair of $100 shoes, good for them!  The same person will still get far longer out of a pair of $300 shoes!  The quality difference exists no matter what.  If a person only gets 1 year from a pair of good quality shoes, then they probably only get a few months from a pair of cheap shoes.  Don't confuse spending more money on something because of a brand name with spending more money on quality.  Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.  The two don't necessarily go hand in hand.

Obviously the law of diminishing returns kicks in at some point, and you are paying for beauty and finishing as opposed to durability.  Again, don't throw the baby out with the bath water.  That doesn't negate that higher quality is better than lower quality.  Do people exaggerate the short life of a cemented pair of shoes?  Often, yes.  Does that mean that a high quality pair of shoes won't last significantly longer and look better through the process?  No.  If you enjoy watching a quality product age, take on a unique character, and become a companion that goes with you everywhere you walk, then invest in quality.  If you don't care about that, then buy cheap ones. 

+1 very well said. This was what I meant when I said the investment wasn't a monetary one.
post #62 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by aravenel View Post


Pinpoint logic? It's a completely he-said-she-said argument, based on a very limited and not very relevant premise. Furthermore, his "rebuttal" didn't even address my point--that this is a forum of enthusiasts, and thus what the other 99% of people do or do not do or notice is irrelevant.

Here's an equally valid counterpoint--I have also owned cheap glued shoes and nicer shoes. My cheap shoes had to be replaced every 7-9 months when they fell apart. My first pair of "nice" shoes are going on four years now. Considering that those "cheap" shoes cost me $100/pair and my first pair of "nice" shoes were Allen Edmonds at $300, the AE were clearly the better buy, not even factoring in the time it took me to find a pair of shoes that I liked, particularly given my wide feet.

Granted, one should not view them as a monetary investment. No clothing should be--once you clear a very basic threshold, it becomes a discretionary expense. Treating it as anything other than that is just a good way to get yourself in trouble. When people say a nice pair of shoes, suit, etc are an investment piece, they mean that it is a piece that can form a central part of your wardrobe and get a great deal of use over a long period of time, and it may thus be worth allocating more of your budget towards that item. They don't mean that you should go buy the EGs because you will somehow be more monetarily wealthy for having bought them.

And again, the point still stands--this is a forum of clothing enthusiasts. They value clothing, and everything that goes with that, particularly aesthetics and build quality. Those "nice" shoes or suit or whatever have value beyond the pure monetary.

...spoken like a man who takes his cyber persona too seriously. It's nice to know that one jab can provoke such a passionate response, haha...troll bait at its finest.

post #63 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyMac View Post

...spoken like a man who takes his cyber persona too seriously.

That, or someone who doesn't suffer fools gladly. Internet anonymity is no reason for our dear OP to be posting vapid nonsense.
post #64 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by zippyh View Post

That "investment" bullshit is just what you use at first to convince yourself to buy nice stuff.
Once you reach Styleforum enlightenment you will realize you just like nice stuff.

 

One of the best things I've read this year. I'm using this in my signature.
post #65 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoneyWellSpent View Post

Interesting thread and great topic.  Hitting on the definition of "investment" is what I was going to touch on before aravenel beat me to it.  People completely misunderstand what the word investment means as it applies to perishable goods.  It has nothing to do with putting money into shoes with the expectation of capital appreciation, dividends, or interest earnings.  It has everything to do with quality.  You can invest in quality, and end up with a better value in the long term, but only if you care for it.  Using cars as an analogy fails on many fronts, though it is the most frequently brought up analogy when these discussions erupt.

I think that a better analogy that most people can relate to would be furniture.  From day one, an article made from particle board looks cheaper than an article made from mahogany.  Most people can see the difference up front, and if not, give it some time and I promise the difference will become readily apparent..  After the article starts being used, the one made from mahogany begins to take on character, while the one made from particle board begins to look worse and worse.  People often obsess over the first scratch on a smooth surface, but when you see an antique that has so many scratches and dings that it is exuding character, it is a thing of beauty.  The article made from mahogany can be stained, it can have it's finish restored, it can be waxed and polished to bring out it's natural beauty.  Blemishes can be sanded or filled, if one desires.

There is very little that can be done to something made from particle board.  Most people buy articles of furniture made from particle board because they don't care about the difference in quality, they can't afford it, or they don't intend for it to last long enough for it to matter.  There is a reason you don't see articles made from particle board in fine antique shops.  It doesn't generally last long enough to make it there, and even if it did, it has very little resale value.  If an article made of particle board does reach antique status, it is probably because it received little or no direct use that would lead to showing wear.  It just sat in a corner with a picture frame on it for 50 years.  You can use furniture made from fine wood.  Kids can bang their toys on it.  You can eat on it.  You can knock silverware and dishes against it.  You can spill stuff on it.  You can carry it with you for years.  It can be used like this for centuries if well cared for.  As soon as particle board gets wet, it swells and distorts.

When you buy furniture made from fine wood, you are making an investment.  Pure and simple.  You can use it the rest of your life, pass it on to your kids, grandkids, and great grandkids.

Of course there are people that only want new stuff.  They are the ones that often buy particle board stuff to use until it looks bad, then they throw it out and get new stuff.  People with more money than sense may buy fine wood articles and still replace them frequently, but they are the exception to the rule.  To each their own.

This is the definition of investment that applies to fine footwear.   No, shoes won't last for centuries (with regular use), and a lot of what I said above about wood furniture doesn't directly apply to shoes, but much of it does.  There is also a lot more to a good quality pair of shoes and how long they last than just cemented vs. stitched construction.  Shoes can disintegrate from the inside out before the sole wears out.  Using someone as an example that buys cheap shoes, and gets a certain number of years out of them as a reason that cheap shoes are adequate isn't really logical.  If a person can get 10 years out of a pair of $100 shoes, good for them!  The same person will still get far longer out of a pair of $300 shoes!  The quality difference exists no matter what.  If a person only gets 1 year from a pair of good quality shoes, then they probably only get a few months from a pair of cheap shoes.  Don't confuse spending more money on something because of a brand name with spending more money on quality.  Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.  The two don't necessarily go hand in hand.

Obviously the law of diminishing returns kicks in at some point, and you are paying for beauty and finishing as opposed to durability.  Again, don't throw the baby out with the bath water.  That doesn't negate that higher quality is better than lower quality.  Do people exaggerate the short life of a cemented pair of shoes?  Often, yes.  Does that mean that a high quality pair of shoes won't last significantly longer and look better through the process?  No.  If you enjoy watching a quality product age, take on a unique character, and become a companion that goes with you everywhere you walk, then invest in quality.  If you don't care about that, then buy cheap ones. 

cheers.gif
post #66 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoneyWellSpent View Post
 

 

Interesting thread and great topic.  Hitting on the definition of "investment" is what I was going to touch on before aravenel beat me to it.  People completely misunderstand what the word investment means as it applies to perishable goods.  It has nothing to do with putting money into shoes with the expectation of capital appreciation, dividends, or interest earnings.  It has everything to do with quality.  You can invest in quality, and end up with a better value in the long term, but only if you care for it.  Using cars as an analogy fails on many fronts, though it is the most frequently brought up analogy when these discussions erupt.

 

I think that a better analogy that most people can relate to would be furniture.  From day one, an article made from particle board looks cheaper than an article made from mahogany.  Most people can see the difference up front, and if not, give it some time and I promise the difference will become readily apparent..  After the article starts being used, the one made from mahogany begins to take on character, while the one made from particle board begins to look worse and worse.  People often obsess over the first scratch on a smooth surface, but when you see an antique that has so many scratches and dings that it is exuding character, it is a thing of beauty.  The article made from mahogany can be stained, it can have it's finish restored, it can be waxed and polished to bring out it's natural beauty.  Blemishes can be sanded or filled, if one desires.

 

There is very little that can be done to something made from particle board.  Most people buy articles of furniture made from particle board because they don't care about the difference in quality, they can't afford it, or they don't intend for it to last long enough for it to matter.  There is a reason you don't see articles made from particle board in fine antique shops.  It doesn't generally last long enough to make it there, and even if it did, it has very little resale value.  If an article made of particle board does reach antique status, it is probably because it received little or no direct use that would lead to showing wear.  It just sat in a corner with a picture frame on it for 50 years.  You can use furniture made from fine wood.  Kids can bang their toys on it.  You can eat on it.  You can knock silverware and dishes against it.  You can spill stuff on it.  You can carry it with you for years.  It can be used like this for centuries if well cared for.  As soon as particle board gets wet, it swells and distorts.

 

When you buy furniture made from fine wood, you are making an investment.  Pure and simple.  You can use it the rest of your life, pass it on to your kids, grandkids, and great grandkids.

 

Of course there are people that only want new stuff.  They are the ones that often buy particle board stuff to use until it looks bad, then they throw it out and get new stuff.  People with more money than sense may buy fine wood articles and still replace them frequently, but they are the exception to the rule.  To each their own.

 

This is the definition of investment that applies to fine footwear.   No, shoes won't last for centuries (with regular use), and a lot of what I said above about wood furniture doesn't directly apply to shoes, but much of it does.  There is also a lot more to a good quality pair of shoes and how long they last than just cemented vs. stitched construction.  Shoes can disintegrate from the inside out before the sole wears out.  Using someone as an example that buys cheap shoes, and gets a certain number of years out of them as a reason that cheap shoes are adequate isn't really logical.  If a person can get 10 years out of a pair of $100 shoes, good for them!  The same person will still get far longer out of a pair of $300 shoes!  The quality difference exists no matter what.  If a person only gets 1 year from a pair of good quality shoes, then they probably only get a few months from a pair of cheap shoes.  Don't confuse spending more money on something because of a brand name with spending more money on quality.  Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.  The two don't necessarily go hand in hand.

 

Obviously the law of diminishing returns kicks in at some point, and you are paying for beauty and finishing as opposed to durability.  Again, don't throw the baby out with the bath water.  That doesn't negate that higher quality is better than lower quality.  Do people exaggerate the short life of a cemented pair of shoes?  Often, yes.  Does that mean that a high quality pair of shoes won't last significantly longer and look better through the process?  No.  If you enjoy watching a quality product age, take on a unique character, and become a companion that goes with you everywhere you walk, then invest in quality.  If you don't care about that, then buy cheap ones. 


Well said.

 

Best post I've read in a long time.

post #67 of 70
Experts please chime in, but I think contributions of shanks are dismissed inappropriately. In technical footwear the shank is, I believe, an important source of foot support. The value depends of the size, dimensions and material of the shank. A full length steel shank will provide support you will not get with more flexible footwear. Try using crampons with a boot with a 360 welt but no shank.
post #68 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhdnhdbh View Post

Experts please chime in, but I think contributions of shanks are dismissed inappropriately. In technical footwear the shank is, I believe, an important source of foot support. The value depends of the size, dimensions and material of the shank. A full length steel shank will provide support you will not get with more flexible footwear. Try using crampons with a boot with a 360 welt but no shank.

Might be a little OT but here goes...

Steel shanks do support the foot from the height of the heel to the ball of the foot. If you ever see a pair of shoes made before steel shanks were common you'd immediately notice the difference--the way the whole "arch" / shank area has collapsed. Or try wearing a pair of boots / shoes with a higher heel than, say, one inch, and no shank support...not for long, you won't.

Of course every foot is different. Some feet are firm and muscular and well "tied together." Others are loose and more prone to collapse. Unless there is no heel...such as with moccasins...some support is needed and the higher the heel the more support and the stronger the shank needs to be.

It is possible to make a shoe or boot with nothing but a carefully shaped stack of leather in lieu of a steel shank support. This relates to what is known as "box beam construction." But again the higher the heel the the less reliable this method is esp. over the long term.

Wood shank supports are viable for low heels shoes--5/8" or thereabouts. But the wood degrades relatively quick...faster than the insole...and some support will be lost, if not the entire shank. Ultimately though, the big attraction of wood shanks is that they are cheap.

Bottom line, nothing is perfect in this situation, simply because the foot simply was not "designed" to function with the heel elevated.

--
Edited by DWFII - 11/17/13 at 7:59am
post #69 of 70
DW
Informative as always. Are elevated heels just a stylistic choice that has become so accepted that they are mandatory? Or is there any good reasons for making shoes this way?

On quality. It seems there are purely functional definitions-,the shoes will maintain their integrity and support longer. But there are also subjective and qualitative definitions that transition footwear from tools to art. Is solid wood furniture really better than plywood with veneer? It may look better to an expert, it may be assumed to be better when a nonexpert inspects it and realizes it is not solid. But it will not collapse on you while eating dinner.

What makes a painting that sells for $100M "better" than one that sells for $100? That is entirely a subjective decision. The small universe of people who would buy an expensive painting may agree on what makes quality, but just makes it a consensus subjective decision.

As a practical matter there is only so long one might need a shoe to last. Even if you could protect it from damage that long, by say 20 years your feet or needs for footwear may have changed.

I am sure there are those who find the expensive RTW shoes to be far more attractive than the products of lesser brands. But I submit this is a learned preference that is shared mainly among enthusiasts. This does not make the designs of a high end brand "better quality". It makes them "more sylish". That is a perfectly valid reason to choose one design over another, but it is not "quality"

You may have to spend a great deal of money to get handwelted bespoke shoes, but you can get durable supportive footwear for under $200.
post #70 of 70
High heels are primarily ornamental or fashion derived. But there are elements of functionality involved.

If nothing else wearing high heels changes both posture and body shape (firms up the butt), makes the legs look like they are longer relative to the trunk, and changes the gait. On some subconscious level, all of these are associated with reproductive strategy and sexual allure.

High heels also are functional for the horseman--keeping the foot from going through the stirrup. Before there were ever any heels recorded in western history, mongol horsemen strapped wooden blocks...red wooden blocks...to their footwear when riding.

And the horse, and the ownership and ability to ride a horse, has always been associated with aristocracy and wealth.

I don't feel qualified to address the rest of your remarks except to say:

"Quality" is a term that we assign, to one degree or another (or not) to objects which are intentional or created. It has no meaning outside of what we, as human beings, give it. Having said that I do not believe that "quality" is subjective in any but the most solipsistic sense. It is informed by intimate knowledge, deliberate analysis and consideration, and Tradition / history--a connection to human beings and humanity past and present..

When a shoemaker makes a bespoke pair of shoes he is reaching out to the customer, in a sense. He is taking the customer's preferences and desires into consideration. And in fulfilling those desires he creates a link, as who should say, to another human being. And through that link, paying homage to all those who went before--"the dead guys" / "the elder gods of shoemaking." In doing so, he affirms his connection to other human beings...past and present, now and forever...and in a sense legitimizes his own humanity.

The process is two way, however. When the customer seeks and commissions a bespoke maker, he is also making a connection. He is seeking an input, and a level of perception, and an aspiration, at least, to an aesthetic standard that transcends the ordinary. An aesthetic that is uniquely human. That is only to be found in humans. That cannot be realized by processes or technologies that do not involve human beings at the most intimate, committed levels. And in seeking that connection, the customer affirms his own humanity as well.

I think that if we were to examine all those things we deem as "quality" we would find that the more humanity we can sense in a object the more we value it. A lot of this happens on a subconscious or even unconscious level however. On a subconscious level, we perceive more than our eyes see. "Quality" has a lot to do with what the craftsman brings to the party. As such the farther an object gets from its roots as something conceived and created by a human being intimately involved at every level of its creation, the less it partakes of that which we call "quality." The less we can see or feel it. For no other, more tangible, reason than that we can't see or feel the human connection / humanity in it.

Yes, the solid wood chair is of better quality than the plywood chair. Not so much because of the materials but because to the extent that the maker put all or a great deal of himself into making it, we recognize that it was far more difficult than making the plywood chair. And, that part of what he put into it, was nothing short of love. The craftsman not only put much of himself into the chair, much was drawn / taken from him, as well. A great deal more than is ever to be found in the "manufactured" chair.

And, most importantly, that "humanity" is still in the chair...and will be for as long as the chair exists...and we sense it and value it even if we cannot put our fingers on why it moves us.

--
Edited by DWFII - 11/17/13 at 12:57pm
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