Originally Posted by peppercorn78
Of course all this is true. Some folks opt to sacrifice some durability for the comfort of a foam insole, however. In my case, I bought a pair of Long Branches for $215, and expect to put them through absolute hell. The poron insole was standard makeup. Most likely, the foam insole won't be the first component to die a tragic death.
At AE's price point, I really don't expect customers realistically believe that they're buying a shoe with a 30+ year lifespan. That is, unless they've got rotations like @mdubs
In my dress shoe MTOs, I've been opting for the leather insole plus heel pad/half sockliner to keep my heel elevated and avoid recurrent Achilles issues.
All I meant by my "angst" statement was, if you know what you really want, then just go for it. Why all the hemming and hawing?
You are fully correct that some people have different thresholds for the durability : comfort ratio. Nothing wrong with that. I'm also not trying to say that I won't ever purchase a model with a Poron insole. Rather, what I'm saying is that if the traditional leather insole is an option, I'll always pick it. I own the Long Branch as well, and purchased it for similar reasons. I wanted a boot that I wasn't as concerned about taking some abuse, and none of the offerings from AE back when I bought them had the traditional leather insole along with a rubber sole (this was before the MTO program started). That said, I bought them in full awareness that they weren't quite up to my quality standards. I was also testing the waters for boots, as I'm not much of a boot wearer. Hence the reason for looking for something less expensive in case I didn't enjoy them.
The only food for thought I'd offer regarding your comments is that there isn't any reason that an AE can't last just as long as a much more expensive Goodyear-welted shoe, assuming it's well cared for and part of a reasonable rotation (as I assume a much more expensive shoe would be). I think a lot of people buy their AE's expecting several decades of service from them. The main differences between an AE and a $1200 Edward Green is the finishing and attention to detail. The leather may be higher quality in an Edward Green as well, but that doesn't always translate to longevity of the shoe itself. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. AE's leather is decent enough quality to last for several decades with reasonable care. At the end of the day, both shoes are constructed in the same way, so they are on much more equal ground than many would like to believe from the perspective of the law of diminishing returns.