Originally Posted by ntempleman
Any casual observer to this conversation might start to worry that every pair of shoes out there is a disaster waiting to happen - nails, metal shanks rusting, wood degrading..
I've seen 50 year old shoes that are still being worn by the owner, older shoes that have been bought on eBay, brought back to the shop for a refurb and then worn by the new owner - not one of these shoes has had a failure from metal rusting, wood degrading etc etc
We're getting dangerously close to cork sniffing territory here.
Well I agree and I disagree...
First, for some of us here cork sniffing may indeed be a waste of time. But I doubt that the vintner would agree with that. And it is the vintner who is responsible...using every sense that he has...to ensure that the "recreational" cork sniffer won't get an unpleasant surprise.
Indeed, for the vintner...or other savvy (or even simply curious) individuals...there may be very good reasons to sniff the cork, if only because there are some aspects--aromas, notes, information--embedded in the cork that aren't otherwise readily apparent and that can add to the experience and the pleasure.
Secondly, as was pointed out in another conversation, sometimes shoemakers can be too insular. If you spend a decade or two with limited exposure, by way of deconstruction or repair, to any other shoes but your own, you end up with a very different perspective than if you repair all manner and brands of shoes and get to see what works and what doesn't. And perhaps...if you are of an analytical mind...even see why.
The same is true for the shoe customers...if you wear shoes on flower strewn carpets in atmospherically controlled office environments, you'll have a very different perspective than the man who is walking miles a day and in sometimes, unavoidably, inclement weather.
You've seen shoes that were fifty years old. So have I. But I've also seen shoes that were three years old that already had problems with the heel of the insole from iron nails. Simple fact is that some customers will sweat...if only because they work and move and are alive. And their particular sweat can be more corrosive than other people's.
Do we only make shoes for tidy people?
Third, the simple scientific fact is that moisture (perspiration from the body, damp from the streets, etc.) can, does, and will rust iron. And rust is inimical to leather esp. veg tanned leather. Those small black stains around your lasting tacks that appear after the insole has been blocked, are the first signs of this. It's not just a harmless stain.
The garden of Eden is gone. We...esp. you and I...are not innocent, not naive. Once we know what iron rust will do, how can we ignore it? Responsibly? Hear no evil, see no evil? And more importantly speak no evil?
For me, I have to ask myself "if I don't do it, who will?" "If I don't anticipate these problems and do everything in my power to forestall them, why do I make shoes?"
In the end, we are the vintners...if we don't smell the cork, who will?edited for punctuation and clarityEdited by DWFII - 4/5/16 at 7:08am