Originally Posted by coolarrow
I agree with your conclusion of diminishing returns once you get to a certain price point. If you look at 2 assembly lines with one being all or mostly human manufacturing and one with most of the manufacturing done by machines/computer-aided (robots!) with minimal human supervision. The 1st will have more mistakes to the final product. 2nd one will have less errors and be cheaper.
Two things to say about that:
Men's shoes reached their zenith in the mid to late 19th century...before
assembly lines and machines were widespread or the default for shoe-manufacturing. Nothing since...even computer aided...has come close. Show me a machine that can do 50 stitches to the inch (much less the legendary 64).
Second, the vast majority of complaints on this forum...I would guess 90%....about defects in shoes are related to factory made, machine-made shoes. Many of those defects are major. And many don't get reported at all, simply because there's no one person who can be held responsible...and so consumers who "discover" them just bend over.
And esp. in manufacturing, most "aesthetic" problems are fundamentally structural problems. Whether in the shoe itself or in the process...and because they're all "stamped out" copies, the problems tend to get duplicated over and over again. Sometimes to the point where consumers are forced to embrace and defend those problems as "features
"...or lose face.
There's an ongoing discussion about one such problem in the Official Shoe Care Thread right now. Shouldn't have happened. Probably wouldn't have happened even with the most inexperienced bespoke maker.
Finally, all manufactured shoes are essentially clones of each other. And made with, relatively speaking, dumbed down techniques and poor materials. They are all...as Pete Seeger once sang..."ticky-tacky and they all look the same."
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one...
--Edited by DWFII - 9/2/14 at 7:47am