Ali, I really dig those boots! I ordered the exact same pair on Wednesday to replace my new Leather Soul Pitt Boots which were just a bit too snug across the vamp to justify keeping. I was super excited when the FedEx truck pulled up to the house this morning before the blizzard kicked in. Unfortunately, my pair of boots has what I consider to be a major flaw. The cordovan on the inner upper of the right boot has physically separated from the leather lining, leaving a massive 5-inch "bubble" on the exterior of the boot. I don't really know how to explain it. But it's really obvious. Here's a pic:
At first glance it looks like the cordovan is merely rippled/rolled from being in the box, but when I press on that area it physically depresses like it's floating above the inner lining. No way that baby will ever sit even remotely flat. The thing that really rubs my bits the wrong way is that TSM included a "Thank you for your order" card stating that the pair was physically inspected before leaving the shop. The card also states that they won't re-stock if there is evidence of try-on, etc. They even went to the length of signing/initialing the card by hand. Clearly, nobody looked at these.
Please let me be clear -- I have had great past experience with The Shoe Mart. I was fortunate enough to score Cigar Indys, black wingtip boots, black ptbs, and a sweet pair of calfskin boots from TSM, all in pristine condition. This pair, however, is a joke. Unfortunately they don't have another pair of 9D for exchange. I've e-mailed Ed and am waiting to hear back from him.
Alden, you fickle son of a gun. Why must I covet your shoes/boots despite your shoddy QC and disregard for what leaves the factory?!
Ali, you must be the standard bearer. Forge on!