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Cautionary tale for Ecco wearers

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Having been a satisfied Ecco wearer for several years now, I was surprised one afternoon (during an interview no less) to discover that the PVC/synthetic heels of my Ecco dress shoes had suddenly cracked and split. From the look of it, the material simply disintegrated, which made a rather sticky gooey mess. My shoes were probably around six years old but very lightly worn, probably no more than a few weeks each year. The heel and outsole material were made of some PVC material and perhaps it simply degrades over time regardless of actual use. In any case, I went to the Ecco website, requested a shoe return package, returned my shoes, and had my pair inspected at no cost. A few weeks later I got a letter from an Ecco USA representative that a warranty repair had been authorized but that my model was no longer in stock. The upshot is that I am getting a free replacement pair from their current line. I was able to choose from any model except their most expensive one, the President and the golf shoes. So I ended up getting their second most expensive shoe (City Classic Apron), which I believe is the only Ecco shoe that has a partial leather outsole. Although I'm very happy with Ecco's warranty & customer service, I must say I'm now fairly reticent about the use of synthetic materials in shoes. Not surprisingly I'm much more partial to genuine leather outsoles and heels made of natural materials. Somehow I don't think the same heel cracking would occur on natural materials. Some photos below:
post #2 of 6
yikes that looks terrible and quite odd to happen to a lightly used pair. Good CS though.
post #3 of 6
You can have a similar problem with crepe soles. After a number of years, maybe ten, the crepe becomes sticky and after another ten years the soles have dried out and just crumble away. You can just rip chunks off the soles (like you can rip pieces out of a dried up sponge. That's probably the reason why crepe soles, once very popular, have almost disappeared (apart from Alden's "All Weather Walkers"). Ordinary rubber soles like Vibram or Itshide do not have these problems.
post #4 of 6
Bengal-Stripe, is there any way to prevent crepe soles from disintegrating like that? Or is that just a sad inevitability?
post #5 of 6
I don't know if these shoes were designed to be 'dress shoes'. They look a little bit too clunky and casual.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I don't know if these shoes were designed to be 'dress shoes'. They look a little bit too clunky and casual.
Perhaps this is quibbling but I don't think a dress or formal shoe is defined by whether one subjectively finds the shape pleasing or not. Shoe aficionados should correct me if I'm wrong but I believe a formal shoe comes in two varieties - closed lacing (like an oxford) or open lacing (like a derby or blucher). This is a black leather derby which, though a tad less formal than an oxford, is still appropriate for suits.
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