Believe me - I was aware of the risks and understand it all. But I feel like I was shipped one shoe in seconds condition and one shoe in third or fourths condition. Or whatever condition a shoe would be in after looking like it went through a washing machine and then a dryer.
Have you tried calling them and stating your case? Apologies if you already answered this question. I was once able to get AE to waive a restocking fee for a pair of seconds that they admitted never should have left the Shoe Bank (one shoe had what looked like a knife slash on the upper).