Persist. They are worth it.
As for the shoes- i wonder how many times the conversation has come back to shoes within australia- i noticed that the Aus SF thread was started by that very question of what was up with all the fugly shoes here in aus.
Total number of posts/100, or /10 if you also count replies. It's an amusing phenomena, but it seems that shoes are the easiest thing to get into sartorially and as such are very popular.