I've got nothing against machines per se. I use sewing machines, skiving machines, splitting machines, etc.. The danger is that those people operating them...either directly or as managers, owners, etc....become as mindless as the machines themselves. And my real gripe is that people...some here, even...don't want to see the differences or the compromises that are embraced when machines are substituted for skill and intelligence. Witness Toyota. As a previous poster mentioned when a shoe is handlasted, accommodations to the leather itself can be made. That's significantly different than making accommodations to the machine or the operator or a quota. Or making th eleather accommodate itself to the machine, operator, etc.. No two pieces of leather...say vamps...are identical in temper or stretch. Even if cut directly opposite one another across the backbone. That means one vamp may stretch more than the other. Or it may stretch more in one direction. Or one side. Even a single vamp can have such variations across its breadth. The hand laster sees and adjusts for this. Despite what has been proposed I don't see any machine...even one imbued with an AI to guide it...being able to make such qualified and subjective judgments without the same experience and perceptions (visual, tactile, etc.) that a maker has had. I wouldn't gainsay any company the right to market and make shoes to meet a a market. Even call them "hand lasted" if such equivocation will be tolerated or ignored by the consumer. All I've ever said, and am saying, is that if anyone...myself included...is going to prattle on about quality or how wonderful a shoe is they should be at least aware of the reality. Words mean something...else we are all fools declaiming our ignorance right here on Style Forum. "Quality" means something. "Handmade" means something. And not something else. There are some discrepancies that should be clarified. In another post, Mr. Chay Cooper stated that the toe and heel stiffiners are made of leather. I am not sure if the shoe shown was indeed a Handgrade but if so DWFII raises a valid point. DWFII, would you be abe to tell the difference between a hand lasted shoe and a machine lasted shoe once the shoe has been completed?