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Shoe math--I think we might all be wrong.

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by NotoriousMarquis, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. NotoriousMarquis

    NotoriousMarquis Senior member

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    I was thinking about this, and I think our vanity has clouded our fact assessing abilities. We say that in the long run a pair of shoes --base quality of AE--is a better investment than a crap shoe that will last 8 months if you wear it every day, and which costs 80-110 dollars. Well...

    You need three pairs of AE shoes to alternate (if this isn't actually true then this whole math may be wrong)

    lets say you get 2 as seconds, one at full retail, thats roughly 700 dollars. let's also assume they are going to last ten years. They will each need a resole every 2 years just about, which means 5 resoles each (what AE says is the upper limit of recrafts they do), amounting to 15 resoles over ten years for all the shoes together. Each resole costs 125 now. 15 x 125 = 1875, 1875 + 700 = 2575 is your total investment for AE shoes over 10 years.


    Now lets say a crap shoe at 100 bucks a piece is going to last 8 months. you will need 15 shoes over the course of ten years then, and then at an average of 100 (price of rockports at zappos), then you pay 1500 dollars over 10 years.

    Our luxury shoe method costs over 1k more.

    Not that I will ever stop buying nice shoes, but I would actually like to know for my own curiosity how long 3 pairs of AE shoes if worn every day can last, and if my math is right.

    Anyway, food for thought. Sorry, its late at night.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012


  2. The Shoe Snob

    The Shoe Snob Affiliate Vendor Affiliate Vendor

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    Your logic is a bit strange....

    First you compare 1 shoe to 3 and wonder how the 3 shoes come up more?

    Second, a crap shoe at $100 retail, is not going to last you 8 months if worn "every day." Maybe half of that time frame as the quality (or lack thereof) deteriorates exponentially when wearing everyday....

    Third, if you have 3 AE's, which means you rotate them (i.e. none of them will be worn every day), they will most likely last you more than 10 years and using the $125 resole program is just an option...there are much cheaper facilities around...may not do as good of job, but they will be good enough

    As this will always be a hypothetical argument (unless two people actually carry out an experiment - and even still, it cannot be measured 100%) there will be no facts to base anything on, especially since everyone is different with their shoes. Some people walk hard, and can go through an AE in one year, others may not and can have one last 3 years before the first resole....it always varies, and therefore will always be hard to prove one way or the other.

    That being said, I still stand by the quality shoe theory....
     


  3. jammyo40

    jammyo40 Well-Known Member

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    You also need to account for shoe comfort and the fact that well-made shoes will hold up and look much better towards the end of their life than a POS shoe.
     


  4. Equus Leather

    Equus Leather Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Even accepting that comparing 1 cheap shoe with 3 good shoes is valid, and I don't think it is, your effectively saying that for an extra 30 cents a day over the cost of a pair of rubbish shoes that will spend 2/3 of their life looking like they are about to fall to bits you could have 3 pairs of really nice shoes in constantly good repair due to a somewhat extravagant repair schedule.

    Your argument might be intend to show cheap shoes are better value but I'm not sure thats what you've succeeded in doing! Quality nearly always represents better value if you keep things till they fall to bits IMHO..

    Charlie
     


  5. Trompe le Monde

    Trompe le Monde Senior member

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    using shoes and investment in the same sentence is where you veered wrong
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012


  6. cigarMan

    cigarMan Well-Known Member

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    All the above is correct, but there is also one other problem with your calculation. Once you start buying high end shoes, you never ever go back. And the chance that you stay at three pairs is minimal, which means that your rotation is going to be bigger and therefore the shoes will last longer. That was my experience so far, after I got infected with the Styleforum virus. Buying high end shoes might not have a monetary benefit on its own, but looking and feeling good will result in a positive return in the long run. Ladies just love nice shoes...:)
     


  7. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    Bear with me, this story is relevant...

    I recently wrote a book on one of the exams prospective applicants to medical school need to take. It's meant to be an aptitude test, and like many such tests has a mathematics section that checks fairly basic maths skills although in somewhat convoluted ways. I had to come up sets of sample questions for the practice exam sections of the book. Anyone who's ever had to write exam questions knows tthat it becomes something of a chore after a while, and you begin to run short of variations on the common questions that arise. So one of the questions I devised is heavily based on the economics of a good resoleable shoe versus a typical mid-market throwaway dept store brand (think, say, C&J handgrade vs Clarks), over a 40 year career, assuming they buy only a basic 3 shoe rotation, resoling/replacing as necessary. Running through the sums (ignoring the effects of inflation) and obviously making some other necessary but not unrealistic assumptions, the good shoe selection costs a total of about £60 per year more than the throwaway brands. Not a set of sums I would normally bother to do, but it kept me amusing while writing. Anyway, if my assumptions are at all realistic, using a cost argument to justify nicer shoes is (perhaps unsurprisingly!) not going to fly!

    However, I would strongly argue that a prettier, nicer shoe selection is well worth the fairly marginal extra annual cost compared to putting up with uglier items on your feet. :)
     


  8. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    and you didn't take into account how you would look in said crap shoes...
     


  9. Frank the sheep

    Frank the sheep Senior member

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    I don´t think his logic is strange since this is the math the shoe industry tells us to do. Most people will have very few shoes that that wear everyday, maybe one "work shoe" and one or two shoes for weekends and partys. The quality shoe makers tells us that we need several shoes, shoe trees, creams and polish to make them last and they tell us it´s good value because it´s cheaper in the long run. So i think he thinks in the right way.

    Then i agree that a 100 dollar crap shoe will not last 8 month. They last for years, i spent my life up to the age of 30 in shoes between 100-200 dollars and they lasted between 5-10 years. Most i got rid of because i got tired of them. I will never save the money i spent on quality foot wear but i don´t care because they look so much better... they money argument is for getting people who want the cheapest shoe to think the expensive ones will save them money.... the classic take 3 pay for 2 sale tactic :)
     


  10. Jr Mouse

    Jr Mouse Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    No, the criticism is spot on. One shoe versus three, doesn't make a lot of sense. You may be right that a lot of guys just own one pair of "work shoes," but it still muck ups the comparison here.
     


  11. JubeiSpiegel

    JubeiSpiegel Senior member

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    Shoeconomics for the win...
     


  12. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

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    Quote: I got a pair of Eccos about 2 years ago, and they still look fine (in terms of how they compare to new, not the styling). I wear them 5 days a week and walk a lot. I never use shoe trees (though I admit I should), and have only had them shined/polished twice.
     


  13. Sirryacus

    Sirryacus Senior member

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    Too many variables, I mean what if someone got 10 pair of $100 retail priced shoes for 20 dollars a piece or less and you fail to lay any perimeters as to what constitutes crap shoes and even then there is a large gray area between bottom of the barrel and allen edmonds, not to mention different shoes for different activities, you can't and shouldn't wear most allen edmond shoes to a lot of locations which further chisels away at their cost effectiveness over the long term.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012


  14. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    Flicks or GTFO....
     


  15. JammieDodger

    JammieDodger Senior member

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    I don't care for the expensive > less expensive argument (either way). But just wanted to add that for me black shoes have been the least economical, once they're scuffed they look completely stupid. Brown shoes seem to be able to take a bit of scuffing but black I've always just got these white marks showing through (Crockett and Jones).
     


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