Have you ever bought something and really wanted to like it, but as time wore on you realized that the thing you bought really sucked and you were just making mental excuses for the shortcomings? That's the way I feel about the shoes I ride in. They're Salomon Tech Amphibians.
I know, they were intended to be used as water shoes but I figured that they would be perfect when paired with platform pedals. I liked the huge amounts of ventilation, great for Texas summers, the one pull lacing system which would help keep laces away from the chainring, and a stiffer sole than a running shoe. I also liked the fact that they were more shoe-like than sandals as I have this thing against sweaty bare feet placed in footware. I need socks! Apparently wearing socks with sandals is completely uncool (see comment below from the Urban Dictionary).
Here are the problems I had with these shoes: the shoes cut into the outside of my little toe anytime I walked in them for more than a short period of time. I know that this is an individual problem. The plastic thing that was used to tighten the adjustable heel just did not hold properly, the plastic tensioner that is used to tighten the laces would loosen and require constant retensioning, and worst of all the mesh that attached to the adjustable heel on both shoes has frayed and pulled away from the heel. I've had these shoes for less than a year and they've only been used while riding and the occassional walk around a store. I would consider this very light use.
I recently went back to the outdoor store where I bought these shoes and began looking for replacements. The kid who worked the shoe section recommended Keen sandals, which is what I should have bought in the first place. When I explained my need for socks to the sales kid he said, "A guy your age should be able to wear socks with whatever you want." I wasn't sure how to take this comment at first. I wondered how old he thought I was. But as I thought about I realized that he was right. First chance I get I'm buying a good pair of sandals and a bunch of wool socks. Who do I have to impress?
More on socks and sandals.