The "sole" purpose of shoes are to cover your feet and make sure you don't get yucky blisters and what not. What's so amazing is how consumerism has transformed this necessity into a luxury. A great example would be Nike and its products. From the up start of the company Nike has incorporated Design into shoes. So much that people would buy pairs of shoes for hundreds of dollars and it won't even be the right size. Nike knows that the shoe can be profitable. I bet they spend more money into their marketing and design than actual beneficial research....ahem apple. What can you do about it though. The formula works, personally I am eyeing a pair of shoes that don't do much but cost a lot.