My assumption is that shoe manufacturers create shoes for that elusive 'average' customer. My walking habits are not average. I'm not interested in a shoe that is going to look nice poking out from under my desk, or while I'm sitting on a train, a bus or a plane, or in my car but lack functionality. My shoes need to get me places. Good looks are nice but not my main criteria. My previous walking shoes were bright orange and while the Welsh saleswoman told me they were 'lush', I thought they were traffic stopping ugly....perhaps not a bad attribute now I think about it.... but I bought them because they were the best fit and comfortable. The soles on those collapsed after less than a year.
What to do? I just looked on line and lo and behold heel and toe plates are still available! I had forgotten about these little gems and will order some for my next pair of walking shoes / boots.