The metaphorical mayfly... or better yet, june bug of foot wear. Made necessary by the siege warfare road salt wages every year against shoes and boots alike in northern climates. When a well worn pair are ceremoniously or unceremoniously heaved into the waste bin (choose accordingly), defeated by the caked on sodium that wears a shining fake-leather into cracked plastic, and sued or fur into stucco, the mid-winter shoe comes bravely to face it's ultimatly tragic destiny.
It typically comes from the post-Christmas month-spanning sales, when prices are in free fall. A pair that began as $90 now wears the bargin-red sticker of $17.95.
They are an investment only as a stylish 'survival' method until the ice of winter and the mud of sping clear up, and like Leonidas and his 300 at Thermopylae, are fated to be destroyed fending off the worst the world can throw at them, protecting the rest of your shoe rack.
They are usually a thicker sneaker of boot, perfect for the cold and wet seasons, but uncomfortable (and by then, ugly) in the summer, eventually becoming out of style by the fall.
Few ever make it that far. Most begin to fall apart by May, and are religated to being hidden in a closet or kept outside in the garage, rarely if ever to be worn again.
This year, I think I shall do my best to save mine.