And now for something completely different: socks. Yes, socks. Those things that you (probably) are wearing on your feet.
For about a bazillion years, I bought the de facto male standard: white cotton crew socks, generally some department store brand, or Hanes, or some such thing. Price was a big part of the buying decision, as these things wore out fast (I think I averaged about 3 or 4 months for a pair); most of the socks I purchased were a buck or two a pair. Then a few years ago I bought a package of Carhartt crew socks. At $5 a pair, these were considerably more expensive than what I had been buying. They were also more comfortable, and longer lasting. After a year of wearing them it was clear that the Carhartt socks were actually costing me less than the ones I had been buying, as they lasted about a year. So I switched my sock drawer to Carhartts.
Well, the short version of the result is that after a few months of occasionally wearing them, I bought 10 pairs. That was about a year ago. Why? First and foremost: they're extremely comfortable for me. They never bunch up inside my shoes like all my other socks did. They're warm in the winter, and not particularly hot in the summer. The elastic is powerful (which my dad would have hated!), and I like that because it keeps the upper part of the sock up on my leg, not rolling down into my ankle. Plus after a few months with that one pair I couldn't detect any wear at all!
Now it's been just a year since I bought the ten pairs. Some of those pairs have been worn much more often than others. My sock drawer is basically a last-in, first-out (LIFO) queue – so some of those pairs (at the front of the sock drawer) have been worn probably 50 times, while others (at the back) just a few. I cannot detect any wear on any of those socks. The elastic is as strong as the day I bought them. There are no tears, no holes, no visible wear of any kind. So far as I can tell, I've got another year of use from these socks ahead of me, and likely even more. I still find them as comfortable as I did before – and on the rare occasions when I run out of clean Wigwams and wear a pair of my Carhartt crew socks ... I'm aware of the relative discomfort all day.
I count these as a good investment, one that I certainly didn't expect!