Ok then, if it makes you happy, @bermuda , you're wrong!
There. That's as "angry" as I'm going to get.
All I can tell you and everyone else is, Shure's and KZ and the other companies' 'budget' in-ears are not
meant to compete with custom molds. They simply provide a product in a different price range... and with different capabilities. Just like drum and cymbal companies do.
You get what you pay for.
Does everyone going in-ear need
molds? That depends on how much isolation is needed for an optimum mix, and that should be governed by the stage volume. So with a rock or fusion band in a concert setting, molds are going to be preferable for keeping extraneous sound (house ambience for example) out
of your mix. In a club where a little extra help is needed without cranking floor wedges, the less-expensive in-ears may be suitable.
It's not a question of fidelity (which is subjective) or hearing protection (although molds are ideal for reducing overall volume.) It's a question of believing that less-expensive over-the-counter in-ears are somehow equivalent to custom molds, and the glee with which people justify spending less and think they're getting more. It's about the right tools for the job. If you were going on tour, you wouldn't buy padded bags for your drums, you'd buy flight cases.
It's simple - if you need the capability of molds, you need to get molds. Period. There's no cheaping-out. You need to make a commitment, and that's going to cost more.
Also, listen to Chris. He's played much bigger stages than anyone here.