if you mean "is there anything as good for the foot slot before usukane?" the answer is "no". if you mean "how much better are fumas than competitors?" the answer is "probably somewhere between 2%-4% depending on your level." if you mean, "is it okay if i wear something else?" the answer is decide for yourself.
Federation Kyahan are a decent alternative.
I'd definately use the att+4 until lvl50. 3% Haste is pretty minimal w/o any other, at least you get swifty @ 50
3% haste is bare minimum ~3.1% DoT, and I highly doubt you'll be able to beat that with attack+4 at 39. If you can, your attack is utter dogsh*t and you need serious help.
Let's say you're sitting at 250 attack at 39 (this is probably overestimating it by, I dunno, maybe 50, probably less). Considering that your typical party at that level is going to be going against things they really don't have any right to be going against, like Soldier Crawlers in CN, you'd need to be going up against a mob with ~270 defense for the atk+4 to beat Haste+3%. (With higher defense, the atk+ wins by more.)
So: no, you don't need crap defense - you just need a party that's dumb enough to not bring someone to dispel Cocoon.
for comparison's sake:
studio gobli states that a lv58 crab = 260 def
Most of the IT++ stuff you'd be fighting as a lv39 player is going to be in the high 100s/low 200s def wise. +3.1% number is also w/o hasso or haste and as you get more haste gear fumas just keep getting better.
I still think 'MNK' a lot, and the att+4 shoes are a decent alternative to fuma's for a while. Especially, because MNK gets less att that a 2H job, so you can make each punch slightly more powerful, or slightly increase the att round. There was a thread with a load of math in it, but theres noway i'd be able to find that. I have a feeling Cyth was thinking the same thing as well
For SAM however, yeah, fuma's all the way. I just used Leaping boots for the 2acc, and Storm Gambriars for the 2STR on WS. The foot slot was probably my weakest slot leveling up until 70+
Its not the most important thing however, I'd recomend any (non first-job) SAM stop @ 50 until you get a Soboro. I had SAM @ 46 for 2 years waiting on a Soboro to eventually drop, and I don't regret it one bit, dinging into Soboro was probably one of my most enjoyable moments and experiances. Edited, Jun 17th 2009 8:03am by Sandmasterr