Leather Soles vs. Rubber Soles
Choosing the proper dress shoes is frustrating for men, and each time comes an important debate, leather or rubber soles? Which one is better? The answer depends on characteristic preference, are you looking for comfort, durability, or style?
Comfort tends to be the biggest necessity when it comes to shoes and it is often the most challenging. That’s why when you find your favorite pair of shoes you normally wear them every day. But do your soles have anything to do with that?
The idea of walking on fluffy clouds doesn’t come from leather shoes, but the saying good things come to those who wait is implied. Once broken in, the leather forms around your foot allowing a more comfortable and a unique personal fit. However, Rubber soles have a minimal break-in time and permit for more flexibility fresh out of the box. Unlike leather soles, rubber contains shock absorption for ultimate walking comfort. The more movement, the less durability as rubber is negatively broken down over time and that once comfortable form fitting sole becomes dull and unbearable.
Whether you live in Seattle with a lot of rain or Florida with a lot of sunshine, climate impacts the durability of shoe soles.
Layers are an important factor with leather soles as the thickness determines water resistance. Water may seep through fabric in puddles or heavy downpour and a seam is likely to break causing water damage and aesthetic displeasure. On the other hand, fresh rubber soles are waterproof for the most part. As time passes and the rubber wears down it becomes weak which may cause an unfixable crack in the rubber. This completely destroys the shoes and soaks your feet.
Looking good is feeling good, not that a sole can make or break a shoe, but it really can. For style and elegance, a leather shoe is preferred based on the fact that the bottoms are not bulky and complete a sleek look. Leather shoes also have smaller details making them more unique, such as stitching and stylish layers. While rubber shoes tend to be on the bulker side, there is a new trend in European companies to make slimmer shoes that fit in style-wise with leather soles but contain durable rubber properties.
While both rubber and leather soles are very different in comfort, style and durability, there is no perfect shoe for everyone. During your shoe hunt decide what is best for your feet and pocket. Keep in mind that quality is quantity so a factory made leather shoe will not compare to a handmade leather shoe. Good times begin with good shoes so make sure your feet are happy!