Rubber soled shoes

Discussion in 'Andy's Fashion Forum' started by jackmccullough, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. jackmccullough

    jackmccullough Honors Member

    United States
    Can someone explain the negative opinion of rubber soled shoes in this forum? Is it something about the look, such as how thick they are; or the perceived quality, durability, or comfort; or is it just that people consider rubber soles not wrong in themselves, but evidence of inferior materials or construction quality in other aspects of the shoe; or is it simply that they violate a principle that some people have that men's shoes "should" have leather soles?

    Thanks for any help you can provide.
  2. jcusey

    jcusey Senior Moderator<br>Technical Support

    Oh, there are a lot of reasons. First is the fact that rubber soles are frequently thick and clunky and ugly. it's true that there are a lot of thin, low-profile rubber soles out there, but you don't see the good examples all that often, particularly on less-expensive shoes. Second is the fact that stained, polished leather soles are prettier than rubber soles ever could be. But, you say, what does it matter? The pretty leather soles get scraped up and soiled as soon as you wear them outside. This is true, I respond, but they're still prettier in the store, which is important. Not in practical terms, of course. Third is the fact that leather is traditional, while rubber is new-fangled. Why should this matter? Well, I don't know, but it does. Fourth is the fact that rubber soles are cheaper than leather (I think), and isn't more expensive better? :icon_smile_wink: I'm sure that there's a fifth, sixth, and seventh reason, but I've pretty much run out of gas.
  3. trolperft

    trolperft Senior Member

    Leather breathes better than rubber. So my feet are sweatier in rubber soled shoes.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2007
  4. bigCat

    bigCat Honors Member

    United States
    New Hampshire
    On top of all other reasons,
    leather soles sound better when you walk.

    it's really hard to get rubber sole right in brown shades.

    That said, there are some nice rubber soled shoes, so there is nothing wrong with them per se. Leather soles are just better in most cases, but both types have a space in a quality wardrobe.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2007
  5. norcaltransplant

    norcaltransplant Active Member with Corp. Privileges

    Ask Andy demonstrates a strong bias for goods built on tradition. Leather soled shoes fit this criteria. My other theory is that the American shoes many members prefer on this forum employ Vibram soles rather than the thinner Dainite versions used by many British manufacturers.
  6. Khnelben

    Khnelben Senior Member

    Well ...

    there are nice looking sporty kind of shoes with rubber soles. And they may be found cheap (nameless brands in Russia). Also, English manufacturers make rubber soled winter shoes.

    The thing is that in Moscow, where it is cold for a very substantial part of the year, and not generally clean, your shoes get spoilt. And even the very trad AAAC-member will tire of doing re-soles on the shoes.

    So - it's either you buy something ugly and with pointy/ square toes made God-knows-where or wear thick sole rubber English-made or other decent footwear for bad weather (and then even Gucci makes thick-soled shoes) OR wear a Timberland or something similar and then change.

    I AM STRONGLY AGAINST buying leather soled shoes and putting a thin slice of rubber on it - that's sacrilege. But a very popular way of going about our weather. And many ladies do this to their shoes - but if you buy a Gina and then resole it ????

  7. PittDoc

    PittDoc Active Member with Corp. Privileges

    Ah, the dilemmas we struggle with. I too prefer leather soles and even try to preserve that new look as long as possible but one does have to occasionally touch the ground when walking. That said, the weather often dictates that I be more practical. My lug-soled Gucci loafers have survived walking in snow and rain and while they are rather ugly I can still wear them to work and look better than 90% of my colleagues. Some may advocate Tingley rubbers or changing shoes but I don't have that much time in my 12-14 hour work days. I have my eye on these rubber soled Alden shell cordovans (from Leather Soul) for rainy days.

  8. arturostevens

    arturostevens Active Member with Corp. Privileges

    United States
    Leather is just beautiful and lends itself to great craftsmanship. I live in the Pacific Northwest where the reality is that I HAVE to have several pairs of Trasks and Eccos to wear in the wet weather. I do not like to slosh around in the water, with leather soled shoes unless, on occasion, I choose to wear rubbers or galoshes.

    Leather to me gives me a great contact with the earth. It sounds nice to have a leather step, and I feel like a more classic man with more mature tastes knowing that I am part of an old cobblery tradition.

    Then again, I love Wallabees and crepe soled desert shoes and Birkenstocks.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2007
  9. eagle2250

    eagle2250 Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator

    Harmony, FL
    United States
    Our decided preference for leather soled shoes, IMHO, comes down to generally just looks better. From a practical perspective rubber soles provide better traction/grip, they are arguably more comfortable on days when one must do more walking, they are more flexible and they wear much better (read longer) than comparable leather soles...and yet we prefer leather. We may slip and fall on our butts; our feet may hurt like he**; and we spend good money replacing our leather soles, on a more frequent basis but, my oh my, don't we look good! (wink!) Good morning is going to be a great day!
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2007
  10. Isaac Mickle

    Isaac Mickle Active Member with Corp. Privileges

    No one should ever wear good leather-soled shoes to walk through the slush of melted snow and sidewalk salt.

    That said, rubber-soled shoes are unnecessary, in bad weather, if you wear rubber overshoes.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2007

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