Leather vs Rubber Sole Dress Shoes

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Leather vs Rubber Sole Dress Shoes

Rubber sole versus leather sole. How are they different?

Which option is better?

Each has advantages and disadvantages, thus the answer is that it depends.

I am aware that what I am saying is not precisely what you are looking for, but please understand that your ability to buy the shoes depends on your financial situation.

What are your needs on a personal and professional level, as well as the designs you enjoy, the brands you shop at, and where are they actually made?

Do you feel at ease with the benefits and drawbacks of the materials they’re using? This may change depending on whether they’re using leather or rubber.

Your ability to make the best purchase depends on a number of factors.

Focus on both the fashion and the function. You will be able to select the appropriate shoes for you by concentrating on those two things.

How It All Began

However, before we get to the present, a brief historical overview is in need.

It’s important to realize that this is where it all began with shoes and leather.


It just worked because of the density and other properties of the leather made from different animals.

It stood the test of time. These could be walked on countless times while still protecting your feet. It had ample cushioning.

Rubber first appeared on the industry landscape about 200 years ago. The significant aspect of this is that many varieties of rubber were able to replace leather, which was a costly and luxurious material.

At a fraction of the cost, they were able to obtain many of the properties that leather possessed, sometimes even better.

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That is crucial.

They were able to reduce the price as a result of the cost differential and the goods incorporated into the material.

Simply because they could produce something for a much lesser price, you saw many lower-end manufacturers pursue this.

Problem With Rubber

The issue with rubber is that, in an effort to keep costs down, the production procedure was altered.

When we look at a leather sole, we notice stitching in and around it. You won’t see stitching on many rubber soles because they are glued on instead.

They attach that with glue, which is a fairly thick cement glue made especially to retain the rubber on the upper section of the shoe.

The problem with this is that your shoe may eventually start to fall apart. This method of construction is less expensive, which is why many rubber soles receive a negative reputation.

However, the construction method employed—not the sole—is what’s most important.

If you can find a rubber sole with stitching, you will be able to purchase a high-quality shoe without having to use glue.

You can actually get a terrific discount when you find something similar.

Many people will tell you to find a pair of shoes with leather on the bottom as a sign of quality because genuine leather soles must be sewed on.

Problem With Leather

According to a general rule of thumb, a dress shoe will often be of higher quality if it has a leather sole. However, it isn’t always the case.

I’m going to get into the functionality of it, but one of the reasons people love rubber soles is that they actually have a lot more traction. You wouldn’t fall and slide all over the place if you walked through a small amount of water.

Those who have ever worn soles made of leather know what I mean when I say I have slipped on my butt in shoes like this, and it irritates me to no end.

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Numerous manufacturers include a thin strip of rubber on the heel; occasionally, you’ll see it extend all the way across the front of the shoe. This can actually aid to increase the shoe’s traction.

However, a rubber sole should have a larger surface area if you want to actually have the best grip.

Advantage of Leather

Regarding the practical aspect, having leather soles has another advantage. I can have this resoled.

You can sometimes, but not usually, have a rubber sole that was stitched on replaced.

If the sole is leather, though, you can have it resoled whenever you see a Blake stitch or a Goodyear welt.

Dress shoes and even boots cannot be resoled if there is no stitching on them, so keep that in mind when looking at them.

On the other hand, a lot of these rubber soles might survive for years depending on the material they use. I’m not saying that you have to stay away from something like this. I merely want you to be conscious of the drawback.

The fact that leather actually begins to gain some traction is one of the things I enjoy about it. You have this surface area after a little bit of tearing has occurred.

Fashion Aspect

I discussed how the leather might be resoled and how it functions.

You must also understand the fashion component, though.

Many people are going to avoid rubber because they believe it will be a little bit thicker and more difficult to work with.

Not quite!

Many dress shoes, like Paul Evans, have excellent profiles. The rubber sole was a brilliant choice by them. Even better, you could send it in to be resoled because it has a Blake stitch.

Some of you may have excellent leather-soled shoes that do not provide you with enough traction.

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You might actually add your own rubber by buying rubber protectors or rubber half-soles, using cement glue.

This will add a little bit of height as well as a little bit of traction. If you’re going to apply this to a pair of dress shoes, I would advise going with a rubber sole that won’t significantly add the height.

Some of these are specifically designed for boots. They have a lot more traction. You should exercise caution and avoid wearing that with a pair of dress shoes.

Which is Better, Leather Or Rubber Soles?

Returning to the initial question, which is better: rubber or leather soles?

It depends on your needs, but all you need to do is understand the differences and understand what you’re after.

Consider wearing shoes with a rubber sole if you don’t want to keep slipping and sliding. Look for formal shoes that have been stitched with either a Blake stitch or a Goodyear welt.

If not, however, pay attention to the leather, which is always an indicator of quality.

Now it’s your turn.

Are you a leather sole man, a rubber sole man, or are you going to choose whatever suits you and your unique needs? I want to know down in the comments.

rubber sole vs leather sole

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