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Leather or rubber soles? - Page 12

post #166 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by freedom_fries View Post

this is the crux of the entire thread and it didn't seem to really get answered - namely whether or not a really high-quality double sole will keep your feet dry in heavy rain and other wintry weather,

Whether your feet stay dry depends what you are walking in, how deep it is and for how long. Even if the rubber itself is waterproof, your feet can still get wet via the welt or upper, and possibly even the exposed stitching of some rubber soles like Dainite. Still, I'd say there's less chance of wet feet with rubber.

There is no consensus in relation to these important questions. We've had the input of a respected bootmaker, a respected retailer and several customers. In general, you won't catch me deliberately heading out into wet conditions with leather soles, and not often for long walks in the dry, either. However, there are some people still doing it. Another factor we have to deal with is a reluctance to say anything positive about rubber soles among purists.

Member Crane's (another retailer) wrote that no boot should be taken into rough, wet conditions until it has been treated with products like Filson Boot Oil, Obenauf Leather Oil / Heavy Duty LP, Lexol Leather Conditioner, Atsko Sno Seal (beeswax, white sprit), etc. I don't know what the experts here think about that, but it was reported that leather soled boots could withstand ankle-deep water and mud after thorough (and ongoing periodical) treatment to the upper, welt and soles, with no leakage, and that it helped preserve the leather, bearing in mind that the boots concerned were Wolverine 1000 Mile - nice, but not formal enough to wear in the office. http://www.styleforum.net/t/205531/wolverine-721ltd-shell-cordovan-1000-mile-boot-review/15#post_3732081

I'm about to start experimenting with those relatively inexpensive products myself, using surplus footwear and I was also going to try it on a pair of Ammunition Boots pattern B5 from William Lennon, which I believe are Blake/Rapid-stitched, with a vegetable-tanned double leather sole and oiled rough-out kip leather upper. Like the Wolverine 1000 Mile, they are rough Derby work boots, not for the city and therefore probably not what most people exploring the rubber v. leather question would be thinking of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freedom_fries 
 and if so whether it will then last as long as a high-quality rubber or dainite while doing so.

It has been claimed on AAAC that Dainite lasts three times longer than standard grade double leather soles.

On the other hand, it has also been claimed by others that Dainite lasts no longer than leather. While I find that hard to believe for either dry or wet conditions, it goes to show how much our mileage varies. Perhaps the comparison was between Dainite and oak or chestnut bark-tanned leather soles, which should last much longer than standard grade leather (and have even been claimed to last longer than Dainite - see above).

The number of boots with Barker or JR soles out there getting deliberately beaten up in nasty weather would be rather small. Leather soles can survive occasional soakings but, let's not bullshit ourselves here - it's not exactly good for them. I'm not really prepared to sacrifice mine just to find out how resilient they are - not when water runs straight off rubber without swelling or shredding - but if someone else here is, please post photographs and share your story.





Quote:
Originally Posted by freedom_fries 
 i have never in my life experienced foot odor or fungus or anything (knock on wood), so this is not my greatest concern.

 
Likewise


I'm going to get some more experience wearing the various types of sole and intend to revisit questions like those posted above. For the record, my next few boot orders will specify leather soles - I already have enough rubber. Oh, and since I'm only a customer who wears boots, my opinions might only be worth a fraction of an expert's.
Edited by nh10222 - 10/29/13 at 7:08am
post #167 of 171
Edward Green now charge £195 for a resole! That takes the piss. If I had a choice of a diamond rubber sole or an oak bark tanned sole on my dress shoes, I'd go for the former. And factor in maybe three or four re-solings until they raise two fingers and tell you to bugger off.
post #168 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabiesinfrance View Post

Edward Green now charge £195 for a resole! That takes the piss. If I had a choice of a diamond rubber sole or an oak bark tanned sole on my dress shoes, I'd go for the former. And factor in maybe three or four re-solings until they raise two fingers and tell you to bugger off.

 

£195?

 

Sounds like a good price for Goodyear-cemented shoes! :devil:

post #169 of 171
I don't rely on a rubber sole to keep my feet dry. For serious wet weather I use full rubber bottom Bean boots. I gather it is possible to make truly water proof leather, but unless the entire boot is constructed to be waterproof they will leak at the seams. The rubber sole would not help here.

History question: back in the day, say 19yh century in the English countryside, would there have been practical reasons for double sole brogues? We have already discussed the greater support of the double soles. They might also have been sturdier over rough ground. If a double sole, with the midsole made of the same outsole material, lasted twice as long as a single sole then how about this? At least today resoling a double soled shoe is less than twice the cost of a single sole. If that were true back then, double soling and resoling only after both wore out would be the more economical move. When you lived in the country, had only one, or maybe two pair of shoes, then a resole was not a simple matter of dropping them off at the cobbler on the way home from work. It may have meant a long walk to the nearest person who could do the job, another trip to pick them up, and doing without in the interim.


If these thoughts are correct, then a double sole could have t a very practical solution for rural working man.
post #170 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhdnhdbh View Post

History question: back in the day, say 19yh century in the English countryside, would there have been practical reasons for double sole brogues? We have already discussed the greater support of the double soles. They might also have been sturdier over rough ground. If a double sole, with the midsole made of the same outsole material, lasted twice as long as a single sole then how about this? At least today resoling a double soled shoe is less than twice the cost of a single sole. If that were true back then, double soling and resoling only after both wore out would be the more economical move. When you lived in the country, had only one, or maybe two pair of shoes, then a resole was not a simple matter of dropping them off at the cobbler on the way home from work. It may have meant a long walk to the nearest person who could do the job, another trip to pick them up, and doing without in the interim.


If these thoughts are correct, then a double sole could have t a very practical solution for rural working man.

 

Double leather soles do last much longer than single leather, which must have made them an attractive option for work and country boots in the nineteenth century and later. However, I think rubber does their job better overall, and for a rather extreme and possibly contraversial comparison, so do the armies of the world. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that rubber has left us with very little need for double leather in a practical sense.

 

The British Army "Ammunition" Boot, standard issue in various forms from 1887 to 1958 (and still available new), has a double leather sole, albeit usually with (for non-commissioned ranks) up to 25 hobnails and a horseshoe-like heel ring. These additions were to prolong the life of the leather sole and heel, which it was known would not last long despite a rotation of two pairs. The American Trench Boot from 1917 seems very similar. A mass produced rubber or synthetic sole would appear to make sense under combat conditions, and also for rural working men trudging through mud and manure. If they were available in the nineteenth century, I'd say they would have been as popular then as they are now.

 

I have three pairs of shoes and five pairs of boots with double leather soles, and a sixth on order. I don't think I need any more.

 

Quote: dbhdnhdbh
 I don't rely on a rubber sole to keep my feet dry.

Nor would I, but dry feet is not the only reason why people choose rubber over leather.

 

Double leather soles - a good choice for work boots in the nineteenth / early twentieth century, but now?

Well, if there is such an endorsement to be found, it will be found on a forum like this.


Edited by nh10222 - 10/29/13 at 1:37am
post #171 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by nh10222 View Post
 

 

Double leather soles do last much longer than single leather, which must have made them an attractive option for work and country boots in the nineteenth century and later. However, I think rubber does their job better overall, and for a rather extreme and possibly contraversial comparison, so do the armies of the world.

 

Agreed - particularly with the first bit.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nh10222 View Post
Nor would I, but dry feet is not the only reason why people choose rubber over leather.

 

 

 

Correct again.

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