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Rubber soles vs. leather soles

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I was wondering if it was ever a good idea to buy dress shoes with rubber soles rather than leather soles.  Specifically, can a cobbler replace rubber soles that have worn out as easily as leather soles that have worn out?
post #2 of 6
The best soles are made by Vibram. They manufacture the rubber soles used by Prada. Vibram.com Prada Sport-style rubber sole shoes are not dress shoes and should never be worn with a suit. I've seen this before and it looks stupid, its like wearing running shoes with a suit.
post #3 of 6
I agree with Jetlab on wearing rubber soles with a suit. However, I think they're fine with TRUE business casual.
post #4 of 6
I respectfully disagree.  While many (even most) rubber soles are, in my opinion, completely inappropriate for businesswear, I think a number of rubber soled dress shoes are perfectly OK in that context.   In fact - assuming I can find the right pair, as the majority of better dress shoes have leather soles - I actually prefer rubber soles.  They can be more durable in that they're less prone to the chipping and erosion that I find plagues leather soles pretty quickly, and even safer (you're far less likely to wipe out on an icy patch on the sidewalk with the better traction of rubber soles). As to the cobbler question, Ambulance, I can't answer that because I haven't had to replace any rubber soles, and for good reason - it's pretty tough to wear out rubber soled dress shoes.  You'd really have to beat the hell out of them (or overwear them, like 3-5 times a week, miles a day, months on end, and so on) to do so. You can find stylish, rubber-soled dress shoes at different price points.  I have a pair of Ferragamo cap-toes whose soles are part-leather, part-rubber (a nice compromise if you can't decide) and a less expensive pair of Kenneth Coles with all-rubber soles, both of which I wear with suits to work and love.  As long as the rubber soles aren't overly clunky or oddly textured, I'd recommend them for businesswear as a great alternative to leather soles.
post #5 of 6
Personally, I find that leather soles "breathe" better than rubber. A good shoemaker such as Allen Edmonds has a wonderful shoe reconditioning program when soles (and shoe condition) need attention.
post #6 of 6
CP is right on about Allen-Edmonds and reconditioning. A good local shoe repair place can also often help, and more and more serious shoe sellers are offering reconditioning- e.g. Edward Green. I have additional resources. E-mail me if you need something on a specific brand.
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