Originally Posted by gladhands
I'm no fan of the rubber sole, but I wear nice shoes because I like nice shoes, not because they're better for my feet. Let's not kid ourselves to believing that our soles are better for our feet than those designed for playing basketball or pulling nursing shifts. It's patently absurd.
With all due respect, you are
kidding yourself if you think that cushioned insoles and soft crepe or rubber outsoles equate to "good for the foot." A leather outsole may or may not be good for the foot (it is good/better for the shoe
, however). In many cases, depending on the conditions, it might not be significantly better or worse regardless of intended use. Perhaps...and only perhaps...a case could be made for rubber in situations where high impact is expected. Even there, however, a good fit using high quality materials--leather, IOW--can duplicate or even exceed the benefits that a poor fitting shoe with rubber outsoles would confer. On the other hand, a leather insole is, in the long run, almost certainly better for the foot simply because it forms a footbed...similar to a foot print in the sand. The whole issue is not about softness or cushioning, however. It is about fit. A cushioned insole can hide a lot of misfits...and more often than not does, especially if we are talking about even high end athletic shoe worn by teenagers and wanna-be-teenagers. Beyond that, synthetic materials such as foam cushioning are notorious breeding grounds for bacteria and other foot diseases. Combine materials that do not breath with a structure that only fits the foot by virtue of compression and displacement rather than actual similarity to girth or shape characteristics and I believe a case could be made with some assurance that, as a general rule, well made leather shoes are
better for the foot...both in terms of general foot health and long term anatomical support.