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Leather vs. Rubber soles. - Page 2

post #16 of 41

I prefer neither leather nor rubber soles. If it´s raining and I think one of my leather soled pairs of shoes worked the best for the chosen suit, I use galoshes like this:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Tingley-Moccasin-Stretch-Overshoe-10-11-5/dp/B000HHQ8V6/ref=sr_1_2?s=shoes&ie=UTF8&qid=1377387406&sr=1-2&keywords=swims+galoshes

post #17 of 41

I go back and fourth on this issue but one thing that doesn't make logical sense.  If a topy depraves a sole from breathing how is a dantine sole then acceptable?  Wouldn't that breathe much, much less?

post #18 of 41
I have shoes with leather soles - some Topy'd, some not - as well as shoes with full synthetic soles such as Dainite. All breathe well.

The synthetic soles definitely perform better in terms of grip in slippery conditions - particularly the icy sidewalks and wet marble / tile that are part of my regular winter train commute. There's a reason that most dedicated winter boots have synthetic soles.

All of the sturm und drang over the supposed dangers of synthetic soles is completely overblown, IMO. I have suffered no ill effects from wearing them for decades - and I know of no-one who has. Manufacturers at the very highest levels offer partial or full synthetic soles - I'm pretty sure they are not doing so in order to harm the shoes or their clients' feet.
post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerpac View Post

I go back and fourth on this issue but one thing that doesn't make logical sense.  If a topy depraves a sole from breathing how is a dantine sole then acceptable?  Wouldn't that breathe much, much less?

Exactly...soles won't breathe through the bottom. If they did air would have to penetrate the foot-bed which generally is a compound of rubber cement and cork. If cork is used to seal a wine bottle how much does it actually breathe? And rubber?
post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick V. View Post



Exactly...soles won't breathe through the bottom. If they did air would have to penetrate the foot-bed which generally is a compound of rubber cement and cork. If cork is used to seal a wine bottle how much does it actually breathe? And rubber?

 



Thank you Nick - of course, that all makes perfect sense.
post #21 of 41

The best compromise, for me, is the Tundra sole from J.Rendenbach. Oak bark with a rubber insert in the middle.

post #22 of 41

There's two slightly separate considerations being discussed here: 1) is it ok to wear leather shoes in the rain, 2) is there a role for rubber soled dress shoes in a wardrobe.

 

I feel that the answer to 1 is yes. I would not wear brand-new leather-soled shoes in wet weather, but after a dozen or so wears the sole is worn-in nicely and seemingly more resilient (at least in my personal experience) to water. You do need to let them dry out naturally, with trees, and that usually means giving them a few days off, but they're absolutely fine.

 

However, it is nice to have some dainite-soled shoes for use on truly wet days in town as you don't need to worry about having to let them dry out in that somewhat careful way. It's just a case of horses for courses.

 

For light snow, I feel rubber soles are definitely preferably as they're a bit more waterproof in that context of standing slush.

 

PS. for country boots that will actually be worn in wet muddy fields, go for a commando type of sole. If they'll only see relatively good country tracks and the like, you can get away with dainite soles. Leather is asking for trouble. Even if you go for a triple-sole, the issue isn't water-resistance, but what other crap - literally - you might walk into. Getting dog or cow mess off leather soles is extraordinarily difficult; the smell lingers even after scrubbing. I had to bin a pair of shoes for exactly this reason. Rubber soles can be rinsed clean easily.

post #23 of 41
From my experience, Dainite is good but I typically reserve them for downpours (since they are on country/derby footwear it's more casual). For rainy days, I just wear my leather soles. Even on light snow with salt on the ground, I wear leather soles. The salt cruches but unless it has mixed with water and reached the uppers, I'm not too worried (I know it can wear down my soles faster). On heavy snowfall I wear overshoes. I used to be very worried about how soles hold up but I got over it...

On the sole guards, I typically place them on my Blake shoes since I really don't like a really thin sole and they are a nice compromise. They also make maintenance less costly. I do prefer full leather soles so I typically don't add sole guards to my GYW or HW shoes. If you do decide to go the sole guard route, Nick does an excellent job especially with the flushed taps combination.
post #24 of 41

Good discussion on here.  

 

So far personally my own answer has been, it depends.  On shell cordovan Alden LWB I recently put topys on b/c I take shell out in rain, sleet and snow.  Cleans up so easy they really can be great all-weather shoes.  Conversely I just received some acorn tricker's stow boots with a double leather sole that I'm going to leave as is.  The leather is so light I'm not going to take them out in bad weather and have to deal with a bunch of conditioning products that darken or streak up the leather.

post #25 of 41
There is another option.....Oiled leather. Alden's call it "flex-welt". Allen Edmonds call it "Butyl" This is simply a leather sole dipped and treated in oil. The oil treatment makes the sole more flexible, longer wearing and, more water resistant.
post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick V. View Post

There is another option.....Oiled leather. Alden's call it "flex-welt". Allen Edmonds call it "Butyl" This is simply a leather sole dipped and treated in oil. The oil treatment makes the sole more flexible, longer wearing and, more water resistant.

Interesting. Can you share a bit more about how this works?
post #27 of 41
I'm not clear if I understand your question, but...
Oil resists moisture, correct?

When you oil machine parts they glide better. The lubricant reduces the friction adding to a longer life-span of the parts.
In the case of leather if you saturate it with oil it will stain (darken) the leather but, make it more pliable, flexible.
post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick V. View Post

I'm not clear if I understand your question, but...
Oil resists moisture, correct?

When you oil machine parts they glide better. The lubricant reduces the friction adding to a longer life-span of the parts.
In the case of leather if you saturate it with oil it will stain (darken) the leather but, make it more pliable, flexible.

 

I assume he's just asking for details.  If he wasn't, I am.

 

E.g., what kind of oil? What happens after it's "dipped and treated"? 

 

Thanks.

 

Cheers,

 

Ac

post #29 of 41

OK. 

 

I just checked AE's website, and they don't describe butyl as an "oil."  Here's what they have to say:

 

"Thank you for your interest in Allen Edmonds.

Both our Double Oak Leather Sole and Double Butyl Leather Sole feature the same thickness, support and durability of a leather sole.

The difference between the two is Butyl, a chemical in which some rubbers are derived; butyl rubber is known for its leak-proof qualities. We offer our Butyl Leather Sole which is Butyl soaked, giving the leather sole a high resiliency to water.

Keep in mind, while the rubber part of the sole is waterproof, the upper and remainder of the sole are still made of natural leather and so is not waterproof."

 

That's still not entirely clear (or even entirely grammatical ...), but it's sounding a bit more plausible than simply "dipping" the sole in "oil" did.

 

Cheers,

 

Ac

post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Academic2 View Post

OK. 

I just checked AE's website, and they don't describe butyl as an "oil."  Here's what they have to say:

"Thank you for your interest in Allen Edmonds.
Both our Double Oak Leather Sole and Double Butyl Leather Sole feature the same thickness, support and durability of a leather sole.
The difference between the two is Butyl, a chemical in which some rubbers are derived; butyl rubber is known for its leak-proof qualities. We offer our Butyl Leather Sole which is Butyl soaked, giving the leather sole a high resiliency to water.
Keep in mind, while the rubber part of the sole is waterproof, the upper and remainder of the sole are still made of natural leather and so is not waterproof."

That's still not entirely clear (or even entirely grammatical ...), but it's sounding a bit more plausible than simply "dipping" the sole in "oil" did.

Cheers,

Ac

How about if you call AE and ask them if the chemical used in their Butyl sole is heavily oil based and dipped. While you're at it ask them what's in the oil. If I'm wrong I would be happy to acknowledge it.
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