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Vibram, dainite, veldtschoen. rubber

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
What are the pro's and con's of these soles? For a long time I've been familiar with Vibram soles. Learning about high end English shoes, I see names like Dainite and Vendtschoen. Has Vibram surpassed these in terms of durability and comfort? Why are the good British shoemakers still using them, however? Do they have advantages? Also, how to you get repairs on Dainite and Vendshoen in the US? Lots of US shoemakers will replace Vibram with the same brand, but I doubt they've heard about the others.
post #2 of 25
Dainite is a rubber sole, made by the Itshide Company (no web presence). The sole has a distinctive pattern (knobs) and is used in conjunction with a leather middle sole. Itshide makes other rubber soles with different patterns: Commando, Ridgeway, Medway etc. Vibram (named after its founder Vitale Bramante) also makes rubber soles. http://www.vibram.com/eng/index2.htm Whether one manufacturer is better than the other one, I don' t know. Different rubber soles are made for different purposes. There is a balance to be strike between softness and hard-wearing qualities of the sole. Veldtshoen is not a sole but a production method. Here the leather the for the uppers gets turned to the out to prevent water from seeping in. Any shoe repairer should be able to replace a pair of soles. Some soles are stitched, others just glued. If you worried the shoe repairer might not have the same style of sole available, you can always contact the maker of the shoes and ask for a replacement sole or heel and have your local cobbler doing the job.
post #3 of 25
Quote:
Vibram (named after its founder Vitale Bramante)
i had no idea. i always thought it had something to do with 'vibration'. /andrew
post #4 of 25
Adding to bengal-stripe's post, the Dainite sole is intended for pavement. The Ridgeway and Medway are for the country (ridges and meadows, from the names). Veldtshoen is a shoe designed to be worn in the field. EG makes it with the Ridgway sole I believe, but it's available from some makers with a double leather sole. Will
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone, that's helpful. I can see soft soles for walking on grass or in the country, in order to keep from slipping. Do people think that soles like Dainite or Vibram are more comfortable for a day of walking in the city than good leather soles?
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Adding to bengal-stripe's post, the Dainite sole is intended for pavement. The Ridgeway and Medway are for the country (ridges and meadows, from the names).
Will, thank yoou for this interesting tid-bit.
Quote:
Thanks everyone, that's helpful. I can see soft soles for walking on grass or in the country, in order to keep from slipping. Do people think that soles like Dainite or Vibram are more comfortable for a day of walking in the city than good leather soles?
I have double Dainite soles from Edward Green and Church's, and a Ridgeway from Weston. All are very very tough soles and in my opinion not geared towards comfort. They are extremely durable however. I find that leather soles (double or single) are much more comfortable for city walking. I do not own Medway or Vibram soled shoes, though Vibrams do look comfortable.
post #7 of 25
Picture of the ridgeway
post #8 of 25
commando
post #9 of 25
For whatever it's worth, I'll second the opinion that a plain leather sole is best for walking around the city. As a Manhattan resident, there's quite a lot of that involved in just daily living (walking on pavement, that is) and I find my Grensons and Church's to be quite comfortable. There is, however, a downside: in wet weather, I do prefer to have a rubber sole to prevent the inevitable water seepage from leather soles. I have a pair of Ferragamo loafers with rubber half sole (I think that's the proper term) and heel that is great in the wet. I do remember, too, from college paying $15 or so and having a thin layer of rubber applied to the sole of my penny loafers. I went to school in Southern California, so this was far more for durability than weather, to be sure, but I'm toying with the idea of doing similarly here. I think the brand name was Topy. One other downside of a leather sole: for the first week or so of wear, I find that I slip a bit, especially on the smooth marble floor of my building's entry way and on subway steps (metal edges worn very smooth and shiny after hundreds of thousands of foot-falls). Another reason prompting my consideration of a rubber retro-fit.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
For whatever it's worth, I'll second the opinion that a plain leather sole is best for walking around the city. As a Manhattan resident, there's quite a lot of that involved in just daily living (walking on pavement, that is) and I find my Grensons and Church's to be quite comfortable.
I've also found leather-soled shoes to be very comfortable when walking on pavement; my leather-soled Vass Budapests performed wonderfully the last time I was in New York. People think that rubber soles are cusioning; but if the rubber is hard enough to wear well, it's not going to provide much relief.
post #11 of 25
Just to bring this up top again--- What, precisely, is a storm welt, and (assuming it has some water-resistant properties) does it do the job as well as veldtschoen construction? Does this even matter in standard Northeastern urban conditions? I'm in the process of trying to lay in some medium-nice-looking shoes before the snow and slush season, and I am considering a variety of C&J rubber-soled shoes or maybe even boots.
post #12 of 25
I've got a pair of Lobb's that I bought used on Ebay that have Vibram soles (almost smooth rubber, with tiny ridges -- unlike any Vibram soles I've ever seen before). I have no idea if these were installed by Lobb or by the prior owner. In any case, they are extremely comfortable. Enough cushion to be comfortable, but not so much "cush" that it's tiring to walk with a quick step. By the way, it's got far more cushion than dainite soles. You also might want to check out Yanko shoes, which makes beautiful shoes with a variety of available soles, from leather to various types of rubber (all with the same very nice uppers).
post #13 of 25
Quote:
I've also found leather-soled shoes to be very comfortable when walking on pavement; my leather-soled Vass Budapests performed wonderfully the last time I was in New York. People think that rubber soles are cusioning; but if the rubber is hard enough to wear well, it's not going to provide much relief.
But, I think I've also read that rubber soles were also better for walking. Even if the rubber soles are hard, it would seem like they would still provide better cushoning than leather. Isn't that why so many leather soled shoes will have a rubber heel, to help cushion the shock. I always thought that it was one of those trade-offs: leather sole looks more aesthetically pleasing, yet is also less practical. Most of the men that wear a shoe with leather soles are usually businessman sitting behind their desks, who really don't have to worry about the effects of walking on the shoe.
post #14 of 25
Quote:
But, I think I've also read that rubber soles were also better for walking. Even if the rubber soles are hard, it would seem like they would still provide better cushoning than leather. Isn't that why so many leather soled shoes will have a rubber heel, to help cushion the shock.
Shoes have rubber heel pieces for two reasons. First, rubber provides better traction. It can be a bitch when your heel slips just as you're putting down. Second, the heel edge on a shoe gets more wear than anything else. It's a lot easier to replace a rubber heel piece than the whole heel. Truly hard rubber like you find in Dainite soles and in rubber heel pieces will provide absolutely no cushioning whatsoever.
post #15 of 25
The huge advantage of Vibram/Dainite/any-rubber+ridges sole is it reduces the chance of slipping.

Leather soles are great, and I probably prefer the feel of them, but on damp pavements they can be practically suicidal they way they result in sudden & dramatic slips. Leather can also be slippery even on subway platforms on that yellow-bumped area closest to the edge.

Add the fact rubber wears more slowly, and, well... there's a huge incentive to either start with Dainite or vibram, or at least add those thin-sheet rubber sole protectors.

Btw, "Vibram" is more than one thing -- and is sold in not just the big cleat style (like its UK "Commando" equivalent) but there's also a dress vibram sole which I believe is close to dainite. Google "Dress vibram" (with quotes) and see.

Til

PS here's a link to a picture of a dress vibram sole

http://static.zoovy.com/img/caboots/-/soledressvibram1

Caboots a/k/a Champion Boots is the only company I've actually seen refer to "dress vibram" so perhaps it's their term, not Vibram's.
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