Dress shoes with leather sole question. Are you supposed to go to the cobbler and put rubber on them from day 1 to preserve the original leather or you should wear them "as is"? If you wear them "as is", when should you take them to the cobbler for resole before it's too late?
Pros and cons to both.
+ More comfortable to walk on, more flexible
+ Less dirt tracked with you everywhere because of the smooth sole; you can actually just wipe off your shoe sole and walk straight into the house on non-rainy days (assuming full leather)
+ Leather soles last for ages in non-wet weather
+ Leather soles look awesome and gain character with use
= Less traction (I actually like this, good for dancing)
= Leather sole is porous and lets water into your shoes faster but is more breathable
- Have to have the sole replaced, which is more expensive
- Resoling depends entirely on the cobbler and always carries a small amount of risk
- Wet leather soles wear out way faster, especially on asphalt and concrete.
Rubber on top of leather sole:
+ Preserves the leather sole in an undamaged state
+ No difference between Goodyear welting and Blake stitching, you can go for cheaper Blake stitching and get almost the exact same shoe
+ Cheaper, but more frequent replacing of the rubber.
= More traction
= Doesn't breathe as well as plain leather sole, but slightly better protected from water
- Less comfortable to walk on because you're thickening the sole and stiffening it with another layer of material
- Depending on type of rubber, more dirt is tracked with you into buildings and you make floors dirtier and there's nothing you can do about it
- Glue used to stick on the rubber, which is not as good for the leather
- Nobody can see your beautiful leather soles hidden underneath, and worn rubber doesn't look very nice
As for "when to take them in to the cobbler", it depends on how much wear you're comfortable with. If you're on a Goodyear welt, wait for one layer of the sole to almost wear through in any area (ball of the foot for some people, edges for others). If you want your dollar to stretch as far as possible, wait for holes to appear (but in any case do it before the welt gets damaged).