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Do Leather Soles Breathe Better? Some Evidence

mensimageconsultant

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There are many ongoing arguments in this forum. Thankfully, there is evidence that might end one debate, about whether leather soles breathe better. See for yourself. Of course the source is not impartial, other aspects of shoe construction might affect results, and wearers might not notice any differences.
 

Teacher

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I feel a difference only if it's quite hot, and I don't like heat. If the weather is warm or colder, I don't notice a difference. Others may feel differently.
 

well-kept

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Seems to offer everything short of eternal life. Could there have been a vested interest behind these tests?
 

Nantucket Red

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Did we really need a scientific test to determine this when anecdotal evidence will do? How about a comparative foot odor test? That's where the difference really shines through in the real world.

The other thing about leather soles is that between absorbing the perspiration from your foot and water from the ground on rainy days, they mold to your feet over time and become more comfortable than rubber ever can.
 

Tarmac

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uhh, they don't even say the 2 shoes were identical except for sole material. How can they do an "experiment" and not even understand the basis of the scientific method?
 

Jared

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I'd be most interested in seeing a test where both shoes are the same model but one has topys: this controls the experiment to just be whether the sole is breathing externally or not.
 

josepidal

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Very interesting. The commentary at the end seems to imply that people walking for long distances should be wearing leather shoes with leather soles, though?

Right on about the test with topys. The commentary notes both foot temperature and sole flexibility, and topys obviously still meet the second point.

I'm also less interested in actually walking for long distances with the shoes as I am with simple breathability while, say, sitting for long stretches in the office, and whether the difference in resulting temperature is as pronounced when you are not walking for long periods.
 

Bob Loblaw

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The internet is no place for "statistics" and "studies" and "sourced references".

we need anecdotes. cold, hard anecdotes.

without anectodes, arguments on the internet degenerate into pedantic bickering about the rules of order, logical fallicies, etc.

nobody wants that.

so, please, give us some good anecdotes that demonstrate your point.
 

Teacher

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Originally Posted by Nantucket Red
Did we really need a scientific test to determine this when anecdotal evidence will do?

Of course we do, because people have diverse and often seeminly contradictory experiences, which often result from different expectations and different tolerances. Anecdotal evidence leads nowhere: as an example, see my post above.

The other thing about leather soles is that between absorbing the perspiration from your foot and water from the ground on rainy days, they mold to your feet over time and become more comfortable than rubber ever can.
Maybe for you, but certainly not for me. "Comfort" is a very slippery term. For you, it would seem fit is the most important factor in walking comfort. For me, though, it's shock absorption.

Originally Posted by josepidal
Very interesting. The commentary at the end seems to imply that people walking for long distances should be wearing leather shoes with leather soles, though?

For the sake of heat, maybe. I didn't see a spot where he specified leather soles, just shoes made of leather. His main factor was breathability and heat exhaustion, and leather uppers (or uppers with mesh, like many athletic sheos have) can take care of this quite nicely in most situations.

The danger in gleaning information from reports such as this is that these reports often reduce said topics (here, foot health) to a single factor. Naturally, it isn't anywhere nearly that simple. Any orthopedist will tell us that foot health is a complex mixture of elements, and that for overall foot health one is likely to make certain trade-offs (for instance, maybe slightly higher temperatures) for the sake of something more salient to one's circumstances (say, a great deal of heavy walking or running on hard surfaces where shock absorption is needed to stave off damage). This, of course, was not a test that takes things like support and shock absorption into account, where specially designed walking shoes clearly win. Also, let's not forget that some walking shoes have built-in air circulation mechanisms that, in my experience, range from useless to quite affective.
 

rkw5000

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Interestingly, Edward Green advises against gluing a rubber protective layer (a topy) to their soles because this can prevent proper ventilation through the sole and cause greater problems within the shoe.
 

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