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Leather vs. Rubber soles.

mobeme

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I much prefer leather soled shoes/boots to rubber, but always feel bad and worry when taking them out in the rain. I live in London, UK, where it's hardly torrential, but rains and drizzles quite a bit, with roads often wet. No snow. I'm in the market for a pair of Edward Green Dovers. I'll wear them to work which will involve a good 25 minute walk outside each day to get there and back.

Would you go with a leather sole? Providing you dry them out for 1-2 days with shoe trees and away from artificial heat, will the leather cope OK long-term or would you go for rubber?

I'm also thinking of a pair of more rugged general purpose boots for weekends and longer outdoor walks, and like the EG Nevis and EG Galway, . I think the Nevis comes with leather sole as standard. Lovely, but again, is this leather sole designed to cope with rain, or would you go for rubber? If rubber is the way forward, I'd probably go for the EG Galway, which I believe is rubber as RTW.

TIA. G.
 

dddrees

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I'd choose dainite (rubber) personally. Even if the leather soles could make it, having to worry and taking the time to make sure that they dry out all of the time sounds like extra work to me.
 

mobeme

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Tks - true, just that I find leather so much more comfortable, especially indoors at work. I don't yet own a pair of EGs, but from other makes I find leather soles breathe so much better. And I don't really want to go down the Geox 'soles with holes' option! :).
 

mobeme

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At that point I could just stick a rubber sole onto the leather one. To me at least, leather with rubber pannel (stitched or not) represents an unacceptable compromise.
 

Ecstasy

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At that point I could just stick a rubber sole onto the leather one. To me at least, leather with rubber pannel (stitched or not) represents an unacceptable compromise.
Why so? Is it aesthetically worse? Does it adversely affect durability?

Or is it all in your mind?
 

Cubits

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You need leather if you're dancing, and singing, in the raaaaiiiiin.








Rubber grips too much.
 
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AlexE

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I have been wearing shoes with leather soles almost exclusively over the last 5 year. I have not experienced any issues when wearing leather shoes during light rain or on streets, which are still wet from a previous rain shower. Of course I never wear my shoes on consecutive days and usually give them 2 or even more rest between wearing them. In very heavy rain you might get wet feet, but this can be avoided by simply using galoshes. The only critical condition for the well being of shoes is snow - less because of the frozen water and more due to the road salt. So I certainly would not use EGs in snowy conditions, but if I am not mistaken London is not exactly a place with vast amounts of snow in the winter.
 

archibaldleach

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I have been wearing shoes with leather soles almost exclusively over the last 5 year. I have not experienced any issues when wearing leather shoes during light rain or on streets, which are still wet from a previous rain shower. Of course I never wear my shoes on consecutive days and usually give them 2 or even more rest between wearing them. In very heavy rain you might get wet feet, but this can be avoided by simply using galoshes. The only critical condition for the well being of shoes is snow - less because of the frozen water and more due to the road salt. So I certainly would not use EGs in snowy conditions, but if I am not mistaken London is not exactly a place with vast amounts of snow in the winter.

I agree with this. I'd also add that I understand cordovan is better for wear in snow because the road salt comes off much more easily on cordovan than calfskin.
 

msulinski

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At that point I could just stick a rubber sole onto the leather one.  To me at least, leather with rubber pannel (stitched or not) represents an unacceptable compromise.
I'm not sure why this is absurd, assuming he is talking about a sole guard/topy. Allen Edmonds does sell some models with this installed from the factory, but there is no need to stick with this limited selection when you can just buy any pair you want and have your cobbler add a sole guard.
 

Ecstasy

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I'm not sure why this is absurd, assuming he is talking about a sole guard/topy. Allen Edmonds does sell some models with this installed from the factory, but there is no need to stick with this limited selection when you can just buy any pair you want and have your cobbler add a sole guard.
I agree.

I always get my shoes topied. I don't see getting leather soles covered with a rubber piece as 'depriving' myself of the 'quality of leather soles'. After all, worn leather soles actually look gross to me, especially if scum or goo sticks to it.

IMO, a topy negates or at least delays the need for a resole, makes cleaning of outsoles easier, and provides some traction.
 

mobeme

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Tks for the input.

@Ecstasy : not aesthetically worse, EG makes a v.thin rubber sole that is almost indistinguishable from a leather one. Rubber is probably more durable too. It's more the breathability - being indoors at a desk most of the day, I find rubber can get hot. And I do find it detracts a little from the purity of such a lovely shoe, especially considering the quality of the uppers.

BTW a bespoke shoe maker told me once that though 'topping' a shoe is a workaround for the rain issue, he has seen cases where it has led to degredation of the leather sole and indeed the welt and eventually the upper, caused by the perspiration/moisture permeating through the sole but not the rubber, getting stuck there and interacting with the glue. That puts me off topping too.
 

GBR

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Leather is fine, what on earth is your concern? London hardly has a monsoon climate.
 

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