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Road Salt, Ice Melt and Leather Sole Shoes - Save Our Soles!


Active Member
Jun 1, 2013
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Anyone else have to deal with salt like this and what do you do about it?
They spread it here when it's icy, making things salty and slimy when wet then when it dries up, it looks like this. And for some reason they tend to throw a bit more on top of it for good measure.

I've considered Topys or just wearing rubber soles but not being able to wear my best pairs of shoes for 3-4 months of the year is no fun. Even with Topy's, this salt will get on the sides of the soles and when wet it gets all over.

I have to walk between buildings all day, so covers/galoshes aren't convenient.



Alden Longwings in Cigar Shell Cordovan


Active Member
Jun 1, 2013
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Tried that, ended up with these on:

But in seriousness, I do have "Salt Shoes" that are still leather soles but that I care less about. I wear them when it's wet and salty.
When it's dry it's tempting to wear nicer shoes and do my best to dust off the salt each time I have to go outside.



Senior Member
Jun 30, 2009
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There's a few threads here and on MC that talk about switching to rubber soles in the wet/snow. I can't bring myself to wear anything but beater shoes in the wet (and especially salt). Besides traction (leather on ice must be slippier than ice on ice) the repeated wetting/drying of a leather sole will presumably swell/shrink and wear the sole faster than necessary. I've had salt damge that permanently scarred shoes as well.

Lots of folks will say switch to shell with rubber soles (dainite for finer shoes and commado/vibram for more rugged styles) and that may be an option. However, given the cost of shell I prefer not to do that. I use beater shoes with a rubber sole if it is a little wet but switch to a pair of Red Wing boots with a rubbery/grippy sole if there is any snow/ice. These provide decent insulation for cold and protection from snow (up to 6 inches) and especially ice (and salt).

Can't be sure but would also assume that dry salt crystals will also put little pockmarks on the soles similar to the gravel that is used where I live in winter. This seems like extra wear as well.

Maybe leave your nice shoes at the office or carry them in your backpack and switch if you want to save them from winter?
Last edited:

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