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The classic men’s shoe: Leather or rubber sole


When buying high-quality shoes, you often have to decide between leather or rubber soles. After receiving feedback from you, our customers, we've developed some of our icons with a rubber sole since March 2021. In this article, we will highlight the differences between these two types of soles.

But before coming to the two different types of soles, we want to give you a quick summary about the technique we are using while stitching our soles. Our formal shoes are produced using the Goodyear welted technique. In short, it means that the upper of the shoe and the sole are stitched to a welt independently, making it easy to change or replace the sole without affecting the upper. With this construction, you can keep the upper for an extended period of time and only change the sole when worn down. The benefit of using the same upper is that it will adapt to your feet over time and give you a personal fit.


Attentive shoe buyers and connoisseurs might already have dealt with the nature of their shoe sole. But this is not always the case. Sometimes we do not pay much attention to the sole when buying a pair of shoes. Somehow strange, since the sole carries us for miles and miles and is the part that protects us the most.


The leather sole: the classic choice for elegant men’s shoes

On a pair of classical elegant men’s shoes, you will often find leather soles. Leather is the original material of soles for ages. For formal occasions, a leather sole is considered to be a more classic and elegant choice. Leather is a natural material that is exceptionally comfortable to wear, as it provides a good and dry climate for your foot due to its breathability. Maintaining a leather sole is done best by using a sole oil. The purpose of the sole oil is to impregnate the sole to prevent water and salt from penetrating the material, especially in winter, when the weather strains the shoe.


The rubber sole: A robust alternative to the leather sole

The rubber sole is a more robust alternative to the classic leather sole. Undoubtedly, the most significant advantage of a rubber sole is its weather resistance. Due to the rubber material, the sole is waterproof, protecting the shoes better, especially in autumn and winter against rain and salt.

A rubber sole is slightly more elastic and flexible than the classic leather sole and sometimes perceived as more comfortable. Also, a shoe with a rubber sole has a bit more slip resistance and grip. On rainy days or in the snow, going for a rubber sole is a good choice.

In terms of style and appearance, shoes with rubber soles are no longer a no-go. With its clear benefits, it’s offered in a broader range today, compared to decades ago, as an alternative to leather soles. For dressier outfits, we recommend making sure the shoe has a thin, plain rubber sole, such as our Penny Loafer.


When thinking about soles next time you are buying shoes, decide according to the occasion and your personal preferences. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable when wearing your shoes.