This article explains why you don’t want to wear leather sole dress shoes. The basic reason is that leather is slippery, even when dry.
Dress shoes must serve two functions. First, they should look dressy so that you radiate class and good taste to all who see you. This is especially important if you’re an attorney going to court or meeting clients. Your shoes and haircut will be inspected at these encounters. So you want your shoes to look dressy. Black leather is the best choice for the uppers of your shoes. But what about the soles?
Leather soles look great but are slippery, even on dry surfaces. Especially when new, they can be hazardous to your health because you can slip when walking on a hard floor, a street, or even a concrete sidewalk!
There are modifications that you can make to leather soles to render them a little less slippery, but these solutions are ultimately unsatisfactory. We’re talking about cutting a crisscross pattern into the leather soles with a sharp knife, or adding rosin to the soles the way boxers used to do to their boxing shoes. Neither solution is adequate. (Incidentally, most boxing shoes today are no longer made with leather soles, indicating that in the world of professional boxing athletes have learned the lesson of avoiding leather soles altogether.)
WHY RUBBER IS BETTER
Rubber soles are better than leather because they provides superior traction on every conceivable surface, including ice and snow. With modern technology, there’s no reason why a dress shoe should have a slippery leather sole. For example, Florsheim provides F-LITE EMAX rubber outsoles on some cap-toe dress shoes. A slightly more casual example is the Nunn Bush Maxwell black leather dress shoe. One of the nicest designs is the Prada ebony leather logo detail cap-toe Oxford with rubber soles, which retailed for $472 in 2011. Other quality dress shoes are also available with rubber soles.
If a shoe’s rubber soles don’t look too sporty, that is, if they don’t have corrugations or obvious sneaker-like patterns that can be seen from the side, then they’re a good choice. A manufacturer who knows about the value of rubber soles and how they provide better traction, is a manufacturer who will also take care of other details, such a style and construction.
It’s incorrect to say that only a leather sole looks dressy. Rubber soles can be constructed to look as dressy as leather, and they’re significantly more comfortable and safer than leather. As image consultants for attorneys and people from all walks of life, we advise clients to not only look dressy but also to wear comfortable safe footwear, and this means well designed rubber soles.
Copyright (c) 2011 William Cane