CuffDaddy

Connoisseur
Are they ever the most stylish thing that can be worn? No. But an otherwise properly constructed, welted shoe with a rubber tread on it is a reasonable, and reasonably stylish, concession to the elements. We recently had an ice event in my town, and those few souls who wore leather soles uniformly reported taking a spill. Feeling that life and limb should not be risked for style, I chose some of my more casual suits and paired them with these shoes:





as well as some old pre-Nike Cole Haan longwings with similar lug soles. All of the shoes/boots could be re-soled with straight leather soles, and are "real" shoes... they're just black and bumpy on the bottom, not tan and smooth.

Would I do the same in pleasant weather? Probably not. Did I regret my choice? Not for a second.
 

blue suede shoes

Super Member
Does this discussion include Topys? The sole reason I have Topys put on my shoes is because of the amount of walking I do, and with the weather conditions as they are in the UK, they prove to be it the safest option.

No, this discussion does not include Topys because the discussion is about those horrid, cheaply made, rubber soled shoes that you or I would not be caught dead in. You and I and thousands of others put Topys on quality leather shoes to avoid taking a spill. Those Topys allow me to wear my AE's and Aldens through all types of adverse weather.
 

Cruiser

Connoisseur
No, this discussion does not include Topys because the discussion is about those horrid, cheaply made, rubber soled shoes that you or I would not be caught dead in.
Actually I think that the discussion is about rubber soled shoes in general, not just the "horrid, cheaply made" shoes that you wouldn't be caught dead in; and even that part of the statement is incorrect in that if you were dead you wouldn't have much say regarding which shoes you were "caught" wearing.

Who knows, a vindictive spouse might bury you in a pair of Birkenstocks or perhaps in one esteemed moderator's discarded earth shoes. :icon_smile_big:

Cruiser
 

Billyjo88

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Are they ever the most stylish thing that can be worn? No. But an otherwise properly constructed, welted shoe with a rubber tread on it is a reasonable, and reasonably stylish, concession to the elements. We recently had an ice event in my town, and those few souls who wore leather soles uniformly reported taking a spill. Feeling that life and limb should not be risked for style, I chose some of my more casual suits and paired them with these shoes:





as well as some old pre-Nike Cole Haan longwings with similar lug soles. All of the shoes/boots could be re-soled with straight leather soles, and are "real" shoes... they're just black and bumpy on the bottom, not tan and smooth.

Would I do the same in pleasant weather? Probably not. Did I regret my choice? Not for a second.
This post has resonated with me -- wearing rubber-soled shoes is okay primarily as a concession to the elements. If poor weather or use in rugged areas are really the driver (again, which makes sense), then it is curious to me why shoes w/lug soles can be inferred as an inappopriate suit pairing to many in this thread. In fact, shouldn't the lug sole be most appropriate, acceptable and stylish option if safety is key? Why reduce your safety quotient by wearing rubber soles without lugs just to hide the fact that your shoes are minus leather soles?

And, if selecting rubber soled shoes designed to look like leather from certain angles on a nice day is simply a concession to comfort or convenience (as opposed to weather/safety), then perhaps adding polyester back into suits should be equally as acceptable using the same logic? Polyester would certainly provide wrinkle resistence and additional stretching properties for the wearer -- i.e. comfort and convenience. Nobody would know unless the looked really hard at your suit. However, I would guess that most in this forum would scoff at the idea of polluting their fine wool suits with a touch of lycra. Just interesting where folks draw the line...I guess for me that line stops at wearing rubber-soled shoes with suits.
 
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Flanderian

Connoisseur
This post has resonated with me -- wearing rubber-soled shoes is okay primarily as a concession to the elements. If poor weather or use in rugged areas are really the driver (again, which makes sense), then it is curious to me why shoes w/lug soles can be inferred as an inappopriate suit pairing to many in this thread. In fact, shouldn't the lug sole be most appropriate, acceptable and stylish option if safety is key? Why reduce your safety quotient by wearing rubber soles without lugs just to hide the fact that your shoes are minus leather soles?

And, if selecting rubber soled shoes designed to look like leather from certain angles on a nice day is simply a concession to comfort or convenience (as opposed to weather/safety), then perhaps adding polyester back into suits should be equally as acceptable using the same logic? Polyester would certainly provide wrinkle resistence and additional stretching properties for the wearer -- i.e. comfort and convenience. Nobody would know unless the looked really hard at your suit. However, I would guess that most in this forum would scoff at the idea of polluting their fine wool suits with a touch of lycra. Just interesting where folks draw the line...I guess for me that line stops at wearing rubber-soled shoes with suits.
I’m wearing smooth leather Aldens with lug soles as I type this. I’m wearing them with heavy corduroy slacks and a Harris Tweed jacket. I like the way they look with this ensemble. I also think they’d look ludicrous with my chalkstripe navy worsted DB.

Trying to dress well is sometimes a compromise between absolute practicality and style. Otherwise we might all be wearing togas or union suits as our outerwear of choice supported by sneakers or sandals. I think CuffDaddy got the compromise about right.

 

blairrob

Senior Member
I think it a bigger faux pas to arrive for a meeting in a Brioni suit with the ar$e ripped out because you fell on sleet covered sidewalks than to show up sharply attired but with dressy rubber soles. Then again, you may miss the meeting entirely if you fall and break your femur, a result almost as unfortunate as the previously mentioned torn Brioni. In foul weather, with slippery conditions, you wear either boots, rubber-ed shoe covers, or rubber soled shoes. It seems ridiculous (to me) to consider anything else unless certain you won't be outdoors, e.g. commuting garage to covered parking.

Blair
 
G

Guest-985151

Guest
Marcellionheart is exactly on point. The pictures say more than I was going to say.

Bottom line is: "why not?" Just as makers used the best materials available to them to create the best shoe possible, what makes rubber and its alternatives an inferior material?
Thank you for your honest reply.
 

challer

Senior Member
Re-crafting one's shoes with Dainite soles has gained a lot of traction. They provide some moisture protection and wear forever. More importantly, they provide a bit of cuishon with is greatly appreciated as I age. B Nelson can do the trick. I've seen people buy shoes at Alden and walk over to Nelson to have new shoes converted. The Carmina made to order program at Grand Central has Dainite as an option on all shoes.
 

fishertw

Elite Member
At 73, and while preferring leather all my life, I have migrated most all my footwear to a non leather sole of some sort. Recent AE purchases of dressier loafers were chosen because they have removable footbeds and orthotics fit in them and they just happened to have a thin rubber sole. It's likely more comfortable than the leather and certainly safer in wet weather. I do have one pair of AE with leather soles remaining and they are the Shelton II in black which are about as dressy as I get these days. Aging changes many minds as to what is best.
 

AlphaOmega

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Re-crafting one's shoes with Dainite soles has gained a lot of traction. They provide some moisture protection and wear forever. More importantly, they provide a bit of cuishon with is greatly appreciated as I age. B Nelson can do the trick. I've seen people buy shoes at Alden and walk over to Nelson to have new shoes converted. The Carmina made to order program at Grand Central has Dainite as an option on all shoes.
I love my Dainite soles. I have two pairs of AEs that are leather and two that are Dainite. I haven't fully decided both the leathers will be re-crafted in Dainite, but there is no possibility the Dainite will be re-crafted in leather.
 

MarcDavidMiller

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I am terrified of slipping on ice, and had some minor incidents over the years (I have also spent much time in Russia and am shocked that they have no concept of non-slip surfaces on marble and the like). I wore some cheaper rubber sole Rockports and AE and a thick rubber sole Alden, but I finally got my first pair with the Dainite sole (AE Cromwell). Definitely bulkier than a standard leather sole but not too obvious. Already I had a positive comment about their practicality for business dress!

I will review my shoe purchases and redrafting strategy; I don’t need all of my shoes to be Dainite or rubber, but could use a couple more pairs for winter and inclement weather. A friend was getting two older pairs of AE recrafted and I recommended he try the Dainite soles, the theory being that the shoes are older and the slightly more worn uppers were good to wear in rain/snow.
 

ItalianStyle

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
When I wear dress shoes with Dainite or Ridgeway rubber soles, I doubt anyone even notices, unless they deliberately look under my shoes as I walk.

As long as you don't go full commando (the sole, that is...)
 
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