Leather soles, as you might know, are the iconic picture of luxury shoes, but what makes them so unique? Isn’t modern technology superior? In any case, how long do leather soles shoes last? Aren’t they slick?
Generally speaking, there are numerous reasons to value leather soles shoes that you may not be aware of. Many of the concerns can also be counterbalanced. This article will teach you everything you need to know about genuine leather soles as well as leather soles shoes. Let’s start with the pros and cons of leather soles shoes.
Pros of Leather Soles Shoes
Leather soles must stay competitive with rubber and other types of soles in terms of appearance, durability, functionality, and comfort. So, how do they compare?
Leather Soles are the Most Elegant Sole
We are talking in wide strokes here, but a leather sole typically comes in a low profile that complements a formal look. If I am going to wear a suit, I tend to favor leather soles as they are both traditional and sophisticated, just like a decent suit should really be.
If you only intend to wear them inside, you will get the additional advantage of a pretty click-clack sound on the ground.
Leather Soles are Extremely Comfortable and Soft
As you might know, leather soles are comfortable. Many men will only wear boots or shoes with leather uppers and leather soles for this simple reason: they are far friendlier on the knees and in terms of impact absorption than a lot of other rigid rubber outsoles. They will then mold to the shape of your foot gradually, providing a sense of support, and they are also exceptionally flexible and have a great ground feel.
Leather Soles Break In Really Fast
Comfort and durability are frequently in conflict. A pair of EVA and rubber boots are immediately comfortable, but a pair of steel shank work boots are not. The reason for this is that materials connected with comfort are more lightweight and less sturdy, whereas materials related to durabilities, such as cork, wood, and steel, are all stronger and thicker.
An adaptable material, such as leather, has the advantage of breaking in quickly. It also immediately begins molding to the shape of your foot. Even cork takes some time to warm up and shape to the contour of your foot.
Leather Soles are Cooler and Odor-Resistant
The more organic the materials used in a boot, the less likely it would be to stink. Honestly, most leather sole shoes and boots will keep bacteria at bay. The same would be true for cork, which is why many men prefer to wear sockless in leather soled, leather lined boots and shoes.
Similarly, leather soles shoes are more comfortable to wear. This is ideal for the office and during the warmer months since leather boosts air circulation much better than synthetic materials. However, it may not be excellent if you live in cold areas; rubber, at any rate, is an excellent insulator.
Cons of Leather Soles Shoes
With all of those benefits, why would anyone avoid leather soles shoes? Although the pros outnumber the cons, the downsides are significant because they affect the shoe’s capabilities.
Leather Soles Are Not Really Long-Lasting
The outsole of a shoe provides traction, stability, and weather protection. Rubber is particularly adept at this. However, most leather soles are not. When you first have a leather sole shoe, it is extremely smooth. Wear it somewhere for 10 or 15 minutes, and you will feel a little different from the first look.
I should indicate that certain manufacturers attempt to mitigate this. Oak soles are a great instance: they are not made of wood but of a sort of vegetable-tanned leather that has been treated with an oak bark dye to make the leather more durable. J.R. Rendenbach Soles, which provides leather soles for Allen Edmonds, is considered one of the most well-known manufacturers of this type of sole. Nevertheless, they are not entirely made of leather, as Rendenback frequently adds rubber studs to their soles for traction.
Oak soles are widely known in higher-end dress boots and shoes, owing to the higher cost of vegetable-tanned leather over chrome-tanned leather.
However, leather soles are more prone to wear and tear than rubber soles.
Leather Soles Are Relatively Slippery
Leather outsoles usually lack traction if you are talking about normal leather soles (as opposed to the ones shown above with studs). They are not suitable for wearing outside if you live in a snowy or rainy climate. The rubber outsole was created mainly to compensate for these flaws. Leather soles are, in different ways, a bygone era: sole 1.0.
That being said, and this is critical, as the sole wears and scratches, the markings enhance the traction significantly.
Shoe companies have found different ways to integrate rubber and leather to avoid this.
You can take a look at the Thursday’s Cavalier boot with an embellished rubber outsole. Consider integrating a leather sole with a Dainite studded outsole to create a mixture of rubber studded outsole.
Other manufacturers, such as Helm, use different strategies, such as the Zind boots. These shoes have a Fineline sole, which is made of a mixture of leather and rubber.
Leather Soles Are Not That Water-Repellent
Rubber soles provide a watertight seal between your foot and the wet surface, which is often neglected. You have possibly never realized how much you depend on rubber to protect your sensitive feet from the components until you have walked in the rain in leather-soled boots.
As a result, many leather-soled boots are Butyl-Treated. In general, Butyl is a chemical used in the production of rubber, so it is similar to taking a few of the characteristics of a rubber sole and transferring them to leather. A few claim that butyl treatment increases shoe slipperiness and enhances traction, but this is questionable. It does provide extra water resistance and enhances the boot’s durability.
However, leather soles absorb water and are not ideal for wet weather.
Leather Soles Often Lack Cushioning
Cork is frequently used in the midsole of traditional boots, and sometimes – just like with Thursday Boot Company – EVA foam is used. These have the additional advantage of cushioning and allowing for a more comfortable fit.
The leather is gentle and provides some extra padding, but the sole is thin and not synthetic. As such, although it is comfortable, it lacks the outstanding impact absorption of a crepe rubber sole like the ones found on Red Wing moc toes. This will be noteworthy if you are standing for extended periods of time or doing high-impact work. However, many people prefer the softness and smoothness of leather soles when spending their day strolling around a town.
Leather Soles Are Not Really Stable
Another positive impact of rubber and other sturdy materials that is usually ignored is the increased stability. Hiking and work boots are designed with a broad base to add stability when you move over rough ground.
Because leather cannot be molded in this way, the result is a narrower appearance. This is awesome for formal situations where you want to appear elegant, but not so much for moving fast over any sort of hurdle.
Why Should You Purchase A Pair of Shoes With Leather Soles?
In the matter of shoes, everyone has a different style in mind. However, given the wide range of advantages, one of the benefits of leather soles is simply for you.
Leather soles are effortlessly the most sophisticated and appealing of shoe soles when it comes to elegance.
Leather soles should also be at the top of your buying list if you really want to use products made of natural materials.
The big deal for me, however, and what really sells leather soles shoes, is that I don’t have some of the problems I have had with other sole types. My ankles are supported by good leather shoes with leather soles. Since I have wide feet and high arches, a well-tapered waist allows for lots of flexibility, which is ideal for my feet.
They are an ideal option for the world of 2022 because there has been a pushback against throw-away culture, as well as a ”enlightenment” to the significance of natural materials that will last a long period of time and could also be repaired. Everything you have to do in this case is to remember to be gentle with them.
How to Care for Leather Soles Shoes?
The soles are made from a tough piece of leather cut from the middle of the cowhide. As sturdy as it is, it, like any other natural material, requires care.
Leather soles will typically last for years of regular use with shoe rotation and frequent care.
Shoe trees are required. They assist them in maintaining their form.
Simply blot the soles of your shoes with a piece of paper or cloth after wearing them in the rain. Add the shoe trees and let them dry on their sides. Just let them dry softly, not too near to the heat. Wooden shoe trees usually soak up some moisture as well; in a bit, stuff with newspaper to take a few of the humidity out.
If you can not do this, the soles will deform and possibly mold – remember, this is, ultimately, a natural material.
Sole leather protecting sprays or oils might also help. However, the other tips above should still be followed.
Even when you are not wearing your leather sole shoes, make absolutely sure they are completely dry and clean and keep them in a dry shoe bag.
You might all know that we all walk in a different manner. So, if the tip of your sole starts wearing down quickly, you can have a cobbler or shoemaker add a metal or steel toe plate.
The leather will gradually wear out. Carry them to a proficient cobbler to have the sole replaced before their wear begins to affect any other part of your shoe.
When Should You Replace Your Leather Soles?
In general, leather soles are inexpensive to replace. This is one of their huge benefits on a planet where sustainable living is becoming highly significant.
Check the edge, and you will notice layers. Generally speaking, leather dress shoes, such as the Hoyt Monkstrap, frequently have only the sole with a leather welt above. Other types of footwear (for example, the Laval Chukka Boots) may have a layer of leather, a texture of rubber, and another layer of welt. You will not want to wear through the layer just above the part of the leather sole that needs to be replaced.
Leather soles are typically made of thick, durable leather. So, when you run your finger across the bottom of your leather sole shoe, and it bends effortlessly, it is a perfect indication that it is almost worn through.
Needless to say, if they have a gap in them, you will know that something is wrong.
Resolability is also affected by the quality of the shoes purchased. Beckett Simonon boots and shoes are all made with the Mackay stitching method that is excellent for durability. The seams are lock-stitched, so if you wear through one, it will not untangle (every single stitch is usually locked off). This extends the life of the soles.
What Should You Do If Your Leather Shoes Are Slippery?
People are very concerned about this. I have not yet found it to be a major issue, but I have been there. It is really possible to prevent that awkward skid when walking over a sheet of metal.
The easiest method is to take them out of the box and then take a stroll on them along a cobble path. When you wear your leather sole shoes, you will notice that the traction or friction enhances.
Another way to look at it is as a mindful remembrance that “those who rush cannot stroll with integrity”: while you are wearing your shoes, walk properly and gently place every foot. Aside from not sliding, this has three advantages: you look differentiated, you feel more relaxed, and you will keep your shoes in pristine condition for even longer.
Make use of the rubber heel caps that most leather sole shoes have. If you are crossing a polished granite floor, these might come in handy – if you put your mass on this heel, you should really be alright.
You could consider adding rubber protectors that could be hidden to maintain the elegant look while adding extra friction or grip.
Why not just blow with the wind? Make good use of your brand-new leather soles by gliding into the space like Fred Astaire.
How to Break In Leather Soles Shoes
Basically, one of the greatest things about premium leather soles (in my experience and from what I have read lots of reviews) is that they don’t require too much breaking in.
A well-made leather-soled shoe should not be hard and painful to wear. Beckett Simonon cobblers last their shoes for a few days (that seems to be, they leave them on a foot-contoured mold to form), which helps the leather take the form of a foot’s natural curve. As a result, lots of people find that they are ready to go right out of the box and do not require breaking in at all.
If you get a new pair of Beckett Simonon Dean Oxfords, for instance, the soles have such a slim waist, making them look more exquisite while also being fairly flexible to begin with.
You may notice that the leather soles are not really as pliable as you would like at first, with some motion at the heel when you walk. This is completely normal. The leather would then become a little bit more pliable after several weeks of use.
Wearing them around your house and for brisk walks, just with all types of shoes, is a nice method to get shoes used to your feet as well as your feet used to the new shoes.
Make sure to cycle them alongside your other boots and shoes. It will work much better if you wear them either once or twice per week, and the leather would then gradually soften.
Another useful tip is to select the appropriate shoe for the task at hand. For office, dates, fantasy nights out, and weddings, you could put on certain Valencia Wholecuts or Wright Austerity Oxfords. If you plan to take lots of walking, the Gallagher Boots and Dunham Derbies, for instance, have a rubber and leather sole for added comfort.
There are numerous outsole options for your boots and shoes, but leather is the original, the only sole that has withstood the test of time for hundreds of years.
It is ideal if you really want a soft sole that contours to the form of your foot over time, pair perfectly with a suit, or resists odor. It is not perfect for hiking or rainy conditions, and it is also not suitable for minimizing resoles. Ultimately, it is completely up to you and what you want from your shoes. A lot of men prefer leather, while others refuse to wear it.
As for myself, I prefer having the choice of leather soles. Eventually, having more than one pair of shoes or boots is always the greatest choice.