13 Benefits of Rubber-Soled Shoes Over Leather Sole

Advantages of rubber sole shoes

In this modern age, most of the shoes produced are with rubber soles. The rubber sole has outstanding features which could surpass its counterpart, the leather sole.

People mostly want very affordable shoes, yet they last long, and comfortable. Rubber-soled shoes could also do that and that’s why rubber-soled shoes sell more in the market.

It takes up the weight of your feet and makes you feel weightless. Standing all day at work is made easier and the traction can take you through the slippery floors.

There are more to discuss on the benefits of rubber soles. But before then, you have to know how it began.

History of rubber soles

History of rubber sole

In the earlier years when footwear was first produced, leather soles were used by the artisans. With time, changes were brought to improve varieties.

Rubber soles were introduced in the 1800s. In 1892, up to nine small rubber manufacturing companies joined together to form the U.S rubber company. The first rubber heel for shoes was introduced on January 24, 1899.

Year after year, people got used to the rubber sole and its benefits. The flexibility, durability, and versatility got people’s attention.

Rubber soles became popular that they were thought to replace leather soles in the manufacturing companies. Although leather-soled shoes are still relevant in the market, people still patronize rubber-soled shoes.

Benefits of rubber soles

Rubber soles have many interesting benefits which keep people patronizing them. They are;

1. Flexibility and comfort

A rubber sole is well known for its flexibility. It can easily be bent without breaking or cutting. With its flexibility, it makes walking easier and more simple.

The comfort it gives is topnotch. Standing all day to work can be fun because the rubber sole would give you the feeling like you are walking on a cloud.

2. Shock absorption

The rubber sole naturally has shock absorption. It makes you not feel the hardness of the floor. Just like the leather and plastic soles, the rubber sole also serves as insulation to your feet.

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3. Casual wear

Every day is not for work. Sometimes, you need to look casual and still smart when you step out of your door. The rubber-soled shoes can give you that look.

Due to the thickness of the profiles of most of the rubber-soled shoes, the shoe gives you a casual look and makes you blend with the environment as informal as possible.

4. Sports and athletics

The most important of them all. Rubber soles are majorly used for sports and athletics. Unlike leather soles, rubber soles give you a better at that.

You can’t possibly use a leather sole for any recreational activities unless you want to break a few bones. The rubber sole has a bouncing feature which makes it highly recommended for sports.

It is with this alliance with sports that made rubber-soled shoes give you a casual feel.

5. Lightweight

Aside from the bouncing feature of a rubber-soled shoe, its lightweight helps to enhance sports activities. The rubber soles are well known for their lightweight.

Although they are not as light as leather soles, they still pass for recreational activities.

6. Traction

The most important of all when it comes to the sports and recreational feel. It is the strong and reliable traction of a rubber sole that makes it worthy.

It prevents any slip and fall as it gives you a firm grip on any treacherous surface. Rubber sole is also water and oil-resistant

So, you can move with confidence when walking on a wet or muddy surface.

Advantages of rubber sole

7. Durability

Another important thing about rubber soles is durability. Even though it is not as long as a leather sole, it still goes for a kick.

Unlike the leather sole, wearing a rubber-soled shoe throughout the rainy season is the best choice. It doesn’t wear out and can be dried easily.

8. An all-weather sole

Industrial Rubber Goods also says the same, that rubber-soled shoe can be worn in all weather and season. Water doesn’t spoil a rubber-soled shoe like leather. The traction keeps you on track on any surface, be it wet, muddy, or dry.

9. Breathable

The rubber sole has tiny perforations which allow the penetration of air to your feet. This free passage of air to your feet keeps them dry and comfortable.

10. Many varieties

Rubber soles are well designed to any shape and design. This makes them more profitable than the leather soles. You can find it in different designs and styles, and you can make a great choice for yourself.

11. Very affordable and available

The rubber-soled shoes are very affordable, unlike the leather soles. The high supply of rubber-soled shoes contributed to the affordable price.

The rubber-soled shoes are always available in the market with varieties of design. This makes them better than the leather-soled shoes.

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12. Protection

The rubber-soled shoes are best in providing a barrier against harmful chemicals, acids, and cement. Hence, they prevent you from any risk of burn.

This is one of the major reasons most industries like ironworks and smelting always put rubber-soled shoes on. They could resist heat up to 300°C without disintegrating, melting, or warp.

13. Assist in the durability and traction of leather-soled shoes

Some leather-soled shoes have a rubber sole at the heel which helps to keep strong traction. As leather soles are known to be slippery at first.

When the sole of your leather shoe spoils, some cobblers add a rubber sole to it to increase the durability of the shoe. Somehow, the leather-soled shoes can’t do much without the rubber sole assistance.

Advantage of rubber sole shoes


Is rubber sole slip-resistant?

Yes, a soft composition of a rubber sole provides an effective grip on the floor when confronted with grease, oil, or moisture. It also offers grip on hardwood quarry tiled floor, linoleum floor, etc.

It is a better slip-resistant sole than other hard soles like leather.

Is rubber sole good for running?

For one who runs outdoors and normally encounters rough terrain, the rubber-soled shoe is a better option for you. It is durable and provides strong traction to your feet.

Is rubber sole water-resistant?

One of the most reasons people go with rubber soles other than their counterparts. A rubber sole is well known to be waterproof.

It doesn’t allow the intake of water. And more interesting, it is not spoiled by water.

Is rubber sole good for snow?

For a sole to be water and slip-resistant, it is definitely good for the snow. When the winter comes, the rubber sole is preferred as it prevents skidding and slipping off on the snow or the ice.

Is rubber sole non-marking?

A rubber sole offers maximum and a smooth ride. It leaves no mark on a tiled floor, traditional woods, or even damage them.

To know if your rubber-soled shoe is non-marking, dent in the sole with your thumbnail. If the dent recovers quickly, you have yourself a soft non-marking rubber sole.

Alternatively, you can also rub the heel of your rubber sole on a clean white piece of paper without tearing it. If it’s a non-marking sole, there will be no scuff marks on the white sheet of paper.

How can I clean rubber sole shoes?

Rubber soles can be cleaned in different ways. But most importantly, before you apply any cleaning agent, you have to brush off the dirt on your shoe sole.

A nail polish remover can serve as a cleaning agent. Use a brush to apply the nail polish remover on your shoe sole. Be careful not to apply it to any fabric on the shoe.

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Soak a clean cloth in water and clean your sole. You can also use baking soda and detergent. And make sure your detergent is free of bleach.

Use the same method as in nail polish remover, and clean your shoe sole.

Alternatively, you can also soak your shoe in a clean basin of water and add liquid soap to it. Damp the shoe for 10-15 minutes and wash carefully.

With any of these methods, you can be assured of a sparkling, neat rubber sole.

Read also: How to Clean White Shoes

Does a rubber sole squeak?

Yes, one of the cons of a rubber sole that made it less good than a leather sole. Most people find the squeaking noise irritating. They prefer the sound from a leather sole which makes it classical and professional.

But other than that, rubber-soled shoes still go well for a kick.

What are different types of rubber sole?

Rubber sole for shoes aren’t all the same. They come in different types, and they are as follows:

  • Polyurethane: This rubber sole is light and does not wear easily. It’s highly slip-resistant. An advanced form called Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) is used to make high-quality sneakers.
  • PVC: Rubber soles belonging to the poly vinyl chloride (PVC) class are cheap, flexible but slightly brittle. They’re also slippery at times.
  • Crepe Rubber: Crepe rubber sole is considered the most versatile type of rubber sole. It is light, flexible, highly slip-resistant, and doesn’t wear easily.
  • Resin rubber sole: This rubber sole feels a bit hard especially when you’re walking on a hard surface. It is also hard-wearing and waterproof like every other type of rubber sole.
  • Gristle rubber: This is a high quality rubber used mostly for making industrial footwear.


The main advantage of a rubber-soled shoe is that it is good for the summer. Unlike the leather sole, the rubber sole is a multi-weather sole.

When walking on a slippery or snowy road, it is recommended that you wear a rubber-soled shoe, lest you fall to the ground. It has better traction than other materials used for the sole.

Moreover, the rubber sole is a better economical and practical choice for footwear. Getting yourself a nice pair of kicks made of rubber soles is not a bad idea.

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