From the Mailbag: Thoughts on adding rubber to leather sole shoes?
Shoes pictured above – The Allen Edmonds Weybridge. Currently unavailable.
I just picked up a pair of the Allen Edmonds Strand that you’d highlighted in your article on the Nordstrom Sale. I’ve got a pair of Park Avenues that I’ve had for years (refurbished twice), so I knew they’d be a solid bet.
I also have two pairs of loafers that I’ve had the rubber catspaws added to the bottom to extend the life of the sole before having to send them in for re-soling. So far they seem to be helping ward off the too-frequent intervals at which I have to get my leather-soled shoes repaired.
I haven’t put them on my AE’s, but expect I will this time around. Ever have anyone mention rubber soles on the site? Or heard of a downside to using them? They don’t seem to add any bulk to the outline of the shoe, and so far I’ve been pretty happy with them.
Topys, Cat’s Paws, and Vibram sole protectors are all basically the same thing. They’re a rubbery sheet that a cobbler (the fellas who work on shoes, not the tasty dessert) can apply to the bottom of leather sole shoes in order to make them more durable. Leather soles wear away and will eventually need to be replaced. These act as an extra barrier between your leather soles and the sandpaper like paved roads we walk every day. Damn Romans.
A good sign of a quality shoe is a leather sole (there are certainly exceptions), and the fact that they require more maintenance is sort of what you’re buying into.
Yet it’s completely understandable that some want to protect their investment. And congrats to Ryan for investing in a pair of Strands, but here’s why I’m thinking he should skip the extra protection:
Your thoughts on adding rubber sole protectors to leather sole shoes? Do you think those extra scrapes on a leather sole add character? Or are they ugly, messy and wreck the look? Leave it all in the comments section below.