Leather vs rubber sole, what's the difference?

mocha beans

Jul 21, 2008
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
What's the advantages/disadvantages in having a leather sole vs a rubber sole? I notice most of the higher end shoes come with leather soles, so there must be some good reason for it. And what's the best way to take care of leather soles? I live in MN and winter is a coming, so would rubber soled boots be best to deal with the snow, and leave the leather soled shoes at home till it's nice out again?


Apr 6, 2007
I have found that the leather soles do not last at all, and the rubber soles are very durable. Also, I have read here in this forum that many shoe lovers get new soles put on their high-end shoes immediately. I think it is an excellent idea!
I will say that I have never replaced the entire sole, but I have had a rubber piece put under the toe to reinforce that area.
Mar 5, 2008
I would not put rubber soles on immediately. The cobbler will sand down the leather soles before putting on the rubber ones, so you might as well wear them down a bit before doing so. If you are worried about slipping, there are small removable rubber pads you can stick on your shoes.