The sole is the most important part of a shoe. Without it, you may as well be running around barefoot. It consists of three major parts, an insole, a midsole, and an outsole. The insole is the section of the sole that sits immediately below the wearer’s foot. Its purpose is to offer a comfortable layer above the connection of the upper to the sole.
The midsole can be found on many shoes and forms a layer between the insole and the outsole. The outsole is the layer of the sole that touches the ground. Due to the amount of stress and general wear, this part of the shoe gets it is usually made of very rugged material. It is also crucial that it delivers enough friction with the floor to keep the wearer from slipping.
Table of Contents
- What Is a Synthetic Sole?
- Are Synthetic Soles Slippery?
- What Is a PU Sole?
- How Do You Identify PU Sole?
- What Is an EVA Sole?
- Is EVA Sole Slip-Resistant?
- Is EVA Biodegradable
- What Is the Difference Between PU and EVA?
- What Does Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR) Sole Mean?
- Is TPR Sole Waterproof?
- Is TPR Sole Comfortable?
- What Is a PVC Sole?
- Is PVC Sole Good?
- Is PVC Sole Slippery?
- What Are Rubber Soles Made Of?
- Are Rubber Soles More Comfortable?
- Are Rubber Soles Durable?
- Are Rubber Soles Good on Ice?
- Are Crepe Rubber Soles Good?
- Are Crepe Soles Slippery?
- Can Crepe Soles Be Repaired?
- Why Do Crepe Soles Get Sticky?
- How Do You Make Rubber Soles Slip-Resistant?
- How Long Do Rubber-Soled Shoes Last?
- Can Rubber Soles Be Repaired?
- Can You Resole Rubber Sole Shoes?
- Should You Put Rubber Soles on Leather Shoes?
- How Much Does It Cost to Put Rubber Soles on Shoes?
- Why Do Basketball Shoes Have Rubber Soles?
- Are Leather Soles Better Than Rubber?
- What Are the Benefits of Leather Soles?
- Do Leather Soles Absorb Water?
- Can You Wear Leather Soles in The Rain?
- How Do You Make Leather Soles Less Slippery?
- How Long Do Leather Soles Last?
- How Do You Maintain Leather Soles?
- Should You Condition Leather Soles?
What Is a Synthetic Sole?
Materials such as rubber and leather are natural. Rubber comes from a plant; leather comes from an animal. A synthetic sole is constructed from a manmade material such as PVC and EVA. It’s less likely to leave scuff marks.
Are Synthetic Soles Slippery?
They do tend to be a little slick on wet surfaces. Sanding the bottoms or just wearing them awhile will make them less slippery. Gravel, metal and rough concrete are good surfaces to break slippery shoes on. There are also grip pads and sprays that can be used to give you more traction.
What Is a PU Sole?
The PU does not stand for how your shoes smell! It stands for polyurethane. They are constructed from a new type of organic polymer material. These soles are both light and abrasion-resistant. This makes them ideal for constructing hard-wearing shoes. This sole material features long-lasting mechanical properties and is also water-resistant.
The polyurethane sole has a lower density than many other soles plus a soft texture and high elasticity. This makes it ideal for bringing foot comfort. It not only delivers a great amount of durability but also has a good flexing resistance along with being very firm and great shock absorption.
How Do You Identify PU Sole?
The easiest way to do this is to just bend the sole. A PU sole has superb bending performance so if you can see that the sole can bend well enough, it has to be of polyurethane material. Other than bending, you could identify the material by simply running your hand over it. Polyurethane material is not slippery. If your hand keeps slipping and sliding, just put it back on the rack because it is certainly not of polyurethane material.
What Is an EVA Sole?
The EVA stands for Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate. This is an elastomeric polymer that makes up materials that are rubbery in both softness and flexibility. It is a plastic fabricated through the combination of ethylene and vinyl acetate to produce rubber-like properties that can be used to make soles for shoes.
Is EVA Sole Slip-Resistant?
Another property of EVA is that it does not absorb water. EVA is very elastic plus tear- and slip-resistant. In fact, EVA is better for slippery surfaces than it is for rough surfaces. It’s also got great shock absorbing abilities.
Is EVA Biodegradable
If chemicals such as Eco Pure have been added in the process, this can enhance the biodegradability of EVA plastics. This means that it would shorten the time this plastic that has been disposed of remains in landfills. Sandals and EVA foam may have had such treatment.
What Is the Difference Between PU and EVA?
PU is somewhat heavier with a higher density. However, in footwear, it excels in the area of durability. EVA is lightweight and less dense than polyurethane but has superior shock absorption. It will, however, compress over time which means it will eventually stop providing as much support after a significant amount of wear.
What Does Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR) Sole Mean?
TPR has characteristics of both rubber and plastic. This form of synthetic rubber can melt into a liquid when heated and, much like water, it becomes a solid when cooled. It is made out of the polymer SBS (Styrene-butadiene-styrene). SBS is what is known as a tertiary “block copolymer”. This means that there are blocks of each monomer (i.e. styrene – butadiene – styrene) inside the polymer rather than a random distribution.
Is TPR Sole Waterproof?
TPR soles are useful for handling slips on surfaces that are slippery and slick. TRP soles are also typically utilized on shoes that have the purpose of taking part in outdoor activities. They are suited for the production of waterproof TPR shoes. TPR also has a rather rough texture in comparison to the common rubber sole yet it remains lightweight.
Is TPR Sole Comfortable?
While TPR is elastic and wear-resistant, it can also be rather heavy compared to EVA. It is, however, breathable enough to wear on a daily basis.
What Is a PVC Sole?
PVC stands for Polyvinyl Chloride. It is a plastic polymer used in the manufacture of a wide variety of products from drinking straws, shower curtains, raincoats, water pipes and of course soles for footwear. PVC soles are for the most part done with the direct injection process but they can also be fabricated as PVC foam boards that can be calendared and cut. It is very pliable, abrasion-resistant and inexpensive.
Is PVC Sole Good?
There are upsides and downsides to PVC. PVC is durable and has good insulation. It is resistant to oil and water. However, it is impermeable to the point of being inflexible. The texture is poor as is the anti-slip resistance.
Is PVC Sole Slippery?
Like an eel. It’s great for materials that you want to be waterproof, but not for the sole of a shoe.
What Are Rubber Soles Made Of?
Natural rubber is made with latex, the milky sap extracted from the tree Hevea brasiliensis. The latex is then processed to make rubber. Ammonia is often added to the sap to keep it from congealing. Acid is then added to make it coagulate. After twelve hours this mixture is then pressed through rollers to extract water. They are then hung out to dry. Once dry, they’re folded into bales for further processing.
Are Rubber Soles More Comfortable?
Rubber soles feel comfortable without any breaking in period. However, they can start to lose their comfort after six months or so. Manufacturers have been trying to fix this by utilizing memory foam or neoprene inserts. However, they have so far proven to be just temporary fixes.
Are Rubber Soles Durable?
Rubber, quite literally, bounces back from just about anything. It can last years on the toughest of terrain. It is water-resistant as well. Just don’t try to dry it too fast after getting it wet or it will crack.
Are Rubber Soles Good on Ice?
They aren’t very good in this case. Very soft rubber can give you some grip, but many types get even more slippery at low temperatures. Rubber is very durable and responsive but it lacks traction.
Are Crepe Rubber Soles Good?
Crepe rubber is inexpensive yet has good shock absorbance and it’s likely the most comfortable of shoe soles without sacrificing durability. If you fancy yourself a ninja, these shoes are very quiet to walk in. They are fairly insulated and do not track mud and dirt easily.
Are Crepe Soles Slippery?
Usually, they don’t hold up well on wet surfaces. On dry surfaces, they can be almost sticky. The open-pored material affords good traction on slick surfaces.
Can Crepe Soles Be Repaired?
Most crepe soles are not replaceable or even repairable. Crepe rubber is only suitable for indoor shoes. Crepe rubber will break down before long if constantly worn on hard, rough surfaces such as concrete. However, the longevity of the sole does depend on how thick it has been cut.
Why Do Crepe Soles Get Sticky?
The open-pored construction gives traction, but it’s also a bit of a dirt magnet. A grease removing detergent or curd soap can make the shoes less slippery without damaging the sole.
How Do You Make Rubber Soles Slip-Resistant?
You could scuff the soles using something gritty like a nail file or sandpaper and rubbing it on the soles until small grooves appear. A textured grip pad can do wonders. There are sprays that will do the job. For a quick fix, you can put masking tape in the shape of an X on the bottom of your shoe. If you’re walking on ice, it may be a good idea to rub salt on them.
How Long Do Rubber-Soled Shoes Last?
There are many factors to consider here such as how many steps taken in a day, what kind of surfaces you walk on, how long they’re worn and much more. Generally, they should last around six months.
Can Rubber Soles Be Repaired?
As long as the rest of the shoes is in good shape, a rubber sole can be easily replaced. Holes can be patched up with an adhesive. A loose sole can be glued back on. Working with adhesives and acetone can be tricky but it can be done.
Can You Resole Rubber Sole Shoes?
In some cases, resoling shoes might be easier than repairing. You’ll also have to remove the old glue, of course. However, if you have a cup outsole, it is permanently bonded to the leather uppers with cement. It will be impossible to remove it without ruining the shoe.
Should You Put Rubber Soles on Leather Shoes?
Many cobblers recommend this as preventative care. Rubber soles come in every color to match the leather so you don’t have to worry about how it will look. The rubber sole will prevent the leather from wearing down and it will make them more water-resistant.
How Much Does It Cost to Put Rubber Soles on Shoes?
It really depends on where you go. In New York, the cobbler’s quote could be anything from $30 to $55 for a half sole and $40 to $75 for a full sole. Smaller cities may not charge quite as much. Specify if you want rubber, foam or leather. A leather sole will cost a bit more.
Why Do Basketball Shoes Have Rubber Soles?
The soles on indoor basketball shoes are commonly fabricated from thin rubber. The purpose of this is to make them more lightweight while allowing for quick movement. Outdoor soles are somewhat thicker to be more durable. Basketball shoe soles generally provide optimum shock absorption and a good amount of flexibility in comparison to other types of athletic shoe soles.
Are Leather Soles Better Than Rubber?
That depends on what you want. For the most part, leather soles wear longer and are more comfortable. However, rubber is more water-resistant and has better shock absorption.
What Are the Benefits of Leather Soles?
They are breathable and durable. It regulates heat and prevents electrostatic shock. While some people may have latex allergies, leather rarely triggers allergies. While it is pricier than rubber it is easier to replace.
Do Leather Soles Absorb Water?
Like a sponge. Leather does absorb water very easily. Water may also come in through the stitching. Shoe grease and other products may help some.
Can You Wear Leather Soles in The Rain?
Only if you wear galoshes over them. Water can severely damage leather. It can cause it to break down more easily. It will ruin both your shoes and your feet.
How Do You Make Leather Soles Less Slippery?
Scuffing works just as well on leather as it does other soles. With leather shoes, keeping them polished can keep them slightly more water-resistant.
How Long Do Leather Soles Last?
If only worn indoors, a leather sole can last about three or five years. Pounding the pavement can wear them down in six months.
How Do You Maintain Leather Soles?
Use a dry washcloth to wipe away dust and dirt. If the dirt is clingy you can use a mildly damp washcloth. Spots and stained can be cleaned with diluted vinegar. Small scuffs can be taken out with an eraser.
Should You Condition Leather Soles?
You can. After a cleaning, generously apply mink oil to the sole. You can use a toothbrush to apply the mink oil to the edges of the sole plus into any of the crevices that the washcloth couldn’t reach.
Mention “rubber sole” to a Beatles fan and they might think about Rubber Soul, their sixth studio album. Many of the songs on the album were about how complicated romantic relationships can get. The songs “Nowhere Man” and “In My Life” were about how life, in general, can be difficult but you can always bounce back.
It’s just like the rubber sole on a shoe that can bounce back from anything. Synthetic soles don’t quite have the same flexibility and leather just falls apart at the first touch of moisture. Whatever soles you have on your shoes, just remember to take care of them so they can take care of you.