Why You Should Wear Rubber-Soled Boots In The Rain

This is a take-off from an article about (dorky-looking clone-style) dress shoes found in the Business Insider on-line magazine. The article is titled, “Why You Should Never Wear Leather-Soled Dress Shoes In The Rain.”

First of all, articles written in the negative (“never”) are opposite from what one should do, so that is why I wrote the title of this blog post the way I did: be positive, not negative.

Second, confident guys wear boots. They don’t give a flying frig about those pansy style bloggers. Dress boots look just as good (or in my opinion, better) than dorky clone (clown) dress shoes.

So here is why guys who wear dressy footwear with leather soles should wear rubber-soled boots in the rain…

Dressy, good-looking, cowboy boots made by quality bootmakers have leather soles. An average leather outsole on a good quality boot is around 12 ounces (9 irons) thick. (Ounces here are not a measurement of weight; it is a measurement of thickness. Irons are a very antiquated measurement of thickness as well.) Leather boot soles of 12oz/9 irons are about 3.6mm (3-16th inch) in thickness.

Now that you know that leather on the soles of dress boots are rather thick, you know they are durable. They have to be. After all, they take a pounding as you walk (regardless if they are on shoes or boots.)

Quoting from the above-referenced article,

Leather soaks up water like a sponge. Just like your skin, leather needs a certain amount of moisture to stay strong and supple. But this amount of water can damage the leather, and make it break down prematurely.

After your soles get wet, your socks will instantly get soaked. It goes without saying that wet socks are always unpleasant.

When leather is wet, it’s much more easily damaged. You wouldn’t want a chunk or two taken out of your expensive leather shoes boots just because they got wet.

How can you avoid these footwear catastrophes? Simple: wear rubber.

I agree — wear rubber (soles). While the referenced article refers to Dainite rubber soles (which indeed are very good, and any cobbler can add those soles to dress boots), I endorse Vibram soles.

Readers of this blog know that I ride a motorcycle and have a large collection of motorcycle boots. Am I suggesting to have huge lug soles placed on dress boots?

No, I am not.

Vibram (the company) makes many different types of soles. The Vibram 2145 Spektra is made specifically for dress shoes or boots. Vibram is the best in the business when it comes to making a durable, long-lasting, high-quality, boot sole. A good cobbler can order this sole if he doesn’t have it in stock.

Some cowboy boot manufacturers such as Ariat, Justin, and now even Lucchese, are offering boots with some form of rubber sole on them. Even on their dressier lineups — not just on cowboy boots made for farm and ranch wear by working cowboys. I’ve even ordered a pair of Lucchese boots with their new “Flex Sole” to try them out. I’ll let you know my review when I get them and have a chance to try them out.

Smooth leather soles look great on dressy boots that confident men wear to the office or place of employment, as well as around town doing whatever they do. But smooth leather soles have a draw-back: they are slick and can cause anyone wearing them to slip and fall on wet pavement. They also can be damaged by rain.

To remedy this, have some pairs of boots in your personal collection with rubber soles on them. Wear those boots in wet weather. Problem solved.

By the way, the referenced article endorses galoshes or overshoes. Sheesh… not for me. My buddy WC, the guy who lives in the northeastern U.S. and only wears boots, wears them. For me, no way. Rubber soles on dress boots work just great.

Life is short: wear boots (not dorky dress shoes!)

2 thoughts on “Why You Should Wear Rubber-Soled Boots In The Rain

  1. Hi BHD. Yes, indeedy. I do wear galoshes (LaCrosse 5 buckle). They have their own character. Where I live, there is (usually) a lot of snow in the winter, so I need something even more than rubber soles, or I’d ruin the leather of my boots. Road salt = trouble and stains.

    That being said, I really like what you had to say about vibram/rubber soles!


  2. Agree. I have slipped on wet floors in roper boots with leather soles. Didn’t fall, but almost. Didn’t anticipate rain on those days.

    Found Vibram half soles online. Some designs are suitable for use on dress shoes and boots. Have to find cobbler who will put the on for me.

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