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Dress shoes with rubber soles

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    Dress shoes with rubber soles

    I've been in the market for some nice dark brown dress shoes. I thought the AE Park Avenues were for me, but after trying them on I didn't like how round they were. I found them boring and conservative. I ended up getting a great deal on the Ralph Lauren Dunham Cap Toe. It's no longer on the RL website, but it had been retailing for $495 and I was able to get a pair for about $150. Here's a pic:



    They showed up and it's a real nice looking shoe, feels good, and the leather and construction seem excellent. My hangup is the soles, which are a a thin, glossy rubber. I know there's a place for rubber soles and a place for leather soles, but my association with quality dress shoes is a leather sole. Thoughts? Recognizing that no one is ever going to be checking out the soles of my shoes, are there legitimate pros and cons of each?

    #2
    I wouldn't worry about the rubber soles. I don't really associate them with a lesser quality shoe. You know it's going to be well-constructed. if anything the rubber sole will help keep you off your butt on wet days!

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      #3
      Too bad about the Park Avenues. I recently purchased a pair and while they might be plain, the cap toe and the overall clean look of them makes a professional statement. I do agree though that those leather soles can be quite dangerous My next pair will probably be a pair of Strands in Bourbon.

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        #4
        I think black shoes are supposed to be boring and conservative... Rubber soles aren't an issue if the shoe looks ok. What you don't want is a big chunky sole on a formal shoe. From that picture, it looks fine.

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          #5
          Is that one of their "made in Italy" shoes? If so, would you mind posting shots of the markings on the inside? There was a thread over at SF where we were trying to ID the maker of some of RLs Italian shoes. Sutor Mantellassi was one guess. (http://www.sutormantellassi.com/temp...g=1&tongue=ENG) Just wondering if the markings match other Sutors. Nice looking shoes!

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            #6
            I have a pair of Bruno Magli's with rubber sole's and they are great! I am actually wearing them right now. At first I had reservations but after breaking them in I like them more than some of my leather soled shoes. Chunky rubber soles can be a hold back though but I have nothing in that category.

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              #7
              @McG, there is not a quality difference when we are talking about shoes of that caliber. My instinct would be that they are still able to be resoled when needed. These will serve well in slightly more difficult weather if you take care of the leather. Nice find, man!

              Where did you score these?
              "You don't need money to dress better than you do" - Salvatore Romano

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                #8
                Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I think they're essentially the brown version of the Durrow Cap Toes linked in the Friday Handful post today.

                @Fred G. Unn - They are made in Italy. What's the StyleForum link? I'll see if they match.
                @greg_s - I got them directly from RL. They were marked down to $225, I think, and then I have a family member who has an employee discount.

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                  #9
                  Rubber soles are essential for winter, and are generally a good idea for rain.

                  Leather soles are more comfortable and create a sleeker look in general, but they in no way should be assumed to indicate quality. There are plenty of awful shoes with leather soles and plenty of fantastic shoes with rubber soles.

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                    #10
                    Rubber soles are fine. One thing to think about is: rubber soles will be destroyed if you ride a motorbike (from pulling up at lights and putting your foot on the ground). Not to hijack this thread, but I wonder how leather soles would fare against sole-grinding punishment.

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