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Synthetic Sole Vs. Rubber Sole Vs. Leather Sole: Which One Is Better?

Sole is the foundation of a shoe. How comfortable is a shoe primly depends on the material and quality of the sole. But while buying a shoe, you must also pay close attention to its arch support, size, toe box, style, grip, and stability.

There are different sole available in the market. EVA sole, PU sole, leather sole, rubber sole, synthetic rubber sole, etc. Shoes with synthetic sole provide durability, and on the other hand, rubber shoes are more flexible. Leather shoes firmly mold to your feet and are comfortable to walk.

“Synthetic sole vs. rubber sole vs. leather sole.”- A common debate topic. Which one is the best? I do not love to compare them because I prefer using all three soles on a different occasion, environment eventually.

The Stratum of the Sole

A sole mainly consists of three layers.


It is the topmost layer in close acquaintance to the sole. Latex foam is being in vogue for a long time as an insole material. It is responsible for padding. The other materials of the insole are foam, gel, cork, and leather.


Some shoes have a midsole in between the insole and outsole. The midsole can be off – gray midsole and white midsole. A Gray midsole is more firm than the white midsole.

Midsole mainly comprises ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA). Not every shoe has a midsole. Running shoe, lifting shoe have a midsole. The firmer the midsole, the stiffer will be the shoe.


It is the most outermost layer from the sole in connection to the ground.

Synthetic Sole


The synthetic sole is made from PVC and EVA. Different chemicals are added to the fabric to make the shoe wrinkle-free, resistant, and soft.


Synthetic sole than rules the market for many years because-

  • Light-weighted.
  • Abrasion-resistant.
  • Water-resistant.
  • Durable.
  • Comfortable.
  • Scruff marks are not predominant.
  • Shock absorber.
  • Soft texture.
  • High elasticity.


  • Tends to slick on a wet surface.
  • Poor biodegradability.
  • Does not mold according to the feet.


Common types of the synthetic sole are-

  • PU sole
  • EVA sole.
  • Synthetic rubber sole.

Is synthetic sole slippery?

Well, it intends to slick a little on the wet surface. But wearing it awhile makes it less slippery.

If you find it more slippery, you can use a traction spray or a mixture of salt and rubber glue to enhance grip.

Is synthetic sole the best option for running shoes?

Well, the answer varies on the running you prefer. EVA outsole is the best when it comes to speed. It a better option for road running.

As Eva outsoles have less to do with the protection, it might not be your wise choice for trail running.

Rubber Sole


Natural rubber, latex, nylon, polyvinyl chloride, adhesive, and polyurethane are used to produce rubber.

Latex is extracted from the Hevea brasiliensis tree. The addition of ammonia ensures congealing.


  • Reduces wear.
  • A barrier between shoe sole and ground.
  • Shock absorbent.
  • Flexible.
  • Good cushioning effect.
  • Good abrasion-resistant.
  • Waterproof.
  • Multi weather shoe.
  • Improves traction.
  • Economical.


  • At times cracks may occur.
  • Sometimes rubber soles are prone to crack.
  • Slightly heavier.
  • Rubber squeaks when wet.


The multiple types of rubber sole that are in vogue are-

  • Resin rubber:

It is waterproof and durable but feels a bit hard on uneven surfaces.

  • PVC:

Slippers made of PVC are cheap but flexible.

  • PU:

Polyurethane has anti-slipping property.

  • Gristle rubber:

Gristle rubber is the most suitable rubber for industrial footwear.

  • Crepe rubber:

It is outstanding for the summer collection. This versatile sole is made of coagulated latex.

Can rubber sole be replaced?

Yes, a rubber sole can be replaced. You can use an adhesive to patch the hole and glue it back on. Thus you can reuse the shone replacing the worn outsole.

Are the rubber soles comfortable?

Memory foam, neoprene inserts are used to make rubber soles more comfortable. Initially, the rubber sole seems more comfortable, but the experience may be different based on the user’s preference and experiences.

Leather Sole


Cattle skin like calfskin, cowhide, goatskin, and skin of exotic animals like crocodile, snake, etc. are used to prepare leather sole.


  • Has superior molding capacity.
  • Comfortable.
  • Softer for the feet.
  • Allows foot to breathe.
  • Maintains the cold and dry interior of the shoe.


  • Expensive.
  • Develops stretch marks in the long run.
  • Not waterproof.

How long can a leather shoe last?

A good quality leather sole can easily last for three to five years. But the longevity might vary on the extent of use and where you are using the shoe.

If a leather shoe is your daily walking partner, it can be worn out in six to seven months.

Is a leather shoe the best option for a rainy day?

A leather shoe is not the best option for a rainy day. It absorbs water and gets heavier.  The shoe might gradually decompose. The shoe gets smelly.

How should you maintain a leather shoe?

A leather shoe is a delicate and expensive shoe that requires premium maintenance.

  • Dust off the dirt.
  • Use diluted vinegar to clean the spot.
  • Wait for tills it air dries.

Which One is Better Between Leather Sole and Rubber Sole?

If you are a gentleman who fancies shoes, the sole leather shoe will be your great choice. They are stylish and long-lasting. But leather shoes are not meant to last in a wet environment. The rubber sole is flexible but a short-lived shoe. But it is suitable for rough use.

Synthetic Sole Vs. Rubber Sole Vs. Leather Sole


All three soles- synthetic sole vs. rubber sole vs. and leather sole- work practically based on their use perspective. Select the sole according to your need. Like- if you need a durable shoe goes for the leather sole. Want flexibility? Go for rubber sole. And the synthetic sole is famous for its durability. We will be pleased to know your preference.