In the world of shoes, there are a wide variety of soles, suitable for different activities and situations. In this post, we will highlight a few of them, as well as discuss their features.
First off, we have to realize that there are endless types of soles that range from both rough winter ones with a sturdy grip, to thin, blake stitched leather soles only suitable for a warmer climate. Though almost never visible, the sole makes up a large part of the shoe, and therefore has an impact on the overall versatility. Many manufacturers have therefore chosen to implement a wide variety in order to offer shoes for all seasons. The most commonly seen soles are: single leather, double leather, Dainite, Commando and Crepe sole.
The single leather sole is very common on Goodyear-welted shoes today. With it’s slightly thinner appearance, it creates a more refined impression. The positive aspect of a single leather sole is clearly the versatility. Though being sensitive to large amounts of water, it is suitable for all seasons except winter. By applying a thin rubber sole on top of the leather, you will prolong it’s lifespan, as well as protect it from rain. A simple procedure like this can also cause a notable increase in versatility.
Iconic model: The Cavendish in polo suede with it's open, slip on construction fits the leather sole very well. A single leather sole is both thin and highly adaptive to your foot. Combining these traits with a loafer results in a very flexible and breathable shoe.
Single leather: Handgrade
Another version of the single leather sole is available in the hand grade collection. The hand grade soles are produced using oak bark tanned leather, enbling a higher flexibility and better resistance to wear. An important detail is the closed channel stitch, meaning that the welt seam isn't visible from underneath. This creates both an aesthetically pleasing finish as well as prevents dirt from coming in contact with the seam.
Similar to the soles, the belgrave is elegant with it's sleek appearance, yet versatile due to it's many areas of use. This Cap toe oxford features a slight punched pattern on the toe, creating an interesting detail.
A double leather sole usually involves the same leather as a single one, but with a second layer. In addition to the increased durability, the sole will also become noticeably thicker and often contribute to a less dressy impression. Therefor, the sole is more suitable for a heavier full brogue or derby.
Iconic model: An excellent example is the Bradford in Cordovan from the skilled tannery Horween. The Cordovan leather has a slightly rougher surface, and suits the double leather sole perfectly in terms of impression.
The especially designed city sole from Crockett & Jones has become somewhat of an allround sole when it comes to dressier shoes and boots. The sole's thickness is comparable to a single leather, which makes it sleek and discrete. However, as it is made out of rubber, the durability increases noticeably. By creating a more refined rubber sole, it doesn't affect the outfits formality, and provides a more sturdy grip. Not to mention, the sole also gets less sensitive to water exposure, resulting in a very versatile shoe.
Iconic model: The Edgware is a derby in black calf with punched medallion pattern on the toe. This model is equipped with the city sole, resulting in a sophisticated impression, yet with high durability.
Dainite soles have truly increased in popularity. Perhaps due to it’s incredible combination of sleek appearance, good grip and comfort. The dainite rubber has become an icon within shoemaking, and has a long history with roots dating back to the early 1900s in Britain. With versatility in consideration, the dainite is a go-to sole as it can almost be worn all year round (depending on the shoe upper) and in almost any situation.
Iconic model: As the Dainite is used on a wide variety of shoes, ranging from sophisticated oxfords to heavier boots, the Pembroke in dark brown scotch grain is a perfect example of how the sole is utilized. Though this shoe isn't dressy, it can still be worn with a pair of flanell trousers. Even though it has a sturdy sole, the appearance isn't nearly as prominent as the commando.
These soles are produced at another brittish sole manufacturer called ITSHIDE. Known for it’s durability, the Commando sole has a rough pattern creating a sturdy grip and comfort. This sole is best fitted on a higher, less formal boot and can easily be paired with selvedge denim or heavy flannel trousers.
Iconic model: The most well known shoe from Crockett & Jones using Commando sole is the Snowdon in oak wax hide. This is a perfect example of implementing the commando sole, that really highlights it's durability and grip.
Crepe- (or desert-) sole is highly flexible due to it´s material, a natural rubber. Commonly seen on unlined chukka boots, the sole is often used in warmer climates. Crockett & Jones recently announced a summer collection focusing on the Crepe sole combined with brighter colours, a perfect, casual summer alternative to loafers.
Want to know more? Keep an eye out for out next post or ask us a question, either via email or in store.