Why Are Leather Soles More Slippery Than Rubber Soles?

One of the reasons why leather soles are more slippery than rubber is because they do not also have the vulcanized rubber that rubber soles have, which causes friction and prevents you from slipping.

Also, the leather soles have no grip abilities like rubber soles. That is why leather soles are more slippery than rubber soles.

If you have shoes that come with leather soles and you want to make them have a good grip most especially when you walk on a concrete or wooden floor, what you can do is that you can add some rubber caps on the under of the leather soles to give you the grip that you need.

The rubber caps are quite thin and they are not going to cause you to be uncomfortable.

Why Are Leather Soles More Slippery Than Rubber Soles?

Let us dig into more reasons why leather soles are more slipper than rubber soles

Why are leather soles more slippery than rubber soles? Leather soles Rubber Soles
Traction Leather soles seem to be classy, elegant, and comfortable. However, it does not have much traction.

The leather sole does have a bit of traction which makes it firm enough for you to wear while walking on your carpet or tiled ground.

However, when it comes to walking on slippery ground, uneven surfaces, and uphill terrains, leather sole is absolutely the worst option for that activity.

The traction embedded in the leather sole does not give enough support for extremely slippery grounds.

Furthermore, the traction of leather soles makes it the wrong option to opt-in for when walking in wet weather or on a floor that is mashed with oil.

The traction of the leather sole gives it a bit of grip, however, this makes it limited.

You cannot wear a leather sole while running, hiking, or performing any athletic activities. It does not provide enough support for that kind of situation.

It’s okay to wear it in the office. As a matter of fact, leather soles are good for offices (NOT SLIPPERY FLOORS) but not for other activities. The traction it has is not firm enough for other floor surfaces.

The reason for that is because the leather sole is not water-resistant and therefore absorbs water and oil which makes it so soft and vulnerable to slippery grounds and uneven surfaces and terrains.

Rubber soles are the exact opposite of leather soles. Rubber soles have the strongest traction you can ever get.

Because of its high water-resistant feature, it becomes unaffected by fluids and stands out even when walking on slippery surfaces.

Rubber sole has high traction which makes it firm enough to walk on all terrains and surfaces no matter how uneven, slippery, or oily they are.

With rubber soles, you can be assured of strong support for your feet.

Rubber soles offer very good traction in both warm and cool weather conditions.

It is not a normal occurrence to see someone falling while wearing a shoe that has a rubber sole (MAJORLY SNEAKERS).

As opposed to leather soles, rubber soles are very good for any kind of sporting activity because of their high traction.

The traction is the most important feature any athlete would want to have in their sports shoe.

Rubber soles offer optimal traction for all situations, unlike leather soles which only offer traction for some situations like office environment and so on.

Getting high traction which gives you a firm grip on every floor surface and terrain would only be possible with rubber soles.

The way rubber soles are produced, it is absolutely impossible to find traction that can beat their quality.

Ranging from sports shoes to everyday walking shoes, the traction, and firm grip is very high because it does not absorb fluids as leather sole does.

Anti-Slip Because of the less traction embedded in leather soles, it does not have an anti-slip feature which serves as a protection from tripping or falling down on slippery surfaces.

This does not make leather soles less suitable, however, it simply means that it is better to opt-in for rubber soles once you realize that you would be working or walking mainly on slippery or wet grounds.

Leather soles are slip-resistant but not in high quantity compared to rubber soles because leather soles absorb water which makes them slippery and weakens their resistance to slippery grounds and wet surfaces.

The high traction of rubber soles gives it a firm grip. Although, there are two types of rubber soles.

The rubber marking soles have a much firm grip than the non-marking soles.

The marking soles have a strong out-pattern underneath that makes the surface looks rough (Which is suitable enough to hold you firm while walking through slippery grounds or wet grounds).

While the non-marking soles do not have a rough surface sole.

However, a rubber sole (marking or non-marking) offers a strong anti-slip feature than the leather sole.

Because of its high traction feature, it is nearly impossible for you to slip and fall while walking with your rubber sole on a slippery and wet surface.

Leather Soles Vs Rubber Soles

Why Are Leather Soles More Slippery Than Rubber Soles?

In this section, I would talk about the various differences between leather and rubber soles.

Category Leather soles Rubber Soles
Weight Leather is made from hard material. Due to the material used in producing leather shoes, leather soles are heavy.

However, the amount of weight a leather work boot has is different from the amount of weight a leatherwork shoe has. The weight differs, which depends on the purpose of each shoe.

However, in general terms and descriptions, leather shoes are heavy. It is possible for you not to note the difference until you try wearing a shoe with a rubber sole.

Compared to shoes with rubber soles, leather soles are heavier and it is because of the make-up quality.

Furthermore, when leather shoes are exposed to moisture, they get heavier because of the water or moisture they have absorbed. In general, leather soles are heavy.

This does not mean leather soles would break your feet into pieces while wearing them.

They offer comfort as well; however, when comparing it with rubber soles, they are a lot heavier than rubber soles

Rubber is made from a soft and cushioned material or combination of material with chemicals. The material used in the production of shoes with rubber soles makes them very lightweight.

I have had amazing experiences with rubber soles in the past which feels like I am not wearing anything on my feet.

Rubber soles are not heavy compared to leather soles.

The processes involved in making rubber soles makes it 50% lightweight than other normal soles.

This also makes rubber soles more comfortable than leather soles because walking without stress is one of the best ways to define comfort. Rubber soles are not heavy compared to leather soles.

This makes rubber soles suitable for running, walking, hiking, and performing any form of athletic and sporting activities. You don’t want to run in a heavy shoe – you can’t expect to outrun an athlete with a light rubber shoe.

The lightweight feature of rubber soles makes it suitable for sporting activities compared to leather soles.


Durability Leather soles can become very strong depending on the number of layers used in making them. The volume of layers depends on the strength and durability of shoes with leather soles.

What makes leather soles more vulnerable than rubber soles is because of its ability to absorb water during wet seasons or while working through damp floor surfaces and environments.

This makes it deteriorate very quickly and eventually gets damaged over time.

However, a good volume of layers added up would prevent damage from happening for a very long time.

A triple-leather sole is expected to last longer than any rubber sole (depending on how you use it and how frequently you wear it across damp or wet conditions.

Leather soles are not made for water NO MATTER the number of layers put together) because of the number of layers used in producing it.

Furthermore, a double-layered leather sole with very good and strong toe caps on it would also last for a very long time if used properly and under the normal circumstance that supports durability.

However, compared to rubber soles, leather soles are not as durable. Leather soles are more subject to deterioration faster than rubber soles.

What makes leather sole also a little durable is because it is easily replaceable compared to rubber soles that cannot be replaced once it is damaged.

Rubber soles are virtually INDESTRUCTIBLE because of the make-up.

Majorly, what subject shoe soles to decay is moisture and damp environments and that is why PU soles often deteriorate even without constant use.

However, rubber soles are water-resistant which means that the effect of water and damp floor surfaces cannot have an effect on their quality.

Rubber soles can be used for 4-5 years without any form of decay or break-in.

Compared to leather soles, once rubber soles have reached their estimated useful life, they cannot be replaced again because it is impossible for you to remove a rubber sole for replacement.

Rubber soles cannot be replaced once it cracks open.

However, compared to leather soles, there is no situation and condition that is not convenient for rubber soles.

I have walked right in the midst of water during major flooding in my state, nothing happened to my rubber sole. All I did was dry it.

A typical rubber sole can last for years and even decades without any form of decay.

Compared to leather soles, rubber soles are more durable and last longer.

This does not mean that leather soles are bad in any sense; given the right conditions and circumstances, leather soles can last long as well (but not as long as rubber soles).


Flexibility Leather soles are very stiff and cannot expand and contract compared to rubber soles.

Leather soles are made from pure skin and they are very rigid. They have the inability to expand or break in very quickly for additional comfort.

It is a rare occurrence to find a leather sole that is flexible. Leather soles are known to be stiff and rigid thus making break-in longer.

I have seen a lot of people who deploy other means in order to break in their leather shoes quickly due to the discomfort it brings to their feet.

Rubber soles are easily flexible and expand within a few periods of time.

Rubber soles are not stiff. The make-up of rubber soles makes it very flexible enough to expand and contract depending on usage.

Rubber soles are the best soles to manipulate to your advantage by using certain measures.

Compared to leather soles, rubber soles are more flexible.

Rubber soles are easy to break in than leather soles. I had a sneaker that broke in comfortably within 2 days of use.

Leather soles take longer than that to break in and this is because it is not flexible enough compared to rubber soles.


Shock Absorption Leather soles do not have shock-absorption features because it is not made with cushioned material that reduces the effect of the hard pavement surfaces on your feet. Rubber soles have shock-absorption features that allow you to walk over hard pavement without feeling its effect.

The material used in producing rubber soles absorbs shock and reduces the effect on your feet.

Comfort Leather soles offer comfort to your feet, but not as much when compared to rubber soles.

The leather sole has a less shock absorption feature which makes it a little bit uncomfortable while walking on hard pavement surfaces.

The leather sole are stiff and very rigid which makes it very hard to break in. This makes walking uncomfortable and very painful for your feet and toes.

This makes leather soles less comfortable compared to rubber soles.

Rubber soles offer maximum comfort to your feet because it offers adequate shock absorption feature to your feet.


Rubber soles have added padding which also provides for comfort while walking.


Rubber soles are very flexible which makes it very easy to break in for comfort.

Fit Leather soles have a better fit than rubber soles.

Whenever you wear leather soles, they mold the shape of your feet over time which produces a very good fit for your feet.

Rubber soles do not have a better fit than leather soles.

Whenever you wear rubber soles, they don’t mold the shape of your feet. Rather, they keep expanding.

This is why you should not order any shoe with a rubber sole that is of a larger size.

When can I buy leather shoes?

You can buy leather shoes for formal activities like going to the office, a party, a wedding, going to church, or any other formal activities that require formal dressing.

It would be absurd wearing rubber shoes to a formal gathering. The squeaking sound would make you extremely uncomfortable to be around.

One of the best leather shoes to buy is the COLE-HAAN-WILLIAMS oxford shoe for men and the U-LITE perforated oxford vintage shoe for women.

These leather shoes offer comfort, durability and are one of the best formal shoes you can ever wear to a formal gathering.

When can I buy rubber shoes?

Rubber shoes can be used for sporting activities. Most times, the best time to buy rubber shoes is during wet seasons.

You can wear rubber shoes to work as well; as long as the soles are noise-resistant and would not cause a distraction to others while you are walking around and performing your duties on the job.

This page may contain affiliate links.

To support the content and the knowledge I share here, I earn from qualifying purchases from Amazon at no extra cost to you.

Leave a Comment