What Is The Sole? Why Is It Important For Your Shoe?
The shoe sole is also called as an outsole. It is a bottom part of any shoe that comes in direct contact with a ground. These soles are made of different materials that include leather, natural rubber, PVC compounds, polyurethane and more.
The materials which are used for making a sole is based on the purpose and style of the shoe. You can take dance shoes for example. For any ballroom dancer, the shoes with a good leather sole are important because it is much easier for gliding and turning on a dance floor.
Being a trail runner, you might prefer selecting a shoe that has a lightweight sole that offers traction and support. The soles for shoes are best designed for lasting long and durable. They wear out eventually and are the first part of shoes to go for.
Most of the shoe soles are re-soled easily at any of the shoe repair shops.
History of a shoe sole
The very first shoes were made of natural material, so these outsoles in the past were very thin. The American Indian around made soft sole moccasins of the animal hides and during middle ages, the shoes started featuring soles with harder materials as jute or leather, which is a tough fiber that was made from a plant stem.
The shoemaking industry continued evolving. In the 1600s the shoe soles were always made of leather that is a standard in fine leather dress shoes at present. When shoemaking was done manually, it was a highly time-consuming process as the leather soles were hand-stitched meticulously on shoes.
Leather is a sturdy material, that is good in terms of its durability, its stiffness made it a really difficult material for working with. This invention of the machine revolutionized the whole process of shoemaking.
But with time, the shoemaking turned as the mechanized part greatly.
Types of the modern shoe outsole
The soles of women and men dress shoes are made typically made from high-quality rubber, leather or combination of both. The everyday or casual wear shoes, work shoes also featured soles that were made of polyurethane or natural rubber.
The soles can be made of any one material or with different ones. For say, a leather sole should be a standard feature for any good dress shoe but it doesn’t offer much traction. Due to this, many of the dress shoes feature leather sole in its front part of shoe and rubber sole in their heel for utmost traction.
Various types of shoe soles offer added traction than others due to specific designs or materials. These materials used in the soles are based upon an intended shoe purpose. For say, the athletic shoe soles feature various types of materials that depend on how the shoes will be used.
The shoes worn for playing football, golf, baseball, soccer features spikes or cleats which dig in the ground and offer great traction. The shoes worn for rock climbing, volleyball, basketball, and wrestling have rubber soles that offer amazing grip. Cycling shoes are highly stiff and sturdy. The hiking boots possess soles that are waterproof and thick, which can provide traction.
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