10 Types of Shoe Soles (All You Need To Know)

Hello Readers, Do you know about different types of shoe soles and what material are shoe soles made of?

Imagine that you are walking on a rough road without wearing proper shoes for that track! What you’ll experience then?

Absolutely you’ll have a dark experience. You can surely dispute if I’m wrong.

Suppose you bought a pair of very smart-looking Shoes but what if it does not give you a buttery experience while walking?

The buttery experience we are talking about in Shoes is because of its “SOLE”.

Now the question arises What is a Shoe Sole?

The Sole of a Shoe or simply a Shoe Sole is the bottom part of the shoe that comes in direct contact with the ground or base. Shoe Soles are made from various different materials, like rubber, leather, polyurethane, PVC Compounds, etc.

A Shoe Sole is the most important part of a Shoe because your whole walking comfort depends on it. Original branded shoes have top-quality soles. However, You will find low-quality sole material in the first copy footwear.

So in this article, we are going to tell you about different types of shoe sole materials. Read here the shoe sole molding process.

So without wasting any time, Let’s get started.

Mainly there are 10 Types of Shoe Soles present in the market. They are:-

  1. Rubber Soles
  2. Lugged Soles
  3. Christy Soles
  4. Camp Soles
  5. Cork Soles
  6. Leather Soles
  7. Combination Soles
  8. Ridgeway Soles
  9. ABS Soles
  10. Polyurethane Soles

10 Types of Shoe Soles

Let’s discuss them one by one.

1: Rubber Soles

As the name tells itself, Rubber Soles are made of Rubber (which may be organic or recycled). These are commonly used materials for shoe soles. Shoes having these soles are generally used in offices or for formal wear. Some hiking boots also contain these types of soles. These are considered the best sole material for leather shoes.

types of shoe soles

2: Lugged Soles

Lugged soles were inherited from Rubber Soles or we can also say that Rubber soles are the parent of Lugged soles. These types of shoe soles are made using a thick layer of rubber with extra gripping designs.

So, the user may feel a better grip experience. Lugged Soles are generally used in sports shoes and advanced Hiking boots. So, in short, we can say lugged soles are the best sole material for sports shoes.

3: Christy Soles

The Christy sole screams iconic mid-century workwear. These are very lightweight and are suitable for trips and daily use. This sole combines traction and stability.

Generally, these types of soles are combined with Red Wing boots. A Christy sole is also known as “Wedge Sole” and it is listed in some of the most notorious and recognisable soles because of its design and features. Christy soles are the best sole material for boots.

4: Cork Soles

If we are talking about Cork Soles, then the first thing that strikes our mind is pain relief and comfort. Cork is a very famous versatile natural material. Many things were made from Cork, like bulletin boards, wine bottles, Art pieces, etc.

Insoles made from the material offer an anatomically correct footbed. Corks Soles are usually found in casual wear and in shoes which are made for aged people. Young people or teenagers rarely use these soles. The plus point about these soles is that they come in a very affordable range and are one of the cheapest soles ever.

5: Camp Soles

Camp Soles are designed for casual wear and provide excellent traction and stability to the user. These soles are lightweight and waterproof too.

Camp soles are made of rubber and are usually found on Moccasins and loafers. These soles are quite cheap also, as compared to other rubber soles. So if you are thinking about purchasing Shoes with Soles made of rubber in a budget-friendly range, then Camp Soles proves to be a perfect option.

6: Leather Soles

types of shoe soles

Leather Soles have been very popular and long-lasting since very ancient times. They are very popular for formal usage. Leather Soles are very reliable and most durable if maintained properly. The most favourite plus point for users who use shoes with Leather Soles is that they keep your feet sweat-free and have the ability to mould into any foot shape. Leather soles are one of the most common footwear sole materials that are mostly used in formal footwear.

7: Combination Soles

These kinds of shoe soles are very popular in the last decade. As the name suggests itself, these soles are a combination of Leather and Rubber soles. The shoes having these soles are quite classy and durable too but the condition applied is the same, “They need Maintenance”.

8: Ridgeway Soles

Ridgeway Soles are the variation of Rubber Soles. These soles are very durable and strong too. Shoes having these types of soles are perfect for rough use because the ridge channels are for added traction and stability. These soles are very lightweight and have a raised profile.

9: ABS Soles

The full form of ABS is “Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene”. The ABS Soles are made from plastic. These Soles are very durable and do not contain any toxins. Some special characteristics of these soles are great impact strength, abrasion resistance, easy shape moulding and great stability.

As these soles are good but they also have some negative factors also, like, they are not suitable for extreme climatic conditions, whether it is too cold or too hot. These soles are very popular for Fancy Shoes, especially for girls.

10: Polyurethane Soles

Polyurethane is a plastic material that exists in various forms. It can be tailored to be either rigid or flexible. These soles have a lot of plus points which make them famous for other types of soles. Some of them are:-

Benefits of Polyurethane Sole:

  • They are waterproof.
  • Comfortable.
  • They are durable.
  • Have long-term mechanical properties.

Shoes having these types of soles are generally used by working professionals like Plumbers, Electricians, Civil Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, etc. Because they have some characteristics which are very suitable for this type of professional.

Some of these characteristics are slip resistance, low density, shockproof body, excellent wear resistance, etc. Shoes having these soles are not for Party or Occasional wear. They are clear-cut professionals.

Which Shoe Soles Are Better? | Leather Vs Rubber Sole Shoes

Before We say Good-Bye

We have given you information about almost every Type of Shoe Soles. Every sole is unique and has some advantages and drawbacks too.

It’s your budget and profession which makes you select any sole. So trying them once is not a bad idea.

I am the founder and chief editor of Men Shoe Factory, a passionate shoe lover from India. Studying and researching on shoes led me to build this blog site where I share shoe care tips, detailed reviews and different types of shoe size charts. Feel free to contact me on my social accounts or through the contact form here.

7 thoughts on “10 Types of Shoe Soles (All You Need To Know)”

  1. Hello There. I found this information using MSN. This is an extremely well-written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information on shoes and boots. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return. Keep posting footwear-related blog articles.

  2. I am working on my school assignment and I need some more types of footwear soles. Please tell me more about this topic.

  3. Hello Vicky, i stumbled across your blog while browsing about types of shoe soles. Your articles are very informative and helpful. Would request you to kindly make an article on trekking shoes also. Popular brands are Decathlon, Columbia, Wildcraft, Adidas, Solomon etc. We generally look for durable, lasting, water repellant, ankle support shoes etc. These shoes are used for max 1-2 times (treks) per year and due to high price, multiple brands, sole materials chosing trek shoes is a confusing affair.


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