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The Different Types of Soles for Shoes

For our discussion here we will be referring to soles as "sole stock" as that is the term shoe manufactures use. Over the years new technology has created several new types of sole stock. Naturally the type of sole stock used on a particular shoe will depend on what the shoes are designed for. A man's dress shoe might have a leather or TPR sole while a man's work boot will probably use a PVC sole stock. That said, Large Size Shoes for will now explain the difference in the most popular types of sole stock used today.


Leather, once regarded as the ultimate in sole stock, is not used today as much as it used to be. There are several reasons for this. Number one is the cost of leather, leather has become so expensive that today it is used only in better grade men's and women's footwear. Secondly, leather can be rather slippery and is no longer considered to be the best sole stock for most men's shoes.

Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR)

TPR or slab soles are the most common type of sole stock used currently. There are several reason for the popularity of TRP soles. Perhaps the number one reason is the fact TRP can be made to look like leather. TRP is also light weight, flexible, somewhat slip resistant and quite durable.

PVC (polyvinylchloride)

PVC is very long wearing but it has limited esthetic properties and so is used primarily in work shoe or work boot construction. Most of the lug sole boots and shoes you will see today are made from PVC.

Rubber Compounds

Rubber based compounds come in a variety of names, Neoprene, Nitrile and Hapalon are all rubber based rubber compounds. Rubber based compounds are very versatile and are used in many different kinds of footwear for men, women and children. Perhaps the number one user of rubber based sole stock is the athletic shoe industry.


Crepe used to be one of the most popular types of sole stock. However at this time it is not used nearly as often as it used to be. It has several draw backs such as weight, can turn color and sometimes is hot on the feet. That said, there still some men's casual shoe makers who will still use crepe type sole stock on a few of their older but still popular patterns.


Composition is the term used to describe a wide variety of slab sole compounds. Composition soles are very versatile as they can be made to look like leather, are inexpensive to produce and offer good wear. You will find them used on inexpensive footwear for men, women and children.

In conclusion, Large Size Shoes for would suggest before you buy a new pair of shoes of any kind, do a little research and make sure the soles of the shoes you are considering, are designed to give you maximum performance and comfort.

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