Can rubber soles be resoled?
Yes – it’s relatively easy for a cobbler to repair a pair of rubber-soled shoes, although because work boots have such thick, chunky rubber soles, it can often take years to wear them down enough to justify resoling. Do note that not all shoe repairers will only carry black soles and not yellow or white rubber soles, so if you have something like the classic Timberland 6-inch yellow, you might need to seek out a specialist re-soler rather than a high street kiosk. It’s always worth asking, however.
Are PVC or rubber soles best for work?
On balance, PVC and rubber have similar performance, although some characteristics do make them different. Rubber is generally a better heat and electrical insulator and has superior grip and comfort, but there isn’t much between them in these respects.
Rubber is a natural product, however, and is easily recycled. In fact, there’s a good chance you are already wearing boots with recycled rubber soles, especially if they are Timberland Earthkeepers®. PVC is synthetic, with quite an intensive process, and it’s not as easy to recycle.
Where PVC does perform better than rubber is in its resistance to oils and many chemicals. If your work is in a garage or chemical yard, or if you are working around foods, your PVC soles will stay looking and performing as new for longer with prolonged contact. Again though, rubber, too, has some resistance to many chemicals, so the difference might not be so stark.
Given a choice, we will always go for rubber thanks to its environmental credentials and also its comfort, grip, durability, waterproofing and also its aesthetic qualities. PVC is usually cheaper, but there’s a wide range of quality, so it is often an inferior product, so make sure you’re buying from a reputable supplier.
Find your perfect pair of women’s boots or men’s boots from Timberland.