Unfortunately there is no hard and fast answer to this question, unless you’re talking about formal wear, in which case the answer is always leather. In most other situations, there is a time and a place for both. While leather is more high quality, breathable, molds to the feet, can be re-soled, and has a lower profile, it is more fragile, can be destroyed by the elements, and is more slippery. Rubber offers better slip prevention and traction, is less expensive, and weather-proof, however it is also more clunky looking. Our best advice is to choose a shoe that is appropriate for the season and occasion and to own a variety of both kinds of soles. You certainly do not want to be trudging through a snowstorm in your beautiful Italian leather shoes! If you’re looking for a mix of materials, Allen Edmonds a variety of soles and even features combination soles which give you the best of both worlds. Come in to Ted’s to check out our variety!