So, I’m embarrassed to say that as I was researching a bit for this blog post, I started to get really confused. I couldn’t figure out why my very scientific Google search for “lug soles” wasn’t turning up any information of value. It wasn’t until Elizabeth pointed out that I had lug soles and gum soles mixed up that I realized my mistake. #blondemoment
Indeed, the topic of today’s post is gum soles–the natural-colored rubber typically available in stacked or wedge heels for women. After a second round of research, I discovered that the gum rubber sole was invented for indoor sports for two reasons: It does not leave marks on a hard court surface and it provides additional grip, preventing slippage. Furthermore, the rubber absorbs shock, making them more comfortable than other sole varieties.
It seems to me then rather obvious that the reasons it was/is popular as a sports shoe are the same reasons it is popular, particularly this fall and winter, among women’s shoes. Who doesn’t want a comfortable heel that will keep you from slipping on wet, snowy sidewalks? Count me in.
The gum sole now conootes more of a “countryside” aesthetic than it references a “badminton court.” But this season the gum sole is leaving the hillside and hitting the streets. Designers are using it to transform already sharp shoes and boots into all-terrain hybrids. You can pair them with oversized flannel shirts as easily as you can with a structured leather jacket.
Here are a few we currently have in store. You’ll notice there are other common denominators among them, including fur lining, suede outer and a wedge heel.