Just a few years ago the thinnest rubber soles used for Goodyear welted shoes were single Dainite soles, and the only brand who offered shoes in the mottled museum calf leather was John Lobb Paris. Today, it’s a whole different story. Loads of brands have their own version of the thin, so called city rubber soles, and several tanneries do museum calf leathers that are offered by brands in all price ranges.
I believe the city rubber sole trend started with some British brands, like Gaziano & Girling and Alfred Sargent, offering Wensum soles. Then came Edward Green with R1, and most brands started offering various versions of the thin city rubber soles that have the main feature of looking like a leather sole, yet being much more durable and handling wet conditions well. And customers love them.
John Lobb Paris was the ones who made the characteristic mottled museum calf leathers famous, where first tannery to offer the leather type was the Italian tannery Ilcea, who went bankrupt a few years ago, but now have new owners with Vecchia Toscana. More and more tanneries have started doing the same type of aniline tanned mottled hides, for example Haas, Zonta and Bonaudo, and a giant like Annonay has just invested in the equipment needed to produce museum calf, so in a while they’ll offer it as well. With the growing supply, and growing demand, lots of brands offer museum calf leather shoes today. Pictured here is an adelaide from TLB Mallorca Artista that we offer at Skolyx, with very slim waist even if rubber soled and museum calf from the Italian tannery Zonta.
Interesting. Does museum calf require different polishing techniques?
Peter: If you want to keep it as mottled as possible, best is to use neutral products for the regular care, and only pigmented when you have marks to cover.
many fashion brands ,ferragamo,tods,fratelli rosetti,Bally have their versions of city rubber soles since decades
Samir Mehta: Rubber soles for cemented shoes have obviously been popular for decades (since they are cheaper, and that’s a very important factor for the fashion brands), now we are talking about this type of thin rubber soles for a stitched, welted construction.