Rubber Sole

Despite the way this starts, this is NOT a shoe review.

I have spent this summer wearing a pair of Blackspot Unswoosher V2 shoes. Since the mid 90s, I have been a fan of John Fluvog’s shoe design. When I found out that he designed an “unbranded” pair of shoes that were to be manufactured in a sustainable, labor friendly way, I had to check them out. Here’s a glimpse at my Unswooshers:

There are only two kinds of men’s shoes in this world: those that can be re-soled and those that can’t. I detest companies that charge a lot of money for shoes that don’t have a mid-sole and therefore can not be re-soled (Steve Madden, for example). I pronate (put my weight on the outside of my foot when I walk) and with my 200-ish lbs, I can wreck poorly made shoes in less than 2 months.

The Unswoosher not only had a mid-sole but it has recycled tire soles. I’m not talking about what Timberland is doing where they are mixing the existing rubber with some virgin rubber and being molded into a conventional looking sole. The shoe has treads and it is awesome.

Turns out, even more important that knowing that come this winter I will leave the coolest looking tracks in the Denver snow, the soles show NO wear after 2 months of consistent wear. Apparently, me weighing a good deal less than a car has something to do with it.

So what do I take away from this? Colorado has 1/3 of the nation’s scrap tires. I understand that it takes work to separate the tread of the tire from the steel bands (unless you’re a late 90s Ford Explorer). Still, there is a tremendous resource here. What is insufficient tread depth for a car is more than sufficient for a person. Car tire soles could easily be offered as an option for when shoes get re-soled. I would love for my 12+ year old Frye boots to get tire soles the next (3rd) time they get soles.

I can not find a company that is doing this as an option for the repair market. Someone should. Let me know if you have more info about this.