Rubber Soles: More Support Equals More Traction

July 20, 2009 By: Marshall Cutchin

An interesting take on the possible advantages and disadvantages of rubber treads comes from Roger Phillips, who notes that, in his opinion, a slight reduction in traction is offset by durability and convenience. Testing the new Simms boots, he makes an interesting observation about boot stiffness improving traction as well. “My unscientific gauge of traction is the Streamtread rubber soles, which were designed and manufactured by Vibram, provided about 80 percent of the traction of felt. But with the rigid sidewalls on the boots and the excellent ankle support, I was closer to 90 percent of the overall traction I would have had with my felt-soled boots.” In the Idaho Statesman.