Q and Answer: What Kind of Shoes are Best for Snowy Days?

David asks: Is it OK to wear leather soled shoes through the snow, or should I really get Dainite?

If you’re just concerned about your shoes, almost any kind of sole - leather or Dainite - will be fine in the snow. Just make sure you follow the sacred rule of putting in shoe trees after you take your shoes off, and giving them a day of rest in between each wearing. If you don’t let the leather naturally dry out, you’ll really shorten your shoes’ lifespan.

If you’re asking for your own safety, I would recommend Commando soles. There’s a lot of academic research on this that you can read through Google Scholar. Like in most research, however, there’s a lot of bickering about variables, measurements, and definitions. Still, researchers agree on a few things.

First, leather soles can be dangerous on wet, smooth surfaces. There is debate on whether Topy soles make a difference, but most scholars agree that rubber soles with treads or cleats will provide four to five times better traction. This means they’ll better in foul weather conditions. Second, it’s better to have more heel-to-surface contact, which means Commando soles will be better than Dainite. A Commando sole is what you see above in the left hand picture, and Dainite is what you see on the right. 

For what it’s worth, I’ve used Topy-ed leather, Dainite, and Commando soles on snowy days and haven’t killed myself, but I do find that Danite and Commando perform slightly better than simple rubber protectors. Lug soles can be a bit clunky, but as you can see in the left-hand picture above, Alden has a model with recessed treads at the forefront’s edge. This will give you a slightly cleaner look. If need to wear dressier shoes, I recommend a studded Dainite or maybe using galoshes.