Rubber has been in use for thousands of years in its natural form. Known for its durability, elasticity, flexibility, and resistance to degrading, abrasions, and surface friction, it is used in many consumer and industrial items, including tires, gloves, flooring and roofing, balls, and insulation.
Rubber is one of the best materials for sole production, providing long-lasting comfort and durability. Because rubber has good abrasion resistance, flexibility, and cushioning effects, it is a highly sought-after material in the footwear industry.
Rubber-soled shoes are suitable for all surfaces and for use during all seasons. When walking on wet pavement, rugged roads, or snow-covered streets, rubber soles provide incredible traction.
Rubber-soled shoes are flexible, making them incredibly comfortable when worn. Unlike other soles, rubber soles move and bend with every step you take.
Rubber is waterproof, making your footwear ideal for use outdoors, even in rain and snow.
Since rubber has incredible strength, rubber soles provide unmatched wear resistance. They're extremely durable and can last you years of wear.
The first rubber-soled shoes didn’t appear until the late 1890s, but the first real sneaker popped up in 1917. The United States Rubber Company (later known as “Keds”) made their vulcanized rubber shoes, innovating the bonding of a canvas upper with a rubber sole. These shoes were so resilient and quiet that they allowed wearers to sneak up on fellow humans silently, thus earning the name “sneakers.” Were it not for the softness and flexibility of rubber, and the introduction of these athletic shoes at this point in American history, we may have ended up calling these by a different name. (Source: Feet and Footwear: A Cultural Encyclopedia by Margo DeMello)