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Comfort and Style: Exploring the Best Shoe Materials


Remember that fable, the Three Little Pigs? The Big Bad Wolf was able to blow down the house made of straw and the one made of sticks, but when it came to the brick house, he didn’t stand a chance.

Why are we bringing this up in a shoe shop blog? Well, this story has ingrained in us the importance of sturdiness and durability in different materials, no matter the object. When we think of this fable with the context of shoe design, the Big Bad Wolf is the environments your shoes must face on a daily basis – urban footpaths, gravel driveways, grassy parks, etc.

A house made of bricks is stronger than one of straw; a car made of steel is more durable than one of plastic (like the 1960s Trabant from East Germany which were notorious for their comically poor build quality); and shoes made of high quality leather or suede are better than ones made low-quality synthetics.

In this article, we’ll bring together both comfort and style and explain the best shoe materials which don’t stand a chance against the Big Bad Wolf!

What are the best shoe materials?

While the style aspect of shoes mostly comes down to personal preference, comfort and durability can certainly be quantified scientifically. Some of the best shoe materials, on paper, are:

  • Leather
    Leather has been used as a shoe material for over 5,500 years, so there are a number of good reasons why it hasn’t gone out of fashion for such a long time. Leather is breathable, letting your feet receive airflow and stopping your shoes from smelling. It’s also a comfortable material which is strong enough to keep your feet supported while also offering flexibility in the toe area. Maybe most importantly it’s a super durable material which comes in many styles and colours, meaning you’re bound to find a pair of leather shoes which appeals to your style.
  • Breathable Mesh
    Breathable mesh uppers as traditionally used in sports shoes and now crossing over into dressier casual shoes are also excellent in terms of comfort and style. For sneakers and runners made by high quality manufacturers, these materials are lightweight, comfortable and allow air flow in shoes offering superior comfort with arch support and toe flexibility..
  • Suede
    Suede shoes: Elvis loved these so much he even wrote a song about them. Suede is a luxury material, offering comfort and style. While very durable, suede shoes need a little extra care as they scuff easily.

Want to find the perfect pair of shoes which are both comfortable and stylish? Forbes Footwear has got what you need. We’re Sydney’s experts in shoe retail, stocking all your favourite brands and materials of shoe in a range of sizes. We’ve been one of Sydney’s favourite teams in shoe retail for over 80 years, and are highly experienced in shoe fitting and picking great shoes. Pop in to see the team or shop online today.