My nephew was going to his Sr. Prom. He walked out with lace-up shoes, with an extra thick sole in patent leather. The shoe itself communicated two messages; one conservative (patent leather) and one casual (thick rubber soles.) This shoe, when worn with the tux communicated two different messages; one conservative and one more casual. This is what I call a “disconnect.” How can you ensure that you do not create a “disconnect” where shoes are concerned?
The key is whether or not the sole is made of rubber or leather, it is the “look” of the sole that it creates; however, a key thing to remember is that leather soles are dressier than rubber soles.
A sole that is thinner, leather or rubber, creates a dressier look; the thicker the sole the more casual the shoe. If you are considering a loafer, and it is more casual, then yes, a thicker, rubber sole should be okay.
What you really want to ask yourself if the look you are creating is dressier/conservative, then opt for a thinner sole. For a more conservative look, I recommend having a sole made of leather. If it is more casual, then a thicker sole may work; however, a word of caution, avoid a thick sole that looks like a truck that is going 4-wheeling for any look in business (for those of you who do not know what that means, click here.) no matter what “fashion” tells you, it is not correct.
Ferragamo rubber heel designs makes this shoe more casual NOT to be worn with a suit!
The more details as the stitching makes this shoe more casual.
This is a more contemporary slip on but not with a suit.
Dressier shoe, better with suits.
This shoe’s soul and look is old fashioned. Notice how the shoe above is more streamed line? This makes the look more sophisticated and youthful.