A tuxedo is the most elegant men can create with clothing. Everything around the tux should communicate the same, elegant message; from watches to shoes.
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.
This rubber heel design makes this shoe more casual NOT to be worn with a suit!
The more details as the stitching make this shoe more casual.
This is a more contemporary slip on but not with a suit.
Dressier shoes are better with suits.
This shoe’s look has a more old-fashioned.